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Time Dilation And Quantum Electrodynamics - Einstein Wins Again

October 7, 2014 - 2:45pm

No one is seriously expecting to overturn Einstein's idea of time dilation, and instead the goal is often to find the possible limits. That means looking for deviations in experiments with increasing precision or under extreme conditions. 


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Uterus Transplant Leads To First Successful Baby Delivery

October 7, 2014 - 2:29pm

Seven Swedish women have had embryos reintroduced after receiving wombs from living donors and now one has delivered a healthy and normally developed boy, reveals the case study in The Lancet.

The uterus transplantation research project at the University of Gothenburg started in 1999 and the goal has been to enable women who were born without a womb or who have lost their wombs in cancer surgery to give birth to their own children.

Nine women in the project have received a womb from live donors – in most cases the recipient's mother but also other family members and close friends. The transplanted uterus was removed in two cases, in one case due to a serious infection and in the other due to blood clots in the transplanted blood vessels.


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The Quote Of The Week - A Between-The-Lines Accusation Of Scientific Fraud

October 7, 2014 - 1:28pm
"Fermilab has very actively tried to scoop us by press release, even though their uncertainties are under serious challenge and they knew our measurements even before they released theirs."

Michael Riordan, a member to the Mark II collaboration, in an interview by David Perlman on the San Francisco Chronicle, July 21st 1989
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How Genes Influence Children’s Exam Results

October 7, 2014 - 1:01pm

What role do genes have to play in children's exam results? Student test by  wavebreakmedia -->

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Nobel Prize In Medicine For Work On ‘The Brain’s GPS’

October 7, 2014 - 4:26am

John O'Keefe , left, and Edvard and May-Britt Moser. Credits: David Bishop, UCL and NTNU

By Luc Henry, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne

The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded with one half to John O'Keefe and the other half jointly to May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser “for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain”.

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What Is A Lunar Eclipse?

October 7, 2014 - 3:51am

Just before totality on a total lunar eclipse. Credit: Flickr/John Johnson, CC BY-NC-SA

By Tanya Hill, Museum Victoria

At least twice a year, Earth comes between the sun and the moon. The result is a lunar eclipse, where we see the splendid sight of Earth’s shadow falling across the moon.

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Adolescents With Cerebral Palsy Report Similar Quality Of Life To Other Kids

October 7, 2014 - 12:06am

Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in childhood, afflicting between between 1 and 4 per 1,000 kids born worldwide. It's more common among boys than girls and only about half of adolescents with it can walk independently but regardless of that, kids with cerbral palsy rate their quality of life pretty high.

Either adolescents with cerebral palsy are doing pretty well or able-bodied adolescents in general invent problems when they have none. 


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Breast Implants Investigated For Link To Lymphoma

October 6, 2014 - 10:51pm
Researchers are investigating a possible association between breast implants and a form of lymphoma that may develop tumors at a later stage. The researchers conclude that breast implants can cause a new subtype of the rare yet malignant lymphoma known as anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL).

Worldwide there have been 71 documented cases of patients with ALCL in which researchers suspected breast implants to be the cause. ALCL is normally found in the lymph nodes, as well as in skin, lung, liver and soft tissue, but not usually in the breast. 
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If You Really Want An Antibiotic, Go Just Before Closing Time

October 6, 2014 - 10:17pm

Clinicians are just like anyone else. As the days goes on, they wear down a little. Numerous patient care decisions each day, and the cumulative demand of those decisions, take their toll.

In primary care, doctors often prescribe unnecessary antibiotics for acute respiratory infections (ARI) and now scholars at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in Boston found that antibiotic prescribing rates increased as the days got later.     


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Cancer Treatment: New, Improved...And Economic Exploitation?

October 6, 2014 - 9:42pm

A few years ago there was concern that poor people did not have access to the best health care because of high cost, but two new papers find that spending is actually too high.

The first study examines recent trends in spending and use of oral cancer drugs. They find that average spending on the 47 available oral oncolytics — cancer medication taken specifically by mouth — increased from $940 million in the first quarter of 2006 to $1.4 billion by the third quarter of 2011. 


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Who You Calling An Elephant? Animals Have Weight Issues Too

October 6, 2014 - 4:31pm

You're not getting any pudding. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

By Robert Young, University of Salford


I run 50 kilometers per week on my treadmill and eat a calorie-restricted diet; this is something our ancestors didn’t have to do. But then they didn’t sit at a desk all day and certainly did not have access to such energy rich food.

Unfortunately our animals have joined us on the couch. Take a walk down the pet food aisle in the supermarket and you may be surprised to see rows of diet cat and dog food.

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Making Bone From Fat Cells

October 6, 2014 - 4:31pm

Our fat contains a variety of cells with the potential to become bone, cartilage, or more fat if properly prompted. This makes adipose tissue a key potential resource for regenerative therapies such as bone healing if doctors can get enough of those cells and compel them to produce bone.

