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Penn researchers use nanoscopic pores to investigate protein structure

Penn researchers use nanoscopic pores to investigate protein structure
2015-08-20
University of Pennsylvania researchers have made strides toward a new method of gene sequencing a strand of DNA's bases are read as they are threaded through a nanoscopic hole. In a new study, they have shown that this technique can also be applied to proteins as way to learn more about their structure. Existing methods for this kind of analysis are labor intensive, typically entailing the collection of large quantities of the protein. They also often require modifying the protein, limiting these methods' usefulness for understanding the protein's behavior in its natural ...

Aquatic hunger games: Archerfish spit the distance for food

Aquatic hunger games: Archerfish spit the distance for food
2015-08-20
Move over, Katniss Everdeen. For archerfish, the odds are ever in their favor, according to new research from Wake Forest University. The sharp-shooting fish's ability to spit water to hit food targets has been well documented, but a new study published online in the journal Zoology showed for the first time that there is little difference in the amount of force of their water jets based on target distance. And, when given the choice, the fish preferred closer targets. The study was co-authored by Wake Forest researchers Morgan Burnette, a biology graduate student, ...

Warming climate is deepening California drought

Warming climate is deepening California drought
2015-08-20
A new study says that global warming has measurably worsened the ongoing California drought. While scientists largely agree that natural weather variations have caused a lack of rain, an emerging consensus says that rising temperatures may be making things worse by driving moisture from plants and soil into the air. The new study is the first to estimate how much worse: as much as a quarter. The findings suggest that within a few decades, continually increasing temperatures and resulting moisture losses will push California into even more persistent aridity. The study appears ...

Study shows what business leaders can learn from Formula One racing

2015-08-20
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Formula One racing teams may have a lesson to teach business leaders: Innovation can be overrated. That's the conclusion from academic researchers who pored over data from 49 teams over the course of 30 years of Formula One racing. They found that the teams that innovated the most - especially those that made the most radical changes in their cars - weren't usually the most successful on the race course. Moreover, radical innovations were the least successful at exactly the times when many business leaders would be most likely to try them: when there ...

How newts can help osteoarthritis patients

2015-08-20
A research team at York has adapted the astonishing capacity of animals such as newts to regenerate lost tissues and organs caused when they have a limb severed. The research, which is funded by a £190,158 award from the medical research charity Arthritis Research UK, is published in Nature Scientific Reports. The scientists, led by Dr Paul Genever in the Arthritis Research UK Tissue Engineering Centre in the University's Department of Biology, have developed a technique to rejuvenate cells from older people with osteoarthritis to repair worn or damaged cartilage ...

New theory: If we want to detect dark matter we might need a different approach

2015-08-20
Physicists suggest a new way to look for dark matter: They beleive that dark matter particles annihilate into so-called dark radiation when they collide. If true, then we should be able to detect the signals from this radiation. ­The majority of the mass in the Universe remains unknown. Despite knowing very little about this dark matter, its overall abundance is precisely measured. In other words: Physicists know it is out there, but they have not yet detected it. It is definitely worth looking for, argues Ian Shoemaker, former postdoctoral researcher at Centre ...

Stem cells derived from amniotic membrane can benefit retinal diseases when transplanted

2015-08-19
Putnam Valley, NY. (Aug. 19, 2015) - A team of researchers in South Korea has successfully transplanted mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) derived from human amniotic membranes of the placenta (AMSCs) into laboratory mice modeled with oxygen-induced retinopathy (a murine model used to mimic eye disease). The treatment aimed at suppressing abnormal angiogenesis (blood vessel growth) which is recognized as the cause of many eye diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. The researchers reported that the AMSCs successfully migrated to the retinas ...

NIH scientists and colleagues successfully test MERS vaccine in monkeys and camels

2015-08-19
National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists and colleagues report that an experimental vaccine given six weeks before exposure to Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) fully protects rhesus macaques from disease. The vaccine also generated potentially protective MERS-CoV antibodies in blood drawn from vaccinated camels. A study detailing the synthetic DNA vaccine appears in the Aug. 19 Science Translational Medicine. MERS-CoV, which causes pneumonia deep in the lungs, emerged in 2012 and has sickened more than 1,400 people and killed 500, mostly in ...

