Πέμπτη, 5 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top News

ScienceDaily: Top News


No evidence of the double nature of neutrinos

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 10:38 AM PDT

After two years of searching for a special radioactive decay that would provide an indication of new physics beyond the standard model, an experiment deep under ground near Carlsbad has so far found no evidence of its existence. If this decay indeed exists, its half-life must be more than a million-billion times longer than the age of the universe.

Surprisingly strong magnetic fields challenge black holes' pull: Long-neglected magnetic fields have an unexpected presence

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 10:38 AM PDT

A new study of supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies has found magnetic fields play an impressive role in the systems' dynamics. In fact, in dozens of black holes surveyed, the magnetic field strength matched the force produced by the black holes' powerful gravitational pull.

Courts face challenges when linking genetics to criminal behavior

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 09:35 AM PDT

Some people may be at increased risk of criminal behavior due to their genes, some say. Such research holds potential for helping judges and juries with some of the difficult decisions they must make, but it also brings a substantial risk of misinterpretation and misuse within the legal system. Experts suggest that addressing these issues will be of critical importance for upholding principles of justice and fairness.

Astronomers discover first Thorne-Zytkow object, a bizarre type of hybrid star

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 08:51 AM PDT

In a discovery decades in the making, scientists have detected the first of a 'theoretical' class of stars first proposed in 1975 by physicist Kip Thorne and astronomer Anna Zytkow. Thorne-Zytkow objects are hybrids of red supergiant and neutron stars that superficially resemble normal red supergiants, such as Betelguese in the constellation Orion. They differ, however, in their distinct chemical signatures that result from unique activity in their stellar interiors.

NASA should maintain long-term focus on Mars as 'horizon goal' for human spaceflight

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 08:51 AM PDT

Arguing for a continuation of the nation's human space exploration program, a new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council concludes that the expense of human spaceflight and the dangers to the astronauts involved can be justified only by the goal of putting humans on other worlds.

Searching for acoustic evidence of MH370

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:55 AM PDT

Researchers have been examining a low-frequency underwater sound signal that could have resulted from Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370. The signal, which was picked up by underwater sound recorders off Rottnest Island just after 1:30 am UTC on the 8th March, could have resulted from Flight MH370 crashing into the Indian Ocean but could also have originated from a natural event, such as a small earth tremor.

Weight loss surgery also safeguards obese people against cancer

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:55 AM PDT

Weight loss surgery might have more value than simply helping morbidly obese people to shed unhealthy extra pounds. It reduces their risk of cancer to rates almost similar to those of people of normal weight. This is the conclusion of the first comprehensive review article taking into account relevant studies about obesity, cancer rates and a weight loss procedure called bariatric surgery.

Light from huge explosion 12 billion years ago reaches Earth

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:55 AM PDT

Intense light from the enormous explosion of a star 12.1 billion years ago -- shortly after the Big Bang -- recently reached Earth and was observed by a robotic telescope. Known as a gamma-ray burst, these rare, high-energy explosions are the catastrophic collapse of a star at the end of its life. Astronomers can analyze the observational data to draw further conclusions about the structure of the early universe.

Human stem cells successfully transplanted, grown in pigs

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:55 AM PDT

A new line of genetically modified pigs will host transplanted cells without the risk of rejection, opening the door for future stem cell therapy research. One of the biggest challenges for medical researchers studying the effectiveness of stem cell therapies is that transplants or grafts of cells are often rejected by the hosts.

Quantum criticality observed in new class of materials

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:55 AM PDT

Quantum criticality, the strange electronic state that may be intimately related to high-temperature superconductivity, is notoriously difficult to study, but the first findings of a 'quantum critical point' in a category of materials known as 'oxypnictides' could lead to a broader understanding of the quantum phenomenon.

Tree hugging helps koalas keep their cool

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:54 AM PDT

Australia's koalas cope with extreme heat by resting against cooler tree trunks, new research has revealed. Researchers used a portable weather station and thermal imaging to uncover the koalas' cool plan. "Understanding the types of factors that can make some populations more resilient is important," one researcher said. Koalas also pant and lick their fur to cool down, but that can lead to dehydration.

