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Promising Prognosis: Cancer Deaths Continue To Fall

July 28, 2015 - 1:00pm

The rate of Australians dying from cancer is on a steady, downhill trajectory, thanks to powerful advances made in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease. New data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows a promising outlook for those diagnosed with cancer.

Deaths from all cancers combined fell from 199 per 100,000 people in 1968, to 167 per 100,000 in 2012 - a decline of 2.6 deaths per 100,000 people per year.

“This confirms that we are steadily making improvements in most cancers, in terms of survival,” said Professor Timothy Hughes, Cancer Theme Leader at SAHMRI.

“And it’s coming from better prevention, better screening and better therapy.”

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Henry V's Agincourt Naval Fleet Smaller Than Previously Believed

July 28, 2015 - 1:00pm
The Battle of Agincourt, a major English victory in the Hundred Years' War, will have its 600th anniversary on October 25th, 2015, but they had actually landed in August.

How big was the fleet that carried the army? Henry V’s naval fleet, used to transport troops, was much smaller than previously thought, according to a historian. 
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How Did Mexico Eliminate Breast Cancer Deaths?

July 28, 2015 - 12:30pm
In Mexico, breast cancer has been adequately controlled, and is no longer considered a risk of death when it’s diagnosed.

The disease is more common among women in the capital and the northern states, and is first in incidence of malignant neoplasms in females. It represents 11.34 percent of all cancer cases, and the increase is negligible. But in the United States the increase is five percent per year.
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New Results From The LHC At 13 TeV!

July 27, 2015 - 8:53pm
Well, as some of you may have heard, the restart of the LHC has not been as smooth as we had hoped. In a machine as complex as this the chance that something gets in the way of a well-followed schedule is quite significant. So there have been slight delays, but the important thing is that the data at 13 TeV centre-of-mass energy are coming, and the first results are being extracted from them.
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3D Printed ‘Smart Cap’ Can Detect Spoiled Food

July 27, 2015 - 8:28pm
3D printing technology can now include electrical components, such as resistors, inductors, capacitors and integrated wireless electrical sensing systems, and researchers have put that concept to the test by printing a wireless “smart cap” for a milk carton that detected signs of spoilage using embedded sensors.

Prosthetics, medical implants and toys are all fantastic but what had been missing from the repertoire until now was the ability to produce sensitive electronic components.
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'Selfish' Bacteria Link IBD And Gut Microbiota

July 27, 2015 - 5:27pm

The discovery of unusual foraging activity in bacteria species populating our gut may explain how conditions like Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) link to changes in the populations of bacteria in our gut. IBD affects 1 in every 250 people but its causes are unknown. Studies have shown that IBD patients have a different profile of gut microbes, which is called dysbiosis.

All of us have trillions of beneficial bacteria in our gut, but the combination of different species, known as the microbiome, varies. A crucial question has been whether IBD causes our microbiome to change, or whether an imbalanced microbiome could be triggering IBD. And exactly how does one affect the other? We need to study these interactions to define new targets for therapeutics.


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Bomb-Proof Lining Contains Explosions In Aircraft

July 27, 2015 - 2:00pm
A bomb-proof lining called the  Fly-Bag has successfully contained blasts in a series of controlled explosions in the luggage hold of a Boeing 747 and an Airbus 321. Using this technology, tests show plane’s luggage hold may be able to contain force of an explosion if a device hidden in a passenger’s luggage detonates

The Fly-Bag lines an aircraft’s luggage hold with multiple layers of novel fabrics and composites and was tested under increasing explosive charges on disused planes at Cotswolds Airport, near Cirencester, this week.
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Coryphopterus Curasub: A Fish Too Deep For Science

July 27, 2015 - 1:30pm

A new small goby fish differs from its relatives not only in its size and colors, but also in the depth of its habitat (70-80 m) in the southern Caribbean. The scientists gave it the name Coryphopterus curasub in recognition of the Curasub submersible that was used in their deep-reef exploration.

Marine biodiversity inhabiting shallow Caribbean coral reefs has been studied for more than 150 years, but much less is known about what lives at depths just below those accessible with conventional SCUBA gear.

Thanks to the availability of a privately owned, manned submersible on the island of Curacao, the Curasub, scientists are now able to intensively study depths to 300 m (1,000 ft).


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Genes May Influence How Well You Take Tests

July 27, 2015 - 1:00pm
Could it be that genetic differences can affect how well children perform in exams? Our research suggests that this may well be the case and that individual differences between children are, to a large extent, due to the inherited genetic differences between them that predisposes them to do well academically, whatever the subject.

We also found that there is shared genetic influence across a range of subjects, even after controlling the exam results for general intelligence.

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Fatherhood Makes Men Fat

July 27, 2015 - 12:30pm

All those leftover pizza crusts you snatch from your kids' plates add up. Men gain weight after they become fathers for the first time whether or not they live with their children, reports a large, new study that tracked the weight of more than 10,000 men from adolescence to young adulthood. 


