Παρασκευή, 30 Νοεμβρίου 2012

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Ice Sheet Loss at Both Poles Increasing, Study Finds

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 07:15 PM PST

An international team of experts supported by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) has combined data from multiple satellites and aircraft to produce the most comprehensive and accurate assessment to date of ice sheet losses in Greenland and Antarctica and their contributions to sea level rise.

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Scientists discover water ice on Mercury

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 12:32 PM PST

Mercury, the smallest and innermost planet in our solar system, revolves around the sun in a mere 88 days, making a tight orbit that keeps the planet incredibly toasty. Surface temperatures on Mercury can reach a blistering 800 degrees Fahrenheit — hot enough to liquefy lead. 

Now researchers from NASA, MIT, the University of California at Los Angeles and elsewhere have discovered evidence that the scorching planet may harbor pockets of water ice, along with organic material, in several permanently shadowed craters near Mercury’s north pole.

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Scientists create road map to metabolic reprogramming for aging

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 12:19 PM PST

In efforts to understand what influences life span, cancer and aging, scientists are building road maps to navigate and learn about cells at the molecular level.
To survey previously uncharted territory, a team of researchers at UW-Madison has created an "atlas" that maps more than 1,500 unique landmarks within mitochondria that could provide clues to the metabolic connections between caloric restriction and aging.

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Precisely engineering 3-D brain tissues

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 09:52 AM PST

Borrowing from microfabrication techniques used in the semiconductor industry, MIT and Harvard Medical School (HMS) engineers have developed a simple and inexpensive way to create three-dimensional brain tissues in a lab dish.

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A Multi-Wavelength View of Radio Galaxy Hercules A

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 08:03 AM PST

Spectacular jets powered by the gravitational energy of a supermassive black hole in the core of the elliptical galaxy Hercules A illustrate the combined imaging power of two of astronomy's cutting-edge tools, the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3, and the recently upgraded Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope in New Mexico.

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Bacteria Hijack Host Cell Process, Create Their Own Food Supply to Become Infectious

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 07:48 AM PST

Bacteria that cause the tick-borne disease anaplasmosis in humans create their own food supply by hijacking a process in host cells that normally should help kill the pathogenic bugs, scientists have found.

This bacterium, Anaplasma phagocytophilum (Ap), secretes a protein that can start this process. The protein binds with another protein produced by white blood cells, and that connection creates compartments that siphon host-cell nutrients to feed the bacteria, enabling their growth inside the white blood cells.

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Research Helps Improve Nano-manufacturing with Nanometer-scale Diamond Tip

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 07:33 AM PST

One of the most promising innovations of nanotechnology has been the ability to perform rapid nanofabrication using nanometer-scale tips.  Heating such tips can dramatically increase fabrication speeds, but high speed and high temperature have been known to blunt their atomically sharp points.

Now, research conducted by a team that included the University of Pennsylvania’s Robert Carpick and Tevis Jacobs has created a new type of nano-tip for thermal processing, which is made entirely made out of diamond.

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Newsletter for Friday 30 November


Newsletter - November 30 - Today in Science History  

Before you look at today's web page, see if you can answer some of these questions about the events that happened on this day. Some of the names are very familiar. Others will likely stump you. Tickle your curiosity with these questions, then check your answers on today's web page.
A Life of George WestinghouseOn 30 Nov 1886, the first successful alternating current power plant was opened by George Westinghouse in Buffalo, N.Y. Today's Science Store pick is A Life of George Westinghouse, by Henry G. Prout, who presents a vivid biography with emphasis on the scientific and business aspects of Westinghouse's career. He successfully beat Thomas Edison in supplying electrical power because Westinghouse had the vision to pursue alternating current instead of Edison's scheme for direct current. The practical differences were very much in Westinghouse's favour, and it is his outstanding scientific and business acumen that is responsible for initiating the power grid as we know it. Reading more about this important inventor is well worth your time. New Price $34.95.
Yesterday's pick: a link to  All Products for  gift ideas and to Science Apparel. For picks from earlier newsletters, see the Today in Science Science Store home page.
Quotations for Today
"After the German occupation, when I found myself in England, I thought I was in paradise. ... I think that whatever I accomplished it was due to my British experience and the chance that country gave me when I arrived there. ... (A) great number of scientists educated in England became Nobel Prize winners eventually. They simply received good schooling and training. The British taught me how to think practically and exercise my brain; at the same time they showed me, psychologically speaking, the approach necessary in planning a scientific experiment. What was most required was systematic planning, hard work and a great effort. I am not a patient person but I am disciplined ... " -  Andrew Schally, Polish-born American, Nobel prize-winning endocrinologist (born 30 Nov 1926) (source)

