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Young minds think alike -- and older people are more distractible

2015-08-14
'Bang! You're Dead', a 1961 episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, continues to surprise - but not just with the twist in its tale. Scientists at the University of Cambridge have used the programme to show that young people respond in a similar way to events, but as we age our thought patterns diverge. In a study published today in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, the researchers also report that older people tended to be more easily distracted than younger adults. Age is believed to change the way our brains respond and how its networks interact, but studies looking ...

Meat food waste has greater negative environmental impact than vegetable waste

Meat food waste has greater negative environmental impact than vegetable waste
2015-08-14
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Approximately 31 percent of food produced in the U.S., or 133 billion pounds of food worth $162 billion, was wasted in 2011 according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Now, University of Missouri researchers have found that the type of food wasted has a significant impact on the environment. Although less meat is wasted (on average) compared to fruits and vegetables, the researchers found that significantly more energy is used in the production of meat compared to the production of vegetables. This wasted energy is usually in the form ...

A better way to personalize bladder cancer treatments

2015-08-14
(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- Researchers at UC Davis, in collaboration with colleagues at Jackson Laboratory, have developed a new way to personalize treatments for aggressive bladder cancer. In early proof-of-concept research, the team took bladder tumors from individual patients, identified actionable mutations and grafted the tumors into mice. From there, the researchers simultaneously tested multiple therapies in the tumor models. Treatments that were effective in the models could then be given to patients. The research was published today in the journal PLoS One. "By ...

Study finds little improvement in mortality rate for extremely preterm infants since 2000

2015-08-14
About 500,000 babies are born premature in the United States each year, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Those infants, born before 37 weeks of gestation, will likely deal with the threat of numerous complications or even death. Accurate data on how those infants fare is important as doctors and parents face difficult decisions. Dr. Michael Malloy, a neonatologist and professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, recently took a closer look at the infant mortality rates of extremely preterm infants. What Malloy found and described ...

Research examines relationship between autism and creativity

2015-08-14
New research has found that people with high levels of autistic traits are more likely to produce unusually creative ideas. Psychologists from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and University of Stirling examined the relationship between autistic-like traits and creativity. While they found that people with high autistic traits produced fewer responses when generating alternative solutions to a problem - known as 'divergent thinking' - the responses they did produce were more original and creative. It is the first study to find a link between autistic traits and the ...

Guideline revised for assessment of children with disorders of sexual development

2015-08-14
Every hospital should have access to regional multidisciplinary teams that can provide expert advice for children and adolescents with concerns about sex development, and provide them and their parents with psychological support, according to a revised Society for Endocrinology guideline on disorders of sex development (DSD) published today in Clinical Endocrinology. Recommendations include: Expert input should be provided in all cases where sex assignment is delayed at birth In adolescents, DSD should be considered in boys and girls with abnormal pubertal progress ...

UK death rate of pre-school kids almost double that of Sweden

2015-08-14
The death rate among pre-school children in the UK is almost double that of Sweden, with prematurity, congenital abnormalities, and infections all taking a significant toll, finds research published online in Archives of Disease in Childhood. The findings prompt the researchers to call for a stronger focus on prevention to improve the UK's position on the European child mortality league table. The researchers compared causes of death among children under the age of 5 in the UK and Sweden, using nationally collated data spanning the period 2006-2008 to tease out the ...

Titanium rings proving problematic for emergency care doctors

2015-08-14
Rings made of titanium--an increasingly popular alternative to gold and silver--are giving emergency doctors a headache because they are so difficult to prize off swollen fingers, reveals a case study published online in Emergency Medicine Journal. But now help is at hand, thanks to the ingenuity of plastic surgeons. The popularity of titanium rings is growing because the metal is light yet strong, extremely durable, and doesn't cause skin allergies. But a swollen finger caused by ring constriction is a relatively common problem in emergency care. And if not dealt ...

Transplant donors and recipients want more information about each others' health

2015-08-14
Highlights Most donors and recipients support swapping health information before kidney transplantation, but there was low interest in sharing social information. Both donors and recipients wanted the transplant team involved in information disclosure. Most donors and recipients did not think the recipient had a right to know why a donor was excluded from donating. Approximately 6,000 living donor kidney transplants are performed annually in the United States. Washington, DC (August 13, 2015) -- Both donors and recipients want more information about each ...

