Jumat, 27 Maret 2015

ScienceDaily: Top News

ScienceDaily: Top News


Earliest humans had diverse range of body types, just as we do today

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 05:46 PM PDT

New research harnessing fragmentary fossils suggests our genus has come in different shapes and sizes since its origins over two million years ago, and adds weight to the idea that humans began to colonize Eurasia while still small and lightweight.

Nuclear weapon modernization program

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 05:46 PM PDT

Sandia National Laboratories has begun making silicon wafers for three nuclear weapon modernization programs, the largest production series in the history of its Microsystems and Engineering Sciences Applications complex.

How did the chicken cross the sea?

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 12:23 PM PDT

It may sound like the makings of a joke, but answering the question of how chickens crossed the sea may soon provide more than just a punch line. Researchers have studied the mysterious ancestry of the feral chicken population that has overrun the Hawaiian Island of Kauai.

Researchers master gene editing technique in mosquito that transmits deadly diseases

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 12:23 PM PDT

Researchers have successfully harnessed a technique, CRISPR-Cas9 editing, to use in an important and understudied species: the mosquito, Aedes aegypti, which infects hundreds of millions of people annually with the deadly diseases chikungunya, yellow fever, and dengue fever.

Using magnetic fields to understand high-temperature superconductivity

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 12:23 PM PDT

Taking our understanding of quantum matter to new levels, scientists are exposing high-temperature superconductors to very high magnetic fields, changing the temperature at which the materials become perfectly conducting and revealing unique properties of these substances.

Dark matter even darker than once thought

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 12:22 PM PDT

Astronomers have studied how dark matter in clusters of galaxies behaves when the clusters collide. The results show that dark matter interacts with itself even less than previously thought, and narrows down the options for what this mysterious substance might be.

Engineers develop new methods to speed up simulations in computational grand challenge

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 12:22 PM PDT

Engineers have developed a new family of methods to significantly increase the speed of time-resolved numerical simulations in computational grand challenge problems. Such problems often arise from the high-resolution approximation of the partial differential equations governing complex flows of fluids or plasmas. The breakthrough could be applied to simulations that include millions or billions of variables, including turbulence simulations.

Bacteria can use magnetic particles to create a 'natural battery'

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 12:16 PM PDT

New research shows bacteria can use tiny magnetic particles to effectively create a 'natural battery.' According to new work, the bacteria can load electrons onto and discharge electrons from microscopic particles of magnetite. This discovery holds out the potential of using this mechanism to help clean up environmental pollution, and other bioengineering applications.

Avoiding neurodegeneration: Nerve cells borrow a trick from their synapses to dispose of garbage

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 12:16 PM PDT

Genetic defects affecting tiny channels in human nerve cells lead to several neurological diseases that result from aberrant nerve transmission, such as episodic ataxia, absence epilepsy, and migraines. These disorders have also been associated with neurodegeneration, but it has been less clear why this should be.

Designer's toolkit for dynamic DNA nanomachines: Arm-waving nanorobot signals new flexibility in DNA origami

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 12:16 PM PDT

Researchers have demonstrated a new approach to joining -- and reconfiguring -- modular DNA building units, by snapping together complementary shapes instead of zipping together strings of base pairs. This not only opens the way for practical nanomachines with moving parts, but also offers a toolkit that makes it easier to program their self-assembly.

Bats obey 'traffic rules' when foraging for food

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 12:16 PM PDT

Foraging bats obey their own set of 'traffic rules,' chasing, turning and avoiding collisions at high speed according to new research.

Theory of the strong interaction verified: Supercomputer calculates mass difference between neutron and proton

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 12:16 PM PDT

The fact that the neutron is slightly more massive than the proton is the reason why atomic nuclei have exactly those properties that make our world and ultimately our existence possible. Eighty years after the discovery of the neutron, a team of physicists has finally calculated the tiny neutron-proton mass difference. The findings are considered a milestone by many physicists and confirm the theory of the strong interaction.

