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3 tiny qubits, another big step toward quantum computing

2010-09-30
New Haven, Conn.—The rules that govern the world of the very small, quantum mechanics, are known for being bizarre. One of the strangest tenets is something called quantum entanglement, in which two or more objects (such as particles of light, called photons) become inextricably linked, so that measuring certain properties of one object reveals information about the other(s), even if they are separated by thousands of miles. Einstein found the consequences of entanglement so unpalatable he famously dubbed it "spooky action at a distance." Now a team led by Yale researchers ...

Phase II study finds tanezumab reduces osteoarthritis knee pain

2010-09-30
(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Just months after a pharmaceutical company halted studies of tanezumab, a drug used in reducing pain and improving function in people with moderate-to-severe osteoarthritis of the knee, the results of a small, phase II clinical trial found only a few minor side effects and substantial improvement in patient conditions. The results of the 16-week study are published in the Sept. 30 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine. Other, longer-term studies have indicated that tanezumab may accelerate osteoarthritis, and the company that manufactures the ...

Study finds first direct evidence that ADHD is a genetic disorder

2010-09-30
Research published today provides the first direct evidence that attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a genetic condition. Scientists at Cardiff University found that children with ADHD were more likely to have small segments of their DNA duplicated or missing than other children. The study also found significant overlap between these segments, known as copy number variants (CNVs), and genetic variants implicated in autism and schizophrenia, proving strong evidence that ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder – in other words, that the brains of children ...

Less chemotherapy works well for some childhood cancer

2010-09-30
A particularly aggressive childhood cancer can be fought successfully with far less chemotherapy than previously believed, avoiding harmful side effects caused by cancer drugs. The 96 percent survival rate found in an eight-year clinical trial at the University of California, San Francisco, stands to change the approach toward fighting intermediate-risk – stage three and stage four – neuroblastoma. Neuroblastoma attacks the network of cells that control the body's response to stress, known as the sympathetic nervous system, and affects 650 children in the United States ...

Decrease in suicide not linked to newer antidepressants

2010-09-30
Many researchers have studied the relationship between the increase in sales of new antidepressants in recent decades and a simultaneous decline in the suicide rate. In a study based on figures from the Nordic countries, researchers at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health found no evidence that increased sales of the new medicines could be linked to a lower suicide rate. The researchers also did not find any relationship between reduced sales of the older and more toxic antidepressants and a reduction in suicide rates. The suicide rate has been declining since the ...

Not just an innocent bystander

2010-09-30
Severe sepsis, a disease characterised by a sudden drop in blood pressure and progressive organ dysfunction following infection, remains one of the most common causes of mortality in intensive care units worldwide. Even under the best possible medical conditions, mortality rates range between 30 and 70%. A research team from the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Portugal, led by Miguel Soares, found that free heme, released from red blood cells during infection, is the cause of organ failure, leading to the lethal outcome of severe sepsis. Moreover this team found that the ...

Research lays foundation for building on the moon -- or anywhere else

2010-09-30
The key to the stability of any building is its foundation, but it is difficult to test some building sites in advance – such as those on the moon. New research from North Carolina State University is helping resolve the problem by using computer models that can utilize a small sample of soil to answer fundamental questions about how soil at a building site will interact with foundations. "If you are going to build a large structure, you have to run a lot of tests on the building site to learn how the soil will behave in relation to the building's foundation," says Dr. ...

Maternal diet high in trans fats doubles risk of excess body fat in breastfed babies, study finds

2010-09-30
Athens, Ga. – A new University of Georgia study suggests that mothers who consume a diet high in trans fats double the likelihood that their infants will have high levels of body fat. Researchers, whose results appear in the early online edition of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that infants whose mothers consumed more than 4.5 grams of trans fats per day while breastfeeding were twice as likely to have high percentages of body fat, or adiposity, than infants whose mothers consumed less than 4.5 grams per day of trans fats. The researchers investigated ...

Most complete beer 'proteome' finding could lead to engineered brews

2010-09-30
In an advance that may give brewers powerful new ability to engineer the flavor and aroma of beer — the world's favorite alcoholic beverage — scientists are publishing the most comprehensive deciphering of the beer's "proteome" ever reported. Their report on the proteome (the set of proteins that make beer "beer") appears in ACS' monthly Journal of Proteome Research. Pier Giorgio Righetti and colleagues say they were inspired to do the research by a popular Belgian story, Les Maîtres de l'Orge (The Brew Masters), which chronicles the fortunes of a family of brewers over ...

