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True Polar Wander: Why Greenland Ice Took So Long To Develop

January 7, 2015 - 2:30pm

The ice on Greenland formed due to processes in the deep Earth interior of the Arctic, large-scale glaciations that began about 2.7 million years ago. Prior to that, the northern hemisphere was so warm it was mostly without out, and that period lasted for 500 million years. l

The big question geologically is why the glaciation of Greenland only developed so recently. 

It's because of the interaction of three tectonic processes. Greenland literally had to be lifted up, so that the mountain peaks reached into sufficiently cold altitudes of the atmosphere. Greenland also needed to move sufficiently far northward, which led to reduced solar irradiation in winter. Then a shift of the Earth axis caused Greenland to move even further northward.


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Origami: It's All About The Math

January 7, 2015 - 2:01pm
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Cholera Bacterium Is The Mad Max Of DNA

January 7, 2015 - 1:30pm

Cholera is characterized by acute watery diarrhea resulting in severe dehydration and occurs  when the bacterium Vibrio cholerae infects the small intestine.

How does it happen? 


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No More Necessary Evil: Reduced Risk Of Hearing Loss After Antibiotics

January 7, 2015 - 12:30am

In 2002 on Christmas Eve, two-year-old Bryce Faber was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a deadly. The toddler's treatment, in addition to surgery, included massive amounts of radiation followed by even more massive amounts of antibiotics, and it no doubt saved his life. But those mega-doses of antibiotics, while staving off infections in his immunosuppressed body, caused a permanent side effect: deafness.

"All I remember is coming out of treatment not being able to hear anything," said Bryce, now a healthy 14-year-old living in Arizona. "I asked my mom, 'Why have all the people stopped talking?'" He was 90 percent deaf.

"The loss has been devastating," said his father, Bart Faber. "But not as devastating as losing him would have been."


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Tolkien’s Dark Side Of The Machine

January 7, 2015 - 12:30am

To Tolkien, the machine represents a means to attain power over others. His orcs -- deformed and ugly creatures, whose hands are sometimes replaced with weapons -- embody this lust for power. LOTR Wikia

By Richard Gunderman, Indiana University-Purdue University

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66 Percent Of Doctors Recommend Careers As Nurse Practitioners Instead

January 6, 2015 - 11:11pm
Despite high wages, there has been a shortage of primary care physicians in America and the Affordable Care Act, coupled with an increased 'teach to the protocol' environment in medical school, is going to make the shortage worse. 

With medical school costing so much, and increasing procedural limitations on how patients can be treated, doctors are starting to wonder how much of medicine actually requires a general practitioner. Becoming a general medical doctor may not be worth it, according to recent recommendations from doctors that qualified students pursue careers as nurse practitioners rather than as primary care physicians.
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With ApplePay, America Caught Up To Kenya Of 2004 - How 'Good Enough' Holds Us Back

January 6, 2015 - 9:30pm

Don't mobile payments make more sense? US Navy

By Ethan Zuckerman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Apple’s product launches are covered with breathless enthusiasm usually reserved for royal weddings and vaccines for dread diseases.

The recent launch of the iPhone6 featured an exciting new technology - ApplePay - which, if widely adopted, will allow Apple’s discerning customers to make electronic payments from their phones in situations where they would have used credit cards or cash.

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Jerkiness While Steering A Car Is Built Into Us

January 6, 2015 - 9:26pm

Researchers have solved a puzzle in traffic research, namely why so many people 'jerk' the wheel when they steer a car. 


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FDA Label Might Unnecessarily Prevent Metformin Use In A Million Diabetics

January 6, 2015 - 8:00pm

Groups like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration set the gold standard worldwide for science - but they are still soundly criticized. Every time the EPA clears a pesticide it is blasted because the studies it mandates are "industry-funded", which is required by law. As are trials for drugs.

For many people, the disclaimers about side effects of drugs at the end of television drug commercials (along with the omnipresent 'see our ad in Golf magazine' small print) are somewhat laughable - like with Proposition 65 'cancer-causing chemicals' here in California, when everything is a problem, nothing is - but they have a serious societal impact when the FDA says it.


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Scorpion Venom Could Lead To New Cancer Treatment

January 6, 2015 - 7:31pm

Okay, but that's not the way to extract it. fabriceh_com, CC BY-NC-SA

By Benjamin Burke, University of Hull

In the development of new drugs, taking something from nature and modifying it has been a successful tactic employed by medicinal chemists for years.

