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Viral Mutation: Why You May Be More Susceptible To Last Year's Flu

Science2.0 - October 21, 2014 - 2:54pm

Why were so many middle-aged adults hit especially hard by the H1N1 influenza virus during the 2013-2014 influenza season?

 Vaccines work by stimulating the immune system to produce antibody proteins against particles (called antigens) from an infectious agent, such as bacteria or a virus. The immune system saves the cells that produce effective antibodies, which then provide immunity against future attacks by the same or similar infectious agents. Seasonal influenza typically kills 36,000 Americans, alone, and nearly 500,000 individuals around the world each year. 


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Egg Donors: Do Parents Prefer Beauty, Brains Or Health?

Science2.0 - October 21, 2014 - 2:46pm
Sperm donation for fertility issues has been common for some time and ovum donation has become increasingly accepted by women as well.

That leads to sociological questions about selection; everyone says they will love their kids no matter what, but given a book to choose from, what traits in a donor do people consider most important, beauty, intelligence or health?
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Children Who Drink Milk Substitutes Have Lower Vitamin D - But Why?

Science2.0 - October 21, 2014 - 2:29pm

Some children are allergic to milk, so they drink milk substitutes such as soy or rice. And almond milk has become a well-marketed fad to due health claims.

But there may be negatives: though many of those products are fortified, children who drink them have lower levels of Vitamin D in their blood than those who drink cow's milk, according to a paper in the Canadian Medical Association Journal

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The Optimism Of Depressed People

Science2.0 - October 21, 2014 - 1:56pm

Even depressed people are essentially optimistic - they believe that tomorrow will be better, even though that belief probably won't lead to better outcomes. That is true optimism.

A paper in Clinical Psychological Science says that middle-aged adults who had a history of depression evaluated their past and current lives in more negative terms than adults without depression - but the future was just as rosy in both groups.


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Government Math: More Will Lose Health Insurance Than Gained It If ACA Subsidies Are Eliminated

Science2.0 - October 21, 2014 - 7:06am

Eliminating subsidies that help low- and moderate-income people purchase coverage through government-run health insurance marketplaces would sharply boost costs for consumers and cause more than 11 million Americans to lose their health insurance, according to a new paper by the section of the RAND Corporation devoted to nationalizing health care.


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Moderate Pot Use By Adolescents Doesn't Hurt IQ

Science2.0 - October 21, 2014 - 12:30am

A paper presented at the annual congress of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) in Berlin says that moderate cannabis use by adolescents does not lead to educational or intellectual decline, but that heavy cannabis use is associated with slightly poorer exam results at age 16.


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Seasonal Affective Disorder - Depression Linked To Serotonin

Science2.0 - October 21, 2014 - 12:00am

Some people suffer from 'winter blues' while others have no issue.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
affects people as daylight levels drop in autumn. At Northern European latitudes (for example all of Scandinavia, Glasgow and Moscow) around 1 person in 6 suffers from SAD. 

Psychologists have searched for reasons why. A small longitudinal study concluded that people with Seasonal Affective Disorder show significant seasonal differences in the way they regulate the neurotransmitter serotonin in comparison to the majority of the population. 


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Fecal Transplant Might Mitigate Lupus

Science2.0 - October 20, 2014 - 11:30pm

Can probiotic yogurt help with lupus?

While most of science disagrees, corporate marketing departments have embraced every chance to imply their product helps with digestion and whatever else can sell product. A new paper in  Applied and Environmental Microbiology adds to that, finding that Lactobacillus species, commonly seen in yogurt cultures, correlate in the guts of mouse models, with mitigation of lupus symptoms, while Lachnospiraceae, a type of Clostridia, correlate with worsening.


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Dopamine Receptor Agonist Drugs Linked To Gambling And Hypersexuality

Science2.0 - October 20, 2014 - 10:18pm

Unusual and severe impulse control disorders, including pathological gambling, hypersexuality and compulsive shopping, have been reported in patients taking dopamine receptor agonist drugs. Dopamine receptor agonist drugs, which activate the dopamine receptors, are commonly prescribed and there were 2.1 million dispensed outpatient prescriptions in the fourth quarter of 2012.

To find answers, the authors analyzed adverse drug event reports for six dopamine receptor agonist drugs marketed in the U.S. Their analysis was based on 2.7 million domestic and foreign adverse drug event reports from 2003 to 2012 pulled from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Adverse Event Reporting System database.


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HPV Vaccine Does Not Cause Multiple Sclerosis

Science2.0 - October 20, 2014 - 10:01pm

Vaccines have been associated with autism and various other conditions and diseases. Most recently, the hepatitis B (HepB) and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has been linked to increased risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) and other acquired central nervous system demyelinating syndromes (CNS ADS).

A study to seek answers found no long-term association of vaccines with disease and short-term increased risk in younger patients was likely resulted from existing disease, write authors Annette Langer-Gould, M.D., Ph.D., of Kaiser Permanente, Southern California, Pasadena, and colleagues. 


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Finding Fracking Fluids In The Environment

Science2.0 - October 20, 2014 - 9:30pm

New geochemical tracers can identify any hydraulic fracturing flowback fluids that could have spilled into the environment, according to field tests at a spill site in West Virginia and downstream from an oil and gas brine wastewater treatment plant in Pennsylvania. 


