last updated: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:08:09 GMT
Overwhelmed by speculators trying to cash-in on a prized medicinal fungus known as Himalayan Viagra, two isolated Tibetan communities have managed to do at the local level what world leaders often fail to do on a global scale -- implement a successful system for the sustainable harvest of a precious natural resource, suggests new research.
A common complication, gestational diabetes affects approximately 6-7% of pregnant women. Currently, screening is done in two steps to help identify patients most at risk; however, the suggested levels for additional testing were based on singleton pregnancy data. Now investigators have analyzed data from twin pregnancies and have determined that the optimal first step cutoff for additional screening appears to be a blood sugar level equal to or greater than 135 mg/dL for women carrying twins.
Hollow coring drills are used to extract ice cores that can analyze the past atmosphere. Scientists have now documented carbon dioxide in the atmosphere between 23,000 and 9,000 years ago, based on data from an 11,000-foot hole in Antarctica.
Daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 2. As clocks turn back one hour, we gain an hour of sleep but often still feel groggy and sluggish. A sleep expert says this change in sleep schedule is exacerbated by our tendency to alter our sleep patterns on the weekends anyway.
Researchers report a significant breakthrough in laser technology with the development of a unique microring laser cavity that can produce single-mode lasing on demand. This advance holds ramifications for a wide range of optoelectronic applications including metrology and interferometry, data storage and communications, and high-resolution spectroscopy.
The heart holds its own pool of immune cells capable of helping it heal after injury, according to new research. In a mouse model of heart failure, the researchers showed that blocking the bone marrow's macrophages from entering the heart protects the organ's beneficial pool of macrophages, allowing them to remain in the heart, where they promote regeneration and recovery. The findings may have implications for treating heart failure in humans.
Nearly 5 percent of U.S. children may be affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), according to a new study. FASD are a group of conditions that can occur in the children of mothers who drank alcohol during pregnancy. Characteristics are both physical and cognitive and can include abnormal facial features, smaller-than-average physical growth, poor coordination, learning disabilities and vision and hearing problems.
Architecture imitates life, at least when it comes to those spiral ramps in multistory parking garages. Stacked and connecting parallel levels, the ramps are replications of helical structures found in a ubiquitous membrane structure in the cells of the body.
As transistors get smaller, they also grow less reliable. Increasing their operating voltage can help, but that means a corresponding increase in power consumption. With information technology consuming a steadily growing fraction of the world's energy supplies, some researchers and hardware manufacturers are exploring the possibility of simply letting chips botch the occasional computation. In many popular applications -- video rendering, for instance -- users probably wouldn't notice the difference, and it could significantly improve energy efficiency.
New research has shown that despite moving house frequently, bats choose to roost with the same social groups of 'friends.' The study found that different social groups roost in separate, though adjacent, parts of woodland. The findings have important implications for conservation.
Earth is known as the Blue Planet because of its oceans, which cover more than 70 percent of the planet's surface and are home to the world's greatest diversity of life. While water is essential for life on the planet, the answers to two key questions have eluded us: Where did Earth's water come from and when? While some hypothesize that water came late to Earth, well after the planet had formed, findings from a new study significantly move back the clock for the first evidence of water on Earth and in the inner solar system.
Hygienic funeral practices, case isolation, contact tracing with quarantines, and better protection for health care workers are the keys to stopping the Ebola epidemic that continues to expand in West Africa, researchers said in a new report. They said broad implementation of aggressive measures they recommend could lead to its control in Liberia, the focal point, by mid-March.
Persimmons are among the small club of plants with separate sexes -- individual trees are either male or female. Now scientists have discovered how sex is determined in a species of persimmon, potentially opening up new possibilities in plant breeding.
A newly developed mouse model suggests that genetic factors are behind the mild-to-deadly range of responses to the Ebola virus. The frequency of different manifestations of the disease across the lines of these mice are similar in variety and proportion to the spectrum of clinical disease observed in the 2014 West African outbreak. The new mouse model might be useful in testing candidate therapeutics and vaccines for Ebola, and in finding genetic markers for susceptibility and resistance to the disease.
A fungal disease from Asia wiped out salamanders in parts of Europe and will likely reach the US through the international wildlife trade in Asian newts sold as pets, say US experts. Scientists report the fungus arose in Asia 30 million years ago and is lethal to many European and American newt species. It has not yet been found in North American wild amphibians.
