Rabu, 20 Agustus 2014

ScienceDaily: Top News

ScienceDaily: Top News

College education not always about what you have, but how you use it

Posted: 19 Aug 2014 09:59 AM PDT

Students who have books and computers at home, who take extramural cultural classes, and whose parents give advice and take part in school activities are most likely to enroll for a four-year college degree. Also, more American black students -- irrespective of their class or background -- will set off on this education path than their white counterparts.

Does love make sex better for most women?

Posted: 19 Aug 2014 09:59 AM PDT

Love and commitment can make sex physically more satisfying for many women, according to a sociologist. The benefits of being in love with a sexual partner are more than just emotional. Most of the women in the study said that love made sex physically more pleasurable. Women who loved their sexual partners also said they felt less inhibited and more willing to explore their sexuality.

Genetic key to lupus shows potential of personalized medicine

Posted: 19 Aug 2014 08:31 AM PDT

DNA sequencing of a lupus patient has identified a specific genetic mutation that is causing the disease, opening the way for personalized treatments. Researchers identified a variant in the TREX1 gene. This mutation caused the patient's cells to produce a molecule called interferon-alpha. Clinical trials are already underway for drugs to target interferon-alpha in adults.

Intimacy a strong motivator for PrEP HIV prevention

Posted: 19 Aug 2014 08:30 AM PDT

Many HIV-negative gay or bisexual men in steady relationships with other HIV-negative men don't always use condoms out of a desire for intimacy. That same desire, according to a new study, makes such men more inclined to use antiretroviral medications to prevent getting HIV, a recommended practice known as PrEP.

Taking a stand: Balancing the benefits, risks of physical activity in children

Posted: 19 Aug 2014 08:30 AM PDT

Today the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology took a stand on the promotion of childhood physical activity. This position stand provides an important overview of knowledge in the area of risk of physical activity for children and suggests both practical guidelines and a research agenda. Uniquely, this position stand addresses both benefits and risks of physical activity for children.

The difficult question of Clostridium difficile

Posted: 19 Aug 2014 08:30 AM PDT

Clostridium difficile is a major problem as an aetiological agent for antibiotic-associated diarrhea. The mechanism by which the bacterium colonizes the gut during infection is poorly understood, but undoubtedly involves a myriad of components present on the bacterial surface. This study provides some insights that may help in developing a new type of drug to treat the infection.

Opioid users breathe easier with novel drug to treat respiratory depression

Posted: 19 Aug 2014 08:29 AM PDT

People taking prescription opioids to treat moderate to severe pain may be able to breathe a little easier, literally. A study has found that a new therapeutic drug, GAL-021, may reverse or prevent respiratory depression, or inadequate breathing, in patients taking opioid medication without compromising pain relief or increasing sedation.

Key to saving lives: Hands-only CPR

Posted: 19 Aug 2014 08:28 AM PDT

Cardiac arrest – an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) and disrupts the flow of blood to the brain, lungs and other organs - is a leading cause of death. Each year, over 420,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States. When a person has a cardiac arrest, survival depends on immediately getting CPR from someone nearby.

Study of African dust transport to South America reveals air quality impacts

Posted: 19 Aug 2014 06:40 AM PDT

A new study that analyzed concentrations of African dust transported to South America shows large seasonal peaks in winter and spring. These research findings offer new insight on the overall human health and air quality impacts of African dust, including the climate change-induced human health effects that are expected to occur from increased African dust emissions in the coming decades.

Economists: Shale oil 'dividend' could pay for smaller carbon footprint

Posted: 19 Aug 2014 06:40 AM PDT

Unanticipated economic benefits from the shale oil and gas boom could help offset the costs of substantially reducing the US's carbon footprint, agricultural economists say. Using an economic model, they found that "spending" part of this dividend on slashing the nation's carbon emissions by about 27 percent -- about the same amount set forth in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recently proposed Clean Power Plan -- would reduce the shale dividend by about half.

