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Study explores how nations' policies affect mothers' ability to balance work-family life

2015-08-23
CHICAGO -- When it comes to supporting working mothers, the United States' work-family welfare policies leave much to be desired, according to a comparative study of working mothers in multiple countries by the University of Texas (UT) at Austin. "Work-family policies reflect and reinforce ideologies about gender: what men and women 'should' and 'shouldn't' do," said study author Caitlyn Collins, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at UT Austin. "Through policies, countries say something about their citizens and shape the opportunities available to them." In ...

Study suggests same-sex couples face more obstacles to infertility treatment

2015-08-23
CHICAGO -- Same-sex couples encounter more obstacles to treatment for infertility than opposite-sex couples, suggests a new study that will be presented at the 110th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA). "For example, same-sex couples often must undergo psychological evaluations before being treated for infertility -- a process that is not normally required for opposite-sex couples," said study author Ann V. Bell, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Delaware, who noted that the U.S. medical system is standardized to work ...

Demand for coffee can create ecological, economic rift with poorer nations

2015-08-23
CHICAGO -- The explosion in worldwide coffee consumption in the past two decades has generally not benefitted farmers of coffee beans in poorer nations along the equator. A University of Kansas (KU) researcher studying trade and globalization has found that the shift to "technified" coffee production in the 1970s and 1980s has created harsher economic and ecological consequences for heavy coffee-producing nations, such as Honduras, Colombia, Guatemala, Brazil, Vietnam and Ethiopia. "Historically, coffee has been exploited by the West in various ways, because it's consumed ...

Study shows TV's subliminal influence on women's perception of pregnancy and birth

2015-08-22
CHICAGO -- In an era where popular culture is increasingly recognized for its impact on lay understanding of health and medicine, few scholars have looked at television's powerful role in the creation of patient expectations, especially regarding pregnancy and birth. As part of a larger research project funded by a National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant, Danielle Bessett, an assistant professor of sociology in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Cincinnati, examined how women understand their television viewing practices ...

Americans support local food markets to feel part of something bigger than themselves

2015-08-22
CHICAGO -- More Americans than ever before are supporting their local food markets, and it's not just because they believe the food is fresher and tastes better. According to a new University of Iowa (UI) study, people are shopping at farmers markets and joining food co-ops in record numbers because they enjoy knowing who grows their food. These so-called "locavores" are also driven to eat locally grown produce and locally raised meat because their commitment to do so makes them feel a part of something greater than themselves -- a community that shares their passion ...

Veterans live in more diverse neighborhoods than their civilian counterparts of same race

2015-08-22
CHICAGO -- When members of the U.S. military leave the service, they tend to settle in neighborhoods with greater overall diversity than their civilian counterparts of the same race, according to a new study that will be presented at the 110th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA). "It's encouraging that having served in the military appears to have a long-term impact on how people choose their neighborhoods," said study co-author Mary J. Fischer, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut. "According to the social contact ...

Women more likely than men to initiate divorces, but not non-marital breakups

2015-08-22
CHICAGO -- Women are more likely than men to initiate divorces, but women and men are just as likely to end non-marital relationships, according to a new study that will be presented at the 110th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA). "The breakups of non-marital heterosexual relationships in the U.S. are quite gender neutral and fairly egalitarian," said study author Michael Rosenfeld, an associate professor of sociology at Stanford University. "This was a surprise because the only prior research that had been done on who wanted the breakup was ...

Unmarried women: Politically cohesive, more concerned about women's status

2015-08-22
CHICAGO -- Why do unmarried women tend to be more liberal and Democratic than their married counterparts? A key reason is because unmarried women -- those who have never been married and those who are divorced -- are more concerned about the status of women as a collective group, suggests a new study that will be presented at the 110th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA). "Over 67 percent of never married women and 66 percent of divorced women perceive what happens to other women as having some or a lot to do with what happens in their own ...

American women use book club memberships in dating field

2015-08-22
CHICAGO -- For American women, a book club membership means more than having status as a reader, as it might pay dividends to them in the dating field as well. A University of Kansas (KU) researcher as part of a study on gendered sexuality compared women's book clubs in Colorado and Ireland and made the finding regarding how the women in each country used the role of reading in romantic relationships. "American women utilized their status as readers and book club members to increase their popularity in the dating field and explained that they would never date or marry ...

