Τρίτη, 29 Απριλίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Latest Science News

ScienceDaily: Latest Science News


The thin-crusted US Sierra Nevada Mountains: Where did the Earth go?

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 12:58 PM PDT

Scientist have examined the seismological study of the entire extent of the Sierra Nevada range using seismograms collected in the Sierra Nevada EarthScope field experiment from 2005 to 2007. The southern Sierra Nevada is known to have unusually thin crust for mountains with such high elevations (peaks higher than 4 km/14,000 ft, and average elevations near 3 km/10,000 ft). Scientists have used measurements of the arrival times of seismic waves (called P-waves) from earthquakes around the globe to image the earth under the Sierra Nevada and neighboring locations.

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.

Genetic mutations involved in human blood diseases identified

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 10:40 AM PDT

Mutations that could have a major impact on the future diagnosis and treatment of many human diseases have been revealed through new research. Through an international collaboration, researchers were able to identify a dozen mutations in the human genome that are involved in significant changes in complete blood counts and that explain the onset of sometimes severe biological disorders.

Catastrophic thoughts about future linked to suicidal patients

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 10:40 AM PDT

Suicide has been on the increase recently in the United States, currently accounting for almost 40,000 deaths a year. A new study shows that one successful effort to avoid suicide attempts would be to focus on correcting the distorted, catastrophic thoughts about the future that are held by many who try to kill themselves.

One cell type may quash tumor vaccines

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 10:37 AM PDT

Many cancer vaccines fail because the immune cells that would destroy the tumor are actively suppressed, researchers believe. Now they have found that a single cell type may be to blame for the suppression, paving the way to better cancer vaccine design. "The conventional wisdom is that the body knocks out all of the cells that can mount an immune response to the cancer," says the study's first author. "In fact, our work shows that it's only one cell type that is affected. But that cell, the T-helper cell, acts as the lynchpin."

Neurologists report on promise of statins, estrogen, telemedicine in Parkinson's

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:14 AM PDT

New approaches to understanding, treating and potentially staving off Parkinson's disease are the focus of new research findings. Studies show that factors such as estrogen exposure and statin use have an impact on the onset of Parkinson's disease. And a new look at telemedicine demonstrates feasibility in providing care for Parkinson's patients using remote video visits to expand access and center care around the needs of Parkinson's patients.

Estimating baby's size gets more precise

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:14 AM PDT

New research aims to help doctors estimate the size of newborns with a new set of birth weight measurements based on birth records from across the country. Since birth size is often used as one indicator of a baby's health, these new thresholds may be useful for clinicians in making health care decisions. Researchers also may benefit from more precise estimates of birth size when investigating health outcomes at birth and later on in life.

Rare-earth-like magnetic properties in iron

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:14 AM PDT

Scientists have observed magnetic properties typically associated with those observed in rare-earth elements in iron. These properties are observed in a new iron based compound that does not contain rare earth elements, when the iron atom is positioned between two nitrogen atoms. The discovery opens the possibility of using iron to provide both the magnetism and permanence in high-strength permanent magnets, like those used in direct-drive wind turbines or electric motors in hybrid cars.

Criminal behavior: Older siblings strongly sway younger siblings close in age

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:14 AM PDT

If a sibling commits a violent criminal act, the risk that a younger sibling may follow in their footsteps is more likely than the transmission of that behavior to an older sibling, according to a new study. The findings provide insight into the social transmission of violent behaviors and suggest that environmental factors within families can be important when it comes to delinquent behavior. Down the road, the results may be used to inform strategies for prevention and treatment programs.

Smartphone sensors leave trackable fingerprints

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:14 AM PDT

Research has demonstrated that smartphone sensors -- not just the ones meant to track your location -- can leave real-time fingerprints unique to each individual device.

Abuse jeopardizes new mothers' mental health

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:13 AM PDT

A research paper is calling for closer monitoring of new mothers for mental health problems in light of new findings. Researchers have advanced previous research that links intimate partner abuse to postpartum mental health problems. They discovered that 61 percent of all women who participated in the study experienced mental health symptoms.

