Δευτέρα, 12 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Latest Science News

ScienceDaily: Latest Science News

Flexible supercapacitor raises bar for volumetric energy density; Could be woven into clothes to power devices

Posted: 11 May 2014 01:55 PM PDT

Scientists have taken a large step toward making a fiber-like energy storage device that can be woven into clothing and power wearable medical monitors, communications equipment or other small electronics. Their supercapacitor packs an interconnected network of graphene and carbon nanotubes so tightly that it stores energy comparable to some thin-film lithium batteries.

Hydrologists find Mississippi River network's buffering system for nitrates is overwhelmed

Posted: 11 May 2014 01:55 PM PDT

A new method of measuring surface water-ground water interaction along the length of the Mississippi River suggests the nitrates causing the Gulf of Mexico dead zone can not be controlled through existing natural filtration systems. The research provides valuable information for water quality efforts, including tracking of nitrogen fertilizers that flow through the river network into the gulf.

Patients with atrial fibrillation at higher risk of developing dementia when meds are out of range

Posted: 09 May 2014 05:38 PM PDT

Atrial fibrillation patients who are on blood thinning medications are at higher risk of developing dementia if their doses are not in the optimal recommended range.

Plugging leaky blood vessels to save vision

Posted: 09 May 2014 02:29 PM PDT

A new drug approach has been developed for safer clean-up of deformed blood vessels in the eye. The growth of malformed blood vessels that can burst is a leading cause of vision loss in North America. Retinopathy and retina degeneration are associated with premature birth, with diabetes, and with increasing age. This research shows both safety and effectiveness in their bioengineered compound when treating retinopathy in mice.

Cardiac screening test may help determine who should take aspirin to prevent heart attack

Posted: 09 May 2014 02:29 PM PDT

'Many heart attacks and strokes occur in individuals who do not appear to be at high risk,' researchers report following a recent study. 'Individuals with known CVD [cardiovascular disease] should take a daily aspirin, but the best approach for individuals without known CVD is unclear. If we only treat high-risk individuals with aspirin, we are going to miss a substantial portion of patients who eventually suffer heart attacks.'

Autism-related protein shown to play vital role in addiction

Posted: 09 May 2014 02:29 PM PDT

A gene essential for normal brain development, and previously linked to Autism Spectrum Disorders, also plays a critical role in addiction-related behaviors, researchers report. The team used animal models to show that the fragile X mental retardation protein, or FMRP, plays a critical role in the development of addiction-related behaviors. FMRP is also the protein that is missing in Fragile X Syndrome, the leading single-gene cause of autism and intellectual disability.

Bee biodiversity boosts crop yields

Posted: 09 May 2014 02:29 PM PDT

Blueberries produce more seeds and larger berries if they are visited by more diverse bee species, allowing farmers to harvest significantly more pounds of fruit per acre. The researchers looked at blueberries in North Carolina because it is an economically important and well understood crop that relies on insect pollination.

Rare, childhood neurodegenerative diseases linked to common problem in DNA repair

Posted: 09 May 2014 02:25 PM PDT

Two rare, inherited childhood neurodegenerative disorders are being studied by researchers who have identified a new, possibly common source of DNA damage that may play a role in other neurodegenerative diseases, cancer and aging. Researchers showed for the first time that an enzyme required for normal DNA functioning causes DNA damage in the developing brain. DNA is the molecule found in nearly every cell that carries the instructions needed to assemble and sustain life.

Gene behind highly prevalent facial anomaly found

Posted: 09 May 2014 02:25 PM PDT

A genetic cause of a facial disorder known as hemifacial microsomia (HFM) has been discovered by scientists. The researchers find that duplication of the gene OTX2 induces HFM, the second-most common facial anomaly after cleft lip and palate. HFM affects approximately one in 3,500 births. While some cases appear to run in families, no gene had been found to be causative -- until now.

Quick test can help spot depressed teenagers, nursing researcher finds

Posted: 09 May 2014 10:16 AM PDT

A nurse practitioner recently examined available research to determine whether nurse practitioners and others in primary care settings should add a mental health screening to well visits for teenage patients. The conclusion was that a simple paper test called a CES-DC would be a reliable, quick way of determining whether the practitioner should refer a teen for mental health support.

Predicting hepatitis C treatment success

Posted: 09 May 2014 10:16 AM PDT

Levels of interferon-stimulated genes in the liver and blood could help predict if a patient with hepatitis C will respond to conventional therapy, researchers suggest. The team analyzed liver and blood samples from hepatitis C patients taken before treatment, and found that fewer immune cells reached the livers of patients with the therapy-resistant genotype.

Burning issue of hydrocarbons, impacts on human health

Posted: 09 May 2014 10:15 AM PDT

Methods to identify metabolites of PAHs and NPAHs, found in hydrocarbons, in urine and blood are being developed by researchers. Researchers are also seeking the most sensitive method for measuring PAHs and NPAHs, showing that motorcycle engines released more particulate matter than automobiles.

Calcium supplements not associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease in women

Posted: 09 May 2014 10:00 AM PDT

Calcium supplements are widely taken by women for bone health. Previous studies have suggested that calcium supplements may increase risk of cardiovascular disease, but the data has been inconsistent. A new study did not find that calcium supplement intake increases risk of cardiovascular disease in women. The researchers found that at the start of the study, women who took calcium supplements had higher levels of physical activity, smoked less, and had lower trans fat intake compared to women who did not take calcium supplements.

