الأربعاء، 11 يناير 2017

ScienceDaily: Top News

ScienceDaily: Top News


New technology will cut plug-in hybrid fuel consumption by one third

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 04:46 PM PST

Engineers have taken inspiration from biological evolution and the energy savings garnered by birds flying in formation to improve the efficiency of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) by more than 30 percent.

Killing time: Study sheds light on phages and precision cell destruction

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 04:46 PM PST

Phage therapy, which exploits the ability of certain viruses to infect and replicate within bacteria, shows promise for treating antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. But designing such therapies depends on understanding how phages work. Phages can kill the cell immediately, or become dormant and kill it later, with a high level of precision in kill time.

Researchers identify monarch butterfly birthplaces to help conserve species

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 01:10 PM PST

Researchers have pinpointed the North American birthplaces of migratory monarch butterflies that overwinter in Mexico, vital information that will help conserve the dwindling species. The researchers analyzed 'chemical fingerprints' in the wings of butterflies collected as far back as the mid-1970s to learn where monarchs migrate within North America each autumn.

Next-generation optics offer the widest real-time views of vast regions of the sun

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 01:10 PM PST

A groundbreaking new optical device to correct images of the Sun distorted by multiple layers of atmospheric turbulence, is providing scientists with the most precisely detailed, real-time pictures to date of solar activity occurring across vast stretches of the star's surface.

Dual-purpose biofuel crops could extend production, increase profits

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 01:09 PM PST

Dual-purpose biofuel crops could extend production by two months, decreasing the cost of each gallon of fuel and increasing profits by as much as 30 percent.

Drug shown to aid injured adult brains may exacerbate cognitive problems in children

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 01:09 PM PST

The pediatric brain responds negatively to traumatic brain injury treatment that targets inflammation, new research suggests.

Computer models could help design physical therapy regimens

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 12:44 PM PST

Researchers have developed a computational walking model that could help guide patients to their best possible recovery after a stroke.

Researchers reveal connection between female estrogen cycle, addictive potential of cocaine

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 12:44 PM PST

A new study shows how high estrogen release during the estrus cycle increases the pleasure felt via the brain's reward pathway.

Microscopic spaces between heart cells may play role in sudden cardiac death

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 12:44 PM PST

Sudden cardiac death in patients with heart failure is a major concern in the United States. A research team will investigate how the microscopic spaces surrounding heart cells affect connections called gap junctions.

Plus-sized fly: A model to understand the mechanisms underlying human obesity

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 12:41 PM PST

A new fly model sheds light on how the brain acts to signal 'fullness' and the possibility of conferring resilience against the impact of high-fat diets.

Repeat cesarean deliveries less cost-effective in low-risk women, investigators find

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 12:41 PM PST

For women with a prior low transverse incision cesarean delivery, the decision to undergo a vaginal delivery or elect to have a repeat cesarean delivery has important clinical and economic ramifications.

Unique gene signature predicts potentially lethal prostate cancers

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 12:41 PM PST

Standard therapy for prostate cancer, the third-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in American men, is based on blocking androgens, the male sex hormones. However, for some men, prostate cancer recurs despite androgen-deprivation therapy. A team of scientists has identified an 11-gene signature unique to advanced recurrent prostate cancer that they believe will help to identify these aggressive and potentially fatal prostate cancers sooner.

Eastern Russian plant collection could improve cold hardiness in miscanthus

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 12:39 PM PST

Winters in eastern Russia are intensely cold, with air temperatures regularly reaching -30 degrees Fahrenheit in some locations. It is a seemingly inhospitable climate, but native plants have found ways to thrive there. A plant geneticist suspected one of these plants may hold the key to breeding cold-tolerant food and biomass crops. To find out, the modern-day botanical explorer set off across eastern Russia to collect specimens of the perennial grass Miscanthus sacchariflorus.

Hospitals are less likely to admit publicly insured children, but outcomes aren't affected

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 12:14 PM PST

Hospitals are less likely to admit children covered by public insurance such as Medicaid than privately insured children with similar symptoms, especially when hospitals beds are scarce. But the disparity doesn't appear to affect health outcomes, according to researchers.

