الخميس، 13 أغسطس 2015

ScienceDaily: Top News

ScienceDaily: Top News


Price of Britain’s slave trade revealed

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 05:05 PM PDT

Letters and papers revealing in detail how human beings were priced for sale during the 18th century Transatlantic Slave Trade have been made available to researchers and the public.

Newly discovered brain network recognizes what's new, what's familiar

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 05:05 PM PDT

A novel learning and memory brain network has been discovered that processes incoming information based on whether it's something we've experienced previously or is deemed to be altogether new and unknown, helping us recognize, for instance, whether the face before us is that of a familiar friend or a complete stranger.

Predicting risk for deadly cardiac events

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 05:05 PM PDT

A marker commonly used to determine if a patient is having a heart attack can also be used to identify stable patients at high risk for deadly cardiac events, according to a new study.

Health care innovation isn't about smart phone apps, researchers say

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 05:05 PM PDT

Health care has much to learn from innovative high-tech companies, but not in the way most people think, according innovation experts. Innovation, they say, can most effectively achieve meaningful outcomes by testing many new ideas quickly, cheaply, and contextually.

Combining chemotherapy with an immune-blocking drug could stop cancer growing back

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 05:05 PM PDT

Giving patients a drug that blocks part of the immune system from going into overdrive might help prevent cancer coming back in some people, according to new research.

Fetal ECG during labor offers no advantage over conventional fetal heart rate monitoring

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 05:04 PM PDT

Fetal electrocardiogram ST segment analysis, or STAN, which is largely used in Europe to measure fetal heart activity, does not improve outcomes during labor and delivery or decrease cesarean deliveries compared with conventional fetal heart rate monitoring, a recent study found.

Gravel-camouflaged nests give threatened shorebirds a boost

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 01:59 PM PDT

When it comes to reproduction, not every individual equally pulls his or her weight. Researchers spent 13 years tracking the reproductive success of individual Snowy Plovers, and more than anything else they considered, the one factor that stood out was whether plovers nested on sandy beaches or gravel bars: gravel provided better camouflage, leading to more successful fledglings, in turn leading to higher lifetime reproductive success for birds that nested at gravel sites.

Protein-packed breakfast prevents body fat gain in overweight teens

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 01:59 PM PDT

Researchers compared the benefits of consuming a normal-protein breakfast to a high-protein breakfast and found the high-protein breakfast -- which contained 35 grams of protein -- prevented gains of body fat, reduced daily food intake and feelings of hunger, and stabilized glucose levels among overweight teens who would normally skip breakfast.

Searching the Internet inflates estimates of internal knowledge

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 01:59 PM PDT

Actively searching the Internet inflates our sense of the knowledge we actually possess because we fail to recognize the extent to which we rely on external sources for information.

Exercise may be associated with reduced disease activity in children with MS

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 01:59 PM PDT

Children with multiple sclerosis who exercise regularly may have a less active disease. For the study, 31 children with MS and 79 who had experienced a single inflammatory neurologic event were given questionnaires about tiredness, depression and how often they exercised. Of those, 60 were also given MRI brain scans to measure brain volume and the amount and type of MS lesions they had.

Making the 9-1-1 call for stroke differs by race, sex

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 01:59 PM PDT

During a stroke, slightly more than half of patients use emergency medical services to get to the hospital, with white women the most likely, and Hispanic men the least likely to use EMS transport. Calling 9-1-1 should be the first step after noticing stroke symptoms because immediate care saves lives.

Can stem cells cause and cure cancer?

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 12:12 PM PDT

Simply put, cancer is caused by mutations to genes within a cell that lead to abnormal cell growth. Finding out what causes that genetic mutation has been the holy grail of medical science for decades. Researchers believe they may have found one of the reasons why these genes mutate and it all has to do with how stem cells talk to each other.

Quantum computing advance locates neutral atoms

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 12:12 PM PDT

For any computer, being able to manipulate information is essential, but for quantum computing, singling out one data location without influencing any of the surrounding locations is difficult. Now physicists have a method for addressing individual neutral atoms without changing surrounding atoms.

