Τετάρτη, 11 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Latest Science News

ScienceDaily: Latest Science News


Charging portable electronics in 10 minutes: New architecture for lithium-ion battery anodes far outperform the current standard

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 11:47 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a three-dimensional, silicon-decorated, cone-shaped carbon-nanotube cluster architecture for lithium ion battery anodes that could enable charging of portable electronics in 10 minutes, instead of hours.

Snowballs to soot: The clumping density of many things seems to be a standard

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 11:47 AM PDT

Particles of soot floating through the air and comets hurtling through space have at least one thing in common: 0.36. That, reports a research group, is the measure of how dense they will get under normal conditions, and it's a value that seems to be constant for similar aggregates across an impressively wide size range from nanometers to tens of meters.

'All systems go' for a paralyzed person to kick off the World Cup

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 11:47 AM PDT

All systems are go for a bold demonstration of neuroscience and cognitive technology in action: on June 12, during the opening of the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil, a paralyzed person wearing a brain-controlled robotic exoskeleton is expected to make the first kick. The system records electrical activity in the patient's brain and translates that to action. It also gives the patient tactile feedback using sensitive artificial skin.

Geologists confirm oxygen levels of ancient oceans

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 11:46 AM PDT

Geologists have discovered a new way to study oxygen levels in the Earth's oldest oceans. New research approach may have important implications for the study of marine ecology and global warming.

Earth is around 60 million years older than previously thought -- and so is the moon, new research finds

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 11:46 AM PDT

The timing of the giant impact between Earth's ancestor and a planet-sized body occurred around 40 million years after the start of solar system formation. This means that the final stage of Earth's formation is around 60 million years older than previously thought, according to new research.

Towards new cancer therapies

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 11:44 AM PDT

In 2012, about 8.2 million people died of cancer making the disease a major cause of death worldwide. According to the WHO World Cancer Report 2014, this figure is expected to rise within the next two decades. But new drugs are already in the pipeline. The genetics of fruit flies helps researchers to identify new targets for cancer therapy and to develop more individualised treatments.

New permafrost is forming around shrinking Arctic lakes, but will it last?

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 11:44 AM PDT

Researchers, more used to measuring thawing permafrost than its expansion, have made a surprising discovery. There is new permafrost forming around Twelvemile Lake in the interior of Alaska. But they have also quickly concluded that, given the current rate of climate change, it won't last beyond the end of this century.

New field guide for Africa's mammalian eden

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 11:43 AM PDT

From the kipunji -- a secretive primate species first discovered by WCS in 2003 -- to the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin, Tanzania is known for its staggering variety of large mammals including the largest diversity of primates in mainland Africa. A new field guide documents this dazzling array of mammals.

Limiting carbs could reduce breast cancer recurrence in women with positive IGF1 receptor

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 09:20 AM PDT

Reducing carbohydrate intake could reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence among women whose tumor tissue is positive for the IGF-1 receptor, researchers report. Using an unusual approach, this study assessed the combined association of two factors implicated in tumor growth -- carbohydrate intake and IGF1 receptor status -- to test whether activating the insulin/insulin-like growth-factor axis can impact breast cancer.

Innovative millimeter wave communications introduced

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 09:20 AM PDT

Wireless data connections that exploit millimeter wave radio spectrum (30GHz to 300GHz) are expected to be used in worldwide 5G networks from 2020. Millimeter wave radios use much higher carrier frequencies than those in current systems, such as 4G and Wi-Fi.

A life well spent: Consume now (in case you die early)

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 09:20 AM PDT

An early death constitutes a serious loss that should imply compensation to the deceased person. But how – when the person is dead? A team of economists argues that a 'life well spent' might entail consuming more and working less earlier in life. They construct a mathematical model to measure the economic losses associated with an early death.

New biometric watches use light to non-invasively monitor glucose, dehydration, pulse

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 09:20 AM PDT

Two new wearable devices have been developed that use scattered light to monitor biometrics: one tracks glucose and dehydration, and the other monitors pulse. The glucose sensor is the first wearable device that can measure glucose concentration directly but noninvasively. The new pulse monitor is an improvement over current watches in that it will be less sensitive to errors when the wearer is in motion.

Soldiers who kill in combat less likely to abuse alcohol, study finds

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 09:20 AM PDT

New research documents the impact of combat experiences on alcohol use and misuse among National Guard soldiers. Whereas much research regarding combat personnel is based on post-experience data, this study's design uses both pre- and post-deployment data to identify the association between different types of combat experiences and changes in substance use and misuse.