New type of heredity described in Paramecia, linked to epigenetics

Posted: 09 May 2014 09:59 AM PDT

Considered as an obsolete theory for many years, the transmission of acquired traits has returned to the forefront of debate thanks to the development of epigenetic research. In this context, a team of researchers has described how in Paramecia, mating types are transmitted from generation to generation through an unexpected mechanism. A Paramecium can acquire a new mating type that will be inherited by its progeny without any genetic modification being involved.

Improved detection of patient disabilities can reduce disparities in clinical care

Posted: 09 May 2014 09:59 AM PDT

People with disabilities have greater risk for experiencing healthcare disparities and differences in diagnoses, treatments and outcomes, according to research. Nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population lives with a disability, but little attention has been paid to improving the quality of healthcare provided to disabled patients. A major factor has been inadequate identification of specific disabilities.

Leadless Pacemaker Showing Promising Results After One Year

Posted: 09 May 2014 09:59 AM PDT

12-month follow-up data demonstrates that the world's first leadless pacemaker is having overall device performance comparable to conventional pacemakers. The miniature-sized, leadless cardiac pacemaker is placed directly inside a patient's heart without surgery during a catheter-guided procedure through the groin via the femoral vein. The device, resembling a tiny, metal silver tube and smaller than a triple-A battery, is only a few centimeters in length, making it less than ten percent the size of a traditional pacemaker.

Shorter men live longer, study shows

Posted: 09 May 2014 08:07 AM PDT

Short height and long life have a direct connection in Japanese men, according to new research. Shorter men are more likely to have a protective form of the longevity gene, FOXO3, leading to smaller body size during early development and a longer lifespan. Shorter men are also more likely to have lower blood insulin levels and less cancer.

Long-term childhood poverty contributes to young adult obesity rates

Posted: 09 May 2014 08:07 AM PDT

Childhood poverty reaches into the lives of white, Hispanic and African-American young adult women, contributing to their propensity to be overweight and obese, a research study finds. The study examined how repeated exposure to poverty during childhood impacts a young adult's risk of being overweight or obese, as well as the impact of family dynamics on nutrition, health and obesity.

Forty not too old or too late to start endurance training

Posted: 09 May 2014 08:07 AM PDT

A study of healthy senior men has found that 'relatively intensive' endurance exercise confers benefits on the heart irrespective of the age at which they began training. The benefits were evident and comparable in those who had started training before the age of 30 or after the age of 40. As a result, said the investigators, 40 is not too old to start endurance training.

Adult obesity predicted in almost all European countries by 2030

Posted: 09 May 2014 08:07 AM PDT

Rates of obesity and overweight in both male and females are projected to increase in almost all countries of Europe by 2030, according to a statistical modelling study. However, the forecast rates vary throughout the 53 Euro-region countries, with projected male obesity levels ranging from 15 percent in the Netherlands and Belgium, to 47 percent in Ireland. The highest obesity prevalence in females was projected in Ireland (47 percent), and the lowest in Romania (10 percent).

Sustainability needs link between theory, practice in education

Posted: 09 May 2014 08:03 AM PDT

How can you ensure that people do not only spend time thinking about important global issues like climate change or world food supplies, but also roll up their sleeves and do something about them? Researchers think that the education sector holds the key. Teaching processes around the world could be given more influence and meaning by making pure science subjects, such as biology and physics, complementary to lessons in nature, environment and sustainability.

Grape skin extract may soon be answer to treating diabetes

Posted: 09 May 2014 08:02 AM PDT

The diabetes rate in the United States nearly doubled in the past 10 years. Approximately 26 million Americans are now classified as diabetic, stressing an urgent need for safe and effective complementary strategies to enhance the existing conventional treatment for diabetes.Preliminary studies have demonstrated that grape skin extract (GSE) exerts a novel inhibitory activity on hyperglycemia and could be developed and used to aid in diabetes management.

Salt needed: Tolerance lessons from a dead sea fungus

Posted: 09 May 2014 04:45 AM PDT

Some organisms thrive in salty environments by lying dormant when salt concentrations are very high. Other organisms need salt to grow. A team of researchers described the genome of a Dead Sea fungus through a new study. Understanding how organisms adapt to extremely salty environments could help improve salt tolerance in crops, laying the groundwork of understanding necessary to grow them in desert and saline environments.

States opting out of Medicaid leave 1.1 million community health center patients without health insurance

Posted: 09 May 2014 04:45 AM PDT

An estimated 1.1 million community health center patients are left without the benefits of health coverage simply because they live in one of 24 states that have opted out of the Medicaid expansion, a key part of the Affordable Care Act, according to a new report. The vast majority (71 percent) of the 1.1 million patients left behind live in just 11 southern states (AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA).

Implantable cuff with electrodes

Posted: 09 May 2014 04:42 AM PDT

High blood pressure is the greatest health risk worldwide behind smoking and alcohol consumption. Microsystems engineers and neurosurgeons have teamed up to develop a new cuff equipped with electrodes that can lower blood pressure without causing side effects. The scientists tested the device on rats and succeeded in lowering their mean blood pressure by 30 percent, without causing side effects such as a reduced heart rate or a drastic decrease in respiratory rate.

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