Τετάρτη, 11 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top News

ScienceDaily: Top 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.

Technology using microwave heating may impact electronics manufacturing

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 11:47 AM PDT

A continuous flow reactor can produce high-quality nanoparticles by using microwave-assisted heating -- essentially the same forces that heat up leftover food with such efficiency. This may finally make it possible for this technology to move into large scale manufacturing and usher in an electronics revolution.

Coho salmon: Pinks' and chums' eating cousin

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 11:47 AM PDT

Juvenile coho salmon benefit from dining on the distant remains of their spawning pink and chum cousins. While juvenile coho salmon feed directly on spawning pink and chum salmon carcasses and eggs, even coho with no direct contact with spawning pink and chum benefit from their nutrient contributions to stream ecosystems.

The whole truth: Children can tell when a teacher commits 'sins of omission'

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 11:47 AM PDT

Children can figure out when someone is lying to them, research shows, but cognitive scientists recently tackled a subtler question: Can children tell when adults are telling them the truth, but not the whole truth? Determining whom to trust is an important skill to learn at an early age because so much of our knowledge about the world comes from other people.

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.

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 formula assigns dollar value to natural resources

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 11:43 AM PDT

A first-of-its-kind, interdisciplinary equation to measure the monetary value of natural resources has been developed by researchers. The equation uses principles commonly used to value other capital assets. In assigning natural capital monetary value, the approach will have widespread implications for policymakers and various stakeholders, and will also advocate for the creation of robust asset markets for natural capital, a much-needed advance.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

'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.

Protein that keeps blood stem cells healthy as they age identified by researchers

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 05:50 PM PDT

A protein may be the key to maintaining the health of aging blood stem cells, according to researchers. Human adults keep stem cell pools on hand in key tissues, including the blood. These stem cells can become replacement cells for those lost to wear and tear. But as the blood stem cells age, their ability to regenerate blood declines, potentially contributing to anemia and the risk of cancers like acute myeloid leukemia and immune deficiency. Whether this age-related decline in stem cell health is at the root of overall aging is unclear.

How 'living roofs' help build better cities

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 05:50 PM PDT

With more people moving into cities, architects need tools to make good decisions about green roofs. An architectural researcher said with weather extremes becoming unpredictable, vegetated roofs build resilience into a changing world.

Protein could put antibiotic-resistant bugs in handcuffs

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 01:18 PM PDT

The structure of a key protein that drives DNA copying in the plasmids that make staphylococcus bacteria antibiotic resistant has been identified by scientists. Knowing how this protein works may now help researchers devise new ways to stop the plasmids from spreading antibiotic resistance in staph by preventing the plasmids from copying themselves.

Coral, human cells linked in death

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 01:17 PM PDT

Humans and corals are about as different from one another as living creatures get, but a new finding reveals that in one important way, they are more similar than anyone ever realized. A biologist has discovered they share the same biomechanical pathway responsible for triggering cellular self-destruction. The finding has implications for biologists, conservationists and medical researchers.

'Jekyll and Hyde' protein linked to type 1 diabetes

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 01:17 PM PDT

Researchers are a step closer to establishing the link between a protein with a split personality and type 1 diabetes. New research shows how a protein, called GAD65, changes its shape when it turns itself on and off. Curiously, this characteristic may also link it to type 1 diabetes. In the human brain, GAD65 performs an essential role, making 'neurotransmitters,' chemicals that pass messages between brain cells.

Statin use associated with less physical activity

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 01:17 PM PDT

Statin use in older men is associated with less physical activity, a significant issue for a population that's already sedentary, concludes one of the longest studies of its type. The findings raise concerns about a decline in much-needed physical activity among men who take some of the most widely prescribed medications in the world.

How much fertilizer is too much for the climate?

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 12:35 PM PDT

Helping farmers around the globe apply more-precise amounts of nitrogen-based fertilizer can help combat climate change. In a new study, researchers provide an improved prediction of nitrogen fertilizer's contribution to greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural fields. The study uses data from around the world to show that emissions of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas produced in the soil following nitrogen addition, rise faster than previously expected when fertilizer rates exceed crop needs.

