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Lab Daily

Parasite Mixes, Matches Its Disguises

March 26, 2015 3:00 pm | by Rockefeller Univ. | News | Comments

Orchestrated costume changes make it possible for certain nasty microbes to outsmart the immune system, which would otherwise recognize them by the telltale proteins they wear. By taking the first detailed look at how one such parasite periodically assumes a new protein disguise during a long-term infection, research challenges many assumptions about one of the best-known examples of this strategy.

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Password Strength Meters Aren't Uniform

March 26, 2015 7:00 am | by Concordia Univ. | News | Comments

“Create a password” is a prompt familiar to anyone who has tried to buy a book from Amazon or register for a Google account. Equally familiar is that red / yellow / green bar that rates the new password’s strength. But when those meters give the go-ahead to passwords like Password1+, their effectiveness is called into question.

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Raw Milk Dramatically Ups Foodborne Illness Risk

March 26, 2015 7:00 am | by Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future | News | Comments

An analysis found that the risks of drinking raw (unpasteurized) cow’s milk are significant. Consumers are nearly 100 times more likely to get foodborne illness from drinking raw milk than pasteurized milk. In fact, the work found raw milk was associated with more than half of all milk-related foodborne illness, even though only an estimated 3.5 percent of the U.S. population consumes it.

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Recent Manhole Explosions Caused by Winter, Age and Chemistry

March 26, 2015 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Seth Borenstein | Videos | Comments

Scientific literature traces manhole explosions back nearly a century, but a series of such incidents in Indianapolis has authorities looking for a quick solution. A combination of power system design, winter road salt, older electrical cable insulation and basic chemistry have triggered underground explosions in older downtowns, launching 350-pound manhole covers high in the air.

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Tissue Model Assesses Inhaled Chemicals, Pollutants

March 26, 2015 7:00 am | by British American Tobacco | News | Comments

Effective lab-based tests are required to eliminate the need for animal testing in assessing the toxicological effects of inhaled chemicals and safety of medicines. A 3-D model of human respiratory tissue has been shown to be an effective platform for measuring the impact of chemicals, like those found in cigarette smoke, or other aerosols, on the lung.

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Tiny DNA Sequencer May Aid Disease Surveillance

March 26, 2015 7:00 am | by BioMed Central | News | Comments

A pocket-sized device that can rapidly determine the sequence of an organism's DNA has shown its potential in disease detection. In the first analysis of its kind, researchers were able to use the device to accurately identify a range of closely related bacteria and viruses within six hours, demonstrating the potential for this technology to be used as a mobile diagnostic clinic during outbreaks.

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Will New Drugs Actually Fight Antibiotic Resistance?

March 26, 2015 7:00 am | by BMJ | News | Comments

Antimicrobial resistance is a major health care problem worldwide. In the first installment of a new series in The BMJ, a professor asks why authorities are approving drugs with little evidence they do anything to tackle the problem of antimicrobial resistance.

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County-by-county Map Shows U.S. Development

March 26, 2015 7:00 am | by SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a county-by-county map of the U. S. that tells a story of land cover and development across the nation, and could provide a framework for future development. They integrated satellite data with census population data and produced a map that depicts— in vivid shades of red and green— how each county's developed land compares to that of counties with similar populations.

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Q&A: Diane Favro and Rebuilding Ancient Rome

March 26, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

Laboratory Equipment’s scientist of the week is Diane Favro from UCLA. Favro and a team recreated Augustan Rome algorithmically using a technique known as procedural modeling. According to legend, the founder of the Roman Empire, Augustus, boasted, “I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble.” Favro wanted to know if he telling the truth or making an empty claim.

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Platform Combines High-accuracy Imaging, High X-ray Dose Rate

March 26, 2015 7:00 am | Product Releases | Comments

Precision X-Ray’s X-RAD SmART is an advanced small animal image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) system that combines high-accuracy imaging with a high X-ray dose rate in a single platform. The system enables researchers to image, plan and treat without repositioning the specimen.

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Camera Quickly Detects CO2 Leaks

March 26, 2015 7:00 am | Product Releases | Comments

<p>FLIR Systems’ GF343 is an optical gas imaging camera that allows users to detect and visualize carbon dioxide (CO2) leaks quickly, easily and from a safe distance. Whether the CO2 emission is a byproduct of a production process, a trace gas used to detect leaks from power generators or as part of an Enhanced Oil Recovery program, fast and accurate detection of CO2 leaks is key to keeping operations running safely, efficiently and profitably.</p>

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Server Allows Easy App Distribution

March 26, 2015 7:00 am | Product Releases | Comments

COMSOL’s COMSOL Server was developed specifically for running applications built with the Application Builder. The Builder allows Multiphysics software users to build an intuitive interface around their model that can be run by anyone—even those without prior simulation experience.

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BSC Suited for Hazardous Drug Manipulation

March 26, 2015 7:00 am | Labconco Corporation | Product Releases | Comments

<p>Labconco’s RXPert Filtered Balance Systems are Class I biological safety cabinets, meeting requirements for non-sterile powders and particulates contained during hazardous drug manipulation. These true bag-in/bag-out HEPA-filtered powder hoods include a canopy and damper for thimble ducting the enclosure to the outside.</p>

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Non-modified Foods May Get Organic-style Labels

March 25, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Mary Jalonick | News | Comments

Inspired by the popular "USDA organic" label, House Republicans are proposing a new government certification for foods free of genetically modified ingredients. The idea is part of an attempt to block mandatory labeling of foods that include genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

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Science, Patients Drive Rare Disease Drug Search

March 25, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Linda Johnson | News | Comments

Drugmakers are pouring billions into developing treatments for rare diseases, which once drew little interest from the industry but now point the way toward a new era of innovative therapies and big profits. The investments come as researchers harness recent scientific advances, including the mapping of the human genome, sophisticated and affordable genetic tests and robots that screen thousands of compounds per hour.

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