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Updated: 16 weeks 3 days ago

Simple Ways To See Nibiru Is Totally Nuts - And Limits On Planets Hiding In Our Solar System

March 24, 2016 - 1:58pm

In case you haven't heard of it, Nibiru is a totally nuts idea. Yet it gets many people very scared. I started to get messages about it as a result of writing articles about asteroid impacts, and how we can detect and deflect asteroids. It is possible to have beliefs that don't make any sense if you look at them closely. For instance, if you believe that you can have a square with every point on its edges equally distant from its center in ordinary geometry - that's impossible. That's a square circle. Nibiru is a belief of this sort.

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Botswana Study Shows 96 Percent Rate Of Viral Suppression For Patients On HIV Drugs

March 24, 2016 - 10:53am

Boston, MA - Botswana appears to have achieved very high rates of HIV diagnosis, treatment, and viral suppression--much better than most Western nations, including the United States--according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and colleagues in Botswana. The findings suggest that even in countries with limited resources where a large percentage of the population is infected with HIV, strong treatment programs can help make significant headway against the HIV/AIDS epidemic.


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How Much Sugar Is In Your Child's Fruit Drink?

March 24, 2016 - 10:53am

Researchers from the University of Liverpool and colleagues from Action on Sugar have assessed the sugar content of over 200 fruit drinks marketed at children and have found them to be "unacceptably high".

The research, conducted by Professor Simon Capewell from the University's Institute of Psychology, Health and Society and Action on Sugar has been published today (Thursday, 24 March) in the online journal BMJ Open.

To assess the sugar content of fruit juice drinks, 100% natural juices, and smoothies marketed specifically to children, the researchers measured the quantity of 'free' sugars in 203 standard portion sizes (200 ml) of UK branded and supermarket own label products, using the pack labelling information provided.


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Eating Foods High In Vitamin C Cuts Risk Of Cataract Progression By A Third

March 24, 2016 - 10:53am

A diet rich in vitamin C could cut risk of cataract progression by a third, suggests a study being published online today in Ophthalmology. The research is also the first to show that diet and lifestyle may play a greater role than genetics in cataract development and severity.


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In Human Development Research, Big Data Could Mean Better Results

March 23, 2016 - 11:13pm

While there is no Hubble telescope gathering data about the universe of human development, projects to make large amounts of information -- big data -- more accessible to developmental researchers could bring behavioral science's biggest questions into focus, according to a Penn State psychologist.

"Many people, when they think about big data, think about astronomy, or physics, or biology and cancer research, but, in fact, there are big data approaches to studying human development," said Rick Gilmore, associate professor of psychology. "It's exciting that we now have the opportunity to learn how people emerge through the developmental process by taking empirical work from large numbers of investigators and aggregating that data."


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Exercise May Slow Brain Aging By 10 Years For Older People

March 23, 2016 - 11:13pm

MINNEAPOLIS - Exercise in older people is associated with a slower rate of decline in thinking skills that occurs with aging. People who reported light to no exercise experienced a decline equal to 10 more years of aging as compared to people who reported moderate to intense exercise, according to a population-based observational study published in the March 23, 2016, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.


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Two Decades Have Brought Little Change For Women In Cardiology

March 23, 2016 - 11:12pm

Female cardiologists are less likely than their male counterparts to get married and have children and more likely to face challenges related to child care, family leave policies and professional discrimination, according to a study scheduled for presentation at the American College of Cardiology's 65th Annual Scientific Session.

Women are also underrepresented in the field, comprising less than 20 percent of cardiologists who see adult patients. The study, the third in a series of surveys conducted by the American College of Cardiology, revealed only slight improvements over the past 20 years.


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Fish Oil Supplements Don't Give You An Advantage

March 23, 2016 - 8:06pm
An investigation on the effect of fish oil supplements for muscle growth reveals the tablets do not give gym-goers an advantage in the weight room.

Supplements are a protected class in the United States, easily claiming drug effects without being forced to prove they work the way drugs do. Most are just expensive placebos, more akin to homeopathy and superstition than medicine, though they are heavily promoted by alternative medicine gurus such as Dr. Joe Mercola and Dr. Oz.
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Ancient Seaweed Fossils Some Of The Oldest Of Multicellular Life

March 23, 2016 - 7:34pm

Honing in on when life on Earth evolved from single-celled to multicellular organisms is no easy task. Organisms that old lacked many distinguishing characteristics of modern life forms, making their fossils exceptionally rare.

But University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee paleontologist Stephen Dornbos and his research partners have discovered new clues in the quest. The team found fossils of two species of previously unknown ancient multicellular marine algae, what we now know as seaweed - and they're among the oldest examples of multicellular life on Earth.


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The Tougher Men Think They Are, The Less Likely They Are To Be Honest With Doctors

March 23, 2016 - 7:34pm

Men are less likely than women to go to the doctor, more likely to choose a male doctor when they do go, but less likely to be honest with that doctor about their symptoms, Rutgers psychologists have found. The researchers believe this may contribute to men's dying earlier than women.

"The question that we wanted to answer was, why do men die earlier than women?" said Diana Sanchez, associate professor of psychology in the School of Arts and Sciences. "Men can expect to die five years earlier than women, and physiological differences don't explain that difference."

Sanchez and Mary Himmelstein, a doctoral student, have published studies in Preventive Medicine and The Journal of Health Psychology describing their research.


