الأربعاء، 2 سبتمبر 2015

ScienceDaily: Top News

ScienceDaily: Top News


Self-driving golf carts

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 05:48 PM PDT

An experiment conducted over six days at a large public garden in Singapore demonstrated self-driving golf carts that ferried 500 tourists around winding paths trafficked by pedestrians, bicyclists, and the occasional monitor lizard.

Completely paralyzed man voluntarily moves his legs, scientists report

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 05:48 PM PDT

A 39-year-old man who had had been completely paralyzed for four years was able to voluntarily control his leg muscles and take thousands of steps in a robotic device during five days of training with the aid of the robotic device combined with a novel noninvasive spinal stimulation pattern that does not require surgery, a team of scientists reports.

Economic security requires new measures of well-being

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 05:48 PM PDT

Economic well-being for low-income families in the US is often determined by federal measures that establish basic requirements for essentials such as food, shelter and clothing, but a new study suggests that such a definition is unrealistically narrow.

The more the merrier for animals that synchronize their behavior

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 05:48 PM PDT

Social interaction could be the mechanism that allows animals living in groups to synchronize their activities, whether it's huddling for warmth or offering protection from predators.

New international standards needed to manage ocean noise

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 05:48 PM PDT

As governments and industries expand their use of high-decibel seismic surveys to explore the ocean bottom for resources, experts from eight universities or organizations say new global standards and mitigation strategies are needed to minimize the amount of sound the surveys produce and reduce risks posed to vulnerable marine life, especially in formerly unexploited areas such as the Arctic Ocean and US Atlantic coast now targeted for exploration.

New technology transforms cell phone into high-powered microscope

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 03:59 PM PDT

New technology that transforms a cell phone into a powerful, mobile microscope could significantly improve malaria diagnoses and treatment in developing countries that often lack the resources to address the life-threatening disease, says a biomedical engineer who has created the tool.

Wrist device translates sign language

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 01:15 PM PDT

A smart device that translates sign language while being worn on the wrist could bridge the communications gap between the deaf and those who don't know sign language, says a biomedical engineering researcher who is developing the technology.

Ancient hybridization key to domestic dog's origin, wolf conservation efforts

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 01:12 PM PDT

The ancestry of man's best friend is more complicated than its furry coat and soulful eyes betray. Understanding the evolutionary history of the domesticated dog may help protect endangered wolves, according to a study that offers an overview examining the system used to classify dogs and related animals.

Study identifies potential genes associated with most common form of liver damage

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 01:12 PM PDT

In a first-of-its-kind exploratory study, researchers identified a potential gene associated with the initiation of the most common cause of liver damage. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common cause of liver damage. In this study, the scientists sequenced microRNAs from liver biopsies, spelling out their biochemical molecules to identify several potential gene targets associated with NAFLD-related liver damage.

Intense, widespread algal blooms reported in Chesapeake Bay

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 11:43 AM PDT

Water sampling and aerial photography show that the algal blooms currently coloring lower Chesapeake Bay are among the most intense and widespread of recent years.

Preterm birth linked with less wealth

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 11:08 AM PDT

A new study links being born premature with low wages. Researchers have identified a link between being born preterm and decreased intelligence, reading and in particular mathematical ability and have highlighted an effect on earnings into adulthood.

Oxygen oasis in Antarctic lake reflects Earth in distant past

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 11:07 AM PDT

At the bottom of a frigid Antarctic lake, a thin layer of green slime is generating a little oasis of oxygen, a team of researchers has found. It's the first modern replica discovered of conditions on Earth two and a half billion years ago, before oxygen became common in the atmosphere.

Studying the outliers: Researchers discover a gene variant that provides a delaying mechanism for Alzheimer's disease

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 11:07 AM PDT

Medical research has yet to discover an Alzheimer's treatment that effectively slows the disease's progression, but neuroscientists may have uncovered a mechanism by which onset can be delayed by as much as 10 years.

First imagery from echolocation reveals new signals for hunting bats

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 11:07 AM PDT

Scientists developed a new way to produce images from echolocation, uncovering a new set of cues available to bats and a new phenomenon of 'acoustic camouflage' available to prey.

Researchers help identify the neural basis of multitasking

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 11:07 AM PDT

By studying networks of activity in the brain's frontal cortex, researchers have shown that the degree to which these networks reconfigure themselves while switching from task to task predicts people's cognitive flexibility.

New treatment strategy identified for tumors associated with diabetes

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 11:02 AM PDT

If you have diabetes and cancer, here's some hope. In a new research report, scientists reveal a newly discovered tissue- and organ-specific mechanism that regulates blood vessel growth, and when inhibited reduced the growth of tumors in diabetic mice.

