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Alcoholism Knocks Off An Average 7.6 Years Of Life And Leads To 27 More Illnesses

April 2, 2015 - 3:25pm

Alcoholism can not just ruin your life, it can shorten it - an average of 7.6 years shoter for those hospitalized compared to hospital patients without it, according to patient data from various general hospitals in Manchester, England.

The long-term observational study included a 12.5-year period. The researchers analyzed co-morbid physical illnesses of 23,371 hospital patients with alcohol dependence and compared them with those of a control group of 233,710 randomly selected patients without alcoholism. 
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Easter Bonus - Eggs Linked To Reduced Type 2 Diabetes

April 2, 2015 - 2:49pm

Type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly widespread throughout the world and lifestyle habits, such as exercise and nutrition, are the biggest culprits.
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The Pagan Roots Of Easter

April 2, 2015 - 12:30pm

Teaching any sort of academic program with religious content can be a tricky undertaking. Religious passions, whether pro or con, can be volatile; religion is a matter about which people can become upset.

My doctoral studies were in the relatively safe arena of Greek philosophy – no-one really cares what you say about Socrates and his mates these days – but I taught Religious Studies for many years and it was, by comparison, a minefield of sensitivities. In all those years, however, I managed to only really upset somebody once.

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Sabina, A Robot Domestic Learns When You Show Her

April 2, 2015 - 12:00pm
In the 1942 short story "Runaround", author Isaac Asimov came up with Three Laws of Robotics and those fictional ethics have captivated engineers ever since.

Maintaining the spirit of Asimov, Dr. Eduardo Morales Manzanares of the National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics (INAOE) in Mexico has developed robots with artificial intelligence that don’t require specialized personnel to be controlled.

Instead, software allows the robot named Sabina to be able to learn with the guide of the user, either through a remote control or through voice commands or simply by showing the automaton tasks, as one would teach a toddler. That means anyone can program it without being an expert in robotics
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This Year Easter Falls On The Correct Date According To Newton

April 2, 2015 - 1:00am
The most probable date for Good Friday is April 3, 33 AD. Isaac Newton figured that out in 1733.

Easter is that holiday that wanders around in the calendar and which you never quite know when will take place. Some get annoyed by that, but frankly I find it charming. But when did the crucifixion of Jesus really take place?

Questions like these were of much concern to Isaac Newton (1642-1726), surprisingly, since he is best known for gravitation and planetary orbits.

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Locked And Non-locked Plating For Fractures: In Debated Surgical Procedure, Technique Trumps Technology

April 1, 2015 - 10:37pm

Modern technology for healing distal femur fractures is as safe and effective as its more established alternative, but without the potential shortfall of the older approach.

A new study found that when done correctly, there are no significant differences between "locked plating" and "non-locked plating" in terms of healing rates, need for corrective surgery, or hardware failure.


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Middle-age Hip Replacements Double Since 2002

April 1, 2015 - 10:37pm

The number of total hip replacements (THRs) nearly doubled among middle-aged patients between 2002-2011, primarily due to the expansion of the middle-aged population in the U.S., according to a new study presented today at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). Continued growth in utilization of hip replacement surgery in patients age 45 to 64, an increase in revision surgeries for this population as they age, and a nearly 30 percent decline in the number of surgeons who perform THR, could have significant implications for future health care costs, THR demand and access.


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Budget Cuts Undermine Global Health Innovations

April 1, 2015 - 10:37pm

As the world looks to American innovation to fight Ebola, malaria, tuberculosis, and a host of other health threats, a new report released today on Capitol Hill warns budget battles in Washington are eroding preparedness at home and abroad at a time when scientific advances are poised to deliver new lifesaving drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics.


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First Cause: Teenagers Shape Each Other's Views On How Risky A Situation Is

April 1, 2015 - 10:37pm

Young adolescents' judgements on how risky a situation might be are most influenced by what other teenagers think, while most other age groups are more influenced by adults' views, finds a new survey by psychologists.


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Positive Preclinical Proof-of-Concept Results For Mitochondrial Protein Replacement Platform In Friedreich's Ataxia

April 1, 2015 - 10:37pm

BioBlast Pharma Ltd. has announced positive preclinical in vitro and in vivo proof-of-concept study results for its mitochondrial protein replacement therapy drug candidate (BB-FA) for Friedreich's Ataxia.

Friedreich's Ataxia is an inherited disorder characterized by progressive deterioration of the muscular and nervous system that begins in the first or second decade of life and results in gait disturbance (ataxia), cognitive impairment, progressive heart disease and diabetes. According to Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA), about 1:50,000 people in the U.S. suffer from Friedreich's Ataxia. Most patients are wheelchair-bound within 15 years of diagnosis.


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Food Kinetics: Color Of Lettuce Linked To Antioxidant Effect

April 1, 2015 - 10:37pm

Antioxidants provide long-term protection against the chain reactions of free radical processes, in other words, of the molecules that are capable of causing cell damage and generating various diseases. Free radicals harm our body by causing, in the best of cases, ageing and, in the worse, serious diseases. Lettuce is rich in antioxidants, as it contains compounds like phenolic acids, flavonoids, anthocyanins, and vitamins A and C, among other things.

