Tuesday, April 19, 2011

ScienceDaily: Latest Science News

ScienceDaily: Latest Science News

Sugar helping map new ground against deadly bug

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 09:36 PM PDT

A potential vaccine against bacteria that cause serious gastric disorders including stomach cancer may be a step closer following a pioneering study.

Alzheimer's diagnostic guidelines updated for first time in decades

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 09:36 PM PDT

For the first time in 27 years, clinical diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer's disease dementia have been revised, and research guidelines for earlier stages of the disease characterized. They mark a major change in how experts think about and study Alzheimer's.

Limiting carbs, not calories, reduces liver fat faster, researchers find

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 09:36 PM PDT

Curbing carbohydrates is more effective than cutting calories for individuals who want to quickly reduce the amount of fat in their liver, researchers report.

Treatment-resistant epilepsy common in idiopathic autism; Associated with early seizure onset and cognitive impairment

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 09:36 PM PDT

A new study found that treatment-resistant epilepsy is common in idiopathic autism. Early age at the onset of seizures and delayed global development were associated with a higher frequency of resistance to antiepileptic drugs.

CD image import reduces unnecessary imaging exams in emergency rooms

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 09:36 PM PDT

Each year, more than two million critically ill patients are transferred from one hospital emergency department to another for appropriate care. With the ability to successfully import data from a CD-ROM containing the patient's diagnostic medical images, hospitals may be able to significantly reduce unnecessary medical imaging tests, some of which expose patients to radiation. These findings are reported in a new study.

Mood swings of bipolar patients can be predicted, study shows

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 05:17 PM PDT

The future mood swings of people with bipolar disorder can be predicted by their current thoughts and behavior, a study has found.

Electric cars need night time charging, evidence suggests

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 05:17 PM PDT

Researchers in America have shown that ozone -- a known pollutant at low levels in Earth's atmosphere, causing harmful effects on the respiratory system and sensitive plants -- can be reduced, on average, when electric vehicle charging is done at night time.

Healthy distance for physicians online: Researchers recommend 'dual citizenship' on social media

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 02:13 PM PDT

With ubiquitous social media sites like Facebook and Twitter blurring private and professional lines, there is an increasing need for physicians to create a healthy distance between their work and home online identities, two physicians assert.

Widespread, risky use clotting drug on non-hemophilia patients documented in new studies

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 02:13 PM PDT

An expensive blood-clotting drug that is intended only for hemophilia patients is being used in hospitals predominantly to treat patients without this disorder, despite evidence suggesting that it could harm them, according to a pair of studies.

Learn to run a biorefinery in a virtual control room

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 01:17 PM PDT

Researchers have developed a virtual biorefinery control room based on ethanol and biodiesel plants in Iowa. The system is designed to teach students and workers to efficiently run a biorefinery. The simulations take into account more than 20 production attributes including moisture, starch content, contaminants, temperature and particle size. The virtual control room can be modified to offer training and experience when new feedstocks and technologies are developed.

Virtual surgery shows promise in personalized treatment of nasal obstruction

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 01:17 PM PDT

A preliminary report suggests that virtual nasal surgery has the potential to be a productive tool that may enable surgeons to perform personalized nasal surgery using computer simulation techniques.

Airway abnormalities appear uncommon in well-appearing babies with apparent life-threatening events

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 01:17 PM PDT

Airway abnormalities were uncommon among well-appearing infants hospitalized with apparent life-threatening events, and pediatric otolaryngology service was involved in their care only a small proportion of the time during five years after the episode, according to a new report.

Patients appear to adjust and learn to cope with loss or reduced sense of smell

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 01:17 PM PDT

Most patients who have a reduced ability to smell or detect odors seem to attach less importance to the sense of smell in their daily lives than people with a normal olfactory function, according to a new study.

Previous-day alcohol consumption appears to affect surgical skills on virtual reality simulator

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 01:17 PM PDT

Excessive alcohol consumption appears to be associated with changes in some surgical skills performed on virtual reality simulator testing the following day, according to a new study.

Do-not-resuscitate orders associated with poor surgical outcomes even for non-emergency procedures

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 01:17 PM PDT

Surgical patients with do-not-resuscitate orders appear to be at higher risk for poor surgical outcomes, according to a new study.

Dietary, lifestyle changes can significantly reduce triglycerides

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 01:17 PM PDT

Diet and lifestyle changes that include substituting healthy fats for unhealthy saturated and trans fats, engaging in regular physical activity and losing excess weight can reduce triglycerides -- a blood fat -- by 20 percent to 50 percent. New clinical recommendations include reducing the optimal triglyceride level from <150 mg/dL to <100 mg/dL, and performing non-fasting triglyceride testing as an initial screen.

New biomarker allows early detection of adverse prognosis after acute kidney injury

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 01:17 PM PDT

A new biomarker-based diagnostic test is more effective than current best practice for early detection of adverse outcomes after acute kidney injury, which can be fatal for 50 percent of the critically ill patients who get the condition. A multi-center study reports the kidney injury biomarker NGAL in urine or blood detects early subclinical AKI and its adverse outcomes in critically ill patients.

