Τετάρτη, 30 Απριλίου 2014

Science News SciGuru.com

Science News SciGuru.com

Link to Science News from SciGuru.com

Researchers find a two-dimensional, self-assembling material that might produce solar cells or transistors

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 07:12 AM PDT

Researchers around the world have been working to harness the unusual properties of graphene, a two-dimensional sheet of carbon atoms. But graphene lacks one important characteristic that would make it even more useful: a property called a bandgap, which is essential for making devices such as computer chips and solar cells.

Now, researchers at MIT and Harvard University have found a two-dimensional material whose properties are very similar to graphene, but with some distinct advantages — including the fact that this material naturally has a usable bandgap.

read more

Graphene only as strong as weakest link

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 01:12 PM PDT

There is no disputing graphene is strong. But new research by Rice University and the Georgia Institute of Technology should prompt manufacturers to look a little deeper as they consider the miracle material for applications.

read more

Discovery of anti-appetite molecule released by fiber Inulin could help tackle obesity

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 08:38 AM PDT

New research has helped unpick a long-standing mystery about how dietary fiber supresses appetite. In a study led by Imperial College London and the Medical Research Council (MRC), an international team of researchers identified an anti-appetite molecule called acetate that is naturally released when we digest fiber in the gut. Once released, the acetate is transported to the brain where it produces a signal to tell us to stop eating.
 

read more

ScienceDaily: Living Well News

ScienceDaily: Living Well News


Consuming high-protein breakfasts helps women maintain glucose control, study finds

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 01:21 PM PDT

Previous research has shown that extreme increases in glucose and insulin in the blood can lead to poor glucose control and increase an individual's risk of developing diabetes over time. Now, a researcher has found that when women consumed high-protein breakfasts, they maintained better glucose and insulin control than they did with lower-protein or no-protein meals.

Prematurity linked to altered lung function during exercise, high blood pressure in adults

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 01:16 PM PDT

Some preterm babies have lungs that develop abnormally. While long-term health effects of prematurity are still unclear, researchers have found that adults who were born early may have problems handling the pulmonary demands of exercise. "Healthy young humans have lungs designed to easily handle the increased blood flow from the heart during exercise. However, adults born extremely to very preterm have abnormally developed lungs, which may result in lungs that are unable to handle the demands of exercise," they conclude.

Don't like the food? Try paying more

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 01:16 PM PDT

Customers paying more at a restaurant buffet perceive the food as tastier than the same food offered at a lower price, suggesting taste perception can be manipulated by price alone. Researchers in nutrition, economics and consumer behavior often assume that taste is a given -- a person naturally either likes or dislikes a food. But a new study suggests taste perception, as well as feelings of overeating and guilt, can be manipulated by price alone.

Information technology can simplify weight-loss efforts; social support still important for success

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 12:37 PM PDT

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 69 percent of adults in the United States are currently overweight or obese, which puts these individuals at increased risk for chronic health problems. Although weight loss decreases this risk, statistics show that dieters often fail multiple times before meeting their goals. Now, researchers have found that information technology, such as smartphone applications, can help dieters integrate healthy behavior changes into their daily lives.

Chronic stress heightens vulnerability to diet-related metabolic risk

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 11:21 AM PDT

Highly stressed people who eat a lot of high-fat, high-sugar food are more prone to health risks than low-stress people who eat the same amount of unhealthy food, new research finds for the first time. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of abnormalities -- increased blood pressure, a high blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels -- that occur together, increasing a person's risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

'Feel good' factor higher when you own, not just use, luxury items

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 10:38 AM PDT

It means more to people to own a luxury product or brand than to have the privilege of simply using one. Just using an affordable luxury item you don't own can, in fact, dampen the feel good factor that normally surrounds such products, suggests new research.

People rely on what they hear themselves say to know what they're saying

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 09:57 AM PDT

You know what you're going to say before you say it, right? Not necessarily, research suggests. A new study shows that auditory feedback plays an important role in helping us determine what we're saying as we speak. Theories about how we produce speech often assume that we start with a clear, preverbal idea of what to say that goes through different levels of encoding to finally become an utterance. But the findings from this study support an alternative model.

