Τρίτη, 10 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Latest Science News

ScienceDaily: Latest Science News

New class of nanoparticle brings cheaper, lighter solar cells outdoors

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 08:33 AM PDT

A new class of solar-sensitive nanoparticle that outshines the current state of the art has been developed and tested by researchers. This new form of solid, stable light-sensitive nanoparticles, called colloidal quantum dots, could lead to cheaper and more flexible solar cells, as well as better gas sensors, infrared lasers, infrared light emitting diodes and more.

Prostate-cancer surgery prices are elusive

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 08:33 AM PDT

Patients who want to compare prices for prostate-cancer surgery may find it rough going: a study has found a 13-fold difference in prices quoted by 100 hospitals across the United States. Moreover, most provided little more than broad estimates, and only three gave a hard copy of the charges.

Distance from conflict may promote wiser reasoning

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 08:33 AM PDT

If you're faced with a troubling personal dilemma, such as a cheating spouse, you may think about it more wisely if you consider it as an outside observer would, according to research. "These results are the first to demonstrate a new type of bias within ourselves when it comes to wise reasoning about an interpersonal relationship dilemma," says a psychology researcher.

Where can we find savings in health care?

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 07:28 AM PDT

The June issue of Health Affairs features various approaches to cost savings in the US health care system, and several other articles that may be of interest to the global community.

Angry faces back up verbal threats, making them seem more credible

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 07:28 AM PDT

Angry expressions seem to boost the effectiveness of threats without actual aggression, according to research. The findings show that angry expressions lend additional weight to a negotiator's threat to walk away from the table if his or her demands aren't met, leading the other party in the negotiation to offer more money than they otherwise would have.

New England lakes recovering rapidly from acid rain

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 07:28 AM PDT

Policy makers have been working to reduce acid rain, a serious environmental problem that can devastate lakes, streams, and forests and the plants and animals that live in these ecosystems, for the past 40 years. Now new research indicates that lakes in New England and the Adirondack Mountains are recovering rapidly from the effects of acid rain.

Video game technology aids horse rider assessment

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 07:28 AM PDT

Horse riders' balance, symmetry and poor posture could be improved thanks to an innovative body suit that works with motion sensors, commonly used by movie makers and the video games industry. New research uses inertial motion sensors worn in the XsensTM MVN body suit, and is now showing promising results as a method of assessing rider asymmetry and lower back pain and injury risk.

Accuracy of fitness bands tested; reserachers find way to correct self-report errors

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 07:26 AM PDT

Researchers tested eight different fitness bands to determine the accuracy of each model. The activity monitors make it easy for anyone to track their physical activity and calories burned, but researchers found not all devices are created equal. "People buy these activity monitors assuming they work, but some of them are not that accurate or have never been tested before. These companies just produce a nice-looking device with a fancy display and people buy it," said a researcher.

Rising tobacco epidemic in Asia linked to elevated risk of death

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 07:26 AM PDT

Tobacco smoking has been linked to approximately 2 million deaths among adult men and women in Asia in recent years and new research predicts a rising death toll. Roughly 60 percent of the world's population lives in Asia where approximately half of men are tobacco smokers.

Retweet this: Not much new in social media discourse

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 07:14 AM PDT

If nationally televised candidate debates are supposed to stimulate critical thinking and individual expression among the social media set -- "Find those responsible for Benghazi, Obama!" or "4 Pinocchios, Mitt!" or at least "Softball question, Madame Moderator!" -- it's so not happening.

Milky Way may bear 100 million life-giving planets

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 07:07 AM PDT

There are some 100 million other places in the Milky Way galaxy that could support complex life, according to new research by astronomers. They have developed a new computation method to examine data from planets orbiting other stars in the universe.

No limits to human effects on clouds

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 06:39 AM PDT

Atmospheric particles affect cloud formation in real time, researchers suggest. Clouds need tiny particles called aerosols that rise in the atmosphere, in order to form. These aerosols -- natural ones like sea salt or dust, or such human-made ones as soot -- form nuclei around which the cloud droplets condense. In relatively clean environments, clouds can only grow as large as the amount of aerosols in the atmosphere allows: These will be the limiting factor in cloud formation.

Turing Test success marks milestone in computing history

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 06:38 AM PDT

An historic milestone in artificial intelligence set by Alan Turing -- the father of modern computer science -- has been achieved. The 65 year-old iconic Turing Test was passed for the very first time by supercomputer Eugene Goostman during Turing Test 2014 held at the Royal Society in London on June 7, 2014. 'Eugene', a computer program that simulates a 13-year-old boy, managed to convince 33% of the human judges that it was human.