The tremendous amounts of lava that are emitted during super-eruptions accumulate over millions of years prior to the event in the Earth's crust. These reservoirs consist of magma that intrudes into the crust in the form of numerous horizontally oriented sheets resting on top of each other like a pile of pancakes.
Researchers have developed a way to use sound to create cellular scaffolding for tissue engineering, a unique approach that could help overcome one of regenerative medicine’s significant obstacles.
Dietary patterns of babies vary according to the racial, ethnic and educational backgrounds of their mothers, pediatrics researchers have found. For example, babies whose diet included more breastfeeding and solid foods that adhere to infant guidelines from international and pediatric organizations were associated with higher household income -- generally above $60,000 per year -- and mothers with higher educational levels ranging from some college to post-graduate education.
Lab-grown tissues could one day provide new treatments for injuries and damage to the joints, including articular cartilage, tendons and ligaments. Cartilage, for example, is a hard material that caps the ends of bones and allows joints to work smoothly. Biomedical engineers are exploring ways to toughen up engineered cartilage and keep natural tissues strong outside the body.
Young adults ages 18-26 should be viewed as a separate subpopulation in policy and research, because they are in a critical period of development when successes or failures could strongly affect the trajectories of their lives, says a new report.
Nearly half of firearm retailers in New Hampshire displayed materials from a firearm suicide prevention campaign generated by a coalition of gun owners and public health professionals.
From the playground to the board room, people often follow, or conform, to the behavior of those around them as a way of fitting in. New research shows that this behavioral conformity appears early in human children, but isn't evidenced by apes like chimpanzees and orangutans.
For their latest discovery, astronomers have found a low-mass, low-density planet with a punctuality problem. The new planet, called PH3c, is located 2,300 light years from Earth and has an atmosphere loaded with hydrogen and helium. Its inconsistency kept it from being picked up by automated computer algorithms that search stellar light curves and identify regular dips caused by objects passing in front of stars.
Many will turn back the hands of time as part of the twice-annual ritual of daylight savings time. That means remembering to change the alarm clock next to the bed, which means an extra hour of sleep before getting up in the morning. But for some diabetics who use insulin pumps, researchers suggest that remembering to change the time on this device should be the priority.
Why is it that you can feel sad up to 240 times longer than you do feeling ashamed, surprised, irritated or even bored? It's because sadness often goes hand in hand with events of greater impact such as death or accidents. You need more time to mull over and cope with what happened to fully comprehend it, say researchers. This is the first work to provide clear evidence to explain why some emotions last a longer time than others.
Endemic eucalyptus in Tasmania has been the focus of recent study. Researchers discovered that these rare species have developed unique characteristics to survive, and that these characteristics may also impact the survival of its neighbors in the ecosystem.
A team of scientists has discovered the surprising manner in which an enigmatic protein known as SUUR acts to control gene copy number during DNA replication. It’s a finding that could shed new light on the formation of fragile genomic regions associated with chromosomal abnormalities.
Turns out your mom was right: scratching an itch only makes it worse. New research reveals that scratching causes the brain to release serotonin, which intensifies the itch sensation. Scientists uncovered serotonin's role in controlling pain decades ago, but this is the first time the release of the chemical messenger from the brain has been linked to itch, they say.
The universe is an infinite sea of galaxies, which are majestic star-cities. When galaxies group together in massive clusters, some of them can be ripped apart by the gravitational tug of other galaxies. Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope to probe the massive galaxy cluster Abell 2744 — nicknamed Pandora's Cluster — have found forensic evidence of galaxies torn apart long ago. It's in the form of a phantom-like faint glow filling the space between the galaxies. This glow comes from stars scattered into intergalactic space as a result of a galaxy's disintegration.
Everyone can have an impact on the dynamics of a group, particularly if they join forces with others, experts say. "What interested us most, however, was how the individual can contribute to the development of stable cooperation within the group," they say of their research, which was actually able to calculate mathematically which strategies promote cooperation.
When most animals begin life, cells immediately begin accepting assignments to become a head, tail or a vital organ. However, mammals, including humans, are special. The cells of mammalian embryos get to make a different first choice -- to become the protective placenta or to commit to forming the baby.
