Πέμπτη, 29 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top News

ScienceDaily: Top News


Billions of kg of CO2 could be saved by scrapping DVDs, research suggests

Posted: 28 May 2014 05:43 PM PDT

A new study has shown that streaming can be much better for the environment, requiring less energy and emitting less carbon dioxide, than some traditional methods of DVD renting, buying and viewing.

Breakthrough technology uncovers fingerprints on ATM bills and receipts

Posted: 28 May 2014 05:42 PM PDT

New technology could help in the fight against theft and fraud – by identifying fingerprints on old receipts and ATM bills previously hidden from view. The technology uses a specially tailored UV light source to visualize fingerprints not possible to see otherwise on 'thermal paper' -- that is, the paper used for shop receipts and for bank statements from ATMs.

Obesity rates climbing worldwide, most comprehensive global study to date shows

Posted: 28 May 2014 05:42 PM PDT

Worldwide, there has been a startling increase in rates of obesity and overweight in both adults (28% increase) and children (up by 47%) in the past 33 years, with the number of overweight and obese people rising from 857 million in 1980 to 2.1 billion in 2013, according to a major new analysis. However, the rates vary widely throughout the world with more than half of the world's 671 million obese individuals living in just ten countries—the USA, China and India, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Egypt, Germany , Pakistan, and Indonesia,

Large muskies lured by the moon: Study ties lunar cycles, fish behavior to angler success

Posted: 28 May 2014 03:02 PM PDT

The lunar cycle may synchronize with feeding activity, luring large muskies to take angler bait. Previous studies have suggested a relationship between the moon and fish behavior. To investigate this further, scientists analyzed angler catch records for evidence of an effect due to the lunar cycle and explored sources of its variation on anglers' catch.

Meek male and fighting female scorpions

Posted: 28 May 2014 03:02 PM PDT

Threatened female bark scorpions sting quicker than males, likely to compensate for reduced ability to flee the threat. Differences between male and female scorpion bodies and behavior may result from sexual or environmental pressures. For example, female bark scorpions are pregnant 80% of the year, and as a result, may deal with threats differently than males.

Brain's reaction to male odor shifts at puberty in children with gender dysphoria

Posted: 28 May 2014 01:37 PM PDT

The brains of children with gender dysphoria react to androstadienone, a musky-smelling steroid produced by men, in a way typical of their biological sex, but after puberty according to their experienced gender, finds a study for the first time. Around puberty, the testes of men start to produce androstadienone, a breakdown product of testosterone. Men release it in their sweat, especially from the armpits. Its only known function is to work like a pheromone: when women smell androstadienone, their mood tends to improve, their blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing go up, and they may become aroused.

Cynical? You may be hurting your brain health

Posted: 28 May 2014 01:37 PM PDT

People with high levels of cynical distrust may be more likely to develop dementia, according to a new study. Cynical distrust, which is defined as the belief that others are mainly motivated by selfish concerns, has been associated with other health problems, such as heart disease. This is the first study to look at the relationship between cynicism and dementia.

Crow or raven? New birdsnap app can help

Posted: 28 May 2014 01:36 PM PDT

Using computer vision and machine learning techniques, researchers have developed Birdsnap, a free new iPhone app that's an electronic field guide featuring 500 of the most common North American bird species. The app enables users to identify bird species through uploaded photos, and accompanies a comprehensive website.

New mechanism explaining how cancer cells spread

Posted: 28 May 2014 01:36 PM PDT

A protein critical to the spread of deadly cancer cells has been discovered by researchers who have determined how it works, paving the way for potential use in diagnosis and eventually possible therapeutic drugs to halt or slow the spread of cancer. The protein, Aiolos, is produced by normal blood cells but commits a kind of "identity theft" of blood cells when expressed by cancer cells, allowing the latter to metastasize, or spread, to other parts of the body. Metastatic cancer cells have the ability to break free from tissue, circulate in the blood stream, and form tumors all over the body, in a way acting like blood cells.