Simple approach could clean up oil remaining from Exxon Valdez spill

2010-09-30
Traces of crude oil that linger on the shores of Alaska's Prince William Sound after the Exxon Valdez oil spill remain highly biodegradable, despite almost 20 years of weathering and decomposition, scientists are reporting in a new study. Their findings, which appear in ACS' semi-monthly journal Environmental Science & Technology, suggest a simple approach for further cleaning up remaining traces of the Exxon Valdez spill — the largest in U.S. waters until the 2010 Deepwater Horizon episode. Albert D. Venosa and colleagues note that bacteria, evaporation, sunlight, and ...

Garlic oil shows protective effect against heart disease in diabetes

2010-09-30
Garlic has "significant" potential for preventing cardiomyopathy, a form of heart disease that is a leading cause of death in people with diabetes, scientists have concluded in a new study. Their report, which also explains why people with diabetes are at high risk for diabetic cardiomyopathy, appears in ACS' bi-weekly Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Wei-Wen Kuo and colleagues note that people with diabetes have at least twice the risk of death from heart disease as others, with heart disease accounting for 80 percent of all diabetes-related deaths. They are ...

Tofu ingredient yields formaldehyde-free glue for plywood

2010-09-30
In a real-life "back to the future" story, scientists today reported that the sustainable, environmentally-friendly process that gave birth to plywood a century ago is re-emerging as a "green" alternative to wood adhesives made from petroleum. Speaking at a meeting of the American Chemical Society, they described development of new soy-based glues that use a substance in soy milk and tofu and could mean a new generation of more eco-friendly furniture, cabinets, flooring, and other wood products. "Protein adhesives allowed the development of composite wood products such ...

Reducing gene-damaging impurities in medicines

2010-09-30
Drug manufacturers have been adjusting to strict new government standards that limit the amount of potentially harmful impurities in medicine, according to the cover story of the current issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS' weekly newsmagazine. The impurities are "genotoxic," capable of damaging the DNA in genes. C&EN Senior Correspondent Ann Thayer notes that internationally accepted regulations long have limited the levels of impurities permitted in prescription drugs. But guidelines have not covered so-called genotoxic impurities (GTIs), substances that ...

Hodgkin's lymphoma: Benefit of stem cell transplantation with an unrelated donor unclear

2010-09-30
It remains an unresolved question whether adult patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a certain type of lymph node cancer, benefit from allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT) with an unrelated donor. This is due to the fact that studies are lacking that compare this therapy with autologous transplantation or conventional chemotherapy without SCT. In addition, the few studies comparing SCT with an unrelated donor versus SCT with a related donor provide neither proof nor indications of an advantage. However, it cannot be inferred from the studies that both procedures are ...

National study finds strong link between diabetes and air pollution

2010-09-30
Boston, Mass. -- A national epidemiologic study finds a strong, consistent correlation between adult diabetes and particulate air pollution that persists after adjustment for other risk factors like obesity and ethnicity, report researchers from Children's Hospital Boston. The relationship was seen even at exposure levels below the current EPA safety limit. The report, published in the October issue of Diabetes Care, is among the first large-scale population-based studies to link diabetes prevalence with air pollution. It is consistent with prior laboratory studies finding ...

Blueberries help fight artery hardening, lab animal study indicates

2010-09-30
Blueberries may help fight atherosclerosis, also known as hardening of the arteries, according to results of a preliminary U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-funded study with laboratory mice. The research provides the first direct evidence that blueberries can help prevent harmful plaques or lesions, symptomatic of atherosclerosis, from increasing in size in arteries. Principal investigator Xianli Wu, based in Little Rock, Ark., with the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center and with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, ...

Feeding prior to eye exams reduces stress in premature infants

2010-09-30
Philadelphia, PA, September 29, 2010 – Premature infants are often examined for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). This exam can be quite stressful for the neonate, causing changes in heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation, and increased crying. In a recent study published in the Journal of AAPOS, the Official Publication of the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, researchers found that feeding infants one hour before the examination unexpectedly reduced stress but did not increase vomiting or gastric aspirates. Investigators from ...