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CDC: Mississippi Leads US In Vaccination Coverage Among Kindergarten Children

Science2.0 - October 20, 2014 - 9:25pm
State and local vaccination requirements for school entry seek to protect schoolchildren from vaccine-preventable diseases.  But not all parents agree medicine is a good thing and the newest CDC results show what states are leading and what states are lagging in protection for kids.
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Superspreaders: How Disease Propagates In Infected Animals - And Antibiotics Help

Science2.0 - October 20, 2014 - 9:00pm

Some people infected with pathogens spread their germs to others while remaining symptom-free - a new study may answer why.

When researchers in a new study gave oral antibiotics to mice infected with Salmonella typhimurium, a bacterial cause of food poisoning, a small minority — so called "superspreaders" that had been shedding high numbers of salmonella in their feces for weeks — remained healthy; they were unaffected by either the disease or the antibiotic. The rest of the mice got sicker instead of better and, oddly, started shedding like superspreaders.

The findings point to a reason for superspreaders' ability to remain asymptomatic and also pose questions about use of sub-therapeutic doses of antibiotics in livestock.


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Tropical Storm Ana Over Hawaii

Science2.0 - October 20, 2014 - 8:22pm

At 2 AM local time in Hawaii, Tropical Storm Ana was just below hurricane strength with maximum sustained winds near 70 mph.

NOAA's Central Pacific Hurricane Center expects it to weaken before it intensifies again. The center of tropical storm Ana was located near latitude 20.6 north and longitude 162.6 west. That puts the center of Ana about 225 miles (360 km) west-southwest of Lihue Hawaii and about 325 miles (525 km) southeast of French Frigate Shoals.

Ana is moving toward the west near 9 mph (15 kph) and is expected to gradually turn to the northwest.  


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Antibiotic Levels In Farm-Raised Fish Are Safe, But Need Watching

Science2.0 - October 20, 2014 - 8:00pm

Modern food science has meant a lot fewer people starving, but there has also been an increase in products designed to keep animals and fish healthy, like antibiotics.

Antibiotics do not just disappear. Even in trace amounts, over time they can build up in the environment and that gives bacteria another path to developing resistance.


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Ashes And Vegetables: The Diet Of Roman Gladiators Was Rather Poor

Science2.0 - October 20, 2014 - 7:20pm
Ancient Greeks used onions as a performance-enhancing drug. Roman gladiators ate ashes and vegetables. If common-sense does not tell us that there was no ancient civilization with futuristic technology building pyramids, anthropology certainly can.

Historic sources claimed referred to gladiators  as "hordearii" ("barley eaters") because they had an inferior diet, heavy in beans and grains, the hallmark of poor status. Even 2,000 years ago people made fun of vegetarians, it seems. Though the diet was accurate, it was not all special, according to a new paper.
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What's Hiding Under The Clouds Of Venus - Heavy Metal Frost?

Science2.0 - October 20, 2014 - 7:00pm

The surface of Venus can't be seen from orbit in visible light due to its hot, dense and cloudy atmosphere. Instead, radar has been used by spacecraft to penetrate the clouds and map out the surface – both by reflecting radar off the surface to measure elevation and by looking at the radio emissions of the hot surface. The last spacecraft to map Venus that way was Magellan, two decades ago. 

One of the Venusian surprises discovered at that time is that radio waves are reflected differently at different elevations on Venus. Also observed were a handful of radio dark spots at the highest elevations. Both enigmas have defied explanation.


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The Croup: Winning The War Against Human Parainfluenza Virus

Science2.0 - October 20, 2014 - 6:30pm

Human parainfluenza virus (hPIV) is highly infectious and the leading cause of upper and lower respiratory tract disease in young children, including Croup, which is responsible for thousands of hospitalizations in the developed world, and hundreds of thousands of deaths each year in developing countries.

Griffith University's Institute for Glycomics
Director Professor Mark von Itzstein said his Group's research findings published in Nature Communications today provide a new direction towards the discovery of anti-viral drugs against hPIV.


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Manly Men And Feminine Women Are Not Evolutionary Mandates - They Are Urban Ones

Science2.0 - October 20, 2014 - 5:48pm

It is often believed that masculine men and more feminine women were prized in ancient societies and that modern culture is beyond gender simplifications, but a
team of psychologists, anthropologists and biologists that surveyed 12 populations around the world, from the primitive to the highly developed, find that isn't so.


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Autocatalytic Network: A Step Closer To Creating Artificial Living Systems

Science2.0 - October 20, 2014 - 5:30pm

How did life originate? And can scientists create life? These questions have always occupied philosophers and scientists interested in the origin of life, and they impact technology of the future also.

If we can create artificial living systems, we may not only understand the origin of life - we can also revolutionize the future of technology.

Protocells are the simplest, most primitive living systems, you can think of. The oldest ancestor of life on Earth was a protocell, and when we see, what it eventually managed to evolve into, we understand why science is so fascinated with protocells. If science can create an artificial protocell, we get a very basic ingredient for creating more advanced artificial life.


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