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The risk of cognitive impairment in children born prematurely may be predicted using MRI after birth

2015-09-02
School age children who are born prematurely are more likely to have low mathematical achievement, thought to be associated with reduced working memory and number skills, according to a new study published today in the neurology journal Brain. Researchers assessed up to 224 preterm children at age five and age seven to examine the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) after birth to identify infants at risk of later academic impairment. The study participants are from Melbourne, Australia and are part of a Murdoch Children's Research Institute study. The authors suggest ...

Radioactive contaminants found in coal ash

Radioactive contaminants found in coal ash
2015-09-02
DURHAM, N.C. -- A new Duke University-led study has revealed the presence of radioactive contaminants in coal ash from all three major U.S. coal-producing basins. The study found that levels of radioactivity in the ash were up to five times higher than in normal soil, and up to 10 times higher than in the parent coal itself because of the way combustion concentrates radioactivity. The finding raises concerns about the environmental and human health risks posed by coal ash, which is currently unregulated and is stored in coal-fired power plants' holding ponds and landfills ...

Columbia Engineering team develops targeted drug delivery to lung

Columbia Engineering team develops targeted drug delivery to lung
2015-09-02
New York, NY--September 2, 2015--Researchers from Columbia Engineering and Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have developed a new method that can target delivery of very small volumes of drugs into the lung. Their approach, in which micro-liters of liquid containing a drug are instilled into the lung, distributed as a thin film in the predetermined region of the lung airway, and absorbed locally, may provide much more effective treatment of lung disease. The work was published in the August 31 online Early Edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ...

Making fuel from light

2015-09-02
Refined by nature over a billion years, photosynthesis has given life to the planet, providing an environment suitable for the smallest, most primitive organism all the way to our own species. While scientists have been studying and mimicking the natural phenomenon in the laboratory for years, understanding how to replicate the chemical process behind it has largely remained a mystery -- until now. Recent experiments at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have afforded researchers a greater understanding of how to manipulate photosynthesis, ...

Newly discovered protein may protect kidney cells from injury

2015-09-02
(Boston)--A new discovery by Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) researchers may change how kidney disease is treated in the future. The previously unknown protein transmembrane and immunoglobulin containing 1 (TMIGD1) involved in protecting kidney epithelial cells (cells critical to normal kidney function) from injury, could be a novel target for restoring kidney function from various forms of kidney disease. The findings are published online in the American Journal of Pathology. Kidneys have several roles, of which filtering blood of waste products to generate ...

Feeling blue and seeing blue: Sadness may impair color perception

2015-09-02
The world might seem a little grayer than usual when we're down in the dumps and we often talk about "feeling blue" -- new research suggests that the associations we make between emotion and color go beyond mere metaphor. The results of two studies indicate that feeling sadness may actually change how we perceive color. Specifically, researchers found that participants who were induced to feel sad were less accurate in identifying colors on the blue-yellow axis than those who were led to feel amused or emotionally neutral. The research is published in Psychological Science, ...

Design of 'Japonica Array'

Design of Japonica Array
2015-09-02
A research group, led by Professor Masao Nagasaki and Senior Assistant Professor Yosuke Kawai at Tohoku University Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization, has successfully designed the first ever SNP*1 array that has been optimized for the Japanese population. SNP, which stands for Single Nucleotide Polymorphism, is a DNA sequence variation that occurs commonly within a population. This new array, called the "Japonica Array," covers the whole-genome region from which the SNPs possessed by Japanese people can be obtained with a high degree of accuracy. The design of ...

Bisexual and questioning women have higher risk of eating disorders

2015-09-02
Young women who are attracted to both sexes or who are unsure about who they are attracted to are more likely to develop an eating disorder than those attracted to only one sex, according to a new study from Drexel University. However, the results of the study suggest that females attracted to the same-sex are no more likely to experience disordered eating symptoms than their peers with opposite-sex attractions. This finding is contrary to previous assumptions that same-sex attraction plays a protective role against eating pathology in females. "The results of this ...

