Science2.0

Missing Links Brewed In Primordial Puddles?

Science2.0 - April 25, 2016 - 2:26pm

The crucibles that bore out early building blocks of life may have been, in many cases, modest puddles.

Now, researchers working with that hypothesis have achieved a significant advancement toward understanding an evolutionary mystery -- how components of RNA and DNA formed from chemicals present on early Earth before life existed.

In surprisingly simple laboratory reactions in water, under everyday conditions, they have produced what could be good candidates for missing links on the pathway to the code of life.


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Bed Bugs Have Favorite Colors - Here Is What They Are

Science2.0 - April 25, 2016 - 1:30pm

Researchers wondered whether bed bugs preferred certain colors for their hiding places, so they did some testing in the lab.

The tests consisted of using small tent-like harborages that were made from colored cardstock and placed in Petri dishes. A bed bug was then placed in the middle of the Petri dish and given ten minutes to choose one of the colored harborages. A few variations of the test were also conducted, such as testing bed bugs in different life stages, of different sexes, individual bugs versus groups of bugs, and fed bugs versus hungry bugs.


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Studies Of E-Cigarettes Suggest More Benefit Than Harm

Science2.0 - April 25, 2016 - 5:30am

Seven top international tobacco control experts are prompting regulators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to have a broad "open-minded" perspective when it comes to regulating vaporized nicotine products, especially e-cigarettes. 

Writing in the journal Addiction, published online April 25, the researchers synthesize much of the evidence published to date on e-cigarettes, and suggest that use of these products can lead to reduced cigarette smoking overall with a potential reduction in deaths from cigarette smoking.


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Study Shows Dinosaur Families Chose To Exit Europe

Science2.0 - April 25, 2016 - 2:15am

Researchers have used 'network theory' for the first time to visually depict the movement of dinosaurs around the world during the Mesozoic Era - including a curious exodus from Europe.

The research, published today in the Journal of Biogeography, also reaffirms previous studies that have found that dinosaurs continued to migrate to all parts of the world after the 'supercontinent' Pangaea split into land masses that are separated by oceans.

Study lead Dr Alex Dunhill from the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds, said: "We presume that temporary land bridges formed due to changes in sea levels, temporarily reconnecting the continents."


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The Universe, Where Space-time Becomes Discrete

Science2.0 - April 25, 2016 - 2:11am

Our experience of space-time is that of a continuous object, without gaps or discontinuities, just as it is described by classical physics. For some quantum gravity models however, the texture of space-time is "granular" at tiny scales (below the so-called Planck scale, 10-33 cm), as if it were a variable mesh of solids and voids (or a complex foam). One of the great problems of physics today is to understand the passage from a continuous to a discrete description of spacetime: is there an abrupt change or is there gradual transition? Where does the change occur?


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Gateway To The Brain

Science2.0 - April 25, 2016 - 2:11am

Scientists from Duke-NUS Medical School (Duke-NUS) have derived a structural model of a transporter at the blood-brain barrier called Mfsd2a (1). This is the first molecular model of this critical transporter, and could prove important for the development of therapeutic agents that need to be delivered to the brain --- across the blood-brain barrier. In future, this could help treat neurological disorders such as glioblastoma.


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Cell Death Mechanism May -- Paradoxically -- Enable Aggressive Pancreatic Cells To Live On

Science2.0 - April 25, 2016 - 2:11am

The most aggressive form of pancreatic cancer - often described as one of the hardest malignancies to diagnose and treat -- thrives in the presence of neighboring tumor cells undergoing a particular form of "orchestrated cell death." This is according to a major study recently published in the journal Nature.


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First Gene Therapy Successful Against Human Aging

Science2.0 - April 25, 2016 - 2:11am

In September 2015, then 44 year-old CEO of BioViva USA Inc. Elizabeth Parrish received two of her own company's experimental gene therapies: one to protect against loss of muscle mass with age, another to battle stem cell depletion responsible for diverse age-related diseases and infirmities.

The treatment was originally intended to demonstrate the safety of the latest generation of the therapies. But if early data is accurate, it is already the world's first successful example of telomere lengthening via gene therapy in a human individual. Gene therapy has been used to lengthen telomeres before in cultured cells and in mice, but never in a human patient.


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Old-growth Forests May Provide Buffer Against Rising Temperatures

Science2.0 - April 25, 2016 - 2:11am

CORVALLIS, Ore. - The soaring canopy and dense understory of an old-growth forest could provide a buffer for plants and animals in a warming world, according to a study from Oregon State University published today in Science Advances.

Comparing temperature regimes under the canopy in old-growth and plantation forests in the Oregon Cascades, researchers found that the characteristics of old growth reduce maximum spring and summer air temperatures as much as 2.5 degrees Celsius (4.5 degrees Fahrenheit), compared to those recorded in younger second-growth forests.

Landowners who include biodiversity as a management goal, the scientists said, could advance their aims by fostering stands with closed canopies, high biomass and complex understory vegetation.