If you think sleep problems and bladder problems are a fact of life in old age, you may be right. A new report shows that our sleep-wake cycles are genetically connected to our bladder, and disruptions to one may cause problems with the other.
Delivering life-saving drugs across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) might become a little easier thanks to a new study. In the new report, scientists describe an antibody, called 'FC5,' is one-tenth the size of a traditional antibody and able to cross the BBB.
Being overweight might be better in the long term than being underweight, at least when it comes to infants. "These findings support the hypothesis that common long-term variation in the activity of genes established in the womb may underpin links between size at birth and risk for adult disease," said one of the authors.
Scientists show, for the first time, that there is a link between perinatal exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) at low doses and the risk to develop food intolerance in later life. "We may look back one day and see BPA exposure as one of the more important public health problems of our time," said one expert. "We know that too much exposure is bad, but exactly how much exposure is too much is still up for debate."
Global warming is altering the reproduction of plants and animals, notably accelerating the date when reproduction and other life processes occur. A new study has discovered that some amphibians are capable of making their offspring grow at a faster rate if they have been born later due to the climate.
The increase in the presence of plastic in our lives is an unstoppable trend due to the versatility of this material. So innovation in the packaging industry has been focusing on the development of new, more sustainable, economically viable materials with enhanced properties and which also perform the functions required by this sector: to contain, protect and preserve the product, to inform the consumer about it and to facilitate the distribution of it. Now, a single-layer, biodegradable container from agro-industrial by-products suitable for both liquid and solid oily products has been developed by researchers.
Google search data really can provide a more accurate real time picture of current flu infections, researchers have found. Official reports of influenza infection rates are produced with a delay of at least one week. Yet researchers from Google and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that data on searches for influenza related terms could be used to provide a real time estimate of the number of people with flu infections, with almost no delay.
A prototype running shoe has been designed with an integrated device that improves training management and prevents injuries. The device consists of a microelectronic measuring system capable of gathering biomechanical parameters that characterize the runner's technique during a race. This information is wirelessly transmitted to the runner's mobile phone and a mobile phone application provides real-time feedback, including level of performance and suggestions to change the running pattern or to stop running in case of detecting a high risk of injury.
New clinical practice guidelines for treating cancer of the esophagus and gastroesophageal junction (area where the esophagus meets the stomach) have been released. The guidelines include nine evidence-based recommendations that address issues related to multimodality care, including neoadjuvant therapy (chemotherapy and radiation therapy given prior to surgery). The goal of this therapy is to reduce the extent of cancer before an operation to maximize the chance of obtaining a cure.
Reading bedtime stories, engaging in conversation and eating nightly dinners together are all positive ways in which parents interact with their children, but according to new research, none of these actions have any detectable influence on children's intelligence later in life. A criminology professor examined a nationally representative sample of youth alongside a sample of adopted children and found evidence to support the argument that IQ is not the result of parental socialization.
Veterinary researchers have completed new research that suggests the bat influence virus poses a low risk to humans.
New research further adds to our understanding of the circadian rhythm by suggesting that the suprachiasmaticus nucleus clock, a tiny region of the hypothalamus considered to be the body's 'master' timekeeper, is not necessary to align body rhythms with the light-dark cycle.
Cold-water corals of the species Lophelia pertusa are able to fuse skeletons of genetically distinct individuals. Scientists have made the first-ever discovery of branches of different colors that had flawlessly merged. The ability to fuse supports the reef stability and thus contributes to the success of corals as reef-builders of the deep sea.
Biological membranes are mainly composed of lipid bilayers. Gaining a better understanding of adsorption of solution ions onto lipid membranes helps clarify functional processes in biological cells. A new study provides a quantitative description of the equilibria between lipid membranes and surrounding solution ions. In addition to shedding some light on biological processes, these results could also have implications for, among other things, the future development of medical diagnostics.
Bacteria in the GI tract fulfill many vital functions and are critical for digestion. Yet, these same bacteria can induce strong inflammatory responses by the immune system if they penetrate the gut and enter the bloodstream. Prior research has established the involvement of inflammatory processes in the development of psychiatric disorders, including major depression and alcohol dependence, but the origins of such inflammation have remained unclear. Now, researchers have found that inflammatory pathways are stimulated in alcohol-dependent patients by bacteria that escape the gut barrier, which correlated with alcohol craving.
