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Investigating Potential Fetal Exposure To Antidepressants

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 4:24pm

Depression is a serious issue for expecting mothers. Left untreated, depression could have implications for a fetus's health. But treating the disease during pregnancy may carry health risks for the developing fetus, which makes an expecting mother's decision whether to take medication a very difficult one. To better understand how antidepressants affect fetuses during pregnancy, scientists studied exposure in mice. They report their findings in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience.


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It's Not Dark Matter

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 3:30pm

The undefined blanket term "dark matter", what must exist in the universe to account for missing mass, is invoked for just about everything, and so a lot of claims are made affirming they have evidence for it. But one claim, that bursts of gamma rays are such, is instead  other astrophysical phenomena such as fast-rotating stars called millisecond pulsars, according to two new studies in Physical Review Letters.

Previous papers suggested that gamma rays coming from the dense region of space in the inner Milky Way galaxy could be caused when invisible dark matter particles collide. But using new statistical analysis methods, two research teams independently found that the gamma ray signals are uncharacteristic of those expected from dark matter. 


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MLL1 Enzyme Key To Link Between Age-Related Inflammation And Cancer

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 3:30pm

Researchers have shown that an enzyme key to regulating gene expression -- and also an oncogene when mutated -- is critical for the expression of numerous inflammatory compounds that have been implicated in age-related increases in cancer and tissue degeneration,

Inhibitors of the enzyme are being developed as a new anti-cancer target.

Aged and damaged cells frequently undergo a form of proliferation arrest called cellular senescence. These fading cells increase in human tissues with aging and are thought to contribute to age-related increases in both cancer and inflammation. The secretion of such inflammatory compounds as cytokines, growth factors, and proteases is called the senescence-associated secretory phenotype, or SASP.


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A Conservative Argument For Genetic Modification Of Embryos

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 1:30pm
I have often argued that the pro-life movement has a disconnect about actual life when it comes to science. I don't mean about the health issues of abortion or birth control, I mean about saving babies using science. They seem to think science should only help after a baby is born, exactly the opposite of the argument they make about the beginning of life during abortion debates.
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Dietary Supplements Could Seriously Mess With Your Medication

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 1:30pm
Doctors typically prescribe several drugs to patients with mental health conditions in order to treat the various symptoms. For example, a person with bipolar disorder may be prescribed one drug to treat mania and another to treat depression. But there’s limited evidence on how combinations of drugs interact, or how diet and nutrition influence their effects.
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Argument: Schizophrenia Does Not Exist

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 1:30pm

The term "schizophrenia," with its connotation of hopeless chronic brain disease, should be dropped and replaced with something like "psychosis spectrum syndrome," argues Professor Jim van Os at Maastricht University Medical Centre in The BMJ.


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Generic Drug Price Gouging Has Physicians Raising Red Flags

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 1:28pm
Pharmaceutical companies take a lot of cultural heat for high prices, politicians routinely criticize them to score political points, but at least they did real discovery. One out of 5,000 candidates will make it to market, and then it has to be successfully promoted to make back costs that routinely run into the billions of dollars.

Generic companies, on the other hand, get a free pass. They do no work, they just start manufacturing after the real work has been done and the patent expires. Yet the cost savings generic drugs were supposed to bring has not really come to pass. Companies only take up the profitable ones and when a company does try to make a boutique compound profitable, they are criticized for price gouging.
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Clean Kitchens Cut Calories

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 11:52am

Cluttered and chaotic environments can cause stress, which can lead us to grab more of the indulgent snacks-- twice as many cookies according to this new study!

Conducted at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab and published in Environment and Behavior, the study shows that cluttered kitchens are caloric kitchens. When stressed out females were asked to wait for another person in a messy kitchen -- with newspapers on the table, dishes in the sink, and the phone ringing - they ate twice as many cookies compared to women in the same kitchen when it was organized and quiet. In total they ate 65 more calories more in 10 minutes time.


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Media Fuel Anti-Muslim Stereotypes

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 11:43am

With the attacks in Paris and in California recently, all linked to Muslim terrorists, where is the line between being factual about who is committing terrorist acts and fueling anti-Muslim sentiment?

Craig Anderson, Distinguished Professor of psychology at Iowa State University, and colleagues think they can find out, by surveying college students.

According to their results, published in the journal Communication Research, there is a link between negative media stories of Muslims and support for military action and restrictions against Muslims. And since conservatives in America are mostly likely to be strong on topics like crime and military defense, they say it was entirely predictable that GOP candidates would take strongs against terrorism. 


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Study Shows North Atlantic Ocean CO2 Storage Doubled Over Last Decade

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 3:22am

MIAMI--A University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science-led study shows that the North Atlantic absorbed 50 percent more man-made carbon dioxide over the last decade, compared to the previous decade. The findings show the impact that the burning of fossil fuels have had on the world's oceans in just 10 years.


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Pills For Anxiety And Sleep Problems Not Linked To Increased Dementia Risk

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 2:34am

Taking benzodiazepines (widely used drugs to treat anxiety and insomnia) is not associated with an increased dementia risk in older adults, finds a study published by The BMJ today.