Antiviral therapy may prevent liver cancer in hepatitis B patients

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 12:35 PM PDT

Researchers have found that antiviral therapy may be successful in preventing hepatitis B virus from developing into the most common form of liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma. "The results of this study allow us to reassure our patients that we are not just treating their viral levels, but that antiviral therapy may actually lessen their chance of developing liver cancer," said the study's lead investigator.

Mosquito control pesticide use in coastal areas poses low risk to juvenile oysters, hard clams

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 12:35 PM PDT

Four of the most common mosquito pesticides used along the east and Gulf coasts show little risk to juvenile hard clams and oysters, according to a study. However, the study also determined that lower oxygen levels in the water, known as hypoxia, and increased acidification actually increased how toxic some of the pesticides were. Such climate variables should be considered when using these pesticides in the coastal zone, the study concluded.

Faster, higher, stronger: Protein that enables powerful initial immune response

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 12:35 PM PDT

A protein, called Foxp1, is a key controller of our immune system's ability to generate an antibody response, researchers report. Manipulating this protein's activity, they say, could provide a useful pathway to boosting antibody responses to treat infectious diseases, for example, or suppressing them to treat autoimmune disorders.

Does 'free will' stem from brain noise?

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 12:35 PM PDT

Our ability to make choices -- and sometimes mistakes -- might arise from random fluctuations in the brain's background electrical noise, according to a recent study. New research shows how arbitrary states in the brain can influence apparently voluntary decisions.

Water found to provide blueprints for root architecture

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 12:34 PM PDT

Soil is a microscopic maze of nooks and crannies that hosts a wide array of life. Plants explore this environment by developing a complex branched network of roots that tap into scarce resources such as water and nutrients. How roots sense which regions of soil contain water and what effect this moisture has on the architecture of the root system has been unclear until now.

Earth's breathable atmosphere a result of continents taking control of the carbon cycle

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 12:34 PM PDT

Scientists investigating one of the greatest riddles of the Earth's past may have discovered a mechanism to help determine how oxygen levels in the atmosphere expanded to allow life to evolve.

To recover consciousness, brain activity passes through newly detected states

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 12:34 PM PDT

Research shows that recovery from deep anesthesia is not a smooth, linear process but is instead a dynamic journey with specific states of activity the brain must temporarily occupy on the way to full recovery.

Game technology teaches mice, men to hear better in noisy environments

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 12:34 PM PDT

A new type of game has been programmed that trained both mice and humans to enhance their ability to discriminate soft sounds in noisy backgrounds. Their findings suggest new therapeutic options for clinical populations that receive little benefit from conventional sensory rehabilitation strategies.

Major West Antarctic glacier melting from geothermal sources

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 12:34 PM PDT

New research on the Thwaits Glacier will help ice sheet modeling efforts needed to determine when the collapse of the glacier will begin in earnest and at what rate the sea level will increase as it proceeds.

Impact of road salt on butterflies examined

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 12:34 PM PDT

The availability of the micronutrient could alter selection on foraging behavior for butterflies and other roadside developing invertebrates, research shows. Living things require micronutrients such as sodium and iron in sparing amounts, but they can play a big role in development. While a moderate rise in sodium can have some seeming benefits, too much of a good thing is toxic; for instance, the researchers saw markedly higher mortality rate in some subjects.

Parent and child must get enough sleep to protect against child obesity

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 12:33 PM PDT

Is sleep one of your most important family values? A new study suggests that it should be, reporting that more parental sleep is related to more child sleep, which is related to decreased child obesity. And the effects of sleeplessness go beyond just being tired the next day.

Specific gene linked to adult growth of brain cells, learning, memory

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 12:33 PM PDT

Stimulating a specific gene could prompt growth – in adults – of new neurons in this critical region, leading to faster learning and better memories, researchers report. Understanding the link between this gene and the growth of new neurons – or neurogenesis – is an important step in developing therapies to address impaired learning and memory associated with neurodegenerative diseases and aging.

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