- How costly are natural hazards? Experts link cost assessment with risk management
- What lies beneath modern New England? Mountain-building and the end of an ancient ocean
- Protein crucial for development of biological rhythms in mice identified by researchers
- Study supports safety of antimicrobial peptide-coated contact lenses
- Use of frozen material for fecal transplant successfully treats C. difficile infection
- Protecting olive oil from counterfeiters
Posted: 26 Apr 2014 12:53 PM PDT
Costs of natural hazards are at historically high levels, and show an increasing trend. Cost assessments of natural hazards often only cover direct costs and even these are assumed to be at least 50% higher than international assessments report. However, besides direct damage, also indirect damage is relevant. For example, the Thailand flood in 2011 shut down scores of factories and damaged global car manufacturing and electronics industries.
Posted: 26 Apr 2014 12:53 PM PDT
When and where did the ancient Iapetus Ocean suture (the most fundamental Appalachian structure) form? Is part of New England made up of ancient African-derived rocks? What is the Moretown terrane? A new study finds new evidence for an earlier closing of the Iapetus that is farther west than previous studies have reported.
Posted: 24 Apr 2014 09:46 AM PDT
A protein essential to the formation of the tiny brain region in mice that coordinates sleep-wake cycles and other so-called circadian rhythms has been identified by researchers. By disabling the gene for that key protein in test animals, the scientists were able to home in on the mechanism by which that brain region, known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus or SCN, becomes the body's master clock while the embryo is developing.
Posted: 24 Apr 2014 08:27 AM PDT
Contact lenses coated with an antimicrobial peptide could help to lower the risk of contact lens-related infections, reports a study. Studies in animals and now humans support the biocompatibility and safety of lenses coated with the antimicrobial peptide melimine. The authors write, "[T]his study has shown that melimine coated contact lenses can be safely worn by humans without any major side effects."
Posted: 24 Apr 2014 07:24 AM PDT
A pilot study by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators may lead to greater availability and acceptability of an unusual treatment for a serious medical problem -- use of fecal material from healthy donors to treat recurrent diarrhea caused by the Clostridium difficile bacteria. The researchers report that use of prescreened frozen material from donors unrelated to patients was as successful in curing recurrent C. difficile as was the use of fresh fecal material reported in previous studies.
Posted: 24 Apr 2014 07:23 AM PDT
Who guarantees that expensive olive oil isn't counterfeit or adulterated? An invisible label could perform this task. The tag consists of tiny magnetic DNA particles encapsulated in a silica casing and mixed with the oil. The worldwide need for anti-counterfeiting labels for food is substantial. In December 2013 and January 2014, Interpol and Europol confiscated more than 1,200 tonnes of counterfeit or substandard food and beverages. The confiscated goods also included more than 131,000 litres of oil and vinegar.
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