How the hummingbird achieves its aerobatic feats [Fri, 21 Nov 2014 19:21:52 EST]
Although hummingbirds are much larger and stir up the air more violently as they move, the way that they fly is more closely related to flying insects than it is to other birds. Now, the most detailed, three-dimensional aerodynamic simulation of hummingbird flight conducted to date has definitively demonstrated that the hummingbird achieves its nimble aerobatic abilities through a unique set of aerodynamic forces that are more closely aligned to those found in flying insects than to other birds.
Researchers have provided insight into human behavior for scientists, engineers who design and build social robots.
Rejecting unsuitable romantic partners is easy in hypothetical situations, but not so when considering a face-to-face proposition, a new study shows. “When actually faced with a potential date, we don't like to reject a person and make them feel bad, which is not necessarily something that people anticipate when they imagine making these choices,” says the study’s lead researcher.
New terahertz device could strengthen security [Fri, 21 Nov 2014 14:12:32 EST]
We are all familiar with the security hassles that accompany air travel. Now a new type of security detection that uses terahertz radiation is looking to prove its promise. Researchers have developed a room temperature, compact, tunable terahertz source that could lead to advances in homeland security and space exploration. Able to detect explosives, chemical agents and dangerous biological substances from safe distances, devices using terahertz waves could make public spaces more secure than ever.
An intervention that uses music and games to help preschoolers learn self-regulation skills is helping prepare at-risk children for kindergarten, a new study shows. Self-regulation skills -- the skills that help children pay attention, follow directions, stay on task and persist through difficulty -- are critical to a child's success in kindergarten and beyond, said a co-author of the new study.
New research raises concern about potential long-term harmful impact of 'antiretroviral therapy' on in-utero infants whose mothers are HIV-positive, but who are not infected with HIV themselves. The study shows that while the HIV medications have been successful in helping to prevent the transmission of the virus from mother to infant, they are associated with persistently impaired development of heart muscle and reduced heart performance in non-HIV-infected children whose mothers received the medicines years earlier.
Physicians from 60 sites treated 161 heart attack patients with their own bone marrow cells, selected for their healing potential and then reinjected into the heart, in an effort to improve the heart's recovery. Their conclusion? Patients who receive more cells get significant benefits.
Digoxin, a drug commonly used to treat heart conditions, was associated with a 71 percent higher risk of death and a 63 percent higher risk of hospitalization among adults with diagnosed atrial fibrillation and no evidence of heart failure, according to a study.
'Mind the gap' between atomically thin materials [Fri, 21 Nov 2014 14:11:17 EST]
For the first time, researchers have grown a single atomic layer of tungsten diselenide on a one- atom-thick substrate of graphene with pristine interfaces between the two layers using an industrially scalable technique.
In the first-ever GPS-based study of leopards in India, biologists have delved into the secret lives of these big cats, and recorded their strategies to thrive in human-dominated areas.
Helping trains take the strain [Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:11:43 EST]
The introduction of smartcard ticketing for Singapore’s public transport system has enabled researchers to provide valuable predictive data on potential train overloading. This will enable system planners to address critical bottlenecks as the system stretches to accommodate an expanding population.
A green transformation for pharmaceuticals [Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:11:41 EST]
A more sustainable approach to a bond-forming reaction extensively used in the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries has now been developed. The team used the solvent-free, catalytic reaction to produce high yields of a wide range of amides, including the antidepressant moclobemide and other drug-like molecules.
Researchers have developed a hybrid metal-polymer nanoparticle that lights up in the acidic environment surrounding tumor cells. Nonspecific probes that can identify any kind of tumor are extremely useful for monitoring the location and spread of cancer and the effects of treatment, as well as aiding initial diagnosis.
Marker polyps do not cause cancer, experts say [Fri, 21 Nov 2014 11:18:47 EST]
Although serrated polyps usually are associated with colorectal cancer, it turns out that such polyps are themselves not dangerous, according to a study.
Energy storage devices and computer screens may seem worlds apart, but they’re not. When an electrical engineering professor teamed up with and computer scientists to make a less expensive supercapacitor for storing renewable energy, they developed a new plasma technology that will streamline the production of display screens.
Nail stem cells prove more versatile than press-ons [Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:29:22 EST]
There are plenty of body parts that don't grow back when you lose them. Nails are an exception, and a new study reveals some of the reasons why. A team of researchers has identified a new population of nail stem cells, which have the ability to either self-renew or undergo specialization or differentiation into multiple tissues.