Common virus plus low sunlight exposure may increase risk of multiple sclerosis

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 01:16 PM PDT

New research suggests that people who are exposed to low levels of sunlight coupled with a history of having a common virus known as mononucleosis may be at greater odds of developing multiple sclerosis than those without the virus.

Gym gone but not forgotten? Parents want more physical activity at school for kids

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 12:25 PM PDT

Childhood obesity affects 1 of every 6 kids in the United States, in part due to a lack of physical activity. Schools can play a key part in offering elementary-age kids lots of chances to be active -- on the playground during recess and when they're in gym.

Research turns the world upside down: New study examines brain processes behind facial recognition

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 12:25 PM PDT

Using tests of visual perception and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers recently measured activity in two regions of the brain well known for facial recognition and found they were highly sensitive to the orientation of people's faces.

Immediate treatment can alleviate future back problems, research suggests

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 12:23 PM PDT

Immediate treatment by a physiotherapist, bypassing a waiting list, can reduce problems with recurring low back pain, new research suggests.

Using leaves' characteristics improves accuracy measuring past climates

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 12:23 PM PDT

Geologists have shown that a new method that uses different size and shape traits of leaves to reconstruct past climates over the last 120 million years is more accurate than other current methods.

Students develop thought-controlled, hands-free computer for the disabled

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 12:23 PM PDT

Software engineering students have developed innovative technology that could enable people to operate a computer without using a keyboard or mouse -- only their brainwaves.

How the bilingual brain copes with aging: As brain power decreases, older adults find new ways to compute language

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 12:23 PM PDT

Older bilingual adults compensate for age-related declines in brainpower by developing new strategies to process language, according to a recent study.

Active efforts required to save 'ordinary species' that form basis of marine ecosystems

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 12:23 PM PDT

Active efforts are required to preserve biodiversity in the seas, most agree. But in our enthusiasm to save uncommon species, we sometimes miss the common species that form the basis of marine ecosystems.

Simple injection could limit damage from heart attacks and stroke

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 12:23 PM PDT

New research offers promise of a simple injection that could be developed to limit the devastating consequences of heart attacks and strokes. Scientists have identified an enzyme, Mannan Binding Lectin-Associated Serine Protease-2 (MASP-2), that is found in blood and is a key component of the lectin pathway of complement activation, a component of the innate immune system.

New scientific model tracks form of ovarian cancer to origins in fallopian tube

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 12:23 PM PDT

High-grade serous ovarian cancer is thought by many scientists to often be a fallopian tube malignancy masquerading as an ovarian one. While most of the evidence linking the cancer to the fallopian tubes has so far been only circumstantial, a new study suggests there is a direct connection, a finding that could aid in the development of better treatments.

Oxygenation at a depth of 120 meters could save the Baltic Sea, researchers demonstrate

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 11:16 AM PDT

Oxygenation brings dead sea bottoms to life. This creates the necessary conditions for the establishment of new ecosystems that enable nature itself to deal with eutrophication. By conducting pilot studies in two fjords in Sweden, researchers have demonstrated that pumping oxygen-rich surface water down to sea bottoms is effective. A large wind-driven pump is now to be tested in open water in the Baltic.

Super-small transistor created: Artificial atom powered by single electrons

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 10:55 AM PDT

A single-electron transistor with a central component -- an island only 1.5 nanometers in diameter -- that operates with the addition of only one or two electrons has been developed. The transistor, named SketchSET, provides a building block for new, more powerful computer memories, advanced electronic materials, and the basic components of quantum computers that could solve problems so complex that all of the world's computers working together for billions of years could not crack them.

'Liquefaction' key to much of Japanese earthquake damage

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 10:55 AM PDT

The massive subduction zone earthquake in Japan caused a significant level of soil "liquefaction" that has surprised researchers with its widespread severity, a new analysis shows. The findings also raise questions about whether existing building codes and engineering technologies are adequately accounting for this phenomenon in other vulnerable locations.

Habitat restoration could help species to cope with climate change

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 10:31 AM PDT

Animals and plants may need extra habitats to survive the challenge of climate change, according to new research. Human activities have reduced natural habitats to isolated "islands", making it more difficult for some species to re-locate to cooler regions in response to their existing locations growing warmer.

Predicting premature birth possible through markers in mother's blood

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 09:23 AM PDT

Scientists have identified a group of proteins and peptides that signal risk of premature birth. Their research shows that more than 80 percent of preterm births can be spotted in advance with a blood test taken during the second trimester.

Zoom-up star photos poke holes in century-old astronomical theory

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 09:23 AM PDT

The hottest stars in the universe spin so fast that they get a bit squished at their poles and dimmer around their middle. The 90-year-old theory that predicts the extent of this "gravity darkening" phenomenon has major flaws, according to a new study.

Move over Prozac: New drug offers hope for depression

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 09:23 AM PDT

The brain chemistry that underlies depression is incompletely understood, but research suggests that aberrant signaling by a chemical called brain-derived neurotrophic factor through its receptor TrkB, may contribute to anxiety and depression. Here, researchers describe a screen for stable small molecules that could specifically inhibit TrkB action. They identified one they dubbed ANA-12, which had potent behavioral effects when administered to mice that suggest it will have antidepressant and anti-anxiety activity in humans.

