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Science current events and breaking science news on health, climate change, nanotechnology, the environment, stem cells, global warming, current cancer research, physics, biology, computer science, astronomy, endangered species and alternative energy.

New insight on why people with Down syndrome invariably develop Alzheimer's disease

A new study by researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute reveals the process that leads to changes in the brains of individuals with Down syndrome-the same changes that cause dementia in Alzheimer's patients.




Genetic causes underlying the disqualification of 2 elite American Standardbred pacers

A DNA mutation that can lead to horses being genetically male, but female in appearance, may explain at least two cases of controversial sexual identity, according to research led by professors from the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) and published in PLOS Genetics.

Global boom in hydropower expected this decade

An unprecedented boom in hydropower dam construction is underway, primarily in developing countries and emerging economies. While this is expected to double the global electricity production from hydropower, it could reduce the number of our last remaining large free-flowing rivers by about 20 percent and pose a serious threat to freshwater biodiversity.

Retaining forests where raptors nest can help to protect biodiversity

Predators influence decisions on conservation actions because they awake a remarkable interest in the society. However, favouring just predators in conservation can also mislead the scarce funding invested in nature conservation.

Nation's

Countries with higher levels of compassion and openness score better when it comes to environmental sustainability, says research from the University of Toronto.

Lucky Star Escapes Black Hole With Minor Damage

Astronomers have gotten the closest look yet at what happens when a black hole takes a bite out of a star-and the star lives to tell the tale.

TCGA study improves understanding of genetic drivers of thyroid cancer

A comprehensive analysis of the genomes of nearly 500 papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTC) - the most common form of thyroid cancer - has provided new insights into the roles of frequently mutated cancer genes and other genomic alterations that drive disease development.

62% of colorectal cancer patients report financial burden from treatment, study finds

Nearly two-thirds of patients treated for colorectal cancer reported some measure of financial burden due to their treatment, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Mother's gestational diabetes linked to daughters being overweight later

Women who developed gestational diabetes and were overweight before pregnancy were at a higher risk of having daughters who were obese later in childhood, according to new research published today in Diabetes Care.

Experimental breast cancer drug holds promise in combination therapy for Ewing sarcoma

Ewing sarcoma tumors disappeared and did not return in more than 70 percent of mice treated with combination therapy that included drugs from a family of experimental agents developed to fight breast cancer, reported St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists.

Thyroid cancer genome analysis finds markers of aggressive tumors

A new comprehensive analysis of thyroid cancer from The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network has identified markers of aggressive tumors, which could allow for better targeting of appropriate treatments to individual patients.

Top marine scientists call for action on 'invisible' fisheries

To protect our oceans from irreversible harm, governments, conservationists, and researchers around the world must address the enormous threat posed by unregulated and destructive fisheries, say top marine scientists.

UT Southwestern scientists discover new clues to how weight loss is regulated

A hormone seen as a popular target to develop weight-loss drugs works by directly targeting the brain and triggering previously unknown activity in the nervous system, UT Southwestern Medical Center obesity researchers have found.

Berkeley Lab study reveals molecular structure of water at gold electrodes

When a solid material is immersed in a liquid, the liquid immediately next to its surface differs from that of the bulk liquid at the molecular level.

Beetroot beneficial for athletes and heart failure patients, research finds

Football teams are claiming it improves their athletic performance, and according to new research from Kansas State University, it also benefits heart failure patients. The special ingredient: beetroot.

Time for change -- additional daylight saving could improve public health

Having later sunsets may lead to an increase in children's physical activity, according to research by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the University of Bristol.

Were clinical trial practices in East Germany questionable?

Clinical trials carried out in the former East Germany in the second half of the 20th century were not always with the full knowledge or understanding of participants with some questionable practices taking place, according to a paper published online in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

Mindfulness associated with better health

A new study that measured "dispositional mindfulness" along with seven indicators of cardiovascular health found that persons reporting higher degrees of awareness of their present feelings and experiences had better health.