A plan to share carbon budget burden

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 09:20 AM PDT

For 20 years, the international community has been unable to agree on a coordinated way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A four-step compromise toward emissions reduction that offers 'effectiveness, feasibility, and fairness has now been published.

Perennial corn crops? It could happen with new plant-breeding tool

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 09:19 AM PDT

Since the first plant genome sequence was obtained for the plant Arabidopsis in 2000, scientists have gene-sequenced everything from cannabis to castor bean. They have now unveiled a new tool that will help all plant scientists label genes far more quickly and accurately and is expected to give a big boost to traditional and nontraditional plant breeders.

Internet not responsible for dying newspapers, new study finds

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 09:19 AM PDT

We all know that the Internet has killed the traditional newspaper trade, right? After all, until the general population started interacting with the web in the mid-90s, the newspaper business was thriving -- offering readers top notch journalism and pages of ads. A new study finds assumptions about the decline of newspapers are based on three false premises.

Law and order for juveniles: Study urges altering police interrogations

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 09:19 AM PDT

Confrontational and deceptive interrogation techniques are inappropriate for the developing adolescent mind, according to a psychology study. Such techniques purport to detect deception in criminal suspects and use methods to heighten suspects' anxiety during interviews, with the goal of obtaining an admission of guilt. Such psychologically manipulative interrogation techniques are considered contentious by critics because they can result in false confessions.

Lead abatement a wise economic, public health investment

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 09:18 AM PDT

Childhood lead exposure costs Michigan residents an estimated $330 million annually, and a statewide remediation program to eliminate the source of most lead poisoning would pay for itself in three years, according to a new report.

High strength cellular aluminium foam for the automotive industry

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 09:18 AM PDT

Aluminum foam is used for applications that requires high level of energy and sound absorption characteristics. Researchers have developed an innovative process to make high strength cellular aluminum foam with help from some salt.

Inside the adult ADHD brain: Differences between adults who have recovered, and those who have not

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 08:28 AM PDT

Brain scans differentiate adults who have recovered from childhood ADHD and those whose difficulties linger, research shows. In the first study to compare patterns of brain activity in adults who recovered from childhood ADHD and those who did not, neuroscientists have discovered key differences in a brain communication network that is active when the brain is at wakeful rest and not focused on a particular task. The findings offer evidence of a biological basis for adult ADHD and should help to validate the criteria used to diagnose the disorder.

'Onion' vesicles for drug delivery developed

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 08:27 AM PDT

A certain kind of dendrimer, a molecule that features tree-like branches, offers a simple way of creating vesicles and tailoring their diameter and thickness, researchers report. Moreover, these dendrimer-based vesicles self-assemble with concentric layers of membranes, much like an onion.

Malaria-carrying mosquitoes wiped out in lab with genetic method that creates male-only offspring

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 08:24 AM PDT

Scientists have modified mosquitoes to produce sperm that will only create males, pioneering a fresh approach to eradicating malaria. Since 2000, increased prevention and control measures have reduced global malaria mortality rates by 42 per cent, but the disease remains a prevalent killer especially in vulnerable sub-Saharan African regions. Malaria control has also been threatened by the spread of insecticide resistant mosquitoes and malaria parasites resistant to drugs.

Mammography has led to fewer late-stage breast cancers

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 08:23 AM PDT

In the last 30 years, since mammography was introduced, late-stage breast cancer incidence has decreased by 37 percent, a new study finds. The analysis takes into account an observed underlying trend of increased breast cancer incidence present since the 1940s, a sort of inflation rate for breast cancer.

Human stem cells used to create light-sensitive retina in a dish

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 08:23 AM PDT

Using a type of human stem cell, researchers say they have created a three-dimensional complement of human retinal tissue in the laboratory, which notably includes functioning photoreceptor cells capable of responding to light, the first step in the process of converting it into visual images.

Malaria: Blood cells behaving badly

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 08:23 AM PDT

New insight into how malaria parasites perturb flow, turning infected cells into sticky capillary cloggers, may lead to new and better treatments. All the billions of flat, biconcave disks in our body known as red blood cells (or erythrocytes) make three basic, tumbling-treadmill-type motions when they wend their way through the body's bloodstream ferrying oxygen from our lungs to our brains and other tissues. That is, unless they are infected with malaria parasites, in which case their motions are completely different.