Both sides framed Keystone XL Pipeline debate in Nebraska

2015-08-22
CHICAGO -- As supporters and opponents of the proposed Keystone XL (KXL) Pipeline testified at public hearings in Nebraska between 2010-2013, several interest groups attempted to frame the debate in different ways. A University of Kansas (KU) researcher who examined 528 testimonies from public hearings in Nebraska said the debate boiled down to a confrontation between stakeholders in two types of natural resources: water from the Oglala Aquifer and bitumen extracted from Alberta, Canada. "It's not a battle between these two resources, but the cultural values people ...

Teaching vocab to kids early may lead to better academics, behavior

2015-08-21
Two-year-old children with larger oral vocabularies enter U.S. kindergarten classrooms better at reading and mathematics as well as better behaved, according to a team of researchers lead by Paul Morgan, associate professor of education policy studies, Penn State. Other research has found that children who are doing better academically in kindergarten are more likely to go to college, get married, own homes and live in higher-income households. "Our findings provide compelling evidence for oral vocabulary's theorized importance as a multifaceted contributor to children's ...

GVSU professor finds social surveys no longer accurately measure sex and gender in US

2015-08-21
ALLENDALE, Mich. -- New research released by professors from Grand Valley State University and Stanford University reveals most social surveys in the U.S. are not measuring what surveyors think is being measured in regard to sex and gender. "The way that surveys have historically measured sex and gender and how they still continue to do so does not align with current gender theory or lived experiences," said Laurel Westbrook, associate professor of sociology at Grand Valley and co-author of the study. "While gender theorists see sex and gender as separate concepts, surveys ...

Chestnut leaves yield extract that disarms deadly staph bacteria

Chestnut leaves yield extract that disarms deadly staph bacteria
2015-08-21
Leaves of the European chestnut tree contain ingredients with the power to disarm dangerous staph bacteria without boosting its drug resistance, scientists have found. PLOS ONE is publishing the study of a chestnut leaf extract, rich in ursene and oleanene derivatives, that blocks Staphlococcus aureus virulence and pathogenesis without detectable resistance. The use of chestnut leaves in traditional folk remedies inspired the research, led by Cassandra Quave, an ethnobotanist at Emory University. "We've identified a family of compounds from this plant that have an ...

Improving cardiorespiratory fitness reduces risk of arrhythmia recurrence

2015-08-21
WASHINGTON (August 24, 2015) -- Obese atrial fibrillation patients have a lower chance of arrhythmia recurrence if they have high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness, and risk continues to decline as exercise capacity increases as part of treatment, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Cardiorespiratory fitness gain provides an incremental gain over weight loss in long-term freedom from arrhythmia. "While weight loss is important for heart disease patients, especially those with arrhythmia, our study shows it's ...

Study finds that genetic ancestry partially explains 1 racial sleep difference

2015-08-21
DARIEN, IL - A new study clearly establishes a partial genetic basis underlying racial differences in slow-wave sleep, suggesting that it may be possible to develop sleep-related therapies that target specific genetic variants. Using a panel of 1,698 ancestry informative genetic markers, the study found that greater African genetic ancestry was associated with lower amounts of slow-wave sleep in African-American adults. African ancestry explained 11 percent of the variation in slow-wave sleep after adjustment for potential confounders. Although a similar association was ...

Graphene oxide's secret properties revealed at atomic level

2015-08-21
Since its discovery, graphene has captured the attention of scientists and engineers for its many extraordinary properties. But graphene oxide -- an oxidized derivative of graphene -- largely has been viewed as graphene's inferior cousin. "Graphene is so perfect," said Northwestern Engineering's Jiaxing Huang. "And graphene oxide is more defective, so it's like the weaker, less exciting version of graphene." Now a Northwestern University team has found that graphene oxide's seemingly undesirable defects surprisingly give rise to exciting mechanical properties. Led by ...

Superlattice design realizes elusive multiferroic properties

2015-08-21
From the spinning disc of a computer's hard drive to the varying current in a transformer, many technological devices work by merging electricity and magnetism. But the search to find a single material that combines both electric polarizations and magnetizations remains challenging. This elusive class of materials is called multiferroics, which combine two or more primary ferroic properties. Northwestern University's James Rondinelli and his research team are interested in combining ferromagnetism and ferroelectricity, which rarely coexist in one material at room temperature. "Researchers ...