Wetlands likely to blame for atmospheric methane increases: Study

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:13 AM PDT

A surprising recent rise in atmospheric methane likely stems from wetland emissions, suggesting that much more of the potent greenhouse gas will be pumped into the atmosphere as northern wetlands continue to thaw and tropical ones to warm, according to a new international study. The study supports calls for improved monitoring of wetlands and human changes to those ecosystems.

Treat homelessness first, everything else later: Study

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:13 AM PDT

Providing safe, stable and affordable housing first is the best way to help homeless, according to new research. The findings show that providing prompt, permanent shelter to homeless people is cheaper and more effective than trying to treat underlying conditions such as mental health or addictions first.

Breast cancer patients place huge emphasis on gene expression profiling test

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:13 AM PDT

Gene expression profiling tests play a critical role when women with early-stage breast cancer decide whether to have chemotherapy, but many of them do not fully understand what some of the test results mean, new research suggests. Current guidelines for treating early-stage breast cancer result in thousands of women receiving chemotherapy without benefitting from it. A gene expression profiling test can help differentiate women who might benefit from chemotherapy versus those that might not.

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.

3-D printing technique for making cuddly stuff: Printer uses needle to turn layers of wool yarn into loose felt

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:13 AM PDT

A new type of 3D printer can turn wool and wool blend yarns into fabric objects that people enjoy touching. The device looks something like a cross between a 3D printer and a sewing machine and produces 3D objects made of a form of loose felt.

Kidney, liver transplantation from those with cancer history: Studies provide insight on quality of donations

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:13 AM PDT

The quality of kidney and liver donations is fundamentally important for the longevity of transplants and the health of recipients. "The findings of our research indicate that the perceived risk of certain organ donors to their recipients is likely to have been over-estimated. Organ donors with a history of certain types of cancers who are excluded from transplantation in fact pose very little risk of cancer transmission to their recipients," said a researcher. "These organs can be transplanted with very little risk to their recipients, resulting in significant improvement in the survival and health of the recipients."

Mechanism of cancer caused by loss of BRCA1, BRCA2 gene function identified

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:12 AM PDT

Inherited mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 tumor suppressor genes are by far the most frequent contributors of hereditary cancer risk in the human population, often causing breast or ovarian cancer in young women of child-bearing age. Now investigators report a new mechanism by which BRCA gene loss may accelerate cancer-promoting chromosome rearrangements.

Impact of pelargonic acid for weed control in yellow squash

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:12 AM PDT

The impact of pelargonic acid -- a fatty acid that occurs naturally in plants and animals and is found in many foods -- on weed control efficacy, crop injury, and squash yields of yellow squash has been the focus of a new study. "This research determined that a sequential postdirected application of pelargonic acid at 10-lb/acre in 40-gal/acre can consistently produce satisfactory weed control with low crop injury to produce weed-free equivalent squash yields," the lead author said.

Urbanization, higher temperatures can influence butterfly emergence patterns

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:12 AM PDT

Researchers have found that a subset of common butterfly species are emerging later than usual in urban areas located in warmer regions, raising questions about how the insects respond to significant increases in temperature.

Beyond graphene: Controlling properties of 2-D materials

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:12 AM PDT

Researchers have shown how they can control the properties of stacks of two-dimensional materials, opening up opportunities for new, previously-unimagined electronic devices. The next step is to combine several of these crystals in a 3D stack. This way, one can create 'heterostructures' with novel functionalities -- capable of delivering applications as yet beyond the imagination of scientists and commercial partners.

Extremes in wet, dry spells increasing for South Asian monsoons, scholars say

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:12 AM PDT

Climate scientists and statisticians have found changing patterns in South Asian monsoons since 1980: more extreme wet and dry spells. In particular, the researchers observed increases in the intensity of wet spells and in the frequency of dry spells. The discoveries are the result of a new collaboration between climate scientists and statisticians that focused on utilizing statistical methods for analyzing rare geophysical events.

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.

