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We're Too Late To Prevent 137,000 More Ebola Cases, Says Epidemiology Paper

October 23, 2014 - 11:50pm

The Ebola virus problem in West Africa has gotten lots of high-profile media coverage in developed nations - and no lack of reasons for people to clamor for more funding. No less than Dr.


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The Army May Not Increase Risk Of Suicide, More Suicidal People May Join

October 23, 2014 - 11:07pm

Due to increased awareness of suicide and military life, there has been concern military lifestyle may be causing more suicides. A new study instead finds that new soldiers are twice as likely to have three or more psychological disorders, or comorbidity, prior to enlisting as civilians.

They may regard the military as a solution to their problems. 


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Ferns Will Survive

October 23, 2014 - 9:17pm

Ferns are an old plant species, dinosaurs munched on them over 200 million years ago. If we want to know how to survive against nature's onslaught over the long haul, ferns are as good a place as any to start.

Even recent ones can show us how to evolve and outlast. A group of ferns evolved much more recently, and they did it while colonizing the extreme environment of the high Andes. Their completely new morphology (form and structure) arose and diversified within the last 2 million years. How this group of ferns grew in a unique ecosystem of the Andean mountains was the subject of a new study by Dr. Patricia Sanchez-Baracaldo and Dr. Gavin Thomas.


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Ironically, Asking Questions To Identify Teens At Risk Of Hearing Loss Doesn't Work

October 23, 2014 - 9:02pm

There is no substitute for a hearing test, especially in an age group that doesn't self-report very well.

Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics and
the Bright Futures children's health organization
recommends screening adolescents with subjective questions but that does not reliably identify teenagers who are at risk for hearing loss, according to researchers at Penn State College of Medicine. 

"We found that you can't rely on the Bright Futures questions to select out teenagers at high risk for hearing loss who would warrant an objective screen," said Deepa Sekhar, M.D., M.Sc., assistant professor of pediatrics.


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Extreme Ice Age Living: Human Settlement 15,000 Feet In The Andes

October 23, 2014 - 7:49pm

Think you're extreme? 12,000 years ago Ice Age Humans lived and worked at an altitude of almost 15,000 feet, high in the Peruvian Andes.

The sites in the Pucuncho Basin, located in the Southern Peruvian Andes, are the highest-altitude Pleistocene archaeological sites found to-date. The primary site, Cuncaicha is a rock shelter at 4,480 meters above sea level, with a stone-tool workshop below it. There is also a Pucuncho workshop site where stone tools were made at 4,355 meters above sea level.


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Deinocheirus Mirificus Puzzle Solved, Revealing The Weirdest-Looking Creature To Walk The Planet

October 23, 2014 - 7:33pm

Deinocheirus mirificus. Credit: Yuong-Nam Lee

By Stephen Brusatte, University of Edinburgh

Everywhere scientists look it seems like they are finding dinosaurs. A new species is emerging at the astounding pace of one per week. And this continues with the announcement of perhaps the strangest dinosaur find over the past few years: the toothless, hump-backed, super-clawed omnivore Deinocheirus mirificus that lived about 70m years ago in what is now Mongolia.

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The World's Continents Weren't Always Created In The Way That We Thought

October 23, 2014 - 7:01pm

How many continents can you count on one hand? Image: Chones

By Nick Rawlinson, University of Aberdeen

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It Takes More Than Singing To Strike A Chord In Music Education

October 23, 2014 - 6:17pm

Credit: Khairil Zhafri, CC BY

By Anita Collins, University of Canberra

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Type 1 Diabetes Surges In White Kids

October 23, 2014 - 5:30pm

White children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes increased significantly from 2002 to 2009 in all but the youngest age group, according to a new paper in Diabetes.


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Disabled People In The US Have Poor Nutrition

October 23, 2014 - 5:01pm

A new study finds that though most U.S. adults fail to meet recommended daily levels of 10 key nutrients, those with disabilities do substantially worse.

At least 10 percent of U.S. adults fit into one or more category of disability, from those who have difficulties with activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing and eating, to those who cannot use their legs or struggle to accomplish routine tasks, such as money management or household chores.


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Herbal Medicines Found To Have Dangerous Levels Of Toxic Mold

October 23, 2014 - 4:53pm

Up to 64% of people worldwide use medicinal plants to treat illnesses and relieve pain, and the herbal medicine market is worth $60 billion annually. Despite the increasing popularity of herbal medicine, the sale of medicinal plants is mostly unregulated, because they do not claim to be medicine in countries where regulation happens. 