Hope for healthy hearts revealed in naked mole rat studies

Posted: 19 Aug 2014 06:40 AM PDT

The naked mole rat, the longest lived of rodents, shows superior cardiovascular function to old age in two studies. Cardiovascular disease is the greatest killer of humans the world over, presenting huge financial and quality-of-life issues. It is well known that the heart becomes less efficient with age in all mammals studied to date, even in the absence of overt cardiac disease. However, scientists still don't have a good understanding of how to prevent these functional declines that ultimately may lead to debilitating cardiovascular disease.

Bigger weddings, fewer partners, less 'sliding' linked to better marriages

Posted: 19 Aug 2014 06:40 AM PDT

The more people who attend your wedding and the fewer relationships you had prior to marriage, the more likely you are to report a high-quality marriage, a study concludes. The study challenges the idea that "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" -- the general notion that what happens in one's younger years, before marriage, stays there and doesn't impact the remainder of one's life.

Graphene rubber bands could stretch limits of current healthcare, new research finds

Posted: 19 Aug 2014 05:34 AM PDT

A new type of sensor that can monitor body movements and could help revolutionize healthcare is described in a new study. "These sensors are extraordinarily cheap compared to existing technologies. Each device would probably cost pennies, making it ideal technology for use in developing countries where there are not enough medically trained staff to effectively monitor and treat patients quickly," researchers said.

The mystery of cell proliferation: Matching histone to DNA

Posted: 19 Aug 2014 05:32 AM PDT

Before cells divide, they create so much genetic material that it must be wound onto spools before the two new cells can split apart. These spools are actually proteins called histones, and they must multiply at the same moment that the cell doubles its DNA. If the amount of histones does not increase when the DNA doubles, the centimeters of new DNA could never be packed small enough to fit into chromosomes, which are just a few micrometers long. In the early stage of development, the period when DNA doubles and the cell divides is called proliferation, after which an embryo grows from one cell to more than one thousand cells.

Innate lymphoid cells elicit T cell responses

Posted: 19 Aug 2014 05:32 AM PDT

In case of an inflammation, the body releases substances that increase the immune defense. During chronic inflammation, this immune response gets out of control and can induce organ damage. A research group has now discovered that innate lymphoid cells become activated and induce specific T and B cell responses during inflammation. These lymphoid cells are thus an important target for the treatment of infection and chronic inflammation.

Bacteria detected in food may cause risks to unborn children

Posted: 19 Aug 2014 05:32 AM PDT

At least 10 percent of the fresh cheese, sausages and meats sold in markets and on the street may be contaminated, Mexican research suggests. Human listeriosis is a disease with a high mortality rate (20 to 30 percent) leading to severe diseases such as meningitis, septicemia, and miscarriages. It usually affects immunocompromised individuals, pregnant women, elderly and children. While the infection is spread by fecal-oral route of animal to human and from mother to fetus, the main source of infection is by eating contaminated food because of poor hygiene practices.

Surviving attack of killer microbes

Posted: 19 Aug 2014 05:32 AM PDT

The ability to find food and avoid predation dictates whether most organisms live to spread their genes to the next generation or die trying. But for some species of microbe, a unique virus changes the rules of the game. This unusual virus turns some individual microbes into killers. That is, when these killer microbes encounter any other microbe that is competing with them for resources, they kill that microbe on the spot.

Deaths rise with shift from in-hospital to outpatient procedures for common urology surgeries, study shows

Posted: 19 Aug 2014 05:29 AM PDT

As hospitals have shifted an array of common urological surgeries from inpatient procedures to outpatient, potentially preventable deaths have increased following complications. The study also identified older, sicker, minority patients and those with public insurance as more likely to die after a potentially recognizable or preventable complication.

Natural (born) killer cells battle pediatric leukemia

Posted: 19 Aug 2014 05:29 AM PDT

A select team of immune-system cells can be multiplied in the lab, creating an army of natural killer cells that can be used to destroy leukemia cells, researchers report. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common cancer of childhood. This disease hinders the development of healthy blood cells while cancer cells proliferate. Currently, children with ALL receive chemotherapy for two to three years, exposing them to significant side effects including changes in normal development and future fertility.

