Πέμπτη, 31 Μαΐου 2012

Science News SciGuru.com

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Juvenile arthritis patients may have issues maintaining employment as adults

Posted: 31 May 2012 05:52 AM PDT

As children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) grow into adulthood, disability due to disease may adversely affect their ability to achieve educational success. Findings published in Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), suggest that functional disability impacts educational attainment, which is key to successful employment in adulthood.

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The first solar thermal energy plant in the world

Posted: 31 May 2012 05:42 AM PDT

The first solar thermal energy plant in the world with a central receiver and thermal storage in commercial operation was recently installed in Spain (Gemasolar, designed by Sener and property of Torresol Energy). As it can function both day and night, approximately 7,000 hours a year, it represents a significant development in the solar energy sector. The most important project internationally, currently under construction, will soon be in operation in the USA, property of Solar Reserve with UCT technology, an American giant in aerospace engineering.

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New Treatment for Irritability in Autism

Posted: 31 May 2012 05:32 AM PDT

Autism is a developmental disorder that affects social and communication skills. Irritability is a symptom of autism that can complicate adjustment at home and other settings, and can manifest itself in aggression, tantrums, and self-injurious behavior. These disruptive behaviors are frequently observed in children with autism, which may considerably affect their ability to function at home or in school.

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“Like a jet through solid rock” - Volcanic arc fed by rapid fluid pulses

Posted: 31 May 2012 04:38 AM PDT

In the depths of the earth, it is anything but peaceful: large quantities of liquids carve their way through the rock as fluids, causing magma to form. A research team led by the University of Münster, has shown that the fluids flow a lot faster through solid rock than previously assumed. In the Chinese Tian Shan Mountains, fluids pushed their way to the earth’s mantle from great depths in just 200 years rather than in the course of tens or even hundreds of thousands of years.

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Researchers find new properties of the carbon material graphene

Posted: 30 May 2012 08:15 PM PDT

Graphene has caused a lot of excitement among scientists since the extremely strong and thin carbon material was discovered in 2004. Just one atom thick, the honeycomb-shaped material has several remarkable properties combining mechanical toughness with superior electrical and thermal conductivity.

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When Equality Loses

Posted: 30 May 2012 01:13 PM PDT

Despite our inclination to believe equality within a team or group is important, new research suggests that a built-in hierarchy leads to fewer group conflicts and higher productivity.

The research finds a team or group with all high-performers will not outperform teams or groups with an established hierarchy. Teams in which everyone has high power are likely to experience elevated levels of conflict, reduced role differentiations, less coordination and integration, and poorer productivity than teams with a broader distribution of power and status.

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Landslides linked to plate tectonics create the steepest mountain terrain

Posted: 30 May 2012 01:03 PM PDT

Some of the steepest mountain slopes in the world got that way because of the interplay between terrain uplift associated with plate tectonics and powerful streams cutting into hillsides, leading to erosion in the form of large landslides, new research shows.

The work, presented online May 27 in Nature Geoscience, shows that once the angle of a slope exceeds 30 degrees – whether from uplift, a rushing stream carving away the bottom of the slope or a combination of the two – landslide erosion increases significantly until the hillside stabilizes.

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Eat healthy – your kids are watching

Posted: 30 May 2012 12:50 PM PDT

If lower-income mothers want kids with healthy diets, it’s best to adopt healthy eating habits themselves and encourage their children to eat good foods rather than use force, rewards or punishments, says a Michigan State University study.

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Marriage may make people happier

Posted: 30 May 2012 12:28 PM PDT

Married people may be happier in the long run than those who aren’t married, according to new research by Michigan State University scientists.

Their study, online in the Journal of Research in Personality, finds that although matrimony does not make people happier than they were when they were single, it appears to protect against normal declines in happiness during adulthood.

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Psychologists aim to help computers understand you better

Posted: 30 May 2012 12:18 PM PDT

Language is so much more than a string of words. To understand what someone means, you need context.

Consider the phrase, "Man on first." It doesn't make much sense unless you're at a baseball game. Or imagine a sign outside a children's boutique that reads, "Baby sale - One week only!" You easily infer from the situation that the store isn't selling babies but advertising bargains on gear for them.

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Scientists develop synthetic platelets

Posted: 30 May 2012 11:31 AM PDT

Synthetic platelets have been developed by UC Santa Barbara researchers, in collaboration with researchers at Scripps Research Institute and Sanford-Burnham Institute in La Jolla, Calif. Their findings are published in the journal Advanced Materials in a paper titled "Platelet Mimetic Particles for Targeting Thrombi in Flowing Blood."

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Genes predict if medication can help you quit smoking

Posted: 30 May 2012 09:57 AM PDT

The same gene variations that make it difficult to stop smoking also increase the likelihood that heavy smokers will respond to nicotine-replacement therapy and drugs that thwart cravings, a new study shows.

The research, led by investigators at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, will appear online May 30 in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

The study suggests it may one day be possible to predict which patients are most likely to benefit from drug treatments for nicotine addiction.

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Researchers Identify a “Life-And-Death” Molecule on Chronic Leukemia Cells

Posted: 30 May 2012 08:58 AM PDT

A new study has identified a life-and-death signaling role for a molecule on the surface of the immune cells involved in the most common form of chronic leukemia. The finding could lead to more effective therapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), an as yet incurable cancer that occurs in more than 16,000 Americans annually.

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Forensic Anthropologists Find American Heads are Getting Larger

Posted: 30 May 2012 08:00 AM PDT

White Americans’ heads are getting bigger. That’s according to research by forensic anthropologists at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Lee Jantz, coordinator of UT’s Forensic Anthropology Center (FAC); Richard Jantz, professor emeritus and former director of the FAC; and Joanne Devlin, adjunct assistant professor, examined 1,500 skulls dating back to the mid-1800s through the mid-1980s. They noticed US skulls have become larger, taller, and narrower as seen from the front and faces have become significantly narrower and higher.

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MIT-designed cooler preserves tuberculosis drugs, records doses

Posted: 30 May 2012 07:50 AM PDT

Tuberculosis, now largely controlled in the industrialized world, remains a stubbornly persistent killer in most of Africa, as well as parts of Asia and South America. The spread of multidrug-resistant strains of TB has slowed progress against the devastating disease, which is estimated to strike more than 10 million people annually. Now a modified soft-drink cooler, developed by researchers at MIT’s D-Lab, could make a dent in the disease’s impact.

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People Know When to Move On

Posted: 30 May 2012 07:40 AM PDT

People make decisions all the time. What sandwich to order, whether to walk through that puddle or around it, what school to go to and so on. However, psychologists disagree on how good we are at making decisions.

“In the literature on human decision-making, there are two almost parallel stories,” said Andreas Jarvstad of Cardiff University. “One goes, ‘humans are terrible at making choices.’ The other goes, ‘humans are close to being as good as they possibly can be.’”

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