Τρίτη, 13 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

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.

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.

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.

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.

Graphene and painkiller receptor combined into scalable chemical sensor

Posted: 12 May 2014 08:25 AM PDT

Researchers have created an artificial chemical sensor based on one of the human body's most important receptors, one that is critical in the action of painkillers and anesthetics. In these devices, the receptors' activation produces an electrical response rather than a biochemical one, allowing that response to be read out by a computer.

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.

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.

Analyzing sperm cells to learn about animal infidelity, evolution

Posted: 12 May 2014 07:15 AM PDT

The analyzing of sperm cells to learn more about bird evolution and behavior is a new area of research. "To understand sexual infidelity in species, interpreting DNA is not enough. We also need to look at the shape and behavior of the sperm cells. Sperm research has opened up a completely new world to us," says one researcher.

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.

Fate of methane following Deepwater Horizon spill examined by researchers

Posted: 11 May 2014 01:55 PM PDT

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout discharged roughly five million gallons of oil and up to 500,000 tons of natural gas into Gulf of Mexico offshore waters over a period of 84 days. In the face of a seemingly insurmountable cleanup effort, many were relieved by reports following the disaster that naturally-occurring microbes had consumed much of the gas and oil.

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.

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