Magnetic cooling enables efficient, 'green' refrigeration

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 08:23 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a promising novel approach for magnetic cooling that's far more efficient and 'greener' than today's standard fluid-compression form of refrigeration. One novel magnetic cooling approach relies on solid magnetic substances called magnetocaloric materials to act as the refrigerant in miniaturized magnetic refrigerators.

Funky ferroelectric properties probed with X-rays

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 08:23 AM PDT

Ferroelectric materials like barium titanate, a ceramic used in capacitors, are essential to many electronic devices. Typical ferroelectric materials develop features called domain walls with unusual properties -- such as lines of electrical conduction completely different from the surrounding material. These properties are technologically useful but poorly understood. Now scientists have demonstrated the ability of a powerful imaging tool to provide new insight into the mystery of why domain walls behave in their peculiar ways.

Compact proton therapy for fight against cancer

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:37 AM PDT

The future face of modern-day anti-cancer therapy based on charged particles like protons could potentially involve using laser accelerators. However, these facilities will need to be reduced in terms of both size and cost compared to conventional ones. A medical physicist is the first to present a new design for the entire complex machine – from the accelerator to the radiation site. In the process, he has successfully cut the facility's size in half.

Calls to end all violence against women and girls in conflict zones

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:37 AM PDT

Women in conflict zones are likely to suffer from sexual or physical violence at the hands of their husbands or partners before, during and after a period of conflict, warn experts as politicians, activists and researchers gather in London for the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. They urge officials to invest in prevention to keep women and girls safe from all forms of violence.

Teen mental health: Teenagers go from school psychologist to family doctor

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:37 AM PDT

After initially visiting a school psychologist, adolescents in the United States with a mental disorder often go to seek care from their pediatricians or family doctors. Fewer of them continue their treatment directly with a psychotherapist or doctor specialized in mental disorders. These results are based on a nationally representative cohort of 6,500 US teenagers.

Guidelines address long-term needs of prostate cancer survivors

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:37 AM PDT

Post-treatment clinical follow-up care for long-term and late effects faced by an estimated 2.8 million prostate cancer survivors in the United States is outlined in new clinical guidelines. The guidelines are designed to promote optimal health and quality of life for the posttreatment prostate cancer survivor by facilitating the delivery of comprehensive posttreatment care by primary care clinicians.

Seafarers brought Neolithic culture to Europe, gene study indicates

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:20 AM PDT

Genetic evidence in modern populations suggests that Neolithic farmers from the Levant traveled mostly by sea to reach Europe. By 7,000 B.C., they were introducing their ideas and their genes to the native Paleolithic people, who had migrated to the continent 30,000 to 40,000 years before.

New teaching approach touted for engineering education

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:20 AM PDT

A new approach to more effectively teach large numbers of engineering students has been proposed by researchers who are recommending that the approach be considered for adoption by universities globally. The system allows students to interact with each other and faculty online while accessing hundreds of instructional videos and animations.

Genetics reveal that reef corals, their algae live together but evolve independently

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:20 AM PDT

Caribbean corals and the algae that inhabit them form a remarkably stable relationship -- new knowledge that can serve as an important tool in preserving and restoring vital reef-building corals. The research could be used to decide which heat-tolerant corals to bring into nurseries, to grow, and to replant back on the reef to restore healthy coral populations.

Bacteria help explain why stress, fear trigger heart attacks

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:20 AM PDT

The axiom that stress, emotional shock, or overexertion may trigger heart attacks in vulnerable people may now be explainable, researchers say. Hormones released during these events appear to cause bacterial biofilms on arterial walls to disperse, allowing plaque deposits to rupture into the bloodstream, according to research.

MRI shows brain abnormalities in late preterm infants

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:20 AM PDT

Babies born 32 to 36 weeks into gestation may have smaller brains and other brain abnormalities that could lead to long-term developmental problems, according to a new study. Researchers focused on moderate and late preterm (MLPT) babies -- those born between 32 weeks, zero days, and 36 weeks, six days, into gestation. MLPT babies account for approximately 80 percent of all preterm births and are responsible for much of the rise in the rates of preterm birth over the last 20 years.

New low friction coating allows grease-free lubrication and corrosion protection

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:18 AM PDT

Machine parts wear, if there is friction between their metal surfaces. Lubricants and functional oils help prevent this. They attract dirt, debris and dust, and over time form lumps  or become resinous. Machine parts then have to be intensively cleaned and regreased, which leads to more frequent maintenance, greater consumption of resources, polluting waste or machine breakdowns. Researchers have now developed a functional coating which lubricates without grease and protects against corrosion at the same time. It is suitable as a coating for metals and metal alloys such as steel, aluminum or magnesium.