Quest for long-lasting blood: Scientists developing one-size-fits-all artifical blood

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 06:38 AM PDT

Scientists are hoping to develop a one-size-fits-all, third generation artificial blood substitute. Every day thousands of people around the world have their lives saved or improved thanks to someone giving blood. But imagine how many more lives could be saved if a long-lasting blood substitute could be found, which could easily be stored at room temperature and available to all patients, regardless of their blood type.

A new methodology developed to monitor traffic flow

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 06:38 AM PDT

Scientists have developed a new mathematical methodology to monitor traffic flow so that medium and long-term forecasts can be made. One of the key aspects of the methodology applied is its capacity to detect changes in traffic flow patterns.

Beer brewing waste could help bone regeneration

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 06:38 AM PDT

Biomaterials for bone regeneration have been developed by researchers from beer brewing waste. The waste obtained from the beer brewing process contains the main chemical components found in bones (phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and silica), that after undergoing modification processes, this waste can be used as support or scaffold to promote bone regeneration for medical applications such as coating prosthesis or bone grafts, researchers report.

Algae prognosis: Considerable risk of blue-green algal blooms in some of Finland's sea areas

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 06:38 AM PDT

According to the algae prognosis from the Finnish experts, the risk of blue-green algal blooms varies across the nation. The probability of extensive blue-green algal blooms in Finland's sea areas is slightly higher than it was last year. The increased risk in the Baltic Proper is due to phosphorous-rich deep water mixing with surface layers as a result of storms in late autumn and winter 2013-2014.

Iron supplements improve anemia, quality of life for women with heavy periods

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 06:38 AM PDT

Diagnosis and treatment of anemia is important to improve quality of life among women with heavy periods, researchers report. Findings suggest clinicians screen for anemia and recommend iron supplementation to women with heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia).

Most breast cancer patients may not be getting enough exercise

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 06:38 AM PDT

Physical activity after breast cancer diagnosis has been linked with prolonged survival and improved quality of life, but most participants in a large breast cancer study did not meet national physical activity guidelines after they were diagnosed. Moreover, African-American women were less likely to meet the guidelines than white women. The findings indicate that efforts to promote physical activity in breast cancer patients may need to be significantly enhanced.

Both teens, teachers not getting sex-ed training: New standards needed?

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 06:36 AM PDT

A handful of sex educators from across the United States have came together to develop and release the National Teacher Preparation Standards on Sexuality Education. In the United States, sexuality education is most commonly taught within the health curriculum at the middle and high school levels. In addition to parents, America's teachers play a vital role in providing young people with the information they need to protect their health and futures.

Facing a violent past: Evolution of human ancestors' faces a result of need to weather punches during arguments, study suggests

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 06:36 AM PDT

An alternative to the previous long-held hypothesis that the evolution of the robust faces of our early ancestors resulted largely from the need to chew hard-to-crush foods such as nuts has been presented by researchers. The prehistoric version of a bar fight -- over women, resources and other slug-worthy disagreements -- are what shaped our facial evolution, new research suggests.

Researchers pinpoint new role for enzyme in DNA repair, kidney cancer

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 06:36 AM PDT

The enzyme Set2 is a major player in DNA repair, a complicated and crucial process that can lead to the development of cancer cells if the repair goes wrong. "We found that if Set2 is mutated, DNA repair does not properly occur" said one researcher. "One consequence could be that if you have broken DNA, then loss of this enzyme could lead to downstream mutations from inefficient repair. We believe this finding helps explain why the human version of Set2 -- which is called SETD2 -- is frequently mutated in cancer."

African-American women more likely to be diagnosed with higher risk breast cancer

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 06:36 AM PDT

African-American women frequently present with biologically less favorable subtypes of breast cancer, a study has shown. Researchers used genomic tests in their research; unlike genetic tests, such as those for BRCA genes, genomic tests look at the genes inside a breast cancer cell and how strongly they are expressed. The findings support prior research that has looked at the biologic characteristics of breast cancer in African-American women.

As Americans age, caregiving challenges increase

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 06:36 AM PDT

As people continue to live longer, more Americans are caring for someone with a chronic condition, disability or old age. There are approximately 90 million family caregivers in the U.S. today and two out of every five adults care for a family member. As the baby boomer generation ages, caregiving will continue to be a crucial issue among Americans.

