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This Slinky lookalike 'hyperlens' helps us see tiny objects

This Slinky lookalike hyperlens helps us see tiny objects
2015-05-22
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- It looks like a Slinky suspended in motion. Yet this photonics advancement -- called a metamaterial hyperlens -- doesn't climb down stairs. Instead, it improves our ability to see tiny objects. Described in a research paper published today by the journal Nature Communications, the hyperlens may someday help detect some of the most lethal forms of cancer. It could also lead to advancements in nanoelectronic manufacturing and boost scientists' ability to examine single molecules -- a development with implications in physics, chemistry, biology and other ...

Disaster investigations, relief may benefit from explosion-sizing innovation

2015-05-22
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Disaster investigators and emergency personnel may find themselves better able to assess and respond to terrorist attacks and industrial accidents with the aid of a new computational tool that determines the energy from explosions near the Earth's surface. As a first test of the new approach, its developers have analyzed a deadly explosion which reportedly killed dozens of regime soldiers in the Syrian civil war. Computing the energy yield of an explosion just below, at, or above the ground poses difficult challenges, while deep-underground blasts ...

New computational technique advances color 3D printing process

New computational technique advances color 3D printing process
2015-05-22
New York, NY -- May 22, 2015 -- Working with researchers at Zhejiang University in China, Changxi Zheng, assistant professor of computer science at Columbia Engineering, has developed a technique that enables hydrographic printing, a widely used industrial method for transferring color inks on a thin film to the surface of manufactured 3D objects, to color these surfaces with the most precise alignment ever attained. Using a new computational method they developed to simulate the printing process, Zheng and his team have designed a model that predicts color film distortion ...

Measles-flu comparison yields insights for vaccine design

2015-05-22
(NEW YORK - May 22) - By comparing flu viruses to the virus that causes measles, researchers fine-tuned a tool that may enable faster vaccine design, according to a study led by Mount Sinai researchers and published online this week in the journal Cell Reports. The study results revolve around viruses, which are designed perfectly by evolution to invade human cells, inject viral genes and use human genetic machinery to make copies of them. In an endless back and forth, human immune cells have evolved to recognize and attack viral surface proteins, and viruses to constantly ...

Cutting edge research and collegiality the focus of EuroPCR 2015

2015-05-22
(PARIS, FRANCE) Technique, talk, and talent were three buzzwords at the 2015 EuroPCR congress. As in years past, the conference featured a mix of breaking news, live case demonstrations, oral and poster sessions, debates, and tips-and-tricks tutorials. New study data have been increasingly showcased at EuroPCR and this year's meeting featured over 70 new abstract sessions throughout the four-day meeting, across five interventional tracks. One of the focus topics at this year's meeting was a spate of recent trials showing a benefit for mechanical thrombectomy in acute ...

Study uses farm data to aid in slowing evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds

2015-05-22
URBANA, Ill. - The widespread evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds is costing farmers, especially through decreases in productivity and profitability. Although researchers and industry personnel have made recommendations to slow this evolution, an understanding of the patterns and causes of the resistance has been limited. Diversifying the herbicide mechanisms of action (MOAs) has been recommended to stop the spread of herbicide-resistant weeds. MOAs refer to the biochemical interaction that affects or disrupts the target site in the weed. Two common methods of diversifying ...

Best and safest blood pressure treatments in kidney and diabetes patients compiled

2015-05-22
The first definitive summary of the best and safest blood pressure lowering treatments for kidney disease and diabetes patients has been compiled by New Zealand doctor and researcher Associate Professor Suetonia Palmer. The international relevance of her work for doctors, patients and those who decide which drugs to fund has been demonstrated by the prestigious Lancet medical journal publishing an article on her study in its latest edition. The University of Otago, Christchurch, researcher together with a global team used innovative statistical analysis to compare hundreds ...

Robot masters new skills through trial and error

Robot masters new skills through trial and error
2015-05-22
Berkeley -- Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed algorithms that enable robots to learn motor tasks through trial and error using a process that more closely approximates the way humans learn, marking a major milestone in the field of artificial intelligence. They demonstrated their technique, a type of reinforcement learning, by having a robot complete various tasks -- putting a clothes hanger on a rack, assembling a toy plane, screwing a cap on a water bottle, and more -- without pre-programmed details about its surroundings. "What ...