Wild coho may seek genetic diversity in mate choice

Posted: 28 May 2014 12:06 PM PDT

Wild coho salmon that choose mates with disease-resistant genes different from their own are more likely to produce greater numbers of adult offspring returning to the river some three years later. The researchers also found that hatchery-reared coho -- for some unknown reason -- do not appear to have the same ability to select mates that are genetically diverse, which may, in part, explain their comparative lower reproductive success.

Light coaxes stem cells to repair teeth: Noninvasive laser therapy could radically shift dental treatment

Posted: 28 May 2014 12:05 PM PDT

Scientists have used low-power light to trigger stem cells inside the body to regenerate tissue. The research lays the foundation for a host of clinical applications in restorative dentistry and regenerative medicine more broadly, such as wound healing, bone regeneration, and more.

2013 Tornadoes: Numbers Low, Destruction High

Posted: 28 May 2014 12:04 PM PDT

Despite some high profile tornadoes in 2013, scientists are reporting below average numbers of tornadoes. There were 903 tornadoes in the United States, which is below the 10-year annual average of 1,350. Furthermore, it has been 25 years since a year with fewer tornadoes, which was in 1989 with 856. 

How long should HCV treatment last? Study suggests answers are complex

Posted: 28 May 2014 11:58 AM PDT

As new treatments for hepatitis C virus (HCV) are approved, biomedical scientists are exploring their mechanisms and what they reveal about the virus. A new report is the first to report real-time tracking of viral decay in the liver and blood in 15 patients with HCV. "Our findings begin to define for how long patients may need to be treated in order to achieve viral eradication," explained the lead researcher.

Toxins in the environment might make you older than your years

Posted: 28 May 2014 10:32 AM PDT

Why are some 75-year-olds downright spry while others can barely get around? Part of the explanation, say researchers is differences from one person to the next in exposure to harmful substances in the environment, chemicals such as benzene, cigarette smoke, and even stress.

Antarctic Ice Sheet unstable at end of last ice age

Posted: 28 May 2014 10:31 AM PDT

A new study has found that the Antarctic Ice Sheet began melting about 5,000 years earlier than previously thought coming out of the last ice age -- and that shrinkage of the vast ice sheet accelerated during eight distinct episodes, causing rapid sea level rise.

Extensive cataloging of human proteins uncovers 193 never known to exist

Posted: 28 May 2014 10:31 AM PDT

Striving for the protein equivalent of the Human Genome Project, an international team of researchers has created an initial catalog of the human 'proteome,' or all of the proteins in the human body. In total, using 30 different human tissues, the team identified proteins encoded by 17,294 genes, which is about 84 percent of all of the genes in the human genome predicted to encode proteins.

Zeroing in on the proton's magnetic moment

Posted: 28 May 2014 10:28 AM PDT

As part of a series of experiments designed to resolve one of the deepest mysteries of physics today, researchers have made the most precise ever direct measurement of the magnetic moment of a proton. The work seeks to answer the fundamental question of why we exist at all. It is believed that the Big Bang some 13 billion years ago generated equal amounts of matter and antimatter -- which annihilate when they collide -- and yet the universe today seems to contain only matter.

Uncovering Clues to the Genetic Cause of Schizophrenia

Posted: 28 May 2014 10:27 AM PDT

The overall number and nature of mutations—rather than the presence of any single mutation—influences an individual's risk of developing schizophrenia, as well as its severity, according to a new discovery. The findings could have important implications for the early detection and treatment of schizophrenia.

Major discovery on the mechanism of drug resistance in leukemia and other cancers

Posted: 28 May 2014 10:26 AM PDT

A mechanism that enables the development of resistance to Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) anticancer drugs, thereby leading to relapse, has been identified by researchers. The new discovery constitutes a major breakthrough in the fight against AML, one of the deadliest forms of leukemia, because it immediately suggests strategies to overcome drug resistance. Furthermore, the type of drug resistance the team identified is likely implicated in other cancers and a successful new treatment regimen based on these findings could have broad applications in treating cancer.