Male elephant seals use 'voice recognition' to identify rivals

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 12:12 PM PDT

Male elephant seals compete fiercely for access to females during the breeding season, and their violent, bloody fights take a toll on both winners and losers. These battles are relatively rare, however, and a new study shows that the males avoid costly fights by learning the distinctive vocal calls of their rivals. When they recognize the call of another male, they know whether to attack or flee depending on the challenger's dominance status.

Cardiorespiratory fitness linked to thinner gray matter and better math skills in kids

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 12:12 PM PDT

A new study reveals that 9- and 10-year-old children who are aerobically fit tend to have significantly thinner gray matter and do better on math tests than their 'lower-fit' peers.

Computer scientists find mass extinctions can accelerate evolution

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 12:12 PM PDT

Computer scientists have found that robots evolve more quickly and efficiently after a virtual mass extinction modeled after real-life disasters such as the one that killed off the dinosaurs. Beyond implications for artificial intelligence, the research supports the idea that mass extinctions actually speed up evolution by unleashing new creativity in adaptations.

Octopus shows unique hunting, social and sexual behavior

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 12:12 PM PDT

When the larger Pacific striped octopus was first observed in the 1970s, its unusual social and mating behavior were so strange that no one would publish it. But researchers have now found it all true. It is a gregarious, not solitary octopus that even briefly cohabits with its mate. It breeds and lays eggs for months, rather than once. And it stalks prey with a unique tap on the shoulder.

Genetic analysis supports elevating Cape Parrot to new species

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 12:12 PM PDT

In support of previous research, the Cape Parrot should be elevated to the species level, scientists report. The Cape Parrot is currently considered a Poicephalus robustus sub-species, along with P. r. fuscicollis and P. r. suahelicus, but based on morphological, ecological, and behavioral assessments, this report suggests that the Cape Parrot should be a distinct species.

Microscopic rake doubles efficiency of low-cost solar cells

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 11:16 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a manufacturing technique that could double the electricity output of inexpensive solar cells by using a microscopic rake when applying light-harvesting polymers.

Researchers pioneer use of capsules to save materials, streamline chemical reactions

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 10:57 AM PDT

Wax capsule delivery systems can simplify a wide range of chemistry transformations, researchers have found. Some labs use what is known as a "glove box," an inert container that permits researchers to manipulate reagents in a controlled environment, isolated from the oxygen, carbon dioxide, and water in ambient air. But many laboratories in industry and academia don't have glove boxes because they're expensive to maintain, and take up precious space.

How lipids are flipped

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 10:56 AM PDT

A team of researchers has succeeded in determining the structure of a lipid flippase at high resolution, which has provided insight into how this membrane protein transports lipids by flipping.

PINK1 protein crucial for removing broken-down energy reactors

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 10:56 AM PDT

Cells are powered by tiny energy reactors called mitochondria. When damaged, they leak destructive molecules that can cause substantial harm and eventually kill brain cells. A protein called PINK1 that is implicated in Parkinson's disease is critical for helping cells get rid of dysfunctional mitochondria, scientists show.

Why statins should be viewed as a double-edged sword

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 10:44 AM PDT

Statins have significant cardiovascular benefits, but also serious side effects. A new study finds that statin use impairs stem cell function, which helps in slowing atherosclerosis but hinders other body processes. Because of these effects, the study supports weighing individual risk when considering statins as a preventive measure.

Curcumin and turmeric: Improving the therapeutic benefits by enhancing absorption and bioavailability

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 10:42 AM PDT

Few natural products have demonstrated the range of protective and therapeutic promise as have turmeric and its principal bioactive components, the curcuminoids.  Success in translating this potential into tangible benefits has been limited by inherently poor intestinal absorption, rapid metabolism, and limited systemic bioavailability. Seeking to overcome these limitations, food ingredient formulators have begun to employ a variety of approaches to enhance absorption and bioavailability.