Switchable adhesion principle enables damage-free handling of sensitive devices even in vacuum

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:18 AM PDT

Components with highly sensitive surfaces are used in automotive, semiconductor and display technologies as well as for complex optical lens systems. During the production process, these parts are transferred in between many process steps. Each pick-up and release with conventional gripping systems involves the risk of either contamination of the surfaces with residues from transportation adhesives, or damaging due to mechanical gripping.

Sopcawind, a multidisciplinary tool for designing wind farms

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:18 AM PDT

The SOPCAWIND tool is a piece of software that facilitates the design of wind farms, bearing in mind not only the aspects of energy productivity but also the possible impact the wind farm may have on the environment, radars or other telecommunications systems in the vicinity. It also assesses acoustic noise, the effect of shadow on nearby housing, and applies criteria for heritage protection or clearance from transport networks and certain facilities.

Detailed assessment of heart failure identifies patients needing pacemaker treatment

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:18 AM PDT

By measuring how synchronized the heart chambers work together, it is possible to identify which patients with heart failure who benefit from pacemaker therapy, and which ones who do not. Heart failure is not only a health problem for the patient but also an economic problem for society, since a large proportion of the patients have persistent symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, swollen legs, etc., despite that they receive treatment.

Anti-microbial coatings with a long-term effect for surfaces

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:18 AM PDT

Researchers have now produced antimicrobial abrasion-resistant coatings with both silver and copper colloids with a long-term effect that kill germs reliably and at the same time prevent germs becoming established.

Male dwarf spiders make sure offspring is their own

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:18 AM PDT

Chastity belts were not first thought out in mediaeval times -- members of many animal groups have evolved similar mechanical safeguards to ensure their paternity. Male dwarf spiders, for instance, use mating plugs to block off the genital tract of the female they have just mated with. The larger and older the plug, the better the chances are that other males will not make deposits in a female's sperm storage organ.

The Irish rugby team has exceptional guts: Exercise and diet impact gut microbial diversity

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:15 AM PDT

Exercise and diet impact gut microbial diversity, according to recent research. The gut microbiota of athletes is more diverse than that of controls and this diversity is linked to exercise and protein consumption in athletes. Athletes also have lower inflammatory and improved metabolic markers relative to controls.

FIFA World cup qualification: is it a fair game?

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:15 AM PDT

Researchers have studied the match results for 1st round tournament matches 1998-2010 to assess the adequacy of the qualification process. With fierce competition for qualification, is FIFA allocating the 32 places fairly or are processes biased by finances and politics? New research suggests that a more transparent allocation processes is urgently required.

Bees can be more important than fertilizer

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:15 AM PDT

Insects play a key role in the pollination of cultivated plants, and a new study suggests that they can be even more important than fertilizer. In the study, fertilization and watering only had an effect on harvest yield in combination with pollination manipulations. Results led the scientists to the conclusion that an almond tree can compensate for a lack of nutrients and water in the short term by directing stored nutrients and water to the fruits but cannot compensate for insufficient pollination.

First atlas of Inuit Arctic trails launched

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:13 AM PDT

A new digital resource brings together centuries of cultural knowledge for the first time, showing that networks of trails over snow and sea ice, seemingly unconnected to the untrained eye, in fact span a continent – and that the Inuit have long-occupied one of the most resource-rich and contested areas on the planet.

Complex mechanisms controlling changes in snake venom identified by scientists

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:13 AM PDT

Venom variation in closely related snake species has been the focus of a recent study. The research team assessed the venom composition of six related viperid snakes, examining the differences in gene and protein expression that influence venom content. The research also assessed how these changes in venom composition impacted upon venom-induced haemorrhage and coagulation pathologies, and how these changes can adversely affect antivenoms used to treat snakebite.

Sustaining Brazilian tourism

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:13 AM PDT

As football teams and their hoards of fans head for Brazil, sustainability, the environmental buzzword of the day, is perhaps not at the top of their thoughts. But, sustainability is an important paradigm that does not apply only to conservation and preservation but also applies to the concept of sustainable tourism. Without becoming sustainable, many tourist destinations fail to thrive and often perish, according to a new research article.