Analysis of financial markets using laws of molecular fluid dynamics

Posted: 28 May 2014 10:25 AM PDT

Scientists have develop an innovative new model to aid the analysis of financial markets uses the laws of molecular fluid dynamics to describe order-book transactions.

Supersonic spray delivers high-quality graphene layer

Posted: 28 May 2014 08:41 AM PDT

A simple, inexpensive spray method that deposits a graphene film can heal manufacturing defects and produce a high-quality graphene layer on a range of substrates.

What can plants reveal about gene flow? That it's an important evolutionary force

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:54 AM PDT

How much gene flow is there between plant populations? How important is gene flow for maintaining a species' identity and diversity, and what are the implications of these processes for evolution, conservation of endangered species, invasiveness, or unintentional gene flow from domesticated crops to wild relatives?

Water in moon rocks provides clues and questions about lunar history

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:54 AM PDT

A recent review of hundreds of chemical analyses of Moon rocks indicates that the amount of water in the Moon's interior varies regionally -- revealing clues about how water originated and was redistributed in the Moon. These discoveries provide a new tool to unravel the processes involved in the formation of the Moon, how the lunar crust cooled, and its impact history.

'Nanodaisies' deliver drug cocktail to cancer cells

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:53 AM PDT

Daisy-shaped, nanoscale structures that are made predominantly of anti-cancer drugs and are capable of introducing a 'cocktail' of multiple drugs into cancer cells, biomedical engineering researchers report. Once injected, the nanodaisies float through the bloodstream until they are absorbed by cancer cells. Once in a cancer cell, the drugs are released.

Flame retardants during pregnancy as bad as lead? Exposure linked to lower IQs in kids

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:52 AM PDT

Prenatal exposure to flame retardants can be significantly linked to lower IQs and greater hyperactivity in five-year old children. The researchers found that a 10-fold increase in PBDE concentrations in early pregnancy, when the fetal brain is developing, was associated with a 4.5 IQ decrement, which is comparable with the impact of environmental lead exposure. PBDEs have been widely used as flame retardants in furniture, carpet padding, car seats and other consumer products over the past three decades.

Universal antidote for snakebite: Experimental trial represents promising step toward

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:52 AM PDT

Another promising step has been made toward developing a universal antidote for snakebite. The results of this pilot study revealed findings that support the team's idea that providing fast, accessible, and easy-to-administer treatment can increase survival rates in victims of venomous snakebite.

Variety in diet can hamper microbial diversity in the gut

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:52 AM PDT

Scientists have discovered that the more diverse the diet of a fish, the less diverse are the microbes living in its gut. If the effect is confirmed in humans, it could mean that the combinations of foods people eat can influence their gut microbe diversity. The research could impact how probiotics and diet are used to treat diseases associated with bacteria in human digestive systems.

Melting Arctic opens new passages for invasive species

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:49 AM PDT

For the first time in roughly 2 million years, melting Arctic sea ice is connecting the north Pacific and north Atlantic oceans. The newly opened passages leave both coasts and Arctic waters vulnerable to a large wave of invasive species, biologists assert.

Scientists control rapid re-wiring of brain circuits using patterned visual stimulation

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:49 AM PDT

Researchers have shown for the first time how the brain re-wires and fine-tunes its connections differently depending on the relative timing of sensory stimuli. In most neuroscience textbooks today, there is a widely held model that explains how nerve circuits might refine their connectivity based on patterned firing of brain cells, but it has not previously been directly observed in real time.

Marine fish use red biofluorescence to communicate, new research shows

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:40 AM PDT

Marine fish use red biofluorescence to communicate, new research shows. One of the most exciting discoveries, the researchers say, is that the fluorescence is a deep red in a part of the spectrum which, it was previously believed, fish could not see or make use of. It could be that red-eye wrasses use their fluorescence as a private frequency to communicate amongst themselves.