Neglected boys may turn into violent adolescents

Posted: 18 Aug 2014 07:48 PM PDT

Parents who physically neglect their boys may increase the risk that they will raise violent adolescents, according to sociologists. Examples of physical neglect include not taking a sick or injured child to the doctor, improperly clothing a child and not feeding a child, according to the researchers. While physical abuse is a significant contributor to violent behavior, physical neglect alone is an even stronger predictor of male adolescent violence than physical abuse, they noted.

Minor variations in ice sheet size can trigger abrupt climate change

Posted: 18 Aug 2014 07:48 PM PDT

Small fluctuations in the sizes of ice sheets during the last ice age were enough to trigger abrupt climate change, scientists have found. The team compared simulated model data with that retrieved from ice cores and marine sediments in a bid to find out why temperature jumps of up to ten degrees took place in far northern latitudes within just a few decades during the last ice age.

Hospital superbug breakthrough: Antibacterial gel kills Pseudomonas aeruginosa, staphylococci and E.coli using natural proteins

Posted: 18 Aug 2014 07:48 PM PDT

Scientists have made a breakthrough in the fight against the most resistant hospital superbugs. The team have developed the first innovative antibacterial gel that acts to kill Pseudomonas aeruginosa, staphylococci and E.coli using natural proteins. The gels have the ability to break down the thick jelly-like coating, known as biofilms, which cover bacteria making them highly resistant to current therapies, while leaving healthy cells unaffected.

Most complete Antarctic map for climate research made public

Posted: 18 Aug 2014 05:41 PM PDT

A new satellite image of Antarctica has been made available to the public, and the imagery will help scientists all over the world gain new insight into the effects of climate change. Using Synthetic Aperture Radar with multiple polarization modes aboard the RADARSAT-2 satellite, the CSA collected more than 3,150 images of the continent in the autumn of 2008, comprising a single pole-to-coast map covering all of Antarctica. This is the first such map of the area since RADARSAT-1 created one in 1997.

Children's drawings indicate later intelligence, study shows

Posted: 18 Aug 2014 05:41 PM PDT

How 4-year-old children draw pictures of a child is an indicator of intelligence at age 14, according to a new study. The researchers studied 7,752 pairs of identical and non-identical twins and found that the link between drawing and later intelligence was influenced by genes.

Older patients with limited life expectancy still receiving cancer screenings

Posted: 18 Aug 2014 04:26 PM PDT

A substantial number of older patients with limited life expectancy continue to receive routine screenings for prostate, breast, cervical and colorectal cancer although the procedures are unlikely to benefit them, researchers report.

Research improves temperature modeling across mountainous landscapes

Posted: 18 Aug 2014 01:14 PM PDT

New research provides improved computer models for estimating temperature across mountainous landscapes. Accurate, spatially based estimates of historical air temperature within mountainous areas are critical as scientists and land managers look at temperature-driven changes to vegetation, wildlife habitat, wildfire and snowpack.

Hospitalizations, deaths from heart disease, stroke drop in last decade

Posted: 18 Aug 2014 01:13 PM PDT

U.S. hospitalizations and deaths from heart disease and stroke dropped significantly in the last decade, according to new research. Furthermore, risks of dying for people who went to the hospital within a year decreased about 21 percent for unstable angina, 23 percent for heart attacks and 13 percent for heart failure and stroke.

Proteins critical to wound healing identified

Posted: 18 Aug 2014 01:12 PM PDT

Mice missing two important proteins of the vascular system develop normally and appear healthy in adulthood, as long as they don't become injured. If they do, their wounds don't heal properly, a new study shows. The research may have implications for treating diseases involving abnormal blood vessel growth, such as the impaired wound healing often seen in diabetes and the loss of vision caused by macular degeneration.

Taking pulse of aging of the brain

Posted: 18 Aug 2014 12:39 PM PDT

In an effort to identify how the elasticity of the arteries in the brain correlates with aging well, researchers used optical methods developed in their lab to map out the pulse pressure of the entire brain's cortex.

