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Gladstone scientists identify strategy to reduce toxic proteins associated with Alzheimer's disease

2010-09-22
SAN FRANCISCO, CA—September 23, 2010—Scientists at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease (GIND) have uncovered new approaches to reduce toxic proteins in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative diseases. The results might lead to new treatments for these diseases. "We examined a protein called tau that has been strongly implicated in Alzheimer's disease," said Li Gan, PhD, senior author on the study. "Tau forms toxic protein aggregations in the brains of Alzheimer patients." Tau is a common protein in the central nervous system where it helps ...

Ocean cooling contributed to mid-20th century global warming hiatus

Ocean cooling contributed to mid-20th century global warming hiatus
2010-09-22
FORT COLLINS – The hiatus of global warming in the Northern Hemisphere during the mid-20th century may have been due to an abrupt cooling event centered over the North Atlantic around 1970, rather than the cooling effects of tropospheric pollution, according to a new paper appearing today in Nature. David W. J. Thompson, an atmospheric science professor at Colorado State University, is the lead author on the paper. Other authors are John M. Wallace at the University of Washington, and John J. Kennedy at the Met Office and Phil D. Jones of the University of East Anglia, ...

Cell division typically associated with cancer may also protect the liver from injury

2010-09-22
PORTLAND, Ore. — Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have discovered that a form of cell division typically associated with cancer called multipolar mitosis can yield diverse, viable cells capable of protecting the liver from injury and poisonous substances, such as pesticides, carcinogens or drugs. Their findings are published online in the journal Nature. "Our findings show that the liver, which is known to have a tremendous capacity for regeneration, also has an amazing degree of diversity. A better understanding of this process may reveal why some individuals ...

Genetic factor in osteoporosis discovered

Genetic factor in osteoporosis discovered
2010-09-22
Spanish researchers have confirmed there is a genetic risk factor for osteoporosis and bone fractures. Although more studies are still needed, these findings will make it possible to take preventive measures. Scientists from the University of Barcelona (UB) have discovered that the genetic variant 677C>T (a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) that is very well known in genetic studies) is linked to osteoporotic vertebral fractures, which many women suffer from after the menopause. "In this genetic variant, the women that displayed a TT combination (or genotype) had ...

Smoking during pregnancy may harm the child's motor control and coordination

Smoking during pregnancy may harm the childs motor control and coordination
2010-09-22
Women who smoke during pregnancy run the risk of adversely affecting their children's coordination and physical control according to a new study from Örebro University, Sweden, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. – Moreover, we discovered that boys' abilities may be affected to a greater extent than those of girls, says Professor Scott Montgomery at Örebro University. – There is a link between nicotine and testosterone. Nicotine can influence development of the brain and interacts with testosterone particularly during the foetal stage, and ...

A scientific research study analyzes when to buy airline and theater tickets

A scientific research study analyzes when to buy airline and theater tickets
2010-09-22
Why do airline tickets become more expensive as the travel date approaches whereas theater tickets are sold at half price in Leicester Square on the day of the performance? In their recent article published in the Economic Journal, ("Advance Purchase Discounts versus Clearance Sales"), Professors Marc Möller and Makoto Watanabe from the UC3M Department of Economics have considered the pricing of products that can be purchased in advance, i.e., long before their actual date of consumption. Further examples include seasonal products like the newest skiing equipment or entry ...

An elegant galaxy in an unusual light

An elegant galaxy in an unusual light
2010-09-22
NGC 1365 is one of the best known and most studied barred spiral galaxies and is sometimes nicknamed the Great Barred Spiral Galaxy because of its strikingly perfect form, with the straight bar and two very prominent outer spiral arms. Closer to the centre there is also a second spiral structure and the whole galaxy is laced with delicate dust lanes. This galaxy is an excellent laboratory for astronomers to study how spiral galaxies form and evolve. The new infrared images from HAWK-I are less affected by the dust that obscures parts of the galaxy than images in visible ...

New luggage inspection methods identify liquid explosives

New luggage inspection methods identify liquid explosives
2010-09-22
To most air travelers, it is an annoying fact of life: the prohibition of liquids in carry-on luggage. Under aviation security regulations introduced in Europe in November 2006, passengers who wish to take liquids such as creams, toothpaste or sunscreen on board must do so in containers no larger than 100 ml (roughly 3.4 fluid oz.). The EU provisions came in response to attempted attacks by terrorist suspects using liquid explosives on trans-Atlantic flights in August 2006. Now, travelers have a reason to hope to see the prohibition lifted. On November 19, 2009, the EU ...