From reverberating chaos to concert halls, good acoustics is culturally subjective

2015-05-22
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 22, 2015 -- Play a flute in Carnegie Hall, and the tone will resonate and fill the space. Play that same flute in the Grand Canyon, and the sound waves will crash against the rock walls, folding back in on each other in sonic chaos. The disparity in acoustics is clear - to the modern listener, the instrument belongs in an auditorium. "Distinct echoes would be totally unforgivable in today's performance spaces," says Steven J. Waller, an archaeo-acoustician who has studied prehistoric rock art and the acoustics of ancient performance spaces. "But, ...

All sounds made equal in melancholy

2015-05-22
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 22, 2015 -- The room is loud with chatter. Glasses clink. Soft music, perhaps light jazz or strings, fills the air. Amidst all of these background sounds, it can be difficult to understand what an adjacent person is saying. A depressed individual, brought to this cocktail party by a well-meaning friend, can slide further into himself, his inability to hear and communicate compounding his sense of isolation. "A lot of research has suggested that these people with elevated depression symptoms have a bias towards negative perception of information ...

Anticipating temptation may reduce unethical behavior, research finds

2015-05-22
Why do good people do bad things? It's a question that has been pondered for centuries, and new research published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology may offer some insights about when people succumb to versus resist ethical temptations. "People often think that bad people do bad things and good people do good things, and that unethical behavior just comes down to character," says lead research author Oliver Sheldon, PhD. "But most people behave dishonestly sometimes, and frequently, this may have more to do with the situation and how people ...

Estuaries protect Dungeness crabs from deadly parasites

2015-05-22
Parasitic worms can pose a serious threat to the Dungeness crab, a commercially important fishery species found along the west coast of North America. The worms are thought to have caused or contributed to the crash of the crab fishery of central California during the last half century. New research shows that infected crabs can rid themselves of parasites by moving into the less salty water of estuaries. Low salinity kills the worms creating a parasite refuge for the crabs. The large Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister) is an important source of income for fishermen ...

Mapping poaching threats: York ecologists and WCS develop new method

2015-05-22
Ecologists from the University of York, together with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), have developed a new method to better identify where poachers operate in protected areas. Published in Conservation Biology, the analysis provides spatial maps of illegal activities within Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of Uganda's most important protected areas for elephant conservation. Analysing 12 years of ranger-collected data, different types of threats were monitored and recorded, including the commercial hunting of large ...

Ledipasvir plus sofosbuvir: Hint of added benefit in further patient group

2015-05-22
The German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) has assessed documents subsequently submitted by the drug manufacturer in the commenting procedure on the dossier assessment of the fixed-dose drug combination of ledipasvir and sofosbuvir (trade name: Harvoni). According to the findings, a hint of a non-quantifiable added benefit for a further patient group can be derived from this additional information. This patient group consists of treatment-naive or pretreated patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection of genotype 1 who are also infected ...

An evolutionary heads-up

An evolutionary heads-up
2015-05-22
A larger brain brings better cognitive performance. And so it seems only logical that a larger brain would offer a higher survival potential. In the course of evolution, large brains should therefore win out over smaller ones. Previous tests of this hypothesis had relied on comparison studies looking at the intelligence and survival potential of species with large brains versus species with smaller brains. And species with larger brains do appear to have an advantage. But such studies are unable to show a causal relationship. Alexander Kotrschal, Sarah Zala, Séverine ...

Enhancing knowledge crucial to improving energy-saving behaviors, study shows

2015-05-22
Increasing public knowledge and understanding about energy issues is vital if improved energy-saving behaviours are to be encouraged among individuals and organisations, a study suggests. A survey conducted at Plymouth University indicated widespread misconceptions about energy which researchers said may be reducing the effectiveness of energy-saving behaviours. It also showed varying levels of motivation and engagement with energy issues, with respondents saying they were uncertain about their capacity to influence business and government on matters of environmental ...

