Latest Science News -- ScienceDaily
16 May 2014

ScienceDailyLatest Science News

  • How some trypanosomes cause sleeping sickness while others don't
    Thu, 15 May 2014 17:35:03 EDT
    Trypanosome parasites transmitted by tsetse flies cause devastating diseases in humans and livestock. Different subspecies infect different hosts: Trypanosoma brucei brucei infects cattle but is non-infectious to humans, whereas T. b. gambiense and T. b. rhodesiense cause sleeping sickness in humans. A new study reveals how humans can fight off some trypanosomes but not others.
  • Caught in the act: Study probes evolution of California insect
    Thu, 15 May 2014 16:38:36 EDT
    A first-of-its-kind study this week suggests that the genomes of new species may evolve in a similar, repeatable fashion -- even in cases where populations are evolving in parallel at separate locations. Evolutionary biologists used a combination of ecological fieldwork and genomic assays to see how natural selection is playing out across the genome of a Southern California stick insect that is in the process of evolving into two unique species.
  • New algorithm shakes up cryptography
    Thu, 15 May 2014 16:37:39 EDT
    Researchers have solved one aspect of the discrete logarithm problem. This is considered to be one of the 'holy grails' of algorithmic number theory, on which the security of many cryptographic systems used today is based. They have devised a new algorithm that calls into question the security of one variant of this problem, which has been closely studied since 1976.
  • New data show how U.S. states are doing in science
    Thu, 15 May 2014 15:41:38 EDT
    The newly updated, online, interactive state data tool allows policymakers, educators and other users to discern trends in education, science and research in each of the 50 states. The tool features 59 state indicators of state performance in education, the scientific workforce, research and development (R&D) investments and activities, and high-tech business. It offers tables, charts and graphs, and permits users to view and customize data in multiple ways, such as making comparisons with other states, looking at 20 year trends, and translating financial information from current into constant dollars.
  • Emissions from forests influence very first stage of cloud formation
    Thu, 15 May 2014 15:41:36 EDT
    Clouds are the largest source of uncertainty in present climate models. Much of the uncertainty surrounding clouds' effect on climate stems from the complexity of cloud formation. New research sheds light on new particle formation -- the very first step of cloud formation. The findings closely match observations in the atmosphere and can help make climate prediction models more accurate.
  • Children of parents in technical jobs at higher risk for autism
    Thu, 15 May 2014 15:41:32 EDT
    Children of fathers who are in technical occupations are more likely to have an autism spectrum disorder, according to researchers. Fathers who worked in engineering were two times as likely to have a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Those who worked in finance were four times more likely and those who worked in health care occupations were six times more likely to have a child on the autism spectrum. There was no association with a mother's occupation.
  • Researching an endangered relationship: Bee species and their search for the flowering plants
    Thu, 15 May 2014 15:41:04 EDT
    The timing has been beautifully choreographed by nature. Rising spring temperatures prompt many bee species to begin their search for the flowering plants they depend on for food -- and which they propagate through pollination. But what would happen if this vital, mutually beneficial relationship goes out of synch due to climate change?
  • Going beyond the surface: New tech could take light-based cancer treatment deep inside the body
    Thu, 15 May 2014 14:28:41 EDT
    Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an effective treatment for easily accessible tumors such as oral and skin cancer. But the procedure, which uses lasers to activate special drugs called photosensitizing agents, isn't adept at fighting cancer deep inside the body. Thankfully, that's changing due to new technology that could bring PDT into areas of the body which were previously inaccessible. The new tech involves using near-infrared beams of light that, upon penetrating deep into the body, are converted into visible light that activates the drug and destroys the tumor.
  • Silly Putty material inspires better batteries: Silicon dioxide used to make lithium-ion batteries that last three times longer
    Thu, 15 May 2014 14:28:39 EDT
    Using a material found in Silly Putty and surgical tubing, a group of researchers have developed a new way to make lithium-ion batteries that will last three times longer between charges compared to the current industry standard.
