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Researchers identify new cell signaling pathway thought to play role in rheumatoid arthritis

2014-10-21
A new study by researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) identifies a new cell signaling pathway that contributes to the development and progression of inflammatory bone erosion, which occurs in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects millions of adults worldwide. Bone erosion in joints is a major cause of disability in RA patients. The study, titled "RBP-J imposes a requirement for ITAM-mediated costimulation of osteoclastogenesis," was published online in the Journal of Clinical ...

In disease outbreak management, flexibility can save lives and money

In disease outbreak management, flexibility can save lives and money
2014-10-21
A new approach for responding to and managing disease outbreaks is being proposed by a team of epidemiologists led by two Penn State University researchers. The team's flexible approach could save many lives and millions of dollars. The approach, called "adaptive management," allows decision-makers to use knowledge they gain during an outbreak to update ongoing interventions with the goal of containing outbreaks more quickly and efficiently. Current efforts to prevent or stem such outbreaks may fall short because of uncertainty and limited information about the real-time ...

Flexibility in disease outbreak management could save lives and money

2014-10-21
Research by a team of epidemiologists from the UK and the USA has proposed a new approach for responding to and managing disease outbreaks. They say lives and money could be saved if decisions are adapted to relevant information about the dynamics of the current crisis and not based on retrospective analyses of prior crises, trials and interventions. Dr Michael Tildesley, a lecturer in infectious disease modelling in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at The University of Nottingham and co-author of the paper, said: "Organisations involved in the outbreak of ...

Disease outbreak management -- flexibility can save lives and money

2014-10-21
What is the best way to handle a disease outbreak? Current efforts to prevent or stem such outbreaks may fall short because of uncertainty and limited information about the real-time dynamics of the specific disease outbreak. A team of epidemiologists, led by two Penn State University researchers, proposes a new approach for responding to and managing disease outbreaks -- a flexible approach that could save many lives and millions of dollars. The approach, called "adaptive management," allows decision-makers to use knowledge they gain during an outbreak to update ongoing ...

Most published medical research is false; Here's how to improve

2014-10-21
In 2005, in a landmark paper viewed well over a million times, John Ioannidis explained in PLOS Medicine why most published research findings are false. To coincide with PLOS Medicine's 10th anniversary he responds to the challenge of this situation by suggesting how the research enterprise could be improved. Research, including medical research, is subject to a range of biases which mean that misleading or useless work is sometimes pursued and published while work of value is ignored. The risks and rewards of academic careers, the structures and habits of peer reviewed ...

Large variation in cesarean rates across US hospitals

2014-10-21
Cesarean delivery is the most common inpatient surgery in the United States. US cesarean rates increased from 20.7% in 1996 to 32.9% in 2009 but have since stabilized, with 1.3 million American women having had a cesarean delivery in 2011. Rates of cesarean delivery vary across hospitals, and understanding reasons for the variation could help shed light on practices related to cesarean delivery. Katy Kozhimannil (University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis, USA) and colleagues S.V. Subramanian and Mariana Arcaya (Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, ...

Diet for your DNA: Novel nutrition plan sparks debate around data protection

2014-10-21
personalised nutrition based on an individual's genotype - nutrigenomics - could have a major impact on reducing lifestyle-linked diseases such as obesity, heart disease and Type II diabetes a study of more than 9,000 volunteers reveals strict regulations need to be put in place before nutrigenomics becomes publicly acceptable due to people's fears around personal data protection led by Newcastle University, UK, and involving experts from the universities of Ulster, Bradford, Porto (Portugal) and Wageningen (Netherlands), the study is the first to assess consumer acceptance ...

Special UO microscope captures defects in nanotubes

Special UO microscope captures defects in nanotubes
2014-10-21
EUGENE, Ore. -- Oct. 21, 2014 -- University of Oregon chemists have devised a way to see the internal structures of electronic waves trapped in carbon nanotubes by external electrostatic charges. Carbon nanotubes have been touted as exceptional materials with unique properties that allow for extremely efficient charge and energy transport, with the potential to open the way for new, more efficient types of electronic and photovoltaic devices. However, these traps, or defects, in ultra-thin nanotubes can compromise their effectiveness. Using a specially built microscope ...