Device monitors key step in development of tumor metastases

Posted: 18 Aug 2014 12:36 PM PDT

A microfluidic device may help study key steps in the process by which cancer cells break off from a primary tumor to invade other tissues and form metastases. "This device gives us a platform to be used in testing and comparing compounds to block or delay the epithelial-mesenchymal transition, potentially slowing the progression of cancer," says one researcher.

Zombie ant fungi manipulate hosts to die on the 'doorstep' of the colony

Posted: 18 Aug 2014 12:36 PM PDT

A parasitic fungus that must kill its ant hosts outside their nest to reproduce and transmit their infection, manipulates its victims to die in the vicinity of the colony, ensuring a constant supply of potential new hosts, according to researchers. The fungus grows a stalk, called the stroma, which protrudes from the ant cadaver. A large round structure, known as the ascoma, forms on the stroma. Infectious spores then develop in the ascoma and are discharged onto the forest floor below, where they can infect foraging ants from the colony.

Pygmy phenotype developed many times, adaptive to rainforest

Posted: 18 Aug 2014 12:36 PM PDT

The small body size associated with the pygmy phenotype is probably a selective adaptation for rainforest hunter-gatherers, according to an international team of researchers. But all African pygmy phenotypes do not have the same genetic underpinning, suggesting a more recent adaptation than previously thought.

More than just X and Y: New genetic basis for sex determination

Posted: 18 Aug 2014 12:36 PM PDT

Men and women differ in obvious ways, and scientists have long known that genetic differences buried deep within our DNA underlie these distinctions. In the past, most research has focused on understanding how the genes that encode proteins act as sex determinants. But scientists have found that a subset of very small genes encoding short RNA molecules, called microRNAs, also play a key role in differentiating male and female tissues in the fruit fly.

Worm virus details come to light

Posted: 18 Aug 2014 12:25 PM PDT

The structure of the first virus known to naturally infect nematodes has been described by researchers. The research will help scientists study how viruses interact with their nematode hosts. It may also allow them to customize the virus to attack parasitic or pathogenic worms. The research may also lead to new information about how viruses attack other species, including humans, which have thousands of genes that are identical to those found in nematodes.

Crucial step in DNA repair identified by researchers

Posted: 18 Aug 2014 12:25 PM PDT

A crucial step in DNA repair that could lead to targeted gene therapy for hereditary diseases such as 'children of the moon' and a common form of colon cancer has been found by scientists. Such disorders are caused by faulty DNA repair systems that increase the risk for cancer and other conditions.

Aspirin, take two: Research identifies a second effect of the drug against inflammation

Posted: 18 Aug 2014 12:21 PM PDT

Aspirin has a second effect, researchers have found: Not only does it kill cyclooxygenase, thus preventing production of the prostaglandins that cause inflammation and pain, it also prompts the enzyme to generate another compound that hastens the end of inflammation, returning the affected cells to homeostatic health.

New mouse model points to therapy for liver disease

Posted: 18 Aug 2014 10:49 AM PDT

A novel mouse model that closely resembles human NASH has been described by researchers. They use it to demonstrate that interference with a key inflammatory protein inhibits both the development of NASH and its progression to liver cancer.

Free fatty acids may be as effective as antibiotics in treating catheter infections

Posted: 18 Aug 2014 08:32 AM PDT

A free fatty acid, made up of compounds similar to those naturally made in the body, may be as effective at fighting certain infections as antibiotics, researchers report. More and more bacteria are developing resistance to commonly used antibiotics, and this study shows that clinicians may have an alternative to treat infections caused by intravenous catheters.

Parents' vaccine intentions influenced by how benefits are communicated

Posted: 18 Aug 2014 07:21 AM PDT

In a study designed to formally look at the content of parent-targeted communications about the benefits of vaccination for measles, mumps and rubella, investigators report that the framing of these messages influences parents' intentions to immunize their children.
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