Green, semi-red and red leaves


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The Secret Lives Of Pandas

April 1, 2015 - 10:37pm

Reclusive giant pandas fascinate the world, yet precious little is known about how they spend their time in the Chinese bamboo forests. Until now.

A team of Michigan State University (MSU) researchers who have been electronically stalking five pandas in the wild, courtesy of rare GPS collars, have finished crunching months of data and has published some panda surprises in this month's Journal of Mammalogy.

A camera trap captures a panda walking through the snow in the Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan, China. Credit: Michigan State University Center for Systems Integration


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CRISPR-Cas9 Edit Technique For Mosquito That Transmits Chikungunya Yellow Fever

April 1, 2015 - 10:36pm

Traditionally, to understand how a gene functions, a scientist would breed an organism that lacks that gene - "knocking it out" - then ask how the organism has changed. Are its senses affected? Its behavior? Can it even survive? Thanks to the recent advance of gene editing technology, this gold standard genetic experiment has become much more accessible in a wide variety of organisms. Now, researchers at Rockefeller University have harnessed a technique known as CRISPR-Cas9 editing in an important and understudied species: the mosquito, Aedes aegypti, which infects hundreds of millions of people annually with the deadly diseases chikungunya, yellow fever, and dengue fever.


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Zeiss Imaging Tech Creates A 'Google Maps' For The Body

April 1, 2015 - 9:26pm

Silicon wafer imaging technology has been modified to scan the human body down at the level of a single cell  - zooming in and out of a joint in the body like Google Maps does from the sky.

Coupled with Google algorithms, the imaging system developed by German optical and industrial measurement manufacturer Zeiss is able to zoom in and out from the scale of the whole joint down to the cellular level, reducing to "a matter of weeks analyses that once took 25 years to complete," said Professor Knothe Tate of UNSW Australia.


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Hack Photosynthesis, Feed The World

April 1, 2015 - 6:17pm

Boosting the photosynthetic efficiency of plants offers the best hope of increasing crop yields and feed a planet expected to have 9.5 billion people on it by 2050, according to a new report. 

Photosynthetic microbes offer other clues to improving photosynthesis in plants. For example, some bacteria and algae contain pigments that utilize more of the solar spectrum than plant pigments do. If added to plants, those pigments could bolster the plants' access to solar energy. Some scientists are trying to engineer C4 photosynthesis in C3 plants, but this means altering plant anatomy, changing the expression of many genes and inserting new genes from C4 plants.


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Abortion, Miscarriage Data May Change International Policies

April 1, 2015 - 5:30pm

A recent paper shows that it is possible to replace the clinical follow-up examinations recommended today with abortions that include a home pregnancy test while another paper contends that midwives can safely and effectively treat failed abortions and miscarriages in rural districts of Uganda.

The term 'incomplete abortion' is when there is residual tissue in the uterus following a failed abortion or a miscarriage. This can result in bleeding and infection and is a potentially life-threatening condition that can effectively be treated with the medicine misoprostol. Misoprostol is a prostaglandin analog that causes the uterus to contract and empty its contents.


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Is Your Social Network Really Diverse?

April 1, 2015 - 5:00pm
Do you really cherish diversity? Self-identification on that issue tells us little, studies have shown that in America, liberals, for example, who claim to care more about diversity, are far more likely to unfriend people on social media who disagree with their beliefs, while both liberals and conservatives show a large amount of homophily, which makes them more polarized.
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Insecticide Rebranded As Personalized Medicine For Insects

April 1, 2015 - 4:45pm
A new class of dopamine receptor antagonists (DARs) could provide a safer means of controlling mosquitoes that transmit key infectious diseases such as dengue, yellow fever and elephantiasis. The new chemicals work by manipulating the neurotransmitter dopamine to lock into protein receptors that span the mosquito cell membrane. Disrupting the mechanics of dopamine, which plays important roles in cell signaling, development and behavior, eventually leads to the insect's death.
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Halocarbons: Japan Earthquake And Tsunami Sped Ozone Loss, Global Warming

April 1, 2015 - 4:38pm

It isn't just the forests and tundra that can release climate warming and ozone-depleting chemicals, buildings can do it also, like when they crash into the ground following an earthquake and tsunami.  Emissions of these chemicals, called halocarbons, increased by 21 percent to 91 percent over typical levels,.

The 2011 Tohoku earthquake released thousands of tons of chemicals into the atmosphere, according to a new study which suggests that the thousands of buildings destroyed and damaged during the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan four years ago released 6,600 metric tons (7,275 U.S. tons) of gases stored in insulation, appliances and other equipment into the atmosphere. 


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Presumptive Computing - Until Machines Become Intelligent, Things Like Autocorrect Will Be Flawed

April 1, 2015 - 4:31pm


Have you ever texted somebody saying how “ducking annoyed” you are at something? Or asked Siri on your iPhone to call your wife, but somehow managed to be connected to your mother-in-law?

If you have, you may have been a victim of a new challenge in computing: that fine line where we trust a computer to make predictions for us despite the fact that it sometimes gets them wrong.

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