Τρίτη, 22 Απριλίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top News

ScienceDaily: Top News

Regulating legal marijuana could be guided by lessons from alcohol, tobacco, study says

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 08:26 AM PDT

Recent ballot initiatives that legalized marijuana in Colorado and Washington for recreational uses are unprecedented. A new study outlines how regulations on alcohol and tobacco may provide guidance to policymakers concerned about the public health consequences of legalizing marijuana. Among the issues outlined in the study are how to reduce youth access to marijuana, how to minimize drugged driving, how to curb dependence and addiction, how to restrict contaminants in marijuana products, and how to discourage the dual use of marijuana and alcohol.

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.

Mental illness not usually linked to crime, research finds

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 07:23 AM PDT

In a study of crimes committed by people with serious mental disorders, only 7.5 percent were directly related to symptoms of mental illness, according to new research. Researchers analyzed 429 crimes committed by 143 offenders with three major types of mental illness and found that 3 percent of their crimes were directly related to symptoms of major depression, 4 percent to symptoms of schizophrenia disorders and 10 percent to symptoms of bipolar disorder.

Novel function of protein linked to Alzheimer's disease discovered

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 06:44 AM PDT

A novel function of the Amyloid Precursor Protein, one of the main pathogenic culprits of Alzheimer's disease, has been discovered by researchers. This discovery may help researchers understand how the protein goes awry in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients, and potentially paves the way for the development of innovative therapeutics to improve the brain function of dementia patients.

Financial incentives help economically-disadvantaged pregnant smokers quit, improve fetal growth

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 06:44 AM PDT

Smoking prevalence varies by socioeconomic status -- particularly in terms of educational attainment -- putting economically-disadvantaged women at greater risk for smoking during pregnancy and related negative outcomes, including miscarriage, preterm birth, SIDS, and other later adverse effects. An approach using financial incentives has proven effective in increasing quitting and improving fetal growth among this population.

Quantum turbulence: New key to unlocking the mysteries of physics?

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 06:39 AM PDT

The recent discovery of the Higgs boson has confirmed theories about the origin of mass and, with it, offered the potential to explain other scientific mysteries. But, scientists are continually studying other, less-understood forces that may also shed light on matters not yet uncovered. Among these is quantum turbulence.

People selectively remember details of atrocities that absolve in-group members

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 06:39 AM PDT

Conversations about wartime atrocities often omit certain details. According to research, these omissions can lead people to have different memories for the event depending on social group membership. "What we learn from this research is that moral disengagement strategies are fundamentally altering our memories," explains an author. "More specifically, these strategies affect the degree to which our memories are influenced by the conversations we have with one another."

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.

Proposal: Managing most troubling symptoms of dementia, lessen use of drugs

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 06:37 AM PDT

A new approach to handling agitation, aggression and other unwanted behaviors by people with dementia may help reduce the use of antipsychotics and other psychiatric drugs in this population, and make life easier for them and their caregivers. A panel of specialists in senior mental health hope to spark better teamwork among those who care for dementia patients at home, in residential facilities and in hospitals and clinics.

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.

Exoplanets soon to gleam in the eye of NESSI

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 06:05 AM PDT

The New Mexico Exoplanet Spectroscopic Survey Instrument (NESSI) will soon get its first "taste" of exoplanets, helping astronomers decipher their chemical composition. Exoplanets are planets that orbit stars beyond our sun. NESSI got its first peek at the sky on April 3, 2014. It looked at Pollux, a star in the Gemini constellation, and Arcturus, in the Boötes constellation, confirming that all modes of the instrument are working.

Codeine often prescribed to children, despite available alternatives

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 04:41 AM PDT

Despite its potentially harmful effects in children, codeine continues to be prescribed in U.S. emergency rooms, according to new research. "Despite strong evidence against the use of codeine in children, the drug continues to be prescribed to large numbers of them each year," said the lead author. "It can be prescribed in any clinical setting, so it is important to decrease codeine prescription to children in other settings such as clinics and hospitals, in addition to emergency rooms."

Low tolerance for pain? The reason may be in your genes

Posted: 20 Apr 2014 04:34 PM PDT

Researchers may have identified key genes linked to why some people have a higher tolerance for pain than others, according to a new study. Researchers found that nine percent of the participants had low pain perception, 46 percent had moderate pain perception and 45 percent had high pain perception.

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.

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.

Cancer stem cells linked to drug resistance

Posted: 20 Apr 2014 10:15 AM PDT

Most drugs used to treat lung, breast and pancreatic cancers also promote drug-resistance and ultimately spur tumor growth. Researchers have discovered a biomarker called CD61 on the surface of drug-resistant tumors that appears responsible for inducing tumor metastasis by enhancing the stem cell-like properties of cancer cells.

'Chaperone' compounds offer new approach to Alzheimer's treatment

Posted: 20 Apr 2014 10:15 AM PDT

A wholly new approach to the treatment of Alzheimer's disease involving the so-called retromer protein complex has been devised by researchers. Retromer plays a vital role in neurons, steering amyloid precursor protein (APP) away from a region of the cell where APP is cleaved, creating the potentially toxic byproduct amyloid-beta, which is thought to contribute to the development of Alzheimer's.

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