When hospital workers get vaccines, community flu rates fall, study shows

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:54 AM PDT

For every 15 healthcare providers who receive the influenza vaccination, one fewer person in the community will contract an influenza-like illness, according to a study using California public health data from 2009-2012. Influenza-like illness causes more than 200,000 hospitalizations each year and, on average, 24,000 people die as a result. Currently, vaccination is the single best way to prevent the flu.

Finding the lost art of Angkor Wat: Paintings hidden for 500 years

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:54 AM PDT

Long-lost paintings have been discovered on the walls of Cambodia's ancient Angkor Wat temple. The ancient paintings date back almost 500 years and depict deities, animals, boats and the temple itself, giving historians a new understanding of life in a relatively unknown period of Cambodia's history.

Heart disease without coronary plaque buildup linked to heart attack risk

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:54 AM PDT

Non-obstructive coronary artery disease was associated with a 28 to 44 percent increased risk of a major adverse cardiac event such as a heart attack or death. The possible cause is that the non-obstructive plaques can still rupture and cause heart attacks. Providers and patients should take note of non-obstructive CAD and consider lifestyle changes and medications that could help prevent it from causing future adverse cardiac events such as heart attacks.

Crows' memories are made of this: Scientists discover neurons allowing crows to remember short-term

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:53 AM PDT

Researchers have discovered neurons allowing crows to remember short-term, although their brains are different from ours. An important prerequisite for intelligence is a good short-term memory which can store and process the information needed for ongoing processes. This "working memory" is a kind of mental notepad -- without it, we could not follow a conversation, do mental arithmetic, or play any simple game.

Small-molecule drugs moved through blood-brain barrier in new study

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:53 AM PDT

A recently developed synthetic peptide carrier is a potential delivery vehicle for brain cancer chemotherapy drugs and other neurological medications, researchers have demonstrated in a mouse model. The blood-brain barrier is meant to protect the brain from numerous undesirable chemicals circulating in the body, but it also obstructs access for treatment of brain tumors and other conditions. Too often the only recourse is invasive, which often limits a drug's effectiveness or causes irreversible damage to an already damaged brain.

Chemicals found that treat citrus greening in the lab

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:53 AM PDT

A possible treatment in the lab for citrus greening, a disease devastating Florida's $9 billion citrus industry, has been found by a cautiously optimistic research team. It is the first step in a years-long process to bring a treatment to market. The team sprayed greenhouse tree shoots separately with one of the three biochemicals and were successful in stopping the bacteria's spread, particularly with benzbromarone, which halted the bacteria in 80 percent of the infected trees' shoots.

Unlocking the potential of stem cells to repair brain damage

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:41 AM PDT

Scientists are hoping to unlock the potential of stem cells as a way of repairing neural damage to the brain. They are manipulating adult stem cells from bone marrow to produce a population of cells that can be used to treat brain damage.

Black hole 'batteries' keep blazars going and going

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:41 AM PDT

Astronomers studying two classes of black-hole-powered galaxies have found evidence that they represent different sides of the same cosmic coin. By unraveling how these objects, called blazars, are distributed throughout the universe, the scientists suggest that apparently distinctive properties defining each class more likely reflect a change in the way the galaxies extract energy from their central black holes.

Light treatment improves sleep, depression, agitation in Alzheimer's

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:41 AM PDT

Light treatment tailored to increase circadian stimulation during the day may improve sleep, depression and agitation in people with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia, research suggests. Results show that exposure to the tailored light treatment during daytime hours for four weeks significantly increased sleep quality, efficiency and total sleep duration. It also significantly reduced scores for depression and agitation.

Humans, not climate, to blame for Ice Age-era disappearance of large mammals, study concludes

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:41 AM PDT

Was it humankind or climate change that caused the extinction of a considerable number of large mammals about the time of the last Ice Age? Researchers have carried out the first global analysis of the extinction of the large animals, and the conclusion is clear -- humans are to blame. The study unequivocally points to humans as the cause of the mass extinction of large animals all over the world during the course of the last 100,000 years.

