Science2.0

Want To Know How Long You'll Live? Ask Your Friends

Science2.0 - January 27, 2015 - 1:30pm
Your closest friends are advocates and see the best in you, but they are also observers of the personality traits that could send you to an early grave, according to a new paper.

The authors say that that your personality at an early age (20s) can predict how long you will live past 75 years - and that close friends are usually better than you at recognizing these traits. 

Male participants seen by their friends as more open and conscientious ended up living longer. Female participants whose friends rated them as high on emotional stability and agreeableness also enjoyed longer lifespans, the study in Psychological Science found.

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2004 BL86 - 'Near Miss' Asteroid Even Has Its Own Moon

Science2.0 - January 27, 2015 - 7:21am
The first radar images of asteroid 2004 BL86, which made its closest approach today at 8:19 a.m. PST - a distance of only 745,000 miles (3.1 times the distance from Earth to the moon) - reveal that it even has its own small moon.

The closeness did not take anyone by surprise. Asteroid 2004 BL86 was discovered on Jan. 30, 2004, by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) survey in White Sands, New Mexico and its trajectory is well understood. Monday's flyby was the closest approach the asteroid will make to Earth for at least the next 200 year and is the closest a known asteroid this size will come to Earth until asteroid 1999 AN10 flies past us in 2027.
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Wiggles: Inconsistencies Undermine Model Reliability For Projecting Decade-To-Decade Warming

Science2.0 - January 27, 2015 - 3:45am
A new study finds that most climate models may have wiggles that undermine accuracy - but they are likely underestimating the degree of decade-to-decade variability occurring in mean surface temperatures as Earth's atmosphere warms.

The models also provide inconsistent explanations of why this variability occurs in the first place and such discrepancies undermine the models' reliability for projecting the short-term pace as well as the extent of future warming, the study's authors warn.

As such, we shouldn't over-interpret recent temperature trends, no matter what blizzard his New York City and leads to exploitation of climate science to generate media pageviews.
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If Abortion Is A Choice Then Sex Selection Abortion Should Remain Legal

Science2.0 - January 27, 2015 - 12:50am

Opposing this law change is not anti-feminist. shutterstock

By Pam Lowe, Aston University

A campaign is underway in the United Kingdom to make it illegal to abort a child based on its gender.

Proponents say they are worried about women being coerced into terminating female fetuses and that action needs to be taken to stop discrimination against baby girls.

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Genetics Underpinning Antimalarial Drug Resistance Revealed

Science2.0 - January 27, 2015 - 12:01am

The largest genome-wide association study to date of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum unveils a complex genetic architecture that enables the parasite to develop resistance to our most effective antimalarial drug, artemisinin. The results could help to improve early detection of emerging artemisinin resistance.

The global research collaboration analysed 1612 samples from 15 locations in Southeast Asia and Africa finding 20 mutations in the kelch13 gene, a known artemisinin resistance marker, that appear to work in concert with a set of background mutations in four other genes to support artemisinin resistance.


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How Stable Are Arsenic Compounds Found In Edible Algae?

Science2.0 - January 27, 2015 - 12:01am

Researchers at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid have studied the stability of diverse arsenic species found in edible marine algae and have established the best conditions for their storage and preservation.

By developing a specific analytical method, members from the research group of Materials Technology and Environment (TEMATMA) of the School of Civil Engineering of Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) have studied the stability of diverse chemical species of arsenic found in the edible alga Hijiki (Hizikia fusiformis) both in the dry sample and in its water extracts.


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Age-related Macular Degeneration: Blindness Linked To Calcium Deposits In The Eye

Science2.0 - January 27, 2015 - 12:01am

Microscopic spheres of calcium phosphate have been linked to the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a major cause of blindness, in a new paper.

AMD affects 1 in 5 people over 75, causing their vision to slowly deteriorate, but the cause of the most common form of the disease remains a mystery. The ability to spot the disease early and reliably halt its progression would improve the lives of millions, but this is simply not possible with current knowledge and techniques.


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How Gut Bacteria May Affect Brain Health

Science2.0 - January 26, 2015 - 11:12pm

The hundred trillion bacteria living in an adult human, mostly in the intestines, making up the gut microbiome, may have a significant impact on behavior and brain health, according to a new paper.

The many ways gut bacteria can impact normal brain activity and development, affect sleep and stress responses, play a role in a variety of diseases, and be modified through diet for therapeutic use are described in a review article ("The Gut Microbiome and the Brain") in Journal of Medicinal Food.


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Lowering Blood Pressure And Cholesterol Saved 20,000 Lives In England

Science2.0 - January 26, 2015 - 11:12pm

Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol saved 20,000 lives in England. The impact of statins, credit with 14 percent of the drop, was greatest among the most affluent in the population, suggesting that these drugs have helped maintain health inequalities between rich and poor, say the researchers.

The researchers wanted to quantify the contributions made by drug treatment (primary prevention) and changes in population risk factors (blood pressure and total cholesterol) to the falling rates of coronary heart disease deaths, stratified by socioeconomic background. They used trial data, analyses of published evidence, national surveys, and official statistics to calculate the number of deaths postponed or prevented across the population of England.


