Δευτέρα, 12 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top News

ScienceDaily: Top 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Frequent arguments with family, friends linked to doubling in death risk in middle age

Posted: 08 May 2014 04:25 PM PDT

Frequent arguments with partners, relatives, or neighbors may boost the risk of death from any cause in middle age, suggests research. Men and those not in work seemed to be the most vulnerable, the findings indicate. Constant arguing seemed to be the most harmful for health. The evidence also suggests that supportive social networks and strong relationships are good for general health and wellbeing.

Short bursts of intense exercise before meals control blood sugar better than 1 continuous 30 minute session

Posted: 08 May 2014 04:24 PM PDT

Brief bursts of intense exercise before meals helps control blood sugar in people with insulin resistance more effectively than one daily 30-minute session of moderate exercise, a study finds. "The notion of doing small amounts of interval exercise before meals is a unique and very important feature of this study," says one researcher. "Sustained hyperglycaemia following meals is an important feature of insulin resistance. Reducing these post-meal spikes is important for reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and its associated complications."

Extra doctor visit may help prevent rehospitalization of kidney failure patients

Posted: 08 May 2014 02:22 PM PDT

Among kidney failure patients on dialysis who were treated in the hospital, one additional doctor visit in the month following hospital discharge was estimated to reduce the probability of 30-day hospital readmission by 3.5 percent. Seeing kidney failure patients one additional time in the month following discharge could save $240 million in health care costs each year.

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