App paired with sensor measures stress, delivers advice to cope in real time

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:41 AM PDT

A system that combines a mobile application and sensor to detect stress in parents has been developed by computer scientists. It delivers research-based strategies to help decrease parents' stress during emotionally charged interactions with their children. The system was initially tested on a small group of parents of children with ADHD.

Genes/adversity linked to crime in incarcerated sample

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:39 AM PDT

A genetic characteristic that interacts with childhood adversity has been found to predict higher rates of crime in an incarcerated sample, researchers report. The study is the first in a series that will examine contributions of genetic and environmental variations to criminal behavior. "These findings indicate that gene-by-environment interactions are important for understanding variation in crime amongst populations with high base rates of criminal activity," said the principal investigator of the study.

Short intervals between pregnancies result in decreased pregnancy length

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:39 AM PDT

Women who have short intervals between pregnancies of less than 18 months are more likely to see a decrease in the length of subsequent pregnancies, finds a new study. The study looked at 454,716 live births from women with two or more pregnancies over a six year period. The researchers looked at the influence of inadequate birth spacing on the duration of the subsequent pregnancy.

Wing design proves key factor in determining migration success of Monarch butterflies

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:35 AM PDT

Each fall, millions of monarch butterflies make a spectacular journey from the eastern parts of North America to reach their overwintering grounds in Mexico. Researchers have long known that not all butterflies successfully reach their destination. Now scientists provide some crucial answers on what it takes for Monarchs to complete the trip. It turns out - it's all in the wings.

Medieval manholes: plumbers led the way in utility maintenance

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:35 AM PDT

The story of the medieval plumbers who maintained a complex water supply system, which was centuries ahead of its time, has been revealed by a historian. A unique network of subterranean tunnels, partly dating back to the 14th century, still lies beneath the streets of Exeter, Devon. These once channeled fresh drinking-water from springs outside the town-walls to public fountains at the heart of the city. "People from all social backgrounds relied on the system to provide their drinking water, so it was vital to keep it running smoothly. The city retained a plumber to carry out regular maintenance," said the author.

Cell death insight offers perspectives for treating degenerative, inflammatory diseases

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:33 AM PDT

The mechanism of necroptosis has been unraveled by reseachers. This is a type of cell death that plays a crucial role in numerous diseases, from viral infections and loss of auditory nerve cells to multiple sclerosis, acute heart failure and organ transplantation. Having detailed knowledge of the cell death process enables a targeted search for new drugs.

Saturated fat intake may influence a person's expression of genetic obesity risk

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:27 AM PDT

A person's genetic risk for obesity is linked with Body Mass Index (BMI), researchers show. They also explain that saturated fat intake may influence the expression of a person's genetic obesity risk. Limiting saturated fat could help people whose genetic make-up increases their chance of being obese.

Possible benefits of brain stimulation on hand, arm movement following stroke

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:27 AM PDT

Researchers are studying whether stimulating the brain before rehabilitation could yield greater gains in motor function for people recovering from stroke. The technology is akin to a more advanced version of constraint-induced therapy in which clinicians physically tie down a patient's good arm, which forces the patient to use the injured side. With this non-invasive device, researchers are using electromagnetism to slow activity in portions of the healthy brain hemisphere that control the uninjured arm, similarly forcing the brain to use its injured half.

Parasites fail to halt European bumblebee invasion of the UK

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 08:10 PM PDT

A species of bee from Europe that has stronger resistance to parasite infections than native bumblebees has spread across the UK, according to new research. The study shows that tree bumblebees have rapidly spread despite them carrying high levels of an infection that normally prevents queen bees from producing colonies. The species arrived in the UK from continental Europe 13 years ago and has successfully spread at an average rate of nearly 4,500 square miles -- about half the size of Wales -- every year.