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HESS Collaboration Finds Three Extremely Luminous Gamma-ray Sources In The Large Magellanic Cloud

Science2.0 - January 26, 2015 - 10:50pm

A multinational team of astronomers working on the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) telescopes found three extremely luminous gamma-ray sources in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a satellite dwarf galaxy of the Milky Way. These are objects of different types, namely the most powerful pulsar wind nebula; the most powerful supernova remnant; and a shell of 270 light years in diameter blown by multiple stars, and supernovae - a so-called superbubble.


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Natural Gas Is Good But Old Leaky Pipes Releasing Methane Are Bad

Science2.0 - January 26, 2015 - 10:50pm

Imagine if every time you filled your car with gas, a few gallons didn't make it into the tank and instead spilled onto the ground. That's essentially what happens every day with the aging system of underground pipes and tanks that delivers natural gas to Boston-area households and businesses, with adverse economic, public health, and environmental consequences. Now a group of atmospheric scientists at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has produced hard numbers that quantify the extent of the problem.


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Why Crows Have A Bad Reputation

Science2.0 - January 26, 2015 - 10:50pm

In literature, crows and ravens are a bad omen and are associated with witches. Most people believe they steal, eat other birds' eggs and reduce the populations of other birds. But a new study, which has brought together over 326 interactions between corvids and their prey, demonstrates that their notoriety is not entirely merited.


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Deaths Of Extremely Premature Infants Decline

Science2.0 - January 26, 2015 - 10:07pm

In a large, national study of extremely premature infants, researchers found that death rates decreased from 2000 to 2011. An analysis of specific causes found that deaths attributed to immaturity or pulmonary causes and complicated by infection or central nervous system injury all decreased; however, deaths attributed to necrotizing enterocolitis increased. Necrotizing enterocolitis is an intestinal complication resulting from prematurity.

The study results are published in the Jan. 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.


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Planet With Rings Found Outside Solar System - And They Are Bigger Than Saturn

Science2.0 - January 26, 2015 - 6:45pm
Astronomers have discovered a ring system eclipsing the very young Sun-like star J1407.

And it is huge, much larger and heavier than the ring system of Saturn. The ring system, the first of its kind to be found outside our solar system, was discovered in 2012 and the new data analysis shows that it consists of over 30 rings, each of them tens of millions of kilometers in diameter.

There are gaps in the rings, which indicate that satellites ("exomoons") may have formed.
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Stigma: Nearly Half Of Workers Won't Tell Their Boss About A Mental Health Problem

Science2.0 - January 26, 2015 - 6:18pm
A long-running gag in film and television comedies is for an employee at a corporation who may be in trouble to invent an illness covered in the policy handbook, such as alcoholism or drug addiction. In those stories, the employee then cannot be fired and all kinds of mechanisms are invoked to show sensitivity and compassion. 

What never gets played for laughs is suicide or mental health. Even in Hollywood culture, invariably inclined to faux tolerance and where all bad behavior is dismissed when a celebrity checks 'into rehab', anything related to mental illness beyond 'my therapist says' will cause most people to give a wide berth from then on. 
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What Should You Do In A Flu Epidemic? Stay At Home And Watch Television

Science2.0 - January 26, 2015 - 6:00pm

Non-pharmaceutical interventions include actions individuals can take to reduce disease spread, such as hand washing and minimizing contacts with sick people, and they play a key role in reducing the spread of infectious diseases such as influenza, according to a new paper.

Social distancing, staying indoors and avoiding social activity, is an important Non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) in the event of an epidemic, especially when a vaccine is unavailable or limited. Whether privately initiated or policy directed, NPIs calling for the closure of schools and entertainment venues, and cancelling public events are becoming more relevant in control strategies.


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Mammalian Heart Regenerative Capacity Depends On Severity Of Injury

Science2.0 - January 26, 2015 - 5:44pm

A new study by researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles has shown that neonatal mouse hearts have varying regenerative capacities depending upon the severity of injury. Using cryoinjury - damaging the heart through exposure to extreme cold in order to mimic cellular injury caused by myocardial infarction - investigators found that neonatal mouse hearts can fully recover normal function following a mild injury, though fail to regenerate after a severe injury.

Published online by the journal Developmental Biology, the study suggests that cardiac regeneration strategies should be based on the type and severity of heart injury.


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You Want That Coffee With Morphine Or Without?

Science2.0 - January 26, 2015 - 4:52pm
A team of scientists from Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation Embrapa and the University of Brasilia have discovered tranquilizing properties in previously unknown protein fragments of coffee beans.

They did tests and found that these opioid peptides outperformed morphine in mice.
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Partly Wrong With A Chance Of Being Right: Why Are Weather Forecasts Still So Inaccurate?

Science2.0 - January 26, 2015 - 4:11pm
The night before the famous "Raid at Entebbe" in 1976, when the Israel Defense Forces rescued over 100 kidnapped hostages from German and Palestinian terrorists at Entebbe airport in Uganda, Tel Aviv University's Prof. Pinhas Alpert, then head of an Israel Air Force base forecasting unit, provided intelligence that was critical to the success of the operation - the weather conditions commandos were likely to encounter en route and on the ground. 

Had they been wrong, the mission might have ended differently.
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