Science2.0

Female Triathletes At Risk For Pelvic Floor Disorders, Other Complications

Science2.0 - July 24, 2014 - 10:35pm

Female triathletes are at risk for pelvic floor disorders, decreased energy, menstrual irregularities and abnormal bone density, according to researchers at Loyola University Health System (LUHS). These data were presented at the American Urogynecologic Society 2014 Scientific Meeting in Washington, DC.

The study found that one in three female triathletes suffers from a pelvic floor disorder such as urinary incontinence, bowel incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. One in four had one component of the female athlete triad, a condition characterized by decreased energy, menstrual irregularities and abnormal bone density from excessive exercise and inadequate nutrition.


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Like The Bahamas' Great Bank? Thank Dust From The Sahara

Science2.0 - July 24, 2014 - 10:23pm

A new study suggests that Saharan dust played a major role in the formation of the Bahamas islands. Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science showed that iron-rich Saharan dust provides the nutrients necessary for specialized bacteria to produce the island chain's carbonate-based foundation.


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Newly Found Gut Virus CrAssphage In Half The World's Population

Science2.0 - July 24, 2014 - 3:01pm

A newly discovered gut virus, crAssphage, probably isn't new at all, it was just discovered. But it's in half the world's population, according to estimates. 

A new paper in Nature Communications says crAssphage infects one of the most common types of gut bacteria, Bacteroidetes. This phylum of bacteria is thought to be connected with obesity, diabetes and other gut-related diseases. 

Robert A. Edwards, a bioinformatics professor at San Diego State University, and colleagues stumbled upon the discovery while using results from previous studies on gut-inhabiting viruses to screen for new viruses.


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Bird Intelligence May Be More Fact Than Fiction

Science2.0 - July 24, 2014 - 2:40pm

In Aesop's fable about the crow and the pitcher, a thirsty bird happens upon a vessel of water, but when he tries to drink from it, he finds the water level out of his reach. Not strong enough to knock over the pitcher, the bird drops pebbles into it — one at a time — until the water level rises enough for him to drink his fill.

Highlighting the value of ingenuity, the fable demonstrates that cognitive ability can often be more effective than brute force. It also characterizes crows as pretty resourceful problem solvers. New research conducted by UC Santa Barbara's Corina Logan, with her collaborators at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, proves the birds' intellectual prowess may be more fact than fiction. 


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Chemist Develops X-ray Vision For Quality Assurance

Science2.0 - July 24, 2014 - 2:19pm

It is seldom sufficient to read the declaration of contents if you need to know precisely what substances a product contains. In fact, to do this you need to be a highly skilled chemist or to have genuine X-ray vision so that you can look directly into the molecular structure of the various substances. Christian Grundahl Frankær, a Postdoc at DTU Chemical Engineering, is almost both, as he has developed a method that allows him to use X-rays to look deep into biological samples.

The 'Fingerprints' of a Substance


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Voice For Radio? New Research Reveals It's In The Cords

Science2.0 - July 24, 2014 - 2:19pm

New research from the University of Sydney Voice Research Laboratory has discovered unique vocal cord vibration patterns might be the secret behind a good radio voice.

The world-first study filmed the vocal folds of 16 male radio performers, including announcers, broadcasters, newsreaders and voice-over artists and found their vocal folds move and close faster than non-broadcasters.

Speech pathologists, Dr Cate Madill and Dr Samantha Warhurst from the Faculty of Health Sciences, said the research reveals radio performers close their vocal folds with greater speed and force than non-broadcasters. This may be because they have better control of the tension in their vocal folds while speaking.


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Constructal Law: Evolution Governed Science Of Airplanes

Science2.0 - July 24, 2014 - 7:30am

Why did the supersonic trans-Atlantic Concorde aircraft end up being a huge flop? It is commonly believed that European subsidies don't make for efficient airlines and the cost made it impossible to keep the aircraft maintained - but a new paper by a mechanical engineer says it was...evolution. 

Adrian Bejan, professor at Duke University, says that a physics paper he penned more than two decades ago helps explain the change in passenger airplanes from the small, propeller-driven DC-3s of yore to today's behemoth Boeing 787s. 


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Hybrid Nanowires And A Crystal Wedding In The Nanocosmos

Science2.0 - July 23, 2014 - 6:00pm

Researchers have succeeded in embedding nearly perfect semiconductor crystals into a silicon nanowire. They say the new method of producing hybrid nanowires, very fast and multi-functional processing units, can be accommodated on a single chip in the future. 

Nano-optoelectronics are considered the cornerstone of future chip technology, but the research faces major challenges: on the one hand, electronic components must be accommodated into smaller and smaller spaces. On the other hand, what are known as compound semiconductors are to be embedded into conventional materials. In contrast to silicon, many of such semiconductors with extremely high electron mobility could improve performance of the most modern silicon-based CMOS technology.


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Ketamine, The Emergency Room Wonder Drug

Science2.0 - July 23, 2014 - 5:30pm

Ketamine has been used by emergency departments for analgesia, sedation and amnesia for rapid, life-saving intubation in critically ill patients but decades-old studies suggested it raised intracranial pressure.

 A systematic review of 10 recent studies comparing ketamine to sufentanil, fentanyl and other pharmacological agents (vasopressors, neuromuscular blocking agents, sedatives) found no differences in intracranial and cerebral pressures of patients who had been treated with them.


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Climate Change And Soil Respiration

Science2.0 - July 23, 2014 - 5:00pm

The planet's soil releases about 60 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year, which is far more than that released by burning fossil fuels.

