Science2.0

First And Last Syllables: Cognitive Mechanism Present At Birth

Science2.0 - July 21, 2015 - 3:30pm
It may seem like infants just sleep, eat and cry, but newborn brains are full of activity and they are already gathering and processing important information from the world around them. At just two days after birth, babies are already able to process language using processes similar to those of adults.

Researchers have demonstrated that they are sensitive to the most important parts of words, the edges, a cognitive mechanism which has been repeatedly observed in older children and adults.
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Female Athletes Bullied In School

Science2.0 - July 21, 2015 - 2:00pm
New research has found talented adolescent female athletes are bullied for their successes by their school peers.

The research also revealed that being bullied at school about their sports achievements left young female athletes with lasting psychological and social problems they carried into adulthood.

In a self-professed sports-mad country, why is this happening?

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Breathing Windows: Decentralized Ventilation Building Features

Science2.0 - July 21, 2015 - 1:30pm
Centralized ventilation systems that exchange heat between the air inside and outside a building often come with a lot of pipes and shafts while compact, decentralized ventilation systems distributed throughout a building can provide a real added-value both in terms of design, comfort and energy efficiency.

The Green Ventilation system promise to balance inbound and outbound air flow in such a way that it reduces heating and cooling requirements—a principle called balanced heat recovery. The advantage of this system is that it can be added to building envelope components such as windows, walls, insulation materials, terminal heating and cooling units and lintels.
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Fermentation Science: How To Make The Perfect Wine

Science2.0 - July 21, 2015 - 1:00pm

By Marsha Lewis, Inside Science – Each year, about 32 billion bottles of wine are bought and sold around the world.  Each bottle contains about two and a half pounds of grapes, and to transform those grapes into a beverage with the perfect aroma, color, and taste, winemakers carefully monitor the complex chemistry bubbling away in wineries’ fermentation tanks.

“I would say the trickiest part of making wine is getting the flavors right,” said Linda Bisson, a yeast geneticist at the University of California, Davis.

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The Promise Of CRISPR-Based Genome Editing

Science2.0 - July 21, 2015 - 12:30pm
CRISPR/Cas systems for genome editing have revolutionized biological research over the past three years, and their ability to make targeted changes in DNA sequences in living cells with relative ease and affordability is now being applied to clinical medicine and will have a significant impact on advances in drug and other therapies, agriculture, and food products.

The power and promise of this innovation are presented in the Review article "The Bacterial Origins of the CRISPR Genome-Editing Revolution published in Human Gene Therapy. 
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Greenhouse Gas Emissions From African Rivers

Science2.0 - July 21, 2015 - 10:50am
Researchers have completed a large-scale research project conducted over a five-year period on the African continent to compile the first greenhouse gas budget of African rivers.

Covering 12 rivers spread across the entire continent of Africa, the study shows that greenhouse gas emissions from the rivers are very significant. The researchers trawled the African continent in order to analyze the streams of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), the three main GHG.
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Substance Abuse Associated With Lower Brain Volume In Women - But Not Men

Science2.0 - July 20, 2015 - 7:42pm

A new study has found that long-term stimulant abuse had more significant effects on brain volume in women compared with men.

The researchers sought to determine how the brains of people previously dependent on stimulants were different from the brains of healthy people. 

The researchers analyzed structural brain magnetic resonance imaging exams in 127 men and women, including 59 people (28 women and 31 men) who were previously dependent on cocaine, amphetamines and/or methamphetamine for an average of 15.7 years, and 68 people (28 women and 40 men) who were similar in age and were not previously dependent on those drugs.


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Ultrasound Accelerates Skin Healing

Science2.0 - July 20, 2015 - 3:00pm

Healing times for skin ulcers and bedsores can be reduced by a third with the use of low-intensity ultrasound - ultrasound transmits a vibration through the skin and wakes up cells in wounds helping to stimulate and accelerate the healing process. 

More than 200,000 patients in the UK suffer with chronic wounds every year at a cost of over £3.1 billion to the NHS, according to background information in the article. The ultrasound treatment, which also reduces the chance of wounds getting infected, is particularly effective when treating diabetics and the elderly. 


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Large Study Implicates Mitochondria In Depression

Science2.0 - July 20, 2015 - 2:44pm
According to the World Health Organization, clinical depression carries the second heaviest burden of disability among all medical conditions worldwide (around 350 million people) and accounts for more than 8 percent of all U.S. years lived with disability. 

The findings of a recent study could potentially lead to new ways to predict risk for depression and treatments for the disease, using genome-wide association studies. 
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Tommy John Surgeries Increasing For Youth Athletes

Science2.0 - July 20, 2015 - 2:30pm

Surgeries related to overuse elbow injuries, i.e. Tommy John Surgery, are more common among youth athletes than previously believed, according to research presented last week at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's (AOSSM) Annual Meeting in Orlando.

"Our results showed that 15-19 year-olds accounted for 56.7 percent of the Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction (UCLR) or Tommy John surgeries performed in the U.S. between 2007-2011. This is a significant increase over time with an average increase of 9.12 percent per year," said lead author, Brandon Erickson, MD of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois.


