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UNH scientists provide new tools for predicting arrival, impact of solar storms

2015-08-11
DURHAM, N.H. -- When the sun hurls a billion tons of high-energy particles and magnetic fields into space at speeds of more than a million miles per hour and the "space weather" conditions are right, the resulting geomagnetic storm at Earth can wreak havoc on communication and navigation systems, electrical power grids, and pose radiation hazards to astronauts and airline passengers and crew. Being able to predict when those conditions are right is a key scientific goal, and researchers from the University of New Hampshire's Space Science Center (SSC) are now adding ...

Research advances potential for test and vaccine for genital and oral herpes

2015-08-11
Findings from a pair of new studies could speed up the development of a universally accurate diagnostic test for human herpes simplex viruses (HSV), according to researchers at Johns Hopkins and Harvard universities and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The work may also lead to the development of a vaccine that protects against the virus. Depending on the strain and other factors, HSV can cause cold sores -- classically associated with HSV1 -- or genital herpes -- classically HSV2 -- with the latter being the more serious of the two diseases, particularly because ...

Melting glaciers feed Antarctic food chain

2015-08-11
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Nutrient-rich water from melting Antarctic glaciers nourishes the ocean food chain, creating feeding "hot spots" in large gaps in the sea ice, according to a new study. New research finds that iron stored in the region's glaciers is being shuttled by melting water to open areas of the ocean, called polynyas, where it stimulates growth of phytoplankton, ocean algae that form the base of the marine food chain. Krill and fish thrive on phytoplankton, and these smaller animals support penguins, seals and whales that feed and breed in the polynyas that ...

Single interrupted pregnancy may impact later deliveries, new research finds

2015-08-11
It has been well established that women who have had several abortions or miscarriages are likely to face a slightly higher risk of complications in subsequent pregnancies. They may experience vaginal bleeding during early pregnancy, preterm birth, low fetal birth weight, and placenta-related complications. Women with a medical history of several interrupted pregnancies are usually advised to take extra precautions to ensure healthy full-term pregnancies later in life. New Tel Aviv University research published in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine finds ...

Furthering data analysis of next-generation sequencing to facilitate research

2015-08-11
CINCINNATI - Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have developed a user-friendly, integrated platform for analyzing the transcriptomic and epigenomic "big data." Reporting their platform in Genome Biology, scientists say that the new platform--called BioWardrobe--could help biomedical researchers answer questions about both basic biology and disease. The recent proliferation of next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based methods for analysis of gene expression, chromatin structure and protein-DNA interactions have opened new horizons for molecular ...

Johns Hopkins, Mayo experts suggest upgrades to current heart disease prevention guideline

2015-08-11
Acknowledging key strengths and "lessons learned," preventive cardiologists from Johns Hopkins and Mayo Clinic have developed a short list of suggested upgrades to the controversial heart disease prevention guidelines issued jointly in 2013 by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. The recommendations, published in the Aug. 11 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, are designed, the authors say, to improve subsequent guidelines and clarify key points of confusion related to risk prediction and treatment of heart attacks and strokes. "Given ...

SwRI scientists study nitrogen provision for Pluto's atmosphere

2015-08-11
San Antonio -- August 11, 2015 -- The latest data from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft reveal diverse features on Pluto's surface and an atmosphere dominated by nitrogen gas. However, Pluto's small mass allows hundreds of tons of atmospheric nitrogen to escape into space each hour. So where does all this nitrogen come from? Dr. Kelsi Singer, a postdoctoral researcher at Southwest Research Institute, and her mentor Dr. Alan Stern, SwRI associate vice president and the science lead for the New Horizons mission, outlined likely sources in a paper titled, "On the Provenance ...

SIV shrugs off antibodies in vaccinated monkeys

2015-08-11
New research on monkeys vaccinated against HIV's relative SIV calls into question an idea that has driven AIDS vaccine work for years. The assumption: a protective vaccine only needs to stimulate moderate levels of antibodies that neutralize the virus. However, scientists at Yerkes National Primate Research Center and the Emory Vaccine Center have found that when SIV manages to infect vaccinated monkeys that have potent neutralizing antibodies in their blood, the virus appears to shrug the antibodies off. No stealthy escape by mutation was necessary. The results were ...