Pterostilbene is a phenolic compound in the same family as resveratrol and is present in small amounts in a large variety of foods and beverages like blueberries or red wine. Researchers have observed in animal models that its administration reduces the build-up of body fat, which could reduce the risk of developing other diseases like diabetes.
Even mild depressive symptoms can weaken the outcome of lumbar spinal stenosis surgery, according to a recent study. Patients with depressive symptoms had a weaker functional capacity post-surgery even five years after surgery. "The results indicate that attention should be paid to even mild depressive symptoms both before and after the surgery. This would allow health care professionals to recognize patients who might benefit from enhanced psychosocial support as part of their surgery-related treatment and rehabilitation process," says the first author.
An inequality footprint has been devised by researchers, demonstrating the link that each country's domestic economic activity has to income distribution elsewhere in the world. "The footprint maps the movement of commodities around the world. It is a new tool which can assist businesses, government and non-government organisations in understanding the complex dynamics of inequality and trade," said the lead author of the paper.
What does it take to fabricate electronic and medical devices tinier than a fraction of a human hair? Nanoengineers recently invented a new method of lithography in which nanoscale robots swim over the surface of light-sensitive material to create complex surface patterns that form the sensors and electronics components on nanoscale devices.
Academics are challenging the foundations of quantum science with a radical new theory on parallel universes. Scientists now propose that parallel universes really exist, and that they interact. They show that such an interaction could explain everything that is bizarre about quantum mechanics.
A mathematical model predicts that women must take the antiretroviral medication Truvada daily to prevent HIV infection via vaginal sex, whereas just two doses per week can protect men from HIV infection via anal sex. This finding helps explain why two large clinical trials testing HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, in women failed to show efficacy.
Exciting results from an innovative, multicultural, five-year initiative, known as the Alliance to Reduce Disparities in Diabetes, have been published, revealing that a new model of chronic disease management for vulnerable populations with diabetes shows significant promise in strengthening coordination of care, reducing diabetes health disparities and improving health outcomes.
Research suggests air pollutants released by unconventional oil and gas production are well over recommended levels in the US. High levels of benzene, hydrogen sulfide and formaldehyde were found. The study is the first to be based on community sampling by people who live near production sites and could be used to supplement official air-quality monitoring programs.
With only 90,000 breeding individuals sparsely distributed across 15 US states, the Swainson's warbler is a species of high conservation concern that, for decades, has left conservationists with little confidence that its populations would ever be fully secure. New research reveals that populations of Swainson's warbler are increasing in a surprising new habitat found mostly on private lands -- pine plantations on nearly 16 million hectares on the coastal plain from eastern Texas to southeastern Virginia.
Copper could help to prevent the spread of Ebola, researchers have found. While hand washing, disinfectants and quarantine procedures alone have been found to be insufficient to contain the spread of the virus, research has offered promising evidence that antimicrobial copper - engineering materials with intrinsic hygiene benefits - could be a valuable addition to these existing measures.
Astronomers have long sought to understand exactly how the universe evolved from its earliest history to the cosmos we see around us in the present day. In particular, the way that galaxies form and develop is still a matter for debate. Now a group of researchers have used the collective efforts of the hundreds of thousands of people that volunteer for the Galaxy Zoo project to shed some light on this problem. They find that galaxies may have settled into their current form some two billion years earlier than previously thought.
The central nervous system in vertebrates develops from the neural tube, which is the basis for the differentiation in spinal cord and brain. Researchers have demonstrated for the first time the in vitro growth of a piece of spinal cord in three dimensions from mouse embryonic stem cells. Correct spatial organization of motor neurons, interneurons and dorsal interneurons along the dorsal/ventral axis was observed.
Researchers have controlled interplay of light and matter at the level of individual photons emitted by rubidium.
Today, the ancient city of Rome welcomed an important new initiative for the large-scale integration of grids and of renewables sources into Europe’s energy mix, with nearly 40 leading organisations from research, industry, utilities, transmission systems operators announcing their united goal to find the BEST PATHS to deliver affordable, reliable power in Europe from “coast to coast”.