Science2.0

High-Dose Opioid Use Continues To Climb In Canada

Science2.0 - September 18, 2014 - 1:28am

Between 2006 and 2011, high-dose opioid prescribing in Canada increased by 23 percent despite clinical guidelines recommending that most patients should avoid high-doses of these drugs, according to new research. 

Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) found that rates of high-dose opioid dispensing across Canada increased from 781 units per 1,000 people in 2006 to 961 units per 1,000 people in 2011.


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Vancomycin Modified To Vanquish Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Science2.0 - September 17, 2014 - 10:30pm
Scientists have devised a new antibiotic based on vancomycin that is effective against vancomycin-resistant strains of  methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other disease-causing bacteria. The new vancomycin analog appears to have not one but two distinct mechanisms of anti-microbial action, against which bacteria probably cannot evolve resistance quickly.
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New Land, Fewer Harvests? The Possible Future Of Global Agriculture

Science2.0 - September 17, 2014 - 10:01pm

Over half of the Earth's accessible agricultural land is already under cultivation because ecological factors such as climate, soil quality, water supply and topography determined the suitability of land for agriculture when people had to just find the best spots.

There are various knobs turning for the future of food. Science has made it possible for food to be grown with less environmental strain in more and more areas but climate change may impact global agriculture.


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People With Blood Type AB More At Risk Of Cognitive Decline And Dementia

Science2.0 - September 17, 2014 - 10:01pm

Don't bank on it. Credit: Sabinurce

By Kristine Alexander, University of Vermont

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In The 21st Century, Bioethics Literacy Matters

Science2.0 - September 17, 2014 - 9:30pm

From government control of health care to new reproductive technologies in this century, we'll need to be able identify key issues, articulate their values and concerns, deliberate openly and find ways forward.

The Hastings Center and the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues have teamed up to publish a series of essays to highlight the best practices in teaching bioethics and to identify gaps in our knowledge of how best to inspire and increase moral understanding, analytical thinking in the moral domain, and professional integrity. The first three of these essays, which appear in the current Hastings Center Report, focus on bioethics education for practicing clinicians.


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Nemo Finding Home - The Epic Journey Of Clownfish

Science2.0 - September 17, 2014 - 9:01pm

New research has found clownfish larvae can swim up to 400 kilometers in search of a home, which makes them better able to cope with environmental change.

Clownfish spend their entire adult lives under the protection of their host anemone but as babies they must wander the open ocean.

As part of the international study, a team of researchers to southern Oman, where they collected samples of the only two known populations of the Omani clownfish, Amphiprion omanensis


Clownfish spend their entire lives nestling in the protective tentacles of host anemones. Credit: Tane Sinclair-Taylor


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Artificial Sweeteners Linked To Glucose Intolerance

Science2.0 - September 17, 2014 - 9:01pm
Artificial sweeteners are promoted as aids to weight loss and diabetes prevention but a new study finds they could actually hasten the development of glucose intolerance and metabolic disease, and in a surprising way: by changing the composition and function of the gut microbiota, the substantial population of bacteria residing in our intestines.

The work was based on experiments in mice and humans by Dr. Eran Elinav of the Weizmann Institute of Science’s Department of Immunology, who led this research together with Prof. Eran Segal of the Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics.
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RepRap: Open Source Lab Equipment Makes Science Cheaper - And Faster

Science2.0 - September 17, 2014 - 8:30pm

Research lab and hospital equipment are two areas where competition drives costs up - if Lab A has a need for a new piece of equipment, Lab B has to get it and that same goes for hospitals. Companies have no reason to undercut each other because the actual market is not that big. 

Help may be on the way for a commonly used piece of equipment: the syringe pump. A team led by an engineer at Michigan Technological University has published an open-source library of designs that will let scientists slash its cost. Syringe pumps are used to dispatch precise amounts of liquid, as for drug delivery or mixing chemicals in a reaction. They can also cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.


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Without Western Diet, Asian-Americans Lower Insulin Resistance

Science2.0 - September 17, 2014 - 7:30pm
Asian-Americans are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than Caucasian-Americans, and prone to develop the disease at lower body weights.

Can Asian heritage and ancestral reliance on a high-fiber, low-fat Asian mean extra risks for those of Asian heritage?
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M60-UCD1: Tiny Galaxy, Supermassive Black Hole

Science2.0 - September 17, 2014 - 7:01pm

An ultracompact dwarf galaxy known as M60-UCD1 harbors a supermassive black hole – the smallest galaxy known to contain such a massive light-sucking object.

The astronomers used the Gemini North 8-meter optical-and-infrared telescope on Hawaii's Mauna Kea and photos taken by the Hubble Space Telescope to discover that M60-UCD1 has a black hole with a mass equal to 21 million suns. Their finding suggests plenty of other ultracompact dwarf galaxies likely also contain supermassive black holes – and those dwarfs may be the stripped remnants of larger galaxies that were torn apart during collisions with yet other galaxies.


