Science2.0

Ménière's Disease: New Insight Into Rare Inner Ear Condition

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 11:30pm

Ménière's Disease is a rare condition affecting the inner ear.  It can cause tinnitus, hearing loss, vertigo attacks and a feeling of pressure deep within the ear and is a long term but non-fatal illness, making it low profile in scientific community.

But 160,000 sufferers in the UK are getting some help from the University of Exeter Medical School, which has been able to suggest what goes wrong in the body when people develop the disease, and provide an insight into factors that lead to its development.


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In Deaf People, The Language They Learned As Kids Affected Brain Structure

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 11:00pm

People who are deaf and those with hearing differ in brain anatomy, no surprise in that.

But studies of individuals who are deaf and use American Sign Language (ASL) from birth aren't telling the whole science story. 95 percent of the deaf population in America is born to hearing parents and use English or another spoken language as their first language, usually through lip-reading.

Since both language and audition are housed in nearby locations in the brain, understanding which differences are attributed to hearing and which to language is critical in understanding the mechanisms by which experience shapes the brain. 


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CHRONO: The Missing Piece In The Mammalian Circadian Clock Puzzle

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 11:00pm

All organisms, from mammals to fungi, have daily cycles controlled by a tightly regulated internal clock called the circadian clock.

The circadian clock is influenced by exposure to light and dictates the wake-sleep cycle. At the cellular level, the clock is controlled by a complex network of genes and proteins that switch each other on and off based on cues from their environment and most genes involved in the regulation of the circadian clock have been characterized, but a key component was missing in mammals. 

In a new study, a team performed a genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis for genes that were the target of BMAL1, a core clock component that binds to many other clock genes, regulating their transcription. 


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Casual Marijuana Use Linked To Brain Abnormalities

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 10:24pm

Young adults who used marijuana recreationally show significant abnormalities in two key brain regions that are important in emotion and motivation, according to a study in the Journal of Neuroscience.

The authors document how casual use of marijuana is related to major brain changes and showed the degree of brain abnormalities in these regions is directly related to the number of joints a person smoked per week. The more joints a person smoked, the more abnormal the shape, volume and density of the brain regions.


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The Human Food Relationship: It's Complicated

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 9:57pm

Home can sometimes literally be in the kitchen.

A Puerto Rican community - in Connecticut of all places - creates cuisine authentic it has caught the attention of scientists.

Like immigrants throughout history who ventured forth with their favorite plants in tow, the Puerto Ricans of Hartford maintain cuisine as an important component of their identity. But this strong relationship to food has had a profound impact on human health by reshaping environmental biodiversity, influencing the diets of neighbors, and preserving elements of culture, according to botanists David W. Taylor and Gregory J. Anderson.


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Rock Paper Scissors - How Biological Mutation Wins

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 9:24pm
Without knowing it, organisms search for the next “winning” strategy in evolution. Mutation plays a key role in the evolution of new, and sometimes successful, traits. It's a lot like rock-paper-scissors - roshambo.(1)
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Pollution Ghettos? Study Finds Minority Neighborhoods Have Worse Air Than White Ones

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 9:00pm
A study by has determined that, on average nationally, minorities are exposed to 38 percent higher levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) outdoor air pollution compared to white people.

Nitrogen dioxide comes from sources like vehicle exhaust and power plants. Breathing NO2 is linked to asthma symptoms and heart disease. The Environmental Protection Agency has listed it as one of the seven key air pollutants it monitors. The researchers studied NO2 levels in urban areas across the country and compared specific areas within the cities based on populations defined in the U.S. Census as “nonwhite” or “white.”
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After The Blood Moon: Do Some Post-Apocalypse Science

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 8:30pm
Since the Blood Moon - whatever that is, it sounds Biblical - was last night, and it spells the beginning of our doom, according to a guy trying to sell some books, it's time to start prepping for the days of ultimate holy war. That means no more Southern blots and particle colliders, it's back to basics.

In preparation, this weekend the kids and I decided to see what kind of life we could make for ourselves while the Four Horsemen duke it out with the Holy Ghost in what would arguably be the best D&D game ever.
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MiR-25 Shuts Down The Overworked Heart

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 7:43pm
Cardiovascular disease often causes the heart to work harder than usual, a condition that triggers the chronic buildup of cardiac pressure and the onset of heart failure.
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Herding Cells With Electrcity Could Lead To Smart Bandages

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 7:05pm
Researchers have used an electrical current to orchestrate the flow of a group of cells, an achievement that could establish the basis for more controlled forms of tissue engineering and for potential applications such as "smart bandages" that use electrical stimulation to help heal wounds.

