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Using ultrasound to clean medical instruments

Using ultrasound to clean medical instruments
2015-09-16
Researchers from the University of Southampton have demonstrated how a pioneering ultrasonic device can significantly improve the cleaning of medical instruments and reduce contamination and risk of infection. StarStream, invented and patented by the University of Southampton and in commercial production by Ultrawave Ltd., makes water more efficient for cleaning by creating tiny bubbles which automatically scrub surfaces. The device supplies a gentle stream of water through a nozzle that generates ultrasound and bubbles, which dramatically improve the cleaning power of ...

Platinum and iron oxide working together get the job done

Platinum and iron oxide working together get the job done
2015-09-16
This news release is available in German. Platinum is a great catalyst and can be used for many different applications. It's expensive stuff though, so tiny platinum nanoparticles sitting on cheap metal oxide materials are used to convert harmful carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. Using scanning tunnelling microscopes, scientists at TU Vienna have now been able to image the catalytic behaviour of platinum sitting on iron-oxide, which allowed them to explain the process on an atomic scale. Surprisingly, the chemical reactions do not take place on the platinum ...

Tiny silica particles could be used to repair damaged teeth, research shows

2015-09-16
Researchers at the University of Birmingham have shown how the development of coated silica nanoparticles could be used in restorative treatment of sensitive teeth and preventing the onset of tooth decay. The study, published in the Journal of Dentistry, shows how sub-micron silica particles can be prepared to deliver important compounds into damaged teeth through tubules in the dentine. The tiny particles can be bound to compounds ranging from calcium tooth building materials to antimicrobials that prevent infection. Professor Damien Walmsley, from the School of ...

A quantum lab for everyone

A quantum lab for everyone
2015-09-16
This news release is available in German. Topical research experiments are often too expensive or too complex to be rebuilt and incorporated in teaching. How can one, nevertheless, make modern science accessible to the public? This challenge was tackled in the research group Quantum Nanophysics led by Markus Arndt at the University of Vienna. For the first time, two research laboratories were created as complete, photorealistic computer simulations allowing university and high-school students as well as the general public to virtually access unique instruments. ...

No way? Charity's logo may influence perception of food in package

No way? Charitys logo may influence perception of food in package
2015-09-16
EUGENE, Ore. -- (Sept. 16, 2015) -- New research at the University of Oregon finds that an organization's logo on a food product can trigger quick perceptions by consumers about an item's healthiness and influence their decision-making. That perception also may be seen as an endorsement that may not exist, say study co-authors Elizabeth Minton of the University of Wyoming and T. Bettina Cornwell, the Edwin E. & June Woldt Cone Professor of Marketing in the Lundquist College of Business at the UO. The research, led by Minton as part of her doctoral dissertation at the ...

Watching an exoplanet in motion around a distant star

2015-09-16
TORONTO [11 September 2015] A team of astronomers has given us our best view yet of an exoplanet moving in its orbit around a distant star. A series of images captured between November 2013 to April 2015 shows the exoplanet β Pic b as it moves through 1 ½ years of its 22-year orbital period. First discovered in 2008, β Pic b is a gas giant planet ten to twelve times the mass of Jupiter, with an orbit roughly the diameter of Saturn's. It is part of the dynamic and complex system of the star β Pictoris which lies over 60 light-years from Earth. The ...

New studies show no long term effects of antidepressant use during pregnancy

2015-09-16
The use of antidepressants during pregnancy has no long term neurodevelopmental or behavioural effects on the child, however they may be associated with an increased risk of postpartum haemorrhage, suggests the findings from three studies published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG). Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health problems during pregnancy, with around 12% of women in the UK experiencing depression at some point during pregnancy and the postnatal period. The use of antidepressants such as selective serotonin ...

Large-scale treatment of parasitic-worm disease cost-effective

2015-09-16
Stanford University School of Medicine researchers and their colleagues are calling for an urgent re-evaluation of global guidelines for the treatment of parasitic-worm diseases in light of a new study showing that large-scale treatment programs are highly cost-effective. Parasitic-worm diseases afflict some 1.5 billion people in the developing world, causing gastrointestinal problems, anemia, wasting, and cognitive and growth deficits in children, and in some cases, liver, bladder and intestinal problems that can be fatal. About 150,000 people die of complications from ...