Magnetic quantum crystals

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 12:16 PM PDT

In experiments with ultracold rubidium atoms scientists create magnetic quantum crystals made of gigantic Rydberg atoms.

Antarctic ice shelves rapidly thinning

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 12:14 PM PDT

A new study has revealed that the thickness of Antarctica's floating ice shelves has recently decreased by as much as 18 percent in certain areas over nearly two decades, providing new insights on how the Antarctic ice sheet is responding to climate change.

Ebola whole virus vaccine shown effective, safe in primates

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 12:14 PM PDT

An Ebola whole virus vaccine, constructed using a novel experimental platform, has been shown to effectively protect monkeys exposed to the often fatal virus. It differs from other Ebola vaccines because as an inactivated whole virus vaccine, it primes the host immune system with the full complement of Ebola viral proteins and genes, potentially conferring greater protection.

Research aims to reduce health care disparities

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 10:10 AM PDT

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual, queer/questioning and intersex (LGBTQI) population has been largely understudied by the medical community. Researchers found that the LGBTQI community experience health disparities due to reduced access to health care and health insurance, coupled with being at an elevated risk for multiple types of cancer when compared to non-LGBTQI populations.

Chemists make new silicon-based nanomaterials

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 10:10 AM PDT

A new process uses silicon telluride to produce multilayered two-dimensional semiconductor materials in a variety of shapes and orientations.

Study adds evidence on link between PTSD, heart disease

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 10:09 AM PDT

In a study of more than 8,000 veterans in Hawaii and the Pacific Islands, those with posttraumatic stress disorder had a nearly 50 percent greater risk of developing heart failure. The study adds to a growing body of evidence linking PTSD and heart disease. The research to date--including these latest findings--doesn't show a clear cause-and-effect relationship. But most experts believe PTSD, like other forms of chronic stress or anxiety, can damage the heart over time.

Most women with early-stage breast cancer avoid extensive lymph node removal

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 10:09 AM PDT

A new study of women with early-stage breast cancer finds that surgeons no longer universally remove most of the lymph nodes in the underarm area when a biopsy of the nearby lymph nodes shows cancer -- a major change in breast cancer management.

Twice the coral trout in Great Barrier Reef protected zones

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 10:08 AM PDT

Coral trout in protected 'green zones' are not only bigger and more abundant than those in fished 'blue zones' of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, but they are also better able to cope with cyclone damage, according to a long-term study.

Crossing fingers can reduce feelings of pain

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 10:08 AM PDT

How you feel pain is affected by where sources of pain are in relation to each other, and so crossing your fingers can change what you feel on a single finger, finds new research. "Many people suffer from chronic pain, and the level of pain experienced can be higher than would be expected from actual tissue damage. Our research is basic laboratory science, but it raises the interesting possibility that pain levels could be manipulated by applying additional stimuli, and by moving one part of the body relative to others," the senior author explained.

Medulloblastoma: Promising drug target identified

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 10:08 AM PDT

A protein has been found that is critical to both the normal development of the brain and, in many cases, the development of medulloblastoma, a fast-growing brain tumor that usually strikes children under 10. When the researchers cut the level of the protein Eya1 in half in mice prone to develop medulloblastoma, the animals' risk of dying from the disease dropped dramatically.

Photosynthesis hack is needed to feed the world by 2050

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 10:08 AM PDT

Using high-performance computing and genetic engineering to boost the photosynthetic efficiency of plants offers the best hope of increasing crop yields enough to feed a planet expected to have 9.5 billion people on it by 2050, researchers report.

Sea slug provides new way of analyzing brain data

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 10:07 AM PDT

Scientists say our brains may not be as complicated as we once thought -- and they're using sea slugs to prove it. "This research introduces new methods for pulling apart neural circuits to expose their inner building blocks. Our methods could be used to help understand how brain networks change in disease states and how drugs act to restore normal brain function," authors say.

