Science2.0

Common Respiratory Infection Bacteria On Verge Of Becoming Superbugs

Science2.0 - March 25, 2015 - 9:01pm
Antibiotic resistance is poised to spread globally among bacteria frequently implicated in respiratory and urinary infection, according to new research.

A recent study shows that two genes that confer resistance against a particularly strong class of antibiotics can be shared easily among a family of bacteria responsible for a significant portion of hospital-associated infections. Drug-resistant germs in the same family of bacteria recently infected several patients at two Los Angeles hospitals. The infections have been linked to medical scopes believed to have been contaminated with bacteria that can resist carbapenems, potent antibiotics that are supposed to be used only in gravely ill patients or those infected by resistant bacteria.
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Primary Mate Ejection Now Commencing: We're Hard-Wired To Get Over It

Science2.0 - March 25, 2015 - 8:46pm
Had a break up and finding it difficult to move on? It's an evolutionary mandate, according to a review of evolutionary psychology articles on romantic break-ups.

People are hardwired to fall out of love and move onto new romantic relationships, the authors suggest after examining the process of falling out of love and breaking up, which they call primary mate ejection, and moving on to develop a new romantic relationship, which they call secondary mate ejection.  
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Raw Milk Is 3 Percent Of The Market But Causes Over 50 Percent Of Milk Foodborne Illnesses

Science2.0 - March 25, 2015 - 8:10pm
Most people would be horrified if they went to a restaurant bathroom and saw the chef not bother to wash his hands after using the toilet. It's a good thing raw milk fad health buyers do not understand cow milking for the same reason.

A new review finds that consumers are nearly 100 times more likely to get foodborne illness from drinking raw milk than they are from drinking pasteurized milk, which is a lower figure than the Centers for Disease Control, which puts that number at 150X. Though a tiny fraction of milk drinkers risk consuming the raw kind, the raw kind accounts for over 50 percent of milk-related foodborne illness.
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You May Never Pay Off Your Student Loans

Science2.0 - March 25, 2015 - 7:32pm
In the 1980s, student loans were not unlimited, there was a cap on how much you could borrow without getting a regular loan from a bank. As a result, colleges and universities kept their costs down.

By the end of the decade, politicians saw a chart showing that people with a college degree made more money than people with a high school diploma. So the obvious solution for politicians was to give students unlimited student loans and secure loyal voters. It certainly worked. Universities now had unlimited funding and in thanks academic representation lurched wildly toward the party that made the political manna from heaven possible.
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Vitamin D May Keep Low-grade Prostate Cancer From Becoming Aggressive

Science2.0 - March 25, 2015 - 6:36pm

Taking vitamin D supplements could slow or even reverse the progression of less aggressive, or low-grade, prostate tumors without the need for surgery or radiation, a scientist will report today.

His team will describe the approach in one of nearly 11,000 presentations at the 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society. The meeting is being held here through Thursday.


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Ebola: Phase 1 Trial Of 2014 Virus Strain Vaccine Results

Science2.0 - March 25, 2015 - 4:08pm
The first phase 1 trial of an Ebola vaccine based on the current (2014) strain have shown it to be safe and provoke an immune response.  The big question, whether it can protect against the Ebola virus, remain unanswered for now.

A team of researchers led by Professor Fengcai Zhu, from the Jiangsu provincial center for disease prevention and control in China, tested the safety and immunogenicity of a novel Ebola vaccine, based on the 2014 Zaire Guinea Ebola strain, and delivered by a virus-like structure (known as a recombinant adenovirus type-5 vaccine). The experimental vaccine was developed by Beijing Institute of Biotechnology in Beijing, China, and Tianjin CanSino Biotechnology in Tianjin, China.
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Good Kind Of RIP: Soil Helps Control Radioactivity In Fukushima

Science2.0 - March 25, 2015 - 3:57pm

When radiation suddenly contaminates the land your family has farmed and lived on for generations, you might not expect soil to protect crops and human health - that is like expecting the mugging victim to track down the criminal - but that is what happens.

On March 11th, 2011, twin perils of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami caused widespread destruction in Japan, including peril at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The plant released radioactivity into the environment and the Japanese government evacuated over 100,000 people in the 30 kilometer zone around the plant.


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'Meat Of The Poor': Science Could Save Beans From Global Warming

Science2.0 - March 25, 2015 - 1:30pm

Both vegetarians and elite environmental activists have long considered meat as a vital food to cut if we are to reduce global emissions. For poor people, elites in developed nations believe beans would be a good substitute. While their 'it takes a gallon of gas to make a pound of beef' metric has long been debunked, they are not wrong for believing that livestock leads to emissions that would not be evident if we did not want the world's poorest to be equal to the rich when it comes to nutrition.
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Doomsday Dashboard Makes Tracking The Apocalypse Convenient

Science2.0 - March 25, 2015 - 1:30pm
Cyber warfare, killer robots, biological pandemics due to mad scientists, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has grown since the old days of just figuring out how to kill nuclear power.
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God Particle Analog In Superconductors Found

Science2.0 - March 25, 2015 - 1:00pm
The Nobel Prize-winning Higgs boson – the “God particle” - believed to be vital for understanding all of the mass in the universe, was found in 2012 at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, but that's not where the search began.

