Posts

October 28, 2014

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4:32 PM | One giant leap for preservation: protecting moon landing sites
Who will preserve the first lunar landing site at Tranquility Base for future generations? It seems an odd question given the fact that this extraordinary archaeological site was created on July 21, 1969 – less than 50 years ago. Although its remoteness has protected the site for almost a half century, it is not immune to future adverse impacts – and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t think that it is a place important to humanity. So how should […]
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4:22 PM | Boosting Vitamin D levels could help manage asthma attacks
Asthma, which inflames and narrows the airways, has become more common in recent years. While there is no known cure, asthma can be managed with medication and by avoiding allergens and other triggers. A new study by a Tel Aviv University researcher points to a convenient, free way to manage acute asthmatic episodes — catching some rays outside. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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3:50 PM | A new dent in HIV-1's armor
Like a slumbering dragon, HIV can lay dormant in a person's cells for years, evading medical treatments only to wake up and strike at a later time, quickly replicating itself and destroying the immune system. Scientists at the Salk Institute have uncovered a new protein that participates in active HIV replication, as detailed in the latest issue of Genes & Development. The new protein, called Ssu72, is part of a switch used to awaken HIV-1 (the most common type of HIV) from its […]
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2:21 AM | Amphibians are being killed by emerging viruses
Scientists tracing the real-time impact of viruses in the wild have found that entire amphibian communities are being killed off by closely related viruses introduced to mountainous areas of northern Spain. Subject:  Animal Research
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2:08 AM | How did complex life evolve? The answer could be inside out
A new idea about the origin of complex life turns current theories inside out. In the open access journal BMC Biology, cousins Buzz and David Baum explain their 'inside-out' theory of how eukaryotic cells, which all multicellular life - including us - are formed of, might have evolved. Subject:  Evolution
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1:13 AM | Cocoa may reverse age-related memory decline
Dietary cocoa flavanols—naturally occurring bioactives found in cocoa—reversed age-related memory decline in healthy older adults, according to a study led by Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) scientists. The study, published today in the advance online issue of Nature Neuroscience, provides the first direct evidence that one component of age-related memory decline in humans is caused by changes in a specific region of the brain and that this form of memory […]

October 27, 2014

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6:16 PM | Almost human: Xerox brings higher level of AI to its virtual customer support agents
Online customer support agents aren’t always human these days, and that’s generally frustrating for customers. But Xerox’s WDS division is announcing a customer support technology today with what it says is a higher level of artificial intelligence. Subject:  Artificial Intelligence
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12:55 PM | It's better for memory to make mistakes while learning
Making mistakes while learning can benefit memory and lead to the correct answer, but only if the guesses are close-but-no-cigar, according to new research findings from Baycrest Health Sciences. Subject:  Brain & Behavior
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12:52 PM | The Ebola epidemic: Is there a way out?
Not everyone who contracts the Ebola virus dies, the survival rate is around 30% suggesting that some kind of immunity to the disease is possible. Experimental treatments and vaccines against Ebola exist but have not yet been tested in large groups for safety and efficacy (phase 2 trials). The International Union of Immunology Societies (IUIS) published a statement today in its official journal, Frontiers in Immunology calling for urgent and adequate funding of vaccine candidates in […]
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12:40 PM | The Hendo hoverboard
Hendo is introducing the world's first REAL hoverboard and hover developer kit. They are putting hover technology in YOUR hands. The magic behind the hoverboard lies in its four disc-shaped hover engines. These create a special magnetic field which literally pushes against itself, generating the lift which levitates our board off the ground. Subject:  Technology

October 26, 2014

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9:34 PM | The perfect cup of coffee boils down to four factors
It’s hard to get a bad coffee these days. Plenty of baristas have fine-tuned the process of making espresso, but really there are only a handful of variables they can control: Subject:  Health & Medicine
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8:13 PM | Why we remember some things and not others
In a unique imaging study, two Northwestern University researchers have discovered how neurons in the brain might allow some experiences to be remembered while others are forgotten. It turns out, if you want to remember something about your environment, you better involve your dendrites. Using a high-resolution, one-of-a-kind microscope, Daniel A. Dombeck and Mark E. J. Sheffield peered into the brain of a living animal and saw exactly what was happening in individual neurons called […]
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8:11 PM | A switch to dampen malignancy
Ludwig Oxford researchers have discovered a key mechanism that governs how cells of the epithelia, the soft lining of inner body cavities, shift between a rigid, highly structured and immobile state and a flexible and motile form. Subject:  Biology & Aging
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8:05 PM | New evidence for an exotic, predicted superconducting state
Superconductors and magnetic fields do not usually get along. But a research team led by a Brown University physicist has produced new evidence for an exotic superconducting state, first predicted a half-century ago, that can indeed arise when a superconductor is exposed to a strong magnetic field. "It took 50 years to show that this phenomenon indeed happens," said Vesna Mitrovic, associate professor of physics at Brown University, who led the work. "We have identified the […]
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7:07 PM | Artificial pancreas to begin clinical trials
A new medical device that operates like an artificial pancreas is set to begin clinical trials. Overseen by a multi-university team with NIH funding, the device is capable of monitoring blood glucose, delivering insulin responsively, and connecting with a smartphone. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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6:37 PM | Lizards seen evolving within 15 years
Scientists working on islands in Florida have documented the rapid evolution of a native lizard species — in as little as 15 years — as a result of pressure from an invading lizard species, introduced from Cuba. After contact with the invasive species, the native lizards began perching higher in trees, and, generation after generation, their feet evolved to become better at gripping the thinner, smoother branches found higher up. Subject:  Evolution […]
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6:29 PM | Molecular beacons shine light on how cells "crawl"
Adherent cells, the kind that form the architecture of all multi-cellular organisms, are mechanically engineered with precise forces that allow them to move around and stick to things. Proteins called integrin receptors act like little hands and feet to pull these cells across a surface or to anchor them in place. When groups of these cells are put into a petri dish with a variety of substrates they can sense the differences in the surfaces and they will “crawl” toward […]
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6:22 PM | NASA identifies ice cloud above cruising altitude on Titan
NASA scientists have identified an unexpected high-altitude methane ice cloud on Saturn's moon Titan that is similar to exotic clouds found far above Earth's poles. This lofty cloud, imaged by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, was part of the winter cap of condensation over Titan's north pole. Now, eight years after spotting this mysterious bit of atmospheric fluff, researchers have determined that it contains methane ice, which produces a much denser cloud than the ethane ice previously […]