World cup: Why mirror neurons play a part in jubilation

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:13 AM PDT

The FIFA World Cup starts next Thursday in Brazil. When you, as a soccer fan, join in the celebrations because your favorite team wins or are extremely crestfallen at a defeat then the so-called mirror neurons are in play.

Insomnia: Sleep loss causes brain vulnerability to toxic elements

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:13 AM PDT

In search of the answer to why do we sleep, researcher have now revealed that chronic sleep loss can cause certain neurotoxic molecules, which normally circulate in the blood, to be transported to the central nervous system and interfere with the function of neurons. The longer the insomnia, the more junctions of cerebral blood vessels begin to degrade.

Headaches during sex likely more common than reported

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:03 AM PDT

About one percent of adults report they have experienced headaches associated with sexual activity, and that such headaches can be severe. But the actual incidence is almost certainly higher, according to a neurologist and headache specialist. "Many people who experience headaches during sexual activity are too embarrassed to tell their physicians, and doctors often don't ask," he said.

Game changer for leukemia therapy may lead to less clinical treatment

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:02 AM PDT

Researchers are zeroing in on a promising new approach to killing off cancer cells in patients with leukemia. Researchers have found that cancer cells decide whether to live or die after a short period of intense exposure to targeted therapy, opposing the current requirement for continuous treatment.

Women, health-care providers differ on what matters most about contraception

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 05:57 PM PDT

When women are choosing a contraceptive, health care providers should be aware that the things they want to discuss may differ from what women want to hear, according to a survey. Most of the information women receive about contraceptives focuses heavily on the effectiveness in preventing pregnancy, but this information was ranked fifth in importance by women, according to the study.

Viewing plant cells in 3-D (no glasses required)

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 05:57 PM PDT

Focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) has been used in both materials science and in the study of animal tissue, but has not previously been used in plant imaging. Researchers now have modified existing FIB-SEM protocols and optimized these for plant tissue and cellular studies, shedding new light on plant cell architecture.

Caution urged over new analysis of Medicare payments

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 05:57 PM PDT

There's much to learn from the recent release of unprecedented amounts of data from the nation's second largest health insurer, Medicare, but only if interpreted cautiously, write two doctors.

Cell phones negatively affect male fertility, new study suggests

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 05:56 PM PDT

Men who keep a cell phone in their pant pocket could be inadvertently damaging their chances of becoming a father, according to a new study. Previous research has suggested that radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) emitted by the devices can have a detrimental effect on male fertility. Most of the global adult population own mobile phones, and around 14% of couples in high and middle income countries have difficulty conceiving.

What's the best test for cervical cancer? Pap, HPV or both?

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 05:56 PM PDT

Should US women be screened for cervical cancer with Pap tests, HPV tests or both? According to researchers, while the merits of screening tests and screening intervals warrant further discussion, they firmly believe that increasing the number of women who participate in cancer screenings and ensuring that women are not lost to follow-up with lengthened screening intervals is more important than the choice of test to decrease rates of cervical cancer.

'Tomato pill' improves function of blood vessels in patients with cardiovascular disease

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 05:56 PM PDT

A daily supplement of an extract found in tomatoes may improve the function of blood vessels in patients with cardiovascular disease, according to new research. The incidence of cardiovascular is notably where a 'Mediterranean diet' consisting of a larger consumption of fruit, vegetables and olive oil predominates. Recent dietary studies suggest that this diet reduces the incidence of events related to the disease, including heart attack and stroke, in patients at high cardiovascular risk, or those who have previously had the disease.

Resistance to lung cancer targeted therapy can be reversed, study suggests

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 05:56 PM PDT

Up to 40 percent of lung cancer patients do not respond to a targeted therapy designed to block tumor growth -- a puzzling clinical setback that researchers have long tried to solve. Now, scientists have discovered why that intrinsic resistance occurs -- and they pinpoint a drug they say could potentially reverse it.

Pathway between gut, liver regulates bone mass: Biological process behind role of vitamin B12 in bone formation unravelled

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 05:53 PM PDT

A previously unknown biological process involving vitamin B12 and taurine that regulates the production of new bone cells has been uncovered by researchers. This pathway could be a potential new target for osteoporosis treatment. Through the study, researchers found that bone mass was severely reduced at eight weeks of age in the offspring of mice with vitamin B12 deficiency. Giving the mother a single injection of vitamin B12 during pregnancy was enough to prevent stunted growth and the onset of osteoporosis in the offspring.

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