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The success of male bustards is measured by their 'beards'

The success of male bustards is measured by their beards
2011-02-09
Up until now it was unknown whether males of the great bustard (Otis tarda), an emblematic bird in Spain and endangered at a global level, transmit information on their weight, size, and age through their plumage. For the first time a study shows that the 'beards' and the design of the neck are "reliable" indicators of the weight and age of their bearers, and are used to both avoid fights with competitors and to attract females. "The heaviest males (best physical condition) make it known to other males through the length and number of 'beards', and thereby avoid bloody ...

Fingerprint makes chips counterfeit-proof

Fingerprint makes chips counterfeit-proof
2011-02-09
This release is available in German. Product piracy long ago ceased to be limited exclusively to the consumer goods sector. Industry, too, is increasingly having to combat this problem. Cheap fakes cost business dear: The German mechanical and plant engineering sector alone lost 6.4 billion euros of revenue in 2010, according to a survey by the German Engineering Federation (VDMA). Sales losses aside, low-quality counterfeits can also damage a company's brand image. Worse, they can even put people's lives at risk if they are used in areas where safety is paramount, ...

The most genes in an animal? Tiny crustacean holds the record

The most genes in an animal? Tiny crustacean holds the record
2011-02-09
Scientists have discovered that the animal with the most genes--about 31,000--is the near-microscopic freshwater crustacean Daphnia pulex, or water flea. By comparison, humans have about 23,000 genes. Daphnia is the first crustacean to have its genome sequenced. The water flea's genome is described in a Science paper published this week by members of the Daphnia Genomics Consortium, an international network of scientists led by the Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics (CGB) at Indiana University (IU) Bloomington and the U.S. Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute. "Daphnia's ...

Wolverines threatened by climate change, earlier springs

Wolverines threatened by climate change, earlier springs
2011-02-09
The aggressive wolverine may not be powerful enough to survive climate change in the contiguous United States, new research concludes. Wolverine habitat in the northwestern United States is likely to warm dramatically if society continues to emit large amounts of greenhouse gases, according to new computer model simulations carried out at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo. "The researchers have combined regional-scale climate projections with knowledge of a single species and its unique habitat to examine its vulnerability to a changing ...

Experimental approach may improve healing of diabetic wounds and bed sores

2011-02-09
MAYWOOD, Ill. -- Loyola University Health System researchers are reporting on a promising new approach to treating diabetic wounds, bed sores, chronic ulcers and other slow-to-heal wounds. It may be possible to speed healing by suppressing certain immune system cells, researchers wrote in the February, 2011, issue of the journal Expert Review of Dermatology. The cells are called neutrophils and natural killer T (NKT) cells. These white blood cells act to kill bacteria and other germs that can infect wounds. NKT cells also recruit other white blood cells to the site ...

Elder law expert: Health care reform act a mixed bag for seniors

Elder law expert: Health care reform act a mixed bag for seniors
2011-02-09
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Although the effects of the controversial health care reform act will be somewhat muted for many older Americans, it will inevitably have enough of an impact that seniors will discover that there is plenty to like and dislike about the law, a University of Illinois expert on elder law cautions in published research. Law professor Richard L. Kaplan says the virtues of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 are a "mixed bag," and how it will affect any one person depends on that person's specific situation. "You have to expect some negative ...

Lack of sleep found to be a new risk factor for colon cancer

2011-02-09
An inadequate amount of sleep has been associated with higher risks of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and death. Now colon cancer can be added to the list. In a ground-breaking new study published in the Feb. 15, 2011 issue of the journal Cancer, researchers from University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, found that individuals who averaged less than six hours of sleep at night had an almost 50 percent increase in the risk of colorectal adenomas compared with individuals sleeping at least seven hours per night. ...

Income inequalities are increasing the occurence of depression during financial crisis

2011-02-09
Due to the recent economic crisis, an increase of health inequalities between socio-economic groups has been noticed in both developed and developing countries. The World Health Organization, the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme have all reported these inequalities and emphasized its importance and made this issue a priority. There is evidence that such inequalities not only affect general health, but have a particular impact on mental health. A new study, published in World Psychiatry, the official journal of the World Psychiatric Association ...