New technology to help users combat mobile malware attacks

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 10:06 AM PDT

Researchers have developed simple but effective techniques to prevent sophisticated malware from secretly attacking smartphones.

Veterans' avoidant coping interfers with transition to university life

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 09:21 AM PDT

A study of 165 veterans currently enrolled at three Texas universities shows that those who use problem-focused coping strategies for anxiety and depression instead of avoidant coping have more successful transitions from military life to college student life.

Deadly Japan earthquake and tsunami spurred global warming, ozone loss

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 09:20 AM PDT

Buildings destroyed by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake released thousands of tons of climate-warming and ozone-depleting chemicals into the atmosphere, according to a new study.

A new jumping spider with mating plug discovered from the 'Western Ghats'

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 09:20 AM PDT

Researchers have discovered a new species of jumping spider from 'Western Ghats' in southern India, one of the biodiversity hotspots of the world. The spider, which has been named as Stenaelurillus albus, is remarkable for the presence of mating plugs or copulatory plugs, which are supposed to function as paternity protection devices.

Fitness level associated with lower risk of some cancers, death in men

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 09:20 AM PDT

Men with a high fitness level in midlife appear to be at lower risk for lung and colorectal cancer, but not prostate cancer, and that higher fitness level also may put them at lower risk of death if they are diagnosed with cancer when they're older, according to a study.

Novel nanoparticle therapy promotes wound healing

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 09:19 AM PDT

An experimental therapy successfully tested in mice cut in half the time it takes to heal wounds compared to no treatment at all. "We envision that our nanoparticle therapy could be used to speed the healing of all sorts of wounds, including everyday cuts and burns, surgical incisions, and chronic skin ulcers, which are a particular problem in the elderly and people with diabetes," said a study co-leader.

Testosterone needs estrogen's help to inhibit depression

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 09:19 AM PDT

In popular culture, the phrase "battle of the sexes" seems to pit the male hormone (testosterone) against the female (estrogen). Now a researcher has documented a way in which the two hormones work together to protect low-testosterone males from the effects of anxiety and depression.

Fluctuation X-ray scattering

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 08:24 AM PDT

In biology, materials science and the energy sciences, structural information provides important insights into the understanding of matter. The link between a structure and its properties can suggest new avenues for designed improvements of synthetic materials or provide new fundamental insights in biology and medicine at the molecular level.

Increased sensitivity to climate change in disturbed ecosystems

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 08:24 AM PDT

Undisturbed ecosystems can be resistant to changing climatic conditions, but this resistance is reduced when ecosystems are subject to natural or anthropogenic disturbances. Plants are particularly sensitive to climatic changes in early life stages and even small climatic changes can cause vegetation shifts when ecosystems are disturbed by fires, insect outbreaks or other disturbances.

Quantum compute this: Mathematicians build code to take on toughest of cyber attacks

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 08:24 AM PDT

Mathematicians have designed an encryption code capable of fending off the phenomenal hacking power of a quantum computer. Using high-level number theory and cryptography, the researchers reworked an infamous old cipher called the knapsack code to create an online security system better prepared for future demands.

How the Human Immune System Keeps TB at Bay

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 08:23 AM PDT

A new tissue culture model using human white blood cells shows how people with a latent -- or symptom-free -- tuberculosis infection are protected from active disease by a critical early step in their immune response, researchers say.

Nanofibers twisted together to create structures tougher than bullet proof vests

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 08:23 AM PDT

Researchers have created materials that exploit the electromechanical properties of specific nanofibers to stretch to up to seven times their length, while remaining tougher than Kevlar.

Roseroot herb shows promise as potential depression treatment option

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 08:23 AM PDT

Rhodiola rosea (R. rosea), or roseroot, may be a beneficial treatment option for major depressive disorder (MDD), according to results of a study. Depression is one of the most common and debilitating psychiatric conditions, afflicting more than 19 million Americans each year, 70 percent of whom do not fully respond to initial therapy. Costs of conventional antidepressants and their sometimes substantial side effects often result in a patient discontinuing use prematurely. Others opt to try natural products or supplements instead.

