Science2.0

Inspirational Managers May Harm Workers' Health

Science2.0 - April 22, 2016 - 10:27am

Managers who inspire their staff to perform above and beyond the call of duty may actually harm their employees' health over time, according to researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The findings suggest that constant pressure from these 'transformational leaders' may increase sickness absence levels among employees. They also indicate that some vulnerable employees in groups with transformational leaders may in the long term have increased sickness absence rates if they ignore their ill-health and frequently show up for work while ill, known as presenteeism.


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Test Hopes To Identify Any Shale Gas Hazard In Groundwater

Science2.0 - April 22, 2016 - 10:24am

A new test has been developed to check for contamination of shallow groundwater from modern gas extraction techniques, such as hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking.


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Outwitting Poachers With Artificial Intelligence

Science2.0 - April 22, 2016 - 10:17am

A century ago, more than 60,000 tigers roamed the wild. Today, the worldwide estimate has dwindled to around 3,200. Poaching is one of the main drivers of this precipitous drop. Whether killed for skins, medicine or trophy hunting, humans have pushed tigers to near-extinction. The same applies to other large animal species like elephants and rhinoceros that play unique and crucial roles in the ecosystems where they live.

Human patrols serve as the most direct form of protection of endangered animals, especially in large national parks. However, protection agencies have limited resources for patrols.


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Plastic Below The Ocean Surface

Science2.0 - April 22, 2016 - 10:17am

Plastics are all around us. They are found in containers and packing materials, children's toys, medical devices and electronics.

Unfortunately, plastics are also found in the ocean.

A 2015 paper published in Science estimates that anywhere from 4.8 million to 12.7 million metric tons of plastic were dumped into the ocean in 2010 alone. One metric ton equals approximately 2,200 pounds, roughly the weight of a Mazda Miata.

As we celebrate Earth Day on Friday, April 22, new research by University of Delaware physical oceanographer Tobias Kukulka provides evidence that the amount of plastic in the marine environment may be greater that previously thought.


Troubling tiny travelers



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Gender Stereotyping May Start As Young As 3 Months -- Study Of Babies' Cries Shows

Science2.0 - April 22, 2016 - 10:17am

Gender stereotyping may start as young as three months, according to a study of babies' cries from the University of Sussex.

Adults attribute degrees of femininity and masculinity to babies based on the pitch of their cries, as shown by a new study by researchers from the University of Sussex, the University of Lyon/Saint-Etienne and Hunter College City University of New York. The research is published in the journal BMC Psychology.


The study found:


  • Adults often wrongly assume babies with higher-pitched cries are female and lower pitched cries are male

  • When told the gender of the baby, adults make assumptions about the degree of
    masculinity or femininity of the baby, based on the pitch of the cry

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    How Women Became So Important In Piano Composition

    Science2.0 - April 21, 2016 - 11:54pm
    In the Middle Ages, women became important for the development of piano composition and play. But why? 

    There have long been rules and conventions regarding what women can and can’t do in the world of music at all times. Straddling the legs around a cello was considered immoral, for example, and so sitting by the piano became what ladies did. By the 19th century, almost every piano composition was written for women and girls.

    “Women’s piano playing has had enormous significance for the development of piano composition,” argues Lise Karin Meling, associate professor at the Department of Music and Dance at the University of Stavanger. 
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    International Law Doesn't Protect Pregnant Women From War Crimes

    Science2.0 - April 21, 2016 - 11:14pm

    Deaths from violent conflict and lack of available care are major causes of mortality among pregnant women in war zones and so more needs to be done to protect women from violence in conflicts and to provide appropriate medical care required, argue doctors in an editorial published in The BMJ today.

    Though no one has any idea how many pregnant women die in conflict every year, they argue that humanitarian law should protect them anyway. But how? The United Nations never solves conflicts, it can only pass resolutions. Laws don't protect the 140,000 women who die in conflict each year. Over 300,000 women already will die in pregnancy and childbirth.


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    Global Warming: Why Half A Degree Matters

    Science2.0 - April 21, 2016 - 2:23pm

    In computer models, European scholars estimate substantially different climate change impacts for global warming of 1.5°C and 2°C by 2100, the two temperature limits policy makers agreed on in the Paris climate agreement.

    The simulation concluded that an additional 0.5°C would mean a 10-cm-higher global sea-level rise by 2100, longer heat waves, and would result in virtually all tropical coral reefs being at risk. 


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    Should The Food Industry Fund Health Research?

    Science2.0 - April 21, 2016 - 12:59pm

    In The BMJ today, leading experts debate whether the food industry should fund health research, and if so, under what circumstances.

    The food industry is crucial, fulfills key societal needs, and employs more people than any other sector in the UK, argue Paul Aveyard, professor of behavioral medicine at the University of Oxford, and Derek Yach, executive director at the Vitality Institute in New York.

    "For these reasons, government policies seek to support the industry," they say, and "from this perspective, it would be absurd for health policy researchers to shun collaborating with the food industry."


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    The Arctic Is Facing A Decline In Sea Ice That Might Equal The Negative Record Of 2012

    Science2.0 - April 21, 2016 - 12:59pm

    Bremerhaven/Germany, 21 April 2016. Sea ice physicists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), are anticipating that the sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean this summer may shrink to the record low of 2012. The scientists made this projection after evaluating current satellite data about the thickness of the ice cover. The data show that the arctic sea ice was already extraordinarily thin in the summer of 2015. Comparably little new ice formed during the past winter. Today Dr Marcel Nicolaus, expert on sea ice, has presented these findings at a press conference during the annual General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union in Vienna.