Astronomers discover two new worlds orbiting ancient star next door: One may be warm enough to have liquid water

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 04:40 PM PDT

Astronomers have discovered two new planets orbiting a very old star that is near to our own sun. One of these planets orbits the star at the right distance to allow liquid water to exist on its surface, a key ingredient to support life. Kapteyn's Star, named after the Dutch astronomer, Jacobus Kapteyn, who discovered it at the end of the 19th century, is the second fastest-moving star in the sky and belongs to the Galactic halo, an extended group of stars orbiting our Galaxy on very elliptical orbits. With a third of the mass of the Sun, this red-dwarf can be seen with an amateur telescope in the southern constellation of Pictor.

Iron, steel in hatcheries may distort magnetic 'map sense' of steelhead

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 04:40 PM PDT

Exposure to iron pipes and steel rebar, such as the materials found in most hatcheries, affects the navigation ability of young steelhead trout by altering the important magnetic 'map sense' they need for migration. "The better fish navigate, the higher their survival rate," said a researcher. "When their magnetic field is altered, the fish get confused."

Deep sea fish remove one million tons of carbon dioxide every year from UK and Irish waters

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 04:39 PM PDT

Deep sea fishes remove and store more than one million tons of CO2 from UK and Irish surface waters every year, according to a new study. This natural carbon capture and storage scheme could store carbon equivalent to £10 million per year in carbon credits Fish living in deep waters on the continental slope around the UK play an important role carrying carbon from the surface to the seafloor.

Increasing rates of premature death, conviction for a violent crime in people with schizophrenia since 1970s, study shows

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 04:39 PM PDT

Rates of adverse outcomes, including premature death and violent crime, in people with schizophrenia are increasing, compared to the general population, new research shows. The results come from a unique study that analyzes long-term adverse outcomes -- including conviction for a violent crime (such as homicide or bodily harm), premature death (before the age of 56), and death by suicide -- between 1972 and 2009 in nearly 25,000 people in Sweden diagnosed with schizophrenia or related disorders.

Could spiders be the key to saving our bees?

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 04:39 PM PDT

A novel bio-pesticide created using spider venom and a plant protein has been found to be safe for honeybees - despite being highly toxic to a number of key insect pests. New research has tested the insect-specific Hv1a/GNA fusion protein bio-pesticide -- a combination of a natural toxin from the venom of an Australian funnel web spider and snowdrop lectin.

Discovering a hidden source of solar surges

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 03:26 PM PDT

Cutting-edge observations with the 1.6-meter telescope at Big Bear Solar Observatory in California have taken research into the structure and activity of the Sun to new levels of understanding. The telescope at Big Bear is the most powerful ground-based instrument dedicated to studying the sun. A group of astronomers has analyzed the highest- resolution solar observations ever made.

Solving sunspot mysteries: Multi-wavelength observations of sunspots

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 03:26 PM PDT

Multi-wavelength observations of sunspots with the 1.6-meter telescope at Big Bear Solar Observatory in California and aboard NASA's IRIS spacecraft have produced new and intriguing images of high-speed plasma flows and eruptions extending from the sun's surface to the outermost layer of the solar atmosphere, the corona.

Investigating unusual three-ribbon solar flares with extreme high resolution

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 03:26 PM PDT

The 1.6 meter telescope at Big Bear Solar Observatory in California has given researchers unparalleled capability for investigating phenomena such as solar flares. The BBSO instrument is the most powerful ground-based telescope dedicated to studying the star closest to Earth.

First fully 2-D field effect transistors: 2-D transistors promise a faster electronics future

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 03:26 PM PDT

Researchers have unveiled the world's first fully two-dimensional field-effect transistor, using new device architecture that provides high electron mobility even under high voltages and scaled to a monolayer in thickness.

New definition of kidney disease for clinical trials could lead to new treatments

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 03:25 PM PDT

New therapies for kidney disease could be developed more quickly by revising the definition of kidney disease progression used during clinical trials, experts say. If adopted, the new definition could shorten the length of some clinical trials and also potentially encourage more clinical trials in kidney disease.

New health services needed for rise in 100-year-olds

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 03:25 PM PDT

Over 35,000 people lived to 100 years or more in England over the last ten years, with a large proportion subsequently dying from frailty exacerbated by pneumonia, according to a new study. With the number of centenarians set to grow, end-of-life care needs to be tailored to the increasing frailty in this age group, warn the palliative care researchers.

