Science2.0

Less Salt Intake Credited With Lower Cardiovascular Disease Deaths

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 4:10pm

The 15% fall in dietary salt intake, which is implicated in increased blood pressure, over the past decade in England is likely to have had a key role in the 40% drop in deaths from heart disease and stroke over the same period, according to a paper in BMJ Open.

Average salt intake across the nation is still far too high, the authors warn, and much greater effort is needed to curb the salt content of the foods we eat. 

The authors base their findings on an analysis of data from more than 31,500 people taking part in the Health Survey for England for the years 2003—when initiatives to curb population salt intake began across the UK—2006, 2008, and 2011.


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Meta-Analysis Supports Whey Protein, Resistance Exercise For Improved Body Composition

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 4:08pm

 A meta-analysis that included 14 randomized controlled trials with a total of 626 adult participants found that  whey protein, either as a supplement combined with resistance exercise or as part of a weight-loss or weight-maintenance diet, may provide men and women benefits related to body composition.


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Welcome Peggy: Saturn's Newest Moon?

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 3:06pm
A small icy object within the rings of Saturn may be a new moon, according to interpretation of images taken with Cassini's narrow angle camera on April 15, 2013 which show disturbances at the very edge of Saturn's A ring -- the outermost of the planet's large, bright rings.

One of these disturbances is an arc about 20 percent brighter than its surroundings, 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) long and 6 miles (10 kilometers) wide. Scientists also found unusual protuberances in the usually smooth profile at the ring's edge. Scientists believe the arc and protuberances are caused by the gravitational effects of a nearby object. 
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Outgoing Behavior Makes For Happier Humans

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 2:20pm

PULLMAN, Wash. - Happy is as happy does, apparently—for human beings all over the world. Not only does acting extroverted lead to more positive feelings across several cultures, but people also report more upbeat behavior when they feel free to be themselves.

These findings were among those recently published in the Journal of Research in Personality in a paper by Timothy Church, professor of counseling psychology and associate dean of research in the College of Education at Washington State University. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation.


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Bizarre Parasite May Provide Cuttlefish Clues

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 2:20pm

University of Adelaide research into parasites of cuttlefish, squid and octopus has uncovered details of the parasites' astonishing life cycles, and shown how they may help in investigating populations of their hosts.

Researcher Dr Sarah Catalano has described 10 new parasite species− dicyemid mesozoans −, which live in the kidneys of cephalopods (cuttlefish, squid and octopus). They are the very first dicyemid species to be described from Australian waters.


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Whooping Cough Bacterium Evolves In Australia

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 2:20pm

The bacterium that causes whooping cough, Bordetella pertussis, has changed in Australia - most likely in response to the vaccine used to prevent the disease - with a possible reduced effectiveness of the vaccine as a result, a new study shows.

A UNSW-led team of researchers analysed strains of Bordetella pertussis from across Australia and found that many strains no longer produce a key surface protein called pertactin.


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British Medical Journal Study: Your Psych Meds Can Kill You

Science2.0 - April 15, 2014 - 12:12pm

Sleep aids are a more than <

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Metasurface Lens: Flat Surface Becomes A Spherical Antenna

Science2.0 - April 14, 2014 - 11:47pm

An array of tiny, metallic, U-shaped structures deposited onto a dielectric material creates a new artificial surface that can bend and focus electromagnetic waves the same way an antenna does.


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ApoE4 Gene Variant Linked To Higher Risk Of Alzheimer's In Women

Science2.0 - April 14, 2014 - 11:28pm

Women who carry a copy of a gene variant called ApoE4 have substantially greater risk for Alzheimer's disease than men,according to an analysis of data on large numbers of older individuals who were tracked over time and noting whether they had progressed from good health to mild cognitive impairment — from which most move on to develop Alzheimer's disease within a few years — or to Alzheimer's disease itself.


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Post-Partum Depression Hits Dads Too

Science2.0 - April 14, 2014 - 10:54pm

Because the majority of prescriptions for depression, are given to women, men don't get a lot of concern, but depression can hit young fathers hard and the symptoms can increase dramatically during the formative years of children.


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Ferns Borrowed Genes To Flourish In Low Light

Science2.0 - April 14, 2014 - 10:45pm

DURHAM, N.C. -- During the age of the dinosaurs, the arrival of flowering plants as competitors could have spelled doom for the ancient fern lineage. Instead, ferns diversified and flourished under the new canopy -- using a mysterious gene that helped them adapt to low-light environments.

