Science2.0

Arid Areas Absorb More Atmospheric Carbon Than Previously Known

Science2.0 - April 6, 2014 - 9:34pm

Arid areas are among the biggest (non-ocean) ecosystems we have and it turns out they take up higher levels of carbon as levels of carbon dioxide increase in the atmosphere.

The findings give scientists a better idea of the earth's "carbon budget" — how much carbon remains in the atmosphere as CO2 and is a concern for global warming and how much actually gets stored in the land or ocean in other carbon-containing forms.


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Amino Acid Fingerprints Revealed In New Study

Science2.0 - April 6, 2014 - 9:26pm

Lindsay says that around 50 distinct signal burst characteristics were used in the amino acid identifications, but that most of the discriminatory power is achieved with 10 or fewer signal traits.

Remarkably, recognition tunneling not only pinpointed amino acids with high reliability from single complex burst signals, but managed to distinguish a post-translationally modified protein (sarcosine) from its unmodified precursor (glycine) and also to discriminate between mirror-image molecules knows as enantiomers and so-called isobaric molecules, which differ in peptide sequence but exhibit identical masses.

Pathway to the $1000 dollar proteome?


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Friedreich's Ataxia -- An Effective Gene Therapy In An Animal Model

Science2.0 - April 6, 2014 - 9:26pm

The transfer, via a viral vector, of a normal copy of the gene deficient in patients, allowed to fully and very rapidly cure the heart disease in mice. These findings are published in Nature Medicine on 6 April, 2014.


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Standard Model Or Minimal SUSY ?

Science2.0 - April 6, 2014 - 7:11pm
If I look back at the first times I discussed the important graph of the top quark versus W boson mass, nine years ago, I am amazed at observing how much progress we have made since then. The top quark mass in 2005 was known with 2-3 GeV precision, the W boson mass with 35 MeV precision, and we did not know where the Higgs boson was, or if there was one.
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Where The Milky Way Stands In The 'Council Of Giants'

Science2.0 - April 6, 2014 - 10:00am
The universe is big - really big. Just our Milky Way galaxy alone is about 300 billion stars, with planets whizzing around them and clouds of gas and dust floating in between.

Then there is our orbiting companion, the Andromeda Galaxy and a small group of galaxies in our Local Group, which is about 3 million light years across.

What is in the vast unknown remains a mystery but a recent paper shed light on our immediate neighborhood - bright galaxies within 35-million light years of the Earth. 
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Biosphere 2 Ocean - A Living Lab In The Desert

Science2.0 - April 6, 2014 - 10:00am
A new initiative is underway to breathe life back into the 700,000-gallon ocean tank at Biosphere 2. The new ocean at Biosphere 2 will provide a glimpse into the sea that's closest to Southern Arizona – the Gulf of California, which stretches for a thousand miles from the mouth of the Colorado River to Mazatlan on the mainland of Mexico.

The original "ocean" was one of several habitats intended to sustain a crew of scientists living and working inside the Biosphere 2 dome isolated from the outside world. When the "enclosed missions" ended in 1994, the fragile ecology of the ocean habitat collapsed. The corals died and algae and bacterial mats took over, crowding out the reef.  
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Flying Bears – Molecular Genetics Evidence For An Unusual Dispersal Mode

Science2.0 - April 6, 2014 - 4:31am
A genetic study of brown bears (Ursus arctos) in Bulgarian mountain regions showed they originated in Carpathia. So how did they get to Bulgaria? It wasn't natural dispersal. 

Bulgarian and Romanian NGOs, the Frankfurt Zoological Society, and scientists of the Senckenberg Conservation Genetics Section in Frankfurt have found that a legend was probably true - the legend being that the former leader of the Romanian Communist Party, Nicolae Ceausescu, flew the bears to Bulgaria.
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Ancient Volcanic Explosions Shed Light On Mercury's Origins

Science2.0 - April 6, 2014 - 3:46am

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — The surface of Mercury crackled with volcanic explosions for extended periods of the planet's history, according to a new analysis led by researchers at Brown University. The findings are surprising considering Mercury wasn't supposed to have explosive volcanism in the first place, and they could have implications for understanding how Mercury formed.


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Unplanned Pregnancy Remains High Among Young Australian Women

Science2.0 - April 6, 2014 - 3:46am

Despite high rates of contraceptive use, unwanted pregnancies resulting in terminations remain high among young women.

In an article in the April issue of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, Danielle Mazza from Monash University, and colleagues, examine the paradox of high rates of contraceptive use, over the counter availability of emergency contraception and unplanned pregnancy.

"The emergency contraceptive pill has been available to women for over-the-counter purchase since 2004," Professor Mazza said.

"Together with high rates of contraceptive use, this should result in lower rates of unplanned pregnancies for Australian women, but it has not.


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Could A Fire Have Caused The Loss Of MH370?

Science2.0 - April 6, 2014 - 2:49am
Could A Fire Have Caused The Loss Of MH370?


Ever since Malaysia Airlines MH370 disappeared there has been much speculation in the media and across the web about what may have happened.  Unfortunately, the somewhat spasmodic release of official information, together with too many reports citing anonymous sources, has blurred the true picture.
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Fighting Cancer With Lasers And Nanoballoons That Pop

Science2.0 - April 6, 2014 - 2:10am

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Chemotherapeutic drugs excel at fighting cancer, but they're not so efficient at getting where they need to go.


