Science2.0

Some Poor People Have Better Health

Science2.0 - November 18, 2014 - 4:57pm

It is a weekly event in epidemiology - some medical or health outcome is linked to socioeconomic inequality, as if more spending makes people healthy.


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Family Planning: Involving Men Empowers Women

Science2.0 - November 18, 2014 - 4:17pm

In America, and to a much less extent in Europe, there can be a lot of angst when an aerospace engineer wears the wrong shirt on television. Women have a great deal of power in western nations, so much so that they can overwhelm science breakthroughs with cultural Gerrymandering.


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PIWI Pathway Isn't Perfect But It's What Keeps Transposons From Destroying Your Genes

Science2.0 - November 18, 2014 - 2:00pm

We like to think of evolution as a fine-tuning process, one that whittles away genetic imperfections and redundancies and converges on a more efficient system because of 'survival of the fittest'.

But natural selection is just one mechanism of evolution and what is fittest at one point may not have been fittest at another, yet could still be inherited. Our bodies are full of parts that we inherited and either don't work anymore or are rather buggy and other parts have simply found a way to make work.


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Phthalates And Prostates: Endocrine Disruptors Shortening The Distance Between Male Anus And Penis

Science2.0 - November 18, 2014 - 11:01am
Men are becoming more effeminate. That is not news. If you watched the ESA's Rosetta mission arrive at Comet P67 you saw a tattoo-covered fellow talk about engineering and he looked manly, but two days later he was crying during a press conference because his bowling shirt had offended women on Twitter.
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Omega-3 Fatty Acids Decrease Heart Disease - It's No Fish Tale

Science2.0 - November 18, 2014 - 12:21am

Increasing the amount of omega-3s in your diet will likely decrease your risk of getting heart disease, according to Penn State nutritionists who cite evidence supporting the heart-health benefits of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (EPA and DHA), marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids.


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The Collapse Of The Bronze Age - Climate Change Didn't Do It

Science2.0 - November 17, 2014 - 9:30pm

Empires have risen and fallen and often it has been due to changes in the climate. When agriculture was a more demanding endeavor people wanted the most fertile lands and as that shifted, so did cities.

For that reason, climate change has often been cited as the most logical reason for a huge population collapse in Europe at the end of the Bronze Age. Now archaeologists and environmentalists say they can prove definitively that climate change could not have been the culprit. Because the changes in climate that scientists believed to coincide with the fall in population in fact occurred at least two generations later.


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Can GPS Satellites Detect Dark Matter?

Science2.0 - November 17, 2014 - 9:01pm

"Dark matter" is a blanket term for inferred matter that is undetected but must exist in order for gravity at very large scales to make any sense at all.

Based on inference, 27 percent of the universe is generally acknowledged to be dark matter, even though it is not visible and eludes direct detection and measurement. Whatever dark energy might turn out to be gets a number of about 68 percent of the universe. The rest of the universe, what we can detect and feel, is what we know to be matter. 


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Alternative Medicine For Plants: Probiotics And Detox Instead Of GMOs

Science2.0 - November 17, 2014 - 8:00pm

Scientists have found that transplanting a microbe that occurs naturally in eastern cottonwood trees boosts the ability of willow and lawn grass to withstand the effects of the industrial pollutant phenanthrene.

Because the plants can then take up 25 to 40 percent more of the pollutant than untreated plants they could be useful in phytoremediation, the process of using plants to remove toxins from contaminated sites, without all the environmentalist political lobbying drama of using genetically modified plants to do the same thing. 


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FrankenTrees - Three New Dogwoods Created

Science2.0 - November 17, 2014 - 7:00pm

Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa) and various genetically modified relatives are the most popular and economically significant members of the genus Cornus in the nursery and landscape industries. These deciduous trees are highly valued for their spring display of pink, red, or white bracts, brilliant red fall foliage, and exfoliating bark and in the US sales of dogwoods account for more than $30 million dollars each year.


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Domesday Book Listing Is Still A Ticket To Being Upper Class In England

Science2.0 - November 17, 2014 - 6:27pm

What's in a name? Apparently a lot. So much so that social mobility in England hasn't changed much since pre-Industrial times.

After William the Conqueror defeated King Harold II at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, making England a French country rather than an Anglo-Saxon one, he rewarded his supporters with lands taken from those who had been loyal to his opponent. He was very good to them - but he wanted his levies. So if your name appeared in the original Domesday Book, you were going to get a tax bill, but the benefits were so substantial you are more likely to be upper class even today.


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Amoxicillin Linked To Diarrhea And Candidiasis

Science2.0 - November 17, 2014 - 6:09pm

Diarrhea and candidiasis can result from taking the common antibiotic treatments, amoxicillin and amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, although harms may be underreported, according to a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).


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Less Sex, More Veggies: How To Live A Longer More Miserable Life

Science2.0 - November 17, 2014 - 5:21pm
If you want to know the secret to a longer life, look to reptiles. But you may not like the answer you find.

