Science2.0

Gene Enables Stem Cells To Regenerate A Decapitated Head

Science2.0 - July 4, 2014 - 12:30am

Researchers have announced the discovery of a gene, zic-1, that enables stem cells to regrow a head after decapitation in flatworm planarians.


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Oklahoma Quakes Linked To Wastewater Injection Of Disposal Wells

Science2.0 - July 3, 2014 - 11:47pm

The earthquakes in central Oklahoma since 2009 are likely attributable to subsurface wastewater injection at a handful of disposal wells -
Oklahoma earthquakes constitute nearly half of all central and eastern U.S. seismicity from 2008 to 2013, many occurring in areas of high-rate water disposal.

These are legacy drilling operations, not modern natural gas fracking.


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Pasture To Sugar Cane: Carbon In Soil Rebound Only Takes A Few Years Of Cultivation

Science2.0 - July 3, 2014 - 11:01pm

The reduction of soil carbon stock caused by the conversion of pasture areas into sugarcane plantations is very common change in Brazil in recent years but those worried about the impact on CO2 can rest easy. It can  be offset within two or three years of cultivation.

The calculation by researchers at the Center for Nuclear Energy in Agriculture (CENA) of the University of São Paulo (USP) in collaboration with colleagues from the Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture (Esalq), also at USP, concluded, "Soil carbon stocks on land-use change process to sugarcane production in South-Central Brazil."


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Untrasound For Baby Stars - Determining Age By Sound Waves

Science2.0 - July 3, 2014 - 10:46pm

Acoustic vibrations – sound waves – are produced by radiation pressure inside stars. While physicists have long posited that young stars vibrate differently than older stars, a new study says it is the first to confirm these predications using concrete data from outer space. 

First author Konstanze Zwintz, a postdoctoral researcher at KU Leuven's Institute for Astronomy, and her colleagues studied the vibrations of 34 stars aged under 10 million years and sized between one and four times the mass of our sun.


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FDA’s Pathway For Hospital Acquired Pneumonia - It's Feasible But Stupid

Science2.0 - July 3, 2014 - 7:48pm

The FDA released its long-awaited Draft Guidance on hospital-acquired pneumonia recently. Their guidance has not changed since I wrote a blog about my last meeting with the FDA antibacterial drug development task force back in September of last year.

To reiterate what I stated back then . . .

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Higgs Boson Mass: CMS On Top!

Science2.0 - July 3, 2014 - 7:36pm
A couple of weeks ago I reported here about the new measurement of the Higgs boson mass produced by the ATLAS experiment. That determination, which used the full dataset of Run 1 proton-proton collisions produced by the LHC in 2011-2012, became and remained for two weeks the most precise one of the Higgs mass. Alas, as I wrote the piece I already knew that CMS was going to beat that result very soon, but of course I could not say anything about it... It ached a bit!
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Bone Marrow Fat Helps The Body Stay Healthy

Science2.0 - July 3, 2014 - 5:59pm

You know why soup tastes good - and your dogs love it too. It's bone marrow fat. Now it may be healthier to eat delicious.

A study has found that the fat tissue in bone marrow is a significant source of the hormone adiponectin, which helps maintain insulin sensitivity, break down fat, and has been linked to decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity-associated cancers. 


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R.I.P Portuguese Science

Science2.0 - July 3, 2014 - 4:48pm
Portuguese government shuts down half of the research units in the country

The Portuguese funding agency for science (Fundação para a Ciência e aTecnologia – FCT) has just announced lthat it will stop  funding nearly half of the research units in the country (154 units out of 322), which means to destroy the career of about a third of the total number of researchers in the country (5187 out of 15444).

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Bone House: Species Of Wasps Protects Its Home Using Bodies Of Dead Ants

Science2.0 - July 3, 2014 - 4:10pm
Want to send a message to possible invaders? Pile dead bodies high and deep. A new species of wasp does just that.

This wasp with a unique nest-building strategy was discovered in the forests of southeast China. The "bone-house wasp" shuts off its nest with a chamber full of dead ants in order to protect its offspring from enemies, as shown by Michael Staab and Prof. Dr. Alexandra-Maria Klein from the Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences of the University of Freiburg as well as scientists from the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.

No other such strategy has ever been discovered before in the animal kingdom. 

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Human Genome Reduced To 19,000 Genes - Almost All Hail From 50 Million Years Ago

Science2.0 - July 3, 2014 - 3:48pm

The human genome and the messages coded by 3 billion letters that determine everything from how nutrients are metabolized to how neurons communicate in the brain.

The detection and characterization of the genes present in this mass of information is a complex task that has been a source of ongoing debate since the Human Genome Project completed its first mission. It's even unclear how many genes there are.