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Sterile Box Offers Safer Surgeries

March 23, 2016 - 7:34pm

HOUSTON - (March 23, 2016) - Rice University students and their mentors have created a sterilization station for surgical instruments that can help minimize risk of infections to patients anywhere in the world.

The station built into a standard 20-foot steel shipping container houses all the equipment necessary to prepare surgical instruments for safe reuse, including a water system for decontamination and a solar-powered autoclave for steam sterilization. Autoclaves are standard in modern hospitals but badly needed in low-resource settings.


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Solar Storms Trigger Jupiter's 'Northern Lights'

March 23, 2016 - 3:13pm

Solar storms trigger Jupiter's intense 'Northern Lights' by generating a new X-ray aurora that is eight times brighter than normal and hundreds of times more energetic than Earth's aurora borealis, new research finds. 

It is the first time that Jupiter's X-ray aurora has been studied when a giant storm from the sun has arrived at the planet.

The dramatic findings complement NASA's Juno mission this summer, which aims to understand the relationship between the two biggest structures in the solar system - the region of space controlled by Jupiter's magnetic field (its magnetosphere) and that controlled by the solar wind.


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Protecting Coral Reefs With Bubbles

March 23, 2016 - 3:13pm

Blowing tiny bubbles through seawater could help protect coral reefs and oyster farms from oceans turned increasingly acidic through human activities by stripping carbon dioxide (CO2) from coastal marine environments and transferring it to the atmosphere, Stanford scientists say.


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Green Light Stops Sea Turtle Deaths

March 23, 2016 - 3:12pm

Illuminating fishing nets is a cost-effective means of dramatically reducing the number of sea turtles getting caught and dying unnecessarily, conservation biologists at the University of Exeter have found.

Dr Jeffrey Mangel, a Darwin Initiative research fellow based in Peru, and Professor Brendan Godley, from the Centre for Ecology and Conservation at the University's Penryn Campus, were part of a team of researchers who found that attaching green battery powered light-emitting diodes (LED) to gillnets used by a small-scale fishery reduced the number of green turtle deaths by 64 per cent, without reducing the intended catch of fish.


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Mixed-strain Malaria Infections Influence Drug Resistance

March 23, 2016 - 12:50pm

Scientists have documented for the first time how competition among different malaria parasite strains in human hosts could influence the spread of drug resistance.

"We found that when hosts are co-infected with drug-resistant and drug-sensitive strains, both strains are competitively suppressed," says Mary Bushman, lead author of the study and a PhD candidate in Emory University's Population Biology, Ecology and Evolution Graduate Program. "Anti-malarial therapy, by clearing drug-sensitive parasites from mixed infections, may result in competitive release of resistant strains."


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How To Spot Elder Abuse And Neglect In The ER: Things Are Not Always As They Seem

March 23, 2016 - 12:50pm

WASHINGTON --When older adults in severely debilitated states show up for treatment in the emergency department, emergency physicians and staff must be able to identify and document their symptoms and decide whether to report their concerns to adult protective services. This is a difficult decision as the patient's symptoms may stem from willful neglect, unintentional neglect or sub-acute symptoms caused by an underlying illness than manifest as neglect. Two papers published online last Friday in Annals of Emergency Medicine highlight a problem that promises to grow rapidly with the aging of the Baby Boom generation.


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Hardly Any Natural Gas Pipeline Leaks, Shows Greenhouse Gas 'Watchdog'

March 23, 2016 - 12:50pm

The signatory countries of the Kyoto Protocol and the newer Paris Agreement have committed to reduce global warming, but they can only use estimates and projections to verify whether they are actually achieving the necessary reduction in greenhouse gases.

The uncertainties are considerable and mistakes do happen.

Researchers funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) have developed a method to independently monitor these statistics by making direct measurements of the gases in the atmosphere.

Hardly any natural gas pipeline leaks


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SSRI Antidepressants Not Associated With An Increased Risk Cardiovascular Conditions

March 23, 2016 - 12:27pm

Commonly used antidepressants, known as 'selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors', are not associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular conditions, such as heart attacks and strokes, according to new research at The University of Nottingham.

Depression is known to increase the risk of cardiovascular problems, but whether antidepressants, particularly SSRIs, increase or reduce this risk remains controversial.

The results are significant because antidepressants are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs and cardiovascular diseases are a leading cause of death and disability worldwide.


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Using Frog Foam To Deliver Antibiotics

March 23, 2016 - 12:27pm

Today, at the Microbiology Society's Annual Conference in Liverpool, scientists will show that the foam made by Trinidadian frogs represents a new, non-toxic antibiotic delivery system that may help to prevent infections.

While mating, Tungara frogs (Engystomops pustulosus) release a protein cocktail that they beat into a foam with their back legs. The frogs - less than 5 centimetres long - lay their eggs in these foam nests to protect them from disease, predators and environmental stresses.


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Arctic Microbes Speeding Up Glacier Melting

March 23, 2016 - 11:47am

Current climate models are too simplistic to really account for all of the factors in climate in the present, much less predict the future, but they are being used by policy makers to anticipate the effects of greenhouse gases as far out as a hundred years so it is important they gradually converge on accuracy before too much money is spent.

Today, at the Microbiology Society's Annual Conference, scientists discussed one missing piece of the puzzle in computer simulations - Arctic microbes that are increasing the rate at which glaciers melt.


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