Science2.0

Vinyl Mattress Covers - Phthalate Emissions Increase With Heat

Science2.0 - January 21, 2015 - 6:38pm

Phthalates are chemicals that increase the softness and flexibility of plastic.  Due to concerns about potential health problems, the US government has permanently banned three types of phthalates (DEHP, DBP, BBP)1 in any amount greater than 0.1 percent for each phthalate in children's toys and for some child care items used for toddlers ages 3 and under.

Manufacturers have been turning to alternative plasticizers, which are different phthalates, but outside the ordinary approval process little is known about the toxicity of the replacements or whether they can enter the air infants breathe for 12 to 14 hours per day at potentially harmful levels.

Since infants breathe in far more air given their low body weights than adults, Ying Xu and Yirui Liang


-->

read more

Categories: Science2.0

Improved Injectable Scaffold: Hydrogels Deliver On Blood-vessel Growth

Science2.0 - January 21, 2015 - 6:13pm

Scientists have found the balance necessary to aid healing with high-tech hydrogel.

Hydrogels are used as a scaffold upon which cells can build tissue. The new hydrogel overcomes a host of issues that have kept them from reaching their potential to treat injuries and forming new vasculature to treat heart attack, stroke and ischemic tissue diseases.


read more

Categories: Science2.0

Let It Grow: Vegetation Can Help Prevent Soil Erosion Due To Wind

Science2.0 - January 21, 2015 - 6:13pm

Dust from soil erosion due to wind can affect human health, traffic, and, on a larger scale, climate. Investigators compared different models that quantify how the wind energy spreads over an herbaceous surface using data from the Sahel region of Africa, where estimates of dust emissions remain uncertain.

They found that the modeling tools give results in reasonable agreement, indicating that vegetation can decrease the amount of dust emitted from soil erosion by 6% to 26% in mass compared with bare soil.


read more

Categories: Science2.0

Warm Ambient Fragrances Make Consumers Buy More

Science2.0 - January 21, 2015 - 6:00pm
Do consumers make different choices based on the fragrance surrounding them?  If they do not, a billion dollar advertising segment would disappear. Studies have found, for example, that lavender is the fragrance of trust and groups are always working to improve the ambiance of the marketplace. 

A new study in the Journal of Marketing says that the “temperature” of scents in a store atmosphere may have a powerful effect on what and how much customers buy. So if you want people to spend money, spread the cinnamon around.
-->

read more

Categories: Science2.0

Half Of Young Girls Not Getting HPV Vaccine At Earliest Age

Science2.0 - January 21, 2015 - 5:03pm

Human papillomavirus is a virus that is responsible for almost all cases of cervical cancer and the HPV vaccine can prevent 70 percent of those.

A new study by University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston researchers indicates that only about half of the girls ages 11-12, the age recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, receive the vaccine.


read more

Categories: Science2.0

Niche Interests, Marginalization - Social Media Fall Short In Mobilizing Protests

Science2.0 - January 21, 2015 - 4:12pm

From hashtag to the streets. The All-Nite Images, CC BY-SA

By Imaani El-Burki, Lehigh University

-->

read more

Categories: Science2.0

Is There A Difference In Nutrient Uptake Between Oranges And Orange Juice?

Science2.0 - January 21, 2015 - 3:46pm
It's become a fad for nutritionists to claim that oranges are better than orange juice, and they list numerous reasons - from added sugar in juice to better uptake of carotenoids, flavonoids and Vitamin C in whole oranges.

But how different are they? Unless you are someone on a nutrition website selling the lifestyle and health fad of the moment, not much. It is true that some juices have more sugar but that is offset by the biological fact nutrients in orange juice seem to be easier for the body to absorb from juice than when a person consumes them from unprocessed fruit. 

And there is convenience. It is better to have a health benefit from something than no health benefit at all.


-->

read more

Categories: Science2.0

There Are Still Things To Learn About George Washington's Time At Valley Forge

Science2.0 - January 21, 2015 - 2:30pm

Valley Forge. Credit: Thomas

By:
Joel N. Shurkin, Inside Science

(Inside Science) -- Archaeologists, digging into George Washington’s headquarters at Valley Forge in Pennsylvania, have added domestic images to the picture of one of the most iconic moments of American history.

They may have found the cabin Washington had built so he could get out of the chaos of the headquarters, and perhaps eat in peace with his wife and officers.
-->

read more

Categories: Science2.0

One Year In Pictures

Science2.0 - January 21, 2015 - 2:12pm
A periodic backup of my mobile phone yesterday - mainly pictures and videos - was the occasion to give a look back at things I did and places I visited in 2014, for business and leisure. I thought it would be fun to share some of those pictures with you, with sparse comments. I know, Facebook does this for you automatically, but what does Facebook know of what is meaningful and what isn't ? So here we go.
The first pic was taken at Beaubourg, in Paris - it is a sculpture I absolutely love: "The king plays with the queen" by Max Ernst.



Still in Paris (for a vacation at the beginning of January), the grandiose interior of the Opera de Paris...
-->

read more

Categories: Science2.0

Weight Of Evidence: How To Make Sense Of Reports On Toxicology And Pesticides

Science2.0 - January 21, 2015 - 2:00pm
There are tens of thousands of human-made chemicals circulating today and some have been bad despite studies that didn't initially find harm, yet almost every chemical is under siege by environmental groups, and they all claim science is on their side.