Octopus genome reveals cephalopod secrets

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 10:42 AM PDT

Imagine a skeleton-less creature with three hearts, with most of its nearly half a billion neurons distributed in eight tentacular arms. Each arm can regenerate like the mythical Hydra and has a mind of its own. Its muscles stiffen into temporary elbows and shoulders. This creature has the eerie capability of perfect camouflage and decorates its lair with leftovers of its prey.

Protons and antiprotons appear to be true mirror images

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 10:42 AM PDT

In a stringent test of a fundamental property of the standard model of particle physics, known as CPT symmetry, researchers have made the most precise measurements so far of the charge-to-mass ratio of protons and their antimatter counterparts, antiprotons. The work was carried out using CERN's Antiproton Decelerator, a device that provides low-energy antiprotons for antimatter studies. 

Seller beware: International transactions require much more than a contract

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 10:19 AM PDT

A contract between countries spelling out in detail the terms of sale and delivery should eliminate the chance that the buyer would violate those terms. A new study, however, suggests that well-specified contracts are effective in reducing violations on the part of the buyer only if the buyer is a highly globalized or whose business environment is a low-risk one.

Rapid eye movements in sleep reset dream 'snapshots'

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 10:19 AM PDT

Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, the period in which we experience vivid dreams, was discovered by scientists in the 1950s. A new study based on rare neuronal data offers the first scientific evidence of the link between rapid eye movement, dream images, and accelerated brain activity.

Greenland ice sheet's winds driving tundra soil erosion, study finds

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 10:19 AM PDT

Strong winds blowing off the Greenland Ice Sheet are eroding soil and vegetation in the surrounding tundra, making it less productive for caribou and other grazing animals, carbon storage and nutrient cycling, a study finds.

Planning, improvization actually play well together in export markets

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 10:19 AM PDT

Exporting is a popular way to enter an international market. But just how are export decisions made? In a rapidly changing economic environment, can exporting companies rely on improvization? Or should they commit to carefully thought out and executed plans? According to a new study, companies need to do both, to plan as well as improvise, as there is no one "best way" for export managers to make decisions.

Want your company to remain innovative? Think twice before going public

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 10:19 AM PDT

New companies are often successful because they are innovative. In search of new capital, these companies often go public. But does going public affect a company's ability to remain creative and at the cutting edge -- the very qualities that allowed it be successful in the first place? A new study says yes. According to the study, when companies go public, they actually innovate more -- but their innovations are far more conservative and less groundbreaking than before.

Predicting the weather or the economy? How to make forecasts more trustworthy

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 10:19 AM PDT

Attention all you would-be forecasters out there. Do you want people to think you know the future? Then predict with a high degree of certainty that something will happen. According to a new study, people trust a forecaster more when s/he predicts that something is more likely to occur.

Paying off small debts first may get you in the black quicker

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 10:19 AM PDT

In debt and don't know what to do? Conventional economic wisdom says to pay off high-interest loans first. Yet according to a new study, paying off your smallest debts first can provide the motivation you need to successfully pay off even the most burdensome debts.

Neurons' broken machinery piles up in ALS

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 10:16 AM PDT

Researchers have learned how a mutation in the gene for superoxide dismutase 1, which causes ALS, leads cells to accumulate damaged materials. The study suggests a potential target for treating this familial form of ALS.

Breakthrough in 'marriage-broker' protein

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 10:16 AM PDT

A breakthrough has been made in understanding an important protein that appears to act as a kind of cellular 'marriage broker.' The protein called Netrin1 brings cells together and maintains their healthy relationships. Netrin1 plays an essential role in the growth of the human organism, directing cell migration and the formation of cell circuits both at the embryo stage and after birth.

Flexible, biodegradable device can generate power from touch

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 10:16 AM PDT

Long-standing concerns about portable electronics include the devices' short battery life and their contribution to e-waste. One group of scientists is now working on a way to address both of these seeming unrelated issues at the same time. They report the development of a biodegradable nanogenerator made with DNA that can harvest the energy from everyday motion and turn it into electrical power.

