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Brandeis study shows economic impact of dengue virus in Americas

2011-02-08
Dengue illness, the most common mosquito-borne viral disease in the world, has expanded from its Southeast Asian origins and is resurgent in countries such as Argentina, Chile and the continental United States. The economic burden of dengue (pronounced DENgee) in the Western Hemisphere, according to a new study from Brandeis University researchers published today in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, is approximately $2.1 billion per year. This surpasses the loss from other viral illnesses on a country-by-country basis including human papillomavirus ...

Protein may be key to new treatment in a childhood cancer

2011-02-08
After analyzing hundreds of proteins produced by the DNA of tumor cells, researchers have identified one protein that may be central to a new treatment for the often-fatal childhood cancer neuroblastoma. Oncologists hope to translate the finding into pediatric clinical trials of a drug that blocks the protein's activity. "Our study implicates this protein as a promising treatment target for high-risk neuroblastoma," said pediatric oncologist Kristina A. Cole, M.D., Ph.D., of the Cancer Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "The fact that drugs acting on this ...

A second pathway for antidepressants

A second pathway for antidepressants
2011-02-08
Using a unique and relatively simple cell-based fluorescent assay they developed, scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC), Berkeley have identified a means by which fluoxetine, the active ingredient in Prozac, suppresses the activity of the TREK1 potassium channel. TREK1 activity has been implicated in mood regulation and could be an important target for fluoxetine and other antidepressant drugs. "Whereas the inhibiting of serotonin re-uptake remains fluoxetine's primary ...

Bad things seem even worse if people have to live through them again

2011-02-08
WASHINGTON — When people think unpleasant events are over, they remember them as being less painful or annoying than when they expect them to happen again, pointing to the power of expectation to help people brace for the worst, according to studies published by the American Psychological Association. In a series of eight studies exposing people to annoying noise, subjecting them to tedious computer tasks, or asking them about menstrual pain, participants recalled such events as being significantly more negative if they expected them to happen again soon. This reaction ...

Aluminum to replace copper as a conductor in on-board power systems

Aluminum to replace copper as a conductor in on-board power systems
2011-02-08
Electric power and electronics are playing an ever-increasing role in all kinds of vehicles. Currently copper is the conductive material of choice. But in comparison to aluminum copper is heavy and expensive. In particular for fully electric vehicles the switch to the cheaper and lighter aluminum would be an interesting option. That is why the optimization of intricate power supply networks is now in the focus of engineering research. Scientists from the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM), in collaboration with BMW engineers, have now found out what tricks make it possible ...

Words help people form mathematical concepts

2011-02-08
Language may play an important role in learning the meanings of numbers, scholars at the University of Chicago report. A study based on research on deaf people in Nicaragua who never learned formal sign language showed that people who communicate using self-developed gestures, called homesigns, were unable to comprehend the value of numbers greater than three because they had not learned a language containing symbols used for counting. By contrast, deaf people who acquire conventional sign language as children can learn the meaning of large numbers. Researchers believe ...

Save messengers -- modified mRNAs open up new therapeutic possibilities

2011-02-08
Defects in the genome are the cause of many diseases. Gene therapy – direct replacement of mutant genes by intact DNA copies – offers a means of correcting such defects. Now a research team based at the Medical Center of the University of Munich, and led by Privatdozent Dr. Carsten Rudolph, has taken a new approach that avoids DNA delivery. The team shows for the first time that chemical modification of mRNAs (the metabolically active molecules derived from genomic DNA that programs protein synthesis) provides a promising alternative to DNA-based procedures. In contrast ...

New explanation for heart-healthy benefits of chocolate

2011-02-08
WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2011 — In time for the chocolate-giving and chocolate-noshing fest on Valentine's Day, scientists are reporting discovery of how this treat boosts the body's production of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) — the "good" form of cholesterol that protects against heart disease. Just as those boxes of chocolates get hearts throbbing and mouths watering, polyphenols in chocolate rev up the activity of certain proteins, including proteins that attach to the genetic material DNA in ways that boost HDL levels. Their report appears in the Journal of ...

Researchers get a grip on nervous system's receptors

2011-02-08
A digital signal processing technique long used by statisticians to analyze data is helping Houston scientists understand the roots of memory and learning, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases and stroke. Researchers at Rice University and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) reported today in the journal Nature Chemical Biology that single molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) techniques combined with wavelet transforms have given them a new view of the AMPA receptor, a glutamate receptor and a primary mediator of fast ...