Physician support key to successful weight loss, study shows

2015-08-21
A review of survey data from more than 300 obese people who participated in a federally funded weight loss clinical trial found that although the overall weight loss rates were modest, those who rated their primary care doctor's support as particularly helpful lost about twice as many pounds as those who didn't. In a report on the study by Johns Hopkins researchers, published in the Aug. 21 issue of Patient Education and Counseling, the researchers say the findings could inform the development of weight loss programs that give primary care physicians a starring role. Researchers ...

Study finds tests used to measure internal bleeding for patients may not be reliable

2015-08-21
A recently-published study found that while internal bleeding may be uncommon as a result of taking blood thinners such as Xarelto® (rivaroxaban) and Eliquis® (apixaban), the normal coagulation tests physicians use to check for the side effect of bleeding may not be reliable. The study, published online in Annals of Emergency Medicine, found that in cases reported to Poison Centers, the routine labs used to monitor for clotting factors, such as prothrombin time (PT), PTT or INR commonly ordered to help diagnose internal bleeding may be elevated in a minority of ...

NASA sees diminutive Hurricane Danny from space

NASA sees diminutive Hurricane Danny from space
2015-08-21
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station captured an image of Hurricane Danny moving through the Central Atlantic Ocean. Satellite data indicates that Danny is a small Category 2 hurricane, in which hurricane-force winds only extend 15 miles from the eye. A NASA GOES Project animation of visible and infrared imagery of Hurricane Danny was created at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland to show the development and movement of the storm. The animation shows the eastern and central Atlantic Ocean from Aug. 18 to 21, 2015. Forecaster Cangialosi ...

All together now: Group behavior in biomolecular systems

All together now: Group behavior in biomolecular systems
2015-08-21
"Flocking" or "swarming" behavior is omnipresent in the living world, observed in birds, fish, and even bacteria. Strikingly similar collective action can also be seen in biomolecules within and between cells. Such self-organization processes are the basis of life - without them no living cell would exist - yet they are not well understood. New insights into how this action is coordinated at the biomolecular level are emerging from studies of a model system based on actin filaments. Experimental evidence proves the inadequacy of widely accepted explanations, according to ...

Inspired by venus flytrap, researchers develop folding 'snap' geometry

2015-08-21
AMHERST, Mass. - Inspired by natural "snapping" systems like Venus flytrap leaves and hummingbird beaks, a team led by physicist Christian Santangelo at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has developed a way to use curved creases to give thin curved shells a fast, programmable snapping motion. The new technique avoids the need for complicated materials and fabrication methods when creating structures with fast dynamics. The advance should help materials scientists and engineers who wish to design structures that can rapidly switch shape and properties, says Santangelo. ...

Passion for your job? If not, it's attainable

2015-08-21
ANN ARBOR--People who have not found their perfect fit in a career can take heart: There is more than one way to attain passion for work. Contrary to popular wisdom, a love-at first-sight experience is not necessary when evaluating a potential job, according to a new University of Michigan study. "The good news is that we can choose to change our beliefs or strategies to cultivate passion gradually or seek compatibility from the outset, and be just as effective in the long run at achieving this coveted experience," said Patricia Chen, a doctoral psychology student and ...

How DNA 'proofreader' proteins pick and edit their reading material

2015-08-21
Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have discovered how two important proofreader proteins know where to look for errors during DNA replication and how they work together to signal the body's repair mechanism. When a cell prepares to divide, the DNA splits first, the double helix "unzipping" into two separate backbones. New nucleotides - adenine, cytosine, guanine or thymine - are filled into the gaps on the other side of the backbone, pairing with their counterparts (adenine with thymine and cytosine with ...

Anti-aging tricks from dietary supplement seen in mice

2015-08-21
In human cells, shortened telomeres, the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes, are both a sign of aging and contribute to it. Scientists at Emory University School of Medicine have found that the dietary supplement alpha lipoic acid (ALA) can stimulate telomerase, the enzyme that lengthens telomeres, with positive effects in a mouse model of atherosclerosis. The discovery highlights a potential avenue for the treatment for chronic diseases. The results were published Thursday, August 20 in Cell Reports. "Alpha-lipoic acid has an essential role in mitochondria, ...
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