Science2.0

Duck Dynasty Can Thank Federal Conservation Policies

Science2.0 - July 17, 2014 - 2:31pm

During the 2011 and 2012 migration seasons, University of Missouri researchers monitored mallard ducks using satellite tracking, the first time ducks have been tracked closely during the entirety of their migration from Canada to the American Midwest and back.

They found that as mallards travel hundreds of miles across the continent, they use public and private wetland conservation areas extensively, which  illustrates the importance of maintaining protected wetland areas.


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Acquired Inheritance? Effects Of Starvation Can Be Passed To Future Generations

Science2.0 - July 17, 2014 - 1:33pm

Evidence from human famines and animal studies suggests that starvation can affect the health of descendants of famished individuals, but how such an acquired trait might be transmitted from one generation to the next?

A new study involving roundworms finds that starvation induces specific changes in small RNAs and that these changes are inherited through at least three consecutive generations, apparently without any DNA involvement. The paper in Cell offers new evidence that the biology of inheritance is more complicated than previously thought.


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Cutting Wedding Cake The Science Way

Science2.0 - July 17, 2014 - 12:00pm

Weddings are a lot of stress, primarily for women but, in 19 states, lots of men as well.

Math can ease some of the burden - at least when it comes to cutting the cake. But first let's show how it works with just two people. Believe it or not this topic has generated a substantial amount of literature in the last 20 years. A cake is, of course, a metaphor for a divisible, heterogeneous good to a mathematician, and there an 'adjusted winner' can be created.


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Smoking Linked To Higher Suicide Risk - Psychiatrists

Science2.0 - July 17, 2014 - 11:02am

Cigarette smokers are more likely to commit suicide than people who don't smoke. People with psychiatric disorders have higher suicide rates and tend to smoke, so the connection is so simple an epidemiologist could make it.

But psychiatrists now say that smoking itself may increase suicide risk and that bans and higher taxes on smoking cause suicide rates to drop. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that in 2010, nearly 40,000 people killed themselves in the US and every death that occurs in the United States is recorded in a database managed by the National Center for Health Statistics. The authors classified each suicide death based on the state where the victim had lived, as well as how aggressive that state's tobacco policies were.


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Electricity And Seismic Waves Give New View Of Mount Rainier's Volcanic Plumbing

Science2.0 - July 17, 2014 - 10:33am

By measuring how fast Earth conducts electricity and seismic waves, researchers have created a detailed picture of Mount Rainier's deep volcanic plumbing and partly molten rock that will erupt again someday.

In an odd twist, the image appears to show that at least part of Mount Rainier's partly molten magma reservoir is located about 6 to 10 miles northwest of the 14,410-foot volcano, which is 30 to 45 miles southeast of the Seattle-Tacoma area.

But that could be because the 80 electrical sensors used for the experiment were placed in a 190-mile-long, west-to-east line about 12 miles north of Rainier. So the main part of the magma chamber could be directly under the peak, but with a lobe extending northwest under the line of detectors.


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After 50 Years, Niacin Called Too Dangerous For Routine Cholesterol Therapy

Science2.0 - July 17, 2014 - 10:33am

Niacin has been a mainstay cholesterol therapy for 50 years but it should no longer be prescribed for most patients due to potential increased risk of death, dangerous side effects and no benefit in reducing heart attacks and strokes, according to an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine.


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Heart Cell In A Living Animal Reprogrammed To Cure Disease For First Time

Science2.0 - July 17, 2014 - 10:32am

Cardiologists have developed a minimally invasive gene transplant procedure that changes unspecialized heart cells into 'biological pacemaker' cells that keep the heart beating. 

The laboratory animal research is the result of a dozen years of research with the goal of developing biological treatments for patients with heart rhythm disorders who currently are treated with surgically implanted pacemakers.

In the United States, an estimated 300,000 patients receive pacemakers every year.  If future research is successful, the procedure could be ready for human clinical studies in about three years.  


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SAVI: Gene Linked To Fatal Inflammatory Disease In Children Identified

Science2.0 - July 17, 2014 - 5:30am

Investigators have identified a gene that underlies a very rare but devastating autoinflammatory condition in children. Several existing drugs have shown therapeutic potential in laboratory studies, and one is currently being studied in children with the disease, which the researchers named STING-associated vasculopathy with onset in infancy (SAVI).  

Autoinflammatory diseases are a class of conditions in which the immune system, seemingly unprovoked, becomes activated and triggers inflammation. Normally, the inflammatory response helps quell infections, but the prolonged inflammation that occurs in these diseases can damage the body.


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Hidden Benefit To The ACA: It May Help Bring Science 2.0 To Pass

Science2.0 - July 17, 2014 - 4:31am
The Affordable Care Act and data portability is forcing health care providers, and the vendors who service them, to accelerate development of tools that can handle an expected deluge of data and information about patients, providers and outcomes.

The volume of data is daunting - so are concerns about interoperability, security and the ability to adapt rapidly to the lessons in the data, writes Dana Gardner at Big Data Journal.

That is why Boundaryless Information Flow, Open Platform 3.0 adaptation, and security for the healthcare industry are headline topics for The Open Group’s upcoming event, Enabling Boundaryless Information Flow on July 21 and 22 in Boston, he notes.
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Corticosteroid Drugs Used For Asthma Suppress Growth - Systematic Reviews

Science2.0 - July 17, 2014 - 3:25am

Corticosteroid drugs used in inhalers by children with asthma may suppress their growth, suggest two new systematic reviews published in The Cochrane Library which focus on the effects of inhaled corticosteroid drugs (ICS) on growth rates.