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Creating 480 Varieties Of Wheat Is Deserving Of The World Food Prize

Science2.0 - September 17, 2014 - 6:30pm

There is never enough of this golden beauty. Credit: bradhigham, CC BY

By Angela White, University of Sheffield

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Blame Evolution For Chimpanzee Lethal Aggression, Not Humans

Science2.0 - September 17, 2014 - 6:18pm

Is chimpanzee intergroup aggression like primitive warfare, an adaptive strategy that gives the perpetrators an edge, or is it the consequence of human activities, such as provisioning - artificial feeding - by researchers or habitat destruction?

A new study of the pattern of intergroup aggression in chimpanzees and pygmy chimpanzees (bonobos), their close relatives, finds that human impact isn't the culprit.   

The research project compiled data collected over five decades from 18 chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and four bonobo (Pan paniscus) communities.



Ian Gilby. Credit: Ian Gilby


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US Health System Doesn't Think About End Of Life - Yet

Science2.0 - September 17, 2014 - 6:00pm

The United States is one of few wealthy nations without national or socialized health care and, as a result, the Hippocratic Oath has always been paramount. Even when it hasn't been efficient, doctors have tried to save and extend lives.

As a result, the US health care system is not culturally prepared to deal with patients nearing the end of life and their families.

A 21-member
Institute of Medicine


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Blood Test To Diagnose Depression Uses 9 RNA Blood Markers

Science2.0 - September 17, 2014 - 5:00pm

Northwestern Medicine researchers say they have developed the first blood test to diagnose major depression in adults, by measuring the levels of nine RNA blood markers.

RNA molecules are the messengers that interpret the DNA genetic code and carry out its instructions. 


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Iberian Pig Genome Unchanged For The Last 500 Years

Science2.0 - September 17, 2014 - 4:30pm

Humans may think we are eating paleo - like ancient ancestors - or organic - like before the advent of modern fertilizers and pesticides in the early 1800s - but nothing could be further from the truth. The microbiome of today shares little in common with people of even 100 years ago and if epigenetic claims about diet are true, our genome is different as well.

And nothing should be changed like pigs, which are commonly now descended from Asian and European mixes. But a team of Spanish researchers have obtained the first partial genome sequence of an ancient pig, sequences from remains found at the site of the Montsoriu Castle in Girona.


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The Future May Mean Carhacking Instead Of Carjacking

Science2.0 - September 17, 2014 - 3:48pm

An older, mechanical car is a closed system - the only way to hack it is to be physically present. But as automobiles become increasingly chip-oriented, any way to update software remotely means the potential to be hacked.  You won't be carjacked, you'll be carhacked
The car of the future will be safer, smarter and offer greater high-tech gadgets, but be warned without improved security the risk of car hacking is real, according to a QUT road safety expert.


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Climate Council: Without Action, Rising Seas Will Cost Us Billions

Science2.0 - September 17, 2014 - 3:30pm

Australia's coast is famous around the world - but rising sea levels are poised to make things a lot less fun. Credit: Adam J.W.C./Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

By Martin Rice; John Hunter, University of Tasmania; Lesley Hughes, and Will Steffen, Australian National University

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Dark Matter Is A Bose-Einstein Condensate?

Science2.0 - September 17, 2014 - 3:01pm

What is dark matter? No one can say because it can't be detected or measured, but in science inference can help and we know that something is making gravity not work properly at the large scale.

What we know as matter - stars, planets, us and other organisms - is baryonic matter, but it is only a small fraction of the universe. The rest gets lumped under blanket terms like dark energy and dark matter. Dark matter must be a form of matter the particles of which move slowly in comparison with light and interact weakly with electromagnetic radiation.


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Sea Lamprey Shows The Origins Of Brain Development

Science2.0 - September 17, 2014 - 3:00pm

Parasitic lamprey are a challenge to study but an important one - they are an invasive pest in the Great Lakes but difficult to study under controlled conditions because they live up to 10 years and only spawn for a few short weeks in the summer before they die. 

Lamprey are slimy, eel-like parasitic fish with tooth-riddled, jawless, sucking mouths, and rather disgusting to look at, but thanks to their important position on the vertebrate family tree, they can offer important insights about the evolutionary history of brain development, according to a new paper in Nature.


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Trees Love Climate Change

Science2.0 - September 17, 2014 - 2:31pm

Last decade, science faced an ecological puzzle: under hotter, drier conditions of global warming, forests should have been penalized but instead the rainforests thrived. It isn't the first time - the climate change that caused the death of the dinosaurs gave them a big boost also.


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