Innovative imaging, surgery treats lymph condition in adults

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 12:14 PM PST

Researchers who developed a safe and effective procedure to remove thick clogs in children's airways are now reporting similar success in adult patients. In this rare condition, called plastic bronchitis, patients develop thick, caulk-like casts that form in the branching paths of their airways.

Wastewater treatment upgrades result in major reduction of intersex fish

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 12:14 PM PST

Upgrades to a wastewater treatment plant along Ontario's Grand River, led to a 70 per cent drop of fish that have both male and female characteristics within one year and a full recovery of the fish population within three years, according to researchers.

Postdoc jobs in biomedicine don't yield positive returns in the labor market

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 12:14 PM PST

Postdoc jobs don't yield a positive return in the labor market, research has concluded. Additionally, the investigators found that these positions likely cost graduates roughly three years' worth of salary in their first 15 years of their careers.

New molecular discovery may help identify drug therapies to prevent dementia

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 12:14 PM PST

Scientists have discovered a molecular pathway in the brain that may help provide answers to long-term memory problems in the elderly and aid researchers in identifying drug-based therapies to prevent dementia.

For viral predators of bacteria, sensitivity can be contagious

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 12:14 PM PST

Scientists have shown for the first time how bacteria with resistance to a viral predator can become susceptible to it after spending time in the company of other susceptible or 'sensitive' bacteria. This 'contagious' sensitivity, enabling bacteriophage invasion into previously resistant cells, could have a major impact on the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes among bacteria.

Pretty in pink: Some algae like it cold

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 12:13 PM PST

Scientific efforts are aimed at learning more about the effects of pink snow algae on glaciers and snowfields covering Pacific Northwest stratovolcanoes.

Play an instrument? You probably react faster, too

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 12:13 PM PST

Researchers find that musicians have faster reaction times than non-musicians -- and that could have implications for the elderly.

Gene mutations behind lack of a nose identified

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 12:13 PM PST

Researchers have identified gene mutations associated with a rare congenital condition involving the absence of a nose and often accompanied by defects involving the eye and reproductive systems. Mutations in the same gene have previously been associated with a form of muscular dystrophy.

Play, cognitive skills in kindergarten predict extracurricular activities in middle school

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 12:13 PM PST

Cognitive skills and experiences like classroom-based play in kindergarten lead to participation in extracurricular activities in 8th grade among children growing up in poverty, finds a new study.

Researchers discover new subtype of cervical cancer

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 12:13 PM PST

Scientists have identified a new subtype of cervical cancer that may explain why a fraction of cervical cancer patients do not respond to standard treatment.

What does it take for an AIDS virus to infect a person?

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 10:48 AM PST

Researchers examined the characteristics of HIV-1 strains that were successful in traversing the genital mucosa that forms a boundary to entry by viruses and bacteria. Studying viral isolates from the blood and genital secretions of eight chronically HIV-1 infected donors and their matched recipients, the researchers identified a sub-population of HIV-1 strains with biological properties that predispose them to establish new infections more efficiently.

Researchers find protein that weakens severe sepsis immune reaction

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 10:47 AM PST

No effective therapy exists today for sepsis, an inflammatory storm that afflicts about 3 million Americans a year, killing up to half. But now, investigators have identified a key molecule that, in mice, helps protect the body's central nervous system against the runaway inflammation.

Surf and Earth: How prawn shopping bags could save the planet

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 10:35 AM PST

Bioengineers are trialing how to use shrimp shells to make biodegradable shopping bags, as a 'green' alternative to oil-based plastic, and as a new food packaging material to extend product shelf life.

Daily folic acid supplementation remains important for prevention of birth defects

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 10:35 AM PST

Despite the mandatory addition of folic acid to enriched grain products in the United States, many women still do not consume adequate amounts of this important vitamin, according to a new editorial.

Summer heat for the winter

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:11 AM PST

Can thermal solar energy be stored until wintertime? Within a European research consortium, scientists have spent four years studying this question by pitting three different techniques against each other.

Portable device for early diabetes detection being developed

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:11 AM PST

Researchers are developing a portable device for detecting type 1 or type 2 diabetes at an early stage. The ultimate aim of the project is to develop a prototype of the device. 

Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:10 AM PST

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists have now analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host.

DNA-evidence needs statistical back-up

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:10 AM PST

How do forensic scientists deal with complex DNA-evidence found at crime scenes? A researcher has now developed new statistical models to analyze them.

'Housekeepers' of the brain renew themselves more quickly than first thought

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:10 AM PST

Cells in the brain responsible for detecting and fixing minor damage renew themselves more quickly than previously thought, new research has shown.

Suppressing a DNA-repairing protein in brain could be key to treating aggressive tumors

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:10 AM PST

Inhibiting a DNA-repairing protein in brain could be key to treating aggressive tumors, say researchers.

Stem cell therapy reverses blindness in animals with end-stage retinal degeneration

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:07 AM PST

A stem cell-based transplantation approach that restores vision in blind mice moves closer to being tested in patients with end-stage retinal degeneration, according to a study. The researchers showed that retinal tissue derived from mouse induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) established connections with neighboring cells and responded to light stimulation after transplantation into the host retina, restoring visual function in half of mice with end-stage retinal degeneration.

Glia, not neurons, are most affected by brain aging

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:07 AM PST

The difference between an old brain and a young brain isn't so much the number of neurons but the presence and function of supporting cells called glia. In a new article, researchers who examined postmortem brain samples from 480 individuals ranging in age from 16 to 106 found that the state of someone's glia is so consistent through the years that it can be used to predict someone's age.

Certain species of vaginal bacteria can increase a woman's susceptibility to HIV

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:07 AM PST

Specific bacteria living in the human vagina may play a previously unrecognized role in the sexual transmission of HIV. Researchers, working with young, healthy, South African women, found that individuals with vaginas dominated by pro-inflammatory bacterial species were at a 4-fold higher risk of acquiring HIV than those with 'healthy' vaginal bacteria. Meanwhile, viruses in the female genital tract showed no correlation with HIV risk.

Aggressive prostate cancer secrets revealed in landmark study

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:06 AM PST

A landmark study has revealed the reason why men with a family history of prostate cancer who also carry the BRCA2 gene fault have a more aggressive form of prostate cancer.

Warmer West Coast ocean conditions linked to increased risk of toxic shellfish

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:06 AM PST

Hazardous levels of domoic acid, a natural toxin that accumulates in shellfish, have been linked to warmer ocean conditions in waters off Oregon and Washington for the first time, report scientists.

New active filaments mimic biology to transport nano-cargo

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:06 AM PST

Inspired by micro-scale motions of nature, a group of researchers has developed a new design for transporting colloidal particles, tiny cargo suspended in substances such as fluids or gels, more rapidly than is currently possible by diffusion.

Rate of elevated systolic blood pressure increases globally, along with associated deaths

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:06 AM PST

An analysis that included 8.7 million participants finds that the rate of elevated systolic blood pressure (SBP) increased substantially globally between 1990 and 2015, and that in 2015 an estimated 3.5 billion adults had systolic blood pressure of at least 110 to 115 mm Hg, and 874 million adults had SBP of 140 mm Hg or higher, according to a study.

Zeroing in on the true nature of fluids within nanocapillaries

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:06 AM PST

Shrinking the investigation of objects to the nanometer scale often reveals new properties of matter that have no equivalent for their bulk analysis. This phenomenon is motivating studies of nanomaterials which can reveal fascinating new phenomena. It inspired researchers to explore the extent of knowledge about fundamental properties of fluids, which demands reconsideration with the increasing use of fluids in the decreasing sizes of new devices, where their flow is confined into ever-smaller capillary tubes.

Cultural differences may leave their mark on DNA

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:06 AM PST

Signatures of ethnicity in the genome appear to reflect an ethnic group's shared culture and environment, rather than their common genetic ancestry, report scientists. Epigenetic signatures distinguishing Mexican and Puerto Rican children in this study cannot be explained by genetic ancestry alone, the researchers say.

Nothing fishy about better nutrition for moms and babies

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:06 AM PST

Researchers have found a way to provide mothers and young children in Cambodia with better nutrition through an unlikely source -- fish sauce.