Women's employment, caregiving workloads, effort, health profiled by researchers

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 07:51 AM PDT

A profile of women with the dual responsibilities of full-time paid work and unpaid care for an elderly family member has been developed by researchers. The study is similar to how industry measures the impact of workload (including the time and difficulty of the tasks) and effort (the perceived energy it takes to do the work), researchers said. The results richly described the experiences of 46 women caregivers who work full-time and participated in the researchers' larger mixed-methods study in 2012.

Take a trip down Memory Lane to the gym: Using memories to motivate

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 07:50 AM PDT

We all know that thinking about exercise isn't the same as doing it. But researchers have confirmed what may be the next best thing: just thinking about a past exercise experience can motivate us to actually do it.

Girls make higher grades than boys in all school subjects, analysis finds

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 07:49 AM PDT

Despite the stereotype that boys do better in math and science, girls have made higher grades than boys throughout their school years for nearly a century, according to a new analysis. "School marks reflect learning in the larger social context of the classroom and require effort and persistence over long periods of time, whereas standardized tests assess basic or specialized academic abilities and aptitudes at one point in time without social influences," said lead study author.

Talking to kids about money: Study highlights importance of parents discussing financial matters with children

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 06:25 AM PDT

A new study finds that children pay close attention to issues related to money, and that parents should make an effort to talk with their children to ensure that kids don't develop misconceptions about finance. The children reported that some subjects were largely "off-limits," including family finances, parental income, investments and debt.

Snobby staff can boost luxury retail sales

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 05:56 AM PDT

When it comes to luxury brands, the ruder the sales staff the better the sales, according to new research. The study reveals that consumers who get the brush-off at a high-end retailer can become more willing to purchase and wear pricey togs. "It appears that snobbiness might actually be a qualification worth considering for luxury brands like Louis Vuitton or Gucci," says one marketing professor. "Our research indicates they can end up having a similar effect to an 'in-group' in high school that others aspire to join."

E-games for kids: How to avoid the dangers

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 05:53 AM PDT

Children's access to e-games has increased exponentially in recent years. Diversification of platform; tablets, handheld games consoles, and smartphones give kids opportunity for exposure almost all the time in any setting.  In developed countries kids spend a shocking 4-8 hours per day using screen based electronic media.  What are the risks attached to such high usage?  Are there any benefits? What should parents, health and education professionals and the industry be doing about it? 

I don’t deserve to be this happy: Dampening of positive feelings found to predict postpartum depressive symptoms

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 05:52 AM PDT

For the first time, research shows that the dampening or suppression of positive emotions plays an important role in the development of postpartum depression. This has implications for the treatment of depressed mothers. The researchers are currently working to develop a treatment method focused specifically on counteracting dampening. Existing methods, such as mindfulness, may also have a positive effect on dampening they say.

Simply being called 'fat' makes young girls more likely to become obese: Trying to be thin is like trying to be tall

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 01:41 PM PDT

Girls who are told by a parent, sibling, friend, classmate or teacher that they are too fat at age 10 are more likely to be obese at age 19, a new study by psychologists shows.

Road to fountain of youth paved with fast food ... and sneakers? Exercise may prevent or delay fundamental process of aging

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 01:36 PM PDT

Unhealthy lifestyle habits can accelerate the process of senescence (cell death) and the release of damaging substances from dying cells. Researchers for the first time demonstrate that exercise can prevent or delay this fundamental process of aging, and that lifestyle choices do play a major role in cell aging and that exercise may help protect against aging by interfering with cell senescence.

Smart home programming: Easy as 'if this, then that'

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 12:58 PM PDT

The idea of a smart home sounds promising enough -- who doesn't want a house full of automated gadgets, from light switches to appliances to heating systems, that know exactly when to turn on, turn off, heat up or power down? -- but how will users make sure all those automated devices are doing what they're supposed to do? Researchers have shown that a programming model quite well for smart home applications.

Cyberspace scholarship nets higher grades, better thinking for class Facebook group

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 12:58 PM PDT

University students who used a Facebook group as part of a large sociology class did better on course assignments and felt a stronger sense of belonging, researchers have found. The study has implications for the challenge of teaching large classes, a growing concern for higher education. "Although some teachers may worry that social media distracts students from legitimate learning, we found that our Facebook group helped transform students from anonymous spectators into a community of active learners -- and this has important consequences for student performance," said a co-author of the study.