Choices -- not discrimination -- determine success for women scientists, Cornell researchers say

2011-02-08
ITHACA, N.Y. – It's an incendiary topic in academia – the pervasive belief that women are underrepresented in science, math and engineering fields because they face sex discrimination in the interviewing, hiring, and grant and manuscript review processes. In a study, "Understanding Current Causes of Women's Underrepresentation in Science" published Feb. 7 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Cornell University social scientists say it's just not true. It's not discrimination in these areas, but rather differences in resources attributable ...

Conceptualizing cancer cells as ancient 'toolkit'

2011-02-08
TEMPE, Ariz. – Despite decades of research and billions of dollars, cancer remains a major killer, with an uncanny ability to evade both the body's defenses and medical intervention. Now an Arizona State University scientist believes he has an explanation. "Cancer is not a random bunch of selfish rogue cells behaving badly, but a highly-efficient pre-programmed response to stress, honed by a long period of evolution," claims professor Paul Davies, director of the BEYOND Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science at ASU and principal investigator of a major research program ...

Border patrol: Immune cells protect body from invaders, according to Penn study

Border patrol: Immune cells protect body from invaders, according to Penn study
2011-02-08
PHILADELPHIA - So-called barrier sites -- the skin, gut, lung – limit the inner body's exposure to allergens, pollutants, viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Understanding how the immune system works in these external surfaces has implications for understanding such inflammatory diseases as asthma, psoriasis, IBD, and food allergies, all of which occur at the body's barriers. David Artis, PhD, professor of Microbiology and Gregory F. Sonnenberg, a predoctoral fellow in the Artis lab, have identified an immune cell population that acts as the body's border patrol with the ...

'He loves me, he loves me not...': Women are more attracted to men whose feelings are unclear

2011-02-08
Are you still looking for a date for Valentine's Day? Here's some dating advice straight from the laboratory: It turns out there may be something to "playing hard to get." A study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that a woman is more attracted to a man when she is uncertain about how much he likes her. On the one hand, a lot of psychological research has found that person A usually likes person B about as much as they think person B likes them. "If we want to know how much Sarah likes Bob, a good predictor ...

A change of heart keeps bears healthy while hibernating

2011-02-08
Hibernating, it turns out, is much more complicated than one might think. Research published in the latest issue of the journal Physiological and Biochemical Zoology illustrates a complex series of changes that occur in grizzly bears' hearts as they hibernate. The changes guard against complications that could arise from greatly reduced activity. A grizzly hibernates five to six months of the year. During that time, its heart rate slows drastically from around 84 beats per minute when active to around 19. "If a human heart were to slow down like this, you'd see very ...

Neutron analysis reveals '2 doors down' superconductivity link

2011-02-08
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. Feb. 7, 2011 -- Neutron scattering analysis of two families of iron-based materials suggests that the magnetic interactions thought responsible for high-temperature superconductivity may lie "two doors down": The key magnetic exchange pairings occur in a next-nearest-neighbor ordering of atoms, rather than adjacent atoms. Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee, using the Spallation Neutron Source's ARCS Wide Angular Range Chopper Spectrometer, performed spin-wave studies of magnetically ...

Research helps drivers cut fuel use

2011-02-08
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) -- Ever wonder how much fuel you can save by avoiding stop-and-go traffic, closing your window, not using air conditioning or coasting toward stops? Research at the University of California, Riverside's College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) can give you the answers. The research field is called eco-driving, which refers to providing drivers with advice and feedback to minimize fuel consumption when driving. Eco-driving, which has been practiced for years in Europe and is part of the driver ...

Researchers develop outline that may help weigh benefits of new imaging technologies

2011-02-08
A new article in the February issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology provides a roadmap for imaging manufacturers to navigate the unique and increasingly complex U.S. regulatory and reimbursement environment. "Evidence Requirements for Innovative Imaging Devices: From Concept to Adoption," identifies and addresses the five phases of an imaging procedure's lifecycle and the distinct clinical evidence needs for each phase. This article is authored by Richard Frank, MD, PhD, Vice President, Global Clinical Strategy and Policy, General Electric, Donald ...