Faster heart rate linked to diabetes risk

2015-05-22
An association between resting heart rate and diabetes suggests that heart rate measures could identify individuals with a higher future risk of diabetes, according to an international team of researchers. In a four-year study of 73,357 Chinese adults, researchers observed that faster heart rates were positively associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes. Researchers also found that faster heart rates were associated with impaired fasting glucose levels and a conversion from impaired fasting glucose levels to diabetes among the same population. "In this ...

More than two dozen articles provide insights on mummies

2015-05-22
In a special issue, The Anatomical Record ventures into the world of human mummified remains. In 26 articles, the anatomy of mummies is exquisitely detailed through cutting edge examination, while they are put in historical, archeological, and cultural context. Investigators even take on the thorny issue of ethics as it applies to human remains in general and to the specific case of mummy research. The eyes and tools of the 21st century meet the world of the past and allow one to think of mummies as more than just museum displays shrouded in mystery and fascination. ...

Head injuries could result in neurodegenerative disease in rugby union players

2015-05-22
A new article publishing online today in the Quarterly Journal of Medicine has reported the first case showing an association between exposure to head injuries in rugby union players and an increased risk in neurodegenerative disease. Until now, the association between head injuries and neurodegenerative disease, specifically chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), has predominantly been made with boxers. However Dr Michael Farrell and colleagues have presented the first comprehensive case report of CTE in a former amateur rugby union player, who died six years after ...

Time is muscle in acute heart failure

2015-05-22
Sophia Antipolis, 22 May 2015: Urgent diagnosis and treatment in acute heart failure has been emphasised for the first time in joint recommendations published today in European Heart Journal.1 The consensus paper is the result of a novel collaboration between the Heart Failure Association (HFA) of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), the European Society for Emergency Medicine and the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine in the USA. Professor Alexandre Mebazaa, lead author and HFA board member, said: "This is the first guidance to insist that acute heart failure ...

Research identifies best treatment for blood pressure in diabetic kidney disease

2015-05-22
Blood pressure lowering drugs do not improve life expectancy among adults with diabetes and kidney disease, a new study of the global evidence published today in The Lancet reveals. However, the study, which brings together 157 studies involving more than 43,000 adults with diabetes, shows that angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin-receptor blocker (ARB) treatments, alone or in combination, are the most effective drug regimen for preventing end-stage kidney disease -- an important finding given that diabetes is now the leading cause of people ...

Mood instability common to mental health disorders and associated with poor outcomes

2015-05-22
A study by researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King's College London has shown that mood instability occurs in a wide range of mental disorders and is not exclusive to affective conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder. The research, published today in BMJ Open, also found that mood instability was associated with poorer clinical outcomes. Taken together, these findings suggest that clinicians should screen for mood instability across all common mental health disorders. Targeted interventions ...

Smoking and drug abuse could more than triple annual ER visits

2015-05-21
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Smokers are four times more likely than non-smokers to become frequent visitors of emergency rooms. That is one of the findings uncovered by a preliminary study led by Jessica Castner, a University at Buffalo emergency room utilization researcher. The research - which sought to shed light on whether patients are replacing visits to their primary care physicians with trips to hospital ERs- also found that Americans with chronic diseases use both services equally and that, overall, medical care visits have soared in recent years. "There are a few super-users ...

Beyond average

Beyond average
2015-05-21
Imagine someone hands you a smoothie and asks you to identify everything that went into it. You might be able to discern a hint of strawberry or the tang of yogurt. But overall it tastes like a blend of indiscernible ingredients. Now imagine that the smoothie is made of 20,000 ground-up cells from, say, the brain. You could run tests to determine what molecules are in the sample, which is what scientists do now. That would certainly give you useful information, but it wouldn't tell you which cells those molecules originally came from. It would provide only an average ...

EBV co-infection may boost malaria mortality in childhood

2015-05-21
Many people who live in sub-Saharan Africa develop a natural immunity to malaria, through repeated exposure to Plasmodium parasites. Even so, the disease kills close to half a million children per year, according to the World Health Organization. What factors can interfere with the development of immunity? Infectious disease researchers at Emory are calling attention to a trouble-maker whose effects may be underappreciated: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Their experiments with mice show that co-infection with a virus closely related to EBV can make a survivable malaria parasite ...
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