A natural resistance gene against spruce budworm in the white spruce has been discovered. The breakthrough paves the way to identifying and selecting naturally resistant trees to replant forests devastated by the destructive pest.
Researchers raised soil temperatures in high tunnels in southern Arizona to determine the efficacy of soil solarization using clear mulch on the soil surface and with tunnel glazing or with no glazing. Outcomes showed that producers using high tunnels in the region can complete solarization in less than a week during summer when the soil is fallow using glazing on the high tunnel and polyethylene mulch on the soil surface.
A study assessed growth performance of tomato seedlings treated with vermicompost-leachate (VCL), an organic liquid produced from earthworm-digested material. Seedlings were subjected to various temperature and watering regimes. Results showed that VCL can be a suitable soil amendment product to improve overall soil fertility and growth of tomato plants, even under temperature and water stress conditions.
Trouble with your boss? Own it [Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:28:27 EST]
Don't get along with your boss? Your job performance may actually improve if the two of you can come to grips with the poor relationship. "Seeing eye-to-eye about the employee-supervisor relationship is equally, if not more important than the actual quality of the relationship," said the lead investigator on the study.
Update on new treatments for liver diseases [Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:28:25 EST]
Cirrhosis and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease are two serious liver conditions with limited pharmacological treatments. The December issues of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Gastroenterology highlights important updates into treatments for these two debilitating diseases.
As in the first dossier assessment of canagliflozin, the drug manufacturer provided no suitable data for the fixed combination with metformin either. Therefore, no added benefit of canagliflozin plus metformin has been demonstrated for type 2 diabetes care.
Banks are increasingly issuing 'CoCo' bonds to boost the levels of equity they hold. In a crisis situation, bondholders are forced to convert these bonds into a bank's equity. To date, such bonds have been regarded only as a means of averting a crisis. A study by German economists now shows that if such bonds are badly constructed, they worsen a crisis instead of stabilizing the banking system.
A new robot for inspecting ballast water tanks on board ships is being developed. The robot is able to move independently along rails built into the tanks. At the moment, people still carry out such inspections, with ships being brought into dry dock for the purpose.
Powered lower limb prosthetics hold promise for improving the mobility of amputees, but errors in the technology may also cause some users to stumble or fall. New research examines what happens when these technologies fail, with the goal of developing more robust powered prostheses.
New model of follow up for breast cancer patients [Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:25:55 EST]
Public health researchers from Australia have evaluated international breast cancer guidelines, finding that there is potential to improve surveillance of breast cancer survivors from both a patient and health system perspective.
Life's extremists, a family of microbes called Archaea, may be an untapped source of new antibacterial drugs. That conclusion arises from the discovery of the first antibacterial gene in this ancient lineage.
Researchers are trying to help patients who have suffered a stroke to improve arm movement by stimulating the brain using a device called a Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator (TMS). The idea is that when one side of the brain is damaged by a stroke, the healthy side tends to generate much more activity to compensate, but that may actually prevent the injured side from recovering, explains the principal investigator.
A cohesin molecule ensures the proper distribution of DNA during cell division. Scientists can now demonstrate the concept of its carabiner-like function by visualizing for the first time the open form of the complex.
Possibilities for personalized vaccines [Fri, 21 Nov 2014 08:59:42 EST]
Medical researchers are considering the possibilities for personalized vaccines in all types of cancer. The first vaccine will be prepared from a warehouse of 72 targets previously identified by the researchers as relevant for treatment in glioblastoma.
For the first time, researchers have transplanted bone marrow stem cells into damaged brain tissue while applying lipoic acid (a potent antioxidant), with the aim of improving neuroregeneration in the tissue. This new way of repairing brain damage, which combines cellular treatment with drug therapy, has shown positive results, especially in forming blood vessels (a process called angiogenesis) in damaged areas of the brains of adult laboratory mice.
Erosion may trigger earthquakes [Fri, 21 Nov 2014 08:29:11 EST]
Researchers have shown that surface processes, i.e. erosion and sedimentation, may trigger shallow earthquakes (less than five kilometers deep) and favor the rupture of large deep earthquakes up to the surface. Although plate tectonics was generally thought to be the only persistent mechanism able to influence fault activity, it appears that surface processes also increase stresses on active faults, such as those in Taiwan, one of the world's most seismic regions.
Survivors of stroke or other neurological conditions such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and Parkinson’s disease often struggle with mobility. To regain their motor functions, these patients are required to undergo physical therapy sessions. A team of researchers has invented a novel robotic walker that helps patients carry out therapy sessions to regain their leg movements and natural gait. The system also increases productivity of physiotherapists and improves the quality of rehabilitation sessions.
