Science2.0

Being A Morning Person Is Partially In Your DNA

Science2.0 - February 7, 2016 - 6:18pm

A genome-wide association study has identified genetic variants associated with being a morning person. The authors identified 15 locations in DNA (loci) associated with "morningness."


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Snake Gait

Science2.0 - February 7, 2016 - 6:12pm

It has no wheels or legs or anything to help itself along, and yet it is able to move and to move quite fast. In terms of mobility, the snake is a masterpiece of engineering, and it is no coincidence that it should be studied to uncover the physics underlying its locomotion. Giancarlo Cicconofri, SISSA research fellow, and Antonio DeSimone, SISSA professor and head of MathLab, the School's laboratory for mathematical modelling and scientific computing, have developed a mathematical model to describe in detail slithering, one of the characteristic ways in which snakes move by propagating lateral undulations along the body, and described in their model as "snake in a tube".


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Biophysics: Partitioning By Collision

Science2.0 - February 7, 2016 - 6:12pm

An ensemble consisting of a binary mixture of particles of equal size can partition itself into its component fractions - provided that the two species differ in their diffusion constants.


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Front Of Package Food Labels Do Not Mean A Food Is Healthy

Science2.0 - February 7, 2016 - 6:11pm

CHICAGO-- American grocery shoppers face an array of front of pack (FOP) nutrition and health claims when making food selections. But relying on the front of pack (FOP) claims to determine the nutrition quality of the food may not be a consumer's best option. In the January issue of the Journal of Food Science study, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), researchers from The Ohio State University and Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia examined and analyzed front of pack nutrition claims on more than 2,200 breakfast cereal and prepared meals released for sale between 2006 and 2010. What they found was that no type or number of front of pack claims could distinguish "healthy" foods.


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Effectiveness Of Phone And Web-Based Smoking Cessation Programs In Four States

Science2.0 - February 7, 2016 - 4:00pm
A new analysis indicates that states’ Web-based and phone-based tobacco cessation programs can help people quit smoking, but certain personal characteristics may lead individuals to prefer one type of program over the other. 

Quitline (telephone-based counseling) programs are effective tools for people who are trying to give up smoking, and the evidence for Web-based cessation services is building. Research has found that only one percent to two percent of adult tobacco users in the United States access state quitlines each year, however. Also, sustained use of Web-based interventions is low, with most users visiting some cessation websites fewer than three times.
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A New Alternative To Sodium: Fish Sauce

Science2.0 - February 7, 2016 - 4:15am

CHICAGO-- Cooks, chefs and food manufacturers are looking for natural ways to reduce sodium in recipes in nearly every culture. A big challenge to doing that is taste. Consumers typically describe reduced-sodium foods as lacking in taste and flavor. Findings of a study in the January issue of the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), found that Vietnamese fish sauce added to chicken broth, tomato sauce and coconut curry reduced the amount of sodium chloride by by 10-25 percent while still maintaining the perceived deliciousness, saltiness and overall flavor intensity.


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Drug Prevents Key Age-related Brain Change In Rats

Science2.0 - February 7, 2016 - 4:15am

WASHINGTON, DC -- As brain cells age they lose the fibers that receive neural impulses, a change that may underlie cognitive decline. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine recently found a way to reverse this process in rats. The study was published Feb. 3, 2016 in The Journal of Neuroscience. Researchers caution that more studies are needed, but the findings shed light on the mechanisms of cognitive decline and identify potential strategies to stem it.

"There's a tendency to think that aging is an inexorable process, that it's something in the genes and there's nothing you can do about it," said study co-author Gary Lynch. "This paper is saying that may not be true."


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Brain Formation Pattern Shows Why Early Trauma May Leave No Clues

Science2.0 - February 7, 2016 - 3:56am

Some of the earliest nerve cells to develop in the womb shape brain circuits that process sights and sounds, but then give way to mature networks that convert this sensory information into thoughts. This is the finding of a study led by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center and published in the February 3 edition of Neuron.

Specifically, the study in mice found that nerve circuit templates in part of the brain's cortex - the layer that regulates thought and memory - are first laid down during mammalian development by nerve cells that secrete the signaling chemical somatostatin (SST). Later in the process, a second wave of related nerve cells, parvalbumin (PV) neurons, arrives to build the faster, more precise circuits needed for higher brain functions.


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Smoking Bans Reduce Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease In Non-Smokers

Science2.0 - February 7, 2016 - 3:54am

A Cochrane Library review suggests that smoking bans may reduce harms of passive smoking, unclear as they are, since there has never been evidence that second-hand smoke has harmed anyone. Yet epidemiologists have linked it to risks of heart disease and some have even claimed third-hand smoke - particulate matter residues on clothing or in a room - can cause cancer. 

But the review does correlate lower rates of cardiovascular disease with bans. 


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From Allergens To Anodes: Pollen Derived Battery Electrodes

Science2.0 - February 6, 2016 - 3:52pm

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Pollens, the bane of allergy sufferers, could represent a boon for battery makers: Recent research has suggested their potential use as anodes in lithium-ion batteries.

"Our findings have demonstrated that renewable pollens could produce carbon architectures for anode applications in energy storage devices," said Vilas Pol, an associate professor in the School of Chemical Engineering and the School of Materials Engineering at Purdue University.