Instead, the first hint of the boson was inspired by studies of superconductors – a special class of metals that, when cooled to very low temperatures, allow electrons to move without resistance. The discovery of the Higgs boson verified the Standard Model, which predicted that particles gain mass by passing through a field that slows down their movement through the vacuum of space. Now a team of physicists has brought that work full circle, by reporting the first-ever observations of the Higgs mode in superconducting materials. 
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Why Some People Have Trouble Telling Left From Right

Science2.0 - March 25, 2015 - 12:30pm

Do you ever have trouble telling right from left? For example, you’re taking a driving lesson and the instructor asks you to take a left turn and you pause, struggling to think of which way is left.

If so, you’re not on your own – a significant proportion of our population has difficulty in telling right from left.

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Intellectually Gifted Kids And Learning Disabilities Often Go Hand In Hand

Science2.0 - March 25, 2015 - 8:00am

Mention the terms “intellectual giftedness” and “learning disability” and there is a general understanding of what each term means. However, most people are unaware that in many circumstances the two can go hand in hand.

Current US research suggests that 14% of children who are identified as being intellectually gifted may also have a learning disability. This is compared to about 4% of children in the general population. No-one has been able to explain this discrepancy.

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Updating Fermi's Paradox – The Super Fermi Paradox

Science2.0 - March 25, 2015 - 6:41am


The Fermi Paradox roughly states that: The universe is both big enough and old enough to have birthed advanced civilizations.

Statistically, we are likely not the first. Far older super ETs should have left super artifacts around for us to find, by intention or not.

The observational evidence, however, strongly suggests otherwise. 

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OsteoProbe Tells Good Bone From Bad

Science2.0 - March 25, 2015 - 5:44am

For people taking glucocorticoids such as prednisone, the increased risk of bone fracture is a well-documented side effect. Used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including autoimmune diseases and allergies, glucocorticoids are known to cause rapid deterioration in bone strength.

Until now, doctors have been able to measure bone loss -- a process that happens slowly, over time -- but haven't had the means for gauging actual bone strength. That has changed thanks to a new hand-held instrument developed in the Hansma Lab at UC Santa Barbara. Called the OsteoProbe, the device uses reference point indentation (RPI) to measure mechanical properties of bone at the tissue level.


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Greater-than-additive Management Effects Key In Reducing Corn Yield Gaps

Science2.0 - March 25, 2015 - 5:17am

While many recent studies have documented that agricultural producers must significantly increase yields in order to meet the food, feed, and fuel demands of a growing population, few have given practical solutions on how to do this. Crop science researchers at the University of Illinois interested in determining and reducing corn yield gaps are addressing this important issue by taking a systematic approach to the problem.


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Self-expanding Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Widens Advantage Over Surgery At 2 Years

Science2.0 - March 25, 2015 - 5:17am

Two-year data show a continued survival advantage for self-expanding transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) over standard surgery in high-risk patients with severe aortic stenosis, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 64th Annual Scientific Session.

Aortic stenosis--a problem that occurs when the valve in the heart's main artery doesn't open fully--forces the heart to work harder to pump blood and is life-threatening over time. Valve replacement is common when this condition becomes severe, but the health profile of many patients makes standard surgical valve replacement especially risky.


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Air Pollutants Could Boost Potency Of Common Airborne Allergens

Science2.0 - March 25, 2015 - 4:15am

A pair of air pollutants linked to climate change could also be a major contributor to the unparalleled rise in the number of people sneezing, sniffling and wheezing during allergy season. The gases, nitrogen dioxide and ground-level ozone, appear to provoke chemical changes in certain airborne allergens that could increase their potency. That, in combination with changes in global climate, could help explain why airborne allergies are becoming more common.

The findings will be presented today at the 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society. The meeting features nearly 11,000 reports on new advances in science and other topics. It is being held here through Thursday.


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Electric Vehicles Have This Little Known Intangible Benefit

Science2.0 - March 25, 2015 - 4:15am

A new study adds fuel to the already hot debate about whether electric vehicles are more environmentally friendly than conventional vehicles by uncovering two hidden benefits.

They show that the cool factor is real - in that electric vehicles emit significantly less heat. That difference could mitigate the urban heat island effect, the phenomenon that helps turn big cities like Beijing into pressure cookers in warm months.

Moreover, the cooling resulting from replacing all gas-powered vehicles with electric vehicles could mean city dwellers needing less air conditioning, another environmental win.


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Recipe For How To Grow A Human Lung

Science2.0 - March 25, 2015 - 3:13am

Scientists have grown the first 3-D mini lungs from stem cells, which means research is one step closer to being able to create one of the Big 5 organs from a patient's stem cells rather than having waiting lists for donors.

The University of Michigan scientists succeeded in growing structures resembling both the large proximal airways and the small distal airways.

Their recipe: 

Embryonic stem cells

Proteins involved in lung development

Growth factors

Inhibitors of intestine development

Growing media

Petri dish

Protein mixture

Method for "morphogenesis in a dish"


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Disease Mongering: "Low T" And Marketing Testosterone For Aging

Science2.0 - March 25, 2015 - 12:16am
The marketing, prescribing and selling of testosterone and growth hormone as panaceas for age-related problems is disease mongering, write the authors of a paper in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society .

Disease mongering is inventing new broader definitions of disease in conjunction with widespread marketing to increase sales of specific drugs and therapies.
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