Rabu, 06 April 2011

ScienceDaily Top Science Headlines

for Wednesday, April 6, 2011

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Electron microscopy: New type of genetic tag illuminates life in never-before-seen detail (April 6, 2011) -- By modifying a protein from a plant that is much favored by science, researchers have created a new type of genetic tag visible under an electron microscope, illuminating life in never-before-seen detail. ... > full story

Leptin restores fertility, may improve bone health in lean women; Treatment could help athletes, women with eating disorders (April 6, 2011) -- Women with extremely low body fat, including runners and dancers, as well as women with eating disorders, are prone to develop hypothalamic amenorrhea, a condition in which their menstrual periods cease, triggering such serious problems as infertility and osteoporosis. ... > full story

Scientists develop new technology for stroke rehabilitation (April 6, 2011) -- Devices which could be used to rehabilitate the arms and hands of people who have experienced a stroke have been developed by researchers in the UK. ... > full story

Can diabetes or lipid-lowering medications treat addiction? (April 6, 2011) -- Thiazolidinediones (TZDs) are commonly prescribed to treat Type 2 diabetes, while fibrates are prescribed to modulate lipid levels in patients to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. These drugs work by binding to peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs). Another effect of TZDs and fibrates is to raise leptin levels, an effect that may reduce appetite. ... > full story

Addressing the nuclear waste issue with common algae (April 6, 2011) -- Researchers have an enhanced understanding of a common freshwater alga and its remarkable ability to remove strontium from water. Insight into this mechanism ultimately could help scientists design methods to remove radioactive strontium from existing nuclear waste. They are the first to show quantitatively how Closterium moniliferum sequesters strontium (in the form of barium-strontium-sulfate crystals) and to use this to think about a practical sequestration system for nuclear waste that maximizes strontium removal. ... > full story

Mexican migrants to the US risk 'clinically significant' mental-health problems, study finds (April 6, 2011) -- Mexicans who migrate to the United States are far more likely to experience significant depression and anxiety than individuals who do not immigrate, a new study has found. ... > full story

Opioids now most prescribed class of medications in America (April 6, 2011) -- Two reports by addiction researchers show a drastic shift in prescribing patterns impacting the magnitude of opioid substance abuse in America. The reports recommend a comprehensive effort to reduce public health risks while improving patient care, including better training for prescribers, pain management treatment assessment, personal responsibility and public education. ... > full story

Genetic clues to major cause of kidney disease worldwide (April 6, 2011) -- For the first time, researchers have found five regions in the human genome that increase susceptibility to immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy, a major cause of kidney failure worldwide -- systematically identifying those that point to a tendency for IgA nephropathy, or a protection against it. ... > full story

Hookah use widespread among college students; Study reveals mistaken perception of safety in potential gateway drug (April 6, 2011) -- Despite a growing number of cities instituting smoking bans across the country, hookah bars are cropping up everywhere -- from chic downtown cafes to locations near college campuses, where they've found a loyal customer base in young adults. A new study sheds light on the increasingly popular pastime, and the results are discouraging. ... > full story

Repulsion more important than cohesion in embryonic tissue separation (April 6, 2011) -- Until now, adherence was thought to be the principle force responsible for the separation of the ectoderm from the mesoderm in embryonic cells. But by using high resolution imaging, researchers have now discovered that, although embryonic cells of different types will temporarily adhere when they touch, they then invariably pull apart rather violently, suggesting that direct contact between two "foreign" cells triggers a "repulsive signal." ... > full story

Dead midges reveal living conditions of fish (April 6, 2011) -- Microscopic remains of dead Phantom midge larvae may explain a few hundred years of history of the living conditions of fish, acidification and fish death in Swedish lakes. Researchers have developed a method of using lake-bottom sediments to show when and how fish life disappeared from acidified lakes -- invaluable knowledge for lake restorations in acidified regions. ... > full story

Giving teachers bonuses for student achievement undermines student learning, study finds (April 6, 2011) -- Recent efforts to improve teacher performance by linking pay to student achievement have failed because such programs often rely on metrics that were never intended to help determine teacher pay. These systems make it easy for policymakers to obtain consistent measures of student and teacher performance, but the same testing regimes also make it easy for educators to game incentive systems by coaching students for exams rather than teaching them to master subject matter. ... > full story

Chimp, bonobo study sheds light on the social brain (April 5, 2011) -- Why our two closest living primate relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, have widely different social traits, despite belonging to the same genus, has long been a puzzle. Now, a comparative analysis of their brains shows neuroanatomical differences that may be responsible for these behaviors, from the aggression more typical of chimpanzees to the social tolerance of bonobos. ... > full story

Modern targeted drug plus old malaria pill serve a one-two punch in advanced cancer patients (April 5, 2011) -- Researchers may have found a way to turn an adaptive cellular response into a liability for cancer cells, by treating a group of patients with several different types of advanced cancers with temsirolimus, a molecularly targeted cancer drug that blocks nutrient uptake, plus hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug that inhibits autophagy. This regimen halted tumor growth in two-thirds of the patients. ... > full story