  • Intersection of aging, chronic disease studied
    Thu, 15 May 2014 14:28:37 EDT
    A new collection of articles examine how the basic biology of aging drives chronic disease. Together, they highlight the value of the emerging field of geroscience, which uses an integrated approach to the study of diseases and disability associated with growing older. Geroscience seeks to bridge the divide between studies of aging and studies of chronic disease, with the hope of understanding their complex relationship and pointing the way to novel interventions for disease, frailty, and disability.
  • Definitive evidence of how zeolites grow: Tracking crystal growth in real time
    Thu, 15 May 2014 14:28:35 EDT
    Researchers have found the first definitive evidence of how silicalite-1 zeolites grow, showing that growth is a concerted process involving both the attachment of nanoparticles and the addition of molecules. Both processes appear to happen simultaneously, said the lead author.
  • Quantum simulator gives clues about magnetism
    Thu, 15 May 2014 14:28:12 EDT
    Researchers optically trapped a cloud of gas a billion times colder than air in a very low-pressure vacuum, and found a lower speed limit to diffusion. Assembling the puzzles of quantum materials is, in some ways, like dipping a wire hanger into a vat of soapy water, says one of the researchers. Long before mathematical equations could explain the shapes and angles in the soap foams, mathematicians conjectured that soap films naturally found the geometry that minimized surface area, thus solving the problem of minimal surfaces. They could be created simply by blowing soap bubbles.
  • First 'heavy mouse' leads to first lab-grown tissue mapped from atomic life
    Thu, 15 May 2014 14:28:06 EDT
    The molecular 'fingerprint' for tissue taken from the first isotope-enriched mouse has huge potential for scientific breakthroughs, as well as improved medical implants. Earliest research based on the data has already revealed that a molecule thought to exist for repairing DNA may also in fact trigger bone formation.
  • Oldest most complete, genetically intact human skeleton in New World
    Thu, 15 May 2014 14:27:56 EDT
    In a paper released today in the journal Science, an international team of researchers and cave divers present the results of an expedition that discovered a near-complete early American human skeleton with an intact cranium and preserved DNA. The remains were found surrounded by a variety of extinct animals more than 40 meters (130 feet) below sea level in Hoyo Negro, a deep pit within the Sac Actun cave system on Mexico's Yucatn Peninsula.
  • Giant telescope tackles orbit and size of exoplanet
    Thu, 15 May 2014 13:22:31 EDT
    Using one of the world's largest telescopes, astronomers have tracked the orbit of a planet at least four times the size of Jupiter. The scientists were able to identify the orbit of the exoplanet, Beta Pictoris b, which sits 63 light years from our solar system, by using the Gemini Planet Imager's (GPI) next-generation, high-contrast adaptive optics (AO) system. This approach is sometimes referred to as extreme AO.
  • Targeted funding can help address inequities in early child care programs
    Thu, 15 May 2014 13:22:18 EDT
    The quality of early child care and education programs is influenced both by funding and by the characteristics of the communities in which the programs operate, new research shows. The findings indicate that law- and policy-makers may need to consider the demographics of communities when making funding decisions about early childhood programs, said the main investigator.
  • Single episode of binge drinking can adversely affect health, according to new study
    Thu, 15 May 2014 13:22:12 EDT
    A single episode of binge drinking can have significant negative health effects resulting in bacteria leaking from the gut, leading to increased levels of endotoxins in the blood, clinical scientists have found. Greater gut permeability and increased endotoxin levels have been linked to many of the health issues related to chronic drinking, including alcoholic liver disease.
  • Mothers' symptoms of depression predict how they respond to child behavior
    Thu, 15 May 2014 13:22:08 EDT
    Depressive symptoms seem to focus mothers' responses on minimizing their own distress, which may come at the expense of focusing on the impact their responses have on their children, according to research. Depressive symptoms are common among mothers, and these symptoms are linked with worse developmental outcomes for children. The new study, which followed 319 mothers and their children over a two-year period, helps to explain why parenting competence seems to deteriorate as parents' symptoms of depression increase.