Byzantine skeleton yields 800-year-old genomes from a fatal infection

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:06 AM PST

New insight has been gained into the everyday hazards of life in the late Byzantine Empire, sometime around the early 13th century, as well as the evolution of Staphylococcus saprophyticus, a common bacterial pathogen.

Hubble's front row seat when galaxies collide

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:06 AM PST

IRAS 14348-1447 is actually a combination of two gas-rich spiral galaxies doomed by gravity to affect and tug at each other and slowly, destructively, merge into one.

Routine procalcitonin screening reduces hospital stays and costs for patients with sepsis

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:06 AM PST

A dangerous and often deadly condition, sepsis affects more than a million Americans every year and the cases continue to increase. A new study examines whether procalcitonin (PCT) testing helps to more effectively manage sepsis care. Investigators found that the use of PCT screening on the first day of ICU admission was linked to significantly shorter hospital stays, as well as an overall decrease in cost of care.

NASA study finds a connection between wildfires, drought

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:06 AM PST

For centuries drought has come and gone across northern sub-Saharan Africa. In recent years, water shortages have been most severe in the Sahel -- a band of semi-arid land situated just south of the Sahara Desert and stretching coast-to-coast across the continent, from Senegal and Mauritania in the west to Sudan and Eritrea in the east.

Older adults with obesity less responsive to memory training than those with lower BMIs

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:06 AM PST

In first study to compare results of cognitive training by BMI category, scientists found that memory training provided only one-third the benefit to older adults with obesity than benefit it provided to older adults without obesity.

Circulating fatty acids ratio may help predict bariatric weight loss surgery outcome

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:06 AM PST

New findings may one day help clinicians predict the outcome of roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery.

Compound from chicory reveals possible treatment strategy for neurodegenerative disorders

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:06 AM PST

In a new research report scientists used mice to show that chicoric acid, a component of chicory, may help reduce memory impairment associated with Alzheimer's disease, and possibly other neurodegenerative diseases.

'Dementia gene' may guard against decline associated with parasitic disease

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:05 AM PST

New research suggests that carriers of the Apolipoprotein E4 allele, which is the single strongest genetic predictor of Alzheimer's disease and is associated with cognitive decline and cardiovascular disease, may have a reduced risk of cognitive decline associated with parasitic diseases.

Researchers develop new compound to fight cytomegalovirus

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:05 AM PST

A Retro94-based compound may prevent a common and sometimes fatal virus -- human cytomegalovirus (CMV) -- from reproducing and help to protect immunocompromised patients, such as those with HIV, on chemotherapy, with transplants, and infants from the effects of the disease, according to researchers.

Risk of skin cancer doesn't deter most college students who tan indoors, study shows

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:05 AM PST

White female college students in Indiana who tan indoors know they are placing themselves at risk of skin cancer and premature skin aging, but most continue to tan indoors anyway, according to a study.

Protein build-up may trigger inflammation associated with Alzheimer's and other conditions

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:05 AM PST

A recent review article points to the 'trigger' for the inflammatory response, caused by the immune system, that precedes Alzheimer's disease and other neurological conditions.

What kind of selfie taker are you?

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 09:05 AM PST

Taking and posting pictures of yourself doesn't necessarily mean you're a narcissist, new research suggests. People also take selfies to engage in conversations and chronicle their lives.

Study reveals best states for lovers

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 07:33 AM PST

Is Virginia really for lovers? Other states may have something to say about that, finds a new American study.

New approach to managing warfarin patients improves care, cuts costs

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 07:33 AM PST

New performance measures have been developed for patients on warfarin that may save lives and money, report investigators.

Testing how species respond to climate change

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 07:33 AM PST

Predicting how species will respond to climate change is a critical part of efforts to prevent widespread climate-driven extinction, or to predict its consequences for ecosystems, say scientists.

Couch potatoes face same chance of dementia as those with genetic risk factors: Research

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 07:33 AM PST

Sedentary older adults with no genetic risk factors for dementia may be just as likely to develop the disease as those who are genetically predisposed, according to a major study which followed more than 1,600 Canadians over five years.