Everything from bisphenol A used in plastics to neonicotinoid pesticides to glyphosate weed-killers are criticized by lawyers at environmental groups despite the science consensus. How can the public know which ones really pose threats to our health and environment and which ones are just studies designed to keep poisoning lab animals until they show an effect?
-->

read more

Categories: Science2.0

Fat And Sugar-Heavy Diets Are Addictive - And Harm Your Brain

Science2.0 - January 21, 2015 - 2:00pm

A Western diet may be negatively affecting your brain not just your belly. Jams, CC BY-NC-SA

By Terry Davidson, American University and Camille Sample, American University

-->

read more

Categories: Science2.0

New Math: Calculating The Economic Cost Of Climate Change

Science2.0 - January 21, 2015 - 2:38am

Hurricane Sandy pummeled cities along the east coast in 2012, causing billions of dollars in damage. Shutterstock

By Delavane Diaz, Stanford University

Climate change is as much an economic problem as an environmental one.

The effects of climate change, such as damage from more severe weather or health problems from higher temperatures, will impose a cost on society. On the other hand, moving away from a fossil fuel-based energy system will require significant investments into low-carbon technologies. How does society determine which efforts are most cost-effective?

-->

read more

Categories: Science2.0

When It Comes To Emotion, Men And Women Process Emotions Differently

Science2.0 - January 21, 2015 - 12:00am
Men and women are different in lots of ways and some contend that women are more emotional and that makes a difference in others areas. A recent large-scale study focused on determining the gender-dependent relationship between emotions, memory performance and brain activity.  

The scientists found that women rate emotional images as more emotionally stimulating than men do and are more likely to remember them but there were no gender-related differences in emotional appraisal of neutral images.
-->

read more

Categories: Science2.0

Organic Milk - A Real Difference Or Marketing Hype?

Science2.0 - January 20, 2015 - 11:22pm
When there is a market, someone will sell to it, even if it does not make much sense. So you can purchase organic pineapples and non-GMO rock salt if it makes you feel better.

In Europe, most genetically modified foods, as European politicians define them, are banned but cows eat GMO feed. The cows can't tell the difference nor have studies shown any difference in milk production or meat. Vermont passed a GMO labeling law but made sure to exempt cows so that the $300 million company run by the primary funder of the Just Label It campaign could still use milk from Vermont cows fed GMO grain in organic yogurt.
-->

read more

Categories: Science2.0

Researchers Make Breakthrough On New Class Of Anesthetics

Science2.0 - January 20, 2015 - 11:07pm

Researchers are on the verge of developing a new class of anesthetics, something that has not happened in decades, according to a study published in Anesthesiology. It is being derived thanks to a new approach to identifying compounds may lead to the next generation of anesthetics.


read more

Categories: Science2.0

Positional Cloning: Mapping The Maize Genome

Science2.0 - January 20, 2015 - 11:07pm

Positional cloning is a genetic mapping technique used to pinpoint the location of specific traits of interest, such as disease-causing genes or mutations, within the genome. Very simply, this map-based technique involves crossing mutant individuals with wild-type individuals and examining the offspring in order to localize a candidate region in the genome for the mutation. By identifying genetic markers that are linked to the trait, progressively more precise areas on a chromosome are defined until the gene is identified.

This approach has contributed to the successful mapping of genes involved in numerous human diseases such as Huntington's disease and cystic fibrosis, an important first step in understanding these conditions.


read more

Categories: Science2.0

MC4R: New Signaling Pathway Provides Clues To Obesity

Science2.0 - January 20, 2015 - 9:12pm

A research team has discovered a molecular "rheostat" in the brain's appetite control center that may provide new insights into obesity, which is at epidemic levels in this country.

The discovery of this novel cell signaling pathway, reported today in the journal Nature, revises the previous "on-off" switch model of appetite control, said Roger Cone, Ph.D., who led the research team with Masoud Ghamari-Langroudi, M.D., Ph.D.

The discovery centers on a receptor in the brain's appetite control center, the melanocortin-4 receptor, or MC4R, a G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) embedded in the membranes of nerve cells.


read more

Categories: Science2.0

High-Dose Statin May Protect Heart Surgery Patients’ Kidney Health

Science2.0 - January 20, 2015 - 9:12pm

Acute kidney injury often arises after major surgery because the kidneys can be deprived of normal blood flow during the procedure. The use of contrast media, or dyes, can contribute to this problem.

In patients undergoing coronary angiography or percutaneous coronary intervention, which are heart procedures that use dyes to help surgeons visualize the arteries, a high dose of the statin atorvastatin was linked with a reduction in blood levels of creatinine, a marker of kidney injury, as well as a lower incidence of acute kidney injury compared with a low dose of the statin.


read more

Categories: Science2.0

New Polymer Gel Stores Light Energy

Science2.0 - January 20, 2015 - 7:00pm
Sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, said Aristotle. That certainly applies to biology, where molecular motions in living systems have a macroscale effect - such as large muscles that contract due to protein motors.

A team at CNRS's Institut Charles Sadron led by Nicolas Giuseppone, professor at the Université de Strasbourg has  used this concero to make a polymer gel that is able to contract through the action of artificial molecular motors. When activated by light, these nanoscale motors twist the polymer chains in the gel, which as a result contracts by several centimeters. Another advantage is that the new material is able to store the light energy absorbed. 
-->

read more

Categories: Science2.0

On The Evolution Of Immune Response Genes In Plants

Science2.0 - January 20, 2015 - 7:00pm
A recently published study offers new clues about the evolution of the immune system in European populations of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana and the underlying genetic mechanisms associated with immunity. 
The species Arabidopsis thaliana, which is naturally distributed across the northern hemisphere, belongs to the same family than mustard. The species is used as model in plant biology studies because its genome is relatively small and appropriate for genetic studies.
-->

read more

Categories: Science2.0