  • Added benefit of the fixed combination of dapagliflozin, metformin is not proven, study finds
    Thu, 15 May 2014 13:22:06 EDT
    As was the case in dapagliflozin monotherapy, a drug manufacturer also presented no suitable data for the therapeutic indication in its dossier on the fixed combination with metformin. Dapagliflozin is approved both alone and in combination with other blood-glucose lowering drugs, including insulin. The fixed combination with metformin is an option for patients who are already taking dapagliflozin and metformin as separate tablets or for patients or who do not benefit sufficiently from the commonly used drug metformin. It can also be used together with other blood-glucose lowering drugs, including insulin, if metformin and these drugs are insufficient.
  • Synthetic biology still in uncharted waters of public opinion
    Thu, 15 May 2014 12:33:35 EDT
    A new set of focus groups found continued low awareness of synthetic biology, as well as concerns about specific applications. The focus group discussions also reinforce earlier findings that specific applications impact people's hopes and anxieties around synthetic biology. For example, medical applications including disease cures gained the most support in the focus groups, while the biological production of chemicals and food additives received little to no support. Participants focused their concern on unforeseen, unintended consequences that might occur from synthetic biology.
  • Dramatic Improvements in nanogenerator power efficiency for wearable, implantable electronics
    Thu, 15 May 2014 12:33:31 EDT
    The energy efficiency of a new piezoelectric nanogenerator has increased by almost 40 times, one step closer toward the commercialization of flexible energy harvesters that can supply power infinitely to wearable, implantable electronic devices. Nanogenerators are innovative self-powered energy harvesters that convert kinetic energy created from vibrational and mechanical sources into electrical power, removing the need of external circuits or batteries for electronic devices. This innovation is vital in realizing sustainable energy generation in isolated, inaccessible, or indoor environments and even in the human body.
  • Richest marine reptile fossil bed along Africa's South Atlantic coast is dated at 71.5 mya
    Thu, 15 May 2014 12:33:09 EDT
    New research is the first to tie the stable carbon isotope record of Africa's South Atlantic coast to global records. This record clarifies the age of rocks at Bentiaba, Angola. The work provides a 71.5 million year age for the richest marine reptile fossil bed along the South Atlantic. The new record of time represents nearly 30 million years of Cretaceous fossils and environments in the ancient South Atlantic Ocean.
  • Cancer's potential on-off switch linked to epigenetics
    Thu, 15 May 2014 12:33:05 EDT
    An 'on and off' epigenetic switch could be a common mechanism behind the development of different types of cancer, a group of researchers has proposed. Epigenetics is the phenomena whereby genetically identical cells express their genes differently, resulting in different physical traits. The existence of this epigenetic switch is indirectly supported by the fact that tumors develop through different stages. When cells rapidly grow during cancer progression, they become stuck in their current stage of development and their cell characteristics do not change.
  • Genetic tracking identifies cancer stem cells in human patients
    Thu, 15 May 2014 12:33:03 EDT
    The gene mutations driving cancer have been tracked for the first time in patients back to a distinct set of cells at the root of cancer -- cancer stem cells. The international research team studied a group of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes -- a malignant blood condition which frequently develops into acute myeloid leukemia. The researchers say their findings offer conclusive evidence for the existence of cancer stem cells.
  • First test of pluripotent stem cell therapy in monkeys is successful
    Thu, 15 May 2014 12:32:56 EDT
    For the first time in an animal that is more closely related to humans, researchers have demonstrated that it is possible to make new bone from stem-cell-like induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) made from an individual animal's own skin cells. The study in monkeys also shows that there is some risk that those iPSCs could seed tumors, but that unfortunate outcome appears to be less likely than studies in immune-compromised mice would suggest.
  • How octopuses don't tie themselves in knots
    Thu, 15 May 2014 12:32:54 EDT
    An octopus's arms are covered in hundreds of suckers that will stick to just about anything, with one important exception. Those suckers generally won't grab onto the octopus itself; otherwise, the impressively flexible animals would quickly find themselves all tangled up. Researchers observed the behavior of amputated octopus arms, which remain very active for an hour after separation. Those observations showed that the arms never grabbed octopus skin, though they would grab a skinned octopus arm.