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    Bird Genomes Contain 'fossils' Of Parasites That Now Infect Humans

    Science2.0 - April 21, 2016 - 12:59pm

    In rare instances, DNA is known to have jumped from one species to another. If a parasite's DNA jumps to its host's genome, it could leave evidence of that parasitic interaction that could be found millions of years later -- a DNA 'fossil' of sorts. An international research team led from Uppsala University has discovered a new type of so-called transposable element that occurred in the genomes of certain birds and nematodes.

    The results are published in Nature Communications.


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    Detecting When The Most Common Skin Cancer Turns Dangerous

    Science2.0 - April 21, 2016 - 1:45am

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Most basal cell skin cancers are easily removed -- those on the arm, leg or back. But when the cancer is on the eyelid or when it starts to invade surrounding tissue, it's no longer straightforward.

    A team of researchers who specialize in treating cancers of the eye wanted to identify a marker that would indicate aggressive basal cell skin cancer, and perhaps also provide a potential target for treatment.

    "Basal cell carcinoma around the eye is very common. The eyelids seem to be a magnet for basal cell," says Alon Kahana, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center.


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    High Prevalence Of Vitamin D Deficiency In Large Population Of Kids With Type 1 Diabetes

    Science2.0 - April 21, 2016 - 1:45am

    PHILADELPHIA (April 20, 2016) - During the past two decades, vitamin D status, defined as serum concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, has emerged as a predictor of key clinical outcomes including bone health, glucose metabolism, cardiovascular health, immune health and survival. Now, a University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) team, including senior author Terri Lipman, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, the Miriam Stirl Endowed Term Professor of Nutrition, Professor of Nursing of Children and Assistant Dean for Community Engagement, has examined the association between 25-hydroxyvitamin D and diabetes control in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes.


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    A Targeted Agent To Mitigate Sepsis

    Science2.0 - April 20, 2016 - 9:27pm

    April 20, 2016 Sepsis, more commonly known as blood poisoning, is an exceptional healthcare problem. It is more common than heart attacks, and kills more people than any type of cancer and despite this, it remains largely unknown. According to a 2013 paper published in The New English Journal of Medicine1, it affects more than 19 million people around the world yearly and the number keeps increasing. There is hope for a reliable treatment, however, as researchers at the IBS Center for Vascular Health have developed a targeted therapy for mitigating sepsis by strengthening as well as protecting blood vessels.


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    Micro Heart Muscle Created From Stem Cells

    Science2.0 - April 20, 2016 - 9:27pm

    Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have invented a new way to create three-dimensional human heart tissue from stem cells. The tissue can be used to model disease and test drugs, and it opens the door for a precision medicine approach to treating heart disease. Although there are existing techniques to make three-dimensional tissues from heart cells, the new method dramatically reduces the number of cells needed, making it an easier, cheaper, and more efficient system.


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    Study Finds Genes Linked To Happiness, Depression And Neuroticism

    Science2.0 - April 20, 2016 - 9:26pm

    How people think and feel about their lives depends on multiple factors, including genes. In a paper published in Nature Genetics, a multi-institutional team, including a researcher from Baylor College of Medicine, reports that they have found genetic variants associated with our feelings of well-being, depression and neuroticism.

    This is one of the largest studies on the genes involved in human behavior. More than 190 researchers in 140 institutions in 17 countries analyzed genomic data from nearly 300,000 people.


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    Why A Skull May Not Tell Us If An Ancient Human Walked Upright

    Science2.0 - April 20, 2016 - 2:28pm

    Inside Science -- How can you tell how a creature walked when all that you have is the head?

    For many years, scientists looked to the foramen magnum – the large hole at the base of the skull where the brain connects to the spine – to find out. They believed it showed if an early human was a biped that walked on two legs, or a quadruped that walked on four. But a recent study published in the Journal of Human Evolution calls this into question.

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    Green Energy Makes Birds See Red

    Science2.0 - April 20, 2016 - 2:00pm

    Renewable energy may offer the imagery of a 'greener alternative' to traditional energy sources, but that hasn't really survived in the wild. The moment subsidies dry up, so do corporations reliant on government funding. And mounting evidence suggests that renewable energy infrastructure and the power transmission lines needed to serve them may impact avian populations, according to lead editor Jennifer Smith, a post-doctoral research associate at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute&State University writing in The Condor: Ornithological Applications.


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    Clinical Trial For Experimental Ebola Drug Publishes Results

    Science2.0 - April 20, 2016 - 11:27am

    Results of the Wellcome Trust funded trial of the experimental anti-Ebola drug TKM-130803 have been published today (April 19) in PLOS Medicine. Using a novel approach designed to get rapid indications of a drug's effectiveness, the trial showed that at the dose given the drug did not improve survival compared to historic controls.


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    Making Electronics Out Of Coal

    Science2.0 - April 20, 2016 - 11:27am

    CAMBRIDGE, MA -- Jeffrey Grossman thinks we've been looking at coal all wrong. Instead of just setting it afire, thus ignoring the molecular complexity of this highly varied material, he says, we should be harnessing the real value of that diversity and complex chemistry. Coal could become the basis for solar panels, batteries, or electronic devices, he and his research team say.


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