They often interact with blood, bone marrow and other healthy bodily systems.

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Diffeomorphometry And Geodesic Positioning Systems For Human Anatomy

Science2.0 - April 6, 2014 - 2:10am

A team of researchers from the Center for Imaging Science at the Johns Hopkins University and the CMLA of the École Normale Supérieure Cachan have demonstrated new algorithmic technologies for the parametric representation of human shape and form. Coupled with advanced imaging technologies, this presents opportunities for tracking soft-tissue deformations associated with cardiovascular studies, radiation treatment planning in Oncology, and neurodegenerative brain illnesses.

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How Electrodes Charge And Discharge

Science2.0 - April 6, 2014 - 2:10am

CAMBRIDGE, Mass-- The electrochemical reactions inside the porous electrodes of batteries and fuel cells have been described by theorists, but never measured directly. Now, a team at MIT has figured out a way to measure the fundamental charge transfer rate — finding some significant surprises.

The study found that the Butler-Volmer (BV) equation, usually used to describe reaction rates in electrodes, is inaccurate, especially at higher voltage levels. Instead, a different approach, called Marcus-Hush-Chidsey charge-transfer theory, provides more realistic results — revealing that the limiting step of these reactions is not what had been thought.


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American Fracking Is Europe's Best Hope To Avoid Russian Interference

Science2.0 - April 6, 2014 - 1:56am
Russia has control over energy supplies and distribution systems in Ukraine and that means they control energy supplies in Western Europe.

It's made a lot of Russians rich and prevents Europe from taking any meaningful stance on Russian aggression in Crimea. Solar power subsidies are not going to be much help if Russia shuts off the power.
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GRC 27864 For Chronic Inflammatory Disease Enters Human Clinical Trials

Science2.0 - April 6, 2014 - 1:35am
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has announced that GRC 27864 is entering human trials.  GRC 27864  targets Microsomal Prostaglandin E synthase-1 (mPGES-1) as a therapeutic target in pain management. Selective mPGES-1 inhibitors are expected to inhibit increased prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production in the disease state without affecting other prostanoid metabolites and, consequently, may be devoid of the GI (gastrointestinal) and cardiovascular side effects seen with NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors, respectively.
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We Can't Identify The Climate Uncertainty Monster Much Less Kill It - And That Should Worry You

Science2.0 - April 6, 2014 - 1:22am

Scientific uncertainly prevents definitive solutions (beyond putting a stop to the world and leaving poor people to a future with no food, water or air conditioning) but the stance that the issue is settled, even when solutions may not be effective, also leads to public mistrust and name-calling.

But that uncertainty should actually make us more rather than less concerned about climate change, according to two papers in Climatic Change which investigated the mathematics of uncertainty in the climate system and showed that increased scientific uncertainty necessitates even greater action to mitigate climate change. 


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Bacterial Gut Biome May Guide Colon Cancer Progression

Science2.0 - April 6, 2014 - 1:12am

PHILADELPHIA—(April 4, 2014)— Colorectal cancer develops in what is probably the most complex environment in the human body, a place where human cells cohabitate with a colony of approximately 10 trillion bacteria, most of which are unknown. At the 2014 American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting in San Diego, researchers from The Wistar Institute will present findings that suggest the colon "microbiome" of gut bacteria can change the tumor microenvironment in a way that promotes the growth and spread of tumors.


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Major Genetic Study Links Liver Disease Gene To Bladder Cancer

Science2.0 - April 6, 2014 - 1:12am

A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published today in Journal of the National Cancer Institute (with related research being presented this weekend at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Conference 2014) details the discovery of a new genetic driver of bladder cancer: silencing of the gene AGL.

"We tend to think of cancer resulting from mutations that let genes make things they shouldn't or turn on when they should be quiet. But cancer can also result from loss of gene function. Some genes suppress cancer. When you turn off these suppressors, cancer grows," says Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center and the study's senior author.


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Taming A Poison: Saving Plants From Cyanide With Carbon Dioxide

Science2.0 - April 5, 2014 - 10:06pm

The scientific world is one step closer to understanding how nature uses carbon-capture to tame poisons, thanks to a recent discovery of cyanoformate by researchers at Saint Mary's University (Halifax, Canada) and the University of Jyväskylä (Finland). This simple ion — which is formed when cyanide bonds to carbon dioxide — is a by-product of the fruit-ripening process that has evaded detection for decades.

Chemists have long understood the roles presence of cyanide (CN−) and carbon dioxide (CO2) in fruit ripening, but have always observed them independently. This is the first time scientists have isolated the elusive cyanoformate anion (NCCO2−) and characterized its structure using crystallography and computational chemistry.


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Jamming A Protein Signal Forces Cancer Cells To Devour Themselves

Science2.0 - April 5, 2014 - 10:06pm

HOUSTON -- Under stress from chemotherapy or radiation, some cancer cells dodge death by consuming a bit of themselves, allowing them to essentially sleep through treatment and later awaken as tougher, resistant disease.

Interfering with a single cancer-promoting protein and its receptor can turn this resistance mechanism into lethal, runaway self-cannibalization, researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center report in the journal Cell Reports.


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