Scientists discover how cells overpower cancer drug

2015-09-16
CANCER RESEARCH UK scientists have found how cells adapt to overcome cancer drugs designed to interfere with their genetic controls, according to a study* published today (Wednesday) in Epigenetics and Chromatin. Normally molecular 'tags' are attached to DNA which send signals to the cell, telling it how to package its DNA and switch genes on or off. Drugs called HDAC inhibitors cause a build-up of certain types of tags, leading to potentially damaging changes in gene activity that can kill cancer cells. But while HDAC inhibitors can successfully treat certain types ...

Nearby red dwarves could reveal planet secrets: ANU media release

Nearby red dwarves could reveal planet secrets: ANU media release
2015-09-16
An accidental find of a collection of young red dwarf stars close to our solar system could give us a rare glimpse of slow-motion planet formation. Astronomers from The Australian National University (ANU) and UNSW Canberra found large discs of dust around two of the stars, tell-tale signs of planets in the process of forming. "We think the Earth and all the other planets formed from discs like these so it is fascinating to see a potential new solar system evolving," said the lead researcher Dr Simon Murphy, from the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics. "However, ...

The saying 'It never rains but it pours' is truer than ever in Scotland

The saying It never rains but it pours is truer than ever in Scotland
2015-09-16
New research at the University of Warwick with colleagues from the London School of Economics has identified changes in the shape of rainfall across Europe; changes in the amount of drizzle compared with downpours and everything in-between. Professor Sandra Chapman of the University of Warwick and co-authors Professor Nicholas Watkins and Dr David Stainforth from the London School of Economics have today published new research demonstrating how the variability in the way it rains makes it intrinsically difficult to identify the character of local climate change. Difficult ...

Arctic mosquitoes thriving under climate change, Dartmouth study finds

Arctic mosquitoes thriving under climate change, Dartmouth study finds
2015-09-16
HANOVER, N.H. - Warming temperatures are causing Arctic mosquitoes to grow faster and emerge earlier, significantly boosting their population and threatening the caribou they feast on, a Dartmouth College study finds. The study predicts the mosquitoes' probability of surviving and emerging as adults will increase by more than 50 percent if Arctic temperatures rise 2 °C. The findings are important because changes in the timing and intensity of their emergence affect their role as swarming pests of people and wildlife, as pollinators of tundra plants and as food for ...

Banning trans fats in England could prevent 7,000 heart deaths over next 5 years

2015-09-16
A total ban on trans fatty acids (trans fats) in processed foods in England could potentially prevent or postpone about 7,200 deaths from coronary heart disease over the next five years, suggest experts in The BMJ this week. They say a total ban in England is "technically feasible" and they call for "decisive action" to prioritise the most effective and cost effective policy options. Industrial trans fatty acids are produced from plant oils (a process known as hydrogenation) and are commonly added to processed foods to cheaply improve shelf life and palatability. Higher ...

Experts question the evidence underpinning e-cigarette recommendations

2015-09-16
Public Health England (PHE) recently endorsed the use of electronic cigarettes as an aid to quitting smoking. But in The BMJ this week, experts question the evidence on safety and effectiveness underpinning the recommendations. Professor Martin McKee at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Professor Simon Capewell at the University of Liverpool, argue that the available evidence about e-cigarettes "suggests that the debate is far from over and questions remain about their benefits and harms." The PHE report concludes that e-cigarettes are much safer ...

The reason why middle class people are more likely to play music, paint and act revealed

2015-09-16
The reason why middle class people are more likely to play music, paint and act has been revealed in a major new study. Research involving 78,000 people found that it was not wealth or social status that were strongly linked to people taking part in arts activities as amateurs or professionals. Instead, it was the level of education that lay behind arts participation, the study by Dr Aaron Reeves, a sociologist at the University of Oxford, found. In an article in the journal Sociology, Dr Reeves said that of the 78,011 surveyed, 18% had taken part in painting or ...

Study from England shows no garden access for young children linked to childhood obesity later in childhood

2015-09-16
A study of 6467 children from England--presented at this year's annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Stockholm--shows that no access to a garden at age 3-5 years is linked to an increased risk developing obesity by age 7 years. The research is by Annemarie Schalkwijk, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues. Overweight and obese children are at increased risk of becoming overweight and obese adults and therefore being overweight or obese in childhood is an important risk factor for developing ...

Analysis of 21 studies shows exposure to pesticides is associated with increased risk of developing diabetes

2015-09-16
A meta-analysis of 21 studies presented at this year's annual meeting the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) shows that exposure to pesticides is associated with increased risk of developing diabetes by 61%, with different types of pesticides showing varying levels of risk. The study is by Giorgos Ntritsos, University of Ioannina, Greece, and Dr Ioanna Tzoulaki and Dr Evangelos Evangelou, Imperial College London, UK, and colleagues. How diabetes develops is considered to be an interplay between genetic and environmental factors. Emerging evidence suggests ...