Overdose deaths down 35 percent after opening of Vancouver's supervised injection site

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 09:23 AM PDT

Illicit drug overdose deaths in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside dropped by 35 percent after the establishment of Insite, North America's first supervised injection facility, according a new study.

Newer oral contraceptive as safe for gall bladder as older birth-control pills, study suggests

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 09:23 AM PDT

Drospirenone, the top-selling oral contraceptive marketed as Yaz or Yasmin in the US and Canada, doesn't carry any more risk of gall bladder disease than the older generation of birth control pills, despite claims by some consumers and lawyers in both countries, according to a new study.

Professional hockey: Days lost per concussion in NHL increasing

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 09:23 AM PDT

A major study of concussions, conducted over seven National Hockey League seasons indicates that while the rate of injuries leveled out over the study period, the number of days lost per concussion has increased.

Oldest known toothache? Infection in jaw of ancient reptilian fossil revealed

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 08:42 AM PDT

A reptile that lived 275-million years ago in what is now Oklahoma is giving paleontologists a glimpse of the oldest known toothache.

Gene that could hold the key to muscle repair identified

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 06:38 AM PDT

Researchers have long questioned why patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) tend to manage well through childhood and adolescence, yet succumb to their disease in early adulthood, or why elderly people who lose muscle strength following bed rest find it difficult or impossible to regain. Now, researchers are beginning to find answers in a specialized population of cells called satellite cells.

Compound effectively halts progression of multiple sclerosis in animal model

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 06:38 AM PDT

Scientists have developed the first of a new class of highly selective compounds that effectively suppresses the severity of multiple sclerosis in animal models. The new compound could provide new and potentially more effective therapeutic approaches to multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases that affect patients worldwide.

Breast cancer: Tumor marker same in dogs and humans

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 06:38 AM PDT

Researchers were surprised to find that dogs and humans share a common tumor marker. The researchers uncovered a molecule, the CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen) receptor, that is almost identical in the two species. The result could lead to the rapid development of new therapies for dogs and humans.

New pollutants: Flame retardants detected in peregrine falcon eggs

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 06:37 AM PDT

Flame retardants are chemical compounds added to fabrics and plastics to keep them from burning easily, but these can be toxic. Now a team of researchers from Spain and Canada has detected some of these emerging pollutants for the first time in peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) eggs in both countries.

School students help astronomers study mysterious X-ray source

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 05:40 AM PDT

Astronomers from Wales and the Netherlands, in collaboration with five schools, have used eight telescopes simultaneously to study the strange behavior of an X-ray binary star system.

Shocking environment of hot Jupiters

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 05:40 AM PDT

Jupiter-like worlds around other stars push shock waves ahead of them, according to astronomers. Just as Earth's magnetic "bow-shock" protects us from the high-energy solar wind, these planetary shocks protect their atmospheres from their star's damaging emissions, according to new research.

Watching the birth of a sunspot

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 05:40 AM PDT

Researchers have monitored the birth of a sunspot over a period of eight hours using observations from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).

Did a supernova mark the birth of the Merry Monarch?

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 05:40 AM PDT

The supernova remnant Cassiopeia A (Cas A) is the relic of the explosion of a massive star that took place around 11,000 years ago and is one of the brightest radio sources in the sky. Oddly, although the light from the explosion should have reached the Earth in the seventeenth century and been easily visible in the sky, it appears to have gone unnoticed. Now astronomers and historians argue that the supernova was seen -- as a 'new' star visible during the day at the birth of the future King Charles II of Great Britain.

Plasmoids and sheaths mean success or failure for solar eruptions

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 05:40 AM PDT

Our Sun experiences regular eruptions of material into space, but solar physicists still have difficulty in explaining why these dramatic events take place. Now scientists think they have the answer: clouds of ionized gas (plasma) constrained by magnetic fields and known as 'plasmoids' that struggle to break free of the Sun's magnetic field.

Astronomers can tune in to radio auroras to find exoplanets

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 05:40 AM PDT

Detecting exoplanets that orbit at large distances from their star remains a challenge for planet hunters. Now, scientists have shown that emissions from the radio aurora of planets like Jupiter should be detectable by radio telescopes such as LOFAR, which will be completed later this year.

Large galaxies stopped growing seven billion years ago

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 05:40 AM PDT

Galaxies are thought to develop by the gravitational attraction between and merger of smaller 'sub-galaxies', a process that standard cosmological ideas suggest should be ongoing. But new data directly challenges this idea, suggesting that the growth of some of the most massive objects stopped 7 billion years ago when the universe was half its present age.

Missing the gorilla: People prone to 'inattention blindness' have a lower working memory capacity

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 05:32 AM PDT

Psychologists have learned why many people experience "inattention blindness" -- the phenomenon that leaves drivers on cell phones prone to traffic accidents and makes a gorilla invisible to viewers of a famous video. The answer: People who fail to see something right in front of them while they are focusing on something else have lower "working memory capacity" -- a measure of the ability to focus attention when and where needed, and on more than one thing at a time.

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