New findings in India's Bt cotton controversy: Good for the field, bad for the farm?

New findings in Indias Bt cotton controversy: Good for the field, bad for the farm?
2011-02-08
Crop yields from India's first genetically modified crop may have been overemphasized, as modest rises in crop yields may come at the expense of sustainable farm management, says a new study by a Washington University in St. Louis anthropologist. The study, by Glenn Stone, PhD, professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences, appears in the March issue of the journal World Development. In his paper, Stone compares village yields in 2003 and 2007, which conveniently had very similar levels of rainfall. "Cotton yields rose 18 percent with the adoption of genetically modified ...

Bound neutrons pave way to free ones

Bound neutrons pave way to free ones
2011-02-08
A study of bound protons and neutrons conducted at the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility has allowed scientists, for the first time, to extract information through experimentation about the internal structure of free neutrons, without the assistance of a theoretical model. The result was published in the Feb. 4 issue of Physical Review Letters. The major hurdle for scientists who study the internal structure of the neutron is that most neutrons are bound up inside the nucleus of atoms to protons. In nature, a free neutron lasts for ...

Figuring out fetal alcohol syndrome in fruit flies

2011-02-08
Drinking excess alcohol during pregnancy can cause fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) due to the damaging effects of alcohol on a developing baby's brain. Despite its harmful effects, pregnant mothers continue to drink alcohol – up to 3 in every 1000 babies are born with FAS, which causes intellectual disabilities, behavioural problems, growth defects and abnormal facial features. How alcohol causes these effects is unclear, but researching the problem is difficult because of ethical barriers to studying human fetuses. Ulrike Heberlein and colleagues from the University of California ...

Study: Neighborhood natives move out when immigrants move in

2011-02-08
WASHINGTON, DC, February 1, 2011 — Native residents of a neighborhood are more likely to move out when immigrants move in, according to new research by three American sociologists. "Neighborhood Immigration and Native Out-Migration" appears in the February issue of the American Sociological Review. Study authors are Kyle Crowder of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Matthew Hall of the University of Illinois-Chicago and Stewart E. Tolnay of the University of Washington. The authors note that for native whites the tendency to leave areas with large and ...

Study: Popular kids -- but not the most popular -- more likely to torment peers

2011-02-08
WASHINGTON, DC, February 2, 2011 — While experts often view aggressive behavior as a maladjusted reaction typical of social outcasts, a new study in the February issue of the American Sociological Review finds that it's actually popular adolescents—but not the most popular ones—who are particularly likely to torment their peers. "Our findings underscore the argument that—for the most part—attaining and maintaining a high social status likely involves some level of antagonistic behavior," said Robert Faris, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of California-Davis. ...

Pollution controls used during China Olympics could save lives if continued

2011-02-08
CORVALLIS, Ore. – The air pollution control measures that were put in place in Beijing during the 2008 Olympic Games – if continued – would cut almost in half the lifetime risk of lung cancer for the area's residents from certain inhaled pollutants, a new study concludes. This might translate to about 10,000 fewer lifetime cases of lung cancer in this large metropolitan area, scientists said, which is only one of several in China that have unhealthy levels of air pollution, largely from the burning of coal, biomass and automobile exhaust in a rapidly growing economy. The ...

Popular kids more likely to bully peers

2011-02-08
DAVIS -- While experts often view aggressive behavior as a maladjusted reaction typical of social outcasts, a new University of California, Davis, study finds that it's actually popular adolescents--but not the most popular ones--who are particularly likely to torment their peers. "Our findings underscore the argument that--for the most part--attaining and maintaining a high social status likely involves some level of antagonistic behavior," said Robert Faris, an assistant professor of sociology at UC Davis. The study, co-authored by UC Davis sociology professor ...

Website Launches for Homes for Sale in Farmington Hills MI

2011-02-08
A new website is launching, and it is dedicated to homes for sale in Farmington Hills MI. It highlights services for retail home buyers and real estate property investors, too. The new website is located at http://www.HomesForSaleInFarmingtonHillsMI.com. Darrick Scruggs owns the company, and it is a division of My First Michigan Home, which is a piece of his vision of helping so many people find the missing piece of the real estate equation. Scruggs aims to make this division of the company the ongoing answer to people's questions. He wants to find ways to grow his ...
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