Researchers find phone apps sending data without notification

2010-09-30
DURHAM, N.C. -- Flicking through a wallpaper app with backgrounds of Mickey Mouse and a tropical waterfall, Peter Gilbert gets a plain, black and white text notification on his smartphone. A third of the way down the screen it says, "Taint: Phone Number, IMEI, ICCID (sim card identifier)." The message alerts Gilbert that the wallpaper app has sent his phone's number and other identifying information to imnet.us. Checking online, it appears the address is a website in Shenzhen, China. The notification came from TaintDroid, a prototype extension to the Android mobile-phone ...

Purifying proteins: Rensselaer researchers use NMR to improve drug development

Purifying proteins: Rensselaer researchers use NMR to improve drug development
2010-09-30
Troy, N.Y. – The purification of drug components is a large hurdle facing modern drug development. This is particularly true of drugs that utilize proteins, which are notoriously difficult to separate from other potentially deadly impurities. Scientists within the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to understand and improve an important protein purification process. "We hope to use our insights to help those in the industry develop improved processes to provide ...

Smartphone apps harvest, spread personal info

2010-09-30
Publicly available cell-phone applications from application markets are releasing consumers' private information to online advertisers, according to a joint study by Intel Labs, Penn State, and Duke University. Researchers at the participating institutions have developed a realtime monitoring service called TaintDroid that precisely analyses how private information is obtained and released by applications "downloaded" to consumer phones. TaintDroid is an extension to the Android mobile-phone platform that tracks the flow of sensitive data through third-party applications. In ...

K-State researchers honored for influential contributions to software engineering field

2010-09-30
MANHATTAN, KAN. -- For two Kansas State University professors, receiving one of software engineering's most prestigious awards was more than 10 years in the making. A seven-member research team that included K-State's John Hatcliff, professor of computer and information science, and Robby, associate professor of computing and information science, set out in 1998 to illustrate how different technologies could test for problems that arise when computer programs multitask. The team published "Bandera: Extracting Finite-State Models from Java Source code" in 2000. The publication ...

Technique to reattach teeth using stem cells developed at UIC

2010-09-30
A new approach to anchor teeth back in the jaw using stem cells has been developed and successfully tested in the laboratory for the first time by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The new strategy represents a potential major advance in the battle against gum disease, a serious infection that eventually leads to tooth loss. About 80 percent of U.S. adults suffer from gum disease, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Researchers in UIC's Brodie Laboratory for Craniofacial Genetics used stem cells obtained from ...

After traumatic event, early intervention reduces odds of PTSD in children by 73 percent

2010-09-30
PHILADELPHIA – After experiencing a potentially traumatic event – a car accident, a physical or sexual assault, a sports injury, witnessing violence – as many as 1 in 5 children will develop Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A new approach that helps improve communication between child and caregiver, such as recognizing and managing traumatic stress symptoms and teaching coping skills, was able to prevent chronic and sub-clinical PTSD in 73 percent of children. The intervention, called the Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI) also reduced PTSD symptoms ...

IU researchers: Chemotherapy alters brain tissue in breast cancer patients

IU researchers: Chemotherapy alters brain tissue in breast cancer patients
2010-09-30
INDIANAPOLIS -- Researchers at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center have published the first report using imaging to show that changes in brain tissue can occur in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. The cognitive effects of chemotherapy, often referred to as "chemobrain," have been known for years. However, the IU research is the first to use brain imaging to study women with breast cancer before and after treatment, showing that chemotherapy can affect gray matter. The researchers reported their findings in the October 2010 edition ...

Alcohol consumers are becoming the norm, UT Southwestern analysis finds

Alcohol consumers are becoming the norm, UT Southwestern analysis finds
2010-09-30
DALLAS – Sept. 29, 2010 – More people are drinking than 20 years ago, according to a UT Southwestern Medical Center analysis of national alcohol consumption patterns. Gathered from more than 85,000 respondents, the data suggests that a variety of factors, including social, economic and ethnic influences and pressures, are involved in the increase. "The reasons for the uptick vary and may involve complex sociodemographic changes in the population, but the findings are clear: More people are consuming alcohol now than in the early 1990s," said Dr. Raul Caetano, dean of ...
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