"Mr. Westinghouse said that in his judgment one of the most serious problems in the development of the country along right lines was the proper housing of the masses that were flocking to our industrial centers. He intimated that he had given the question much thought, and, if his affairs permitted, would be glad to attempt its solution along business lines, and yuey in the spirit of the highest and most practical philanthropy." - George Westinghouse, who on 30 Nov 1886 opened, the first commercially successful U.S. alternating current power plant. The quote is given as reported by a veteran officer of the Air Brake Company. (source)

"Polyneuritis in birds ... is due to the lack of an essential substance in the diet. The substance is only present in minute amount, probably not more than 1 grm. per kilo of rice. The substance which is absent in polished rice and is contained in rice-polishings is an organic base. ... The curative dose of the active substance is small; a quantity of substance which contains 4mgr. of nitrogen cured pigeons." (1911) - Casimir Funk, Polish-American biochemist (died 30 Nov 1967) (source)

Nils Dalén, born 30 Nov 1869, was a Swedish engineer who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1912 for his invention of the automatic sun valve, which regulated a gaslight source by the action of sunlight and darkness It was used for buoys and unmanned lighthouses. In 1922, Dalen's Amalgamated Gas Accumulator Co. patented his design for a more efficient and cost-effective kitchen stove and began production. These stoves produced a radiant heat that kept the kitchen warm, and remains popular today.
Can you name this popular stove?
Casimir Funk (1884-1967) was a Polish-American biochemist who pusued the idea that diseases such as beriberi, scurvy, rickets and pellagra were caused by lack of vital substances in the diet.
What name did he give these substances?
An English pioneer researcher into magnetism (1544-1603) became the most distinguished man of science in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
Can you name this scientist?
On 30 Nov of a certain year, John Landis Mason received a U.S. patent for his invention known by his name - the Mason jar (No. 22,186). Although hundreds of men and women obtained patents for fruit jars, probably the most well known in the industry has been the Mason jar. It has become a common term for the preserved food jar.
In which decade was patent issued?
On 30 Nov 1784, American physician and scientist John Jeffries recorded the first scientific data for free air, to a height of 9,309-ft, including twelve observations of temperature, pressure, and humidity. Jeffries' values agree closely with modern determinations. 
How did he travel to such a great height?
When you have your answers ready to all the questions above, you'll find all the information to check them, and more, on the November 30 web page of Today in Science History.

Or, try this link first for just the brief answers.

Fast answers for the previous newsletter for November 29:  The Fields Medal, Christian Doppler;  Augusta Ada King Lovelace; the decade containing the year 1962; Nevada.
If you enjoy this newsletter, the website, or wish to offer encouragement or ideas, please write.

If you do not want to receive any more newsletters,  this link

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ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

New patient-friendly way to make stem cells for fight against heart disease

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 08:26 PM PST

Scientists have developed a patient-friendly and efficient way to make stem cells out of blood, increasing the hope that scientists could one day use stem cells made from patients' own cells to treat cardiovascular disease.

Scientists identify key biological mechanism in multiple sclerosis

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 02:39 PM PST

Scientists have defined for the first time a key underlying process implicated in multiple sclerosis -- a disease that causes progressive and irreversible damage to nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. This discovery offers new hope for the millions who suffer from this debilitating disease for which there is no cure.

Sneak peek at early course of bladder infection caused by widespread, understudied parasite

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 02:39 PM PST

Using standard tools of the molecular-biology trade and a new, much-improved animal model of a prevalent but poorly understood tropical parasitic disease called urogenital schistosomiasis, researchers were able to obtain "snapshots" of shifting gene activity levels during the early, acute phase of what for most becomes a chronic bladder infection.

Promising drug slows down advance of Parkinson's disease and improves symptoms

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 02:38 PM PST

Treating Parkinson's disease patients with the experimental drug GM1 ganglioside improved symptoms and slowed their progression during a two and a half-year trial.