Cancer exosome 'micro factories' aid in cancer progression

Exosomes, tiny, virus-sized particles released by cancer cells, can bioengineer micro-RNA (miRNA) molecules resulting in tumor growth.

Study finds significant increase in type 1 diabetes rates among non-Hispanic white youth

The rate of non-Hispanic white youth diagnosed with type 1 diabetes increased significantly from 2002 to 2009 in all but the youngest age group of children, according to a new study published today in the journal Diabetes.

Dartmouth Study Measures Breast Cancer Tumor Response to Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy

A Dartmouth study suggests that it may be possible to use Diffuse Optical Spectroscopic Tomographic imaging (DOST) to predict which patients will best respond to chemotherapy used to shrink breast cancer tumors before surgery.

Roman-Britons had less gum disease than modern Britons

The Roman-British population from c. 200-400 AD appears to have had far less gum disease than we have today, according to a study of skulls at the Natural History Museum led by a King's College London periodontist.

Treating ill health might not be enough to help homeless people get off the streets

Health care providers should recognize that any effective strategy to address homelessness needs to include both interventions to improve the health of homeless individuals as well as larger-scale policy changes, according to a paper published today.

New TSRI studies bring scientists closer to combating dangerous unstable proteins

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered a way to decrease deadly protein deposits in the heart, kidney and other organs associated with a group of human diseases called the systemic amyloid diseases.

Waste, an alternative source of energy to petroleum

The Department of Chemical Engineering of the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country has developed fundamental processes for producing raw materials and fuels using biomass and tyres.

Bristol team creates designer 'barrel' proteins

Proteins are long linear molecules that fold up to form well-defined 3D shapes. These 3D molecular architectures are essential for biological functions such as the elasticity of skin, the digestion of food, and the transport of oxygen in blood.

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Study predicts that current international commitments will not contain Ebola outbreak in Montserrado, Liberia

New modeling research, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, has found that the number of Ebola treatment center beds and other measures needed to control the epidemic in Montserrado County, Liberia substantially exceeds the total pledged by the international community to date.

Gene identified for immune system reset after infection

When pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella or Staphylococcus invade a host, the host organism should respond by going into a state of high alert, altering its metabolism to defend against the attack.

California's tobacco control efforts losing steam, finds UCSF report

California's position as a leader in tobacco control is under threat, according to a new report from the UC San Francisco Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.

Without swift influx of substantial aid, Ebola epidemic in Africa poised to explode

The Ebola virus disease epidemic already devastating swaths of West Africa will likely get far worse in the coming weeks and months unless international commitments are significantly and immediately increased, new research led by Yale researchers predicts.

TSRI chemists achieve new technique with profound implications for drug development

Breaking carbon-hydrogen (C-H) bonds to alter existing molecules to create new ones is an increasingly important avenue for drug development. Of particular interest is mirror-image or "one-handed" compounds, but C-H breaking methods for making pure batches of these molecules have worked with only a limited range of starting materials.

The Lancet: The hidden truth about the health of homeless people

As many as 4 million Europeans and 3.5 million Americans experience homelessness every year, and the numbers are rising. Homeless people 'are the sickest in our society,' but just treating ill health might not be enough to help get people off the streets, according to a new two-part series on homelessness in high-income countries, published in The Lancet.

Cornell chemists show ALS is a protein aggregation disease

Using a technique that illuminates subtle changes in individual proteins, chemistry researchers at Cornell University have uncovered new insight into the underlying causes of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

For brain hemorrhage, risk of death is lower at high-volume hospitals

For patients with a severe type of stroke called subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), treatment at a hospital that treats a high volume of SAH cases is associated with a lower risk of death, reports a study in the November issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Flu viruses disguised as waste

Viral infections always follow a similar course. The pathogen infiltrates the host cells and uses their replication and protein production machinery to multiply.

Birds roosting in large groups less likely to contract West Nile virus

Although it would seem logical that large numbers of roosting birds would attract more mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus and contract the disease when bitten, recent research at the University of Illinois found the opposite to be true.

