Κυριακή, 25 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top News

ScienceDaily: Top News

Slowing the insect invasion: Wood packaging sanitation yields US $11.7 billion net benefit

Posted: 23 May 2014 04:24 PM PDT

The emerald ash borer, a recent insect immigrant to North America carried in with the wooden packing material of imported goods, is projected to cause over a billion dollars in damages annually over the next decade. Treatment to prevent wood borer introductions treatment is worthwhile when the cumulative damages of widening infestations are considered, report scientists.

Untangling whole genomes of individual species from a microbial mix

Posted: 23 May 2014 04:23 PM PDT

A new approach to studying microbes in the wild will allow scientists to sequence the genomes of individual species from complex mixtures. It marks a big advance for understanding the enormous diversity of microbial communities —- including the human microbiome.

Babbling brooks adding to climate change?

Posted: 23 May 2014 04:23 PM PDT

Studying stream bubbles isn't exactly a walk in the park. What, with the mud and ticks, the long days hiking and swimming through mucky streams, the sun exposure and scratching brush. But in the end, it may prove to be insightful. The bubbles coming from freshwater sources, new research suggests, may be a key and currently unaccounted for source of methane, the second-largest greenhouse gas contributor to human-driven global climate change.

Personal judgments swayed by group opinion, but only for three days

Posted: 23 May 2014 11:54 AM PDT

We all want to feel like we're free-thinking individuals, but there's nothing like the power of social pressure to sway an opinion. New research suggests that people do change their own personal judgments so that they fall in line with the group norm, but the change only seems to last about three days.

Wound-healing role for microRNAs in colon offer new insight to inflammatory bowel diseases

Posted: 23 May 2014 11:53 AM PDT

A microRNA cluster believed to be important for suppressing colon cancer has been found to play a critical role in wound healing in the intestine, cancer researchers have found. The findings, first discovered in mice and later reproduced in human cells, could provide a fresh avenue for investigating chronic digestive diseases and for potentially repairing damage in these and other disease or injury settings.

Tiny muscles help bats fine-tune flight, stiffen wing skin

Posted: 23 May 2014 11:53 AM PDT

Bats appear to use a network of hair-thin muscles in their wing skin to control the stiffness and shape of their wings as they fly, according to a new study. The finding provides new insight about the aerodynamic fine-tuning of membrane wings, both natural and human-made.

Straw from oilseed as a new source of biofuels

Posted: 23 May 2014 11:53 AM PDT

Straw from crops such as wheat, barley, oats and oilseed rape is seen as a potential source of biomass for second generation biofuel production. Currently the UK produces around 12 million tonnes of straw. Although much is used for animal bedding, mushroom compost and energy generation, there still exists a vast surplus. Preliminary lab findings are pointing at ways that the process of turning straw from oilseed rape into biofuel could be made more efficient, as well as how the straw itself could be improved.

Breakthrough method for making Janus or patchy capsules

Posted: 23 May 2014 11:53 AM PDT

An easy method for making small hollow capsules with two or more patches with different chemical or physical properties has been found. These capsules, called Janus or patchy capsules, have potential applications in fields as varied as medicine and the food industry.

How Alzheimer's blood test could be first step in developing treatments to halt or slow disease

Posted: 23 May 2014 11:52 AM PDT

A blood test has the potential to predict Alzheimer's disease before patients start showing symptoms, researchers have reported. Now they expand upon this groundbreaking research and discuss why it could be the key to curing this devastating illness. "This discovery is a potentially enormous breakthrough in the fight against Alzheimer's," said an expert. "If research aimed at a cure for Alzheimer's is to move forward, it is crucial that Alzheimer's clinical trials find a way to recruit patients who are still asymptomatic, since they are the ones most likely to respond to treatment."

New glasses may increase risk of falls in older adults, suggests review

Posted: 23 May 2014 11:51 AM PDT

Blurred vision contributes to the risk of falling in older adults -— but getting new glasses with a big change in vision prescription may increase the risk rather than decreasing it, according to a new article. Unaccustomed magnification may cause objects to appear closer or farther than they really are, thus affecting the reflexes linking the vestibular (balance) system with eye movements. For older patients who aren't used to bifocals and "progressive" lenses, switching to these types of lenses may cause distortion in peripheral vision.

Electricity use slashed with efficiency controls for heating, cooling

Posted: 23 May 2014 11:51 AM PDT

Commercial buildings could cut their heating and cooling electricity use by an average of 57 percent with advanced energy-efficiency controls, according to a year-long trial of the controls at malls, grocery stores and other buildings across the country.

New phase in iron-based superconductors discovered

Posted: 23 May 2014 06:43 AM PDT

A previously unknown phase in a class of superconductors called iron arsenides has been discovered by scientists. This sheds light on a debate over the interactions between atoms and electrons that are responsible for their unusual superconductivity. "This new magnetic phase, which has never been observed before, could have significant implications for our understanding of unconventional superconductivity," said Ray Osborn, a physicist and coauthor on the paper.

Disaster Planning: Risk assessment vital to development of mitigation plans

Posted: 23 May 2014 06:42 AM PDT

Wildfires and flooding affect many more people in the USA than earthquakes and landslide and yet the dread, the perceived risk, of the latter two is much greater than for those hazards that are more frequent and cause greater loss of life. Research suggests that a new paradigm for risk assessment is needed.

10 'golden rules' of strategic flood management revealed by water scientists

Posted: 23 May 2014 05:26 AM PDT

With many families across the UK still dealing with the consequences of last winter's flooding, water scientists have recently released 10 'golden rules' for strategic flood management. While the authors acknowledge the 'remarkable progress in cultivating the concepts of flood risk management' that has taken place over the last few decades, they also recognize that 'the challenge now is to turn the now commonly accepted concepts of managing risks and promoting opportunities into common flood-management practice'.

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