Climate change will irreversibly force key ocean bacteria into overdrive

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 11:02 AM PDT

The levels of ocean acidification predicted for the year 2100 have been shown to cause an irreversible evolutionary change to a bacteria foundational to the ocean's food web.

Vitamin A implicated in development of alcoholic liver disease

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 11:01 AM PDT

With a name like 'Alcoholic Liver Disease,' you may not think about vitamin A as being part of the problem. That's exactly what scientists have shown, however, in a new research report.

Police at risk of traffic injuries in stopped cars, as well as when speeding, study finds

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 11:01 AM PDT

Vehicle crashes are the largest cause of death among police in the United States, but what conditions contribute to the risk faced by officers? The first quantitative study of the issue finds a few surprises, including that police face an elevated risk of being injured in a collision when they are sitting in a stationary car, just as well as when they are responding to an emergency call with their siren blaring.

Forgiving others protects women from depression, but not men

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 10:51 AM PDT

Researchers studied how different facets of forgiveness affected aging adults' feelings of depression. The researchers found older women who forgave others were less likely to report depressive symptoms regardless of whether they felt unforgiven by others. Older men, however, reported the highest levels of depression when they both forgave others and felt unforgiven by others. The researchers say their results may help counselors of older adults develop gender-appropriate interventions since men and women process forgiveness differently.

Hysterectomy can be safely combined with cosmetic surgery for 'hanging abdomen'

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 10:51 AM PDT

For women undergoing hysterectomy, removal of 'hanging' abdominal fat and skin -- a cosmetic procedure called panniculectomy -- can be performed at the same surgery without increasing the risk of complications, reports a study.

Marine animal colony is a multi-jet swimming machine, scientists report

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 10:51 AM PDT

A colonial jellyfish-like species, Nanomia bijuga, employs a sophisticated, multi-jet propulsion system for swimming that is based on an elegant division of labor among young and old members of the colony, researchers report.

Another way urate may protect against Parkinson's disease

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 10:49 AM PDT

A study from members of the research team investigating whether increasing blood levels of the antioxidant urate can slow the progression of Parkinson's disease has found that the neuroprotective effects of urate extend beyond its own antioxidant properties. An NIH-funded phase 3 trial of a urate-elevating drug, led by the senior author of the current study, will begin enrolling patients next year.

Statin side effects linked to off-target reaction in muscle mitochondria

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 10:49 AM PDT

Statins are a popular and easy-to-swallow option for people looking to lower their cholesterol. But for a quarter of patients, statins come with muscle pain, stiffness, cramps, or weakness without any clear signs of muscle damage. These symptoms may affect daily activities so much that people stop using the drugs. Researchers show, in mice and humans, that statins yield an off-target reaction that disrupts muscle mitochondria function, possibly causing the side-effects.

Brazilian wasp venom kills cancer cells by opening them up

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 10:49 AM PDT

The social wasp Polybia paulista protects itself against predators by producing venom known to contain a powerful cancer-fighting ingredient. A new study reveals exactly how the venom's toxin -- called MP1 (Polybia-MP1) -- selectively kills cancer cells without harming normal cells. MP1 interacts with lipids that are abnormally distributed on the surface of cancer cells, creating gaping holes that allow molecules crucial for cell function to leak out.

Big differences in U.S. healthcare costs for fixing back pain

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 09:10 AM PDT

How much does spinal fusion surgery cost? The answer depends on what part of the country you live in, reports a study. The researchers analyzed 2012 Medicare data on the costs of two common types of spinal fusion surgery: anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) and posterior lumbar fusion (PLF). These two operations are widely performed in patients with patients with pain and/or instability in the upper (ACDF) and lower (PLF) spine.

Saving oysters by digging up their past

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 09:10 AM PDT

Restoring oyster reefs is not an easy task, but by digging deep and examining centuries-old reefs, marine restoration professionals may stand a better chance at bringing oysters back, suggests a new study.

Scientist solves 20-year-old cave diving mystery

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 09:10 AM PDT

Scientists have solved a decades-old geological mystery into what caused the death of a Florida cave diver.

Increase seen in bicycle-related injuries, hospital admissions in United States

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 09:10 AM PDT

Between 1998 and 2013, there was a large increase in bicycle-related injuries and hospital admissions of adults in the United States, with the increase in injuries driven by more injuries among adults older than 45 years of age, according to a study.

Medication improves measure of kidney disease in patients with diabetes

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 09:09 AM PDT

Among patients with diabetes and kidney disease, most receiving an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or an angiotensin receptor blocker, the addition of the medication finerenone compared with placebo resulted in improvement in albuminuria (the presence of excessive protein [chiefly albumin] in the urine), according to a study.