Language may play important role in learning the meanings of numbers

Language may play important role in learning the meanings of numbers
2011-02-09
New research conducted with deaf people in Nicaragua shows that language may play an important role in learning the meanings of numbers. Field studies by University of Chicago psychologist Susan Goldin-Meadow and a team of researchers found deaf people in Nicaragua, who had not learned formal sign language, do not have a complete understanding of numbers greater than three. Researchers surmised the lack of large number comprehension was because the deaf Nicaraguans were not being taught numbers or number words. Instead they learned to communicate using self-developed ...

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory February 2011

2011-02-09
HYDROPOWER -- Fishy behavior . . . Proposals to install hydrokinetic turbines – like underwater windmills – in rivers across the U.S. are prompting questions about the environmental impacts of this new hydropower energy source. In response, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are investigating how electromagnetic fields generated by the turbines could affect the behavior of freshwater fauna such as snails, clams, minnows and sturgeon. "We know that certain marine organisms like sharks are sensitive to electromagnetic fields, but almost nothing is known about ...

March 2011 Geology highlights

2011-02-09
Boulder, CO, USA - Highlights of articles set for the March issue of GEOLOGY (posted online on 3-4 February 2011) are provided below. Topics include marine ferromanganese crusts as potential mineral resources; CO2 emissions from volcanic lakes; deformation of the seemingly dormant Damavand volcano, northern Iran; a finding that relic chitin-protein complex plays critical role in the preservation of organic arthropod fossils; description and mapping of the 19 March 2008 Halema'uma'u crater eruption on Kilauea; and a study of the Cilaos deep-sea fan beneath La Reunion Island ...

Quality varies in social networking websites for diabetics

2011-02-09
Boston, Mass. – Nearly one-half of U.S. adults who use the Internet participate in social networks. While these increasingly include health-focused networks, not much is known about their quality and safety. In one of the first formal studies of social networking websites targeting patients, researchers in the Children's Hospital Boston Informatics Program performed an in-depth evaluation of ten diabetes websites. Their audit found large variations in quality and safety across sites, with room for improvement across the board. As reported online January 24 in the Journal ...

Dutasteride not a cost-effective way to prevent prostate cancer in some men

2011-02-09
DALLAS – Feb. 8, 2011 – The popular drug dutasteride may not be a cost-effective way to prevent prostate cancer in men who are at elevated risk of developing the disease, according to findings by a UT Southwestern Medical Center researcher. In a study available in the January issue of Cancer Prevention Research, investigators found that the medication, at an annual cost of $1,400, is impractical when compared to the marginal impact on survival and quality of life in at-risk groups. The drug is indicated for the treatment of enlarged prostates but also is widely prescribed ...

MU researcher says the next large central US earthquake may not be in New Madrid

2011-02-09
COLUMBIA, Mo. – This December marks the bicentennial of the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-12, which are the biggest earthquakes known to have occurred in the central U.S. Now, based on the earthquake record in China, a University of Missouri researcher says that mid-continent earthquakes tend to move among fault systems, so the next big earthquake in the central U.S. may actually occur someplace else other than along the New Madrid faults. Mian Liu, professor of geological sciences in the College of Arts and Science at MU, examined records from China, where earthquakes ...

The international digital divide

2011-02-09
The developed nations must invest in information and communications technologies (ICT) in the developing world not only the close the so-called digital divide but to encourage sustainable economic development and to create new markets for international commerce. Many observers have suggested that the gap between those with access to ICT and those without it is growing. But, all world citizens should have the opportunity to benefit from open access to ICT. The benefits are obvious to those given access in terms of education and opportunity, but ICT availability in developing ...

Study: Consumers value safer food more than current analyses suggest

2011-02-09
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Government regulators could more realistically assess the value of improving food safety if they considered the fact that consumers typically want to avoid getting sick – even if it means they have to pay a little extra for safer food, researchers say. In the world of food regulation, cost-benefit analyses are a primary tool for assessing the societal benefits of mandating more stringent – and more expensive – processing practices. In most cases, regulators determine a dollar value associated with pursuing new rules by estimating how many illnesses and ...

Thoughts of hopes, opportunities keep people from clinging to failing investments

2011-02-09
It's a common problem in the business world—throwing good money after bad. People cling to bad investments, hoping that more time, effort, and money will rescue their turkey of a project. A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that changing people's mindsets can make them more likely to abandon a failing investment. "These situations happen all the time," says Assistant Professor Daniel C. Molden, of Northwestern University, who conducted the study with his graduate student Chin Ming Hui. "They happen ...