Seizures in neonates undergoing cardiac surgery underappreciated and dangerous

2015-08-19
Summary: In 2011, the American Clinical Neurophysiology Society issued a guideline recommending that neonates undergoing cardiac surgery for repair of congenital heart disease be placed on continuous encephalographic (EEG) monitoring after surgery to detect seizures. These recommendations followed reports that seizures are common in this population, may not be detected clinically, and are associated with adverse neurocognitive outcomes. Yet, in a discussion at the 2014 Annual Meeting of The American Association for Thoracic Surgery, 80% to 90% of the audience was not following ...

Queen's researcher finds new model of gas giant planet formation

2015-08-19
KINGSTON - Queen's University researcher Martin Duncan has co-authored a study that solves the mystery of how gas giants such as Jupiter and Saturn formed in the early solar system. In a paper published this week in the journal Nature, Dr. Duncan, along with co-authors Harold Levison and Katherine Kretke (Southwest Research Institute), explain how the cores of gas giants formed through the accumulation of small, centimetre- to metre-sized, "pebbles. "As far as we know, this is the first model to reproduce the structure of the outer solar system - two gas giants, two ...

New research: Teen smokers struggle with body-related shame and guilt

2015-08-19
There are fewer smokers in the current generation of adolescents. Current figures show about 25 per cent of teens smoke, down dramatically from 40 per cent in 1987. But are those who pick up the habit doing so because they have a negative self-image? Does the typical teenaged smoker try to balance out this unhealthy habit with more exercise? And if so, then why would an adolescent smoke, yet still participate in recommended levels of physical activity? A recent study, conducted in part at Concordia University and published in Preventive Medicine Reports, sought to answer ...

Female fish genitalia evolve in response to predators, interbreeding

Female fish genitalia evolve in response to predators, interbreeding
2015-08-19
Female fish in the Bahamas have developed ways of showing males that "No means no." In an example of a co-evolutionary arms race between male and female fish, North Carolina State University researchers show that female mosquitofish have developed differently sized and shaped genital openings in response to the presence of predators and - in a somewhat surprising finding - to block mating attempts by males from different populations. "Genital openings are much smaller in females that live with the threat of predators and are larger and more oval shaped in females ...

Computer models show significant tsunami strength for Ventura and Oxnard, California

Computer models show significant tsunami strength for Ventura and Oxnard, California
2015-08-19
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Few can forget the photos and videos of apocalyptic destruction a tsunami caused in 2011 in Sendai, Japan. Could Ventura and Oxnard in California be vulnerable to the effects of a local earthquake-generated tsunami? Yes, albeit on a much smaller scale than the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami, according to computer models used by a team of researchers, led by seismologists at the University of California, Riverside. According to their numerical 3D models of an earthquake and resultant tsunami on the Pitas Point and Red Mountain faults - faults located ...

Social media is transforming emergency communications -- Ben-Gurion U. study

2015-08-19
BEER-SHEVA, Israel...August 19, 2015 - Social media channel communication (e.g. Twitter and Facebook) is sometimes the only telecommunications medium that survives, and the first to recover as seen in disasters that struck the world in recent years, according to a review study of emergency situations by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers in the International Journal of Information Management. "Communication is one of the fundamental tools of emergency management, and it becomes crucial when there are dozens of agencies and organizations responding to ...

Drought implicated in slow death of trees in southeast's forests

Drought implicated in slow death of trees in southeasts forests
2015-08-19
DURHAM, N.C. -- It's obvious drought can kill trees. But a new Duke University study of nearly 29,000 trees at two research forests in North Carolina reveals it's not always a swift or predictable end. "This is the first research to show that declines in tree growth during a drought can significantly reduce long-term tree survival in Southeastern forests for up to a decade after the drought ends," said Aaron Berdanier, a Ph.D. student in forest ecology at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment, who led the study By identifying the species at highest risk and ...

This week from AGU: California tsunami, air pollution, Indian Ocean & 4 papers

2015-08-19
GeoSpace New study shows significant tsunami strength for parts of Southern California A new simulation of tsunamis generated by earthquake faults off the Santa Barbara coast demonstrates a greater potential for tsunami inundation in the cites of Ventura and Oxnard than previously thought, according to a new study in Geophysical Research Letters. Scientists track air pollution by meal times Cars and trucks shouldn't take all of the blame for air pollution in Hong Kong. Smoke from cooking adds more of a specific type of pollution - organic aerosols - to the city's ...

