Πέμπτη, 12 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top News

ScienceDaily: Top News


Common heart drug's link to diabetes uncovered by researchers

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 08:28 AM PDT

Statins activated a very specific immune response, which stopped insulin from doing its job properly, researchers have found. They connected the dots and found that combining statins with another drug on top of it, Glyburide, suppressed this side effect. Approximately 13 million people, or half of those over the age of 40, could be prescribed a statin drug in their lifetime.

White bread helps boost some of the gut's 'good' microbes

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 08:28 AM PDT

White-bread lovers take heart. Scientists are now reporting that this much-maligned food seems to encourage the growth of some of our most helpful inhabitants -- beneficial gut bacteria. In addition to this surprising find, a new study also revealed that when looking at effects of food on our 'microbiomes,' considering the whole diet, not just individual ingredients, is critical.

Gauging local illicit drug use in real time could help police fight abuse

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 08:28 AM PDT

The war on drugs could get a boost with a new method that analyzes sewage to track levels of illicit drug use in local communities in real time. The new study could help law enforcement identify new drug hot spots and monitor whether anti-drug measures are working.

Toward 24-7 glucose monitoring to help manage diabetes

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 08:28 AM PDT

Nearly half a million people with diabetes end up in emergency rooms around the US every year due to the seizures and other consequences of dropping or spiking blood-sugar levels associated with the disease. To help prevent serious complications, scientists have now developed a new glucose-sensing protein that could one day be part of an implantable, 24-7 monitoring device.

Obesity gene linked to hormonal changes that favor energy surplus

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 08:27 AM PDT

Elderly humans carrying a common variant of the fat mass and obesity gene FTO also have a shifted endocrine balance, research shows. Low blood concentrations of the satiety hormone leptin and high blood concentrations of the hunger promoting hormone ghrelin makes carriers of the FTO gene put on weight. "We found that elderly carrying an obesity-susceptible variant of the FTO gene had plasma ghrelin levels that were approximately 9 percent higher than in non-carriers," says one researcher.

Humans climb like geckos using bio-inspired climbing technology

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 08:21 AM PDT

DARPA's Z-Man program has demonstrated the first known human climbing of a glass wall using climbing devices inspired by geckos. The historic ascent involved a 218-pound climber ascending and descending 25 feet of glass, while also carrying an additional 50-pound load in one trial, with no climbing equipment other than a pair of hand-held, gecko-inspired paddles. A novel polymer microstructure technology was used in those paddles.

It's the last bite that keeps you coming back for more

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 07:22 AM PDT

Your memory for that last bite of a steak or chocolate cake may be more influential than memory for the first bite in determining when you want to eat it again, according to research. The fact that memory for the last few bites seems to drive our decisions about when to eat a food again may be particularly relevant in places like the United States, where portion sizes tend to be larger and are likely to result in lower end enjoyment:

Human language's deep origins appear to have come directly from birds, primates

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 07:22 AM PDT

Human language builds on birdsong and speech forms of other primates, researchers hypothesize in new research. From birds, the researchers say, we derived the melodic part of our language, and from other primates, the pragmatic, content-carrying parts of speech. Sometime within the last 100,000 years, those capacities fused into roughly the form of human language that we know today.

Making new species without sex

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 07:22 AM PDT

Plants can transfer their entire genetic material to a partner in an asexual manner, researchers report. Occasionally, two different plant species interbreed with each other in nature. This usually causes problems since the genetic information of both parents does not match. But sometimes, instead of passing on only half of each parent's genetic material, both plants transmit the complete information to the next generation. This means that the chromosome sets are totted up. The chromosomes are then able to find their suitable partner during meiosis, allowing the plants to stay fertile and a new species is generated.

Eye evolution: From dark-light to detailed eyesight

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 07:21 AM PDT

The visual system of marine annelids has been studied to gain insights into the evolution of eyes. The researchers have concluded that the first simple eyes in evolution could probably merely discriminate a bright from a dark field. Such eyes might nonetheless represent the starting point for the evolution of more complex visual systems, as for example the human eyes.

Chemical sensor on a chip created to test chemical composition of liquids

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 07:21 AM PDT

A tiny laser and a corresponding light detector has been developed in one production process, on a single chip. The light is transported from the laser to the detector on a specially designed waveguide. That way, the chip can measure the chemical composition of the liquid in which it is submerged.

Map of universe questioned: Dwarf galaxies don't fit standard model

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 06:36 AM PDT

Dwarf galaxies that orbit the Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxies defy the accepted model of galaxy formation, and recent attempts to wedge them into the model are flawed, reports an international team of astrophysicists. A new study pokes holes in the current understanding of galaxy formation and questions the accepted model of the origin and evolution of the universe.

Newly discovered paddle prints show how ancient sea reptiles swam

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 06:36 AM PDT

Trackways formed on an ancient seabed have shed new light on how nothosaurs, ancient marine reptiles that lived during the age of the dinosaurs, propelled themselves through water.