Study shows delayed-enhancement MRI may predict, prevent strokes

2011-02-09
SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 8, 2011 – Researchers at the University of Utah's Comprehensive Arrhythmia and Research Management (CARMA) Center have found that delayed-enhancement magnetic resonance imaging (DE-MRI) holds promise for predicting the risks of strokes, the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Their latest study on a novel application of this technology appears in the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. (http://content.onlinejacc.org/cgi/content/abstract/57/7/831) The study included 387 patients who were treated for atrial fibrillation ...

Brief diversions vastly improve focus, researchers find

Brief diversions vastly improve focus, researchers find
2011-02-09
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A new study in the journal Cognition overturns a decades-old theory about the nature of attention and demonstrates that even brief diversions from a task can dramatically improve one's ability to focus on that task for prolonged periods. The study zeroes in on a phenomenon known to anyone who's ever had trouble doing the same task for a long time: After a while, you begin to lose your focus and your performance on the task declines. Some researchers believe that this "vigilance decrement," as they describe it, is the result of a drop in one's "attentional ...

JAMA features NJIT biomedical engineer helping stroke patients

JAMA features NJIT biomedical engineer helping stroke patients
2011-02-09
The Journal of the American Medical Society ("Medical News & Perspectives", Jan. 19, 2011) featured the research of NJIT Associate Professor Sergei Adamovich, a biomedical engineer. Adamovich and his research partners, physical therapists Alma Merians, PhD, PT, and Eugene Tunik, PhD, PT, at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, have developed innovative robotic and virtual reality-based video game therapies to help stroke patients regain use of hands and arms. JAMA reported that the efforts of this team are making headway. Twenty-four patients who ...

Why leatherback turtles linger in South Pacific Gyre, and why it matters

2011-02-09
VIDEO: Tagging and tracking leatherback sea turtles has produced new insights into the turtles' behavior in a part of the South Pacific Ocean long considered an oceanic desert. The new data... Click here for more information. Leatherbacks. They are the Olympians of the turtle world – swimming farther, diving deeper and venturing into colder waters than any other marine turtle species. But for all their toughness, they have still suffered a 90 percent drop in their population ...

Tool makes search for Martian life easier

Tool makes search for Martian life easier
2011-02-09
RICHLAND, Wash. – Finding life on Mars could get easier with a creative adaption to a common analytical tool that can be installed directly on the robotic arm of a space rover. In a recent paper published online in the journal Planetary and Space Science, a team of researchers propose adding a laser and an ion funnel to a widely used scientific instrument, the mass spectrometer, to analyze the surfaces of rocks and other samples directly on Mars' surface. The researchers demonstrated that the combined system could work on the spot, without the sample handling that mass ...

Hydrogels used to make precise new sensor

Hydrogels used to make precise new sensor
2011-02-09
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Researchers are developing a new type of biological and chemical sensor that has few moving parts, is low-cost and yet highly sensitive, sturdy and long-lasting. The "diffraction-based" sensors are made of thin stripes of a gelatinous material called a hydrogel, which expands and contracts depending on the acidity of its environment. Recent research findings have demonstrated that the sensor can be used to precisely determine pH - a measure of how acidic or basic a liquid is - revealing information about substances in liquid environments, said ...

Detecting pathogens in waterways: An improved approach

2011-02-09
This press release is available in Spanish. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists have come up with a way to detect pathogenic Escherichia coli and Salmonella bacteria in waterways at lower levels than any previous method. Similar methods have been developed to detect pathogenic E. coli in meat products, but the approach by the scientists with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) represents a first for waterways. ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency, and this research supports the USDA priority of ensuring food safety. When ...

UT Study: Charismatic leadership can be measured, learned

2011-02-09
KNOXVILLE -- How do you measure charisma? That's the question UT professor Kenneth Levine seeks to answer. Much has been written in business management textbooks and self-help guides about the role that personal charisma plays in leadership. But according to a newly published study co-authored by Levine, a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, communications studies professor, until recently no one was able to describe and measure charisma in a systematic way. Levine said the large amount of academic literature on charismatic leadership never defined what it means to ...
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