Best of ESC Congress 2015

2015-09-02
London, 2 September 2015: With 32,773 registrations this year (1), ESC Congress 2015 broke yet another record in attendance. "We are proud to have brought together so many delegates and the latest research from all over the world," said ESC President, Professor Fausto Pinto, from Portugal. "By 2030, 40% of Europeans will suffer from some form of CVD," said Prof Fausto Pinto, ESC President, "so what is going on in our congress is relevant to everyone, not only health professionals." (2) Despite improvements in mortality and morbidity, CVD remains the main killer ...

From sounds to the meaning

2015-09-02
The word "apple", as we pronounce it, is a sequence of sounds (phonemes) that we use whenever we want to refer to the object it indicates. If we did not know that a referential relationship exists between the sound and the object it would be impossible for us to use, and learn, a language. Where does this implicit knowledge come from, and how early in human development does it manifest? This is the question Hanna Marno and her SISSA colleagues Marina Nespor and Jacques Mehler in a collaboration with Teresa Farroni, from the University of Padova, attempted to answer in a ...

EORTC trial opens for patients with recurrent grade II or III meningioma

2015-09-02
Meningiomas are a type of brain tumor that form on membranes covering the brain and spinal cord just inside the skull. They occur at an annual incidence of up to 13 per 100 000, and approximately 20% of these exhibit aggressive behavior and burden patients with tumor recurrences as well as infiltration of the surrounding bone, brain, or soft tissue. Dr. Matthias Preusser of the Medical University Vienna - General Hospital AKH and Coordinator of this study says, "High-grade meningiomas are characterized by prominent infiltration with tumor-associated macrophages and angiogenesis. ...

The symmetry of the universe

2015-09-02
This news release is available in German. What did the universe look like shortly after it came into being? The ALICE experiment (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) at CERN in Switzerland concerns itself with this question. At the largest particle accelerator in the world, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), researchers let lead nuclei and protons collide at the highest beam energies to date. The temperatures thereby created are 100,000 times higher than those in the center of the Sun. "A state is created that is very similar to the one after the Big Bang," explains Laura ...

New genetic mutation identified in melanoma cancer cells

2015-09-02
(Boston)--There is strong evidence that the protein complex APC/C may function as a tumor suppressor in multiple cancers including lymphoma, colorectal and breast cancer, and now melanoma. A new study has revealed that a genetic mutation leading to repression of a specific protein, Cdh1, which interacts with APC/C, is present in melanoma cancer cells. The study, led by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), reports sporadic mutations in the APC/C protein complex, specifically in the essential protein component Cdh1, which may predispose humans to ...

Risk of financial crisis higher than previously estimated

2015-09-02
The study, published in the journal Financial Stability, introduces a new method that allows researchers to estimate the systemic risk that emerge from multiple layers of connectivity. "Systemic risk is the risk that a significant part of the financial system stops working--that it cannot perform its function," says IIASA Advanced Systems Analysis program researcher Sebastian Poledna, who led the study. For example if a major bank fails, it could trigger the failure of other financial institutions that are linked to it through loans, derivatives, securities, and foreign ...

Waste coffee used as fuel storage

2015-09-02
Scientists have developed a simple process to treat waste coffee grounds to allow them to store methane. The simple soak and heating process develops a carbon capture material with the additional environmental benefits of recycling a waste product. The results are published today, 03 September 2015, in the journal Nanotechnology. Methane capture and storage provides a double environmental return - it removes a harmful greenhouse gas from the atmosphere that can then be used as a fuel that is cleaner than other fossil fuels. The process developed by the researchers, ...

Biodiversity belowground is just as important as aboveground

Biodiversity belowground is just as important as aboveground
2015-09-02
Although most of the world's biodiversity is below ground, surprisingly little is known about how it affects ecosystems or how it will be affected by climate change. A new study demonstrates that soil bacteria and the richness of animal species belowground play a key role in regulating a whole suite of ecosystem functions on Earth. The authors call for far more attention to this overlooked world of worms, bugs and bacteria in the soil. Ecosystem functions such as carbon storage and the availability of nutrients are linked to the bugs, bacteria and other microscopic ...

Cellular recycling complexes may hold key to chemotherapy resistance

2015-09-02
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (September 2, 2015) - Altering the protein recycling complexes in human cells, including cancer cells, allows the cells to resist treatment with a class of drugs known as proteasome inhibitors, according to Whitehead Institute scientists. "This is why some cancers can be so difficult to treat with chemotherapy, because the cells can be in different states--some sensitive to treatment and some resistant to treatment, all in the same tumor," says Sandro Santagata, a former visiting scientist in the lab of Whitehead Member Susan Lindquist. Santagata is now ...

