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Lab Daily

Researchers Uncover Evolution of Extreme Parasites

October 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Basel | News | Comments

Extreme adaptations of species often cause such significant changes that their evolutionary history is difficult to reconstruct. Now, zoologists have discovered a new parasite species that represents the missing link between fungi and an extreme group of parasites.

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We're Hardwired to See Spiders

October 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Inside Science News Service, Nala Rogers | News | Comments

The spider's iconic leggy shape can abruptly yank our attention, even when we’re focused on something else, according to a new study. Other shapes such as houseflies and hypodermic needles don’t draw our attention in the same way. This suggests that spiders may be hardwired into our visual systems, helping us avoid a threat that our ancestors faced for millions of years.

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Infographic: Light-activated Drug May Aid Diabetes Meds

October 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Imperial College London | News | Comments

Diabetes drugs that promote the release of insulin from the pancreas can, in some cases, cause side effects because of their actions on other organs such as the brain and heart. Now, scientists have created a drug for type 2 diabetes that is switched on by blue light, which they hope will improve treatment of the disease.

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Chemical in Blood Helps Power Pests' Immune System

October 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Kansas State Univ. | News | Comments

Researchers looked at how protein molecules in the blood of insects function in insects' immune system. Pest may be sickened to learn to that the scientists have discovered a genetic mechanism that helps compromise their immune system.

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Nerve Cells Key to Environment-sensitive Material

October 15, 2014 7:00 am | by UC Berkeley | News | Comments

Scientists have taken proteins from nerve cells and used them to create a “smart” material that is extremely sensitive to its environment. This marriage of materials science and biology could give birth to a flexible, sensitive coating that is easy and cheap to manufacture in large quantities.

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Report Aims to Optimize Selection of Chemicals

October 15, 2014 7:00 am | by National Academy of Sciences | News | Comments

A new report develops and demonstrates a decision framework for evaluating potentially safer substitute chemicals as primarily determined by human health and ecological risks. This new framework is informed by previous efforts by regulatory agencies, academic institutions and others to develop alternative assessment frameworks that could be operationalized.

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Sensor Designed to Improve Fit of Prosthetic

October 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Sandia National Laboratories | Videos | Comments

A researcher has been studying prosthetics for a decade and is part of a group working to develop a sensor to tell how a limb changes, along with a system that automatically accommodates those changes. After additional testing and refinements, he hopes to find a company that wants to market the sensor system.

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Energy Drinks May Pose Public Health Danger

October 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Frontiers | News | Comments

From a review of the literature, it would appear that concerns in the scientific community and among the public regarding the potential adverse health effects of the increased consumption of energy drinks are broadly valid.

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Design Key to Improved Nuclear Plants

October 14, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Cambridge | News | Comments

A university is playing a key role in an international project to develop a radical new type of nuclear power station that is safer, more cost-effective, more compact and much quicker and less disruptive to build than any previously constructed. Researchers are exploring whether the element thorium could help to meet the new design’s fuel needs.

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Rare Disease Wards Against Bipolar Disorder

October 14, 2014 2:00 pm | by UMass Medical School | News | Comments

A team of scientists have identified what is likely a key genetic pathway underlying bipolar disorder, a breakthrough that could lead to better drugs for treating bipolar affective disorder, as well as depression and other related mood disorders. The new findings show that a rare genetic dwarfism called Ellis van-Creveld syndrome protects against bipolar affective disorder.

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Forest Research Facility to be Buried

October 14, 2014 2:00 pm | by Paul Scherrer Institute | News | Comments

The building of a new large-scale research facility in Würenlingen forest only enjoyed the sunshine for a brief spell. It is now disappearing under a mound of earth. This is just one of the measures taken to integrate the facility as harmoniously as possible into the natural environment.

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Archaeologists Find Remains of Iron Age Chariot

October 14, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Leicester | News | Comments

Archaeologists have unearthed a hoard of rare bronze fittings from a 2nd or 3rd century BC chariot that appears to have been buried as a religious offering. The pieces appear to have been gathered in a box, before being planted in the ground upon a layer of cereal chaff and burnt as part of a religious ritual.

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Fluorescent Sensor Detects Milk Fat

October 14, 2014 2:00 pm | by National Univ. of Singapore | News | Comments

A team of researchers has pioneered the world’s first fluorescent sensor to rapidly identify the presence of fat in milk. When the light purplish sensor is mixed with a milk sample, it transmits fluorescent signals of orange hues instantly under light when fat is detected, with brighter shades when the concentration of fat in the milk sample increases.

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Kids Are Being Accidentally Exposed to Liquid Nicotine

October 14, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Lindsay Whitehurst | News | Comments

Poison control workers say that as the e-cigarette industry has boomed, the number of children exposed to the liquid nicotine that gives hand-held vaporizing gadgets their kick also has spiked. More than 2,700 people have called poison control this year to report an exposure to liquid nicotine, over half of those cases in children younger than six.

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Scientists Name Human Era

October 14, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Seth Borenstein | News | Comments

People are changing Earth so much, warming and polluting it, that many scientists are turning to a new way to describe the time in which we live. They're calling it the Anthropocene— the age of humans.

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