In a new study, scientists at Brown University demonstrate a new method for extracting a wide variety of potential bone-producing cells from human fat. They developed a fluorescent tag that could find and identify cells expressing a gene called ALPL. Expression of the gene is an indicator of bone-making potential.


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Study Of Identical Twins Reveals Type 2 Diabetes Clues

October 6, 2014 - 4:31pm

By studying identical twins, researchers from Lund University in Sweden have identified mechanisms that could be behind the development of type 2 diabetes. This may explain cases where one identical twin develops type 2 diabetes while the other remains healthy.

The study involved 14 pairs of identical twins in Sweden and Denmark. One twin had type 2 diabetes and the other was healthy. Fat tissue can release hormones and regulate metabolism in different organs in the body. The question the researchers posed was whether epigenetic changes in the DNA lead to changes in the fat tissue that in turn can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. 


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How Memories Form - The Hippocampus In 3-D

October 6, 2014 - 4:31pm

The way neurons are interconnected in the brain is very complicated. This holds especially true for the cells of the hippocampus. It is one of the oldest brain regions and its form resembles a see horse (hippocampus in Latin).

The hippocampus enables us to navigate space securely and to form personal memories. So far, the anatomic knowledge of the networks inside the hippocampus and its connection to the rest of the brain has left scientists guessing which information arrived where and when.

Signals spread through the brain


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Citizen Science Can Help Reduce Scientific Fraud And Cherry-Picking

October 6, 2014 - 4:12pm

The director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, is worried about the lack of reproducibility and 'secret sauce' in a large number of studies funded by their $30 billion government agency. 

Fraud happens everywhere, as does cherry-picking of results, but the more scientific the field, the less it happens. It's hard to get 2,000 people to be fraudulent about an experimental physics result while a lone psychologist writing about surveys of college students is difficult to catch.

Carnegie-Mellon and Stanford scholars say they have a solution for Dr. Collins, at least - use 


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Sexting And Selfies:Teen Hormones And Cellphones

October 6, 2014 - 2:17pm

Sexting may be a new "normal" part of adolescent sexual development and not strictly limited to at-risk teens, according to a paper in Pediatrics, which the authors say is the first survey to address the relationship between teenage sexting, or sending sexually explicit images to another electronically, and future sexual activity. 

The  results indicate that sexting may precede sexual intercourse in some cases and further cements the idea that sexting behavior is a credible sign of teenage sexual activity. Further, the researchers did not find a link between sexting and risky sexual behavior over time, which may suggest that sexting is becoming a part of growing up. 


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NASA's SDO Watches Giant Filament On The Sun

October 6, 2014 - 2:05pm

A snaking, extended filament of solar material currently lies on the front of the sun-- some 1 million miles across from end to end. Filaments are clouds of solar material suspended above the sun by powerful magnetic forces. Though notoriously unstable, filaments can last for days or even weeks.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, which watches the sun 24 hours a day, has observed this gigantic filament for several days as it rotated around with the sun. If straightened out, the filament would reach almost across the whole sun, about 1 million miles or 100 times the size of Earth.


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COWL Web Privacy System Promises Safer Surfing

October 6, 2014 - 12:24am

A team of engineers have built a new system that protects Internet users' privacy while increasing the flexibility for web developers to build web applications that combine data from different web sites, dramatically improving the safety of surfing the web.

The system, Confinement with Origin Web Labels, or COWL, works with Mozilla's Firefox and Google's Chrome web browsers and prevents malicious code in a web site from leaking sensitive information to unauthorized parties, while allowing code in a web site to display content drawn from multiple web sites – an essential function for modern, feature-rich web applications.


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RCas9: A Programmable RNA Editing Tool

October 5, 2014 - 11:30pm

A tool for editing the DNA instructions in a genome can now also be applied to RNA, the molecule that translates DNA's genetic instructions into the production of proteins, according to a team of researchers who demonstrated a means by which the CRISPR/Cas9 protein complex can be programmed to recognize and cleave RNA at sequence-specific target sites. 

A team led by biochemist Jennifer Doudna or Lawrence Berkeley National Lab showed how the Cas9 enzyme can work with short DNA sequences known as "PAM," for protospacer adjacent motif, to identify and bind with specific site of single-stranded RNA (ssRNA). They are designating this RNA-targeting CRISPR/Cas9 complex as RCas9. 


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A More Accurate Model For Greenhouse Gases From Peatlands

October 5, 2014 - 10:52pm

Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have created a new simulator to more accurately estimate the greenhouse gases likely to be released from Arctic peatlands if they warm.

Their model is based on how oxygen filters through soil and it estimates that previous models probably underestimated methane emissions and overrepresented carbon dioxide emissions from those regions. 

Peatlands, common in the Arctic, are wetlands filled with dead and decaying organic matter. They are the result of millions of years of plants dying and breaking down into rich soil, so they contain a massive amount of carbon.


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