Now, with the help of nanotechnology, researchers are turning once-discarded drug candidates into usable drugs.

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Space Weather Fallout: Plasma Waves In Earth's Atmosphere

January 6, 2015 - 7:00pm

A new study shows that plasma waves buffeting the planet's radiation belts are responsible for scattering charged particles into the atmosphere, creating the most detailed analysis so far of the link between these waves and the fallout of electrons from the planet's radiation belts.

The belts are impacted by fluctuations in "space weather" caused by solar activity that can disrupt GPS satellites, communication systems, power grids and manned space exploration.


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Acoustic Levitation Using A Non-Resonant Device

January 6, 2015 - 6:16pm

Acoustic levitation has been done in the past but it required a precise setup where the sound source and reflector were at fixed "resonant" distances. This made controlling the levitating objects difficult and isn't really proof-of-concept for anything practical.

Now a team of researchers have developed a new device that can levitate polystyrene particles by reflecting sound waves from a source above off a concave reflector below  - with more control than any instrument created before. Changing the orientation of the reflector allows the hovering particle to be moved around. 


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For Older Prostate Cancer Patients, Radiation Plus Hormone Therapy Increases Survival

January 6, 2015 - 5:25pm

Older men with locally advanced prostate cancer benefit by adding radiation treatment to hormone therapy versus hormone therapy alone, according to a new study which found that hormone therapy plus radiation reduced cancer deaths by nearly 50 percent in men aged 76 to 85 compared to men who only received hormone therapy.

Past studies have shown that 40 percent of men with aggressive prostate cancers are treated with hormone therapy alone, exposing a large gap in curative cancer care among "Baby Boomers" as they approach their their 70s. 


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Winter Hibernation Energy Drain: How White-Nose Syndrome Kills Bats

January 6, 2015 - 4:35pm

Researchers have developed a detailed explanation of how white-nose syndrome is killing bats in parts of North America - the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans makes bats die by increasing the amount of energy they use during winter hibernation.

Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Wisconsin created a model for how the disease progresses from initial infection to death in bats during hibernation. Since bats must carefully ration their energy supply during this time to survive without eating until spring, they tested the energy depletion hypothesis by measuring the amounts of energy used by infected and healthy bats hibernating under similar conditions.


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Exercise Improves Life For People With Parkinson's Disease In Every Area But One

January 6, 2015 - 4:18pm

Exercise has been found to people with Parkinson's disease improve their balance, ability to move around and quality of life - the only thing it cannot do is reduce their risk of falling, according to a new study in the journal Neurology. However, when started early, the threshold risk for falling remained lower.

In the study, 231 people with Parkinson's disease either received their usual care or took part in an exercise program of 40-60 minutes of balance and leg strengthening exercises three times a week for six months. The exercise program was prescribed and monitored by a physical therapist with participants performing most of the exercise at home, so it was minimal supervision. On average, 13 percent of the exercise sessions were with a physical therapist.


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Infections Increase ICU Patient Risk Of Death By 35 Percent

January 6, 2015 - 4:08pm

Elderly patients admitted to intensive care units are about 35 percent more likely to die within five years of leaving the hospital if they develop an infection during their stay.

The upside to this finding is that preventing two of the most common health care-associated infections - bloodstream infections caused by central lines and pneumonia caused by ventilators - can increase the odds that these patients survive and reduce the cost of their care by more than $150,000, according to a study in American Journal of Infection Control. 


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Small 'felt' Earthquake In Ohio - Fracking Implicated

January 6, 2015 - 4:05pm

If you hit the ground with a hammer, it creates a micro-earthquake, but it is obviously too small to be detected. The ancient Chinese used to use a drum in the ground to listen for enemy sappers mining underneath their fortifications.

The process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, extracts gas and oil from shale rock by injecting a high-pressure water mixture directed at the rock to release the oil and gas trapped inside. Like any geological event, that results in micro-earthquakes much smaller than humans can feel. 


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Controlled-Release Fertilizers: Fertilizer Placement Optimizes Nutrient Leaching

January 6, 2015 - 3:54pm

Controlled-release fertilizers are a widely used method of delivering nutrients to nursery container crops. Controlled release is just like it sounds, the fertilizers contain encapsulated solid mineral nutrients that dissolve slowly in water which are released over an extended period of time.

Controlled-release fertilizers (CRFs)
are quite popular, but growers and researchers want ways to decrease fertilizer and irrigation expenses and reduce the impact of nutrient leaching into the environment, so a new study compares CRF placement strategies.


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