There is a belief that a fast-paced lifestyle is damaging to health. Slowing down will not just be more relaxing, but also keep you around, finds an analysis of 1,014 species of reptiles (including 672 lizards and 336 snakes), a representative sample of the approximately 10,000 known reptiles on the planet. After examining their life history parameters, such as body size, earliest age at first reproduction, body temperature, reproductive modes, litter or clutch size and frequency, geographic distribution, and diet, they found that early sexual maturation and a higher frequency of laying eggs or giving birth were associated with shortened longevity. 
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New Study Throws Cold Water On Idea Of A Tropical Martian Paradise

Science2.0 - November 17, 2014 - 5:05pm

It is known that at some point Mars was warm enough to have liquid water flowing on its surface. The evidence of ancient rivers, streams, and lakes remains.

But it was not a long-term tropical vacation paradise. Instead, warmth and water flow on ancient Mars was probably episodic, related to brief periods of volcanic activity that spewed tons of greenhouse-inducing sulfur dioxide gas into the atmosphere, according to new climate models of early Mars which suggest that periods of temperatures warm enough for water to flow likely lasted for only tens or perhaps hundreds of years at a time.

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School Cafeteria Food Mandates - What Students Know That Bureaucrats Don't

Science2.0 - November 17, 2014 - 4:06pm

The belief in Washington, D.C. political circles is that if kids have no choice, they will eventually eat whatever they are given. And they will grow to like it.

Does that work? In some instances it does, which is all the validation that culturally estranged people need to continue with a social experiment. The mistake they make is using the number of kids who take the food they are given and assuming that eventually it means the kids will eat it. 

Probably not, suggests a new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study, at least unless the government starts going into homes and controlling what they eat there as well.


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Artificial Intelligence Creates Magic Tricks

Science2.0 - November 17, 2014 - 3:57pm

Researchers have taught a computer program the outline of how a magic jigsaw puzzle and a mind reading card trick work, as well the results of experiments into how humans understand magic tricks, and it created completely new variants on those tricks which can be delivered by a magician.

The magic tricks created were of the type that use mathematical techniques rather than sleight of hand. The tricks proved popular with audiences and the magic puzzle was put on sale in a London magic shop. The card trick is available as an app called Phoney in the Google Play Store.


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The Evolutionary Constraints Of Fish Skulls

Science2.0 - November 17, 2014 - 3:48pm

Most people think that biting is the way that aquatic creatures capture prey. Not so, instead suction is far more common.

That is why the diversity of skull shapes in biters is so much greater, according to a new study. Suction feeding limits skulls shapes because of the structural requirements for suction feeding. 

"When you look at the skulls of biters, the diversity is astounding compared to suction feeders," said Rita Mehta, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at U.C. Santa Cruz. 


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Quantum Whirlpool Stirred By Spiral Laser Beam

Science2.0 - November 17, 2014 - 3:27pm

A whirlpool of hybrid light-matter particles called polaritons has been created using a spiral laser beam.

Polaritons are hybrid particles that have properties of both matter and light. The ability to control polariton flows in this way could aid the development of completely novel technology to link conventional electronics with new laser and fibre-based technologies.

Polaritons form in semiconductors when laser light interacts with electrons and holes (positively charged vacancies) so strongly that it is no longer possible to distinguish light from matter.


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Emergency Room Visits For Irregular Heartbeat Up, Deaths Have Gone Down

Science2.0 - November 17, 2014 - 12:13am

A generation ago, there were awareness campaigns to tell people with an irregular heartbeats to go to the emergency room to prevent possible heart attacks.

It worked. People now go to the emergency room as they have been told but with the gradual government takeover of health care there is sudden concern about the costs of these visits. Atrial fibrillation is the most common kind of arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat and can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. 

At the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2014, researchers analyzed patients from the Nationwide Emergency Department Data who visited the emergency department with AF listed as the first diagnosis in 2006-11. They found:


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Death Rate From Heart Disease Declines 4 Percent Since 2000

Science2.0 - November 16, 2014 - 9:00pm

Since the year 2000, mortality rates for heart disease declined by almost 4 percent even as higher blood pressure and obesity role, according to a new paper in JAMA.

Matthew D. Ritchey, D.P.T., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, and colleagues examined the contributions of heart disease subtypes, such as coronary HD (CHD) mortality, to overall heart disease (HD) mortality trends during 2000-2010. 


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Beta-Blockers For Some Heart Failure Linked With Improved Survival

Science2.0 - November 16, 2014 - 8:27pm

Up to 50 percent of patients with heart failure have normal or near-normal ejection fraction, termed heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF).

The risk of death in HFPEF may be as high as in heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFREF), but there is no proven therapy.

Beta-blockers improve outcomes in HFREF and may be beneficial in HFPEF, but data are sparse and inconclusive, and beta-blockers are currently not indicated for treating HFPEF, according to background information in the article.


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