Τρίτη, 13 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Latest Science News

ScienceDaily: Latest Science News

Genetic blueprint for cancerous appendix tumors identified

Posted: 12 May 2014 12:53 PM PDT

Using next generation DNA sequencing, scientists have identified potentially actionable mutations in cancers of the appendix. When specific mutations for a cancer type are identified, patients can be treated with chemotherapy or other targeted agents that work on those mutations. Little is known about the molecular biology of two types of appendix tumors, low-grade appendiceal mucinous neoplasm (LAMN) and adenocarcinoma, but both can lead to pseudomyxoma peritonea (PMP), a critical condition in which cancerous cells grow uncontrollably along the wall of the abdomen and can crush digestive organs.

Hospitals ranked on complications after hip, knee replacement surgeries

Posted: 12 May 2014 12:53 PM PDT

With an aging population comes an increase in hip and knee joint replacement surgeries, totaling almost one million procedures per year in the United States. To provide better information on the outcomes of these surgeries, help inform patient choice, and improve the quality of the nation's hospitals, a team of researchers has developed a measure for hospitals based on the complications following their patients' hip and knee replacements.

Mobilizing immune system against viruses: New way found

Posted: 12 May 2014 12:53 PM PDT

An intricate chain reaction in the body's immune system has been found by researchers who have used the knowledge to develop a new treatment against harmful viruses. Viral pandemics, such as the coronavirus that caused the deadly SARS outbreak in 2002, have caused hundreds of deaths, yet effective anti-viral drugs are rare.

Potential cure for captive amphibians with chytrid fungus

Posted: 12 May 2014 12:53 PM PDT

Researchers have identified an alternative to a sometimes toxic therapy that protects frogs in zoos from a deadly fungal infection that has been destroying the amphibian populations worldwide.

Corn dwarfed by temperature dip suitable for growing in mines, caves

Posted: 12 May 2014 12:50 PM PDT

Lowering temperatures for two hours each day reduces the height of corn without affecting its seed yield, a study shows, a technique that could be used to grow crops in controlled-environment facilities in caves and former mines. Raising the crops in isolated and enclosed environments would help prevent genetically modified pollen and seed from escaping into the ecosystem and crossing with wild plants.

Molecular motor for packaging virus DNA found, may lead to targeted antiviral drugs

Posted: 12 May 2014 12:50 PM PDT

New light has been shed on a type of molecular motor used to package the DNA of a number of viruses, including herpes and the adenoviruses. Their findings could help in the development of more effective drugs and inspire the design of new and improved synthetic biomotors. Viruses are the enigma of the biological world -- despite having their own DNA and being able to adapt to their environment and evolve, they are not considered to be alive like cells. In order to reproduce and multiply -- a requirement of "life" -- a virus must invade a living cell, eject its DNA into that of the cell, and commandeer the cell's biological machinery.

Alcohol and drugs: Not just for modern humans

Posted: 12 May 2014 12:50 PM PDT

Unlike most modern humans, the prehistoric people of Europe did not use mind-altering substances simply for their hedonistic pleasure. Researchers contend that their use was an integral part of prehistoric beliefs, and that these substances were seen to aid in communication with the spiritual world.

Alternative pathways let right and left communicate in early split brains

Posted: 12 May 2014 12:50 PM PDT

Humans who lack the corpus callosum, a bundle of 200 million fibers that connect the left and right hemispheres of the brain, have long fascinated physicians, neuroscientists and other curious minds. Now, a group of researchers puts an end to the Sperry's paradox, which describes major differences between individuals born with reduced or absent brain connections and those who acquire this condition later in life.

Bullying may have long-term health consequences

Posted: 12 May 2014 12:48 PM PDT

Bullied children may experience chronic, systemic inflammation that persists into adulthood, while bullies may actually reap health benefits of increasing their social status through bullying, according to researchers.

Improve grades, reduce failure: Undergrads should tell profs 'don't lecture me'

Posted: 12 May 2014 12:48 PM PDT

A significantly greater number of students fail science, engineering and math courses that are taught lecture-style than fail in classes incorporating so-called active learning, according to the largest and most comprehensive analysis ever published of studies comparing lecturing to active learning in undergraduate education.

