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Commensal Bacteria were Shapers of Human Populations

December 16, 2014 2:00 pm | by American Society for Microbiology | News | Comments

Using mathematical modeling, researchers have shown that commensal bacteria that cause problems later in life most likely played a key role in stabilizing early human populations. The finding offers an explanation as to why humans coevolved with microbes that can cause or contribute to cancer, inflammation and degenerative diseases of aging.

Teens Use e-Cigs More than Traditional

December 16, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Lauran Neergaard | News | Comments

Electronic cigarettes have surpassed traditional smoking in popularity among teens, the government's annual drug use survey finds. Even as tobacco smoking by teens dropped to new lows, use of e-cigarettes reached levels that surprised researchers.

Crops Gone Wild May Feed the World

December 16, 2014 2:00 pm | by Cell Press | News | Comments

To feed the world's growing population we will have to find ways to produce more food on less farmland, without causing additional harm to the remaining natural habitat. Research points the way to intensifying agriculture sustainably by fixing weaknesses that have sprung up quite by accident in the process of traditional crop breeding over the course of thousands of years.

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States Move Preemptively Against Powdered Alcohol

December 16, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Ivan Moreno | News | Comments

Powdered alcohol hasn't even arrived in stores yet, but states already are moving to ban the product touted by its inventor as an easy way to mix a drink on the go. Colorado is the latest state considering prohibiting "Palcohol" amid concern it will increase underage drinking.

Specially Bred Pig Can Help Study Human Heart

December 16, 2014 7:00 am | by NYU Langone Medical Center | News | Comments

Researchers have developed the first large animal model of an inherited arrhythmic syndrome– an advance that will lead to a better understanding of the biologic mechanisms important in normal heart conduction and rhythm. The novel pig model points the way toward development of better treatments for inherited forms of life-threatening arrhythmias, which are a significant cause of sudden cardiac death.

Research Yields Biodegradable Food Packaging

December 16, 2014 7:00 am | by Youris.com | Videos | Comments

Nowadays, most of food packaging is derived from petrochemicals and not always biodegradable. Moreover, consumers often find that there is more packaging than content. To address these problems, researchers are producing packaging made from PBS, which is based on vegetable biomass.

Dental Plaque Sheds Light on Prehistoric Easter Island Diet

December 16, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Otago | News | Comments

Known to its Polynesian inhabitants as Rapa Nui, Easter Island is thought to have been colonized around the 13th Century and is famed for its mysterious large stone statues or moai. A student analyzing dental calculus from ancient teeth is helping resolve the question of what plant foods Easter Islanders relied on before European contact.

Darwinian Test May Find Bad Drugs Early

December 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Utah | News | Comments

Because of undetected toxicity problems, about a third of prescription drugs approved in the U.S. are withdrawn from the market or require added warning labels limiting their use. An exceptionally sensitive toxicity test could make it possible to uncover more of these dangerous side effects early in pharmaceutical development so that fewer patients are given unsafe drugs.

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Scientists Tackle One of Dementia's Biggest Questions

December 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Southampton | News | Comments

Researchers are tackling one of the biggest questions about dementia studies: why might current approaches in Alzheimer’s trials be failing? To answer this question the scientists wanted to understand the results of a clinical trial that took place over a decade ago.

MAVEN IDs Links in Chain Leading to Atmospheric Loss

December 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

Early discoveries by NASA’s newest Mars orbiter are starting to reveal key features about the loss of the planet’s atmosphere to space over time. The observations reveal a new process by which the solar wind can penetrate deep into a planetary atmosphere.

Cancer Patients Employ Mice as Avatars

December 15, 2014 8:39 am | by Associated Press, Marilynn Marchione | News | Comments

Scientists often test drugs in mice. Now some cancer patients are doing the same— with the hope of curing their own disease. They are paying a private lab to breed mice that carry bits of their own tumors so treatments can be tried first on the customized rodents. The idea is to see which drugs might work best on a specific person's cancer.

Laughs from Lab: Dec. 15, 2014

December 15, 2014 7:00 am | News | Comments

The editors of Laboratory Equipment want you to start your week with a smile of your face. With years of science experience, we've heard every science joke there is. So, here’s a science joke you might like. Q: What weapon can you make from the elements potassium, nickel and iron?

Cells Can Be Reprogrammed to Burn Fat

December 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Southern Denmark | News | Comments

White adipose tissue stores excess calories as fat that can be released for use in other organs during fasting. Mammals also have small amounts of brown adipose tissue, which primarily acts as an effective fat burner for the production of heat. Now, researchers have uncovered the mechanism by which white fat cells from humans gets reprogrammed to become browner.

