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WHO Suicide Report Shows We Must Stop Seeing Depression As A Disorder Of Developed World

September 4, 2014 - 2:10pm

By Barbara Sahakian, University of Cambridge and Muzaffer Kaser, University of Cambridge

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Triclosan In Utero May Disrupt Growth Of Boys, But BPA Doesn't

September 4, 2014 - 1:30pm

A team of epidemiologists have written a study indicating that exposure to certain phenols during pregnancy, especially parabens and triclosan, may disrupt growth of boys during fetal growth and the first years of life.

Triclosan is on store shelves and in almost every home. Bisphenol A (BPA), which has been increasingly removed from products due to environmental claims, showed no impact. 


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Dendrogrammatidae: New Deep Sea Mushroom-Shaped Organisms Discovered

September 4, 2014 - 1:00pm

Two new species of sea-dwelling, mushroom-shaped organisms have been discovered. 

Scientists classify organisms based on shared characteristics using a taxonomic rank, including kingdom, phylum, and species. In 1986, the authors of this study collected organisms at 400 and 1000 meters deep on the south-east Australian continental slope and only just recently isolated two types of mushroom-shaped organisms that they couldn't classify into an existing phylum.


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The EPA Is Too Pro-Pesticide, Say Environmentalists

September 4, 2014 - 12:30pm

A group of ecotoxicologists claim that the US Environmental Protection Agency's evaluations of pesticide safety are inadequate and lead to bias.


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Invasive Plants In Galapagos A Global Warning

September 4, 2014 - 12:00pm

Parts of the iconic Galapagos Islands have been overrun by invasive plants from other parts of the world, according to  results published in Neobiota which confirm that in the humid highland part of Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos National Park, nearly half of the canopy of the vegetation is comprised of non-native trees, shrubs and grasses.
 


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Falling Down: Without Enough Gravity, It's Hard For Astronauts To Tell Which Way Is Up

September 4, 2014 - 4:00am

Keeping upright in a low-gravity environment is not easy and nothing shows that more than by how often NASA has documented astronauts falling on the lunar surface.

A new paper suggests these moon mishaps might be common because its gravity isn't sufficient to provide astronauts with unambiguous information on which way is "up".


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Earth's New Address Is...A Tiny Part Of The Laniakea Galactic Supercluster

September 4, 2014 - 2:47am

You have a new galactic address; astronomers have determined that our own Milky Way galaxy is part of a newly identified enormous supercluster of galaxies - dubbed "Laniakea," which means "immense heaven" in Hawaiian.

This discovery broadens the boundaries of our galactic neighborhood and establishes previously unrecognized linkages among various galaxy clusters in the local Universe. How big are are talking? The Milky Way galaxy alone has 100 billion stars. We think. And then there are 1012 galaxies. So your address is now a lot bigger. Instead of being Earth, Sol, Orion arm, Milky Way, Local Group and Virgo cluster, you can now add Laniakea before Universe.


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SSRIs - Depression Drugs Linked To Dental Implant Failure

September 4, 2014 - 2:00am

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), the most widely used drugs for the treatment of depression, have been reported to reduce bone formation and increase the risk of bone fracture. Since osseointegration is influenced by bone metabolism, a new study investigated the association between SSRIs and the risk of failures in osseointegrated implants.

Within the limits of the study, the findings indicate that treatment with SSRIs is associated with an increased failure risk of osseointegrated implants.   


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Gateway Hypothesis: Nobel Laureate Says E-Cigarettes Promote Drug Addiction

September 4, 2014 - 1:49am

Eric R. Kandel, MD, who shared the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discoveries related to the molecular basis of memory, and Denise B. Kandel, PhD, professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, write in the New England Journal of Medicine that electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) may function as a "gateway drug"—a drug that lowers the threshold for addiction to other substances, such as marijuana and cocaine— as part of the 120th Shattuck lecture and presented to the Massachusetts Medical Society.


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Synapsids Push Evolutionary Origin Of Nocturnality In Mammals Back 100 Million Years

September 4, 2014 - 1:38am

Most living mammals are nocturnal and it has long been thought that the transition to nocturnality occurred at about the same time as mammals evolved, around 200 million years ago. That hypothesis was based on features such as the large brains of mammals (good for processing information from senses like hearing, touch, and smell) and the details of light-sensitive chemicals in the eyes of mammals.