October 25, 2014

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5:57 PM | World first: Australian surgeons transplant a dead heart
In a world first, Australian researchers and surgeons have successfully transplanted a heart that had stopped beating. The donor heart was dead for 20 minutes before it was resuscitated with ground breaking preservation fluid and then transplanted. Researchers say up to 30 per cent more lives will be saved as a result of this new technique. It was developed by the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute and Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital. READ MORE Subject:  […]
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5:49 PM | Elon Musk speaks at MIT Oct. 24, 2014
The founder of Tesla and SpaceX spoke at MIT for an event marking the 100th anniversary of its Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

October 24, 2014

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10:06 PM | When parallel worlds collide … quantum mechanics is born
Parallel universes – worlds where the dinosaur-killing asteroid never hit, or where Australia was colonised by the Portuguese – are a staple of science fiction. But are they real? Subject:  Technology
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9:56 PM | New compounds reduce debilitating inflammation
Six Case Western Reserve scientists are part of an international team that has discovered two compounds that show promise in decreasing inflammation associated with diseases such as ulcerative colitis, arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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5:50 PM | MRI detects a single atom for the first time
For the first time, researchers have succeeded to detect a single hydrogen atom using magnetic resonance imaging, which signifies a huge increase in the technology's spatial resolution. In the future, single-atom MRI could be used to shed new light on protein structures. Subject:  Technology
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5:41 PM | The end of pregnancy and the inevitable rise of the artificial womb
Sigmund Freud famously maintained that boys grow up with “castration anxiety,” or the fear of losing their penises, while girls suffer from “penis envy,” or a longing to have penises of their own. But what if pregnancy envy, not penis envy, has been the central driver of human history? Several years ago, feminist political scientist Jacqueline Stevens offered a fascinating, contrary theory of childhood sexual development that made exactly that point. […]
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5:29 PM | The very first photo of Earth from space
These days we see photos of our planet taken from space literally every day. Astronauts living aboard the International Space Station, weather and Earth-observing satellites in various orbits, even distant spacecraft exploring other planets in our Solar System… all have captured images of Earth from both near and far. But there was a time not that long ago when there were no pictures of Earth from space, when a view of our planet against the blackness of the cosmos was limited […]
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4:27 PM | Ebola's evolutionary roots are more ancient than previously thought
A new study is helping to rewrite Ebola's family history. The research shows that filoviruses — a family to which Ebola and its similarly lethal relative, Marburg, belong — are at least 16-23 million years old. Filoviruses likely existed in the Miocene Epoch, and at that time, the evolutionary lines leading to Ebola and Marburg had already diverged, the study concludes. Subject:  Evolution
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3:47 PM | Is telekinesis real?
Telekinesis, the ability to manipulate matter with the mind alone, is a trait exhibited by some of the most iconic fictional characters, including Neo, Yoda, and, of course, Carrie. But is this mind control actually possible in real life? Emma Bryce subjects telekinesis to the scientific method.
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3:21 PM | Infection projections: how the spread of Ebola is calculated
The number of reported Ebola cases is doubling roughly every five weeks in Sierra Leone, and in as little as two to three weeks in Liberia. Subject:  Health & Medicine

October 23, 2014

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9:21 PM | Can general anesthesia trigger dementia?
Scientists try to untangle the relationship between a temporary effect and a permanent condition. Sanfra Anastine had surgery at age 42 and couldn’t speak for about 12 hours afterward. The next time she was operated on she was 56 and it took three months for her speech to return. Now 61, Anastine says that she doesn’t have difficulty forming words anymore but is still more forgetful than before her second surgery. She’s afraid of what will happen if she has to go […]
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8:31 PM | Missing link found between vitamin D and prostate cancer
A University of Colorado Cancer Center study recently published in the journal Prostate offers compelling evidence that inflammation may be the link between Vitamin D and prostate cancer. Specifically, the study shows that the gene GDF-15, known to be upregulated by Vitamin D, is notably absent in samples of human prostate cancer driven by inflammation. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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