Τρίτη, 20 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top News

ScienceDaily: Top News

Global progress in preventing newborn deaths, stillbirths hindered by inadequate investment, leadership, measurement, accountability

Posted: 19 May 2014 03:46 PM PDT

The clearest picture to date of progress and challenges in improving newborn survival around the world has been presented by researchers, and sets targets that must be achieved by 2030 in order to ensure every newborn has a healthy start. The Series shows that almost all of the 5.5 million newborn and stillborn babies who die every year enter and leave the world without a piece of paper; this lack of registration and official recognition reflects acceptance of these deaths as inevitable, the authors argue.

Public reporting of ICU mortality does not improve outcomes

Posted: 19 May 2014 03:45 PM PDT

A large study of intensive care patients found that public reporting of patient outcomes did not reduce mortality, but did result in reduced admission of the sickest patients to the ICU and increased transfer of critically ill patients to other hospitals. "Public reporting is designed to reduce mortality by steering patients towards high-quality hospitals and creating incentives for hospitals to adopt quality improvement programs," said one expert. "But the reality does not necessarily meet the expectation."

Earthquakes: The next 'Big One' for the San Francisco Bay Area may be a cluster of major quakes

Posted: 19 May 2014 03:45 PM PDT

A cluster of closely timed earthquakes over 100 years in the 17th and 18th centuries released as much accumulated stress on San Francisco Bay Area's major faults as the Great 1906 San Francisco earthquake, suggesting two possible scenarios for the next 'Big One' for the region, according to new research.

How infants understand speech: New study sheds light

Posted: 19 May 2014 01:07 PM PDT

Six-month-old infants require more information from a cochlear implant than an adult or older child, a study has demonstrated. This may be due to the lack of experience infants have with speech and their inability to fill in the missing information from the cochlear implant. This research has important ramifications on the therapy infants with cochlear implants should receive.

I like your genes: People more likely to choose a spouse with similar DNA

Posted: 19 May 2014 01:07 PM PDT

Individuals are more genetically similar to their spouses than they are to randomly selected individuals from the same population, according to a new study. Scientists already knew that people tend to marry others who have similar characteristics, including religion, age, race, income, body type and education, among others. Scientists now show that people also are more likely to pick mates who have similar DNA.

Why you need olive oil on your salad

Posted: 19 May 2014 01:07 PM PDT

A diet that combines unsaturated fats with nitrite-rich vegetables, such as olive oil and lettuce, can protect you from hypertension, suggests a new study. The findings help to explain why some previous studies have shown that a Mediterranean diet can reduce blood pressure. The Mediterranean diet typically includes unsaturated fats found in olive oil, nuts and avocados, along with vegetables like spinach, celery and carrots that are rich in nitrites and nitrates.

Engineer invents a way to beam power to medical chips deep inside the body

Posted: 19 May 2014 01:07 PM PDT

Researchers have invented a way to wirelessly beam power to programmable devices deep inside the body. These medical chips could be as small as a grain of rice. They would sit alongside nerves, muscles and other tissues. The chips could be programmed for a wide variety of medical tasks. The wireless power recharging would enable them to be implanted once and repowered as need be. This is a platform technology to enable a new therapeutic category -- 'electroceutical' devices.

Chemists challenge conventional understanding of how photocatalysis works

Posted: 19 May 2014 01:07 PM PDT

Photocatalysts are most often semiconductors, with metals (platinum, gold) added to promote their activity. However, these metals (or 'promoters') are expensive; hence the quest for more economical alternatives. Now a team of chemists has come up with a model to explain this promoting effect that could shift the focus in the search for substitutes of the metals, and help identify better promoters for photocatalysis in the near future.

Favoritism, not hostility, causes most discrimination

Posted: 19 May 2014 01:06 PM PDT

Most discrimination in the U.S. is not caused by intention to harm people different from us, but by ordinary favoritism directed at helping people similar to us, according to a theoretical review.

Taste test: Could sense of taste affect length of life?

Posted: 19 May 2014 01:05 PM PDT

Perhaps one of the keys to good health isn't just what you eat but how you taste it. Taste buds -- yes, the same ones you may blame for that sweet tooth or French fry craving -- may in fact have a powerful role in a long and healthy life -- at least for fruit flies. Bitter tastes could have negative effects on lifespan, sweet tastes had positive effects, and the ability to taste water had the most significant impact -- flies that could not taste water lived up to 43% longer than other flies.

Children who exercise have better body-fat distribution, regardless of their weight

Posted: 19 May 2014 10:48 AM PDT

Maybe the numbers on the scale aren't alarming, but that doesn't mean that healthy-weight children get a pass on exercising, according to a new study. "The FITKids study demonstrates the extent to which physical activity can improve body composition, and that's important because it matters to your health where fat is stored. But the study is also interesting for what happened in the control group to the kids who didn't exercise," said the study's lead author.

Improved supercapacitors for super batteries, electric vehicles

Posted: 19 May 2014 09:25 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a novel nanometer scale ruthenium oxide anchored nanocarbon graphene foam architecture that improves the performance of supercapacitors, a development that could mean faster acceleration in electric vehicles and longer battery life in portable electronics.