Second opinion changes diagnosis from incurable to curable cancer

Posted: 12 May 2014 10:59 AM PDT

The case of a woman diagnosed with advanced, incurable lung cancer has been reported, whose disease was in fact early stage, curable lung cancer with additional lung lesions due to a rare antibiotic side effect. When her primary lung tumor was surgically removed, and the antibiotic stopped, the 62-year-old woman recovered and may now be cured.

West Antarctic glacier loss appears unstoppable

Posted: 12 May 2014 10:46 AM PDT

A new study finds a rapidly melting section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet appears to be in an irreversible state of decline, with nothing to stop the glaciers in this area from melting into the sea. The study presents multiple lines of evidence, incorporating 40 years of observations that indicate the glaciers in the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica "have passed the point of no return," according to the lead author.

Climate negotiation as a bargaining game

Posted: 12 May 2014 09:43 AM PDT

For more than two decades, mem­bers of the United Nations have sought to forge an agree­ment to reduce global green­house gas emis­sions. But so far, these inter­na­tional cli­mate nego­ti­a­tions have had lim­ited success. International climate negotiations have failed for 25 years. New research uses game theory to find out why, and what we can do to win the climate game.

Immune therapy might be effective for multiple myeloma

Posted: 12 May 2014 09:43 AM PDT

Genetically modified immune cells might effectively treat multiple myeloma, a disease that remains incurable and will account for an estimated 24,000 new cases and 11,100 deaths in 2014, new research finds. The researchers modified T lymphocytes to target a molecule called CS1, which is found on myeloma cells, and to kill the cells. The findings support testing the potential therapy in a clinical trial.

Having a sense of purpose may add years to your life

Posted: 12 May 2014 09:43 AM PDT

Feeling that you have a sense of purpose in life may help you live longer, no matter what your age, according to new research. The research has clear implications for promoting positive aging and adult development, says the lead researcher.

Pregnancy significantly increases risk of serious traffic crashes

Posted: 12 May 2014 09:43 AM PDT

Pregnancy is associated with a significant risk of a serious car crash requiring emergency medical care during the second trimester, according to a new research. Traffic mishaps place mother and baby at risk of fetal death, chronic disability and complicated emergency medical care. Statistically, about 1 in 50 pregnant women will be involved in a motor vehicle crash at some point during pregnancy.

Entering adulthood in a recession linked to lower narcissism later in life

Posted: 12 May 2014 08:25 AM PDT

We often attribute the narcissistic tendencies of others to parenting practices or early social experiences. But new research reveals that economic conditions in the formative years of early adulthood may also play a role. The research shows that people who entered their adulthood during hard economic times are less narcissistic later in life than those who came of age during more prosperous times.

Scientists discover a natural molecule to treat type 2 diabetes: Molecule mimics some effect of physical exercise

Posted: 12 May 2014 08:25 AM PDT

Researchers have discovered a natural molecule that could be used to treat insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. The molecule, a derivative of omega-3 fatty acids, mimics some of the effects of physical exercise on blood glucose regulation.

Dopamine turns worker ants into warrior queens

Posted: 12 May 2014 07:18 AM PDT

The ritualized fighting behavior of one ant species is linked to increases in dopamine levels that trigger dramatic physical changes in the ants without affecting their DNA, according to research. The researchers studied Indian jumping ants (Harpegnathos saltator), which can undergo significant changes in physiology without any related changes to their DNA. Instead, the changes depend on which genes are turned on or off -- which in turn is determined by social and environmental factors. This has made them a model organism for epigenetics researchers.

Ultra-fast bionic arm can catch objects on the fly

Posted: 12 May 2014 07:17 AM PDT

With its palm open, the robot is completely motionless. A split second later, it suddenly unwinds and catches all sorts of flying objects thrown in its direction -- a tennis racket, a ball, a bottle. This arm measures about 1.5 meters long and keeps an upright position. It has three joints and a sophisticated hand with four fingers. It is unique, as it has the ability to catch projectiles of various irregular shapes in less than five hundredths of a second.

HADES searches for dark matter: Astrophysicists cross 'Dark Photon' off the list in top position

Posted: 12 May 2014 07:17 AM PDT

Recent results of HADES experiments have shown, that the dark photon or U boson is no longer a top candidate to explain the nature of dark matter. Researchers are now searching for the constituents of dark matter at HADES, the High-Acceptance Di-Electron Spectrometer. These negative results -- recently published in Physics Letters B -- could even lead to challenges of the standard model of particle physics.