A team led by Duke University scientists has pinpointed the curious origins of this gene and determined that it was transferred to ferns from a group of unassuming moss-like plants called hornworts. The findings were announced today, April 14, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


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A Gene Panels Alternative To Whole-Genome Sequencing

Science2.0 - April 14, 2014 - 10:00pm

Up to 10 percent of women with family history of breast or ovarian cancer have at least one genetic mutation that would prompt their doctors to recommend changes in their care - and it isn't BRCA1 or BRCA2.

The women in the study did not have mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2, which are strongly associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, but they did have mutations in other cancer-associated genes and those were found using a multiple-gene panel to quickly and cheaply sequence just a few possible genetic culprits selected by researchers based on what is known about a disease. Although such panels are becoming widely clinically available, it's not been clear whether their use can help patients or affect medical recommendations.


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Logan's Run Was Right: After Age 24, It's All Downhill

Science2.0 - April 14, 2014 - 9:56pm

If you're over 24 years of age you've already reached your peak in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to a new paper.

Simon Fraser University doctoral student Joe Thompson, associate professor Mark Blair, Thompson's thesis supervisor, and Andrew Henrey, a statistics and actuarial science doctoral student say this in one of the first social science experiments to rest on big data and they tested when we start to experience an age-related decline in our cognitive motor skills and how we compensate for that by analyzing the digital performance records of 3,305 StarCraft 2 players, aged 16 to 44. StarCraft 2 is a competitive intergalactic computer war game that players sometimes play for money. 


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Dogs Benefit Families Of Children With Autism

Science2.0 - April 14, 2014 - 8:36pm

Should you get a pet? If so, a dog or a cat?  For families of children with autism, the decision may have gotten a little easier. A University of Missouri nurse has studied dog ownership decisions in families of children with autism and found, regardless of whether they owned dogs, the parents reported the benefits of dog ownership included companionship, stress relief and opportunities for their children to learn responsibility.


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Symbiotic Association: Wasps And Microbes Have Been Faithful Allies Since The Cretaceous

Science2.0 - April 14, 2014 - 8:32pm

Humans depend on microbes for survival. So do most animals and such symbioses can persist for millions of years.

Scientists have discovered that certain wasps tightly control mother-to-offspring transmission of their bacterial symbionts. This stabilizes the symbiotic alliance and contributed to its persistence over the past 68-110 million years.


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Popular Medical Websites Too Complex When It Comes To Colon Cancer - Analysis

Science2.0 - April 14, 2014 - 6:40pm

 A review of a dozen popular websites found that information on colorectal cancer is too difficult for most lay people to read and doesn't address the appropriate risks to and concerns of patients.


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The Dual Role Of Carbon Dioxide In Photosynthesis

Science2.0 - April 14, 2014 - 6:35pm

Carbon dioxide, in its ionic form bicarbonate, has a regulating function in the splitting of water in photosynthesis. This means that carbon dioxide has an additional role to being reduced to sugar, according to scientists at Umeå University in Sweden.


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Genetically Modified Tobacco Plants As Biofuel

Science2.0 - April 14, 2014 - 3:52pm

Tobacco is a high-density crop that is mowed several times throughout its cycle and that can be a good thing, because it can produce as much as 160 tons of fresh biomass per hectare.

Biomass that is suitable for producing bioethanol.  Smoking cigarettes is bad but renewable energy is good, tobacco just needs some help from science.


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Unstable Singlet Oxygen: A Stable Model For An Unstable Target

Science2.0 - April 14, 2014 - 3:44pm

Singlet oxygen is an electronically excited state of oxygen that is less stable than normal oxygen. Its high reactivity has enabled its use in photodynamic therapy, in which light is used in combination with a photosensitizing drug to generate large amounts of singlet oxygen to kill cancer cells or various pathogens. 


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Persistent Organic Pollutant - Slow Degradation Of The Arctic And Antarctic

Science2.0 - April 14, 2014 - 3:13pm

Global warming may be a topic of debate and arguments about measurements and models, but some things are measurable right now, like environmental pollutants. 

Although persistent environmental pollutants are released worldwide, the Arctic and Antarctic regions are significantly more contaminated with persistent organic pollutants than elsewhere; marine animals living there have some of the highest levels of persistent organic pollutant (POP) contamination of any creatures and the Inuit people of the Arctic, who rely on a diet of fish, seals and whales, have also been shown to have higher POP concentrations than people living in our latitudes.


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