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Top Secret: On Confidentiality On Scientific Issues, Across The Ring And Across The Bedroom

Science2.0 - February 5, 2016 - 10:08pm

The following text, a short excerpt from the book "Anomaly!", recounts the time when the top quark was about to be discovered, in 1994-95. After the "evidence" paper that CDF had published in 1994, the CDF and DZERO experiments were both running for the first prize - a discovery of the last quark.

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The Mystery Of The Red Sea

Science2.0 - February 5, 2016 - 9:27pm

The Red Sea is known as one of the best tourist destinations for good relaxation and scuba-diving, but no one can even imagine that this place is inhabited by many sea creatures that are still waiting to be discovered. An international team of biologists, which included researchers from the Lomonosov Moscow State University and the Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences, found and explored a new kind of beautiful luminous creatures. For the first time they showed that the localization of glow in certain parts of the body can help to distinguish different species of organisms that have identical structure. The collections of the MSU have been enlarged by these new fauna species and their DNA.


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When Older Adults Stop Driving, It May Impact Health And Well-being

Science2.0 - February 5, 2016 - 9:27pm

Driving a car is a key factor in independent living and life satisfaction for older adults. In the U.S., driving is considered an important aspect of personal freedom and gives people a sense of control over their lives. Most adults continue to drive as they age--in fact, 81 percent of people aged 65 and older hold a driver's license in this country. However, age-related declines in physical and cognitive functions make driving more difficult for older adults, and many people eventually reduce or stop driving altogether.


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Discovery: Many White-tailed Deer Have Malaria

Science2.0 - February 5, 2016 - 9:26pm

Two years ago, Ellen Martinsen, was collecting mosquitoes at the Smithsonian's National Zoo, looking for malaria that might infect birds--when she discovered something strange: a DNA profile, from parasites in the mosquitoes, that she couldn't identify.

By chance, she had discovered a malaria parasite, Plasmodium odocoilei--that infects white-tailed deer. It's the first-ever malaria parasite known to live in a deer species and the only native malaria parasite found in any mammal in North or South America. Though white-tailed deer diseases have been heavily studied--scientist hadn't noticed that many have malaria parasites.


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First-semester GPA A Better Predictor Of College Success Than ACT Score

Science2.0 - February 5, 2016 - 1:19pm

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Underrepresented students' first-semester GPA may be a better predictor of whether they'll graduate college than their ACT score or their family's socioeconomic status, a new study found.

Researchers at the University of Illinois tracked the academic achievement and degree status of more than 1,900 U. of I. freshmen across a six-year period, beginning when the students first enrolled at the university in 2005 or 2006. The sample was selected to focus on students who were low-income, attended underresourced high schools and/or were historically underrepresented based on race or geography, and who could have completed an undergraduate program within six years.


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Molecular Switch Lets Salmonella Fight Or Evade Immune System

Science2.0 - February 5, 2016 - 1:17pm

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have discovered a molecular regulator that allows salmonella bacteria to switch from actively causing disease to lurking in a chronic but asymptomatic state called a biofilm.

Their findings are published in the online journal, eLife.


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Secondhand Smoke: Nations Producing Less Greenhouse Gas Most Vulnerable To Climate Change

Science2.0 - February 5, 2016 - 1:17pm

  • Conversely, nations that produce most greenhouse gases less vulnerable

  • Study shows "enormous global inequality" between emitters versus impacted nations
  • Countries like U.S., Canada, Russia, and China are climate "free riders," which dis-incentivizes mitigating their emissions
  • Problem will worsen in coming decades

    NEW YORK (EMBARGOED UNTIL FRIDAY, FEBRUAY 5TH 5:00 A.M. USET) - A new study by University of Queensland and WCS shows a dramatic global mismatch between nations producing the most greenhouse gases and the ones most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.


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    Wiki Woes: Websites For Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Are Inaccurate And Outdated

    Science2.0 - February 5, 2016 - 12:00pm

    After evaluating content on idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis on almost 200 websites, researchers found that the information on Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
    (IPF) from these sites was often incomplete, inaccurate and outdated. 


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    Why Rest Is Critical After A Concussion

    Science2.0 - February 5, 2016 - 11:45am

    Doctors recommend several days of rest after a person suffers a concussion, but that is often good advice for many things. It works, but why? New data from animal models explains why.  

    Georgetown University Medical Center neuroscientists say rest allows the brain to reset neural networks and repair any short-term injury. The new study in mice also shows that repeated mild concussions with only a day to recover between injuries leads to mounting damage and brain inflammation that remains evident a year after injury.


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    Hair Thinning By Stem Cell Loss

    Science2.0 - February 5, 2016 - 1:49am

    Why people lose their locks in old age may be related to the aging of hair follicle stem cells, two new studies suggest. Though it is known that mammals that live for longer lifespans lose their hair, the mechanisms underlying this fate have been a mystery. Hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs), which generate the sacs or follicles that produce hair, keep hair growth going repeatedly over time. Surprisingly, they have even been shown, in mice experiments, to resist aging. To better understand the role HFSCs might play in aging-associated hair loss, Hiroyuki Matsumura and colleagues studied hair follicles in a mouse model of accelerated hair loss.


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