More than just a hill of beans: Phaseolus genome lends insights into nitrogen fixation

Posted: 08 Jun 2014 12:27 PM PDT

Research into the common bean has been pursued because of its importance in enhancing nitrogen use efficiency for bioenergy crops sustainability, and for increasing plant resilience and productivity in the face of the changing climate and environment. To this end, a team of researchers sequenced and analyzed the genome of the common bean, Phaseolus vulgaris.

Targeting tumors using silver nanoparticles

Posted: 08 Jun 2014 12:27 PM PDT

A nanoparticle that has a couple of unique -- and important -- properties has been designed by scientists. Spherical in shape and silver in composition, it is encased in a shell coated with a peptide that enables it to target tumor cells. What's more, the shell is etchable so those nanoparticles that don't hit their target can be broken down and eliminated.

I shouldn't have eaten there: Rats show behavior of 'regret' in choosing the wrong 'restaurant'

Posted: 08 Jun 2014 12:27 PM PDT

New research reveals that rats show signs of 'regret' -- a cognitive behavior once thought to be uniquely and fundamentally human. To measure the cognitive behavior of regret, scientists developed a task that asked rats how long they were willing to wait for certain foods. In this task, the rats are presented with a series of food options but have limited time at each 'restaurant.'

Warming climates intensify greenhouse gas given out by oceans

Posted: 08 Jun 2014 12:27 PM PDT

Rising global temperatures could increase the amount of carbon dioxide naturally released by the world's oceans, fueling further climate change, a study suggests. Scientists studied a 26,000-year-old sediment core to find out how the ocean's ability to take up atmospheric CO2 has changed over time, and found that when silicon was least abundant in ocean waters corresponded with relatively warm climates, low levels of atmospheric iron, and reduced CO2 uptake by the oceans' plankton.

Retracing early cultivation steps: Lessons from comparing citrus genomes

Posted: 08 Jun 2014 12:27 PM PDT

Citrus is the world's most widely cultivated fruit crop but it is now under attack from citrus greening, an insidious emerging infectious disease destroying entire orchards. Researchers worldwide are mobilizing to apply genomic tools and approaches to understand how citrus varieties arose and how they respond to disease and other stresses. An international consortium of researchers analyzed and compared the genome sequences of ten diverse citrus varieties.

New molecule enables quick drug monitoring

Posted: 08 Jun 2014 12:27 PM PDT

A molecule that can easily and quickly show how much drug is in a patient's system has been invented by scientists. The molecule, now the basis of a start-up company, is expected to enable point-of-care therapeutic drug monitoring. "This system is a cheap, effective solution for customizing drug dosage in patients across a whole array of diseases," says one of the authors.

Quick getaway: How flies escape a looming predator

Posted: 08 Jun 2014 12:25 PM PDT

Every millisecond counts when a fruit fly is being hunted by a damselfly. Scientists find that fruit flies can deploy two escape behaviors, depending on circumstances. New research reveals how a quick-escape circuit in the fly's brain overrides the fly's slower, more controlled behavior when a threat becomes urgent.

Tiny molecule may help battle depression

Posted: 08 Jun 2014 12:25 PM PDT

Levels of a small molecule found only in humans and in other primates are lower in the brains of depressed individuals, according to researchers. This discovery may hold a key to improving treatment options for those who suffer from depression. The discovery may provide "a potential target for the development of new and more effective antidepressant treatments," one researcher notes.

Longer telomeres linked to risk of brain cancer: Double-edged sword, gene variants may promote overall health while increasing risk of gliomas

Posted: 08 Jun 2014 12:25 PM PDT

New genomic research reveals that two common gene variants that lead to longer telomeres, the caps on chromosome ends thought by many scientists to confer health by protecting cells from aging, also significantly increase the risk of developing the deadly brain cancers known as gliomas.

Tougher penalties credited for fewer casualties among young male drivers

Posted: 06 Jun 2014 10:14 AM PDT

A significant decline in speeding-related fatalities and injuries among young men has been found in Ontario since the province's tough extreme speeding and aggressive driving laws were introduced in 2007. A study found a sustained reduction of about 58 speeding-related injuries and fatalities a month among males aged 16-24. That means about 700 fewer young men have been injured or killed in speeding-related crashes yearly since the law was passed.

Endoscope with oxygen sensor detects pancreatic cancer

Posted: 06 Jun 2014 07:21 AM PDT

An optical blood oxygen sensor attached to an endoscope is able to identify pancreatic cancer in patients via a simple lendoscopic procedure, according to researchers. The study shows that the device, which acts like the well-known clothespin-type finger clip used to measure blood oxygen in patients, has a sensitivity of 92 percent and a specificity of 86 percent.

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