Artificial lung the size of a sugar cube may replace animal testing

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:40 AM PDT

What medications can be used to treat lung cancer, and how effective are they? Until now, drug companies have had to rely on animal testing to find out. But in the future, a new 3-D model lung is set to achieve more precise results and ultimately minimize -- or even completely replace -- animal testing.

Fish more inclined to crash into each other than bees

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:33 AM PDT

Swimming fish do not appear to use their collision warning system in the same way as flying insects, according to new research that has compared how zebra fish and bumblebees avoid collisions. The fish surprised the researchers.

Research demonstrates how much we distrust people who are mean with money

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:33 AM PDT

We distrust people who are mean with their money, according to new findings. Study participants had no face-to-face contact but played a series of interactive games. They had to make decisions about whom to trust in their dealings with other players, based on information they were given on the level of these other players' generosity in previous games. The experiments revealed that participants who had been mean with their money were trusted less, and indeed were more likely to be untrustworthy.

Unusual parenting behaviour by Southeast Asian species of treefrog discovered

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:30 AM PDT

A Southeast Asian species of treefrog practices parental care to increase the likelihood of survival of its offspring. Chiromantis hansenae (C. hansenae), is currently the only species in the treefrog family in Southeast Asia that is known to exhibit such behavior. Researchers observed that this frog exhibits a form of parental care, known as egg attendance, in which a parent remains with the egg mass at a fixed location. These frogs care for their offspring by covering the egg mass with its body. Occasionally, the females will make trips down to the pond, presumably to soak up more water, and return to secrete the liquid over the egg mass, keeping it moist.

MRI catches breast cancer early in at-risk survivors of childhood Hodgkin lymphoma

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:29 AM PDT

Magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI) detected invasive breast tumors at very early stages, when cure rates are expected to be excellent reports the largest clinical study to evaluate breast cancer screening of female survivors of childhood Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). These patients are at increased risk because they received chest radiation.

Age-old relationship between birds and flowers: World’s oldest fossil of a nectarivorous bird

Posted: 27 May 2014 06:49 PM PDT

Scientists have described the oldest known fossil of a pollinating bird. The well-preserved stomach contents contained pollen from various flowering plants. This indicates that the relationship between birds and flowers dates back at least 47 million years. The fossil comes from the well-known fossil site "Messel Pit."

Striking lack of diversity in prehistoric birds

Posted: 27 May 2014 06:49 PM PDT

Birds come in astounding variety -- from hummingbirds to emus -- and behave in myriad ways: they soar the skies, swim the waters, and forage the forests. But this wasn't always the case, according to new research.

Disturbance in blood flow leads to epigenetic changes, atherosclerosis

Posted: 27 May 2014 03:53 PM PDT

Disturbed patterns of blood flow induce lasting epigenetic changes to genes in the cells that line blood vessels, and those changes contribute to atherosclerosis, researchers have found. The findings suggest why the protective effects of good blood flow patterns, which aerobic exercise promotes, can persist over time.

Precision-guided epidurals, better blood monitors for better care

Posted: 27 May 2014 10:33 AM PDT

An established imaging technology called 'optical coherence tomography,' or OCT, has been integrated with other instruments to bring about the next revolution in imaging by helping doctors provide safer, less painful and more effective care for women in labor and people with diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.

How a cancer-killing gene may actually work

Posted: 27 May 2014 09:41 AM PDT

Scientists armed with a supercomputer and a vast trove of newly collected data on the body's most potent "tumor suppressor" gene have created the best map yet of how the gene works, an accomplishment that could lead to new techniques for fighting cancers, which are adept at disabling the gene in order to thrive.

New suppressor of breast metastasis to the lung discovered

Posted: 27 May 2014 09:40 AM PDT

The loss of function of the gene RARRES3 in breast cancer cells promotes metastasis to the lung, research has demonstrated. The scientists have demonstrated that RARRES3 is suppressed in estrogen receptor-negative (ER-) breast cancer tumours, thus stimulating the later invasion of the cancer cells and conferring them "a greater malignant capacity."

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