Science2.0

Diabetes-Cognitive Decline Link Isn't Just A Western Issue

Science2.0 - June 26, 2015 - 12:30pm
Diabetes is a known risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia, age-related conditions that affect memory and thinking skills.
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The Biology Of Iron

Science2.0 - June 26, 2015 - 11:53am

When you think of iron, you probably think of anvils and suits made by Tony Stark - iron is ore that comes from a mine. 

Now imagine that half of the iron in that object owes its existence to bacteria living two and a half billion years ago. 

Clark Johnson, a professor of geoscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and former postdoctoral researcher Weiqiang Li examined samples from the banded iron formation in Western Australia. Banded iron is the iron-rich rock found in ore deposits worldwide, from the proposed iron mine in Northern Wisconsin to the enormous mines of Western Australia. These ancient deposits, up to 150 meters deep, were begging for explanation. 


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Acidity Of Urine May Affect Susceptibility To Urinary Tract Infections

Science2.0 - June 26, 2015 - 11:43am

The acidity of urine -- as well as the presence of small molecules related to diet -- may influence how well bacteria can grow in the urinary tract, a new study shows. 

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) often are caused by a strain of bacteria called Escherichia coli (E. coli), and doctors long have relied on antibiotics to kill the microbes. But increasing bacterial resistance to these drugs is leading researchers to look for alternative treatment strategies.


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Tuberculosis Bacteria Hide In The Low Oxygen Niches Of Bone Marrow Stem Cells

Science2.0 - June 25, 2015 - 9:34pm

A new study is helping to shed light on latent tuberculosis and the bacteria's ability to hide in stem cells.

Some bone marrow stem cells reside in low oxygen (hypoxia) zones. These specialized zones are secured as immune cells and toxic chemicals cannot reach this zone. Hypoxia- activated cell signaling pathways may also protect the stem cells from dying or ageing.

A new study led by Forsyth Scientist Dr. Bikul Das has found that Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) hijack this protective hypoxic zone to hide intracellular to a special stem cell type. 


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Early-Stage Researcher Positions To Open Soon

Science2.0 - June 25, 2015 - 6:57pm
The Marie-Curie network I am coordinating, AMVA4NewPhysics, is going to start very soon, and with its start several things are going to happen. One you should not be concerned with is the arrival of the first tranche of the 2.4Meuros that the European Research Council has granted us. Something more interesting to you, if you have a degree in Physics or Statistics, is the fact that the network will soon start hiring ten skilled post-lauream researchers across Europe, with the aim of providing them with an exceptional plan of advanced training in particle physics, data analysis, statistics, machine learning, and more.

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A Reinforced Cylinder Leads To Fewer Repeat Surgeries For Children Born With Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

Science2.0 - June 25, 2015 - 5:29pm

Use of reinforced ring is small but noteworthy advance for those with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, according to reports in The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery

In this important study use of a ring-reinforced shunt improved surgical outcomes in children born with a serious heart defect: hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Children with this condition undergo a series of reconstructive procedures, and getting through the first stage of surgery can be challenging. The results of this study highlight that significant progress is often built upon a multitude of small refinements. An accompanying editorial by Dr. Charles Fraser emphasizes the potential benefits that might be achieved by this small step in a long journey.


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Better Switchgrass Optimization Means Better Biofuel

Science2.0 - June 25, 2015 - 4:41pm

Using biofuel is one way to decrease the United States' dependence on oil. And switchgrass is an excellent candidate for biofuel production. It is an adaptable plant that can grow on millions of acres of U.S. lands that cannot support crop or food production. It is also a renewable resource but growing it and making it profitable can be complicated. 

It lacks qualities, such as high biomass yield, needed to maximize biofuel production. Alternative breeding methods may be the answer.


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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Changes The Brain Of People With Tourette Syndrome

Science2.0 - June 25, 2015 - 4:00pm

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can change the brain function of people with Tourette syndrome, said researchers at the Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal and the University of Montreal at the First World Congress on Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders in London.


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Facial Discrimination - Why Disfigurement Can Be So Unsettling

Science2.0 - June 25, 2015 - 3:31pm

“Take your ear off for me, please,” Rosie Seelaus says to Randy James, who is sitting on a black exam chair in a special room designed for viewing colours in the Craniofacial Center on the Near West Side of Chicago.

He reaches up and detaches his right ear, which she created for him out of silicone seven years before. The ear is shabby, stained from skin oil and mottled by daily use. Viewed under various lights in the neutral, grey-walled room – daylight, incandescent, fluorescent – it remains a pasty beige.

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Advocates Insist Marijuana Is Safe, Teenagers Are More Skeptical

Science2.0 - June 25, 2015 - 3:31pm

Teenagers are very familiar with the risks of smoking cigarettes but thanks to misinformation campaigns by advocates regarding marijuana, and campaigns against the poorly-named "e-cigarettes" by pharmaceutical companies selling competing smoking cessation tools like gums and patches, they are less likely to buy into advertised claims.

"Kids were really good at describing the harmful things that happen with cigarette smoking, but when we asked about other products, there was a lot of confusion," said the study's lead author, Maria Roditis, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar in adolescent health at the Stanford University School of Medicine..