  • The brain: Key to a better computer
    Thu, 15 May 2014 12:32:13 EDT
    Your brain is incredibly well-suited to handling whatever comes along, plus it’s tough and operates on little energy. Those attributes -- dealing with real-world situations, resiliency and energy efficiency -- are precisely what might be possible with neuro-inspired computing. Neuro-inspired computing seeks to develop algorithms that would run on computers that function more like a brain than a conventional computer.
  • Combination therapy a potential strategy for treating Niemann Pick disease
    Thu, 15 May 2014 12:32:09 EDT
    A potential dual-pronged approach to treating Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) disease, a rare but devastating genetic disorder, has been identified by researchers. By studying nerve and liver cells grown from NPC patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), the scientists determined that although cholesterol does accumulate abnormally in the cells of NPC patients, a more significant problem may be defective autophagy -— a basic cellular function that degrades and recycles unneeded or faulty molecules, components, or organelles in a cell.
  • Mice with multiple sclerosis-like condition walk again after human stem cell treatment
    Thu, 15 May 2014 12:32:04 EDT
    Mice severely disabled by a condition similar to multiple sclerosis (MS) were able to walk less than two weeks following treatment with human neural stem cells. The finding uncovers potential new avenues for treating MS. When scientists transplanted human stem cells into MS mice, they predicted the cells would be rejected, much like rejection of an organ transplant. Expecting no benefit to the mice, they were surprised when the experiment yielded spectacular results.
  • Algorithm developed for anti-aging remedy search
    Thu, 15 May 2014 11:33:36 EDT
    An algorithm that can help in the search for aging-suppressing drugs has been developed by researchers whose work compares gene expression in young and elderly patients' cells. The scientists have based the new research on their previously-developed methods in the study of cancer cells. Each cell uses particular schemes of molecular interaction, which physiologists call intercellular signaling pathways.
  • Secret of radiation vulnerability revealed by research
    Thu, 15 May 2014 11:33:34 EDT
    The secret of radiation vulnerability has been revealed by a new study. The discovery can help both in predicting the consequences of irradiation and understanding the fundamental patterns of morphogenesis.
  • Getting chemo first may help in rectal cancer
    Thu, 15 May 2014 11:33:32 EDT
    If chemotherapy is offered before radiation and surgery in rectal cancer, more patients will be able to tolerate it and receive a full regimen of treatment, a new trial demonstrates. Studies have shown that only about 60 percent of rectal cancer patients comply with postoperative chemotherapy, but in this study, more than 90 percent of the patients were able to complete a full regimen.
  • Color of blood: Pigment helps stage symbiosis in squid
    Thu, 15 May 2014 11:32:18 EDT
    The relationship between the Hawaiian bobtail squid and the bacterium Vibrio fischeri is well chronicled, but a group of microbiologists adds a new wrinkle to the story: it seems that the blood pigment hemocyanin plays a dual role in helping the squid recruit and sustain the bacterium it uses to avoid predation. "In the early events of symbiosis, hemocyanin appears to have antimicrobial activity," says one co-author.
  • New imaging technology: Phase contrast x-ray
    Thu, 15 May 2014 10:38:34 EDT
    Phase contrast X-ray imaging has enabled researchers to perform mammographic imaging that allows greater precision in the assessment of breast cancer and its precursors. The technique could improve biopsy diagnostics and follow-up. One of the advantages of the phase contrast technique is its ability to provide images of high contrast. In the future, this technique can aid physicians to determine in a non-invasive way where premalignant and malignant breast lesions are most likely located.