C-section could impact baby's ability to focus: York U study

2015-08-11
TORONTO, August 11 2015 -- There can be a difference in how well babies focus attention on an object of interest, depending on whether they were delivered by natural birth or Caesarean section, a recent York University study indicates. "Our research has revealed that being born by a C-section slows a baby's spatial attention, which plays a role in its ability to focus on a particular area or object of interest," says Professor Scott Adler in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health at YorkU. According to Adler and his co-researcher Audrey Wong Kee-You, very ...

Cutting costs: Sustainability matters even in complex networks

2015-08-11
Every day, we expend energy when we con­trol the net­works in our lives. For example, to drive our car, we utilize a net­work whose com­po­nents include the car's accel­er­ator, steering wheel, and brake. Knowing how much that effort "costs" can help deter­mine which com­po­nents to manipulate--and to what degree--to ensure the smoothest, safest ride as you acclerate from 55 to 90 miles per hour. On Monday, North­eastern researchers revealed just such a mea­suring strategy in a new paper pub­lished in Nature Physics. "We ...

New report recommends research priorities for Antarctic and Southern Ocean science

2015-08-11
WASHINGTON -- An initiative to better understand how melting ice sheets will contribute to sea-level rise, efforts to decode the genomes of organisms to understand evolutionary adaptations, and a next-generation cosmic microwave background experiment to address fundamental questions about the origin of the universe are the top research goals for Antarctic and Southern Ocean science recommended in a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report, which offers a strategic vision to guide the U.S. Antarctic Program at the National ...

Vortioxetine in depression: No hint of added benefit

2015-08-11
Vortioxetine (trade name: Brintellix) has been approved since December 2013 for the treatment of depression in adults, but did not become actually available before May 2015. The German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) examined in a dossier assessment whether this drug offers an added benefit over the appropriate comparator therapy. Such an added benefit cannot be derived from the dossier because it contained no data evaluable for the assessment. SSRI is drug component of comparator therapy The Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) distinguished between ...

Insulin degludec plus liraglutide: No hint of added benefit in type 2 diabetes

2015-08-11
The fixed-ratio combination of the two drugs insulin degludec and liraglutide (trade name: Xultophy) has been approved since September 2014 for adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. It is given as an injection in addition to other blood-glucose lowering drugs when these alone or in combination with basal insulin are insufficient to lower blood glucose levels. The German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) examined in a dossier assessment whether this fixed-ratio combination offers an added benefit over the appropriate comparator therapy. Such ...

One technique therapists use that really helps depressed patients

2015-08-11
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Some depressed patients may be hoping for answers from their therapists, but a new study suggests questions may be the key. Researchers examined how cognitive therapy for depression achieves its positive effects. Their study is the first to show that depressed patients see substantial improvements in their depressive symptoms when their therapists use a technique called "Socratic questioning." These are a series of guided questions in which the therapist asks a patient to consider new perspectives on themselves and their place in the world. "People ...

C-sections could influence babies' ability to focus

2015-08-11
Being delivered through a caesarean section influences at least one form of babies' ability to concentrate. It slows their spatial attention, which plays a role in how well they are able to prioritize and focus on a particular area or object that is of interest. These are the findings of Scott Adler and Audrey Wong-Kee-You of York University in Canada, published in Springer's journal Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics. Very early birth factors such as birth weight and a mother's age impact the development of a child. However, very little is known about how the actual ...

Chitin of insects and crustaceans found to be active against pathogenic microorganisms

2015-08-11
The study specifically concentrated on chitosan extracted from chitin in the carapaces of insects and crustaceans. The biopolymer was first discovered in 1859 but only recently has it become possible to establish its production within desired parameters, when researchers from the Bioengineering Center of RAS designed narrow-dispersion chitosan. This gave an opportunity to modern scientists to customize the biological properties of certain types of the biopolymer. "We found that some forms of chitosan are toxic. They can disrupt the membranes of pathogenic microorganisms" ...

Researchers develop fast test for invasive carp

2015-08-11
A Case Western Reserve University graduate student turned a research paper into a field test that quickly determines whether an Asian carp invading Lake Erie is sterile or can reproduce. If proven successful, the technique could save money and time in the effort to keep the carp out of the Great Lakes, where the fish could grow unchecked and devour food supplies and habitat critical to native species.. Grass carp, the species Ctenopharyngodon idella, have been introduced throughout the Midwest and South to clear ponds choked with weeds. Also called the white amur, fertile ...