First disease-specific human embryonic stem cell line by nuclear transfer

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:11 AM PDT

Using somatic cell nuclear transfer, a team of scientists has created the first disease-specific embryonic stem cell line with two sets of chromosomes. "From the start, the goal of this work has been to make patient-specific stem cells from an adult human subject with type 1 diabetes that can give rise to the cells lost in the disease," said the leader of the research. "By reprograming cells to a pluripotent state and making beta cells, we are now one step closer to being able to treat diabetic patients with their own insulin-producing cells."

Fungus implicated in potato blight

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:11 AM PDT

For the first time, scientists have identified the existence in Álava-Araba of the two sexual types A1 and A2 of the fungus Phytophthora infestans, responsible for potato blight. Plant lesions become visible on day five following an attack by the fungus. The symptoms can be seen firstly on the lower leaves where a light-green or yellow spot can be seen on the tips and edges of the leaves. This spot separates healthy tissue from dead tissue. The lesions then spread across the remaining surface of the leaf and can be seen in the form of dark green, grey-brown or black patches.

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.

'Gaydar': Are women better at spotting one of their own?

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:08 AM PDT

Previous research has proven the 'gaydar' to be a real phenomenon. Reliable predictions of sexual orientation have been made simply by hearing a voice or seeing a face. A new article asks who has better gaydar? Lesbian women or straight?  The expectation was that lesbians due to their experience of choosing partners would be more tuned in to others orientation.  The authors conducted a study which revealed some thought-provoking insights into who has greater interpersonal sensitivity.

New method to analyze how cancer cells die

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:08 AM PDT

The number of cells within tissue is controlled through apoptosis -- a process where cells shrink and their components break up, also known as programmed cell death. Cancer is often characterized by a disruption to the normal process of this cell death. Being able to study this process accurately would allow doctors to more effectively diagnose and monitor cancer and to test and develop new treatments designed to kill cancer cells. Thanks to new research, scientists are a step closer to this.

Potential new strategy to treat ovarian cancer discovered

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:08 AM PDT

A potential new strategy to treat ovarian cancer has been identified by researchers. Recently developed drugs have increased patient survival rates by targeting a tumor's blood vessels that supply essential nutrients and oxygen to cancer cells. However, many patients go on to develop resistance to these therapies and grow new blood vessels that spread the cancer again. Ovarian cancer is the deadliest of all gynaecological cancers, and since the majority of patients are diagnosed when the disease is at an advanced stage, prognosis is generally poor.

Toll of trampoline fractures on children is high

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:07 AM PDT

Trampoline accidents sent an estimated 288,876 people, most of them children, to hospital emergency departments with broken bones from 2002 to 2011, at a cost of more than $400 million, according to an analysis by researchers. Including all injuries, not just fractures, hospital emergency rooms in the USA received more than 1 million visits from people injured in trampoline accidents during those 10 years, boosting the emergency room bills to just over $1 billion, according to the study.

Water test for the world: Simple pill brings lab to water to test for contamination

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:07 AM PDT

The problem of cumbersome, painfully slow water-testing has been solved by researchers who have turned the process upside-down by creating a way to take the lab to the water, putting potentially life-saving technology into a tiny pill. The team has reduced the sophisticated chemistry required for testing water safety to a simple pill, by adapting technology found in a dissolving breath strip. Want to know if a well is contaminated? Drop a pill in a vial of water and shake vigorously. If the color changes, there's the answer.

Origin of Huntington's disease found in brain; insights to help deliver therapy

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:06 AM PDT

The gene mutation that causes Huntington's disease appears in every cell in the body, yet kills only two types of brain cells. Why? Scientists used a unique approach to switch the gene off in individual brain regions and zero in on those that play a role in causing the disease in mice. Their findings shed light on where Huntington's starts in the brain. It also suggests new targets and routes for therapeutic drugs to slow the devastating disease, which strikes an estimated 35,000 Americans.