  • Effects of alcohol in young binge drinkers predicts future alcoholism
    Thu, 15 May 2014 10:37:02 EDT
    Heavy social drinkers who report greater stimulation and reward from alcohol are more likely to develop alcohol use disorder over time, report researchers. The findings run counter to existing hypotheses that innate tolerance to alcohol drives alcoholism. "Heavy drinkers who felt alcohol's stimulant and pleasurable effects at the highest levels in their 20s were the ones with the riskiest drinking profiles in the future and most likely to go on and have alcohol problems in their 30s," the lead said, "In comparison, participants reporting fewer positive effects of alcohol were more likely to mature out of binge drinking as they aged."
  • Jupiter's Great Red Spot is smaller than ever seen before
    Thu, 15 May 2014 10:36:58 EDT
    Recent Hubble observations confirm that Jupiter's Great Red Spot, a swirling storm feature larger than Earth, has shrunken to the smallest size astronomers have ever measured. Jupiter's Great Red Spot is a churning anticyclonic storm.
  • Inheriting Mitochondria: Where does your father's go?
    Thu, 15 May 2014 09:56:37 EDT
    While it's common knowledge that all organisms inherit their mitochondria -- the cell's "power plants" -- from their mothers, it hasn't been clear what happens to all the father's mitochondria. Surprisingly, how -- and why -- paternal mitochondria are prevented from getting passed on to their offspring after fertilization is still shrouded in mystery; the only thing that's certain is that there must be a compelling reason, seeing as this phenomenon has been conserved throughout evolution. A crucial step in fertilization, and this issue, is now better understood, thanks to recent research.
  • Drought monitoring using space-based rainfall observations
    Thu, 15 May 2014 09:56:29 EDT
    Using modern weather satellites to monitor rainfall has become a robust, widely practiced technique. However, establishing a reliable context for relating space-based rainfall observations to current and historical ground-based rainfall data has been difficult. Now researchers are using space-based rainfall observations and comparing them to current and historical ground-based rainfall data to observe early warning of drought and famine to monitor rainfall in near real-time, at a high resolution, over most of the globe.
  • Computer specialists draw the map of the talk in social networks
    Thu, 15 May 2014 09:55:49 EDT
    Computer scientists have developed a web service that is able to search and retrieve data from social networks and position them on a map for further study and use. The geolocated analysis of social networks performed by this "Web 2.0 Broker Service” enables to visualize where people are talking about something, thus allowing, for example, that advertising agencies can track, measure and analyze the impact of advertising campaigns, or that agencies such as the European Forest Center detect in real time where and when people are talking about a forest fire.
  • This is your brain on meditation: Brain processes more thoughts, feelings during meditation, study shows
    Thu, 15 May 2014 09:55:45 EDT
    Meditation is more than just a way to calm our thoughts and lower stress levels: our brain processes more thoughts and feelings during meditation than when you are simply relaxing, a coalition of researchers has found. "The study indicates that nondirective meditation allows for more room to process memories and emotions than during concentrated meditation," says a co-author of the study.
  • Addressing 'mischievous responders' would increase validity of adolescent research
    Thu, 15 May 2014 09:51:56 EDT
    “Mischievous responders” play the game of intentionally providing inaccurate answers on anonymous surveys, a widespread problem that can mislead research findings. However, new data analysis procedures may help minimize the impact of these “jokester youths.” By providing misleading responses that the responders think are funny, these people, even in small numbers, can lead researchers to wildly incorrect conclusions. In turn, the conclusions can lead to ineffective policymaking and may perpetuate negative stereotypes about marginalized groups.
  • West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse is under way
    Thu, 15 May 2014 09:09:34 EDT
    Models using detailed topographic maps show that the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet has begun. Fast-moving Thwaites Glacier, which acts as a linchpin on the rest of the ice sheet, will likely disappear in a matter of centuries.
  • Invisible wireless networks brought to life as stunning 'spectres'
    Thu, 15 May 2014 09:09:10 EDT
    Invisible wireless networks are transformed into beautiful beams of color in a series of photographs. The images show the 'spectres' of wireless networks sweeping, swirling and swooping around a ghostly figure. They were produced as part of a project which aims to bring the invisible world around us to life.
