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Nitrogen Factories In The Cretaceous Oceans

Science2.0 - March 22, 2016 - 12:17pm

Researchers have discovered a 'bizarre' microorganism which plays a key role in the food web of Earth's oceans.

Researchers from Spain's Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM-CSIC), alongside colleagues at the University of Bristol in the UK, discovered that symbiotic phytoplankton capable of fertilising the ocean with nitrogen 'fertilizer' evolved back in the Cretaceous at a time when the oceans were nutrient deprived.

This study, which used data from the Tara Oceans circumnavigation expedition, is published in Nature Communications today [22 March].


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Cat Noses, Beards And All The Other Places Scientists Are Looking For New Antibiotics

Science2.0 - March 22, 2016 - 11:36am

Many of the drugs we use in hospitals, such as antibiotics, antifungals and anti-cancer drugs, are produced by bacteria that live in the soil beneath our feet.

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Want To Bet 20:1 That The 750 GeV Resonance Is Real ?

Science2.0 - March 21, 2016 - 8:05pm
UPDATE: Tiziano tells me that he has been misquoted by the Guardian - he was quoting himself a colleague when he mentioned the 20:1 bet. Sorry to say this bet is not on, at least until the person who offered the bet in the first place will manifest him- or herself....

I bet most of you, who are interested in Physics, know what I mean when I talk about "the 750 GeV particle". Last December, the ATLAS and CMS experiments released information about a tantalizing hint of a new particle with a mass in the 750 GeV ballpark. The resonance was seen in the decay to pairs of energetic photons. Since both experiments see more or less the same thing, this may be a fluctuation, but if it is, it is a really rare one.  -->

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Individualized Cancer Treatment Targeting The Tumor, Not The Whole Body, A Step Closer

Science2.0 - March 21, 2016 - 1:43pm

They look like small, translucent gems but these tiny 'gel' slivers hold the world of a patient's tumour in microcosm ready for trials of anti-cancer drugs to find the best match between treatment and tumour.

The 'gel' is a new 3D printable material developed by QUT researchers that opens the way to rapid, personalised cancer treatment by enabling multiple, simultaneous tests to find the correct therapy to target a particular tumour.

Professor Dietmar W. Hutmacher from QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation said the new material was a gelatine-based hydrogel that mimicked human tissue.


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Researchers Track Neural Stem Cells By Coloring Chicken Eggs From The Inside

Science2.0 - March 21, 2016 - 1:43pm

Athens, Ga. - An overwhelming number of researchers still struggle within the black hole of the effectiveness and safety of stem cell therapy for neurological diseases. While the complexity of understanding how neurons grow, connect and function has long been studied, it remains a mystery, one that graduate student Forrest Goodfellow in the University of Georgia Regenerative Bioscience Center is helping unravel.

Goodfellow, a graduate student in the University of Georgia's Regenerative Bioscience Center, has developed a unique approach of marrying stem cell biology and 3-D imaging to track and label neural stem cells. His findings were published in the journal Advanced Functional Material.


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Beyond Alzheimer's: Study Reveals How Mix Of Brain Ailments Drives Dementia

Science2.0 - March 21, 2016 - 1:43pm

A new analysis based on two long-term aging studies--one of Roman Catholic nuns, the other of Japanese American men--provides what may be the most compelling evidence yet that dementia commonly results from a blend of brain ailments, rather than from a single condition. This is often the case even when an Alzheimer's diagnosis has been given, say the researchers.

A team led by Dr. Lon White, with the University of Hawaii and the Veterans Affairs-affiliated Pacific Health Research and Education Institute, analyzed data on more than 1,100 people who had taken part in the Nun Study or the Honolulu-Asia Aging Study. Both studies followed hundreds of aging adults and included brain autopsies upon their death.


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Interventions To Minimize High-risk Prescribing Can Cut Emergency Admissions

Science2.0 - March 20, 2016 - 8:08pm

High-risk prescribing and preventable drug-related complications in primary care are major concerns for health care systems internationally, responsible for up to 4 per cent of emergency hospital admissions.

Now a major study of drug prescribing has shown that intervening in primary care health practices can significantly reduce rates of high-risk prescribing of drugs.

The results of the study have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study, led by NHS Tayside and the University of Dundee, has also shown that the change in prescribing patterns can lead to significant reductions in related emergency admissions to hospital, although the researchers say this finding requires further examination.


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The Flexible Way To Greater Energy Yield

Science2.0 - March 20, 2016 - 8:08pm

Biogas is an important energy source that plays a central role in the energy revolution. Unlike wind or solar energy, biogas can be produced around the clock. Could it soon perhaps even be produced to meet demand? A team of international scientists, including microbiologists from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), scientists from Aarhus University and process engineers from the Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum (DBFZ), have been studying the feasibility of this kind of flexible biogas production. Among their findings, for example, is the discovery that biogas production can be controlled by altering the frequency at which the reactors are fed.


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An Implant To Prevent Alzheimer's

Science2.0 - March 20, 2016 - 8:08pm

In a cutting-edge treatment for Alzheimer's disease, EPFL scientists have developed an implantable capsule that can turn the patient's immune system against the disease.


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Are You Tired Of Being Lectured To By Celebrities?

Science2.0 - March 19, 2016 - 8:20pm
Veteran foreign correspondent and broadcaster Michael Buerk is getting tired of “bleeding heart” celebrities.