Titanium foams replace injured bones

Titanium foams replace injured bones
2010-09-22
The greater one's responsibilities, the more a person grows. The same principle applies to the human bone: The greater the forces it bears, the thicker the tissue it develops. Those parts of the human skeleton subject to lesser strains tend to have lesser bone density. The force of stress stimulates the growth of the matrix. Medical professionals will soon be able to utilize this effect more efficiently, so that implants bond to their patients' bones on more sustained and stable basis. To do so, however, the bone replacement must be shaped in a manner that fosters ingrowth ...

Young teens who play sports feel healthier and happier about life

2010-09-22
Taking part in sports is good all round for young teens: physically, socially, and mentally, according to a new study1 by Dr. Keith Zullig and Rebecca White from West Virginia University in the US. Their research shows that middle-school teenagers who are physically active and play on sports teams are more satisfied with their life and feel healthier. Zullig and White's paper is published online in Springer's journal Applied Research in Quality of Life. Although the benefits of physical activity are well documented among teenagers, middle school children are an understudied ...

Taribavirin offers a safe, effective alternative for chronic hepatitis C

2010-09-22
Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and 50 other centers found that weight-based dosing of taribavirin reduces rates of anemia while increasing sustained virologic response (SVR) in patients with chronic hepatitis C (HCV). Full details of this study are available in the October issue of Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). Chronic HCV is typically treated with ribavirin (RBV). When used in combination with peginterferon alfa (peg-IFN), RBV significantly enhances on-treatment ...

Breaking waves in the stellar lagoon

Breaking waves in the stellar lagoon
2010-09-22
The Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured a dramatic view of gas and dust sculpted by intense radiation from hot young stars deep in the heart of the Lagoon Nebula (Messier 8). This spectacular object is named after the wide, lagoon-shaped dust lane that crosses the glowing gas of the nebula. This structure is prominent in wide-field images, but cannot be seen in this close-up. However the strange billowing shapes and sandy texture visible in this image make the Lagoon Nebula's watery name eerily appropriate from this viewpoint ...

Terlipressin treatment for gastrointestinal bleeding reduces serum sodium

2010-09-22
A new study published in the October issue of the journal Hepatology found that patients with severe portal-hypertensive bleeding who are treated with terlipressin may experience an acute reduction of sodium in their blood. This reduction in serum sodium, known as hyponatremia, can cause adverse reactions such as neurological complications, and is rapidly reversible upon terlipressin withdrawal. Researchers suggest that serum sodium should be closely monitored in these patients and caution that use of solutions with high sodium content to treat this condition may cause ...

Researchers crack cuckoo egg mystery

2010-09-22
Researchers at the University of Sheffield have discovered that cuckoo eggs are internally incubated by the female bird for up to 24 hours before birth, solving for the first time the mystery as to how a cuckoo chick is able to hatch in advance of a host's eggs and brutally evict them. Published today (22 September 2010) in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, the research shows that internal incubation allows the cuckoo chick to hatch before its nest mates, evict them, and monopolise the food brought by the foster parents. Although previous ...

Searching in the microbial world for efficient ways to produce biofuel

2010-09-22
With the help of genetic materials from a cow's rumen, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists are developing new ways to break down plant fibers for conversion into biofuel. To convert corn stover and switchgrass into biofuel, the plant fibers must first be broken down into sugars. But cell wall polymers are cross-linked in various ways that make them very resistant to breaking down, according to Dominic Wong, a chemist at the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Western Regional Research Center, in Albany, Calif. ARS is the principal intramural scientific ...

UT researcher links maternal genes to selfish behavior

2010-09-22
If you are more inclined to love thyself than thy neighbor, it could be your mother's fault. Those are the findings of Francisco Úbeda, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Úbeda, along with fellow evolutionary biologist Andy Gardner from Oxford University, examined the impact that genomic imprinting has on the carrier's selfish or altruistic behavior. Genomic imprinting is the phenomenon in which the expression of a gene depends upon the parent who passed on the gene. Every person has a set of chromosomes ...

Building language skills more critical for boys than girls

Building language skills more critical for boys than girls
2010-09-22
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Developing language skills appears to be more important for boys than girls in helping them to develop self-control and, ultimately, succeed in school, according to a study led by a Michigan State University researcher. Thus, more emphasis should be placed on encouraging boy toddlers to "use their words" – instead of unruly behavior – to solve problems, said Claire Vallotton, MSU assistant professor of child development. "It shouldn't be chalked off as boys being boys," Vallotton said. "They need extra attention from child-care providers and teachers ...