The scent of a man: Gender of experimenter has big impact on rats' stress levels, explains lack of replication of some findings

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:06 AM PDT

Scientists' inability to replicate research findings using mice and rats has contributed to mounting concern over the reliability of such studies. Pain researchers have now found that the gender of experimenters has a big impact on the stress levels of rodents used in research. The presence of male experimenters produced a stress response in mice and rats equivalent to that caused by restraining the rodents for 15 minutes in a tube or forcing them to swim for three minutes. This stress-induced reaction made mice and rats of both sexes less sensitive to pain.

Paper-thin tablets and TV screens? How to create nanowires only three atoms wide with an electron beam

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:06 AM PDT

Scientists have used a focused beam of electrons to create some of the smallest nanowires ever made. The discovery gives a boost to efforts aimed at creating electrical circuits on mono-layered materials, raising the possibility of flexible, paper-thin tablets and television displays.

Crabs killing Northeast saltmarshes, study confirms

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 06:43 AM PDT

Ample new evidence has been provided that the reason coastal saltmarshes are dying from Long Island to Cape Cod is that hungry crabs, left unchecked by a lack of predators, are eating the cordgrass. Long-held beliefs that physical forces, rather than disrupted food webs, are killing the marshes just aren't true, experts say. It's a problem that, properly understood, must now be managed.

Determining biocontainers' carbon footprint

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 06:43 AM PDT

A study assessed material and energy inputs required to produce a petunia plant from propagation to delivery. Impacts were expressed in terms of the contribution to the carbon footprint (global warming potential) of a single finished plant. Although traditional plastic containers were 'significant contributors' to global warming potential, electrical consumption for supplemental lighting and irrigation during plug production was found to be the leading source of CO2e emissions in the model.

Optimizing sweetpotato production

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 06:43 AM PDT

The yield increase and grade proportions for 'Beauregard' and 'Evangeline' sweetpotato have been evaluated in a new study, with regard to plant spacing and extension of growing periods. Treatments were a combination of early and late planting date and delay in harvest, in-row plant spacing, and row width. Marketable yield was consistently greater in early plantings than late plantings. Assessments of delaying harvest in early plantings indicated gains in net benefit for both hand harvesting and bulk harvesting.

Irrigation, soil management strategies investigated for cold climate sweet cherry

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 06:43 AM PDT

A study investigated growth, yield, and fruit quality response of sweet cherry to water and soil management over three successive fruiting seasons in a cold climate production area. Soil moisture content during the growing season was often higher in soils that received high-frequency irrigation compared with low-frequency irrigation. Study results suggested that variations in cropload can make an important contribution to year-to-year variation in sweet cherry fruit quality and response to treatments.

Strategic thinking strengthens intellectual capacity

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 06:42 AM PDT

Strategy-based cognitive training has the potential to enhance cognitive performance and spill over to real-life benefit according to a data-driven perspective article. The research-based perspective highlights cognitive, neural and real-life changes measured in randomized clinical trials that compared a gist-reasoning strategy-training program to memory training in populations ranging from teenagers to healthy older adults, individuals with brain injury to those at-risk for Alzheimer's disease.

Complications from kidney stone treatments are common, costly

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 06:42 AM PDT

Despite their overall low risk, procedures to treat kidney stones lead to complications that require hospitalization or emergency care for one in seven patients, according to researchers. These complications are costly. When complications occurred, they were least common following shock wave lithotripsy. Those treated with ureteroscopy, the second most common procedure, had slightly more unplanned visits, with 15 percent of patients.

18 new species of molluscs identified

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 06:42 AM PDT

A researcher has reviewed, from a molecular and morphological point of view, a family of marine gastropod molluscs, the Aeolidiidae nudibranch, and discovered eighteen new species. Molluscs are invertebrates that make up one of the most numerous groups in the animal kingdom. They are everywhere, from great heights of over 3,000 meters above sea level to ocean profundities of over 5,000 meters deep, in polar and tropical waters and they tend to be common elements on coastlines around the world.