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Fish Use Diet Smell to Hide from Predators

December 12, 2014 3:09 pm | by Georgia Institute of Technology | News | Comments

A species of small fish uses a homemade coral-scented cologne to hide from predators, a new study has shown, providing the first evidence of chemical camouflage from diet in fish.

Greener Deicers Still Damaging

December 12, 2014 2:41 pm | by Inside Science News Service, Brian Owens | News | Comments

Every year, as winter closes in, transportation authorities prepare to deploy their stockpiles of salt and sand to keep the roads and highways safe and ice-free for drivers. In the U.S., roughly 18 million metric tons of road salt are spread on the roads each year. All that salt does not just disappear along with the ice in the spring; it sticks around, and can have major effects on the surrounding ecosystems and even drinking water.

World's Oldest African Penguin Underwent Chemo

December 12, 2014 2:00 pm | by Colorado State Univ. | Videos | Comments

The world’s oldest African penguin, a Zoo resident named Tess, dove effortlessly into her pool this week and swam for the first time since veterinarians used specialized radiation to treat an aggressive form of skin cancer on the penguin’s face. Making her dip more meaningful, Tess represents an endangered species expected to vanish from the wild within two decades.

Isotopes May Shed Light on Origins of Life-supporting Planets

December 12, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Surrey | News | Comments

New research has described how recreating isotopes that occur when a star explodes can help physicists understand where life-supporting elements may be found in space. Researchers were able to observe the isotopes of certain elemental chemicals formed as a star explodes.

Poor Vaccine Fuels California's Whooping Cough Epidemic

December 12, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Julie Watson | News | Comments

California officials are battling the worst whooping cough epidemic to hit the state in seven decades. Doctors emphasize that the inoculation has led to fewer deaths than in the past and in instances where people do get sick, their illnesses aren't as severe. But officials say the limited protection of the vaccine introduced in the 1990s has led to the rise in cases.

DNA shows 40-million-year Battle Between Primates, Pathogens

December 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Utah | News | Comments

Examination of DNA from 21 primate species— from squirrel monkeys to humans— exposes an evolutionary war against infectious bacteria over iron that circulates in the host's bloodstream. Supported by experimental evidence, these findings demonstrate the vital importance of an increasingly appreciated defensive strategy called nutritional immunity.

Water Played Huge Role in Rise, Fall of Romans

December 12, 2014 7:00 am | by European Geosciences Union | News | Comments

Smart agricultural practices and an extensive grain-trade network enabled the Romans to thrive in the water-limited environment of the Mediterranean, a new study shows. But the stable food supply brought about by these measures promoted population growth and urbanization, pushing the Empire closer to the limits of its food resources.

Sleep Problems Linked to Obesity in Kids

December 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Albert Einstein College of Medicine | News | Comments

Sleep-related breathing problems and chronic lack of sleep may each double the risk of a child becoming obese by age 15, according to new research. The good news is that both sleep problems can be corrected.

UN Urges Polluters to Present Climate Pledges

December 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Karl Ritter | News | Comments

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged governments to listen to scientists "shouting from the roof tops" and accelerate talks on a global pact to fight climate change. He also called on big carbon polluters to follow the examples of China, the U.S. and the EU and announce emissions targets for a planned deal next year in Paris. India, Russia and Japan and other major carbon emitters haven't made pledges.

Conservationists Take on 2,500-year-old Mummy

December 11, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Conservation work has started at Chicago's Field Museum on the 2,500-year-old mummy of a 14-year-old Egyptian boy. The boy, named Minirdis, was the son of a priest.

Top Five Tips for Heart Health

December 11, 2014 2:00 pm | by The Conversation, Ivy Shiue | News | Comments

Cardiovascular disease, the catch-all term for diseases affecting the heart and blood vessels– including heart attack and stroke– is the leading global killer. And bad heart health can lead to health impairments from loss of body function and/or mental disturbances. These, according to a researcher, are the top five things you can do to delay or even prevent cardiovascular disease.

Side Effects Halt Ebola Vaccine Trial

December 11, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Swiss researchers have suspended the testing of one of the leading Ebola vaccine candidates after some volunteers reported unexpected side effects. In a statement, the Hopitaux Universitaires de Geneve said the trial had been suspended as a precautionary measure.

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