Σάββατο, 21 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top News

ScienceDaily: Top News


Biology of infection: A bacterial ballistic system

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 09:05 AM PDT

Many pathogenic bacteria use special secretion systems to deliver toxic proteins into host cells. Researchers have determined the structure of a crucial part of one of these systems -- which are possible targets for novel antibiotics.

Nearly four percent of U.S. babies born before full-term without medical reason

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 09:04 AM PDT

The first of its kind research is out showing who is having early elective deliveries between 37 and 39 weeks gestation, and whether these deliveries happen following labor induction or cesarean. Labor induction or cesarean delivery without medical reason before a baby is considered full-term at 39 weeks, or an 'early elective delivery,' is associated with health problems for mothers and babies.

Menthol cigarettes linked to increased smoking among teens

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 09:04 AM PDT

Teens who use menthol cigarettes smoke more cigarettes per day than their peers who smoke non-menthols, says a new study. The findings mark the first time that menthol cigarettes have been directly linked to elevated nicotine addiction among youth. "The appeal of menthol cigarettes among youth stems from the perception that they are less harmful than regular cigarettes. The minty taste helps mask the noxious properties, but the reality is that they are just as dangerous as any unflavoured cigarette," said the lead author of the paper.

Emperor penguins are more willing to relocate than expected

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 09:04 AM PDT

The long-term future of emperor penguins is becoming more clear, thanks to new research showing that the penguins may be behaving in ways that allow them to adapt to their changing environment better than expected. Researchers have long thought that emperor penguins were philopatric, which means they would return to the same location to nest each year. The new research study used satellite images to show that penguins may not be faithful to previous nesting locations.

Equations reveal rebellious rhythms at the heart of nature

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 09:03 AM PDT

Physicists are using equations to reveal the hidden complexities of the human body. From the beating of our hearts to the proper functioning of our brains, many systems in nature depend on collections of 'oscillators'; perfectly-coordinated, rhythmic systems working together in flux, like the cardiac muscle cells in the heart.

Triggers, treatment of immediate-type allergic reactions

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 09:03 AM PDT

Sudden allergic reactions can be fatal. The most common triggers of such reactions, also known as anaphylaxis, are wasp and bee venoms, legumes (pulses), animal proteins, and analgesics (painkillers). The incidence of anaphylaxis is age-dependent. Now, researchers describe the causes and treatment methods for anaphylaxis.

Mitochondrial Mutation Linked to Congenital Myasthenic Syndrome

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 09:03 AM PDT

Although significant progress has been made over the last 25 years to identify genetic abnormalities associated with congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS), many patients remain genetically undiagnosed. A report now identifies a gene defect in mitochondria, specifically the citrate carrier SLC25A1, that may underlie deficits in neuromuscular transmission seen in two siblings.

Mysterious gene functionally decoded

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 09:03 AM PDT

A fungal gene has influence over the formation of a plant hormone. Scientists now explore how that happens by decoding the genetics behind the relationship, sharing their findings in a new article.

Swarm reveals Earth’s changing magnetism

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 08:57 AM PDT

The first set of high-resolution results from ESA's three-satellite Swarm constellation reveals the most recent changes in the magnetic field that protects our planet. Launched in November 2013, Swarm is providing unprecedented insights into the complex workings of Earth's magnetic field, which safeguards us from the bombarding cosmic radiation and charged particles. Measurements made over the past six months confirm the general trend of the field's weakening, with the most dramatic declines over the Western Hemisphere.

Single tick bite can pack double pathogen punch

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:32 AM PDT

People who get bitten by a blacklegged tick have a higher-than-expected chance of being exposed to more than one pathogen at the same time. "We found that ticks are almost twice as likely to be infected with two pathogens -- the bacterium that causes Lyme disease and the protozoan that causes babesiosis -- than we would have expected," said a professor of biology involved in a recent study.

Pig whipworm genome may aid to treat autoimmune diseases

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:32 AM PDT

The whole-genome sequence of Trichuris suis, a parasitic worm in pig, has been presented by an international team composed of 11 institutions from six countries. Understanding the genetics mechanisms underlying the pig parasite may aid to modify the human immune response that could result in better treatments for autoimmune diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis.

How organs coordinate their development with the whole body

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:31 AM PDT

The development of wings in fruit flies does not progress synchronously with the organism's development, according to new research. Instead, it is coordinated with the whole body only at distinct 'milestones'. This study helps explain how an organism facing environmental and physiological perturbations retains the ability to build correct functional organs and tissues in a proportional adult body.

Anxiety-like behavior in invertebrates opens research avenues

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:31 AM PDT

For the first time, researchers have produced and observed anxiety-like behavior in crayfish, which disappears when a dose of anxiolytic is injected. This work shows that the neuronal mechanisms related to anxiety have been preserved throughout evolution. This analysis of ancestral behavior in a simple animal model opens up new avenues for studying the neuronal bases for this emotion. Anxiety can be defined as a behavioral response to stress, consisting in lasting apprehension of future events.

Saving Africa's wild dogs -- with urine

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:31 AM PDT

The endangered African wild dog is increasingly coming into conflict with humans, partly because it is difficult to fence them out. But research shows that an unusual approach to keeping them away from people and livestock may offer hope. Promising experiments show that scent marking is more effective as a barrier than fences.