Weekly emails to hospital C-suite halt two decades of superbug outbreak

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 06:42 AM PDT

Efforts to reduce and stop the spread of infections caused by a highly resistant organism, carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, at a large hospital proved ineffective until they added another weapon: weekly emails from the medical director of Infection Control to hospital leadership, according to a study. Prior to this, endemic rates of A. baumannii had been present at the institution for nearly two decades.

System detects global trends in social networks two months in advance

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 06:42 AM PDT

A new method of monitoring identifies what information will be relevant on social networks up to two months in advance. This may help predict social movements, consumer reactions or possible outbreaks of epidemics, according to a study. The system works using just 50,000 Twitter accounts, predicting what will "go viral" across the entire Internet. It can be used in real time, about different topics, in different languages and geographical areas, thus allowing for different contexts to be covered.

Lessons from NASA helps manage threats, errors in pediatric cardiac surgery

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 06:42 AM PDT

Investigators propose that NASA's "threat and error model" -- derived from analyzing >30,000 commercial flights and which explains >90% of crashes -- is directly applicable to pediatric cardiac surgery. Using their experience with aviation errors, NASA/FAA researchers generated a "threat and error model," and researchers suggest there are ways to adapt it to a clinical setting.

Statin users consume more calories, fat, and weigh more, than their predecessors

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 06:40 AM PDT

People who took statins in the 2009–10 year were consuming more calories and fat than those who used statins 10 years earlier, research shows. There was no similar increase in caloric and fat intake among non–stain users during that decade. Researchers believe this is connected to a false sense of security that could lead to heart disease and other obesity-related illnesses.

Geographic, gender disparities among stroke patients identified in U.S.

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 06:40 AM PDT

A map demonstrating geographic hotspots of increased stroke mortality across the United States has been developed by researchers. Clusters of "hot" spots -- counties where the mortality rate from stroke was as much as 40 percent higher than the national average and 1.5 times higher than mortality of patients in "cool" spots -- were found in the southeastern United States, but extended farther west and north than the traditionally defined "stroke belt." In addition, researchers found isolated areas of low stroke mortality clustered within hot spots and isolated areas of high stroke mortality clustered within cool spots.

Teens who use alcohol, marijuana together are at higher risk for unsafe driving

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 04:48 AM PDT

Teenagers who drink alcohol and smoke marijuana may be at increased risk for unsafe driving, according to a study. The findings point to a need for education on the risks of "simultaneous use" of alcohol and marijuana. The study of U.S. high school seniors found that teens who had used both in the past year had higher rates of traffic tickets/warnings and car accidents. At particular risk were kids who used alcohol and marijuana at the same time: They were about 50 to 90 percent more likely to admit to unsafe driving than their peers who did not drink or smoke pot.

Dipping blood sugars cause surprisingly irregular heart rhythms in diabetics

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 04:46 AM PDT

Dangerous overnight blood sugar levels often go undetected and cause prolonged periods of heart rhythm disturbances in older patients with Type 2 diabetes and associated heart problems, new research reveals. The findings could offer vital clues to the mechanism by which low blood sugar levels could contribute to life-threatening changes in heart rhythm, a major risk for patients with diabetes.

Collagen for the knee: Gel-like implant invented

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 04:46 AM PDT

Millions of people suffer cartilage damage to the knee every year. Cartilage injuries are not only painful; they can lead to osteoarthritis decades later. In the course of the disease, the protective shock absorbing cartilage that covers the bone within the joint slowly is removed until the bone is finally exposed, typically requiring an artificial joint replacement. A biotechnology company has developed a one-step minimally-invasive surgical procedure for the treatment of cartilage defects: a gel-like implant.

Whitefly confused by cacophony of smells

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 04:46 AM PDT

Bombarding pests with smells from many different plants temporarily confuses them and hinders their ability to feed, new research has shown. Exposing the whitefly to a heady aroma of cucumber, courgette, watercress, watermelon, cabbage and bean, the team found the insects became temporarily disorientated. Weaving their way between the plant cells to reach the sap is technically challenging and the team found the whiteflies failed to feed while they were being bombarded with the different plant chemicals.

