Science2.0

Like Sweets? It's Partly In The Genes

Science2.0 - July 23, 2015 - 12:30pm

A new study suggests that a single set of genes affects a person's perception of sweet taste, regardless of whether the sweetener is a natural sugar or a non-caloric sugar substitute.


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No Difference In Hormone Levels Of Transgender Youth

Science2.0 - July 23, 2015 - 10:49am

Johanna Olson, MD, and her colleagues at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, provide care for the largest number of transgendered youth in the U.S. and have enrolled 101 patients in a prospective observational study to determine the safety and efficacy of treatment that helps patients bring their bodies into closer alignment with their chosen gender. 

Baseline characteristics of these individuals were published on July 21 in the Journal of Adolescent Health and include a significant finding: transgendered individuals have sex hormone levels consistent with the gender they were born with.

“We’ve now put to rest the residual belief that transgender experience is a result of a hormone imbalance,” says Olson. “It’s not.”


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Weyl Points: Wanted For 86 Years

Science2.0 - July 23, 2015 - 12:11am

Weyl points, the 3D analogues of the structures that make graphene exceptional, were theoretically predicted in 1929. Today, an international team of Physicists from MIT and Zhejiang University, found them in photonic crystals, opening a new dimension in photonics.


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CAV1: Gene Causing Premature Aging And Severe Loss Of Fat In Children Found

Science2.0 - July 22, 2015 - 11:57pm

Researchers have identified a genetic mutation associated with the appearance of premature aging and severe loss of body fat in children.

Researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) Center for Rare Childhood Disorders found that the appearance of premature aging, a neonatal form of Progeroid syndrome, in a 3-year-old girl was caused by a mutation in the gene CAV1, according to a study published in PLOS ONE. 


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Health Care Providers Have Sexual Orientation Biases

Science2.0 - July 22, 2015 - 2:00pm

In what they say is the first study that looks at a variety of healthcare providers and their implicit attitudes towards lesbian women and gay men, scholars say they have found there is widespread implicit bias toward lesbian women and gay men. 


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Diversifying Your Diet May Make Your Gut Healthier

Science2.0 - July 22, 2015 - 1:30pm

A loss of dietary diversity during the past 50 years could be a contributing factor to the rise in obesity, Type 2 diabetes, gastrointestinal problems and other diseases, according to a lecture by Mark Heiman, vice president and chief scientific officer at MicroBiome Therapeutics, at IFT15: Where Science Feeds Innovation hosted by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) in Chicago.

Heiman said diet is the principal regulator of the GI microbiome, the ecosystem of the human GI tract. The microbiome contains trillions of bacteria (microbiota) in a solution of unabsorbed macro- and micro-nutrients. The microbiota use the remnants from digestion to create new signaling molecules that allow the microbiota to communicate with a person's metabolic and GI regulatory system.


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Muddy Physics: Why Puddles Stop Spreading

Science2.0 - July 22, 2015 - 1:00pm

By Charles Choi, Inside Science -- If you poured a glass of water on a table, you would expect to get a puddle that spreads for a while and then stops. However, until now, the formulas that scientists used to describe the flow of fluids suggested the puddle should never stop spreading.

Now researchers have solved the mystery of why such a puddle would not keep spreading endlessly — the culprit is a force that acts on microscopic scales. This solution to such a simple everyday phenomenon could have far-reaching ramifications for everything from improving advanced electronics to fighting climate change.

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Heart Disease Begins In Childhood

Science2.0 - July 22, 2015 - 1:00pm

Are the first signs that someone is at risk of developing cardiovascular disease detectable in toddlers and preschoolers?

There's evidence that low vitamin D levels in adults are linked to cardiovascular disease, as well as other health issues such as obesity, hypertension and diabetes. But that link hadn't been studied in children. Researchers in Toronto examined vitamin D levels in children ages one to five and the non HDL- cholesterol level in their blood, a marker of cardiovascular health. (Non-HDL cholesterol is basically all of a person's cholesterol minus his or her HDL or good cholesterol.)


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Music Alters The Teenage Brain

Science2.0 - July 22, 2015 - 12:30pm

Music training, begun as late as high school, may help improve the teenage brain's responses to sound and sharpen hearing and language skills, suggests a new study. The research indicates that music instruction helps enhance skills that are critical for academic success. 

The gains were seen during group music classes included in the schools' curriculum, suggesting in-school training accelerates neurodevelopment.


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What Is A Good Looking Penis?

Science2.0 - July 22, 2015 - 2:02am

In a new study, women considered the position and shape of the urethral opening to be the least important aspects of a penis' appearance.

They also perceived the genitals of men who underwent surgery to treat distal hypospadias--a congenital condition in which the opening of the urethra is on the underside of the penis--to be as normal-looking as nonaffected, circumcised genitals.

"The information may help prevent the development of shame or impaired genital perceptions about penile appearance," said Dr. Norma Ruppen, lead author of the study.

Citation: Ruppen-Greeff, N.K., Weber, D.M., Gobet, R. & Landolt, M.A., 'What is a good looking penis? How women rate the penile appearance of men with surgically corrected hypospadias', Journal of Sexual Medicine


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Computer Program Can Recognize Sketches More Accurately Than A Human

Science2.0 - July 21, 2015 - 4:00pm
The downside to computer programs is they lack the ability to interpret. A tiny human can look at a picture of a chicken and a cartoon of a chicken and know that's a chicken while a computer program cannot.

Researchers from Queen Mary University of London believe they have overcome one obstacle and have built the first computer program that can recognize hand-drawn sketches better than humans. They call it Sketch-a-Net and in their tests it is capable of correctly identifying the subject of sketches 74.9 percent of the time compared to humans that only managed a success rate of 73.1 percent.
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How To Rule A Gene Galaxy

Science2.0 - July 21, 2015 - 3:30pm
The human organism contains hundreds of distinct cell types that often differ from their neighbors in shape and function. To acquire and maintain its characteristic features, each cell type must express a unique subset of genes. Neurons, the functional units of our brain, develop through differentiation of neuronal precursors, a process that depends on coordinated activation of hundreds and possibly thousands of neuron-specific genes.
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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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