Older breast cancer patients less likely to benefit from chemo

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 10:16 AM PDT

Chemotherapy prolongs life for older adults with most types of cancer, but for women over the age of 80 with breast cancer, the chances of survival due to chemotherapy are significantly lower, according to a study.

A new CSI tool could pinpoint when fingerprints were left behind

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 10:15 AM PDT

The crime scene investigators on TV's popular CSI: Crime Scene Investigation series seem able to solve any mystery thanks to a little science and a lot of artistic license. But now there is a real-life technique that could outperform even fictional sleuths' crime-busting tools. Scientists report a way to tell how old fingerprints are. This could help investigators determine which sets are relevant and which ones were left long ago.

Better estimates of worldwide mercury pollution

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 10:14 AM PDT

A new analysis that provides more accurate estimates of sources of mercury emissions around the world has been conducted by an international team of researchers. New findings show Asia produces twice as much mercury emissions as previously thought.

Nicotine-eating bacteria could one day help smokers kick the habit

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 10:14 AM PDT

Most people who smoke cigarettes know it's bad for their health, but quitting is notoriously difficult. To make it easier, scientists are taking a brand-new approach. They are turning to bacteria that thrive on nicotine, the addictive component in tobacco. They report successful tests on a bacterial enzyme that breaks down nicotine and could potentially dull its effects in humans.

New life of old molecules: Calcium carbide

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 10:14 AM PDT

Chemical applications of calcium carbide have been the focus of recent research, advancing the idea of diverse acetylene chemistry on the basis of carbide technology. Using a proposed approach, cheap and available carbide raw material has been effectively transformed into valuable products that are in demand in material science and organic synthesis, researchers report.

Science-backed brain game eases distraction, anxiety

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 10:14 AM PDT

Researchers have created a surprisingly simple yet targeted brain game that reduces anxiety by helping people focus in an increasingly distracting world. There are a plethora of "brain-training" games on the market, a researcher noted, but they are highly controversial and offer no independent scientific proof they help sharpen focus, let alone reduce anxiety.

Toxoplasma parasite's greedy appetite may be its downfall

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 10:14 AM PDT

Researchers are a step closer to developing drug targets for Toxoplasmosis, after gaining insight into its unique feeding behavior. Toxoplasma gondii is estimated to chronically infect nearly one-third of the world's population, causing the condition Toxoplasmosis. It is most commonly associated with handling cat feces and is a particular threat to pregnant women and immune-compromised individuals, such as HIV/AIDS patients

New study ties tooth wear in fossils to diet, validating decades of research

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 08:05 AM PDT

A team of researchers has validated data and found a new model for paleontologists to use to track the diet of our ancient ancestors and animals by analyzing the wear on their teeth. Dental wear is among the top techniques scientists use to reconstruct and analyze dietary patterns of human ancestors and animals. Researchers recently questioned the validity of tooth-wear analysis, however, stating that environmental elements such as grit on food was likely responsible for wear. This challenge has led paleontologists to question decades of results. This study validates the use of tooth wear for understanding diet of fossil animals.

Are marine organisms evolving to protect their young in response to ocean acidification?

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 08:05 AM PDT

Marine organisms living in acidified waters exhibit a tendency to nurture their offspring to a greater extent than those in more regular conditions. Scientists have found that polychaete worms located around volcanic vents in the Mediterranean grow and develop their eggs within the protection of the family unit -- in contrast to closely-related species that release them into the water column to fend for themselves.

Researchers reveal mystery of how contractions in labor grow stronger

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 08:05 AM PDT

Scientists, for the first time, have identified a mechanism in the muscle cells of the uterus that could point to how contractions in childbirth grow stronger. The team looked for clues in studies on heart muscle, where a phenomenon called hypoxic preconditioning can elicit cellular changes that can protect it from more serious drops in oxygen, which can be life-saving.