Mental disorders due to permanent stress? [Fri, 21 Nov 2014 08:29:07 EST]
Activated through permanent stress, immune cells will have a damaging effect on and cause changes to the brain. This may result in mental disorders. Medical researchers are studying the effects of permanent stress on the immune system.
A coating that protects against heat and oxidation [Fri, 21 Nov 2014 08:29:05 EST]
Researchers have developed a coating technique that they plan to use to protect turbine engine and waste incinerator components against heat and oxidation. A topcoat from micro-scaled hollow aluminium oxide spheres provides heat insulation, in the lab, already proved more economical than conventional techniques.
In order to distinguish self from other, the immune system processes proteins from inside and outside the body in different ways. A new study revises understanding of how the process works and sheds light on autoimmune disease.
Novel regulatory mechanism for cell division found [Fri, 21 Nov 2014 08:27:46 EST]
A protein kinase or enzyme known as PKM2 has proven to control cell division, potentially providing a molecular basis for tumor diagnosis and treatment, researchers report. Understanding how cytokinesis goes awry is important since abnormal cell division impacts tumor cell growth and spread, they add.
A new 3D model of the protein Bax, a key regulator of cell death, has been developed and released by researchers. When active, Bax forms pores in the membranes of mitochondria, causing the release of proteins from the intermembrane space into the cytoplasm. This in turn triggers a series of operations ending in cell death, which are often impaired in cancer cells. Using Double Electron-Electron Resonance spectroscopy, the research group has now shown that active Bax is present on the membrane in the form of dimeric assemblies whose clamp-like structures have a central role in the pore formation process.
Current efforts to prevent violence against women and girls are inadequate, according to a new Series published in The Lancet. Estimates suggest that globally, 1 in 3 women has experienced either physical or sexual violence from their partner, and that 7 percent of women will experience sexual assault by a non-partner at some point in their lives.
A genome of a rare species of tapeworm found living inside a patient's brain has been sequenced for the first time. The study provides insights into potential drug targets within the genome for future treatments.
How mutant gene can cause deafness [Thu, 20 Nov 2014 20:45:21 EST]
Scientists have discovered how one gene is essential to hearing, uncovering a cause of deafness and suggesting new avenues for therapies. "This raises hopes that we could, in principle, use gene-therapy approaches to restore function in hair cells and thus develop new treatment options for hearing loss," said the senior author of the new study.
Recent studies showing acid ceramidase (AC) to be upregulated in melanoma, lung and prostate cancers have made the enzyme a desired target for novel synthetic inhibitor compounds. Now scientists describe the very first class of AC inhibitors that may aid in the efficacy of chemotherapies.
Researchers are using time-lapse photography, linked to weather data, to study climate and geological change in the Antarctic Dry Valleys.
A new nationally representative survey of employers -- the largest purchasers of health care in the United States -- shows that most are unfamiliar with objective metrics of health plan quality information. The survey also found that employers are looking to the Affordable Care Act as they make significant decisions on the benefits they offer, with the costs of health plans as a key consideration.
A comprehensive analysis of children's rights in 190 countries around the world has now been released. Today, the Convention on the Rights of the Child remains the only formal global effort to improve children's rights and the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history. Only three U.N. member nations have not ratified the treaty: Somalia, South Sudan and the United States.
The control of certain childhood diseases is difficult, despite high vaccination coverage in many countries. One of the possible reasons for this is 'imperfect vaccines,' that is, vaccines that fail either due to 'leakiness,' lack of effectiveness on certain individuals in a population, or shorter duration of potency. In a new article, authors use a mathematical model to determine the consequences of vaccine failure and resulting disease dynamics.
Pain, discomfort and magnet displacement were documented in a small medical records review study of patients with cochlear implants who underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), according to a new report.
Nuclear reactor fuel behavior during a severe event [Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:34:36 EST]
A new discovery about the atomic structure of uranium dioxide will help scientists select the best computational model to simulate severe nuclear reactor accidents.
Employees at small, locally owned businesses have the highest level of loyalty to their employers — and for rural workers, size and ownership of the company figure even more into their commitment than job satisfaction, a new study finds.
Scientists reveal details about carbon deep beneath Earth’s surface and suggest ways it might have influenced the history of life on the planet.