Male seahorse and human pregnancies remarkably alike

Male seahorse and human pregnancies remarkably alike
2015-09-02
Their pregnancies are carried by the males but, when it comes to breeding, seahorses have more in common with humans than previously thought, new research from the University of Sydney reveals. Seahorses are famed for being part of the only family in the animal kingdom (Syngnathidae) in which the male is responsible for pregnancy. What hasn't been known until now is the degree to which male seahorses nourish and protect their embryos in their brood pouch during the 24-day gestation period. Findings co-authored by Dr Camilla Whittington from the University's School of ...

Scientists discover a common diabetes drug could prevent hemorrhage and fatal blood loss

2015-09-02
A new study, published today in the British Journal of Pharmacology, by scientists from Royal Holloway, University of London, St George's, University of London and University of Surrey have identified that a drug related to commonly used diabetes treatments provides protection against terminal blood loss. Massive blood loss often leads to death, and when blood transfusions are unavailable, drugs are currently being tested that can keep people alive until they get to hospital. Understanding how these drugs work, and finding improved drugs, has up to now proved difficult. ...

When stroke patients undergo surgery to remove blood clots, what anesthesia works best?

2015-09-01
MAYWOOD, Ill. - In carefully selected patients, minimally invasive surgery is enabling physicians to stop strokes in their tracks. And as more stroke patients undergo such procedures, physicians are debating the best way to anesthetize them. Should patients be put under general anesthesia, rendering them unconscious and motionless? Or should they undergo conscious sedation, in which they remain conscious, but are sedated and do not feel pain? In the September, 2015 issue of the Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases, Loyola University Medical center anesthesiologists ...

Self-driving golf carts

2015-09-01
At the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in September, members of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) and their colleagues will describe an experiment conducted over six days at a large public garden in Singapore, in which self-driving golf carts ferried 500 tourists around winding paths trafficked by pedestrians, bicyclists, and the occasional monitor lizard. The experiments also tested an online booking system that enabled visitors to schedule pickups and drop-offs at any of 10 distinct stations scattered around the ...

Surge in Bicycle Injuries to Riders Over 45

2015-09-01
The incidence of bicycle accidents has increased significantly in the U.S. in recent years, with many serious injuries occurring among riders older than 45, according to a new study led by UC San Francisco. The researchers used a national injury surveillance database to study trends in bicycle injuries from 1998 to 2013. They found that the rate of hospital admissions associated with bicycle injuries more than doubled during that timeframe, especially with head and torso injuries. Altogether, the proportion of injuries occurring to riders above age 45 rose 81 percent, ...

Ancient hybridization key to domestic dog's origin, wolf conservation efforts

2015-09-01
KNOXVILLE--The ancestry of man's best friend may be more complicated than its furry coat and soulful eyes betray. Understanding the evolutionary history of the domesticated dog may ultimately help protect endangered wolves, according to a study from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Vladimir Dinets, research assistant professor of psychology, has published an overview examining the confusing and often misunderstood system used to classify dogs and related animals such as wolves and jackals. He has proposed a logical and scientifically sound classification scheme ...

New international standards needed to manage ocean noise

2015-09-01
DURHAM, N.C. -- As governments and industries expand their use of high-decibel seismic surveys to explore the ocean bottom for resources, experts from eight universities and environmental organizations are calling for new global standards and mitigation strategies. Their goal is to minimize the amount of sound the surveys produce and reduce risks the surveys and other underwater human noise pollution poses to vulnerable marine life. Firms and agencies conducting the surveys would benefit from these new measures, the experts assert, because instead of having to navigate ...

The more the merrier for animals that synchronize their behavior

2015-09-01
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Social interaction could be the mechanism that allows animals living in groups to synchronize their activities, whether it's huddling for warmth or offering protection from predators. This social presence affects the daily rhythm of activity and rest, and the larger the group, the greater the likelihood of synchronization, according to a study published recently in the journal Biology Letters. "At least in mice, and perhaps in other animals, this study shows quite dramatic synchrony amongst groups of animals that can only be explained by social interactions," ...
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