Toward a solution to nerve agent exposure: Chemist uses supercomputers to test reagents for new treatments (April 5, 2011) -- A chemist is harnessing the power of supercomputing systems to help develop a new drug that will regenerate a critical enzyme in the human body that "ages" after a person is exposed to deadly organophosphorus nerve agents. ... > full story

Protein found to be the link missing between HPV infection and cervical cancer development (April 5, 2011) -- Most women are infected with human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause cervical cancer -- yet few develop the cancer. Now researchers believe they have found the missing link explaining why: activation of the beta-catenin oncogene. ... > full story

Cost-effective manure management, thanks to computer-simulated farms (April 5, 2011) -- Scientists have used computer-simulated farms with the support of field research to compare the environmental impact and economic efficacy of using alternative manure application methods in farming systems. ... > full story

Economics, physics are roadblocks for mass-scale algae biodiesel production, study finds (April 5, 2011) -- Companies looking to engineer an eco-friendly diesel fuel have more red lights in their path. According to researchers, making petroleum diesel completely green would not only bend the laws of physics, it would cost too much green. ... > full story

Invisibility cloaks and more: Force of acoustical waves tapped for metamaterials (April 5, 2011) -- A very simple bench-top technique that uses the force of acoustical waves to create a variety of 3-D structures will benefit the rapidly expanding field of metamaterials and their myriad applications -- including "invisibility cloaks." ... > full story

Vitamin A derivative can inhibit early forms of breast cancer, researchers show (April 5, 2011) -- A nutrient found in carrots and sweet potatoes may prove key to fighting breast cancer at early stages, according to a new study. ... > full story

World's reef fishes tussling with human overpopulation (April 5, 2011) -- Coral reefs provide a range of critical goods and services to humanity -- everything from nutrient cycling to food production to coast protection to economic revenues through tourism, according to researchers. Yet, they say, the complex nature and large-scale distribution of coral reefs is challenging scientists to understand if this natural ecosystem will continue working to deliver goods and services given the ongoing loss of biodiversity in coral reefs. ... > full story

Getting to the root of fatty liver disease (April 5, 2011) -- Researchers have identified a molecular switch that appears to be a common feature in the development of fatty liver disease. The discovery made in mice is consistent with data from human patients, suggesting that it may provide an underlying explanation for the development of fatty liver in people with obesity and metabolic syndrome. ... > full story

History of nuclear power needs to be addressed, expert says (April 5, 2011) -- The long-standing conflicts over nuclear power and the risks of radiation exposure are nothing new -- in fact, the debate over the damaged Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant in Japan are similar to arguments happening between scientists, governmental agencies and the public since 1945, according to an expert on the history of science. ... > full story

How materialistic advertising messages negatively shape the female body image, study finds (April 5, 2011) -- A new study is the first to examine the impact of materialistic messages and values -- the desire for financial success and an affluent lifestyle on women's feelings about their own body. ... > full story

Scientists find new type of mineral in historic meteorite (April 5, 2011) -- Researchers have found a new mineral named "Wassonite" in one of the most historically significant meteorites recovered in Antarctica in December 1969. ... > full story

Genomic signature in post-menopausal women may explain why pregnancy reduces breast cancer risk (April 5, 2011) -- Women who have children, particularly early in life, have a lower lifetime risk of breast cancer compared with women who do not. Now, researchers have identified a gene expression pattern in breast tissue that differs between post-menopausal women who had children and post-menopausal women who did not. The results will help scientists understand why pregnancy reduces breast cancer risk. ... > full story

Rare alpine insect may disappear with glaciers (April 5, 2011) -- Loss of glaciers and snowpack due to climate warming in alpine regions is putting pressure on a rare aquatic insect -- the meltwater stonefly, according to a new study. ... > full story

Cellular feast or famine: How cells decide whether they have enough fat (April 5, 2011) -- Not all cholesterol is bad. Every cell requires it for growth -- they either have to get cholesterol somewhere or they die. In a new study, researchers found that a protein sensor known to balance cholesterol sources can also access a previously under-appreciated cellular fat storage depot. ... > full story

Nanoparticles improve solar collection efficiency (April 5, 2011) -- Using minute graphite particles 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, mechanical engineers hope to boost the efficiency -- and profitability -- of solar power plants. ... > full story

Students around the world report being addicted to media, study finds (April 5, 2011) -- College students around the world report that they are 'addicted' to media, describing in vivid terms their cravings, their anxieties and their depression when they have to abstain from using cell phones, social networking sites, mp3 player. ... > full story

Record depletion of Arctic ozone layer causing increased UV radiation in Scandinavia (April 5, 2011) -- Over the past few days, ozone-depleted air masses have extended from the north pole to southern Scandinavia, leading to higher than normal levels of ultraviolet radiation during sunny days in southern Finland. These air masses will move east over the next few days, covering parts of Russia and perhaps extend as far south as the Chinese/Russian border. Such excursions of ozone-depleted air may also occur over Central Europe and could reach as far south as the Mediterranean. Researchers say that the current situation in the Arctic ozone layer is unparalleled. ... > full story