Green clouds on the horizon for computing

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 04:46 AM PDT

Small businesses could save up to 62% of energy costs by switching to a cloud computing system for their invoicing, according to research. The approach of integrating cloud computing and a more environmentally-aware approach to information technology also cuts carbon emissions, the team reports, and could work with many other services.

Development in the womb: New insight on epigenetic influence on baby

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 04:46 AM PDT

Scientists have performed an analysis of epigenetic marks on DNA to measure how much a baby's development in the womb is determined by the genes inherited from the parents, as compared with the mother's nutrition, mental health and lifestyle. The baby's epigenetic profile was determined using infinium array technology and a million potential inherited genetic polymorphisms were measured. Epigenetics refers to the complex set of reactions that control the development and maintenance of plants and animals by switching parts of the DNA on and off at strategic times and locations.

Marketing to Internet-savy moms

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 04:44 AM PDT

Moms on the internet should be the focus of those carrying out market research as it turns out that the old word-of-mouth benefits to sales are stronger than ever now that the school gathering places, shops and mother and child groups have been augmented by online social networks aimed at mothers.

Variable gene expression in zebrafish

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 04:44 AM PDT

Early embryonic development of vertebrates is controlled by the genes and their "grammar." Decoding this grammar might help understand the formation of abnormalities or cancer or develop new medical drugs. For the first time, it is now found by a study that various mechanisms of transcribing DNA into RNA exist during gene expression in the different development phases of zebrafish.

Climate change: risks to well-being of nature, people, ways to mitigate exist, experts say

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 04:44 AM PDT

From food shortages to global weather changes, there are ways to mitigate the risks of climate change, experts say. A new muli-national report outlines what we can expect as the planet continues to change with regard to climate patterns, and offers recommendations that focus on strategies from adaptation to mitigation.

The Moroccan flic-flac spider: A gymnast among the arachnids

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 04:44 AM PDT

A spider expert has described a new species: Cebrennus rechenbergi. It is the only spider that is able to move by means of flic-flac jumps. The flic-flac spider uses its legs to create a rolling motion. Like a gymnast, it propels itself off the ground, followed by a series of rapid flic-flac movements of its legs.

New record operation temperature for quantum-cascade lasers

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 04:44 AM PDT

For the observation of cold matter in the interstellar medium, astronomers need instruments for the detection of terahertz radiation. Specific high-resolution instruments are based on terahertz quantum-cascade lasers, but operate only at cryogenic temperatures. Physicists have now developed a terahertz quantum-cascade laser, which operates at significantly higher temperatures than previously achieved. The new development allows for the use of more compact cooling systems — also reducing the obstacles for many other applications.

Patients report high satisfaction with pain treatment when involved

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 04:44 AM PDT

Patient satisfaction with pain treatment after surgery has been evaluated by researchers. The study, based on an extensive multi-national dataset, shows that patients actively involved in their treatment report higher levels of satisfaction. Overall, satisfaction seems to be less associated with actual pain but rather with impressions of improvement. Every year, millions of surgeries are performed. At least half of the patients suffer from moderate to severe pain after surgery.

Unemployment common after breast cancer treatment

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 04:43 AM PDT

Nearly one-third of breast cancer survivors who were working when they began treatment were unemployed four years later. Women who received chemotherapy were most affected, according to a new study. Many of these women reported that they want to work: 55 percent of those not working said it was important for them to work and 39 percent said they were actively looking for work. Those who were not working were significantly more likely to report they were worse off financially.

Sexual conflict affects females more than males, says new research on beetles

Posted: 27 Apr 2014 04:13 PM PDT

Sexual conflict over mating impacts the parental care behavior and reproductive productivity of burying beetles, new research shows. These beetles have surprisingly complex parental care, similar in form to that provided by birds such as robins or blackbirds, with offspring begging to be fed by touching parents, who respond by regurgitating partially digested food. Both males and females provide parental care, but females are the primary care givers, as in humans. So anything that affects the ability of females to provide parental care, such as costly mating, is likely to reduce overall reproductive productivity.

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