Milk drinkers may yet get heart-healthy omega-3s by the glass

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 02:38 PM PST

Food science researchers may have reeled milk into the fish oil delivery system, showing it is possible to incorporate omega-3 fatty acids into milk and dairy-based beverages in amounts sufficient to promote heart health, without destroying the milk's taste. The innovation may be a way to help people who do not eat fish get some of the heart-healthy benefits of fish oil.

Controversial treatment for autism may do more harm than good, researchers find

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 01:21 PM PST

A controversial treatment for autism spectrum disorder is not only ineffective but may be harmful, according to a new study.

Defining career paths in health systems improvement

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 12:20 PM PST

Among numerous programs aimed at improving the quality and efficiency of the US health care system, training the next generation of experts needed to help lead these efforts has received inadequate, according to three physicians. They propose a framework for career development in what they call "health systems improvement."

Proteins that work at the ends of DNA could provide cancer insight

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 12:20 PM PST

New insights into a protein complex that regulates the very tips of chromosomes could improve methods of screening anti-cancer drugs. Researchers determined the binding mechanism of proteins that protect and regulate telomeres, segments of repeating DNA units that cap the ends of chromosomes and a key target of cancer researchers.

Chromatin remodeling: Activating ACL1 with a little help from 'friends'

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 12:19 PM PST

Chromatin remodeling —- the packaging and unpackaging of genomic DNA and its associated proteins —- regulates a host of fundamental cellular processes including gene transcription, DNA repair, programmed cell death as well as cell fate. In their latest study, scientists are continuing to unravel the finicky details of how these architectural alterations are controlled.

Autism severity may stem from fear

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 11:35 AM PST

New research on autism shows that children with the diagnosis struggle to let go of old, outdated fears. Even more significantly, the study found that this rigid fearfulness is linked to the severity of classic symptoms of autism, such as repeated movements and resistance to change.

Delayed treatment for advanced breast cancer has 'profound effect'

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 11:35 AM PST

Results from a recent study show women who wait more than 60 days to begin treatment for advanced breast cancer face significantly higher risks of dying than women who start therapy shortly after diagnosis.

Post-divorce journaling may hinder healing for some

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 11:35 AM PST

Following a divorce or separation, many people are encouraged by loved ones or health-care professionals to keep journals about their feelings. But for some, writing in-depth about those feelings immediately after a split may do more harm than good, according to new research.

Precisely engineering 3-D brain tissues

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 11:34 AM PST

Borrowing from microfabrication techniques used in the semiconductor industry, engineers have developed a simple and inexpensive way to create three-dimensional brain tissues in a lab dish.

Body language, not facial expressions, broadcasts what's happening to us

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 11:33 AM PST

If you think that you can judge by examining someone's facial expressions if he has just hit the jackpot in the lottery or lost everything in the stock market -- think again. Researchers have discovered that -- despite what leading theoretical models and conventional wisdom might indicate -- it just doesn't work that way.

X-ray laser helps fight sleeping sickness: Exploiting parasite's weak spot may lead to new treatments

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 11:33 AM PST

Scientists have mapped a weak spot in the parasite that causes African sleeping sickness, pinpointing a promising new target for treating a disease that kills tens of thousands of people each year.

Mild vibrations may provide exercise-like benefits for obese

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 10:06 AM PST

If you're looking to get some of the benefits of exercise without doing the work, here's some good news. A new research report shows that low-intensity vibrations led to improvements in the immune function of obese mice. If the same effect can be found in people, this could have clinical benefits for obese people suffering from a wide range of immune problems related to obesity.

Roadmap to metabolic reprogramming for aging

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 10:05 AM PST

To survey previously uncharted territory, a team of researchers have created an "atlas" that maps more than 1,500 unique landmarks within mitochondria that could provide clues to the metabolic connections between caloric restriction and aging.

Biology behind brain development disorder: Mutations in the gene, UBE3B, cause a rare genetic disorder in children

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 10:04 AM PST

A combination of sequencing and mouse models were used to identify the gene responsible for a brain developmental disorder seen in four patients. The study also shows that the biology uncovered in the mouse model helps to understand the symptoms in patients.

Resolving debate about how tumors spread

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 10:03 AM PST

Scientists have shown for the first time how cancer cells control the ON/OFF switch of a program used by developing embryos to effectively metastasize in vivo, breaking free and spreading to other parts of the body, where they can proliferate and grow into secondary tumors.

