Science2.0

Stand By Your Maine: Country Music's Northern Roots

Science2.0 - October 27, 2014 - 3:00pm

Country music's soaring popularity in the Northeast isn't so much a novelty as it is a rebirth. Image: US Navy

By Clifford Murphy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

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10 Million Suns: That Bright Pulsar May Not Be Alone

Science2.0 - October 27, 2014 - 2:26pm

A team of astronomers recently reported discovering a pulsating star that appears to shine with the energy of 10 million suns. A pulsar is a type of rotating neutron star that emits a bright beam of energy that regularly sweeps past Earth like a lighthouse beacon.

What are the odds finding another one so bright? According to one of the paper's authors, quite good. 

Professor Deepto Chakrabarty of the Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says he is optimistic that astronomers will find additional ultra-bright pulsars now that they know such objects exist.


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4 Things Needed To Make The Perfect Cup Of Coffee

Science2.0 - October 27, 2014 - 2:07pm

There are four factors to making the perfect cup of coffee. Credit: Andy Ciordia/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

By Don Brushett

It’s hard to get a bad coffee these days.

Plenty of baristas have fine-tuned the process of making espresso, but really there are only a handful of variables they can control:

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New CMS Results

Science2.0 - October 27, 2014 - 1:50pm
The Large Hadron Collider at the CERN laboratories in Geneva is currently in shutdown, finalizing the upgrades that will allow it to restart next year at the  centre-of-mass energy of 13 TeV - over 60% more than the last 8 TeV run. ATLAS and CMS have collected no more proton-proton collisions since almost two years ago; yet the collaborations are as busy as ever producing physics results from the analysis of the 2012 data.

Rather than focusing on any single result, below I give some highlights of the most recent publications by CMS. Another post will discuss ATLAS results in a few days.
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When It Comes To Ebola, How Much Risk Is Too Much?

Science2.0 - October 27, 2014 - 1:37pm

How much risk can health workers be asked to take on? Mike Segar/Reuters

By Catherine Womack, Bridgewater State University

Taking care of sick people has always involved personal risk.

From plague to tuberculosis to smallpox to SARS, health-care workers have put themselves in danger in the course of fulfilling their duties to care for others. Many have lost their lives doing just that.

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Cocoa Flavanols Reverse Age-Related Memory Decline

Science2.0 - October 27, 2014 - 1:00pm

A new study has found that  age-related memory decline in healthy older adults
can be reversed by dietary cocoa flavanols, the naturally occurring bioactives found in cocoa.


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Witnessing The Exploding Fireball Stage Of A Nova

Science2.0 - October 27, 2014 - 2:00am

The expanding thermonuclear fireball of a nova is a staple of movies and fiction but last year one was witnessed in the constellation Delphinus with unprecedented clarity. The observations produced the first images of a nova during the early fireball stage and revealed how the structure of the ejected material evolves as the gas expands and cools. 


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How To Build A Powerful Antibiotic

Science2.0 - October 27, 2014 - 1:41am

Antibiotics are a part of nature, as is antibiotic resistance. A study on how a powerful antibiotic agent gets made in nature solved a decades-old mystery and opens up new avenues of research into thousands of similar molecules.

The team focused on a class of compounds that includes dozens with antibiotic properties. The most famous of these is nisin, a natural product in milk that can be synthesized in the lab and is added to foods as a preservative. Nisin has been used to combat food-borne pathogens since the late 1960s.


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Ebola: Guidelines For Clinicians

Science2.0 - October 26, 2014 - 6:38pm

Though the Centers for Disease Control has been a little confused about dealing with Ebola, Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness has guidelines for volunteers who want to help. 

Some are obvious. If you deal with Ebola patients, quarantine yourself for a little while. People in the bowling alley don't need to know right now that you were with Doctors Without Borders and that you just got back from helping overseas.

Common sense is needed, though The World Health Organization has asked for more volunteers to aid in the outbreak. More is not better if they are not trained and prepared, so it is best to have trained emergency response clinicians instead of medical students and trainees. 


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Florida Lizards Evolve Within 20 Generations

Science2.0 - October 26, 2014 - 6:19pm

Scientists have documented the rapid evolution of a native lizard species as a result of pressure from an invading lizard species introduced from Cuba. 

After contact with the invasive species, the native lizards began perching higher in trees, and, generation after generation, their feet evolved to become better at gripping the thinner, smoother branches found higher up. It only took about 20 generations - 15 years - but even within a few months, native lizards had begun shifting to higher perches and as time passed their toe pads had become larger, with more sticky scales on their feet.


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Intervention Program Helps Prevent Dropouts, Alcohol And Drug Use In Mexican-American Kids

Science2.0 - October 26, 2014 - 4:00pm

A family-focused intervention program for middle-school Mexican-American children leads to fewer drop-out rates and lower rates of alcohol and illegal drug use. . 

