Saturday, April 16, 2011

ScienceDaily: Latest Science News

ScienceDaily: Latest Science News

Africa the birthplace of human language, analysis suggests

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 01:55 PM PDT

A new study by a New Zealand researcher provides strong evidence for Africa as the birthplace of human language. An analysis of languages from around the world suggests that, like our genes, human speech originated -- just once -- in sub-Saharan Africa. The research studied the phonemes, or the perceptually distinct units of sound that differentiate words, used in 504 human languages today and found that the number of phonemes is highest in Africa and decreases with increasing distance from Africa.

Online calculator allows households to track carbon footprint

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 01:35 PM PDT

A new analysis of the carbon footprints of households around the U.S. shows that consumers need different strategies in different cities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. An online "carbon calculator" helps consumers decide how to change their lifestyles for the maximum reduction in their footprints.

Drinking energy beverages mixed with alcohol may be riskier than drinking alcohol alone

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 01:35 PM PDT

A new laboratory study compares the effects of alcohol alone versus alcohol mixed with an energy drink on a cognitive task, as well as participants' reports of feelings of intoxication. Results show that energy drinks can enhance the feeling of stimulation that occurs when drinking alcohol.

Health care-associated infections are exacerbated by alcohol use disorders, study finds

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 01:35 PM PDT

Health care-associated infections (HAIs) are infections that patients acquire during their hospitalization and that were not present at the time of admission to the hospital. A new study has found that people with alcohol use disorders who develop HAIs have longer hospital stays, thousands of dollars of higher hospital costs, and much greater odds of dying.

Researchers link alcohol-dependence impulsivity to brain anomalies

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 01:35 PM PDT

Alcohol dependence (AD) is strongly associated with impaired impulse control. A new study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine impulsive choices among people with a range of alcohol use disorders (AUDs). Findings suggest that impulsive choice in AD may be the result of functional anomalies in widely distributed but interconnected brain regions that are involved in cognitive and emotional control.

Population-based study confirms parental alcoholism carries risk for offspring to develop the same

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 01:35 PM PDT

Researchers know that there is a strong link between parental alcohol use disorders (AUDs) and the risk for developing an AUD among their offspring. This study looked at the risk of AUDs in the offspring of a large population-based sample of Danish parents. Findings confirmed that parental AUDs were associated with an increased risk of AUDs among the offspring.

Path to potential therapy for NF2, a rare tumor disorder

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 12:47 PM PDT

The proteins that provide cells with a sense of personal space could lead to a therapeutic target for neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), an inherited cancer disorder, according to researchers. Their findings could have profound implications for NF2 and related cancers, such as mesothelioma.

Human rules may determine environmental 'tipping points'

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 12:47 PM PDT

A new paper suggests that people, governments, and institutions that shape the way people interact may be just as important for determining environmental conditions as the environmental processes themselves.

Solar activity heats up: Sunspots finally return

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 09:40 AM PDT

As 2011 unfolds, sunspots have returned and they are crackling with activity. On February 15 and again on March 9, Earth orbiting satellites detected a pair of "X-class" solar flares -- the most powerful kind of X-ray flare.

Neurosurgeon pushes brain bypass to new heights

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 09:40 AM PDT

A new high-flow procedure means improved outcomes for patients. The technique is less invasive and keeps more blood flowing in the brain than previous surgeries.

Novel ionic liquid batteries

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 08:39 AM PDT

Limits imposed by using corrosive electrolytes often result in severe restrictions to battery geometry and the need for special corrosive-resistant battery containers. The use of reactive ionic liquids in non-aqueous cells replace the more hazardous highly alkaline electrolytes.

Whole-exome sequencing of skin cancer completed: Most comprehensive view of melanoma's genetic landscape

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 08:39 AM PDT

Researchers have made the first systematic survey of the landscape of the melanoma genome, the DNA code of the deadliest form of skin cancer. The researchers have made surprising new discoveries using whole-exome sequencing, an approach that decodes the 1-2 percent of the genome that contains protein-coding genes.

Childhood eczema and hay fever leads to adult allergic asthma, study finds

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 07:45 AM PDT

Children who have eczema, particularly when occurring with hay fever, are nine times more likely to develop allergic asthma in their 40s, a new study reveals.

Mega wind turbines of 20 MW

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 05:33 AM PDT

The present largest wind turbines have a capacity of 5-6 MW. Scientists have now presented the first design basis for developing mega wind turbines of 20 MW. One single wind turbine of this type in the North Sea would provide electricity for 15,000 to 20,000 dwellings.

Neurological basis for embarrassment described

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 05:31 AM PDT

Recording people belting out an old Motown tune and then asking them to listen to their own singing without the accompanying music seems like an unusually cruel form of punishment. But for a team of scientists, this exact Karaoke experiment has revealed what part of the brain is essential for embarrassment.

US meat and poultry is widely contaminated with drug-resistant Staph bacteria, study finds

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 05:31 AM PDT

Drug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria linked to a wide range of human diseases, are present in meat and poultry from US grocery stores at unexpectedly high rates, according to a new study.

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