The authors found children's growth slowed in the first year of treatment, although the effects were minimized by using lower doses.


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Uner Tan Syndrome: Walking On All Fours Is Not Backward Evolution

Science2.0 - July 16, 2014 - 9:49pm

What 'separates us from the animals'. as the saying goes?

Not a lot. We're all animals, of course, but among primates there is an easy-to-spot difference: Humans tend to walk in lateral sequences, a foot down and then a hand on the same side and then moved in the same sequence on the other side, while apes and other non-human primates walk in a diagonal sequence, in which they put down a foot on one side and then a hand on the other side, continuing that pattern as they move along. 

What does that mean? It means quadripedalism, such as among the five Turkish siblings profiled in the 2006 BBC2 documentary "The Family That Walks on All Fours", does not mean anyone is devolving or evolving backwards.


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Sexual Harassment Common In Academic Field Expeditions

Science2.0 - July 16, 2014 - 8:09pm

A new survey analysis finds that in just about about any field where there are academics and field work, there is going to be sexual harassment and even assault.

Yes, surveys, the bane of the scientific method. The authors analyzed survey results of 666 people (142 men, 516 women) with field experience in anthropology, archeology and more, and found that many respondents claimed to have suffered or witnessed sexual harassment or even sexual assault while at work in the field.


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Lyararapax: 520 Million-Year-Old Brain Discovered

Science2.0 - July 16, 2014 - 6:47pm

Paleontologists have discovered the exquisitely preserved brain in the fossil of one of the world's first known predators that lived in the Lower Cambrian, about 520 million years ago. The discovery revealed a brain that is surprisingly simple and less complex than those known from fossils of some of the animal's prey. 


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Marginal Ice Zone Project Tracks Breakup Of Arctic Summer Sea Ice

Science2.0 - July 16, 2014 - 6:31pm

As sea ice begins to melt back toward its late September minimum, it is being watched by researchers who have put sensors on and under ice in the Beaufort Sea. 

The international effort hopes to figure out the physics of the ice edge in order to better understand and predict open water in Arctic seas.

"This has never been done at this level, over such a large area and for such a long period of time," said principal investigator Craig Lee, an oceanographer at the University of Washington's Applied Physics Laboratory. "We're really trying to resolve the physics over the course of an entire melt season."


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What Google Trends Reveals About Republican And Democrat Climate Change Concerns

Science2.0 - July 16, 2014 - 6:15pm

Is it true that you can discern how someone votes based on their Google search history related to science and health issues? It seems to be so, in a majority of cases.

Republicans search for information about the weather, climate change and global warming during extremely hot or cold spells while Democrats search those terms when they experience changes in the average temperatures.

Corey Lang of the University of Rhode Island tracked how the temperature fluctuations and rainfall that Americans experience daily in their own cities make them scour the Internet in search of information about climate change and global warming.

To do so, he used data from Google Trends, local weather stations and election results.


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Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms: Who Needs Screening And Treatment

Science2.0 - July 16, 2014 - 6:01pm

An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a potentially life-threatening condition: If the body's major blood vessel ruptures, it can prove deadly.

Abdominal aortic aneurysms are a bulge in the aorta, which is the body's largest artery and is located in the abdomen above the belly button. The greatest risk is that the aneurysm will rupture.
That's scary but who should be watched?

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently updated its recommendations on screening and Mayo Clinic vascular surgeon Peter Gloviczki, M.D., outlines how people are diagnosed and how surgery, which now includes a less invasive endovascular option, is improving survival rates


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DOSS Dispersant From Deepwater Horizon Spill Persists For Four Years

Science2.0 - July 16, 2014 - 5:30pm

The 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico was, to-date, the largest accidental release of oil into the ocean. 210 million gallons issued from the blown-out well.

In an attempt to prevent vast quantities of oil from fouling beaches and marshes, BP applied 1.84 million gallons of the dispersant compound DOSS to oil released in the subsurface and to oil slicks at the sea surface. DOSS rapidly degrades in the environment but a new study by scientists at Haverford College and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) found that though DOSS does decrease the size of oil droplets and hampers the formation of large oil slicks, it can persist in the environment for up to four years.


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Drug-resistant Superbug Instances Up Sharply In Southeastern US

Science2.0 - July 16, 2014 - 5:05pm

Cases of the highly contagious drug-resistant bacteria carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae  (CRE), have increased fivefold in community hospitals in the Southeastern United States, according to a new study in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.


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Four-Winged Fossil Sheds Light On Dinosaur Flight

Science2.0 - July 16, 2014 - 4:23pm
A new raptorial dinosaur fossil with exceptionally long feathers, including a long feathered tail, has led the authors to believe they were instrumental for decreasing descent speed and assuring safe landings. 

Changyuraptor yangi is a 125-million-year-old dinosaur found in the Liaoning Province of northeastern China. The location has seen a surge of discoveries in feathered dinosaurs over the last decade. The newly discovered, remarkably preserved dinosaur sports a full set of feathers cloaking its entire body, including the extra-long tail feathers.
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Prisoners Dilemma: Cooperation Among Humans Varies By Age

Science2.0 - July 16, 2014 - 2:50pm

A new research paper analyzed how cooperative attitudes evolve in different age ranges. 


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