High-school aged youth that participated in the Bridges to High School program when they were in seventh grade were more likely to value school and believe it was important for their future. They reported lower rates of substance use, internalizing symptoms such as depression, and school drop-out rates compared to adolescents in a control group. 


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Cat Dentistry - Vets Want Your Money, But Are Nervous About Bringing It Up

Science2.0 - October 26, 2014 - 3:01pm

A recent survey found that 50% of final year veterinary students in the UK don't feel confident discussing dental problems or doing oral cavity examinations of small pets.

Most vets just dread the idea of seriously discussing feline dental procedures.

UK veterinarians Rachel Perry and Elise Robertson have taken it upon thenselves to plug this educational and fee gap and have coordinated a ground-breaking two-part special issue of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery devoted to feline dentistry.


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Plants Absorb More CO2 Than We Thought, But...

Science2.0 - October 26, 2014 - 1:00pm

A recent study shows plants may absorb more carbon than we thought. Jason Samfield/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA

By Pep Canadell, CSIRO

Through burning fossil fuels, humans are rapidly driving up levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which in turn is raising global temperatures.

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In Overweight Kids, There Are Mistaken Asthma Symptoms - And Overuse Of Medication

Science2.0 - October 25, 2014 - 9:30pm

When obese children with asthma run out of breath it could be due to poor physical health related to weight, yet it is considered asthma often enough that there could be high and unnecessary use of rescue medications, finds a paper in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

The researchers reviewed the lung function, treatment uses, symptom patterns, healthcare utilization, quality of life and caregiver perceptions of asthma-related quality of life in overweight/obese children with asthma (BMI ≥ 85th percentile) and lean counterparts (BMI 20-65th percentile). In total 58 children participated in the study's three clinical visits. 


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Blood Vessel Transplant From Own Stem Cells - Now In A Week

Science2.0 - October 25, 2014 - 8:28pm

Three years ago, a patient at Sahlgrenska University Hospital received a blood vessel transplant grown from her own stem cells. Two other transplants were performed in 2012. The patients, two young children, had the same condition as in the first case – they were missing the vein that goes from the gastrointestinal tract to the liver. 

Professors
Suchitra Sumitran-Holgersson, Professor of Transplantation Biology at The Univerisity of Gothenburg, and Michael Olausson, Surgeon/Medical Director of the Transplant Center and Professor at Sahlgrenska Academy, came up with the idea, planned and carried out the procedure.


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Shutting Off Blood To An Extremity Protects Hearts During Cardiac Surgery

Science2.0 - October 25, 2014 - 6:00pm

In a new study, researchers have shown that shutting off the blood supply to an arm or leg before cardiac surgery protects the heart during the operation.

The research group wanted to see how the muscle of the left chamber of the heart was affected by a technique, called RIPC (remote ischemic preconditioning), during cardiac surgery. RIPC works by shutting off the blood supply to an arm or a leg before heart surgery. The goal is to reduce risk during cardiac surgery in the future.

The technique is not new, but its effects have never before been tested directly on the left chamber of the heart.


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Climate Change Caused By The Ocean

Science2.0 - October 25, 2014 - 5:30pm

Focus on greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has led to a lot of confusion among the public: bad storms are caused by global warming but a lack of warming is not.

There may be a reason things don't add up, according to a paper in Science. The circulation of the ocean plays an equally important role in regulating the earth's climate, it finds. In their study, the researchers say the major cooling of Earth and continental ice build-up in the Northern Hemisphere 2.7 million years ago coincided with a shift in the circulation of the ocean – which pulls in heat and carbon dioxide in the Atlantic and moves them through the deep ocean from north to south until it's released in the Pacific.


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Erupting Bardarbunga Volcano In Iceland Sits On A Massive Magma Hot Spot

Science2.0 - October 24, 2014 - 6:31pm

 Massive amounts of erupting lava have connected with the fall of civilizations, the destruction of supercontinents and dramatic changes in climate and ecosystems. 

Since August 31st, Bárðarbunga volcano in central Iceland has been spewing spectacular amounts of lava. A new paper finds that high mantle temperatures miles beneath the Earth's surface are essential for generating such large amounts of magma - and  Bárðarbunga volcano lies directly above the hottest portion of the North Atlantic mantle plume.


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Ebola's Evolutionary Roots Are Ancient

Science2.0 - October 24, 2014 - 6:30pm

Though Ebola tends to occur in waves, the filoviruses family to which Ebola and its lethal relative Marburg belong, are at least 16 million years old.

Filoviruses likely existed in the Miocene Epoch, and at that time, the evolutionary lines leading to Ebola and Marburg had already diverged, according to a paper inl PeerJ. It was once believed that the viruses only came into being some 10,000 years ago, coinciding with the rise of agriculture but now it is believed to have developed at the time when great apes arose.


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