Πέμπτη, 29 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News


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,

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

HIV can cut and paste in human genome

Posted: 27 May 2014 07:12 AM PDT

A technology that uses the HIV virus as a tool in the fight against hereditary diseases -- and in the long term, against HIV infection as well -- has been developed in a first of its kind study. The technology repairs the genome in a new and safer manner. "Now we can simultaneously cut out the part of the genome that is broken in sick cells, and patch the gap that arises in the genetic information which we have removed from the genome. The new aspect here is that we can bring the scissors and the patch together in the HIV particles in a fashion that no one else has done before," says one researcher.

Africa's longest-known terrestrial wildlife migration discovered

Posted: 27 May 2014 07:06 AM PDT

Researchers have documented the longest-known terrestrial migration of wildlife in Africa -- up to several thousand zebra covering a distance of 500 kilometers. Using GPS collars on eight adult Plains zebra, scientists tracked two consecutive years of movement back and forth between the Chobe River in Namibia and Botswana's Nxai Pan National Park.

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