NYU study examines top high school students' stress and coping mechanisms

2015-08-11
Over time selective high schools have oriented themselves to address a context of increasingly competitive college admissions School work, college applications, extracurricular activities, and parental expectations all contribute to teenagers' stress Youth, schools, and experts identified substance use as a common strategy for coping with stress "School, homework, extracurricular activities, sleep, repeat--that's what it can be for some of these students," says Noelle Leonard, PhD, a senior research scientist at the New York University College of Nursing (NYUCN). ...

Research pours cold water on ice bath recovery theory

2015-08-11
If the thought of a post workout ice bath is enough to make you shiver, new research from QUT and The University of Queensland (UQ) will warm your heart. The comprehensive study found cold water immersion after strength training hindered muscle adaptation - pouring cold water on the long-held theory that an ice bath helps speed up recovery. Dr Llion Roberts, from UQ's School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, and Dr Jonathan Peake, from QUT's School of Biomedical Sciences, led the research, with colleagues from the Queensland Academy of Sport, Norwegian School ...

Common class of 'channel blocking' drugs may find a role in cancer therapy

2015-08-11
Drugs called ion channel blockers, which are commonly used to treat cardiac, neurological, and psychiatric disorders, might prove useful in cancer therapy, according to research findings in fruit flies and mice by UC San Francisco scientists that led to unconventional treatment of a case of metastatic brain cancer. Ion channels, proteins that form pores in cell membranes, play central roles in organs in which conduction of electrical signals is vital, such as the brain and heart, but they are found in cells throughout the body. Although about 20 percent of FDA-approved ...

Bringing the Tasmanian devil back to mainland Australia would restore ecosystem health

2015-08-11
Sydney, Australia -- Reintroducing Tasmanian devils to the mainland could improve biodiversity by limiting the spread of red foxes and feral cats in habitats where dingoes have been culled, a new study suggests. Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) once lived across the Australian continent, but went extinct on the mainland about 3,000 years ago - likely as a consequence of being hunted by dingoes. Today, extensive dingo culls to protect livestock have shifted the ecological balance, paving the way for invasive predators to wreak havoc with native mammals, worsening ...

Statistical model helps police identify crime series; speeds apprehension of perpetrators

2015-08-11
SEATTLE, WA, AUGUST 11, 2015 - A statistical model--now an easy-to-use software tool--local police can use to identify a series of related crimes and nab a suspect was unveiled today by Michael D. Porter during a presentation at the 2015 Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM 2015) in Seattle. Porter presented a talk titled "A Statistical Approach to Crime Linkage during a session focused on improving analysis of defense systems using statistical methods. He collaborated on the project with Brian J. Reich, associate professor of statistics at North Carolina State University. Crime ...

Loss of altruism (and a body plan) without a loss of genes

Loss of altruism (and a body plan) without a loss of genes
2015-08-11
An international team of researchers found that the evolutionary loss of the "altruistic" worker caste in ants is not accompanied by a loss of genes. Social insects, such as ants, are typically characterized by two distinct female castes: workers and queens. Previous research has found that workers and queens each express different sets of genes leading scientists to speculate that there are worker specific or "altruistic" genes that promote sociality. Testing this "novel gene" hypothesis is difficult given that all ants are social. However, not all ants make workers. ...

Controlling feral animals & plants will save unique species & $billions

Controlling feral animals & plants will save unique species & $billions
2015-08-11
Controlling feral pigs is the most cost-effective strategy to help save 148 endangered plant and animal species in the Lake Eyre Basin, and is just one of the significant findings of a three-year study led by QUT applied ecologist Associate Professor Jennifer Firn. Professor Firn, from QUT's Institute for Future Environments, worked with Dr Josie Carwardine and CSIRO's Conservation Decisions team and a research team from the University of Queensland including Dr Ramona Maggini, to identify and prioritise 23 strategies to protect endemic species in the world's largest ...

Polyglutamine repeats play key role in functional development of cells

2015-08-11
Until now only known for role in polyglutamine diseases, such as Huntington's. Scientists at VIB and KU Leuven have revealed that variable polyglutamine repeats in the DNA tune the function of the protein in which they reside. To date, these repeats were known only to cause severe neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington's. These findings now show that polyglutamine repeats may be more than just harmful elements. The study was published in the leading molecular biology journal Molecular Cell and opens the door to further studies exploring new therapies for human ...
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