Artificial magnetic bacteria 'turn' food into natural drugs

Posted: 12 May 2014 07:14 AM PDT

Scientists have successfully created magnetic bacteria that could be added to foodstuffs and could, after ingestion, help diagnose diseases of the digestive system like stomach cancer. These important findings constitute the first use of a food as a natural drug and aid in diagnosing an illness, anywhere in the world.

A turbulent birth for stars in merging galaxies

Posted: 12 May 2014 07:14 AM PDT

Using state of the art computer simulations, a team of French astrophysicists have for the first time explained a long standing mystery: why surges of star formation (so called 'starbursts') take place when galaxies collide.

Mars Canyons: Against the current with lava flows

Posted: 12 May 2014 07:14 AM PDT

An Italian astronomer in the 19th century first described them as 'canali' – on Mars' equatorial region, a conspicuous net-like system of deep gorges known as the Noctis Labyrinthus is clearly visible. The gorge system, in turn, leads into another massive canyon, the Valles Marineris, which is 4,000 km long, 200 km wide and 7 km deep. Both of these together would span the US completely from east to west.

Endocrine disruptors impair human sperm function, research finds

Posted: 12 May 2014 07:14 AM PDT

A plethora of endocrine-disrupting chemicals interfere with human sperm function in a way that may have a negative impact on fertilization, according to new research. The work suggests that endocrine disruptors may contribute to widespread fertility problems in the Western world in a way that hitherto has not been recognized.

Scientists slow brain tumor growth in mice

Posted: 12 May 2014 07:13 AM PDT

Much like using dimmer switches to brighten or darken rooms, biochemists have identified a protein that can be used to slow down or speed up the growth of brain tumors in mice. Brain and other nervous system cancers are expected to claim 14,320 lives in the United States this year.

Understanding Aspirin's effect on wound healing offers hope for treating chronic wounds

Posted: 12 May 2014 07:12 AM PDT

Researchers describe how aspirin acts on key skin cells called keratinocytes to delay skin repair at wound sites. A better understanding of this process offers hope for the development of drugs to encourage wounds to heal. The public health impact of chronic wounds is significant, affecting 6.5 million people in the US alone. Chronic wounds, a common complication of diabetes, are an increasing healthcare burden due to the rising incidence rates for obesity and diabetes.

Ice-loss moves the Earth 250 miles down

Posted: 11 May 2014 06:48 PM PDT

Scientists have revealed that Earth's mantle under Antarctica is at a lower viscosity and moving at such a rapid rate it is changing the shape of the land at a rate that can be recorded by GPS. They have explained for the first time why the upward motion of Earth's crust in the Northern Antarctic Peninsula is currently taking place so quickly.

Fourfold increase in rate of diagnosed cases of celiac disease in the UK

Posted: 11 May 2014 06:48 PM PDT

New research has found a fourfold increase in the rate of diagnosed cases of celiac disease in the United Kingdom over the past two decades, but, still it appears that three quarters of people with celiac disease remain undiagnosed.

Galectins direct immunity against bacteria that employ camouflage

Posted: 11 May 2014 01:55 PM PDT

Our bodies produce a family of proteins that recognize and kill bacteria whose carbohydrate coatings resemble those of our own cells too closely. Called galectins, these proteins recognize carbohydrates from a broad range of disease-causing bacteria, and could potentially be deployed as antibiotics to treat certain infections.

Ocean winds keep Antarctica cold, Australia dry

Posted: 11 May 2014 01:55 PM PDT

New research has explained why Antarctica is not warming as much as other continents, and why southern Australia is recording more droughts. Researchers have found rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are strengthening the stormy Southern Ocean winds which deliver rain to southern Australia, but pushing them further south towards Antarctica.

Patient stem cells used to make 'heart disease-on-a-chip'

Posted: 11 May 2014 01:55 PM PDT

Scientists have merged stem cell and 'organ-on-a-chip' technologies to grow, for the first time, functioning human heart tissue carrying an inherited cardiovascular disease. The research appears to be a big step forward for personalized medicine, as it is working proof that a chunk of tissue containing a patient's specific genetic disorder can be replicated in the laboratory.

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