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Female Faculty Should Get Bonus Points To Correct For Gender Bias In Student Evaluations

Science2.0 - June 25, 2015 - 3:31pm
Now that most colleges and universities have completed their spring semesters, course instructors are opening up sealed manila envelopes, all over the country, to read their teaching evaluations.

And, like each year, what they’ll find has been pervasively slanted by gender bias.

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It's Alive Again: Monster Black Hole V404 Cygni Wakes After 26 Years

Science2.0 - June 25, 2015 - 3:24pm
Over the past week, ESA's Integral satellite has been observing an exceptional outburst of high-energy light produced by the black hole V404 Cygni that is devouring material from its stellar companion in our Milky Way galaxy, almost 8000 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus, the Swan.
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Giant Galaxy Messier 87 Is Still Growing

Science2.0 - June 25, 2015 - 1:30pm

Astronomers expect that galaxies grow by swallowing smaller galaxies. But the evidence is usually not easy to see -- just as the remains of the water thrown from a glass into a pond will quickly merge with the pond water, the stars in the infalling galaxy merge in with the very similar stars of the bigger galaxy leaving no trace. But now a team of astronomers led by PhD student Alessia Longobardi at the Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik , Garching, Germany has applied a clever observational trick to clearly show that the nearby giant elliptical galaxy Messier 87 merged with a smaller spiral galaxy in the last billion years.


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Pregnancy Safer For Women With Lupus Than Previously Thought

Science2.0 - June 25, 2015 - 1:09pm

New findings may help ease concerns for women with lupus who are interested in having a child. A new study concludes that most women with lupus whose disease is not very active will have a safe pregnancy. The results are to publish online June 22 in Annals of Internal Medicine.

It was previously suggested that women with lupus avoid pregnancy because of serious complications to their own health and the health of the baby. As more knowledge became available, doctors told women with lupus to wait until symptoms were under control, but until now, it was still uncertain whether this advice was right and whether pregnancy outcomes would be favorable.


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Racehorses At Risk From Misuse Of Cobalt

Science2.0 - June 25, 2015 - 1:09pm

In a new study published today in The Veterinary Journal, scientists from the University of Surrey warn about the numerous risks posed to racehorses from the misuse of cobalt chloride, a banned performance-enhancing agent that has been used illegally by trainers in Australia and USA. The team of researchers have uncovered that when excessive levels of the alleged performance-enhancing substance are administered to a horse, it can cause serious cardiovascular issues, potential nerve problems, thickening of the blood and thyroid toxicity. The researchers also pointed to the lack of evidence for enhanced performance in horses and human athletes.


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Of Mice And Magnets

Science2.0 - June 25, 2015 - 1:00pm
By Michael Greshko, Inside Science - Quantum mechanics governs the quirky, counterintuitive way the world works at the small scales of atoms and subatomic particles.
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Jupiter And Venus Conjunction

Science2.0 - June 25, 2015 - 11:14am

We have already had a view from the Mediterranean of Jupiter, Venus and the Moon in Seeing Jupiter In Daylight.  Jupiter and Venus are getting closer together in the sky, and on the 1st of July, at around 8:00 UTC, actual conjunction will occur, when the two planets are at the same Ecliptic longitude (referring the annual path taken by the Sun against our stellar background.)  At that time, the planets will be below the Horizon for New World observers.

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Nut Consumption Associated With Reduced Risk Of Some Types Of Cancer

Science2.0 - June 25, 2015 - 1:55am

Cancer and type 2 diabetes are two of the most significant public health burdens facing the world today, and currently available data suggests their prevalence is expected to continue to increase. Nut consumption has long been hypothesized to have a role in preventing both of these diseases, but until now evidence has been inconsistent. A new systematic review and meta-analysis published in Nutrition Reviews on June 16 shows that nut consumption is, indeed, associated with a decreased risk of certain types of cancer, but not type 2 diabetes.


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Pulsed Electrical Fields May Provide Improved Skin Rejuvenation

Science2.0 - June 25, 2015 - 1:55am

A new approach to skin rejuvenation developed at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) may be less likely to have unintended side effects such as scarring and altered pigmentation. In the online journal Scientific Reports, an MGH research team reports that treatment with pulsed electric fields - a noninvasive procedure that does not involve the generation of heat - removed skin cells in an animal model without affecting the supporting extracellular matrix, eventually leading to renewal of the skin surface.


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Faster, Not Stronger: How A Protein Regulates Gene Expression

Science2.0 - June 25, 2015 - 1:55am

Inside the cell, DNA is tightly coiled and packed with several proteins into a structure called "chromatin", which allows DNA to fit in the cell while also preventing genes from being expressed at the wrong time. Guided by a chemical "barcode", specialized effector proteins can bind chromatin and either unwind it or compact further to activate or silence genes. This system has enormous implications for biology and medicine, e.g. cancer research. However, the efficiency of effector-chromatin interactions have been elusive, especially given the weak binding between the two. Tracking these interactions one molecule at a time, EPFL scientists have shown for the first time how a major effector protein speeds up its search for chromatin binding sites pairing up with others of its kind.


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