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Iron's Impact On The Ocean Carbon Cycle Needs Greater Study

Science2.0 - July 3, 2014 - 3:36pm

Iron is one of the essential elements of life. Found in enzymes like myoglobin and hemoglobin and cytochrome P450, iron is an essential cog in the biomachinery of every living cell. 

Iron is present in tiny concentrations in seawater. On the order of a few billionths of a gram in a liter.  Given that there is so little iron in seawater, one might conclude that its presence there is inconsequential, but its scarcity in the ocean, the earth's wellspring of life, only magnifies its importance. 


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Archaeopteryx Plumage: Feathers And Their Recruitment For Flight

Science2.0 - July 3, 2014 - 2:57pm

Paleontologists of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich studying a new specimen of Archaeopteryx have found previously unknown features of the plumage, which shed light on the original function of feathers and their recruitment for flight. 


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Canadians With Dyslexia 6X More Likely To Have Been Physically Abused In Childhood

Science2.0 - July 3, 2014 - 1:51pm

Dyslexic adults in a representative sample of 13,054 adults aged 18 and over in the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey included 1,020 respondents who reported that they had been physically abused during their childhood and 77 who reported that they had been diagnosed by a health professional with dyslexia. 

That translates to 35 percent of Canadian adults with dyslexia reporting they were physically abused before they turned 18. In contrast, 7 percent of those without dyslexia reported that they had experienced childhood physical abuse. 


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How Did Ancient Japanese Gold Leaf Artists Work At Nanoscale?

Science2.0 - July 3, 2014 - 1:00pm

We know that ancient Japanese gold leaf artists were truly masters of their craft - their works are ornate and delicate.

What remains a mystery is how artifacts were gilded with gold leaf that was hand-beaten to the nanometer scale. Gold leaf refers to a very thin sheet made from a combination of gold and other metals. It has almost no weight and can only be handled by specially designed tools. Even though the ancient Egyptians were probably the first to gild artwork with it, the Japanese have long been credited as being able to produce the thinnest gold leaf in the world.


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Combined Aerobic And Resistance Training Best For Controlling Blood Sugar And Fat

Science2.0 - July 3, 2014 - 9:00am

A systematic review and meta-analysis of available data published in Diabetologia suggests that combined aerobic and resistance training, rather than either alone, is best for controlling both blood sugar and blood fat profiles among people with type 2 diabetes.

However, the authors stress that the strength of the results is weakened when studies with high risk of bias are removed, and thus more high quality trials are needed to make more definitive conclusions. 


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MDs As Debt Counselors And Psychologists: Welfare Reforms Increase Doctor Visits

Science2.0 - July 3, 2014 - 8:00am

The UK government is in a deficit crisis. Unlike the US, they seem to worry about it.

In order to reduce the deficit, they have taken steps to make welfare less of a chronic lifestyle. 

Since 2010 the UK government has introduced a raft of reforms to the welfare system in a bid to reduce the deficit, but a total of 1,056 GPs across the UK who completed a survey (out of 28,602 who were contacted) lead the authors of a recent paper in BMJ to suggest that people receiving welfare support due to illness or disability are struggling to cope with cuts to their benefits and are turning to their GP practices for help - which has increased the workload for doctors.


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So Much Viagra Is Taken Illegally, Maybe Governments Should Buy Out The Patent Before 2017

Science2.0 - July 3, 2014 - 6:30am

The argument for making marijuana legal despite its health risks is that so many people use it anyway that it creates a society of casual criminals at best - maybe they are getting a bogus prescription for 'pain' or glaucoma or inventing some way it helps them. And at worst it makes criminals rich and puts users at risk because the quality is unmonitored and perhaps even dangerous.


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Desert Design: Scorpions Are Master Architects

Science2.0 - July 3, 2014 - 5:53am

Scorpions build a platform on which to warm up before the evening hunt. 


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Nutrition Screenings Should Be Regular Part Of Geriatric Health Assessment

Science2.0 - July 3, 2014 - 5:53am

As older adults typically have one or more chronic health conditions that can affect dietary intake, malnutrition has been identified as a serious problem in older adults. This has given rise to the recommendation that nutrition screenings be a mandatory part of the comprehensive geriatric analysis (CGA).

The CGA, first developed in the 1930s, is a multidimensional diagnostic process that looks at a frail elderly person's medical, psychosocial, and functional capabilities in order to develop an overall plan for treatment and follow-up. While it has been used across health settings, the CGA is typically used in a geriatric specialty unit by a team that includes physicians, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, therapists, and social workers.


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IBM Wants To Manage Big Data For The Internet Of Things - What It Means For Science 2.0

Science2.0 - July 3, 2014 - 4:38am
IBM takes data seriously, as seriously as they took Business Machines back in their early days.

They want to be the resource for the blanket concept of The Internet Of Things. Someone will have to do it, because the amount of information available today is overwhelming. When you can produce 250 gigabytes of data an hour, you have too much data.

Or you are onto something big.
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