Risk of cesarean delivery 12 percent lower with labor induction

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 10:40 AM PDT

The risk of a cesarean delivery was 12 percent lower in women whose labor was induced compared with women who were managed with a 'wait-and-see' approach (expectant management), according to a research paper. Labor is induced in about 20% of all births for a variety of reasons such as preeclampsia, diabetes, preterm rupture of the membranes, overdue pregnancy and fetal distress. Induction is often thought to be associated with increased risk of cesarean deliveries despite evidence indicating a lower risk.

Using a foreign language changes moral decisions

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:06 AM PDT

Would you sacrifice one person to save five? Such moral choices could depend on whether you are using a foreign language or your native tongue. A new study from psychologists finds that people using a foreign language take a relatively utilitarian approach to moral dilemmas, making decisions based on assessments of what's best for the common good.

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News


Scientists create circuit board modeled on the human brain

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 10:40 AM PDT

Scientists have developed faster, more energy-efficient microchips based on the human brain -- 9,000 times faster and using significantly less power than a typical PC. This offers greater possibilities for advances in robotics and a new way of understanding the brain. For instance, a chip as fast and efficient as the human brain could drive prosthetic limbs with the speed and complexity of our own actions.

Flexible battery, no lithium required: Lab creates thin-film battery for portable, wearable electronics

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:13 AM PDT

Scientists have created a thin, flexible film that combines the best qualities of batteries and supercapacitors. Chemists developed a flexible material with nanoporous nickel-fluoride electrodes layered around a solid electrolyte to deliver battery-like supercapacitor performance that combines the best qualities of a high-energy battery and a high-powered supercapacitor without the lithium found in commercial batteries today.

Loss of Y chromosome can explain shorter life expectancy, higher cancer risk for men

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:12 AM PDT

It is generally well known that men have an overall shorter life expectancy compared to women. A recent study shows a correlation between a loss of the Y chromosome in blood cells and both a shorter life span and higher mortality from cancer in other organs.

Egyptologists identify tomb of royal children

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:08 AM PDT

Who had the privilege to spend eternal life next to the pharaoh?  Close to the royal tombs in the Egyptian Valley of the Kings, excavations by Egyptologists have identified the burial place of several children as well as other family members of two pharaohs.

Cartilage, made to order: Living human cartilage grown on lab chip

Posted: 27 Apr 2014 03:51 PM PDT

The first example of living human cartilage grown on a laboratory chip has been created by scientists. The researchers ultimately aim to use their innovative 3-D printing approach to create replacement cartilage for patients with osteoarthritis or soldiers with battlefield injuries. Osteoarthritis is marked by a gradual disintegration of cartilage, a flexible tissue that provides padding where bones come together in a joint. Causing severe pain and loss of mobility in joints such as knees and fingers, osteoarthritis is one of the leading causes of physical disability in the United States.

Diet can predict cognitive decline, researchers say

Posted: 27 Apr 2014 09:10 AM PDT

Lower dietary consumption of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA) might be risk factors for cognitive decline, researchers say. There is growing evidence that very long chain omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for maintaining cognitive health. "While more research is needed to determine whether intake of fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and trout can help prevent against cognitive decline, our preliminary data support previous research showing that intake of these types of fish have health benefits," one researcher said.

'Horsing around' reduces stress hormones in youth

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 02:05 PM PDT

New research reveals how youth who work with horses experience a substantial reduction in stress -- and the evidence lies in kids' saliva. "We were coming at this from a prevention perspective," said a developmental psychologist working on this study. "We are especially interested in optimizing healthy stress hormone production in young adolescents, because we know from other research that healthy stress hormone patterns may protect against the development of physical and mental health problems."

It's a bubble, but not as we know it

Posted: 23 Apr 2014 07:16 PM PDT

Multi-sensory technology that creates soap bubbles, which can have images projected onto them or when the bubbles are burst release a scent, is being unveiled at an international conference. The research could be used in areas such as gaming or education and encourage a new way of thinking about multi-sensory technologies.

Drought may take toll on Congo rainforest, NASA satellites show

Posted: 23 Apr 2014 02:09 PM PDT

A new analysis of NASA satellite data shows Africa's Congo rainforest, the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world, has undergone a large-scale decline in greenness over the past decade. Scientists use the satellite-derived "greenness" of forest regions as one indicator of a forest's health. While this study looks specifically at the impact of a persistent drought in the Congo region since 2000, researchers say that a continued drying trend might alter the composition and structure of the Congo rainforest, affecting its biodiversity and carbon storage.