These results do not support a direct (causal) association between benzodiazepine use and dementia, say the researchers. However, healthcare providers are still advised to avoid benzodiazepines in older adults to prevent important adverse health outcomes.

Benzodiazepines are widely prescribed among older adults to manage sleep, anxiety and depressive disorders. Some studies have suggested that benzodiazepine use could be associated with an increased risk of dementia, but results are conflicting.


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Doctor Raises Serious Questions About Medical Awards System

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 2:34am

The system that awards national and academic honors to doctors is called into question by a senior doctor writing in The BMJ this week.

Consultant cardiologist, Peter Wilmshurst, tells the story of Anjan Kumar Banerjee, a surgeon who spent the years 2002 to 2008 erased from the medical register for serious professional misconduct related to research fraud, financial misconduct, and substandard care.

Yet in 2014 he was awarded an MBE "for services to patient safety."


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New Analysis Shows Insect Diversity Is Nothing New

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 2:34am

Insects are astonishingly diverse, accounting for nearly three-quarters of all named animal species living today, and their diversity is widely thought to have increased steadily over evolutionary time. A new study, however, finds that insect diversity actually has not changed much over the past 125 million years.

It's not that no new insects have evolved. Rather, as new insects have evolved, others have gone extinct, leaving the overall diversity relatively unchanged, according to paleontologist Matthew Clapham, associate professor of Earth and planetary sciences at UC Santa Cruz, whose team published the new findings February 3 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.


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Natural Clay Deposit May Hold Keys To Defeating Hospital Infections

Science2.0 - February 2, 2016 - 11:32pm

Washington, D.C.--January 26, 2016-- Researchers have uncovered potent antimicrobial activity in a natural clay deposit found on the central coast of British Columbia, Canada. The research, published this week in mBio, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, shows that the clay can kill members of the ESKAPE group of bacterial pathogens, the culprits behind some of the deadliest and most antibiotic-resistant hospital-acquired infections.


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New Zealand's Little Penguins Are Recent Australian Invaders

Science2.0 - February 2, 2016 - 11:32pm

The little penguin species (popularly known as little blue penguins) found in southern New Zealand is a surprisingly recent invader from Australia, according to a new study led by University of Otago researchers.

Following the recent discovery that little penguins in the southern province of Otago belong to an Australian species, a team of researchers from New Zealand and the United States set out to determine when the Aussies first arrived.

The Marsden and Allan Wilson Centre-funded study was carried out by Dr Stefanie Grosser as part of her PhD research, and led by Professor Jon Waters from Otago's Department of Zoology.


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A Workshop On Applied Statistics

Science2.0 - February 2, 2016 - 8:19pm

A Sino-Italian workshop on Applied Statistics was held today at the Department of Statistical Sciences of the University of Padova. The organizers were Alessandra Brazzale and Alessandra Salvan from the Department of Statistical Sciences, and Giorgio Picci from the "Confucius Institute". 

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Study Develops New Equation For Estimating Gestational Age

Science2.0 - February 2, 2016 - 4:13pm

ATLANTA (Feb. 1, 2016)--In a study to be presented on Feb. 6 at 8:45 a.m. EST, at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting™, in Atlanta, researchers will present findings from a study titled, The NICHD Fetal Growth Studies: Development of a contemporary formula for estimating gestational age from ultrasound fetal biometrics.


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Cling-on Warriors

Science2.0 - February 2, 2016 - 4:12pm

An interdisciplinary group of researchers at UC Santa Barbara has taken strides in the development of an underwater adhesive that has the potential for a variety of biomedical and non-biological applications. Areas such as tissue repair, dental adhesives and other surface adhesion applications -- which are often required under adverse conditions, such as salty sea water and in aqueous solutions containing organic impurities -- could benefit from this glue, which replicates the adhesion strategy of the Sandcastle worm (Phragmatopoma californica), a segmented marine invertebrate commonly found along the California coast.


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Turning Down The Volume On Cancer

Science2.0 - February 2, 2016 - 4:12pm

Oklahoma City (February 1, 2016) When the audio on your television set or smart phone is too loud, you simply turn down the volume. What if we could do the same for the signaling in our bodies that essentially causes normal cells to turn cancerous?

New discoveries by researchers at the Stephenson Cancer Center at the University of Oklahoma may point to new ways to do just that.

Hiroshi Y. Yamada, Ph.D., and his team zeroed in on chromosome instability as a potential precursor to colon cancer.


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Evidence-Based Medicine: You May Want It, But You Might Not Be Getting It

Science2.0 - February 2, 2016 - 1:00pm

Unless you are seeing a homeopath, or a naturopath or anything else that ends in "path", you probably believe your treatment is evidence-based. 

That may not be true. Hospitals are not under even more pressure to contain costs, but they may need to look at the staff to find out why expenses are high and results don't always match.  Use of evidence-based practice among chief nurses and their hospitals is relatively low, according to a survey led by Bernadette Melnyk, dean of the College of Nursing at The Ohio State University.

And many of the hospitals in the study reported poor scores on key performance measures, such as falls and pressure ulcers.


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