DNA division can slow to a halt

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 09:08 AM PDT

A key mystery of the DNA replication process has been unraveled by researchers, resolving a long-standing mystery that has clouded our understanding of DNA replication, and also has important implications for all domains of life.

Genetic cause of unknown disease uncovered

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 09:08 AM PDT

The genetic cause of a previously undescribed disease has been discovered by researchers. With this, they have solved an over ten year old medical conundrum. Using modern high-tech methods, followed by thorough clinical, biochemical and molecular biological investigations, the researchers found the causative mutation and characterized the disease which is given the name RCDP5.

Central sleep apnea device increases mortality in heart failure

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 08:52 AM PDT

Adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV) therapy increases mortality and should not be used to treat central sleep apnea in heart failure patients with reduced ejection fraction, the SERVE-HF trial shows.

Simply turn off a virus: Scientists develop new method for detailed investigation of functional RNA elements

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 08:48 AM PDT

A new method has been developed for studying the function of ribonucleic acid (RNA) that provides more detailed results, is more cost-effective, as well as easier to work with than previous methods. So-called functional RNA is important for almost all cells and cellular processes, for example, by binding proteins or performing catalytic processes.

Lupus: A disease with many faces

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 08:37 AM PDT

Lupus is an autoimmune disease with so many different symptoms that it is often difficult to diagnose and to treat. Despite huge medical advances over the last few years, lupus is incurable. Modern, individually tailored therapeutic approaches are aimed at helping sufferers.

Inntags: New tools for innocuous protein tagging

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 08:37 AM PDT

A new method for protein tagging has been revealed that preserves protein native functions and structure. The study proposes the use of two plant protein epitopes, named inntags, as the most innocuous and stable tagging tools in the study of physical and functional interactions of proteins.

Scientists reveal New Zealand's prehistoric wildlife sanctuaries

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 08:35 AM PDT

Prehistoric 'sanctuary' regions where New Zealand seabirds survived early human hunting have been documented by scientists. The researchers reconstructed the population histories for prehistoric New Zealand shags using DNA analysis and radiocarbon dating with computer modelling.

Suicide-by-firearm rates shift in two states after changes in state gun laws

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 08:35 AM PDT

A new study examining changes in gun policy in two states finds that handgun purchaser licensing requirements influence suicide rates. Researchers estimate that Connecticut's 1995 law requiring individuals to obtain a permit or license to purchase a handgun after passing a background check was associated with a 15.4 percent reduction in firearm suicide rates, while Missouri's repeal of its handgun purchaser licensing law in 2007 was associated with a 16.1 percent increase in firearm suicide rates.

Water heals a bioplastic

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 08:35 AM PDT

A drop of water self-heals a multiphase polymer derived from the genetic code of squid ring teeth, which may someday extend the life of medical implants, fiber-optic cables and other hard to repair in place objects, according to an international team of researchers.

Can marijuanna help transplant patients? New research says maybe

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 08:35 AM PDT

Here's another discovery to bolster the case for medical marijuana: new research in mice suggests that THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, may delay the rejection of incompatible organs.

Accuracy of dementia brain imaging must improve

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 08:35 AM PDT

MRI scans and other tools to detect and diagnose dementia are helpful but not definitive. A new report evaluates how well different types of brain imaging tests work to detect Alzheimer's and predict how the disease will progress.The results show that the accuracy of brain imaging must be improved before it can be rolled out on a scale that could be useful to healthcare providers and patients.

Heat and acid could squeeze trout out of southern Appalachian streams

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 08:35 AM PDT

A newly published research study that combines effects of warming temperatures from climate change with stream acidity projects average losses of around 10 percent of stream habitat for coldwater aquatic species for seven national forests in the southern Appalachians -- and up to a 20 percent loss of habitat in the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests in western North Carolina.

Helping toddlers understand emotion key to development

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 08:34 AM PDT

The simple parenting strategy of helping toddlers understand emotion may reduce behavioral problems later on, finds an American study. Toddlers with higher risk, specifically those with more behavioral problems and from the most disadvantaged families, benefited most from being taught about emotion by their mothers, the authors say.

How does an insecticide treated bed net actually work?

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 08:34 AM PDT

Scientists developed infrared video tracking technology that follows individual mosquitoes in flight as they try to reach a human sleeper inside a bed net.

Orangutan females prefer cheek-padded males

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 08:34 AM PDT

Unlike most mammals, mature male orangutans exhibit different facial characteristics: some develop large 'cheek pads' on their faces; other males do not. A team of researchers studied the difference in reproductive success between cheek-padded males and males without cheek pads. They found that those with cheek pads are significantly more successful in fathering offspring.

