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The Lead

A Mushroom a Day…

April 17, 2015 4:58 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

Next cold and flu season, a mushroom a day could help keep the doctor away, a nutritional study found last week.

Coating May Get More Cherries to Your Table

April 17, 2015 3:00 pm | by Oregon State Univ. | News | Comments

A tissue-thin, food-grade film acts like a raincoat for sweet cherries, cutting rain-related...

Treadmill Desks Impact Work Slightly

April 17, 2015 3:00 pm | by Brigham Young Univ. | News | Comments

Research showing the adverse effects of sedentary office work has given standing desks and...

Research Discovers Function of Obesity Gene

April 17, 2015 3:00 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have discovered a previously unknown mechanism behind how the fat mass and obesity...

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Bubbles Can Keep Rivers Moving

April 17, 2015 7:00 am | by EPFL | News | Comments

Researchers have shown how air bubbles could keep sediments from obstructing bends in river waterways such as the Rhine River, which has to be dredged regularly to stay open for freight ships.

Yeast’s Reaction to Heat Key to Better Beer

April 17, 2015 7:00 am | by Aberystwyth Univ. | News | Comments

Beer brewers face a tricky problem. The high level of activity in the yeast used to produce beer generates a lot of heat during the brewing process, raising the temperature at the bottom of brewing vats. Unfortunately, yeast often suffers damage to their structure at these high temperatures, and this damage gives the beer a bad taste.

E-cigs Hinder Quitting

April 17, 2015 7:00 am | by UC San Diego | News | Comments

The rapid increase in use of e-cigarettes has led to heated debates between opponents who question the safety of these devices and proponents who claim the battery-operated products are a useful cessation tool. A new study suggests proponents are in error.

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Infographic: BPA Exposure Has Impact Three Generations Later

April 17, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Illinois | News | Comments

When scientists exposed pregnant mice to levels of bisphenol A equivalent to those considered safe in humans, three generations of female mouse offspring experienced significant reproductive problems, including declines in fertility, sexual maturity and pregnancy success.  

You Smell Happy

April 16, 2015 3:00 pm | by Association for Psychological Science | News | Comments

Humans may be able to communicate positive emotions like happiness through the smell of our sweat, according to new research that indicates we produce chemical compounds, or chemosignals, when we experience happiness that are detectable by others who smell our sweat. The study also showed that being exposed to sweat produced under happiness induces a contagion of the emotional state.

Pencils Let Doctors 'Draw' Their Own Conclusions

April 16, 2015 3:00 pm | by The Conversation, Mark Lorch | News | Comments

If you’ve ever sat opposite a doctor and wondered what she was scribbling on her notepad, the answer may soon not only be medical notes on your condition, but real-time chemical preparations for an instant diagnostic test. Thanks to new work, chemicals formed into pencils can be made to react with one another by simply drawing with them on paper.

Victorian Baby Teeth Shed Light on Modern Kids' Future

April 16, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Bradford | News | Comments

A team analyzed teeth of children and adults from two 19th century cemeteries, one in Ireland with victims of the 1845-52 famine and one in England that held people who fled the deprivation. The composition of teeth that were forming in the womb, and during a child’s early years, not only provided insight into the health of the mother, it even showed differences between those infants who died and those who survived beyond early childhood.

USDA Seeks Standards for Organic Seafood

April 16, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Mary Jalonick | News | Comments

After more than a decade of delays, the government is moving toward allowing the sale of U.S.-raised organic fish and shellfish. But don't expect it in the grocery store anytime soon. The Agriculture Department says it will propose standards for the farmed organic fish this year.

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Researchers Discover New Stem Cells

April 16, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Missouri | News | Comments

Researchers, in an effort to grow placenta cells to better study the causes of pre-eclampsia, serendipitously discovered a previously unknown form of human embryonic stem cell. They say these new stem cells can help advance research on pre-eclampsia and a number of other areas of the human reproductive process.

Research Forces Nature to Be Bigger, Quicker

April 16, 2015 3:00 pm | by The Univ. of Manchester | News | Comments

Scientists have discovered a way to make trees grow bigger and faster, which could increase supplies of renewable resources and help trees cope with the effects of climate change. They successfully manipulated two genes in poplar trees in order to make them grow larger and more quickly than usual.  

Controversial Californian Vaccine Bill Stalls

April 16, 2015 8:06 am | by Associated Press, Judy Lin | News | Comments

A California vaccination bill that has generated intense debates pitting personal rights against public health stalled in the state Senate, with lawmakers saying it could unconstitutionally deprive unvaccinated children of an adequate education by barring them from schools. The measure would bar parents from seeking vaccine exemptions for their children because of religious or personal beliefs.