It turns out that nocturnal activity might have a much older origin among ancient mammal relatives, called synapsids.


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Prosperity Leads To Language Extinction

September 3, 2014 - 4:01pm

Should languages be conserved? There are 5,000 languages in the world right now and clearly a lack of ability to communicate is a big factor in war. Some of the languages are spoken by very small populations in remote areas and many languages have disappeared over time because of trade and a desire to communicate with others.


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Studying The Silk Tunics And Relics Of St. Ambrose

September 3, 2014 - 3:32pm
Archaeologists and restorers, are preserving and studying 4th-century tunics ascribed to St. Ambrose. In the course of examining the valuable silk garments, they have made surprising scholarly discoveries regarding the development of early relic worship.

Born in Trier, Germany, Saint Ambrose began his career as a politician, becoming elected, in 374, the influential Bishop of the emperor’s residence of Milan. He enacted relic worship, and would become frequently quoted in the catechism. The Ambrosian chants are associated with him, and he is honored as a Doctor of the Church. Surprisingly though, the tunics at Sant’Ambrogio, which are associated with the saint and worshipped as relics, are little known.
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Estrogen And Cannabis - Today's Concentrated Pot Risky Business For Women

September 3, 2014 - 3:00pm

There are sex differences in the development of tolerance to THC, the key active ingredient in cannabis, according to a new paper. 

Psychology professor Rebecca Craft of Washington State University believes that estrogen levels are why female rats are at least 30 percent more sensitive than males to the pain-relieving qualities of THC and develop tolerance to THC more quickly. These sensitivities could increase vulnerability to negative side effects like anxiety, paranoia and addiction.


Many unknowns




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Organic Photovoltaic Technology May Be Solar Panels Of The Future

September 3, 2014 - 2:01pm
Conventional photovoltaic technology uses large, heavy, opaque, dark silicon panels while  organic photovoltaic technology enables more translucent and more flexible solar panels in a range of colors to be manufactured.

But even silicon solar panels are not viable yet so for something to replace those, it will have to have greater efficiency, longer duration and low production cost - or at least some combination of those. Legacy solar panels have not improved in decades and policy makers are jaded by claims of how much money this will save.
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Making Diseased Cells Synthesize Their Own Drug

September 3, 2014 - 1:00pm
In a new study, scientists have adapted a chemical approach to turn diseased cells into unique manufacturing sites for molecules that can treat a form of muscular dystrophy.

In general, small, low molecular weight compounds can pass the blood-brain barrier, while larger, higher weight compounds tend to be more potent. In the new study, however, small molecules became powerful inhibitors when they bound to targets in cells expressing an RNA defect, such as those found in myotonic dystrophy.
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The Graph Of The Week: No Dark Photons Found By ATLAS Lepton Jets Search

September 3, 2014 - 11:43am
Among the viable extensions of the standard model, an intriguing class of models involve the concept of a "hidden sector" of new particles only weakly coupled to the standard model one. These particles could be produced in the decay of heavy standard model particles, be invisible, but unstable, and thus soon decay back into standard model bodies, giving funny experimental signatures that our detectors could spot -if we looked for them carefully enough.
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Double Mastectomy Doesn't Bring Better Breast Cancer Survival Rates Over Lumpectomy

September 3, 2014 - 2:02am

For breast cancer patients, there are three common surgical interventions: bilateral mastectomy (the removal of both breasts), unilateral mastectomy (the removal of the affected breast), and lumpectomy (the selective removal of cancerous tissue within the breast) plus radiation. 


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Bariatric Surgery Is Booming - Is It Needed?

September 2, 2014 - 10:30pm

Obesity is big business and as a result, so are bariatric surgeries. They are a popular fail safe for people who believe they lack the mental resolve to eat less but is it really the most cost effective way to treat obesity now that health care is government controlled? 

Writing in both BMJ and JAMA, David Arterburn, MD, MPH, weighs the evidence on the benefits and risks of the various types of this surgery.

"It's critical that we find effective—and cost-effective—ways to treat severe obesity," said Dr. Arterburn, an associate investigator at Group Health Research Institute, a Group Health physician, and an affiliate associate professor of medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine.


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Tax And Spend Policies Could Make You Eat Healthier

September 2, 2014 - 10:30pm

Scholars from Tufts University, Harvard University and Boston Children's Hospital are calling for the implementation of taxes and subsidies to improve dietary quality in the United States.  


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