New device isolates most aggressive cancer cells

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 03:25 PM PDT

Not all cancer cells are created equal: some stay put in the primary tumor, while others move and invade elsewhere. A major goal for cancer research is predicting which cells will metastasize, and why. A cancer research team is taking a new approach to screening for these dangerous cells, using a microfluidic device they invented that isolates only the most aggressive, metastatic cells.

Researchers shut down SARS cloaking system; Findings could lead to SARS, MERS vaccines

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 01:22 PM PDT

A research team has figured out how to disable a part of the SARS virus responsible for hiding it from the immune system -- a critical step in developing a vaccine against the deadly disease. The findings also have potential applications in the creation of vaccines against other coronaviruses, including MERS.

Outcomes for older adults with pneumonia who receive treatment including azithromycin

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 01:21 PM PDT

Treatment for pneumonia that included azithromycin compared with other antibiotics was associated with a significantly lower risk of death and a slightly increased risk of heart attack, according to a study that included nearly 65,000 hospitalized older patients. Pneumonia and influenza together are the eighth leading cause of death and the leading causes of infectious death in the United States.

Preventive placement of ICDs for less severe heart failure may improve survival

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 01:21 PM PDT

An examination of the benefit of preventive placement of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators in patients with a less severe level of heart failure, a group not well represented in clinical trials, finds significantly better survival at three years than that of similar patients with no ICD, according to a study.

Search engine identifies functionally linked genes

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 01:19 PM PDT

Scientists have designed a search engine that identifies genes that are functionally linked. The discovery may lead to ways to treat diseases that have a genetic component, such as cancer or Alzheimer's.

Fatty liver disease prevented in mice

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 01:19 PM PDT

Studying mice, researchers have found a way to prevent nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, the most common cause of chronic liver disease worldwide. Blocking a path that delivers dietary fructose to the liver prevented mice from developing the condition, according to investigators.

New test predicts if breast cancer will spread

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 01:19 PM PDT

A test that counts the number of locations in tumor specimens where tumor cells may invade blood vessels predicted the risk of distant spread, or metastasis, for the most common type of breast cancer. To measure the test's effectiveness, the researchers used it on about 500 breast tumor specimens that had been collected over a 20-year period. The test proved more accurate in predicting the risk of distant tumor spread than a test closely resembling the leading breast cancer prognostic indicator on the market.

Progress on detecting glucose levels in saliva: New biochip sensor

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 12:10 PM PDT

A new biochip sensor that uses dye chemistry and plasmonic interferometry to selectively measure concentrations of glucose in a complex solution similar to human saliva. The advance is an important step toward a device that would enable people with diabetes to test their glucose levels without drawing blood.

More than 10 percent of heart attack patients may have undiagnosed diabetes

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 10:57 AM PDT

At least ten percent of people who have a heart attack may also have undiagnosed diabetes. Less than a third of those diagnosed with diabetes during their hospitalization received diabetes education or medications at discharge. Diabetes, which causes blood sugar to reach dangerous levels, significantly raises the risk for heart attack. Two out of three people with diabetes die from cardiovascular disease.

Process to help personalize treatment for lung cancer patients developed

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 10:56 AM PDT

A process to analyze mutated genes in lung adenocarcinoma to help better select personalized treatment options for patients has been developed by researchers. Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of lung cancer in the United States with approximately 130,000 people diagnosed each year. The study investigated 10 highly mutated and altered genes that contribute to cancer progression, termed oncogenic driver genes, in more than 1,000 lung cancer patients.

Toxic computer waste in the developing world

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 08:43 AM PDT

As the developing world continues to develop, standards of living and access to technology increases. Unfortunately, as personal computers, laptops and mobile phones become increasingly common so the problem of recycling and disposal of such devices when they become technologically obsolete rises too, according to new research.

Social media garden is first step in creating 'emotional' buildings

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 08:42 AM PDT

A Twitter-reactive garden could provide a prototype for the future development of 'smart' buildings that can adapt to our emotional state. A new research project, which involves computer scientists and architects, is exploring whether architecture is able to reflect and map human emotions.

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