Finding thoughts in speech: How human brain processes thoughts during natural communication

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:31 AM PDT

For the first time, neuroscientists were able to find out how different thoughts are reflected in neuronal activity during natural conversations. They studied the link between speech, thoughts and brain responses.

Rapid diagnostic tests for diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis: Review completed

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:31 AM PDT

An independent review into the effectiveness of rapid diagnostic tests in diagnosing patients with visceral leishmaniasis (VL) has been completed. VL is caused by a parasite and results in fever, a large spleen and other health problems. Without treatment it can be fatal, and proper treatment can result in cure, so diagnosis is extremely important. Parasitological techniques are invasive, require sophisticated laboratories, consume time, or lack accuracy. Recently, rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) that are easy to perform and safe have become available.

Botany: Leafing out and climate change

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:23 AM PDT

Global warming is generally expected to bring spring forward but, as a new study shows, a concomitant influx of plant species from warmer southern latitudes could counteract this effect. Climate change is already clearly discernible in our part of the world. Data from local weather stations indicate that the average temperature in the Munich region has risen by 1.5°C over the past century. Biologists have now looked at the effects of this warming trend on the timing of leaf emergence ("leaf-out") in a broad range of shrubs and trees.

Princess and the Pea? Invisibility cloak prevents an object from being felt

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:23 AM PDT

In the past years, invisibility cloaks were developed for various senses. Objects can be hidden from light, heat or sound. However, hiding of an object from being touched still remained to be accomplished. Scientists have now succeeded in creating a volume in which an object can be hidden from touching similar to a pea under the mattress of a princess.

Jupiter's moons remain slightly illuminated, even in eclipse

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:23 AM PDT

Astronomers have found that Jupiter's Galilean satellites (Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto) remain slightly bright (up to one millionth of their normal state) even when in the Jovian shadow and not directly illuminated by the Sun. The effect is particularly pronounced for Ganymede and Callisto.

Lopwood, brushwood make high-grade charcoal

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:23 AM PDT

When the forestry machines have finished extracting timber, what is left are tops and branches – waste which cannot be used. However, according to researchers, it is possible to turn these heaps of lopwood into high-quality charcoal. One researcher proclaims that this could revolutionize the bio-energy production industry.

No evidence of long-term PTSD risk in patients with awareness during surgery

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:21 AM PDT

Patients with confirmed episodes of awareness during anesthesia and surgery don't seem to be at increased risk of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other problems with psychosocial well-being at long-term follow-up, reports a study. Intraoperative awareness with recall is an uncommon but documented complication in patients undergoing general anesthesia. Because intraoperative awareness is rare, it is difficult to study the possible psychological after-effects.

Shorter time to first cigarette of the day is associated with risk of lung cancer

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 02:26 PM PDT

Standard markers of nicotine dependency include cigarettes smoked per day, duration of smoking, and cumulative exposure (pack years), but another marker of addiction, time to first cigarette of the day, may also be associated with the risk of getting lung cancer in both heavy and light smokers, according to a study.

Better imager for identifying tumors

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 12:41 PM PDT

A new technique that could improve surgeons' ability to identify cancerous tumors and remove them in real-time in the operating room has been developed by researchers. The new imaging system combines two techniques -- near-IR fluorescent imaging and visible light reflectance imaging -- to get a much better picture of the tissue.

New monkey model for AIDS offers promise for medical research

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 12:39 PM PDT

HIV-1, the virus responsible for most cases of AIDS, is a very selective virus and does not readily infect species other than its usual hosts — humans and chimpanzees — making the search for effective treatments and vaccines for AIDS that much more difficult. In new scientific work, researchers have coaxed a slightly modified form of the HIV-1 virus to not only infect pigtailed macaques, a species of monkey, but to cause full blown AIDS in the primates, a first.

New tool to confront lung cancer focuses on misregulation of two genes

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 11:46 AM PDT

Misregulation of two genes, sox2 and lkb1, drives squamous cell lung cancer in mice, researchers report. The discovery uncovers new treatment strategies, and provides a clinically relevant mouse model in which to test them. Only 15% of patients with squamous cell lung cancer -- the second most common lung cancer -- survive five years past diagnosis. Little is understood about how the deadly disease arises, preventing development of targeted therapies that could serve as a second line of defense once standard chemotherapy regimens fail.

Limb regeneration: Do salamanders hold the key?

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 09:52 AM PDT

The secret of how salamanders successfully regrow body parts is being unravelled by researchers in a bid to apply it to humans. For the first time, researchers have found that the 'ERK pathway' must be constantly active for salamander cells to be reprogrammed, and hence able to contribute to the regeneration of different body parts.

Genetic control mechanism for major livestock pest developed

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 09:50 AM PDT

A technique to control populations of the Australian sheep blowfly – a major livestock pest in Australia and New Zealand – has been developed by making female flies dependent upon a common antibiotic to survive. Female blowflies that did not receive the antibiotic died in the late larval or pupal stages, before reaching adulthood. Several genetically modified lines lacking the antibiotic showed 100 percent female deaths.

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