Thin air, high altitudes cause depression in female rats

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 08:10 AM PDT

Oxygen intake contributes to depression, scientists have surmised after a study shows that thin air and high altitudes causes depression in female rats. "The significance of this animal study is that it can isolate hypoxia as a distinct risk factor for depression in those living at altitude (hypobaric hypoxia) or with other chronic hypoxic conditions such as COPD, asthma or smoking, independent of other risk factors," says the lead author on the study.

One in four high school seniors now try smoking water pipes

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 08:10 AM PDT

Despite declines in the number of youths who smoke cigarettes, hookah or water pipe use continues to rise among Canadian youth, a new study reports. The study found that almost one in four high school seniors try smoking hookah.

Tasmania's swift parrot set to follow the dodo

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 08:10 AM PDT

The iconic Tasmanian swift parrot is facing population collapse and could become extinct within 16 years, new research has found. Swift parrots are major pollinators of blue and black gum trees which are crucial to the forestry industry, which controversially continues to log swift parrot habitat.

Discovering age-specific brain changes in autism

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 08:10 AM PDT

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder exhibit different patterns of brain connectivity when compared to typically developing individuals, scientists report, and those patterns adjust as the individual ages, research shows.

Flocks of starlings ride the wave to escape: Researchers study agitation waves that form when flocks of birds dodge predators

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 08:09 AM PDT

Why does it seem as if a dark band ripples through a flock of European starlings that are steering clear of a falcon or a hawk? It all lies in the birds' ability to quickly and repeatedly dip to one side to avoid being attacked. For a split second, these zigs change the view that observers on the ground have of the birds' wings to cause a so-called agitation wave. This evasive strategy is copied as quick as a flash from one neighboring bird to the next.

High-fat diet alters behavior and produces signs of brain inflammation

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 08:09 AM PDT

Can the consumption of fatty foods change your behavior and your brain? High-fat diets have long been known to increase the risk for medical problems, including heart disease and stroke, but there is growing concern that diets high in fat might also increase the risk for depression and other psychiatric disorders. A new study raises the possibility that a high-fat diet produces changes in health and behavior, in part, by changing the mix of bacteria in the gut, also known as the gut microbiome.

The Mediterranean diet is not only healthier, it also pollutes less

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 08:09 AM PDT

The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet are well-known. As well as being healthier, a recent article concludes that the menu traditionally eaten in Spain leaves less of a carbon footprint than that of the US or the United Kingdom. The consequences of climate change range from species extinction to sea-level increases and the spread of diseases. For this reason, researchers have been struggling for years to alleviate its effects, even limiting the pollution caused by food consumption

Surface-modified nanoparticles endow coatings with combined properties

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 08:09 AM PDT

Nanoparticles are specifically adapted to the particular application by Small Molecule Surface Modification (SMSM). Thereby surfaces of workpieces or mouldings are expected to exhibit several different functions at one and the same time.

For most children with HIV, low immune cell count, cells rebound after treatment

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 08:09 AM PDT

Most children with HIV who have low levels of a key immune cell eventually recover levels of this cell after they begin treatment.

Coorong fish hedge their bets for survival

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 08:09 AM PDT

Analysis of the ear bones of the River Murray estuarine fish black bream has revealed how these fish 'hedge their bets' for population survival. Fish ear bones provide much information through analysis of the trace elements they contain and the width of their growth rings.

Blood test may shed new light on Fragile X related disorders

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 08:08 AM PDT

A blood test may shed new light on Fragile X syndrome related disorders in women, according to a new study. Fragile X is the most common inherited form of intellectual disability and the most frequent genetic cause of autism.