Wayne State researcher finds key signaling pathway in cause of preeclampsia

A team of researchers led by a Wayne State University School of Medicine associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology has published findings that provide novel insight into the cause of preeclampsia, the leading cause of maternal and infant death worldwide, a discovery that could lead to the development of new therapeutic treatments.

Sunshine may slow weight gain and diabetes onset, study suggests

Exposure to moderate amounts of sunshine may slow the development of obesity and diabetes, a study suggests.

Flu at the zoo and other disasters: Experts help animal exhibitors prepare for the worst

Here are three disaster scenarios for zoo or aquarium managers: One, a wildfire lunges towards your facility, threatening your staff and hundreds of zoo animals.

Study: Many in US have poor nutrition, with the disabled doing worst

A new study finds that most U.S. adults fail to meet recommended daily levels of 10 key nutrients, and those with disabilities have even worse nutrition than average.

'Watch' cites concern about flexible reamer breakage during anatomic ACL reconstruction

JBJS Case Connector, an online case journal published by the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, has issued a "Watch" regarding concerns over flexible reamer breakage during anatomic single-bundle ACL reconstruction.

Paperwork consumes one-sixth of US physicians' time and erodes morale: Study

The average U.S. doctor spends 16.6 percent of his or her working hours on non-patient-related paperwork, time that might otherwise be spent caring for patients. And the more time doctors spend on such bureaucratic tasks, the unhappier they are about having chosen medicine as a career.

'Swingers' multiple drug use heightens risk of sexually transmitted diseases

These so called 'swingers' need to be offered more tailored interventions by sexual health services to help encourage safer sexual practices and prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

New microscope collects dynamic images of the molecules that animate life

Over the last decade, powerful new microscopes have dramatically sharpened biologists' focus on the molecules that animate and propel life.

Useful markers to predict response to chemotherapy in patients with liver cancer

A study led by the researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Research (IDIBELL), Isabel Fabregat, could serve to select patients with hepatocellular carcinoma unresponsive to most frequently used drug in liver cancer: sorafenib.

Shorter TB treatment not a successful alternative

A clinical drug trial conducted in five Sub-Sahara African countries shows that a shortened (four month) treatment for tuberculosis (TB) is well tolerated and may work well in subsets of TB patients, but overall could not be considered as an alternative to the current six month standard treatment.

Pre-enlistment mental disorders and suicidality among new US Army soldiers

Two new studies suggest that while individuals enrolling in the armed forces do not share the exact psychological profile as socio-demographically comparable civilians, they are more similar than previously thought.

Florida lizards evolve rapidly, within 15 years and 20 generations

Scientists working on islands in Florida have documented the rapid evolution of a native lizard species - in as little as 15 years - as a result of pressure from an invading lizard species, introduced from Cuba.

How ferns adapted to one of Earth's newest and most extreme environments

Ferns are believed to be 'old' plant species - some of them lived alongside the dinosaurs, over 200 million years ago. However, a group of Andean ferns evolved much more recently: their completely new form and structure (morphology) arose and diversified within the last 2 million years.

Precise and programmable biological circuits

A team led by ETH Professor Yaakov Benenson has developed several new components for biological circuits. These components are key building blocks for constructing precisely functioning and programmable bio-computers.

Babies' interest in human faces linked to callous and unemotional traits

Scientists at King's College London, the University of Manchester, and the University of Liverpool have found that an infant's preference for a person's face, rather than an object, is associated with lower levels of callous and unemotional behaviours in toddlerhood.

Reminiscing can help boost mental performance

To solve a mental puzzle, the brain's executive control network for externally focused, goal-oriented thinking must activate, while the network for internally directed thinking like daydreaming must be turned down to avoid interference - or so we thought.

Helping sweet cherries survive the long haul

A new study says that cherry producers need to understand new intricacies of the production-harvest-marketing continuum in order to successfully move sweet cherries from growers to end consumers.