The Self-Sufficiency Standard for Washington State 2014 report finds that the costs of meeting basic needs have far outstripped wages statewide, particularly for families. The study found that Washington families with two adults, a preschooler and a school-aged child saw the costs of meeting their most basic requirements jump as much as 72 percent between 2001 and 2014, depending on where they live. But median wages increased just 21 percent during that time.
A link between moms' employment and overweight/obesity in preschoolers has been found by researchers. The study investigated links between mothers' employment status and their children's weight over time, exploring the impact of potential mediators, such as children's sleep and dietary habits, the amount of time they spent watching TV and family mealtime routines.
A potential path to identify imperfections and improve the quality of nanomaterials for use in next-generation solar cells has just emerged.
Researchers are taking a unique approach to understanding and investigating cancer by utilizing evolutionary principles and computational modeling to examine the role of specific genetic mutations in the Darwinian struggle among tumor and normal cells during cancer growth.
A new device contains a form of vitamin A that controls inflammatory responses, preventing scar tissue formation and promoting wound healing. The soft, porous, and thin elastic material contains an acid form of vitamin A, called a retinoid, which is produced by the body to help cells develop and stay healthy. Synthetic retinoids have been formulated and traditionally used to treat acne and some types of cancer.
In many firms sales people spend as much time negotiating internally for lower prices as they do interacting with customers. A new study finds that firms should allow their sales people to 'waste' energy on internal negotiations. In fact, it says, firms should make the process wasteful on purpose.
How to estimate the magnetic field of an exoplanet [Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:18:00 EST]
Scientists developed a new method which allows to estimate the magnetic field of a distant exoplanet, i.e., a planet, which is located outside the Solar system and orbits a different star. Moreover, they managed to estimate the value of the magnetic moment of the planet HD 209458b.
A survey of older adults in eleven countries found that Americans were sicker than their counterparts abroad, with 68 percent living with two or more chronic conditions and 53 percent taking four or more medications. More Americans, 19 percent, reported cost-related care expenses than residents in other countries -- whereas 83 percent of US respondents had treatment plans they could carry out in their daily lives, one of the highest rates across the surveyed countries.
Drugs that have been used for the past 30 years to treat HIV/AIDS, could be repurposed to treat the dry form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a new study suggests. AMD is a progressive condition that is untreatable in up to 90 percent of patients and is a leading cause of blindness in the elderly worldwide. The two forms of AMD, wet and dry, are classified based on the presence or absence of blood vessels that have invaded the retina.
A recent study from the Thai-Myanmar border highlights the severe and previously under-reported adverse impact of readily treatable tropical rickettsial illnesses, notably scrub typhus and murine typhus, on pregnancy outcomes, finding that more than one third of affected pregnancies resulted either in stillbirth or premature and/or low birth weight babies.
Health Tip: Check Stress at the Office [Sat, 22 Nov 2014 00:00:00 PDT]
Title: Health Tip: Check Stress at the Office
Category: Health News
Created: 11/21/2014 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 11/21/2014 12:00:00 AM
Health Tip: Beware of Bathroom Chemicals [Sat, 22 Nov 2014 00:00:00 PDT]
Title: Health Tip: Beware of Bathroom Chemicals
Category: Health News
Created: 11/21/2014 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 11/21/2014 12:00:00 AM
A Testament to Character [Mon, 17 Nov 2014 12:15:02 +0000]
Photo by Southbank Centre - http://flic.kr/p/kPtDjB

Character can be likened to a psychological "immune system" of sorts, insulating a person against both the slings and arrows and the many negative influences of this world -- and the admirable characters I've met in my life have clearly demonstrated to me the incredible power of just one person to make a significant difference.

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Photo by Idhren - http://flic.kr/p/7n37sR

Attitudes toward treating personality disturbances are changing, and I think the time is coming when few will think it either overly judgmental or insensitive to focus therapeutic attention on someone's character.

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Designed to cover half the surface area of a pack, new proposed labels are meant to vividly remind smokers of tobacco’s dangers.
Caregivers of veterans report greater difficulties than do those of other disabled adults.
Title: Working Night Shift Slows Metabolism, Study Suggests
Category: Health News
Created: 11/18/2014 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 11/19/2014 12:00:00 AM
Calorie-Tracking Apps May Not Help You Lose Weight [Tue, 18 Nov 2014 00:00:00 PDT]
Title: Calorie-Tracking Apps May Not Help You Lose Weight
Category: Health News
Created: 11/17/2014 12:00:00 AM
Last Editorial Review: 11/18/2014 12:00:00 AM
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