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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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Warning: High-intensity Training Could Hurt You If You're Not An Athlete

March 23, 2016 - 11:42am

High-intensity 'sprint training' may be gaining popularity at gyms, but if you're new to this form of exercise, the workout could do more harm than good.

A study by Canadian and European researchers found signs of stress in the muscle tissues of their non-athlete, untrained subjects after ultra-intense leg and arm cycling exercises. Perhaps more concerning, researchers reported the untrained subjects had a weakened ability to fight off free radicals, molecules that can alter DNA and harm healthy cells.


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A New Way To Determine The Age Of Stars?

March 23, 2016 - 11:42am

Researchers have developed a new conceptual framework for understanding how stars similar to our Sun evolve. Their framework helps explain how the rotation of stars, their emission of x-rays, and the intensity of their stellar winds vary with time. According to first author Eric Blackman, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Rochester, the work could also "ultimately help to determine the age of stars more precisely than is currently possible."


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The Wilds Of The Local Group

March 23, 2016 - 11:42am

Rather like an uncontacted tribe living deep in the Amazon rainforest or on an island in Oceania, WLM offers a rare insight into the primordial nature of galaxies that have been little disturbed by their environment.

WLM was discovered in 1909 by German astronomer Max Wolf, and identified as a galaxy some fifteen years later by astronomers Knut Lundmark and Philibert Jacques Melotte -- explaining the galaxy's unusual moniker. The dim galaxy is located in the constellation of Cetus (The Sea Monster) about three million light-years away from the Milky Way, which is one of the three dominant spiral galaxies in the Local Group.


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Mindfulness Meditation And Talk Therapy Linked To Lower Chronic Low Back Pain

March 22, 2016 - 8:33pm

A group of scholars believed that "mindfulness" meditation, practiced as a way to calm the mind,
could be a non-drug alternative to help decrease chronic low back pain that is psychosomatic, and set out to show it. 

Claims of chronic low back pain are a costly condition that plagues eight in 10 Americans at some point in their lives. A team at Group Health Research Institute compared a specific kind of meditation called mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) along with cognitive behavioral therapy, a kind of talk therapy, to see if these interventions might alleviate pain.


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Sunbather Paradox: Sun Woshippers Live Longer Than Those Who Avoid The Sun

March 22, 2016 - 8:26pm

Women who sunbathe are likely to live longer than those who avoid the sun, even though sunbathers are at an increased risk of developing skin cancer. This paradox baffles oncologists and has suggested that the war on sunshine has been unjustified.


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Use Of Open Access Platforms For Clinical Trial Data

March 22, 2016 - 8:21pm

In a study appearing in the March 22/29 issue of JAMA, Ann Marie Navar, M.D., Ph.D., of Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C., and colleagues examined how shared clinical trial data are being used. Concerns over bias in clinical trial reporting have stimulated calls for more open data sharing. In response, multiple pharmaceutical companies have created mechanisms for investigators to access patient-level clinical trials data.


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Fungus That Threatens Chocolate Forgoes Sexual Reproduction For Cloning

March 22, 2016 - 8:21pm

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A fungal disease that poses a serious threat to cacao plants - the source of chocolate - reproduces clonally, Purdue University researchers find.

The fungus Moniliophthora roreri causes frosty pod rot, a disease that has decimated cacao plantations through much of the Americas. Because M. roreri belongs to a group of fungi that produces mushrooms - the fruit of fungal sex - many researchers and cacao breeders believed the fungus reproduced sexually.


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