Synthetic biology on ordinary paper, results off the page

New achievements in synthetic biology announced today by researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, which will allow complex cellular recognition reactions to proceed outside of living cells, will dare scientists to dream big: there could one day be inexpensive, shippable and accurate test kits that use saliva or a drop of blood to identify specific disease or infection - a feat that could be accomplished anywhere in the world, within minutes and without laboratory support, just by using a pocket-sized paper diagnostic tool.

Scientists uncover how protein ensures reproductive success

An international team of researchers from Japan and the UK has discovered how a single protein, called PP4, oversees the processing of DNA during sperm and egg generation for successful fertilization.

YEATS protein potential therapeutic target for cancer

Federal Express® and UPS® are no match for the human body when it comes to distribution. There exists in cancer biology an impressive packaging and delivery system that influences whether your body will develop cancer or not.

New, faster therapeutic hypothermia techniques

Rapid lowering of body temperature following an acute myocardial infarction (MI) can be an effective therapeutic strategy to minimize damage to the heart muscle caused by the loss and restoration of blood flow to the heart.

Study: Some online shoppers pay more than others

Internet users regularly receive all kinds of personalized content, from Google search results to product recommendations on Amazon.

Medical costs for stroke survivors stay high 10 years on

New data shows that healthcare and personal costs to support survivors of stroke remains high 10 years on.

People who develop kidney stones may face increased bone fracture risk

People who develop kidney stones may be at increased risk of experiencing bone fractures, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN). The findings suggest that preventive efforts may be needed to help protect stone formers' bone health.

Progression of age-related macular degeneration in one eye then fellow eye

Having age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in one eye was associated with an increased incidence of AMD and accelerated progression of the debilitating disease in the other eye, writes author Ronald E. Gangnon, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, and colleagues.

Highest altitude archaeological sites in the world explored in the Peruvian Andes

Research conducted at the highest-altitude Pleistocene archaeological sites yet identified in the world sheds new light on the capacity of humans to survive in extreme environments.

Bodies at sea - ocean oxygen levels may impact scavenger response

An ocean's oxygen levels may play a role in the impact of marine predators on bodies when they are immersed in the sea, according to Simon Fraser University researchers in a new study published this week in the journal PLoS One.

Screening questions fail to identify teens at risk for hearing loss

Subjective screening questions do not reliably identify teenagers who are at risk for hearing loss, according to researchers at Penn State College of Medicine. The results suggest that objective hearing tests should be refined for this age group to replace screening questions.

Receiving gossip about others promotes self-reflection and growth

Gossip is pervasive in our society, and our penchant for gossip can be found in most of our everyday conversations. Why are individuals interested in hearing gossip about others' achievements and failures?

Bradley Hospital finds sleep difficulties common among toddlers with psychiatric disorders

John Boekamp, Ph.D., clinical director of the Pediatric Partial Hospital Program (PPHP) at Bradley Hospital recently led a study that found sleep difficulties - particularly problems with falling asleep - were very common among toddlers and preschool-aged children who were receiving clinical treatment for a wide range of psychiatric disorders.

Three-dimensional metamaterials with a natural bent

Metamaterials, a hot area of research today, are artificial materials engineered with resonant elements to display properties that are not found in natural materials.

Desert Streams: Deceptively Simple

Volatile rainstorms drive complex landscape changes in deserts, particularly in dryland channels, which are shaped by flash flooding. Paradoxically, such desert streams have surprisingly simple topography with smooth, straight and symmetrical form that until now has defied explanation.

Herbal Medicines Could Contain Dangerous Levels of Toxic Mould

Herbal medicines such as licorice, Indian rennet and opium poppy, are at risk of contamination with toxic mould, according to a new study published in Fungal Biology.

An over-the-scope clipping device for endoscopic management of gastrointestinal defects is safe and effective

An international multicenter study reports that over-the-scope clip (OTSC) placement is a safe and effective therapy for the closure of gastrointestinal (GI) defects, which includes anastomotic leaks, fistulae and perforations.

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