Elucidating optimal biological tissue shape during growth

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 06:34 AM PDT

The role of cells' alignment in shaping biological tissue has been the focus of recent research. This study's hypothesis is that if the cells that constitute a tissue are organized and aligned collectively in the same direction, the force produced by each individual cell division event builds up. The authors show that the accumulation of forces may be sufficient to shape the biological tissue by elongating it.

Common Hypertension Treatment May Reduce PTSD Symptoms

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 06:33 AM PDT

There are currently only two FDA-approved medications for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the United States. Both of these medications are serotonin uptake inhibitors. Despite the availability of these medications, many people diagnosed with PTSD remain symptomatic, highlighting the need for new medications for PTSD treatment. However, investigators have observed that individuals diagnosed with PTSD, and who happened to also be treated with ARBs or ACE inhibitors, exhibited fewer PTSD-like symptoms.

A fuel cell for home: Tested in private households

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 06:33 AM PDT

It converts chemical energy directly into electrical energy. Still, there hadn't been a market breakthrough for the fuel cell. The systems were too complex. Now scientists have developed a simple device for home use.

Infection prevention implanted directly into bones

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 06:33 AM PDT

Hospital germs can be fatal, since they are resistant to antibiotics. As a result, alternative methods of defense against bacteria are in demand. A research team has been able to develop bone implants that keep the germs at bay. At first glance, the fine-grained implant looks like flour. Only under the microscope can one see what is inside: The individual grains of the granules consist of apatite crystals.

Mechanism explains complex brain wiring

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 06:32 AM PDT

How neurons are created and integrate with each other is one of biology's greatest riddles. Now, a researcher unravels a part of the mystery by describing a mechanism that explains novel aspects of how the wiring of highly branched neurons in the brain works. These new insights into how complex neural networks are formed are very important for understanding and treating neurological diseases.

Foaling mares are totally relaxed, stress free

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 06:32 AM PDT

Foaling in horses is extremely fast. Labor and the active part of foaling, resulting in delivery of the foal, take 10 to 20 minutes and are considerably shorter than giving birth in humans or in cows. Is this brief period stressful for the animals or are horses more relaxed than humans when giving birth? Researchers also took samples of saliva and blood and analyzed the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine, and have concluded that, "normal foaling appears to cause just the opposite of a stress response". 

Infant nutrition, development of type 1 diabetes: Is it possible to prevent the illness by splitting the proteins of cow's milk?

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 06:32 AM PDT

Splitting the cow's milk proteins in a formula doesn't prevent the start-up of the disease process of type 1 diabetes in predisposed children, shows a large international study. However, these results do not exclude the possibility that the early dietary modification may affect the latter phase in the disease process and so prevent the actual illness.

Moles linked to risk for breast cancer

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 05:54 PM PDT

Cutaneous nevi, commonly known as moles, may be a novel predictor of breast cancer, according to two new studies. Women with a greater number of nevi are more likely to develop breast cancer.

Colonial-era dams trigger parallel evolution of Connecticut fish

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 05:53 PM PDT

Decisions made by Colonial era settlers to dam Connecticut waterways triggered sudden and parallel evolutionary changes in two species of fish competing for food, a new study shows. Earlier studies documented the decrease in size and changes in gill structure of members of the alewife species cut off from access to the sea in newly dammed lakes. The new study found similar changes in feeding habits of the bluegill, which also showed greater ability to feed on smaller zooplankton found in landlocked lakes the species shared with the alewife.

High Tibet was cradle of evolution for cold-adapted mammals

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 05:53 PM PDT

A new study identifies a newly discovered 3- to 5- million-year-old Tibetan fox from the Himalayan Mountains, Vulpes qiuzhudingi, as the likely ancestor of the living Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus), lending support to the idea that the evolution of present-day animals in the Arctic region is intimately connected to ancestors that first became adapted for life in cold regions in the high altitude environments of the Tibetan Plateau.

Herpes infected humans before they were human

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 05:49 PM PDT

Researchers have identified the evolutionary origins of human herpes simplex virus (HSV) -1 and -2, reporting that the former infected hominids before their evolutionary split from chimpanzees 6 million years ago while the latter jumped from ancient chimpanzees to ancestors of modern humans -- Homo erectus -- approximately 1.6 million years ago.

Evolution and venomous snakes: Diet distinguishes look-alikes on two continents

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 05:48 PM PDT

On opposite sides of the globe over millions of years, the snakes of North America and Australia independently evolved similar body types that helped them move and capture prey more efficiently. Snakes on both continents include stout-bodied, highly camouflaged ambush predators, such as rattlesnakes in North America and death adders in Australia. There are slender, fast-moving foragers on both continents, as well as small burrowing snakes. This independent evolution of similar body forms in response to analogous ecological conditions is a striking example of a phenomenon called convergence.

Real or fake? Research shows brain uses multiple clues for facial recognition

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 12:27 PM PDT

Faces fascinate. We look for familiar or friendly ones in a crowd. And video game developers and movie animators strive to create faces that look real rather than fake. Determining how our brains decide what makes a face "human" and not artificial is a question researchers have been studying. New research shows that it takes more than eyes to make a face look human.

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