Supercomputers listen to the heart

2015-08-19
New supercomputer models have come closer than ever to capturing the behavior of normal human heart valves and their replacements, according to recent studies by groups including scientists at the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES) at The University of Texas at Austin and the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University. The studies focused on how heart valve tissue responds to realistic blood flow. The new models can help doctors make more durable repair and replacement of heart valves. "At the core of what we do is the development ...

Hypertensive patients benefit from acupuncture treatments, UCI study finds

2015-08-19
Irvine, Calif., Aug. 19, 2015 -- Patients with hypertension treated with acupuncture experienced drops in their blood pressure that lasted up to a month and a half, researchers with the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine have found. Their work is the first to scientifically confirm that this ancient Chinese practice is beneficial in treating mild to moderate hypertension, and it indicates that regular use could help people control their blood pressure and lessen their risk of stroke and heart disease. "This clinical study is the culmination of more than a ...

The pronoun I is becoming obsolete

2015-08-19
Don't look now, but the pronoun "I" is becoming obsolete. Recent microbiological research has shown that thinking of plants and animals, including humans, as autonomous individuals is a serious over-simplification. A series of groundbreaking studies have revealed that what we have always thought of as individuals are actually "biomolecular networks" that consist of visible hosts plus millions of invisible microbes that have a significant effect on how the host develops, the diseases it catches, how it behaves and possibly even its social interactions. "It's a case ...

Mystery of exploding stars yields to astrophysicists

2015-08-19
A longstanding mystery about the tiny stars that let loose powerful explosions known as Type Ia supernovae might finally be solved. For decades, astronomers have debated whether one white dwarf star, or two, is necessary for firing up this particular kind of supernova. The answer is not merely academic. Understanding the nitty-gritty physics and diversity of Type Ia supernovae will help illuminate our study of the evolution of galaxies and the strange cosmic force known as dark energy. "It's about understanding one of the ultimate mysteries about stars," Laura Chomiuk, ...

New research shows that hummingbird tongue is really a tiny pump

New research shows that hummingbird tongue is really a tiny pump
2015-08-19
In a paper titled Hummingbird tongues are elastic micropumps which appears in the August 19 issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Alejandro Rico Guevara and Margaret Rubega from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Tai-Hsi Fan from the School of Engineering, say that fluid is actually drawn into the tongue by the elastic expansion of the tongues grooves after they are squeezed flat by the beak. Their data shows that fifty years of research describing how hummingbirds and floral nectar have coevolved will have to be reconsidered. What is actually ...

Algorithm interprets breathing difficulties to aid in medical care

2015-08-19
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed an efficient algorithm that can interpret the wheezing of patients with breathing difficulties to give medical providers information about what's happening in the lungs. The research is part of a larger, ongoing project to develop wearable smart medical sensors for monitoring, collecting and interpreting personal health data. The work was done by Saba Emrani and Hamid Krim, researchers in the National Science Foundation Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated ...

Data mining DNA for polycystic ovary syndrome genes

2015-08-19
CHICAGO --- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) has been passed down in many families for generations -- causing reproductive and metabolic health problems for millions of women around the world. Yet, its cause remains unknown despite more than 80 years of research since the disorder was first described in 1935. A new Northwestern Medicine genome-wide association study of PCOS -- the first of its kind to focus on women of European ancestry -- has provided important new insights into the underlying biology of the disorder. Using the DNA of thousands of women and genotyping ...

Educational expansion created more marriages by same educational level, race

2015-08-19
LAWRENCE -- Compulsory schooling laws instituted in the late 1800s and early 1900s caused more people in Northern states to marry people at their same education level and race, possibly contributing to economic inequality, according to a University of Kansas researcher's study. Emily Rauscher, a KU assistant professor of Sociology, found no increase in assortative mating in Southern states as a result of the laws, suggesting the influence of educational expansion on marital sorting depends on context. "It's difficult to know why the compulsory laws had different effects ...

Leave the family behind: Solo travelers are not who you think

2015-08-19
Solo travellers don't go alone because they have to, they do it because they want to, a new Queensland University of Technology study has found. Professor Constanza (Connie) Bianchi, from QUT Business School, said there were a growing number of people who preferred to travel alone, despite having family and friends. She said solo travellers were choosing freedom, uncompromised fun and meeting new people over the desire to have a companion to share their experiences. In a study published in the International Journal of Tourism Research, Professor Bianchi looked at ...
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