  • HIV patient nutrition more vital than once assumed
    Thu, 15 May 2014 09:09:08 EDT
    Access to HIV medication has significantly reduced the number of AIDS related deaths in Africa. Yet in a number of African countries, one in four HIV infected still dies within the first few months of commencing treatment. One reason for these deaths is malnutrition which causes the HIV-virus to develop more aggressively. Now a team of researchers has shown that a dietary supplement given during the first months of HIV treatment significantly improves the general condition of patients.
  • Marine scientists create world’s first global jellyfish database
    Thu, 15 May 2014 09:09:06 EDT
    An international study has led to the creation of the world’s first global database of jellyfish records to map jellyfish populations in the oceans. The debate regarding future trends, and subsequent ecological, biogeochemical and societal impacts, of jellyfish and jellyfish blooms in a changing ocean is hampered by a lack of information about jellyfish biomass and distribution from which to compare. To address this knowledge gap, scientists used the Jellyfish Database Initiative, or JeDI, to map jellyfish biomass in the upper 200m of the world’s oceans and explore the underlying environmental causes driving the observed patterns of distribution.
  • Stability lost as supernovae explode
    Thu, 15 May 2014 09:08:13 EDT
    Exploding supernovae are a phenomenon that is still not fully understood. The trouble is that the state of nuclear matter in stars cannot be reproduced on Earth. Scientists have now developed a new model of supernovae represented as dynamical systems subject to a loss of stability, just before they explode. Because similar stability losses also occur in dynamical systems in nature, this model could be used to predict natural catastrophes before they happen.
  • Studying behavior using light to control neurons
    Thu, 15 May 2014 09:07:59 EDT
    Some of the neurons responsible for behavioral decisions in rats have been identified in a new study. Using a technique that employs light to control nerve cell activity, researchers inactivated a region of the brain and showed that it caused the rats to behave more flexibly while trying to get a reward. The technique, called optogenetics, allows researchers to “show that the firing or inhibition of certain neurons has a causative relationship with a given behavior, whereas previous methods only allowed us to correlate neuronal activity with behavior,” says one researcher.
  • High-speed solar winds increase lightning strikes on Earth
    Wed, 14 May 2014 20:57:58 EDT
    Scientists have discovered new evidence to suggest that lightning on Earth is triggered not only by cosmic rays from space, but also by energetic particles from the sun. Researchers found a link between increased thunderstorm activity on Earth and streams of high-energy particles accelerated by the solar wind, offering compelling evidence that particles from space help trigger lightning bolts.
  • Study may explain link between antibiotic use in infants, asthma
    Wed, 14 May 2014 20:57:12 EDT
    Children who receive antibiotics before their first birthday might be at an increased risk of developing asthma, new research has confirmed. However, the findings suggest that it is impaired viral immunity and genetic variants on a region of chromosome 17 that increase the risk of both antibiotic use in early life and later development of asthma rather than the antibiotics themselves, as previously thought.
  • A better way to treat ACE inhibitor angioedema in the ED
    Wed, 14 May 2014 18:28:16 EDT
    Emergency medicine and allergy experts have reported a safe and effective treatment for life-threatening angioedema attacks in the emergency department. In a triple blind, placebo-controlled phase-2 trial, researchers studied the drug Ecallantide for ACE inhibitor induced angioedema that failed to respond to the conventional therapy of corticosteroids and antihistamines. They found that patients treated with Ecallantide were more likely to meet discharge sooner and with few side effects.
  • Scientists investigate the role of the 'silent killer' inside deep-diving animals
    Wed, 14 May 2014 18:28:10 EDT
    Scientists have furthered science's understanding of carbon monoxide's natural characteristics and limitations by studying the gas in one of the world's best divers: the elephant seal. Colorless and odorless, carbon monoxide (CO) is now monitored in many homes with inexpensive detectors. In human bodies, CO is produced naturally as a byproduct of the breakdown of hemoglobin -- molecules responsible for transporting oxygen -- inside red blood cells. To their surprise, researchers discovered that carbon monoxide is bound to 10 percent of the hemoglobin in adult elephant seals, or 10 times the amount found in healthy humans, and roughly comparable to someone who smokes 40 cigarettes per day.