When the isthmus is an island: Madison's hottest, and coldest, spots

When the isthmus is an island: Madisons hottest, and coldest, spots
2014-10-21
MADISON, Wis. — As Dane County begins the long slide into winter and the days become frostier this fall, three spots stake their claim as the chilliest in the area. One is a cornfield in a broad valley and two are wetlands. In contrast, the isthmus makes an island — an urban heat island. In a new study published this month in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers highlight the urban heat island effect in Madison: The city's concentrated asphalt, brick and concrete lead to higher temperatures than ...

Loss of Y chromosome associated with higher mortality and cancer in men

Loss of Y chromosome associated with higher mortality and cancer in men
2014-10-21
BETHESDA, MD – Age-related loss of the Y chromosome (LOY) from blood cells, a frequent occurrence among elderly men, is associated with elevated risk of various cancers and earlier death, according to research presented at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2014 Annual Meeting in San Diego. This finding could help explain why men tend to have a shorter life span and higher rates of sex-unspecific cancers than women, who do not have a Y chromosome, said Lars Forsberg, PhD, lead author of the study and a geneticist at Uppsala University in Sweden. LOY, ...

Temple study suggests a novel approach for treating non-cardiac chest pain

2014-10-21
(Philadelphia, PA) – Chest pain doesn't necessarily come from the heart. An estimated 200,000 Americans each year experience non-cardiac chest pain, which in addition to pain can involve painful swallowing, discomfort and anxiety. Non-cardiac chest pain can be frightening for patients and result in visits to the emergency room because the painful symptoms, while often originating in the esophagus, can mimic a heart attack. Current treatment — which includes pain modulators such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) — has a partial 40 to 50 ...

NC State researchers advance genome editing technique

NC State researchers advance genome editing technique
2014-10-21
Customized genome editing – the ability to edit desired DNA sequences to add, delete, activate or suppress specific genes – has major potential for application in medicine, biotechnology, food and agriculture. Now, in a paper published in Molecular Cell, North Carolina State University researchers and colleagues examine six key molecular elements that help drive this genome editing system, which is known as CRISPR-Cas. NC State's Dr. Rodolphe Barrangou, an associate professor of food, bioprocessing and nutrition sciences, and Dr. Chase Beisel, an assistant ...

Let there be light

Let there be light
2014-10-21
A longstanding question among scientists is whether evolution is predictable. A team of researchers from UC Santa Barbara may have found a preliminary answer. The genetic underpinnings of complex traits in cephalopods may in fact be predictable because they evolved in the same way in two distinct species of squid. Last, year, UCSB professor Todd Oakley and then-Ph.D. student Sabrina Pankey profiled bioluminescent organs in two species of squid and found that while they evolved separately, they did so in a remarkably similar manner. Their findings are published today in ...

Impressions shaped by facial appearance foster biased decisions

Impressions shaped by facial appearance foster biased decisions
2014-10-21
Research in recent years has shown that people associate specific facial traits with an individual's personality. For instance, people consistently rate faces that appear more feminine or that naturally appear happy as looking more trustworthy. In addition to trustworthiness, people also consistently associate competence, dominance, and friendliness with specific facial traits. According to an article published by Cell Press on October 21st in Trends in Cognitive Sciences, people rely on these subtle and arbitrary facial traits to make important decisions, from voting for ...

Resetting the circadian clock: Shift workers might want to skip high-iron foods

2014-10-21
(SALT LAKE CITY)—Workers punching in for the graveyard shift may be better off not eating high-iron foods at night so they don't disrupt the circadian clock in their livers. Disrupted circadian clocks, researchers believe, are the reason that shift workers experience higher incidences of type 2 diabetes, obesity and cancer. The body's primary circadian clock, which regulates sleep and eating, is in the brain. But other body tissues also have circadian clocks, including the liver, which regulates blood glucose levels. In a new study in Diabetes online, University ...

UNH scientist: Cosmic rays threaten future deep-space astronaut missions

2014-10-21
DURHAM, N.H. –- Crewed missions to Mars remain an essential goal for NASA, but scientists are only now beginning to understand and characterize the radiation hazards that could make such ventures risky, concludes a new paper by University of New Hampshire scientists. In a paper published online in the journal Space Weather, associate professor Nathan Schwadron of the UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS) and the department of physics says that due to a highly abnormal and extended lack of solar activity, the solar wind is exhibiting extremely ...

UNH research highlights extent and effects of school violence

2014-10-21
DURHAM, N.H. – Six percent of U.S. children and youth missed a day of school over the course of a year because they were the victim of violence or abuse at school. This was a major finding of a study on school safety by University of New Hampshire researchers published this month in the Journal of School Violence. "This study really highlights the way school violence can interfere with learning," says lead author David Finkelhor, professor of sociology and director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center (CCRC) at UNH. "Too many kids are missing school ...

