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New process could slash energy demands of fertilizer, nitrogen-based chemicals

Eurekalert - Jan 16 2018 - 00:01
Nitrogen-based synthetic fertilizer forms the backbone of the world food supply, but its manufacture requires a tremendous amount of energy. Now, computer modeling at Princeton University points to a method that could drastically cut the energy needed by using sunlight in the manufacturing process.
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Pregnant women in NC exposed to less secondhand nicotine after 'smoking ban'

Eurekalert - Jan 16 2018 - 00:01
A new study from Duke Health has found pregnant women experienced less secondhand smoke exposure since the 2009 passage of the 'smoking ban' in North Carolina, which outlawed smoking inside public places such as bars and restaurants.
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In sweet corn, workhorses win

Eurekalert - Jan 16 2018 - 00:01
When deciding which sweet corn hybrids to plant, vegetable processors need to consider whether they want their contract growers using a workhorse or a racehorse. Is it better to choose a hybrid with exceptional yields under ideal growing conditions (i.e., the racehorse) or one that performs consistently well across ideal and less-than-ideal conditions (i.e., the workhorse)? New research from the University of Illinois suggests the workhorse is the winner in processing sweet corn.
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T-cells engineered to outsmart tumors induce clinical responses in relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma

Eurekalert - Jan 16 2018 - 00:01
A research team that includes Children's National Health System clinician-researchers has validated a way to outfox tumors. They engineered T-cells, essential players in the body's own immune system, to strip tumors of their self-preservation skill and were able to hold Hodgkin lymphoma at bay in patients with relapsed disease for more than four years.
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Study: Patients receive most opioids at the doctor's office, not the ER

Eurekalert - Jan 16 2018 - 00:01
A close examination of federal survey data shows that while many settings including ERs cut back on prescribing opioids for more than a decade, physicians' offices continued to prescribe them.
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Women who have gestational diabetes in pregnancy are at higher risk of future health issues

Eurekalert - Jan 16 2018 - 00:01
Women who have gestational diabetes mellitus during pregnancy have a higher than usual risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and ischemic heart disease in the future.
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Epigenetics study helps focus search for autism risk factors

Eurekalert - Jan 16 2018 - 00:01
Researchers at Washington State University and elsewhere have associated more than 2,000 DNA regions that control gene expression and are strongly associated with autism. Further study within one of those regions revealed a genetic mutation that is associated with increased risk of developing autism.
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Gestational diabetes points toward heightened risk of heart disease

Eurekalert - Jan 16 2018 - 00:01
Women who have gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) during pregnancy have a higher than usual risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and ischemic heart disease in the future, according to a retrospective cohort study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Krishnarajah Nirantharakumar from the University of Birmingham, UK, and colleagues.
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Spontaneous labor progression for vaginal births is slower than expected in many women

Eurekalert - Jan 16 2018 - 00:01
Cervical dilatation during labor for vaginal births can progress more slowly than the widely accepted benchmark of 1 cm/hour in many women, according to a new data published this week in PLOS Medicine.
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Memory gene goes viral

Eurekalert - Jan 16 2018 - 00:01
Two independent teams of scientists from the University of Utah and the University of Massachusetts Medical School have discovered that a gene crucial for learning, called Arc, can send its genetic material from one neuron to another by employing a strategy commonly used by viruses. The studies, both published in Cell, unveil a new way that nervous system cells interact.
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Are amoebae safe harbors for plague?

Eurekalert - Jan 16 2018 - 00:01
Amoebae, single-celled organisms common in soil, water and grade-school science classrooms, may play a key role in the survival and spread of deadly plague bacteria. New Colorado State University research shows that plague bacteria, Yersinia pestis, not only survive, but thrive and replicate once ingested by an amoeba. The discovery could help scientists understand why plague outbreaks can smolder, stay dormant for years, and re-emerge with a vengeance.
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Researchers devise decoy molecule to block pain where it starts

Eurekalert - Jan 16 2018 - 00:01
For anyone who has accidentally injured themselves, Dr. Zachary Campbell not only sympathizes, he's developing new ways to blunt pain. Campbell, who researches pain on the molecular level at the University of Texas at Dallas, recently published a study in the journal Nature Communications that describes a new method of reducing pain-associated behaviors with RNA-based medicine, creating a new class of decoy molecules that prevent the onset of pain.
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A 'touching sight': How babies' brains process touch builds foundations for learning

Eurekalert - Jan 16 2018 - 00:01
A new study from the University of Washington Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences provides one of the first looks inside the infant's brain to show where the sense of touch is processed -- not just when a baby feels a touch to the hand or foot, but when the baby sees an adult's hand or foot being touched, as well. Researchers say these connections help lay the groundwork for the developmental and cognitive skills of imitation and empathy.
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Cleveland Clinic researchers find new gene variant linked to deadly prostate cancer

Eurekalert - Jan 16 2018 - 00:01
Cleveland Clinic researchers have confirmed for the first time a mechanistic link between the gene HSD17B4 and deadly, treatment-resistant prostate cancer. The research, led by Nima Sharifi, M.D., Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute, Department of Cancer Biology, shows that men who lack a certain subtype of the gene may be more susceptible to aggressive prostate cancer that does not respond to treatment.
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Memory loss from West Nile virus may be preventable

Eurekalert - Jan 16 2018 - 00:01
More than 10,000 people in the United States are living with memory loss and other persistent neurological problems that occur after West Nile virus infects the brain. Now, a new study in mice suggests that such ongoing neurological deficits may be due to unresolved inflammation that hinders the brain's ability to repair damaged neurons and grow new ones. When the inflammation was reduced by treatment with an arthritis drug, the animals' ability to learn and remember remained sharp after West Nile disease.
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Hubble weighs in on mass of 3 million billion suns

Eurekalert - Jan 16 2018 - 00:01
In 2014, astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope found that this enormous galaxy cluster contains the mass of a staggering three million billion suns. Known officially as ACT-CLJ0102-4915, it is the largest, hottest, and brightest X-ray galaxy cluster ever discovered in the distant universe.
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Coping with climate stress in Antarctica

Eurekalert - Jan 16 2018 - 00:01
Some Antarctic fish living in the planet's coldest waters are able to cope with the stress of rising carbon dioxide levels the ocean. They can even tolerate slightly warmer waters. But they can't deal with both climate change stressors at the same time, according to a study from the University of California, Davis.
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New molecular probes to allow non-destructive analysis of bioengineered cartilage

Eurekalert - Jan 16 2018 - 00:01
A new study describes novel probes that enable non-invasive, non-destructive, direct monitoring of the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in real-time during the formation of engineered cartilage to replace damaged or diseased tissue.
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NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Berguitta heading toward Mauritius

Eurekalert - Jan 16 2018 - 00:01
NASA's Terra satellite passed over the Southern Indian Ocean and saw Tropical Cyclone Berguitta moving southwest toward the island of Mauritius. A tropical cyclone alert class 2 is in effect for Mauritius.
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Can training improve memory, thinking abilities in older adults with cognitive impairment?

Eurekalert - Jan 16 2018 - 00:01
A new, first-of-its-kind study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society by scientists from research centers in Montreal and Quebec City, Canada. They designed a study to learn whether cognitive training, a medication-free treatment, could improve MCI. Studies show that activities that stimulate your brain, such as cognitive training, can protect against a decline in your mental abilities. Even older adults who have MCI can still learn and use new mental skills.
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