New method delivers Alzheimer’s drug to the brain (April 5, 2011) -- Scientists have developed a new method for delivering complex drugs directly to the brain, a necessary step for treating diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Motor Neuron Disease and Muscular Dystrophy. ... > full story

Device enables computer to identify whether user is male or female (April 5, 2011) -- Researchers in Spain have developed a system that analyses a video signal in real time and calculates the gender of the faces pictured in the images. This way, a computer can determine whether the faces pictured in the images or videos belong to a man or a woman. ... > full story

Pedestrians injured by the windshield frame in car crashes (April 5, 2011) -- Pedestrian disability and fatality as a consequence of car crashes is a large global health problem. New research from Sweden now shows that upper-body collision with the car's lower windscreen is a common cause of severe injuries and deaths in adults, especially in those accidents where the head is struck. Children injured by cars are mostly hit by the hood. ... > full story

Air France wreckage located nearly 2.5 miles below surface of Atlantic Ocean (April 5, 2011) -- A search team has located the wreckage of Air France Flight 447 some 3,900 meters, or nearly 2.5 miles, below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean off Brazil's northeastern coast. ... > full story

People willing to pay painful price for friendship (April 5, 2011) -- People will suffer more pain for their close friends than for their acquaintances and sometimes more than they would for themselves, a scientist has found. ... > full story

Facial structures of men and women have become more similar over time (April 5, 2011) -- New research shows that they really don't make women like they used to, at least in Spain. The study, which examined hundreds of Spanish and Portuguese skulls spanning four centuries, shows that differences in the craniofacial features of men and women have become less pronounced. ... > full story

Patient's own cells may hold therapeutic promise after reprogramming, gene correction (April 5, 2011) -- Scientists have moved gene therapy one step closer to clinical reality by determining that the process of correcting a genetic defect does not substantially increase the number of potentially cancer-causing mutations in induced pluripotent stem cells. ... > full story

Vibrant colors in vertical silicon nanowires: Surprising phenomenon may lead to greater sensitivity in image sensor devices (April 5, 2011) -- Engineers may soon be singing, "I'm going to wash that gray right out of my nanowires," thanks to a colorful discovery by a team of researchers. In contrast to the somber gray hue of silicon wafers, the scientists demonstrated that individual, vertical silicon nanowires can shine in all colors of the spectrum. ... > full story

Genetic changes behind sweet tooth (April 5, 2011) -- The substance ghrelin plays an important role in various addictions, such as alcoholism and binge-eating. It also impacts on sugar consumption, which is due, in part, to genetic factors, new research from Sweden reveals. ... > full story

Mangroves among the most carbon-rich forests in the tropics; Coastal trees key to lowering greenhouse gases (April 5, 2011) -- Coastal mangrove forests store more carbon than almost any other forest on Earth, according to a study conducted by a team of US Forest Service and university scientists. ... > full story

Study identifies neural activity linked to food addiction (April 5, 2011) -- Persons with an addictive-like eating behavior appear to have greater neural activity in certain regions of the brain similar to substance dependence, including elevated activation in reward circuitry in response to food cues, according to a new study. ... > full story

Ancient enzymes: Protein adaptation shows that life on early Earth lived in a hot, acidic environment (April 5, 2011) -- A new study reveals that a group of ancient enzymes adapted to substantial changes in ocean temperature and acidity during the last four billion years, providing evidence that life on Early Earth evolved from a much hotter, more acidic environment to the cooler, less acidic global environment that exists today. ... > full story

Scientists discover a way to kill off tumors in cancer treatment breakthrough (April 5, 2011) -- Scientists have developed a new treatment for cancer which rather than attacking tumors directly, prevents the growth of new blood vessels in tumors, starving them of oxygen and nutrients, thereby preventing their growth. ... > full story

Bone marrow cells that transform into skin cells could revolutionize approach to wound treatment (April 5, 2011) -- Researchers have identified specific bone marrow cells that can transform into skin cells to repair damaged skin tissue, according to a new study. ... > full story

Sudden cardiac death affects about 1 in 44,000 NCAA athletes a year, study finds (April 5, 2011) -- About one in 44,000 college athletes each year suffers sudden cardiac death -- more than previous estimates. New calculations of young athletes' risk might influence guidelines for health screenings. ... > full story

Self-cooling observed in graphene elctronics (April 5, 2011) -- With the first observation of thermoelectric effects at graphene contacts, researchers have found that graphene transistors have a nanoscale cooling effect that reduces their temperature. Using an AMF tip to measure temperature, they found that thermoelectric cooling effects can be stronger at graphene contacts than resistive heating, so graphene transistors are self-cooling. ... > full story

Men who lose their jobs at greater risk of dying prematurely (April 5, 2011) -- Unemployment increases the risk of premature mortality by 63 percent, according to a new review. Researchers reached this conclusion by surveying existing research covering 20 million people in 15 (mainly western) countries, over the last 40 years. ... > full story

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