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DNA Barcodes Gone Wild

Science2.0 - April 24, 2016 - 5:45pm

A team of researchers at Sinai Health System's Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute (LTRI) and University of Toronto's Donnelly Centre has developed a new technology that can stitch together DNA barcodes inside a cell to simultaneously search amongst millions of protein pairs for protein interactions. The paper will be published today in the journal Molecular Systems Biology.


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Debunked: Claims That Chantix And Zyban Smoking Cessation Drugs Boost Risk Of Psychiatric Side Effects

Science2.0 - April 24, 2016 - 2:39pm

The smoking cessation aids varenicline (Chantix) and bupropion (Zyban) do not show a significant increase in neuropsychiatric adverse events compared to the nicotine patch and a placebo, according to data published in The Lancet.

After reports claiming varenicline and bupropion might cause adverse neuropsychiatric events, such as increased agitation, depression, hostility or suicidal behavior, the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested that both medications carry boxed warnings in their labeling, which resulted in limitation in use and thus fewer ways to quit.


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When Natural Beauty Becomes The Ecological Beast, Replace Environmentalism With Science

Science2.0 - April 24, 2016 - 2:08pm

Natural solutions are all the rage to people who believe in a 20th century "balance of nature" hypothesis. Scientists know better, it is obvious that there is no ecological balance, no environmental harmony, and never has been, the winners are in nature are instead species who got somewhere first or were better suited to an area and outlasted others and so seemed to be a balanced fit.


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New Survey Shows Americans Believe Civility Is On The Decline

Science2.0 - April 23, 2016 - 3:12pm

A recent survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that 74 percent of Americans think manners and behavior have deteriorated in the United States over the past several decades. A large majority of Americans believe that politicians should be held to a higher standard than the general public, but few think they are living up to that expectation. The Republican campaign is viewed as rude and disrespectful by nearly twice as many Americans as those who characterize the fight for the Democratic nomination in that way (78 percent vs. 41 percent).


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High Alpine Dairying May Have Begun Over 3000 Years Ago

Science2.0 - April 23, 2016 - 3:12pm

The discovery of dairy fats on ancient pottery may indicate dairying high in the Alps occurred as early as the Iron Age over 3000 years ago, according to a study published April 21, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Francesco Carrer from the University of York, UK, and colleagues.


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Scientists Discover New Reef System At Mouth Of Amazon River

Science2.0 - April 23, 2016 - 3:12pm

Athens, Ga. - A new reef system has been found at the mouth of the Amazon River, the largest river by discharge of water in the world. As large rivers empty into the world's oceans in areas known as plumes, they typically create gaps in the reef distribution along the tropical shelves--something that makes finding a reef in the Amazon plume an unexpected discovery.

An international team--including scientists from the University of Georgia and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro--documented their findings in an April 22 study published in the journal Science Advances.


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Beware Honey: This Natural Compound In It Alters Hundreds Of Brain Genes

Science2.0 - April 22, 2016 - 3:54pm

A range of diseases -- from diabetes to cardiovascular disease, and from Alzheimer's disease to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder -- are linked to changes to genes in the brain, and a new study has found that hundreds of those genes can be damaged by fructose, prevalent in foods like honey. 


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Donald Trump Could Change Journalism For The Better - By Removing Its Pretense Of Objectivity

Science2.0 - April 22, 2016 - 3:04pm
It is unsurprising that wherever Donald Trump goes, headlines follow. But what is particularly interesting is just how many of those headlines involve the practice of journalism and journalists themselves.

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Mars Labeling Is Marketing Genius - They Know People Won't Do What It Says

Science2.0 - April 22, 2016 - 2:56pm
The move by food group Mars to introduce a worldwide labeling scheme that categorizes its products as “occasional” and “everyday” based on their sugar, salt and fat content, is both unusual and potentially risky. The American company is behind products including Uncle Ben’s rice and Dolmio pasta sauces, though the chocolate ranges it is also known for aren’t part of this new initiative.

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The Life Expectancy Rich-Poor Gap Is Narrowing In Young People

Science2.0 - April 22, 2016 - 12:00pm

The life expectancy gap between America's rich and poor is shrinking for the young, a new study reports.

In fact, life expectancy at birth has been improving for virtually all income groups born in 1990 onward. The results reveal that many of the U.S. policies directed at improving the health of the young and the poor may have been successful. Previous research suggests that disparities in mortality inequality have widened since the start of the 21st century - with Americans in the top income bracket gaining several years of life expectancy while those at the bottom have gained almost nothing, or even experienced a life expectancy decline.


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Magic In Particle Reactions: Exclusive Photoproduction Of Upsilon Mesons

Science2.0 - April 22, 2016 - 10:44am
Exclusive production processes at hadron collider are something magical. You direct two trucks at 100 miles per hour one against the other head-on, and the two just gently push each other sideways, continuing their trip perfectly unaffected, but leave behind a new entity (a cart?) produced with the energy of the glancing collision. 
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