Police more likely to be killed on duty in states with high gun ownership

2015-08-13
Camden and Newark, New Jersey, are perceived as two of the most violent cities in the nation, yet New Jersey's police officers are among the least likely to get shot on the job. Montana, with its serene landscapes and national parks, has among the highest homicide rates for law enforcement officers. Why? Across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, homicides of police officers are linked to the statewide level of gun ownership, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health. The study found that police officers serving in states with ...

Mobile technology may help people improve health behaviors

2015-08-13
DALLAS, August 13, 2015 -- Smartphone applications and wearable sensors have the potential to help people make healthier lifestyle choices, but scientific evidence of mobile health technologies' effectiveness for reducing risk factors for heart disease and stroke is limited, according to a scientific statement from the American Heart Association, published in the association's journal Circulation. The new statement reviewed the small body of published, peer-reviewed studies about the effectiveness of mobile health technologies (mHealth) for managing weight, increasing ...

One in 2 dies in hospital

2015-08-13
At home on the sofa, in a hospital bed, or in a care home: where a death takes place is always recorded on the death certificate. Until now, however, this information has never been collated and evaluated. In an Original Article in the current issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztbl Int 112:496-504), Burkhard Dasch and his co-authors analyze for the first time the place of death records for Germany. What they found was that every second person died in a hospital; only one in four died at home. The study evaluated more than 24 000 death certificates ...

Marks on 3.4-million-year-old bones not due to trampling, analysis confirms

Marks on 3.4-million-year-old bones not due to trampling, analysis confirms
2015-08-13
Marks on two 3.4 million-year-old animal bones found at the site of Dikika, Ethiopia, were not caused by trampling, an extensive statistical analysis confirms. The Journal of Human Evolution is publishing the results of the study, which developed new methods of fieldwork and analysis for researchers exploring the origins of tool making and meat eating in our ancestors. "Our analysis clearly shows that the marks on these bones are not characteristic of trampling," says Jessica Thompson, an assistant professor of anthropology at Emory University and lead author of the study. ...

Apes may be closer to speaking than many scientists think

2015-08-13
MADISON, Wis. -- Koko the gorilla is best known for a lifelong study to teach her a silent form of communication, American Sign Language. But some of the simple sounds she has learned may change the perception that humans are the only primates with the capacity for speech. In 2010, Marcus Perlman started research work at The Gorilla Foundation, where Koko has spent more than 40 years living immersed with humans -- interacting for many hours each day with psychologist Penny Patterson and biologist Ron Cohn. "I went there with the idea of studying Koko's gestures, but ...

More details on origin of world's favorite beer-making microbe

2015-08-13
MADISON, Wis. -- The crucial genetic mashup that spawned the yeast that brews the vast majority of beer occurred at least twice -- and both times without human help -- according to a University of Wisconsin-Madison study published Aug. 11 in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution. Lager yeast, a hybrid that thrives in cold temperatures, is used in lager beer production, which accounts for about 94 percent of the world's beer. And while 15th century Bavarian monks invented lager beer, they probably did not deliberately cause the hybridizations detailed by a team ...

Young, Jupiter-like planet discovered

Young, Jupiter-like planet discovered
2015-08-13
LOS ALAMOS, N.M., August 13, 2015--A team of researchers has discovered a Jupiter-like planet within a young system that could provide a new understanding of how planets formed around our sun. The new planet, called 51 Eridani b, is the first exoplanet discovered by the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), a new instrument operated by an international collaboration headed by Bruce Macintosh, a professor of physics in the Kavli Institute at Stanford University. It is a million times fainter than its star and shows the strongest methane signature ever detected on an alien planet, ...

APA review confirms link between playing violent video games and aggression

2015-08-13
WASHINGTON - Violent video game play is linked to increased aggression in players but insufficient evidence exists about whether the link extends to criminal violence or delinquency, according to a new American Psychological Association task force report. "The research demonstrates a consistent relation between violent video game use and increases in aggressive behavior, aggressive cognitions and aggressive affect, and decreases in prosocial behavior, empathy and sensitivity to aggression," says the report of the APA Task Force on Violent Media. The task force's review ...

