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Does The Higgs Violate Lepton Flavour Number? A CMS Result Tickles Wild Fantasies

July 6, 2014 - 9:07pm
Two years have passed since the discovery of the Higgs boson (on July 4th, 2012), and the young particle still causes excitement. Originally it was the excess of Higgs decays to photon pairs as seen by the ATLAS experiment - but that anomaly has vanished with more data and more careful analyses. Then, it was the turn of the twin peaks: ATLAS again saw an inconsistent mass measurement with photon pairs and Z boson pairs.
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How Plants Respond To Elevated CO2 Levels

July 6, 2014 - 8:00pm

The dose makes the poison, it is often said, and it is true. Lots of medicines and chemicals are harmless or beneficial in reasonable quantities but dangerous in high quantities. What about CO2 in plants? Plants need it for food but they also recognize too much is a bad thing. 

Biologists have been studying a long-standing mystery concerning the way plants reduce the numbers of their breathing pores in response to rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

The authors report the discovery of a new genetic pathway in plants, made up of four genes from three different gene families that control the density of breathing pores—or "stomata"—in plant leaves in response to elevated CO2 levels.


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How Much Will The 2 Degree Climate Target Cost?

July 6, 2014 - 7:30pm

There are numerous ways to address carbon emissions but are we choosing the right approaches? America and Europe have invested heavily in subsidizing solar and wind generation and solar panels - but critics contend that the same money spent modernizing older buildings would have done far more than funding Chinese corporations or wealthy homeowners has.

Low-carbon energy won't cost  more than what is currently spent on today's fossil-dominated energy system, according to new research from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and partners.


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Altitude Adaptation Of Tibetans Might Be From Extinct Denisovans

July 6, 2014 - 7:00pm

Evolutionary adaptations have allowed Tibetans to have no trouble living at 13,000 feet, but how they became able to conquer the harsh environment of hypoxia has long been a mystery.


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Bold Advances Bring Risk - Even With Rapid Surgical Innovation

July 6, 2014 - 6:30pm

Medicine is advancing rapidly and it always has risks, but in early going the risks are going to be greater. A paper found that the risk of patient harm increased two-fold in 2006, the year when teaching hospitals nationwide embraced the pursuit of minimally invasive robotic surgery for prostate cancer.


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Southern Hemisphere Volcanic Forcing During The Past 2,000 Years And Impact On Climate Change

July 6, 2014 - 6:18pm

What is the impact of volcanic sulfate emissions on climate? Researchers have completed the most accurate and precise reconstruction to date of historic volcanic sulfate emissions in the Southern Hemisphere, derived from a large number of individual ice cores collected at various locations across Antarctica and is the first annually resolved record extending through the Common Era - the last 2,000 years of human history.

Reconstructions of the past are critical to creating accurate model simulations used to assess natural versus anthropogenic climate forcing. Such model simulations underpin environmental policy decisions including those aimed at regulating greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions to mitigate projected global warming. 


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Drink Your Nanojuice And Let's Shine A Laser In Your Gut

July 6, 2014 - 6:08pm

The small intestine is not easy to examine. X-rays, MRIs and ultrasound images provide snapshots but each suffers limitations.
 

The average human small intestine is roughly 23 feet long and 1 inch thick. Sandwiched between the stomach and large intestine, it is where much of the digestion and absorption of food takes place. It is also where symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, Crohn's disease and other gastrointestinal illnesses occur. To assess the organ, doctors typically require patients to drink a thick, chalky liquid called barium. Doctors then use X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasounds to assess the organ, but these techniques are limited with respect to safety, accessibility and lack of adequate contrast, respectively.


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Compact Laser Systems A Million Times Better

July 6, 2014 - 6:00pm

Lasers are ubiquitous but there are still wavelengths for which only large and expensive ones exist, or none at all. Remote sensing and medical applications call for compact laser systems, for example with wavelengths from the near infrared to the Terahertz region and now researchers at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen and the University of Texas Austin have developed a 400 nanometer thick nonlinear mirror that reflects frequency-doubled output using input light intensity as small as that of a laser pointer.


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Antidepressant Drugs Don't Improve Well-Being In Children And Adolescents

July 6, 2014 - 5:30pm
Recent meta-analyses of the efficacy of second-generation antidepressants for youth have concluded that they possess anadvantage over placebo in terms of clinician-rated depressive symptoms, but no meta-analysis has included measures of quality of life, global mental health, self-esteem, or autonomy. Prior meta-analyses also did not include self-reports of depressive symptoms.

A recent article published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics reviewed the literature to understand the effects of antidepressant drugs on well-being in children and adolescents.
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Toward Sustainable Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Aquaculture

July 6, 2014 - 4:40pm
Fish is good for you and has been growing in popularity. 

Atlantic Bluefin Tuna is a much sought after delicacy, though the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists it as endangered. So far, farming of this species in the Mediterranean area involves capturing medium-sized specimens and fattening these in farms, which still depletes the wild stocks - but a sustainable solution may be available.
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Dorset Archaeological Find Reveals Life Of Rural Elites In Late-Roman Britain

July 6, 2014 - 4:30pm
Skeletal remains uncovered near the site of a Roman villa in Dorset are likely the five skeletons of the owners and occupants of the villa – the first time in Britain that the graves of villa owners have been found in such close proximity to the villa itself.