In the experiments, the researchers used single layers of epithelial cells, the type of cells that bind together to form robust sheathes in skin, kidneys, cornea and other organs. They found that by applying an electric current of about five volts per centimeter, they could encourage cells to migrate along the direct current field. 
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Puppet Plagiarism - Copycats Are Just Not Cute

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 6:53pm
Kids know it is wrong to steal stuff - they also seem to know it's wrong to steal an idea. They just discover it a little later.

University of Washington psychologist Kristina Olson and colleagues discovered that preschoolers often don't view a copycat negatively but by the age of 5 or 6, they do. It holds true even across cultures that typically view intellectual property rights in different ways, like in Germany where they violate international trademarks and hold a Science 2.0 conference and, worse, charge people to attend.
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Breaking Bad Mitochondria

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 6:40pm

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a mechanism that explains why people with the hepatitis C virus get liver disease and why the virus is able to persist in the body for so long.

The hard-to-kill pathogen, which infects an estimated 200 million people worldwide, attacks the liver cells' energy centers – the mitochondria – dismantling the cell's innate ability to fight infection. It does this by altering cells mitochondrial dynamics.

The study, published in today's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that mitochondrial operations could be a therapeutic target against hepatitis C, the leading cause of liver transplants and a major cause of liver cancer in the U.S.


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Regenerated Esophagus Successfully Transplanted Into Rat

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 5:43pm
A research team led by Paolo Macchiarini, MD, PhD at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden has successfully transplanted a regenerated esophagus into a rat using a bioreactor developed by Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology (HART), a spin-off of Harvard Bioscience. Macchiarini has previously done several successful regenerated trachea transplants in human patients using a HART bioreactor.
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Less Salt Intake Credited With Lower Cardiovascular Disease Deaths

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 4:10pm

The 15% fall in dietary salt intake, which is implicated in increased blood pressure, over the past decade in England is likely to have had a key role in the 40% drop in deaths from heart disease and stroke over the same period, according to a paper in BMJ Open.

Average salt intake across the nation is still far too high, the authors warn, and much greater effort is needed to curb the salt content of the foods we eat. 

The authors base their findings on an analysis of data from more than 31,500 people taking part in the Health Survey for England for the years 2003—when initiatives to curb population salt intake began across the UK—2006, 2008, and 2011.


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Meta-Analysis Supports Whey Protein, Resistance Exercise For Improved Body Composition

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 4:08pm

 A meta-analysis that included 14 randomized controlled trials with a total of 626 adult participants found that  whey protein, either as a supplement combined with resistance exercise or as part of a weight-loss or weight-maintenance diet, may provide men and women benefits related to body composition.


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Welcome Peggy: Saturn's Newest Moon?

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 3:06pm
A small icy object within the rings of Saturn may be a new moon, according to interpretation of images taken with Cassini's narrow angle camera on April 15, 2013 which show disturbances at the very edge of Saturn's A ring -- the outermost of the planet's large, bright rings.

One of these disturbances is an arc about 20 percent brighter than its surroundings, 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) long and 6 miles (10 kilometers) wide. Scientists also found unusual protuberances in the usually smooth profile at the ring's edge. Scientists believe the arc and protuberances are caused by the gravitational effects of a nearby object. 
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Outgoing Behavior Makes For Happier Humans

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 2:20pm

PULLMAN, Wash. - Happy is as happy does, apparently—for human beings all over the world. Not only does acting extroverted lead to more positive feelings across several cultures, but people also report more upbeat behavior when they feel free to be themselves.

These findings were among those recently published in the Journal of Research in Personality in a paper by Timothy Church, professor of counseling psychology and associate dean of research in the College of Education at Washington State University. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation.


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Bizarre Parasite May Provide Cuttlefish Clues

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 2:20pm

University of Adelaide research into parasites of cuttlefish, squid and octopus has uncovered details of the parasites' astonishing life cycles, and shown how they may help in investigating populations of their hosts.

Researcher Dr Sarah Catalano has described 10 new parasite species− dicyemid mesozoans −, which live in the kidneys of cephalopods (cuttlefish, squid and octopus). They are the very first dicyemid species to be described from Australian waters.


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Whooping Cough Bacterium Evolves In Australia

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 2:20pm

The bacterium that causes whooping cough, Bordetella pertussis, has changed in Australia - most likely in response to the vaccine used to prevent the disease - with a possible reduced effectiveness of the vaccine as a result, a new study shows.

A UNSW-led team of researchers analysed strains of Bordetella pertussis from across Australia and found that many strains no longer produce a key surface protein called pertactin.


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British Medical Journal Study: Your Psych Meds Can Kill You

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 12:12pm

Sleep aids are a more than <

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