Women exposed to organic pollutants in early pregnancy have more than 4-times increased risk of gestational diabetes

2015-09-16
New research presented at this year's annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Stockholm shows that a 10-times increased exposure to organic pollutants in early pregnancy is associated with a 4.4 times increased risk of a pregnant woman developing gestational diabetes. The research is by Assistant Professor Leda Chatzi, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece. Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are a group of diverse substances, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides that are resistant to biodegradation ...

ESA/NASA Solar Observatory discovers its 3,000th comet

ESA/NASA Solar Observatory discovers its 3,000th comet
2015-09-15
On Sept. 13, 2015, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory -- a joint project of the European Space Agency and NASA -- discovered its 3,000th comet, cementing its standing as the greatest comet finder of all time. Prior to the 1995 launch of the observatory, commonly known as SOHO, only a dozen or so comets had ever even been discovered from space, while some 900 had been discovered from the ground. The 3,000th comet was originally spotted in the data by Worachate Boonplod, of Samut Songkhram, Thailand. "I am very happy to be part of a great milestone for SOHO's comet ...

New method could help nurses spot delirium quickly

2015-09-15
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Asking just two questions may be able to help nurses and doctors quickly and easily identify delirium in hospitalized older adults, according to health researchers. Delirium is a reversible cognitive condition that can be resolved if caught and treated early. "Delirium can be very costly and deadly -- and with high-risk patients, time matters," said Donna M. Fick, Distinguished Professor of Nursing and co-director of the Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence at Penn State. "Our ultra-brief two-item bedside test for delirium takes an ...

Arctic sea ice summertime minimum is fourth lowest on record

Arctic sea ice summertime minimum is fourth lowest on record
2015-09-15
According to a NASA analysis of satellite data, the 2015 Arctic sea ice minimum extent is the fourth lowest on record since observations from space began. The analysis by NASA and the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado at Boulder showed the annual minimum extent was 1.70 million square miles (4.41 million square kilometers) on Sept. 11. This year's minimum is 699,000 square miles (1.81 million square kilometers) lower than the 1981-2010 average. Arctic sea ice cover, made of frozen seawater that floats on top of the ...

NASA's LRO discovers Earth's pull is 'massaging' our moon

NASAs LRO discovers Earths pull is massaging our moon
2015-09-15
Earth's gravity has influenced the orientation of thousands of faults that form in the lunar surface as the moon shrinks, according to new results from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft. In August, 2010, researchers using images from LRO's Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) reported the discovery of 14 cliffs known as "lobate scarps" on the moon's surface, in addition to about 70 previously known from the limited high-resolution Apollo Panoramic Camera photographs. Due largely to their random distribution across the surface, the science team concluded that the ...

Diet, exercise, smoking habits and genes interact to affect AMD risk

Diet, exercise, smoking habits and genes interact to affect AMD risk
2015-09-15
People with a genetic predisposition for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) significantly increased their odds of developing the blinding eye disorder if they had a history of heavy smoking and consistently did not exercise or eat enough fruits and vegetables, according to an observational study of women funded by the National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. Eating a healthy diet and getting exercise have been shown in earlier studies to protect against AMD, a leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older. Findings from this ...

Data-driven approach could help improve allocation of biomedical research resources

2015-09-15
A new computational model developed by scientists from the University of Chicago could help improve the allocation of U.S. biomedical research resources. The tool, called the Research Opportunity Index (ROI), measures disparities between resources dedicated to a disease and its relative burden on society. ROI identifies diseases that receive a disproportionate share of biomedical resources, which represent opportunities for high-impact investment or for the realignment of existing resources. It is designed to provide an unbiased, data-driven framework to help scientific ...

Young chum salmon may get biggest nutrition boost from Elliott Bay restored beaches

Young chum salmon may get biggest nutrition boost from Elliott Bay restored beaches
2015-09-15
In the midst of ferry boats, container ships and tourists crowding Seattle's Elliott Bay, young salmon are just trying to get a decent meal. The fish hatch in the rivers and streams that feed into Puget Sound and almost immediately rely on eating small organisms near the shore, including in the heart of Seattle's commerce-filled waterfront. Though salmon share the busy Elliott Bay waters with boats and barges, scientists suspect built-up, "armored" shorelines and large piers may be the main culprits disrupting fish habitat. These artificial structures block light and ...
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