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The Neuroscience Of Why Screams Are So Terrifying

Science2.0 - July 20, 2015 - 1:30pm

By Charles Choi, Inside Science -- Bloodcurdling screams in horror movies often send tingles down people's spines, even though they know such shrieks are fake. Now scientists have discovered the key ingredient of screams that activates the brain's fear circuitry. Inventors may have unknowingly copied this hair-raising acoustic feature into alarms found in cars and houses.

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Insulating Wallpaper Using Volcanic Popcorn

Science2.0 - July 20, 2015 - 1:00pm
A humble soil additive used by millions of amateur and professional gardeners alike is set to slash the cost of the most effective form of insulation for buildings.

Brunel University London academic Dr. Harjit Singh has proved in the laboratory that vacuum insulation panels can be made with a core of perlite - the volcanic ore “popcorn” used in horticulture to improve drainage and water retention.

This dramatically reduces the cost of the panels which are normally made by surrounding a core of fumed silica with metallised PET envelope. Initial cost savings are estimated to be at least 30 per cent.
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RNA Beads And Springs In Elastic Network Model

Science2.0 - July 20, 2015 - 1:00pm
A group of scientists at SISSA have proposed a quick alternative for predicting the internal dynamics of RNA molecules (how the different parts move in relation to each other). Their simple solution, which uses beads and springs, provides similar results to other, more complex and expensive techniques for analyzing molecules that are currently in use. 
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Neutrons Find 'Missing' Magnetism Of Plutonium

Science2.0 - July 19, 2015 - 7:52pm

New research has confirmed plutonium's magnetism, which scientists have long theorized but have never been able to experimentally observe. 

Plutonium was first produced in 1940 and its unstable nucleus allows it to undergo fission, making it useful for nuclear fuels as well as for nuclear weapons. Much less known, however, is that the electronic cloud surrounding the plutonium nucleus is equally unstable and makes plutonium the most electronically complex element in the periodic table, with intriguingly intricate properties for a simple elemental metal.


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Sitting At Work Gets All The Attention, But Standing All Day Is Worse

Science2.0 - July 19, 2015 - 2:00pm

A lot of attention has been given to city dwellers and the health risks of sitting in front of a computer screen, but almost 50 of the world spends 75 percent of their time on their feet.

Prolonged standing is associated with short-term adverse health issues, including reports of fatigue, leg cramps, and backaches, which can affect job performance and cause significant discomfort. A new study published in Human Factors suggests that, over time, this type of sustained muscle fatigue can result in serious health consequences. 


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Aerosolized Vaccine Protects Primates Against Ebola

Science2.0 - July 19, 2015 - 1:30pm

Researchers have developed an inhalable vaccine that protects primates against Ebola. 

Previous studies with primates suggest that aerosols of most biothreat agents, which are particles dispersed in the air, are infectious. Recent studies show that contact with the Ebola virus through the mucus membranes that line the respiratory tract results in infection, suggesting that airway linings may be important portals of entry for the virus. Aerosolized delivery has never before been tested for an Ebola vaccine or any other viral hemorrhagic fever vaccine.


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BP Oil Spill 5 Years Later: 10 Key Questions And Answers

Science2.0 - July 19, 2015 - 1:00pm

On April 20, 2010, BP's Deepwater Horizon (DWH) drilling rig experienced a failure resulting in the discharge of gas and light sweet crude oil from a depth of approximately 5,000 feet.

Discharge continued for 87 days until July 15, 2010, five years ago this week, when the well was capped and the leak was contained.


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400 Million Year Old Penis And 4 Other Bizarre Fossils That Changed Science

Science2.0 - July 18, 2015 - 1:00pm

From trilobites to tyrannosaurs, most fossils are of creatures with hard shells or bones. These materials don’t easily biodegrade and sediment has time to build up around them and turn them into a record of the creature that is still with us millions of years after it has died. Soft-bodied organisms like worms, on the other hand, decay rapidly and their fossil record is decidedly patchy.

In exceptional circumstances, however, their remains are preserved and sometimes in the most unusual places. With the right detective skills, palaeontologists can use such discoveries to open up whole new windows on the history of life on Earth. A recent discovery found in 50-million-year-old rocks from Antarctica has yielded a particularly incredible example: fossilised worm sperm.

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Even Black Panthers Have Leopard Spots

Science2.0 - July 18, 2015 - 12:27pm
From the frozen forests of Russia to the scorching sands of the Kalahari Desert, leopards are the most widely distributed large cat on earth. Their iconic spotted coat has been admired and coveted by humans for millennia.

But in one part in their vast range - the Malay Peninsula - leopards are almost entirely black in color.

Yes it turns out those have spots also. By modifying the infrared flash on automatic camera traps and forcing them into ‘night mode’ a team of wildlife experts has revealed the black leopard’s spots. Using infrared flash, the seemingly ‘black’ leopards suddenly showed complex patterns of spotting. 
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Stem Cells Might Heal Damaged Lungs

Science2.0 - July 18, 2015 - 11:39am

Collectively, diseases of the airways such as emphysema, bronchitis, asthma, and cystic fibrosis are the second leading cause of death worldwide.

More than 35 million Americans alone suffer from chronic respiratory disease. Weizmann Institute of Science researchers have now proposed a new direction that could, in the future, lead to the development of a method for alleviating some of the suffering of these patients. The study’s findings show how it might be possible to use embryonic stem cells to repair damaged lung tissue.


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