Τρίτη, 22 Απριλίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

ScienceDaily: Top Environment News

Physicists push new Parkinson's treatment toward clinical trials

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 10:59 AM PDT

The most effective way to tackle debilitating diseases is to punch them at the start and keep them from growing. Research shows that a small 'molecular tweezer' keeps proteins from clumping, or aggregating, the first step of neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's disease.

Edible flowers may inhibit chronic diseases

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 08:26 AM PDT

Common edible flowers in China are rich in phenolics and have excellent antioxidant capacity, research has shown. Edible flowers, which have been used in the culinary arts in China for centuries, are receiving renewed interest. Flowers can be used as an essential ingredient in a recipe, provide seasoning to a dish, or simply be used as a garnish. Some of these flowers contain phenolics that have been correlated with anti-inflammatory activity and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

Ginseng can treat, prevent influenza, RSV, researcher finds

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 07:23 AM PDT

Ginseng can help treat and prevent influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, a respiratory virus that infects the lungs and breathing passages, according to research findings. Seasonal influenza is a serious respiratory disease that causes annual epidemics in humans worldwide, resulting in about three to five million cases of severe illness and about 250,000 to 500,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

A protein required for integrity of induced pluripotent stem cells

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 06:39 AM PDT

The SIRT1 protein is needed to lengthen and maintain telomeres during cell reprogramming, new research demonstrates. SIRT1 also guarantees the integrity of the genome of stem cells that come out of the cell reprogramming process; these cells are known as induced pluripotent stem cells. The study sheds light on how cell reprogramming guarantees the healthy functioning of stem cells. This knowledge will help to overcome barriers that come out of the use of iPS cells so they may be used in regenerative medicine.

Centuries of sand still available at Mississippi Delta

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 06:39 AM PDT

The wetlands of the Mississippi River Delta are slowly sinking and rapidly eroding, but new research has found the river's supply of sand -- the material engineers most need to rebuild the delta -- will stay constant for centuries. "It's true that the total amount of sediment has diminished, but river sediment contains both fine-grained mud and course-grained sand, and our research found that upstream dam construction has not reduced the amount of sand in the lower Mississippi and won't for at least 300-600 years," said study's lead author.

Birthplace of the domesticated chili pepper identified in Mexico

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 06:39 AM PDT

Combining historical language and ecological information, as well as genetic and archaeological data, scientists have identified Central-east Mexico as the likely birthplace of the domesticated chili pepper.

More questions than answers as mystery of domestication deepens

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 06:37 AM PDT

New research on domestication raises more questions than it has answered. Scientists have outlined some of the key questions that have been raised about this pivotal event in human history.

New material coating technology mimics nature's lotus effect

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 06:37 AM PDT

Ever stop to consider why lotus plant leaves always look clean? The hydrophobic -- water repelling -- characteristic of the leaf, termed the "Lotus effect," helps the plant survive in muddy swamps, repelling dirt and producing beautiful flowers. Of late, engineers have been paying more and more attention to nature's efficiencies, such as the Lotus effect, and studying its behavior in order to make advances in technology. As one example, learning more about swarming schools of fish is aiding in the development of unmanned underwater vehicles. Other researchers are observing the extraordinary navigational abilities of bats that might lead to new ways to reconfigure aviation highways in the skies.

Why alcoholism saps muscle strength

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 06:37 AM PDT

Researchers have found a common link between muscle weakness in alcoholics and mitochondrial disease: mitochondria that are unable to self-repair. The research could lead to both a new diagnostics for mitochondrial disease and a new drug target. Muscle weakness is a common symptom of both long-time alcoholics and patients with mitochondrial disease.

Climate benefit of biofuels from corn residue: Researchers cast doubt

Posted: 20 Apr 2014 10:18 AM PDT

Biofuels made from corn stover -- stalks, leaves and cobs that remain after harvest -- appear to emit more carbon dioxide over their life cycle than federal standards allow, according to new research. The findings cast doubt on whether corn residue can be used to meet federal mandates to ramp up ethanol production and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Source of most cases of invasive bladder cancer identified

Posted: 20 Apr 2014 10:18 AM PDT

A single type of cell in the lining of the bladder is responsible for most cases of invasive bladder cancer, according to researchers. The study, conducted in mice, is the first to pinpoint the normal cell type that can give rise to invasive bladder cancers. It's also the first to show that most bladder cancers and their associated precancerous lesions arise from just one cell, and explains why many human bladder cancers recur after therapy.

Link between Down syndrome, leukemia uncovered

Posted: 20 Apr 2014 10:18 AM PDT

A connection between people with Down syndrome and having a heightened risk of developing acute lymphoblastic leukemia during childhood has been uncovered by researchers. "For 80 years, it hasn't been clear why children with Down syndrome face a sharply elevated risk of ALL," said the study's lead author. "Advances in technology -- which make it possible to study blood cells and leukemias that model Down syndrome in the laboratory -- have enabled us to make that link."

Bulletproof nuclei? Stem cells exhibit unusual absorption property

Posted: 20 Apr 2014 10:18 AM PDT

Stem cells -- the body's master cells -- demonstrate a bizarre property never before seen at a cellular level, according to a study. The property -- known as auxeticity -- is one which may have application as wide-ranging as soundproofing, super-absorbent sponges and bulletproof vests. Most materials when stretched will contract. The opposite is also true: squeeze a material and it will expand. However, material scientists have begun to explore auxeticity, an unusual property which has the opposite effect -- squeeze it and it will contract, stretch it and it will expand. This means that auxetic materials act as excellent shock absorbers or sponges, a fact that is being explored for various uses.

Computational method dramatically speeds up estimates of gene expression

Posted: 20 Apr 2014 10:18 AM PDT

With gene expression analysis growing in importance for both basic researchers and medical practitioners, researchers have developed a new computational method that dramatically speeds up estimates of gene activity from RNA sequencing data. With the new method, dubbed Sailfish after the famously speedy fish, estimates of gene expression that previously took many hours can be completed in a few minutes, with accuracy that equals or exceeds previous methods.

Study of gut microbes, antibiotics offers clues to improving immunity in premature babies

Posted: 20 Apr 2014 10:15 AM PDT

Mothers give a newborn baby a gift of germs -— germs that help to kick-start the infant's immune system. But antibiotics, used to fight bacterial infection, may paradoxically interrupt a newborn's own immune responses. A new animal study by neonatology researchers at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) sheds light on immunology in newborns by revealing how gut microbes play a crucial role in fostering the rapid production of infection-fighting white blood cells, called granulocytes.

Ancient DNA: Barnyard chickens living just a few hundred years ago looked far different from today's chickens

Posted: 18 Apr 2014 11:11 AM PDT

Ancient DNA adds a twist to the story of how barnyard chickens came to be. Analyzing DNA from the bones of chickens that lived 200-2,300 years ago in Europe, researchers report that some of the traits we associate with modern domestic chickens -- such as their yellowish skin -- only became widespread in the last 500 years, much more recently than previously thought.

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