Liberating devices from their power cords

Posted: 19 May 2014 09:25 AM PDT

A new type of supercapacitor that can hold a charge when it takes a lickin' has been developed. It is the first "multi-functional" energy storage device that can operate while subject to realistic static and dynamic loads – advancing the day when everything from cell phones to electric vehicles will no longer need separate batteries.

Can chemicals produced by gut microbiota affect children with autism?

Posted: 19 May 2014 08:44 AM PDT

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have significantly different concentrations of certain bacterial-produced chemicals, called metabolites, in their feces compared to children without ASD. This research provides further evidence that bacteria in the gut may be linked to autism.

Having and raising offspring is costly phase of life for baboon moms

Posted: 19 May 2014 08:43 AM PDT

Observations made over the past 29 years in Kenya as part of one of the world's longest-running studies of a wild primate show how having offspring influences the health of female baboons. These observations highlight that females are mostly injured on days when they are likely to conceive. In addition, injuries heal the slowest when they are suckling their young. Reproduction can be dangerous and energetically costly, exposing individuals to physical harm, infectious disease and reduced immunity.

Earth organisms survive under Martian conditions: Methanogens stay alive in extreme heat and cold

Posted: 19 May 2014 08:42 AM PDT

New research suggests that methanogens -- among the simplest and oldest organisms on Earth -- could survive on Mars. Methanogens, microorganisms in the domain Archaea, use hydrogen as their energy source and carbon dioxide as their carbon source, to metabolize and produce methane, also known as natural gas. Methanogens live in swamps and marshes, but can also be found in the gut of cattle, termites and other herbivores as well as in dead and decaying matter.

The spot-tail golden bass: A new fish species from deep reefs of the southern Caribbean

Posted: 19 May 2014 08:03 AM PDT

Scientists have described a new species of small coral reef sea bass from underexplored deep-reef depths of Curaçao, southern Caribbean. With predominantly yellow body and fins, the new species, Liopropoma santi, more closely resembles the other two 'golden basses' found together with it at Curaçao, L. aberrans and L. olneyi, than the striped species that occur on shallower reefs.

Engineers find way to lower risk of midair collisions for small aircraft

Posted: 19 May 2014 08:03 AM PDT

Researchers have developed new modifications for technology that helps pilots of small aircraft avoid midair collisions. The modified tools significantly improved pilot response times in making decisions to avert crashes.

Antarctica's ice losses on the rise

Posted: 19 May 2014 08:02 AM PDT

Three years of observations show that the Antarctic ice sheet is now losing 159 billion tons of ice each year -- twice as much as when it was last surveyed. Scientists have now produced the first complete assessment of Antarctic ice sheet elevation change.

Keywords hold our vocabulary together in memory

Posted: 19 May 2014 07:47 AM PDT

Like key players in social networks, scientists have found evidence that there are keywords in word networks that hold together groups of words in our memory. The existence of keywords opens up many possible real-life applications such as helping individuals with word finding after stroke. Conversely, removing a keyword through psycholinguistic tasks, could actually disrupt language processing - fracturing our word network.

'Smoking gun' evidence for theory that Saturn's collapsing magnetic tail causes auroras

Posted: 19 May 2014 06:04 AM PDT

Researchers have captured stunning images of Saturn's auroras as the planet's magnetic field is battered by charged particles from the Sun.

Hybrid electric vehicles: Logged driving route can reduce energy consumption by 10 percent

Posted: 19 May 2014 06:04 AM PDT

For long distance driving, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles use the internal combustion engine more than necessary. A new method has now been developed to make the car remember the commuter routes and thereby make optimal use of the battery. The strategy can reduce fuel consumption by up to 10 percent compared to conventional methods.

Greenland will be far greater contributor to sea rise than expected: Work reveals long, deep valleys connecting ice cap to ocean

Posted: 18 May 2014 01:44 PM PDT

Greenland's icy reaches are far more vulnerable to warm ocean waters from climate change than had been thought, according to new research by glaciologists. The work shows previously uncharted deep valleys stretching for dozens of miles under the Greenland Ice Sheet.

Urine test could help clinicians spot blood clots in at-risk patients

Posted: 18 May 2014 01:41 PM PDT

A simple urine test can indicate the presence of venous thromboembolism, a blood clot that has broken free from its point of origin and that travels through the bloodstream, eventually lodging in a vein. The test evaluates the levels of fibrinopeptide B (FPB), a small peptide that's released when a thrombosis forms and which is removed from the body through urine.

Most Emergency Department 'Super-Frequent Users' Have Substance Abuse Addiction

Posted: 18 May 2014 06:26 AM PDT

A vast majority of so-called "super-frequent user" patients who seek care in the Emergency Department (ED) have a substance abuse addiction, according to a study. A patient is considered a super-frequent user who visits the ED at least 10 times a year. Researchers also found that super-frequent users seeking pain-relief narcotics were more common with women.

Transgenic mice produce both omega-3, omega-6 fatty acids on carbohydrate diet

Posted: 16 May 2014 05:32 PM PDT

A transgenic mouse has been developed that synthesizes both the omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids within its tissues on a diet of carbohydrates or saturated fats. Significant evidence suggest that the ratio of dietary omega-6 to omega-3 has important implications for human health, further increasing interest in the development of foods rich in omega-3s.

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