It's obvious why people in developing nations embrace herbal alternatives to medicine - medicine is expensive. In wealthier countries, it is instead embraced by people who have plenty of money but don't trust science.


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Could Life Have Existed Just 15 Million Years After The Big Bang?

October 23, 2014 - 12:00pm

A new paper suggests that planets from the remnants of the universe's earliest stars could have supported life on dim, warm planets. Credit: NASA/WMAP Science Team

By: Ker Than, Inside Science

(Inside Science) -- Life in the universe could be much older than previously thought, forming as early as fifteen million years after the Big Bang, according to a provocative new idea proposed by a Harvard astrophysicist.

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The Strange Organic Molecules In Titan's Atmosphere

October 23, 2014 - 12:00pm

While studying the atmosphere on Saturn's moon Titan, scientists discovered intriguing zones of organic molecules unexpectedly shifted away from its north and south poles. These misaligned features seem to defy conventional thinking about Titan's windy atmosphere, which should quickly smear out such off-axis concentrations.

"This is an unexpected and potentially groundbreaking discovery," said Martin Cordiner, an astrochemist working at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and the lead author of a study published online today in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. "These kinds of east-to-west variations have never been seen before in Titan's atmospheric gases. Explaining their origin presents us with a fascinating new problem."


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How Gut Bacteria Ensure A Healthy Brain – and Could Play A Role In Treating Depression

October 23, 2014 - 11:30am

Your second brain? Credit: hey__paul, CC BY

By Clio Korn, University of Oxford

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Drink Up, Baby Boomer: Alcohol Associated With Better Memory

October 22, 2014 - 11:39pm

A new study found that people ages 60 and older who do not have dementia benefit from light alcohol consumption; it has been associated with higher episodic memory, the ability to recall memories of events. 

Moderate alcohol consumption was also linked with a larger volume in the hippocampus, a brain region critical for episodic memory. The relationship between light alcohol consumption and episodic memory goes away if hippocampal volume is factored in, providing new evidence that hippocampal functioning is the critical factor in these improvements.  


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Will Holding Thermal Printer Paper Really Send Your BPA Levels Soaring?

October 22, 2014 - 11:30pm

Structure of Bisphenol A. Credit: Ian Musgrave

By Ian Musgrave

Bisphenol A is in the news again. A paper just published in the Public Library of Science with the alarming title of “Holding Thermal Receipt Paper and Eating Food after Using Hand Sanitizer Results in High Serum Bioactive and Urine Total Levels of Bisphenol A (BPA)” is bound to ratchet up anxiety levels about this chemical yet again.

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Why Do We Find It So Hard To Write About Ourselves?

October 22, 2014 - 11:30pm

Credit: The Conversation

By Jordan Gaines Lewis, Penn State College of Medicine

If you’ve ever applied for a job, you know how hard it is to write the perfect cover letter that will make you stand out above all the other applicants. It’s a competitive job market, and more often than not, career seekers find themselves face-to-face with blank computer screens in an attempt to pen that one short masterpiece.

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The Comets Of Beta Pictoris

October 22, 2014 - 11:00pm

Beta Pictoris is a young star, only about 20 million years old, located about 63 light-years from us. It is surrounded by a huge disc of material, a very active young planetary system where gas and dust are produced by the evaporation of comets and the collisions of asteroids.


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Cancer Mutations, Now With Faster Modeling

October 22, 2014 - 10:31pm

By sequencing the genomes of tumor cells, thousands of genetic mutations have been linked with cancer.

Sifting through this deluge of information to figure out which of these mutations actually drive cancer growth has proven to be a tedious, time-consuming process but MIT researchers have now developed a new way to model the effects of these genetic mutations in mice. Their approach, based on the genome-editing technique clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) is much faster than existing strategies, which require genetically engineering mice that carry the cancerous mutations.


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How Lymph Nodes Expand During Disease

October 22, 2014 - 10:31pm

A new paper finds that the same specialized immune cells that patrol the body and spot infections also trigger the expansion of the immune organs known as lymph nodes.

The immune system defends the body from infections but can also spot and destroy cancer cells and lymph nodes are at the heart of this response, but it was unclear how they expand during disease. 

Researchers  at Cancer Research UK's London Research Institute found that when a type of immune cell known as dendritic cells recognizes a threat, they make a molecule called CLEC-2 that tells the cells lining the lymph nodes to stretch out and expand to allow for an influx of disease fighting cells. 


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