Dust Can Be Traced Using Fungal DNA

April 16, 2015 7:00 am | by North Carolina State Univ. | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a statistical model that allows them to tell where a dust sample came from within the continental U.S. based on the DNA of fungi found in the sample. The primary goal of the research was to develop a new forensic biology tool for law enforcement or archeologists. But it may also give us a greater understanding of the invisible ecosystems of microbial life.

Nanoparticles May Save Soldiers After Explosions

April 16, 2015 7:00 am | by ACS | News | Comments

Soldiers who suffer internal trauma from explosions might one day benefit from a new treatment now under development. Researchers have reported that injecting a certain type of nanoparticle helped reduce lung damage in rats experiencing such trauma.

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Q&A: Ioannis Ieropoulos and Power Harnessed from Waste

April 16, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

Laboratory Equipment’s scientist of the week is Ioannis Ieropoulos from the Univ. of the West of England, Bristol. He and a team created a toilet that generates electricity from urine using microbial fuel cells. 

Food-based Cosmetic Preservative Isn’t Natural

April 16, 2015 7:00 am | by ACS | News | Comments

Some consumer groups concerned about the safety of synthetic preservatives such as parabens have pushed for natural alternatives. Industry has responded with a slew of options, including preservatives from kimchi, a popular Korean staple. But scientists have found that a “natural” preservative made from radish kimchi contains synthetic ingredients.

Prey May Dazzle for Protection

April 15, 2015 3:00 pm | by Inside Science News Service, Ker Than | News | Comments

The rainbow-hued shimmer of fish scales, bird feathers and insect bodies that change color and brightness depending on viewing angle can be mesmerizing, but biologists have long debated the purpose of the displays. New research suggests that, for some organisms, iridescence evolved as an anti-predator defense to dazzle and confuse predators with sudden shifts in color and brightness in a bid to gain a few precious moments for escape.

MRI Sheds Light on a Bad Habit

April 15, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Alberta | News | Comments

Researchers have used MRI video to determine what happens inside finger joints to cause the distinctive popping sounds heard when cracking knuckles. For the first time, they observed that the cause is a cavity forming rapidly inside the joint.

Lefties May Be Less Damaged By Strokes

April 15, 2015 3:00 pm | by Inside Science News Service, Jyoti Madhusoodanan | News | Comments

New research suggests that southpaws may be protected from one of the common after-effects of a severe stroke because of differences in their brain networks.

Autism May Be Linked to Gestational Diabetes

April 15, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Lindsey Tanner | News | Comments

Diabetes that develops early in pregnancy may increase women's chances of having a child with autism, according to a new study. The risk was seen in young children whose mothers were diagnosed with diabetes during the most crucial period of fetal brain development.

Complex Cognition Shaped Stone Age Axe

April 15, 2015 3:00 pm | by Emory Health Sciences | News | Comments

The ability to make a Lower Paleolithic hand axe depends on complex cognitive control by the prefrontal cortex, including the "central executive" function of working memory, a new study finds. This knocks another chip off theories that Stone Age hand axes are simple tools that don't involve higher-order executive function of the brain.

Breakfast’s Relation to Grades Is More Complex than Thought

April 15, 2015 8:00 am | by The Conversation, Pam Graham | News | Comments

We don’t have to look far to find information on the benefits of eating a healthy, balanced diet. Good eating habits, like regularly having breakfast and eating fruit and vegetables, have been linked to positive outcomes for our bodies. But how does food influence how we think?

Today in Lab History: The Father of Modern Corn

April 15, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

George Harrison Shull, born April 15, 1874, was an American plant geneticist. Shull began his career, after obtaining a doctorate from the Univ. of Chicago, as a botanical investigator at the Carnegie Institution at the Station for Experimental Evolution, Cold Spring Harbor, NY. There, he completed research that would distinguish him as the father of hybrid corn.

Comprehensive Study Reveals Citrus' Past

April 15, 2015 7:00 am | by Molecular Biology and Evolution | News | Comments

Citrus fruits are among the most important commercially cultivated fruit trees in the world, yet little is known of the origin of the citrus species and the history of its domestication. Now, researchers have performed the largest and most detailed genomic analysis on 30 species of Citrus— representing 34 citrus genotypes— and used chloroplast genomic data to reconstruct its evolutionary history.

Neanderthals Damaged the Dead: Ceremony or Cannibalism?

April 15, 2015 7:00 am | by SINC, Servicio de Información y Noticias Científicas | News | Comments

Neanderthals from the French region of Poitou-Charentes cut, beat and fractured the bones of their recently deceased companions, as revealed by the fossil remains of two adults and a child found at the Marillac site. These manipulations have been observed at other Neanderthal sites, but scientists still do not know whether they did this for cannibalism or ceremony.

Sardine Season Canceled as Population Declines

April 14, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Jeff Barnard | News | Comments

Fisheries managers have decided to call off the West Coast sardine fishing season that starts in July because of rapidly dwindling numbers, hoping to save an iconic industry from the kind of collapse that hit in the 1940s and lasted 50 years.

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