Mercury found to have comet-like appearance by satellites looking at sun

Mercury found to have comet-like appearance by satellites looking at sun
2010-09-22
INFORMATION: Research in Boston University’s Center for Space Physics involves interdisciplinary projects between members of the Astronomy Department in the College of Arts and Sciences and faculty, staff and students in the College of Engineering. Research areas include observational and theoretical studies in atmospheric, ionospheric and magnetospheric physics, planetary and cometary atmospheres, solar and heliospheric physics, and space weather. Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized private research university with more than 30,000 ...

Albert Einstein College of Medicine researcher to brief Congressional staffers on global diabetes

Albert Einstein College of Medicine researcher to brief Congressional staffers on global diabetes
2010-09-22
September 22, 2010 – (BRONX, NY) On Monday, September 27, researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University will hold a congressional briefing in Washington, D.C., aimed at focusing attention on the alarming global diabetes epidemic. Incidence of diabetes is increasing worldwide at a rate that eclipses most other diseases. The World Health Organization estimates that by the year 2030, more than 366 million people will be suffering from diabetes, 10 times the number affected by HIV/AIDS. Of that 366 million, more than 298 million will live in ...

The psychology of financial decision making and economic crises

2010-09-22
How could the current financial crisis have happened? While fingers have been pointing to greedy banks, subprime-loan officers, and sloppy credit card practices, these are not the only contributors to the economic downturn. A new report in Psychological Science in the Public Interest, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, examines the psychology of financial decision making, including the role of risk in making economic choices, how individuals behave in stock and credit markets, and how financial crises impact people's well-being. Risk taking is a ...

Taste genes predict tooth decay

2010-09-22
Alexandria, Va., USA – Dental caries is a highly prevalent disease that is disproportionately distributed in the population. Caries occurrence and progression is known to be influenced by a complex interplay of both environmental and genetic factors, with numerous contributing factors having been identified including bacterial flora, dietary habits, fluoride exposure, oral hygiene, salivary flow, salivary composition, and tooth structure. Previous reports have characterized the influence of the genetic variation on taste preferences and dietary habits. In an article ...

Mayo Clinic finds inflammation causes some postsurgical neuropathies

2010-09-22
ROCHESTER, Minn. -- A new Mayo Clinic study found that nerve inflammation may cause the pain, numbness and weakness following surgical procedures that is known as postsurgical neuropathy. The development of postsurgical neuropathies is typically attributed to compression or stretching of nerves during surgery. This new research shows that, in some cases, the neuropathy is actually caused by the immune system attacking the nerves and is potentially treatable with immunosuppressive drugs. The study was published in this month's issue of Brain. Postsurgical neuropathy is ...

Cocaine and ecstasy detected in waters of the L'Albufera in Valencia

Cocaine and ecstasy detected in waters of the LAlbufera in Valencia
2010-09-22
The water in the canals and irrigation channels in the L'Albufera Natural Park in Valencia contain cocaine, ecstasy and a further six drugs. This has been confirmed by a study carried out by researchers from the University of Valencia (UV), who have issued a warning about the continued presence of these substances on wildlife and human health. "The results confirm the presence of drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines, codeine, morphine and cannabis in the surface waters of the L'Albufera National Park at levels ranging between 0.06 and 78.78 nanograms/litre", Yolanda Picó, ...

IVF does not negatively affect academic achievement

2010-09-22
Children conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF) perform at least as well as their peers on academic tests at all ages from grade 3 to 12, according to a new University of Iowa study. In fact, the study, published in the October issue of the journal Human Reproduction, found that children who were conceived by IVF actually scored better than age- and gender-matched peers on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills and the Iowa Test for Educational Development (ITBS/ED). "Our findings are reassuring for clinicians and patients as they suggest that being conceived through IVF ...

New drug could help stop the spread of disease during cough: U of A research

2010-09-22
What if there was a drug that could completely eliminate airborne disease transmission that occurs when someone coughs? Researchers at the University of Alberta believe they have found a way to achieve this. The idea behind this work came from Malcolm King and his research associate Gustavo Zayas, who work in the Division of Pulmonary Medicine at the U of A's Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. King and Zayas developed a drug that, when inhaled, would reduce or eliminate the amount of droplets, called bioaerosol, coming out of the mouth when a disease-infected person coughs. ...
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