Computers: Fireflies predict network loyalty

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 08:05 AM PDT

Online social networking generates vast quantities of data that might be useful to the service providers, advertising agencies, and even the users themselves. Researchers describe an approach to establishing new connections in a network using what they refer to as a 'firefly swarm approach'.

Higher risk of death from heart attack, stroke for people with spinal arthritis

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 07:44 AM PDT

People with a type of spinal arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis (AS) have a higher risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke than the general population, a new study concludes.

Adrenals run amok: Discovery could aid precision medicine for high blood pressure

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 07:43 AM PDT

Each of your kidneys wears a little yellow cap that helps keep blood pressure in check, and much more. But in some people, it starts running amok, pumping out a hormone that sends blood pressure sky-high. Why this happens is still a mystery. But new findings could help figure out what's going on.

New, rapid dementia screening tool rivals 'gold standard' clinical evaluations

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 07:43 AM PDT

Determining whether or not an individual has dementia and to what degree is a long and laborious process that can take an experienced professional such as a clinician about four to five hours to complete. A leading neuroscientist has developed a way for a layperson to do this in three to five minutes with results that are comparable to the "gold standard" dementia tests used by clinicians today.

Test may help decrease yearly pet vaccines

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 07:43 AM PDT

A test that measures an animal's immune response to the rabies virus has been modified by scientists, a change that will cost pet owners less money and may help reduce the number of yearly vaccines for pets.

Pancreas cancer spread from multiple types of wayward cells

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 07:43 AM PDT

Tumor cells associated with pancreatic cancer often behave like communities by working with each other to increase tumor spread and growth to different organs. Groups of these cancer cells are better than single cancer cells in driving tumor spread, researchers report.

Computers: Protecting your cloud

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 07:41 AM PDT

A powerful new computer security tool, called XDet, can detect malicious files being uploaded to a cloud computing service. The researchers have carried out successful tests on live data on a cloud server demonstrate the potential of XDet to detect the illicit extraction of information.

Scent matters to fur seals

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 07:40 AM PDT

Antarctic fur seals have unique 'scent profile' to recognize their pups, scientists have found. Until now researchers thought voice recognition was mostly important for finding their young, but now it is proven that scent also plays a crucial part.

Attosecond electron catapult

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 07:40 AM PDT

A team of physicists and chemists has studied the interaction of light with tiny glass particles. The relationship between strong laser pulses and glass nanoparticles is a special one -- one that could influence medical methods, as scientists have discovered.

Significant breath from streams, rivers

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 07:40 AM PDT

Running streams are key sources of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, but why is it so? An international team of researchers has now published the answer.

Adult IQ of very premature babies can be predicted by the age of two

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 07:40 AM PDT

The IQ of adults born very premature or of very low birth weight can be predicted when they are just a toddler, new research suggests. Previous studies have linked very premature birth and very low birth weight with impaired cognitive function from childhood and throughout adulthood. However until now it wasn't clear how soon adult IQ can be predicted in these children.

Atomic model of an immature retrovirus constructed

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 07:38 AM PDT

Retroviruses, such as HIV, are tricky to treat. They go through a multistage process to produce infectious particles. The viruses that are released from infected cells are initially in an immature state and are composed of an RNA genome surrounded by a coat of protein. Now an atomic model of the immature retrovirus RSV has been constructed by researchers in order to understand and block the virus.

Tell-tale biomarker detects early breast cancer

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 07:38 AM PDT

MRI can detect the earliest signs of breast cancer recurrence and fast-growing tumors, research shows. The approach of a new study detects micromestastases, breakaway tumor cells with the potential to develop into dangerous secondary breast cancer tumors elsewhere in the body. The approach may offer an improved way to detect early recurrence of breast cancer.

Color changing sand fleas flummox predatory birds

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 07:38 AM PDT

Sand fleas occupy the swash zone of sandy beaches where they are exposed to a range of visually-guided predators, including shorebirds and crabs. Now researchers have discovered that these fleas have a remarkable ability to change color in order to match dramatically different backgrounds.