In an interview in the latest issue of the Radio Times, Buerk said that he was “a little sniffy about celebs pratting around among the world’s victims”.
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Your Brain Might Be Hard-wired For Altruism

Science2.0 - March 19, 2016 - 12:50pm

It's an age-old quandary: Are we born "noble savages" whose best intentions are corrupted by civilization, as the 18th century Swiss philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau contended? Or are we fundamentally selfish brutes who need civilization to rein in our base impulses, as the 17th century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes argued?

After exploring the areas of the brain that fuel our empathetic impulses -- and temporarily disabling other regions that oppose those impulses -- two UCLA neuroscientists are coming down on the optimistic side of human nature.

"Our altruism may be more hard-wired than previously thought," said Leonardo Christov-Moore, a postdoctoral fellow at UCLA's Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior.


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Where Did The 'Siberian Unicorn' Disappear?

Science2.0 - March 19, 2016 - 12:50pm

The beautiful title "Siberian unicorn" belongs to Elasmotherium sibiricum - an elasmotherium Siberian rhinoceros, which as previously thought became extinct 350,000 years ago. Nowadays the researchers of Tomsk State University (TSU) figured out that the "unicorn" found his last refuge "only" 29,000 years ago in Kazakhstan. The article, describing the new location of the fossil mammals in the Pavlodar Irtysh, was published in February 2016 in the American Journal of Applied Science.


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New Effects Of Ketamine Abuse Uncovered

Science2.0 - March 19, 2016 - 12:50pm

Research conducted by scientists at the University of York has revealed how recreational ketamine abuse damages the bladder.

In two studies, one of which is published today, the team shows how ketamine present in urine causes damage to the epithelial lining of the bladder, allowing urine to penetrate into underlying tissues which causes inflammation and extreme pain. In some cases this pain can be so extreme that patients need to have their bladder removed (cystectomy).


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Mitochondrial Metabolism Linked To Acute Kidney Injury

Science2.0 - March 19, 2016 - 11:44am

BOSTON -Approximately one out of five hospitalized adults and one out of three hospitalized children worldwide experience acute kidney injury, the sudden loss of kidney function. Many different factors, including surgery, chemotherapy or shock, can lead to acute kidney injury, but exactly why the kidneys are so vulnerable to these and other stressors has not been well understood.


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Aging Is Portrayed As Mainly Negative In Popular Music Lyrics

Science2.0 - March 19, 2016 - 11:44am

A recent analysis of popular music reveals that while older age and aging are represented both negatively and positively in music lyrics, negative representations predominate.

Most of the music texts were generated from a young person's perspective and their imaginings of old age.

While negative and positive emotions can influence health and well-being, further research is needed to explore what impact negative texts in popular music may have on older individuals.


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Re-energizing The Aging Brain

Science2.0 - March 19, 2016 - 11:44am

The human brain has a prodigious demand for energy -- 20 to 30% of the body's energy budget. In the course of normal aging, in people with neurodegenerative diseases or mental disorders, or in periods of physiological stress, the supply of sugars to the brain may be reduced. This leads to a reduction in the brain's energy reserves, which in turn can lead to cognitive decline and loss of memory.

But new research on mice shows that the brain's energy reserves can be increased with a daily dose of pyruvate, a small energy-rich molecule that sits at the hub of most of the energy pathways inside the cell. These results need to be replicated in human subjects, but could ultimately lead to clinical applications.


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The Science Of Watching Paint Dry

Science2.0 - March 19, 2016 - 12:46am

New research shows that, as paint dries, small particles team-up to push away large ones
This newly discovered physical mechanism separates particles according to size, creating 'self-layering' coatings
Could be used to improve the performance of a range of everyday goods, made by industries from beauty to agriculture.

New research published today in the journal Physical Review Letters has described a new physical mechanism that separates particles according to their size during the drying of wet coatings. The discovery could help improve the performance of a wide variety of everyday goods, from paint to sunscreen.


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Why Are Women More Prone To Knee Injuries Than Men?

Science2.0 - March 19, 2016 - 12:46am

Researchers from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have found that women who take the birth control pill, which lessen and stabilize estrogen levels, were less likely to suffer serious knee injuries. The findings are currently available in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.


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Turning Mortal Enemies Into Allies? Ants Can.

Science2.0 - March 19, 2016 - 12:46am

On an African plateau surrounded by flat-topped trees as far as the eye could see, wind whistled through the acacia thorns like someone blowing across a bottle. Kathleen Rudolph was more concerned with the ants raining down on her from the trees. The hat, long sleeves and garden gloves the University of Florida researcher wore for protection didn't help.

The acacia ants she studies, Crematogaster mimosae, use their fearsome bite to defend their host trees against large animals such as elephants and giraffes that eat the trees' leaves. Even elephants' thick skin can't protect them from the ants, which bite them inside their trunks.

"They really seem to have a knack for finding your soft tissue," Rudolph said. "It's a nasty business."


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Narcissists, Psychopaths And Manipulators Are Less Convincing Online Than In Person

Science2.0 - March 18, 2016 - 12:00pm

Psychologists overuse terms like narcissist and sociopath as much as they do declaring everyone they dislike has Asperger's, but they get one thing right - if you have to deal with such people, you are better off online than in person. 

A team pf psychologists says that traditionally successful manipulators who are classified as what they like to try and deem the Dark Triad (DT)--people with narcissistic, psychopathic or Machiavellian tendencies--don't send very compelling online messages.


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