The five skeletons were two adult males, two adult females and an elderly female – with researchers postulating that they could be the remains of three generations of the same family, who all owned the villa. The bones are thought to date from the mid-4th Century (around 350 AD).
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This Personality Type Is Mostly Likely To Get A Heart Attack

July 6, 2014 - 4:30pm
A new study addresses the relationship between personality and heart attacks.

Distressed (type D) personality (TDP), characterized by high negative affectivity and social inhibition, along with depression, anxiety and other negative affects (such as demoralization, hopelessness, pessimism and rumination) have been implicated as potential risk factors for coronary artery disease. While some evidence suggests that the negative affectivity dimension of Distressed (type D) personality overlaps at least partially with depression, other studies underline how ‘TDP refers to a chronic, more covert form of distress that is distinct from depression'.
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CDNA Microarray On A Chip For Rapid Detection Of Dengue Fever

July 6, 2014 - 3:26pm
Researchers at the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (Cinvestav) in Mexico have developed a cDNA microarray chip that allows detection of the RNA strand of the dengue fever virus.

The genetic information pinpoints the exact serotype of malaria that an infected person or mosquito is carrying  and allows analysis of the complementary strand of DNA (cDNA) obtained from the dengue fever virus being carried by the infected patient. The cDNA is covalently linked to a slide (substrate) that can be a glass or paper.
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Long-Term Effects Of Psychotherapy On Borderline Personality Disorder

July 6, 2014 - 3:03pm
A new study analyzed the long-term effects of psychotherapy on borderline personality disorder. Authors report the effect of  Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) versus treatment-as-usual (TAU) on inpatient service use, and a follow-up 6 months after the end of treatment.

Data on psychiatric hospitalization were collected by interviewing patients at two monthly intervals using the Client Service Receipt Inventory, which was then triangulated with data from electronic patient records. In the year prior to treatment, 24 patients had been hospitalized with the number of inpatient days ranging from 0 to 365 (mean 20.5, SD 63.1).
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Breakthrough Discovery In Living Cell Signaling

July 6, 2014 - 1:53am

A breakthrough discovery into how living cells process and respond to chemical information could help advance the development of treatments for a large number of cancers and resistant to therapy.

Researchers have unlocked the secret behind the activation of the Ras family of proteins, one of the most important components of cellular signaling networks in biology and major drivers of cancers that are among the most difficult to treat.


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It's Not Sex But Something Weird Happens Between Axinaea Flowers And Bird Pollinators

July 5, 2014 - 11:26pm

A small tree or shrub found in mountainous Central and South American rainforests has a most unusual relationship with the birds that pollinate its flowers, according to a new study - the plant known as Axinaea offers up its male reproductive organs as a tempting and nutritious food source for the birds.

As the birds seize those bulbous stamens with their beaks, they are blasted with pollen by the flowers' complex "bellows" organs. The birds then deliver that pollen to receptive female floral organs as they forage on.

Food bodies situated on male reproductive organs are otherwise only known from beetle-pollinated flowers. There is no other known example among plants of such a precise and anatomically distinct bellows organ.


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3,000 Light Years Away, Hope For A Habitable Planet

July 5, 2014 - 8:30pm

A newly discovered planet now named OGLE-2013-BLG-0341LBb
in a binary star system located 3,000 light-years from Earth is expanding astronomers' notions of where Earth-like—and even potentially habitable—planets can form. And how to find them.

At twice the mass of Earth, the planet orbits one of the stars in the binary system at almost exactly the same distance from which Earth orbits the sun. However, because the planet's host star is much dimmer than the sun, the planet is much colder than the Earth—a little colder, in fact, than Jupiter's icy moon Europa.


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Sunspots Might Be Fooling Us Into Seeing Distant Earth-like Planets

July 5, 2014 - 7:30pm

Astronomers search for exoplanets by measuring shifts in the pattern of a star's spectrum - the different wavelengths of radiation that it emits as light.

These "Doppler shifts" result from subtle changes in the star's velocity caused by the gravitational tugs of orbiting planets, but Doppler shifts of a star's absorption lines can also result from magnetic events like sunspots originating within the star itself -- giving false clues of a planet that does not actually exist.


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Groovy Giraffes - How Do Those Spindly Legs Support All That Weight?

July 5, 2014 - 6:30pm

Researchers at the Royal Veterinary College have identified a highly specialized ligament structure that is thought to prevent giraffes' legs from collapsing under the immense weight of these animals.

"Giraffes are heavy animals (around 1000 kg), but have unusually skinny limb bones for an animal of this size" explained lead investigator Christ Basu, a PhD student in the Structure&Motion Lab. "This means their leg bones are under high levels of mechanical stress."


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This Kind Of Long-distance Relationship Remains Stable

July 5, 2014 - 5:30pm

Sequences of DNA called enhancers, which control a gene's output, find their targets long before they are activated during embryonic development, according to scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, who write in Nature that the degree of complexity of enhancers' interactions in the 'simple' fruit fly Drosophila is comparable to what is seen in vertebrates.


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