  • Novel blood test may help predict impending preterm birth
    Wed, 14 May 2014 18:27:13 EDT
    A blood-based diagnostic test accurately predicted whether 70 percent of female study participants with threatened preterm labor would or would not give birth prematurely.
  • Environmental conditions may impact bird migration
    Wed, 14 May 2014 18:27:11 EDT
    Wind conditions during spring migration may be a predictor of apparent annual survival and the timing of breeding in yellow warblers. Migratory birds play a critical role in the ecosystem, pollinating plants, dispersing seeds, and consuming insects and small mammals. Yellow warblers breed in western Canada and overwinter in Mexico, making them difficult to study during all stages of their annual cycle. Scientists found that of the climatic models tested, wind speeds on migration best predicted apparent annual adult survival, male arrival date at the breeding site, female egg laying, and annual productivity.
  • First diplodocid sauropod from South America found
    Wed, 14 May 2014 18:27:09 EDT
    The discovery of a new sauropod dinosaur species, Leinkupal laticauda, found in Argentina may be the first record of a diplodocid from South America and the youngest record of Diplodocidae in the world.
  • Study sheds light on penguins first year far from home
    Wed, 14 May 2014 18:27:07 EDT
    In the first study of its kind, scientists tracked penguins first year away from home and found young king penguins explored new habitat, eventually learning to find food similarly to their parents.
  • MAVEN solar wind ion analyzer will look at key player in Mars atmosphere loss
    Wed, 14 May 2014 16:54:22 EDT
    This past November, NASA launched the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission in the hope of understanding how and why the planet has been losing its atmosphere over billions of years.
  • Nanowire bridging transistors open way to next-generation electronics
    Wed, 14 May 2014 16:54:20 EDT
    Combining atoms of semiconductor materials into nanowires and structures on top of silicon surfaces shows promise for a new generation of fast, robust electronic and photonic devices. Scientists have recently demonstrated three-dimensional nanowire transistors using this approach that open exciting opportunities for integrating other semiconductors, such as gallium nitride, on silicon substrates.
  • Control methane now, greenhouse gas expert warns
    Wed, 14 May 2014 16:52:51 EDT
    As the shale gas boom continues, the atmosphere receives more methane, adding to Earth’s greenhouse gas problem. A greenhouse gas expert and ecology and environmental biology professor fears that we may not be many years away from an environmental tipping point – and disaster. “Society needs to wean itself from the addiction to fossil fuels as quickly as possible,” he said. “But to replace some fossil fuels – coal, oil – with another, like natural gas, will not suffice as an approach to take on global warming. Rather, we should embrace the technologies of the 21st century and convert our energy systems to ones that rely on wind, solar and water power.”
  • Beer foam secrets tapped in new study
    Wed, 14 May 2014 16:52:49 EDT
    It’s an unlikely beer-drinking toast: “Here’s to L-T-P-One!” Yet, the secret to optimal foam in the head of a freshly poured brew, according to food science research, is just the right amount and kind of barley lipid transfer protein No. 1, aka LTP1. “To some beer aficionados, the sign of a good head – the proper consistency, color, height, duration – is to draw a face with your finger in the foam, before taking the first sip,” the food scientist notes. “If the face is still there, when the glass is drained and the liquid is gone – that’s seriously good foam.”
  • Obesity associated with longer hospital stays, higher costs in total knee replacement patients
    Wed, 14 May 2014 15:33:05 EDT
    Obesity is associated with longer hospital stays and higher costs in total knee replacement patients, independent of whether or not the patient has an obesity-related disease or condition (comorbidity), according to a new study. More than half of TKR patients have a body mass index (BMI) within the obesity range (greater than 30 kg/m), which has been linked to a higher risk for related comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis; and in some studies, to higher medical costs and longer hospital stays.