This soil respiration and the enormous release of carbon is balanced by carbon coming into the soil system from falling leaves and other plant matter, as well as by the underground activities of plant roots. 

Short-term warming studies have documented that rising temperatures increase the rate of soil respiration. As a result, scientists have worried that global warming would accelerate the decomposition of carbon in the soil, and decrease the amount of carbon stored there. If true, this would release even more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, where it would accelerate global warming.


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Has Voyager 1 Really Left The Solar System?

Science2.0 - July 23, 2014 - 4:04pm

Where does the solar system end and interstellar space begin? There are no 'Now Leaving...' signs so it's somewhat subjective. If you think the argument over Pluto was confusing, you'll be intrigued that the argument over the solar system takes that to a whole new level.

Two years ago, it was announced that wherever the boundary of the solar system was, Voyager 1 had passed it, traveling further from Earth than any other manmade object. But some scientists insist it is still within the heliosphere – the region of space dominated by the Sun and its wind of energetic particles – and has not yet reached the 'space between the stars'. 


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An Easier Way To Create Photonic Crystals

Science2.0 - July 23, 2014 - 4:00pm

Highly purified crystals that split light with uncanny precision are key parts of high-powered lenses, specialized optics and, potentially, computers that manipulate light instead of electricity. Producing these crystals often involves etching them with a precise beam of electrons and can be difficult and expensive.

Researchers at Princeton and Columbia universities have proposed a new method that could allow scientists to customize and grow these specialized materials, known as photonic crystals, with relative ease. 


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Valley Fever: The Increased Dangers Of Desert Dust

Science2.0 - July 23, 2014 - 2:53pm

The rapid rise in valley fever cases in the arid southwest has become a serious health concern, as human habitation has pushed further into desert areas where the soil spores are widespread. Currently, Valley Fever affects an estimated 150,000 people a year, with most cases occurring in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.

The disease has no cure at present and is tricky to diagnose because it is similar to community-acquired pneumonias.


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How Children Categorize Living Things

Science2.0 - July 23, 2014 - 2:46pm

How would a child respond to this question? Would his or her list be full of relatives, animals from movies and books, or perhaps neighborhood pets? Would the poppies blooming on the front steps make the list or the oak tree towering over the backyard?

How might the animals children name compare to those named by children raised in a different cultural or language background or in a community that offers more direct contact with the natural world?


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A New Factor Causing Mental Disease

Science2.0 - July 23, 2014 - 10:31am
Astrocytes, the cells that make the background of the brain and support neurons, might be behind mental disorders such as depression and schizophrenia, according to new research by a Portuguese team from the ICVS at the University of Minho.  The study, in this month Molecular Psychiatry, shows how a simple reduction of astrocytes in the prefrontal cortex (which is linked to cognition) can kill its neurons and lead to the cognitive deficits that characterise several mental diseases. -->

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Multi-Bit MRAM May Be Better Than Flash Memory

Science2.0 - July 23, 2014 - 5:42am

Magnetic random access memory (MRAM) is intriguing because of demand for fast, low-cost, nonvolatile, low-consumption, secure memory devices.

MRAM relies on manipulating the magnetization of materials for data storage rather than electronic charges, boasts all of these advantages as an emerging technology, but so far it hasn't been able to match flash memory in terms of storage density.


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J1023 And A 'Transformer' Pulsar

Science2.0 - July 23, 2014 - 5:06am

In June of 2013, an exceptional binary containing a rapidly spinning neutron star underwent a dramatic change in behavior never before observed - the pulsar radio beacon vanished and the system brightened fivefold in gamma rays, the most powerful form of light.

A binary consists of two stars orbiting around their common center of mass. This system, known as AY Sextantis, is located about 4,400 light-years away in the constellation Sextans. It pairs a 1.7-millisecond pulsar named PSR J1023+0038 -- J1023 for short -- with a star containing about one-fifth the mass of the sun. The stars complete an orbit in only 4.8 hours, which places them so close together that the pulsar will gradually evaporate its companion.


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92 Percent Of People Eat What They Put On Their Plates

Science2.0 - July 23, 2014 - 12:00am

There is a lot of concern about food waste and it may be due to leftovers that never get used but it probably isn't the bulk of Americans - 92 percent of people eat everything. Obviously that can be bad for people in other ways if people put a lot on their plate.

"If you put it on your plate, it's going into your stomach," says Cornell University Professor of Marketing Brian Wansink Ph.D.


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With Asthma, Thinking They Might Smell Something Harmful Causes Inflammation

Science2.0 - July 22, 2014 - 11:30pm

A new paper finds that asthmatics who believe that an odor is potentially have increased airway inflammation for at least 24 hours following exposure, which highlights the role that expectations and psychology can play in health-related outcomes.

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the lungs. According to the National Institutes of Health, over 25 million Americans have the disease, which can interfere with quality of life. The airways of asthmatics are sensitive to 'triggers' that further inflame and constrict the airways, making it difficult to breathe. There are many different types of triggers, including pollen, dust, irritating chemicals, and allergens. Strong emotions and stress also can act to trigger asthma symptoms.


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The Live Volcano Of Jeju Island

Science2.0 - July 22, 2014 - 10:54pm

In Jeju, a place emerging as a world-famous vacation spot with natural tourism resources, a recent study revealed a volcanic eruption occurred on the island. The Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM) indicated that there are the traces that indicated that a recent volcanic eruption was evident 5,000 years ago.

That is the first time to actually find out the date when lava spewed out of a volcano 5,000 years ago in the inland part of the island as well as the one the whole peninsula.


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