Studies reveal how anesthesia's brain effects differ in older adults and in children

2015-08-13
Recent Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigations into the neurobiology underlying the effects of general anesthesia have begun to reveal the ways different anesthetic agents alter specific aspects of the brain's electrical signals, reflected by EEG (electroencephalogram) signatures. While those studies have provided information that may lead to improved techniques for monitoring the consciousness of patients receiving general anesthesia, until now they have been conducted in relatively young adult patients. Now a series of papers from MGH researchers is detailing ...

The stomach is the way to a woman's heart, too

2015-08-13
You've heard that romance starts in the kitchen and not in the bedroom. Well, researchers at Drexel University finally have the science to support that saying - but not the way you might think. In a new study published online in the journal Appetite, researchers found that women's brains respond more to romantic cues on a full stomach than an empty one. The study explored brain circuitry in hungry versus satiated states among women who were past-dieters and those who had never dieted. The study's first author Alice Ely, PhD, completed the research while pursuing a ...

Lawrence Livermore scientists discover new young planet

2015-08-13
For the first time, Lawrence Livermore scientists as part of an international team, have discovered the most Jupiter-like planet ever seen in a young star system, lending clues to understanding how planets formed around our sun. Using a new advanced adaptive optics (AO) device on the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) on the Gemini South Telescope in Chile, the team took an image of the planet, which is about twice the size of Jupiter. Called 51 Eridani b, the planet is the first in a wave of discoveries by a new generation of planet-hunting instruments, and could help scientists ...

Prehistoric carnivore dubbed 'scarface' discovered in Zambia

2015-08-13
Scientists at The Field Museum have identified a new species of pre-mammal in what is now Zambia. Thanks to a unique groove on the animal's upper jaw, it was dubbed Ichibengops (Itchy-BEN-gops), which combines the local Bemba word for scar (ichibenga), and the common Greek suffix for face (ops). Put simply: Scarface. Believed to be roughly the size of a dachshund, Ichibengops lived around 255 million years ago, and was a member of Therocephalia, a group of ancient mammal relatives that survived the largest mass extinction in history (the Permian-Triassic extinction). ...

NASA's Hubble finds supernovae in 'wrong place at wrong time'

NASAs Hubble finds supernovae in wrong place at wrong time
2015-08-13
Scientists have been fascinated by a series of unusual exploding stars -- outcasts beyond the typical cozy confines of their galaxies. A new analysis of 13 supernovae -- including archived data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope -- is helping astronomers explain how some young stars exploded sooner than expected, hurling them to a lonely place far from their host galaxies. It's a complicated mystery of double-star systems, merging galaxies, and twin black holes that began in 2000 when the first such supernova was discovered, according to study leader Ryan Foley, University ...

When fruit flies get sick, their offspring become more diverse

When fruit flies get sick, their offspring become more diverse
2015-08-13
New research from North Carolina State University and Reed College shows that when fruit flies are attacked by parasites or bacteria they respond by producing offspring with greater genetic variability. This extra genetic variability may give the offspring an increased chance of survival when faced with the same pathogens. These findings demonstrate that parents may purposefully alter the genotypes of their offspring. Fruit flies' reproductive cells are usually haploid, meaning that there is only one copy of each chromosome in the cell's nucleus instead of two. During ...

Surprise: Baby marmosets learning to 'talk' do listen to adults

Surprise: Baby marmosets learning to talk do listen to adults
2015-08-13
This news release is available in Japanese. As nonhuman primates mature, their vocalizations are thought to be minimally or not at all influenced by caregivers - but a new study reveals that infant marmosets use cues from adults as they develop vocalizations. In a surprise twist then, humans may not be the only primates whose vocal development benefits from early communication. To monitor and measure the vocal development in marmosets, Daniel Takahashi et al. recorded vocalizations between the first day of birth and two months of age, using four well-established ...

Internal climate variability masks climate-warming trends

2015-08-13
This news release is available in Japanese. Amid climate change debates revolving around limited increases in recent global mean surface temperature (GMST) rates, Kevin Trenberth argues that natural climate fluxes - larger than commonly appreciated - can overwhelm background warming, making plateaued rates, or hiatuses, deceiving in significance. After many years of monitoring, it's clear that the GMST can vary from year to year, even decade to decade; these differences, Trenberth argues, are largely a result of internal natural variability. For example, the Pacific ...
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