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Lab Daily

Motion May Be Key to Finding E.T.

January 14, 2015 7:00 am | by EPFL | Videos | Comments

Scientists have developed an extremely sensitive device that can detect life forms by sensing the slightest motion. The chemistry-free system can be used to rapidly test antibiotics or even to search for life on other planets.

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Blood Test for TBI May Not Be Feasible

January 14, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Rochester Medical Center | News | Comments

Complications involving the brain's unique waste removal system— the existence of which has only recently been brought to light— may thwart efforts to identify biomarkers that detect traumatic brain injury (TBI). That is because proteins that are triggered by brain damage are prevented from reaching the blood system in levels necessary for a precise diagnosis.

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Contracting Human Muscle Grown in Lab

January 14, 2015 7:00 am | by Duke Univ. | Videos | Comments

In a laboratory first, researchers have grown human skeletal muscle that contracts and responds just like native tissue to external stimuli such as electrical pulses, biochemical signals and pharmaceuticals. The lab-grown tissue should soon allow researchers to test new drugs and study diseases in functioning human muscle outside of the human body.

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Being Cold is Contagious

January 14, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Sussex | News | Comments

Volunteers who watched videos of people putting their hands in cold water found their own body temperature drop significantly. The research shows that humans are susceptible to “temperature contagion.”

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Researchers Take Step Toward Cocaine Antidote

January 14, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Copenhagen | News | Comments

Dopamine is a signaling molecule in the brain that is involved in our sensation of reward, motivation and, thus, addiction. Now, researchers have gained new insight into the mechanism behind a protein dopamine transporter that could help in the development of future medical treatment against cocaine addiction.

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Naps Help Infants Form Memories

January 14, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Sheffield | News | Comments

Napping helps infants to develop their memory and retain new behaviors they have learnt, a new study has revealed. In a study, researchers found that the notion of “sleeping like a baby” is extremely important in declarative memory consolidation— such as retaining facts, events and knowledge.

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Work Hours Linked to Alcohol Use

January 14, 2015 7:00 am | by British Medical Journal | News | Comments

Employees who work more than 48 hours per week are more likely to engage in risky alcohol consumption than those who work standard weeks, according to the first systematic analysis on the association between long working hours and alcohol use.

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Today in Lab History: Rolla N. Harger

January 14, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

Indiana Univ.’s Prof. Rolla N. Harger, born Jan. 14, 1890, was an American toxicologist and biochemist who invented the first stable machine for testing human blood alcohol content, called the Drunkometer in 1938— the first breathalyzer. Indiana’s State Police were the first customers for the invention.

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Worm Studies May Keep Astronauts Strong

January 13, 2015 3:00 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

It is said that great things can come in small packages. In this case, one key to keeping astronauts healthy on long-duration space missions may be found in a tiny roundworm barely a millimeter long. Studies on the ISS help researchers seek clues to physiological problems found in astronauts by studying millimeter-long roundworms.

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Fossils Suggest Parasite Infections Linked to Climate Change

January 13, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Missouri | News | Comments

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Oldest Butchery Tools Aided Communication Evolution

January 13, 2015 3:00 pm | by UC Berkeley | News | Comments

Two and a half million years ago, our hominin ancestors in the African savanna crafted rocks into shards that could slice apart game animals. Over the next 700,000 years, this technology spread throughout the continent. Scientists have found compelling evidence for the coevolution of early Stone Age slaughtering tools and our ability to communicate and teach, shedding new light on the power of culture to shape evolution.

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DuPont Workers Possibly Exposed to Fumes for Years

January 13, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Records indicate that employees at DuPont’s Houston-area pesticide plant, where a poisonous gas leak killed four workers in November, may have been periodically exposed to the dangerous fumes for years. DuPont reported exhaust and ventilation system malfunctions at the La Porte plant to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in 2009 and 2010, but neither the company nor the state regulator alerted the OSHA.

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Schools Should Have Lunch After Recess

January 13, 2015 3:00 pm | by Brigham Young Univ. | News | Comments

If kids have to choose between playing and eating their veggies, the time spent playing is going to win. A study of schools found that when recess takes place before kids sit down to eat– instead of after— fruit and vegetable consumption increases by 54 percent.

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Nicotine Vaccine Provokes Immune Response

January 13, 2015 3:00 pm | by The Scripps Research Institute | News | Comments

When a promising nicotine vaccine failed in clinical trials a few years ago, scientists were determined to keep trying to help smokers overcome their addiction. Now, the team has designed a more effective nicotine vaccine and proven that the structures of molecules used in vaccines is critical.

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Zinc Oxide, Aluminum Nitride Key to Tiny Energy Tech

January 13, 2015 3:00 pm | by American Institute of Physics | News | Comments

New research helps pave the way toward highly energy-efficient zinc oxide-based micro energy harvesting devices with applications in portable communications, healthcare and environmental monitoring and more. They discovered that inserting aluminum nitride insulating layers into the devices led to a significant improvement in performance.

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