Insects beware: The sea anemone is coming

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 08:18 AM PST

Insects are becoming resistant to insecticides, presenting a growing need to develop novel ways of pest control. New research shows that the sea anemone's venom harbors toxins that could pose a new generation of environmentally friendly insecticides, which avoid insect resistance. These toxins disable ion channels that mediate pain and inflammation, and could also spur drug development aimed at pain, cardiac disorders, epilepsy and seizure disorders, and immunological diseases.

Bacteria hijack host cell process, create their own food supply to become infectious

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 08:18 AM PST

Bacteria that cause the tick-borne disease anaplasmosis in humans create their own food supply by hijacking a process in host cells that normally should help kill the pathogenic bugs, scientists have found.

Children with higher intelligence less likely to report chronic widespread pain in adulthood

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 08:18 AM PST

There is a correlation between childhood intelligence and chronic widespread pain (CWP) in adulthood, according to a new study. About 10-15 percent of adults report CWP, a common musculoskeletal complaint that tends to occur more frequently among women and those from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. CWP is a core symptom of fibromyalgia and is one of the most common reasons for consulting a rheumatologist.

Cancer drug shows promise in eradicating latent HIV infection

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 07:35 AM PST

Breakthrough drugs help people to live longer with HIV, but more research is needed for an actual cure. One challenge involves eradicating the virus when it is latent in the body. New research suggests the cancer drug, JQ1, may be useful in purging latent HIV infection by activating the virus in the presence of potent therapy -- essentially a dead end for the virus.

Homicide spreads like infectious disease

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 07:35 AM PST

Homicide moves through a city in a process similar to infectious disease, according to a new study that may give police a new tool in tracking and ultimately preventing murders.

Newly created fly to study how a normal cell turns cancerous

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 07:35 AM PST

The wing of a fruit fly may hold the key to unraveling the genetic and molecular events that transform a normal cell into a cancerous one. The study, conducted on Drosophila melanogaster has reproduced each of the steps known to take place when a healthy cell turns cancerous. The researchers have thus provided an inexpensive and effective model that will allow to scrutinize the genes and molecules involved in each step.

Testicular cancer risk tripled in boys whose testes fail to descend

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 06:39 AM PST

Boys whose testes have not descended at birth -- a condition known as cryptorchidism -- are almost three times as likely to develop testicular cancer in later life, finds a new analysis.

Findings support safety of whooping cough vaccine for older adults

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 06:37 AM PST

A new study of the safety of the tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis vaccine supports the recommendation that those 65 and older get the vaccine to protect themselves and others, particularly young babies, from pertussis. The findings come as reported US cases of the bacterial infection, also known as whopping cough, are at the highest level since the 1950s.

Relative length of adults' fingers indicator of verbal aggression: Prenatal exposure to testosterone linked

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 06:37 AM PST

A new study links verbal aggression to prenatal testosterone exposure. Scientists used the 2D:4D measure to predict verbal aggression. This study is the first to use this method to examine prenatal testosterone exposure as a determinant of a communication trait.

Short-term exposure to essential oils lowers blood pressure and heart rate... but only when exposure is less than one hour

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 06:34 AM PST

The scents which permeate our health spas from aromatic essential oils may provide more benefits than just a sense of rest and well-being.

Making music together connects brains

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 06:34 AM PST

Anyone who has ever played in an orchestra will be familiar with the phenomenon: the impulse for one's own actions does not seem to come from one's own mind alone, but rather seems to be controlled by the coordinated activity of the group. And indeed, interbrain networks do emerge when making music together – this has now been demonstrated. Scientists used electrodes to trace the brain waves of guitarists playing in duets. They also observed substantial differences in the musicians' brain activity, depending upon whether musicians were leading or following their companion.

Brain inflammation likely key initiator to Prion and Parkinson's disease

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 06:33 AM PST

Researchers have shown that neuro-inflammation plays a crucial role in initiating prion disease.

Immune cells of the brain renew hopes for curing Alzheimer’s disease

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 06:31 AM PST

A new experimental study carried out in mice shows that microglia, immune cells of the brain, might play a key role in protecting the brain from Alzheimer's disease (AD). It is long believed that toxic sticky protein deposits in the brain called amyloid beta (Aβ) are responsible for loss of memory in AD patients. Earlier studies have shown that microglia can remove Aβ protein from the brain and therefore be vital for successful therapy. New research indicates that microglia may play a significant role irrespective of their capacity to remove brain Aβ deposits.