Preservation technique for marginal livers prevents biliary stricture

Preservation technique for marginal livers prevents biliary stricture
2014-10-21
New research shows that a preservation technique known as sequential subnormothermic ex vivo liver perfusion (SNEVLP) prevents ischemic type biliary stricture following liver transplantation using grafts from donations after cardiac death (DCD). Findings published in Liver Transplantation, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the International Liver Transplantation Society, indicate that the preservation of DCD grafts using SNEVLP versus cold storage reduces bile duct and endothelial cell injury post transplantation. The shortage ...

Could I squeeze by you?

Could I squeeze by you?
2014-10-21
VIDEO: Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory modeled the 'passing probability' of molecules within the narrow pores of mesoporous nanoparticles. This understanding will help determine the optimal diameter... Click here for more information. Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory have developed deeper understanding of the ideal design for mesoporous nanoparticles used in catalytic reactions, such as hydrocarbon conversion to biofuels. ...

Animal therapy reduces anxiety, loneliness symptoms in college students

Animal therapy reduces anxiety, loneliness symptoms in college students
2014-10-21
ATLANTA—Animal-assisted therapy can reduce symptoms of anxiety and loneliness among college students, according to researchers at Georgia State University, Idaho State University and Savannah College of Art and Design. Their findings are published in the latest issue of the Journal of Creativity in Mental Health. The researchers provided animal-assisted therapy to 55 students in a group setting at a small arts college in the Southeast. They found a 60 percent decrease in self-reported anxiety and loneliness symptoms following animal-assisted therapy, in which a ...

See-through sensors open new window into the brain

See-through sensors open new window into the brain
2014-10-21
MADISON, Wis. — Developing invisible implantable medical sensor arrays, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers has overcome a major technological hurdle in researchers' efforts to understand the brain. The team described its technology, which has applications in fields ranging from neuroscience to cardiac care and even contact lenses, in the Oct. 20 issue of the online journal Nature Communications. Neural researchers study, monitor or stimulate the brain using imaging techniques in conjunction with implantable sensors that allow them to continuously ...

Triplet threat from the sun

Triplet threat from the sun
2014-10-21
WASHINGTON D.C. Oct. 21, 2014 -- The most obvious effects of too much sun exposure are cosmetic, like wrinkled and rough skin. Some damage, however, goes deeper—ultraviolet light can damage DNA and cause proteins in the body to break down into smaller, sometimes harmful pieces that may also damage DNA, increasing the risk of skin cancer and cataracts. Understanding the specific pathways by which this degradation occurs is an important step in developing protective mechanisms against it. Researchers from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne ...

Ancient Europeans intolerant to lactose for 5,000 years after they adopted agriculture

2014-10-21
By analysing DNA extracted from the petrous bones of skulls of ancient Europeans, scientists have identified that these peoples remained intolerant to lactose (natural sugar in the milk of mammals) for 5,000 years after they adopted agricultural practices and 4,000 years after the onset of cheese-making among Central European Neolithic farmers. The findings published online in the scientific journal Nature Communications (21 Oct) also suggest that major technological transitions in Central Europe between the Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age were also associated with ...

Exploring X-Ray phase tomography with synchrotron radiation

Exploring X-Ray phase tomography with synchrotron radiation
2014-10-21
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 21, 2014 -- X-ray phase tomography is an imaging technique that uses penetrating X-rays to create volumetric views through "slices" or sections of soft biological tissues, such as tumors, and it offers strongly enhanced contrast compared to conventional CT scans. Yet scientists still do not know which X-ray phase tomography methods are best suited to yield optimized results for a wide variety of conditions. To answer this question, a large group of researchers in Europe set out to compare three different X-ray phase tomography methods at the ...

Backpack physics: Smaller hikers carry heavier loads

Backpack physics: Smaller hikers carry heavier loads
2014-10-21
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 21, 2014 -- Hikers are generally advised that the weight of the packs they carry should correspond to their own size, with smaller individuals carrying lighter loads. Although petite backpackers might appreciate the excuse to hand off heavier gear to the larger members of the group, it turns out that they may not need the help. While leading students on extended backpacking trips for Outward Bound, Kansas State University physics professor Michael O'Shea noticed that some of the smaller students could comfortably carry a greater pack weight than ...
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