Timing of sleep just as important as quantity

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 08:34 AM PDT

The timing of an animal's sleep can be just as important as how much sleeps it gets, researchers have discovered.

Why do certain hormonal contraceptives increase the risk of HIV?

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 08:34 AM PDT

In recent years, evidence has been building that injectable contraceptive depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (Depo-Provera or DMPA) is associated with an increased risk of HIV infection. Now a study provides a biological explanation for the phenomenon.

Treatment with life-saving drugs increases but still suboptimal in ischemic heart disease

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 08:34 AM PDT

Treatment with life-saving medications has increased over the past 10 years in ischemic heart disease but levels are still suboptimal, according to the first results a new study. Statin prescriptions markedly increased from 48 percent to 67 percent before admission and reached 93 percent at discharge.

Parents' views on justice affect babies' moral development

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 07:05 AM PDT

Babies' neural responses to morally charged scenarios are influenced by their parents' attitudes toward justice, new research shows. The developmental neuroscientists found that strong individual differences in the perception of prosocial and antisocial behaviors are present in children as young as 12 to 24 months old--and that these differences are predicted by their parents' sensitivity to justice. Moreover, parental cognitive empathy is linked to babies' willingness to share.

Possible new weapon against PTSD

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 07:05 AM PDT

Animals who underwent chronic stress prior to a traumatic experience engaged a distinctive brain pathway that encodes traumatic memories more strongly than in unstressed animals, new research shows.

Meet pentecopterus, a giant sea scorpion; Predator from prehistoric seas

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 07:05 AM PDT

You don't name a sea creature after an ancient Greek warship unless it's built like a predator. That's certainly true of Pentecopterus, a giant sea scorpion with the features of a penteconter, one of the first Greek galley ships. Researchers say Pentecopterus lived 467 million years ago and could grow to nearly six feet. It is the oldest described eurypterid -- a group of aquatic arthropods that are ancestors of modern spiders and ticks.

Reading emotions in a second language

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 07:05 AM PDT

If we read about someone who is smiling and happy, without realizing it, we smile as well. If, however, the text is not in our mother tongue but in a second language, then our mind and body react in a blander manner. This effect may depend on the different way we learn our mother tongue and a second language.

Smaller cities in developing world often unprepared for disaster

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 07:03 AM PDT

While many planners focus on the threat of natural disasters to major metropolises around the world, a new study shows smaller cities are often even less equipped to handle such catastrophes.

Magnetic fields provide a new way to communicate wirelessly

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 07:03 AM PDT

Electrical engineers have demonstrated a new wireless communication technique that works by sending magnetic signals through the human body. The new technology could offer a lower power and more secure way to communicate information between wearable electronic devices, providing an improved alternative to existing wireless communication systems, researchers said.

Which blood thinner works better during stent placement? It's still a toss-up

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 07:03 AM PDT

A large, ambitious contrast of blood-thinning medications used during cardiac stent placement suggests that a very expensive drug offers no clear safety benefits over a much more affordable option, according to a researcher and cardiologist.

Distant planet's interior chemistry may differ from our own

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 07:03 AM PDT

As astronomers continue finding new rocky planets around distant stars, high-pressure physicists are considering what the interiors of those planets might be like and how their chemistry could differ from that found on Earth. New work demonstrates that different magnesium compounds could be abundant inside other planets as compared to Earth.

Redefining pediatric malnutrition to improve treatment

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 07:03 AM PDT

The new definition of pediatric malnutrition has been reviewed by experts, identifying populations where the new guidelines can be problematic in clinical practice. The review also describes the implementation of a malnutrition identification program within a large tertiary care children's hospital.

Butterfly wings help break status quo in gas sensing

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 07:03 AM PDT

The unique properties found in the stunning iridescent wings of a tropical blue butterfly could hold the key to developing new highly selective gas detection sensors.

Fossil specimen reveals a new species of ancient river dolphin

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 06:55 AM PDT

The careful examination of fossil fragments from Panama has led Smithsonian scientists and colleagues to the discovery of a new genus and species of river dolphin that has been long extinct. The team named it Isthminia panamensis. The specimen not only revealed a new species to science, but also shed new light onto the evolution of today's freshwater river dolphin species.

Full-time professional to full-time mother: A choice laden with cost

Posted: 01 Sep 2015 06:55 AM PDT

Women leaving work to raise children have to redefine who they are, a study finds. After exiting professional and managerial occupations, mothers are engaged in an ongoing mother/professional identity struggle, argue the researchers. The process through which the mothers' choice is constructed as 'right' does not occur before their exit from work but manifests itself afterwards and intensifies over time, the study reveals.