Stem cells may improve tendon healing, reduce retear risk in rotator cuff surgery

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 05:59 AM PDT

An injection of a patient's bone marrow stem cells during rotator cuff surgery significantly improved healing and tendon durability, according to a new study.

Women fare better than men following total knee, hip replacement

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 05:59 AM PDT

While women may have their first total joint replacement at an older age, they are less likely to have complications related to their surgery or require revision surgery, according to a new study. The findings contradict the theory that TJR is underutilized in female patients because they have worse outcomes then men.

Black patients more likely to be readmitted after hip, knee replacement surgery

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 05:59 AM PDT

A new study found that black and Hispanic patients were 62 and 50 percent, respectively, more likely to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days after total joint replacement surgery compared to white patients.

Blocking cellular quality control mechanism gives cancer chemotherapy a boost

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 05:59 AM PDT

Scientists have found a new way to make chemotherapy more effective against breast cancer cells. They show that blocking a cellular quality control mechanism before administering chemotherapy makes breast cancer cells die faster than when they were exposed to chemotherapy alone. The work is a long way from being applied in people, but it could lead to new treatment strategies for patients in the future.

Middle-age hip replacements nearly double from 2002-2011

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 05:59 AM PDT

The number of total hip replacements nearly doubled among middle-aged patients between 2002-2011, primarily due to the expansion of the middle-aged population in the US.

How lifeforms know to be the right size: Fruit fly study reveals new clues

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 05:59 AM PDT

In a new study, scientists are asking how life forms grow to be the correct size with proportional body parts. Probing deeply into genetics and biology at the earliest moments of embryonic development, researchers report that they have found new clues to explain one of nature's biggest mysteries. Their data from fruit flies show the size and patterning accuracy of an embryo depend on the amount of reproductive resources mothers invest in the process before an egg leaves the ovary.

Harmless bacteria may be helpful against meningococcal outbreaks

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 05:59 AM PDT

Nasal drops of harmless bacteria can inhibit a related bug that sometimes causes meningococcal disease, according to new findings. The study -- conducted among college students, a group at higher risk for this often serious illness -- suggests a new approach that could help suppress outbreaks of the disease, if supported by future research.

Best view yet of dusty cloud passing galactic center black hole

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 05:59 AM PDT

The best observations so far of the dusty gas cloud G2 confirm that it made its closest approach to the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way in May 2014 and has survived the experience. The new result shows that the object appears not to have been significantly stretched. It is most likely to be a young star with a massive core that is still accreting material.

Novel sensor system provides continuous smart monitoring of machinery and plant equipment

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 05:33 AM PDT

A new method of continuously monitoring the status of machinery is currently being developed. The mobile tablet-based system supplies information on the operational state of industrial machinery and plant equipment and can inform operators if a part needs to be replaced or if a repair can be postponed. The system uses sensors that continuously acquire data on parameters such as vibrational frequency or temperature.

Multiplying mobile devices' uploading speed tenfold

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 05:33 AM PDT

A new patent makes a jacket able to increase by tenfold the speed at which mobile devices can upload content. This is the MIMO HUB patent, which enables its jacket, in which numerous antennas are camouflaged, to connect to any mobile terminal in order to increase its data transfer speed, reduce its energy consumption and improve its reliability.

Building sound foundations: A matter of granular dynamics

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 05:33 AM PDT

Applying the hydrodynamics approach to granular matter helps explain its wide range of behavior, regardless of whether the material is solid- or fluid-like. Sand, rocks, grains, salt or sugar are what physicists call granular media. A better understanding of granular media is important - particularly when mixed with water and air, as it forms the foundations of houses and off-shore windmills.

Prostate cancer and treatment choices: Decision shared by doctor and patient?

Posted: 26 Mar 2015 05:33 AM PDT

Doctors strive to make treatment decisions together with their patients – but is the decision really shared? According to researchers, shared decision-making isn't easy, and clinicians need help. The international research group has studied the decision aids for treatment choice of localized prostate cancer.
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