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High Z: Metal Foams Shield X-rays, Gamma Rays And Neutron Radiation

July 27, 2015 - 8:00am

Lightweight composite metal foams are effective at blocking X-rays, gamma rays and neutron radiation, and are capable of absorbing the energy of high impact collisions, and a new finding means the metal foams hold promise for use in nuclear safety, space exploration and medical technology applications.

Researchers conducted multiple tests to see how effective it was at blocking X-rays, gamma rays and neutron radiation. She then compared the material's performance to the performance of bulk materials that are currently used in shielding applications. The comparison was made using samples of the same "areal" density - meaning that each sample had the same weight, but varied in volume.


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Drugs In Wastewater Contaminate Drinking Water

July 26, 2015 - 7:24pm

Both prescription and illegal drugs that are abused have been found in Canadian surface waters. New research shows that wastewater discharges flowing downstream have the potential to contaminate sources of drinking water with these drugs at relatively low concentrations.

The concentrations of cocaine, morphine, and oxycodone did not decline with distance downstream from the wastewater treatment plant discharge, and many of the drugs were not removed effectively by drinking water treatment plants.

The research is part of a special section on pharmaceuticals in the journal Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry.


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Health Care Providers A Major Contributor To Antibiotic Overuse

July 26, 2015 - 2:30pm

10 percent of health care providers write an antibiotic prescription for nearly all (over 95 percent) of patients who walks in with a cold, bronchitis or other acute respiratory infection (ARI), according to a new study.

The figure is at one end of a spectrum showing the remarkable variation in how providers use antibiotics. At the low end, 10 percent of providers prescribe antibiotics during 40 percent or fewer patient visits.


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Diarrhea In Cats - Especially In Homes With Multiple Cats

July 26, 2015 - 1:30pm

Barbara Hinney and her colleagues from the Institute for Parasitology at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, screened 298 faecal samples taken from cats across Austria for single-cell intestinal parasites, so called enteric protozoa. The samples came from private households, catteries and animal shelters. Of the 298 cats sampled, 56 tested positive with at least one intestinal parasite.

Multi-cat households often affected


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Epigenetics: Quackery Or Phenomenon?

July 26, 2015 - 1:00pm

Are you really what your mother ate, drank or got stressed about? The simple answer is “no”, but not in the way you think.

We are products of nature via nurture. Our genes and environments interact. And “environment” can be what we are experiencing now or at any time during our life.

An overwhelming body of evidence, from both humans and other animals, has shown that the environment we experience in the first 1,000 days of life influences our risk of chronic diseases: conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, psychiatric disorders and some cancers.

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Kenya Example: How Re-Analyzing Scientific Research Data Can Change The Findings

July 26, 2015 - 10:35am

Science, many people believe, is kept in check by scientists reviewing each other’s work. This has recently extended to re-analysis of data to see if results can be replicated, and has overturned important findings in medicine, economics, and sociology.

We re-analyzed an influential randomized controlled trial of deworming in Kenyan schools. We found that even for a randomized controlled trial – lauded as the most robust method to identify impact – there are aspects of analysis and reporting where re-analysis can shed new light.

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Michelangelo Likely Used Mathematics When Painting The Creation Of Adam

July 25, 2015 - 6:27pm

New research provides mathematical evidence that Michelangelo used the Golden Ratio of 1.6 when painting The Creation of Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The Golden Ratio is found when you divide a line into two parts so that the longer part divided by the smaller part is equal to the whole length divided by the longer part.

The Golden Ratio has been linked with greater structural efficiency and has puzzled scientists for centuries due to its frequent occurrence in nature--for example in snail shells and flower petals. The Golden Ratio can also be found in a variety of works by architects and designers, in famous musical compositions, and in the creations of many artists.


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How Snakes Lost Their Legs

July 25, 2015 - 4:00pm
How did the snake get its slither? Ever since the crafty serpent in Genesis tempted Eve into eating the forbidden fruit, we’ve been fascinated by snakes. And, despite our interest in this animal, we have a poor understanding of how it actually evolved.

But scientists have now released a new study on the fossil of a snake that appears to have lived between 100m and 146m years ago. And what’s more it had legs.

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The Argument For Psychiatric Over-Diagnosis: Outcomes Are More Important Than Accuracy

July 25, 2015 - 3:30pm

In America there has been yet another shooting and the common denominator has been the presence of psychiatric medication. Clearly better diagnosis of people is not what is needed, better outcomes are. Medications are wildly over-prescribed and they don't work very well. For some patients, a nicotine patch is as effective as medication after two months.


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Dietary Protein Recommendations Need Modernization

July 25, 2015 - 2:30pm

New research based on modern techniques suggests that recommendations for protein intake in healthy populations may be incorrect. In a paper just published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, an NRC Research Press journal (a division of Canadian Science Publishing), researchers put the focus on protein as an essential component of a healthy diet.

Protein helps people stay full longer, preserve muscle mass, and when combined with adequate physical activity, has the potential to serve as a key nutrient for important health outcomes and benefits.

It's not only how much protein you eat, it's the type of protein that is important.


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