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X-ray Reveals Chemical Bond Being Born

February 16, 2015 7:00 am | by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory | Videos | Comments

Scientists have used an X-ray laser to get the first glimpse of the transition state where two atoms begin to form a weak bond on the way to becoming a molecule. This fundamental advance will have a profound impact on the understanding of how chemical reactions take place and on efforts to design reactions that generate energy, create new products and fertilize crops more efficiently.

Lab-on-a-chip Studies Single Cells

February 16, 2015 7:00 am | by EPFL | News | Comments

Scientists have developed a new lab-on-a-chip technique to analyze single cells from entire population. The new method, which uses beads and microfluidics, can change the way we study mixed populations of cells, such as those of tumors.

Rivers Linked to Antibiotic Resistance

February 16, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Warwick | News | Comments

Rivers and streams could be a major source of antibiotic resistance in the environment. The discovery comes following a study on the Thames River. The study found that greater numbers of resistant bacteria exist close to some waste water treatment works, and that these plants are likely to be responsible for at least half of the increase observed.  

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Flu Has Peaked

February 16, 2015 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Mike Stobbe | News | Comments

A new report shows this winter's nasty flu season has peaked and is clearly retreating. The flu reached its highest levels around the beginning of January, and stayed there for weeks.

FDA to Examine 'Modified Risk' Tobacco

February 13, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Michael Felberbaum | News | Comments

An FDA panel is planning to review smokeless tobacco maker Swedish Match's request to certify its General-branded pouches of tobacco as less harmful than cigarettes. The FDA’s TPSAC has scheduled a two-day meeting to discuss the request that the agency approve the snus products as "modified risk."

Treatment for Menopause Linked to Ovarian Cancer

February 13, 2015 3:00 pm | by Oxford Univ. | News | Comments

A detailed meta-analysis of evidence looked at 52 epidemiological studies, involving a total of 21,488 women with ovarian cancer mainly from North America, Europe and Australia. The results indicate that women who use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for just a few years are about 40 percent more likely to develop ovarian cancer than women who have never taken HRT.

Vegan Diet May Reduce Obese Kids' Heart Risks

February 13, 2015 7:00 am | by Cleveland Clinic | News | Comments

Obese children who begin a low-fat, vegan diet may lower their risk of heart disease through improvements in their weight, blood pressure, body mass index, cholesterol levels, insulin sensitivity and high-sensitivity C-reactive.

Beavers Inspire Method to Aid Tooth Enamel

February 13, 2015 7:00 am | by Northwestern Univ. | News | Comments

Beavers don't brush their teeth, and they don't drink fluoridated water, but a new study reports beavers do have protection against tooth decay built into the chemical structure of their teeth: iron. This pigmented enamel, the researchers found, is both harder and more resistant to acid than regular enamel, including that treated with fluoride.

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Message from the Pittcon President

February 13, 2015 7:00 am | by Charles L. Holifield | Blogs | Comments

If you are in the market for laboratory equipment or simply looking to see the latest innovations, there is no better venue than the Pittcon exposition. With more than 900 companies from 30 countries, you have a once-a-year opportunity to participate in live product demos, troubleshoot your critical issues with technical experts, attend product seminars and compare and evaluate equipment — all in one place.

Microbes Prevent Malnutrition in Flies

February 13, 2015 7:00 am | by The Scripps Research Institute | News | Comments

A new study using fruit flies sheds significant light on a surprising and critical role that microbes may play in nutritional disorders such as protein malnutrition. The research advances our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms underlying microbial contributions to metabolism and may point to long-term strategies to treat and prevent malnutrition in general.

Do Pheromones Control the Heart?

February 13, 2015 7:00 am | by ACS | Videos | Comments

Is there such a thing as love at first smell? There are hundreds of spray-on pheromone products that claim to put you on the fast track to romance.  

What to Expect When You’re… at Pittcon

February 13, 2015 7:00 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Blogs | Comments

For laboratory professionals, Pittcon is like a delayed Christmas. There is waiting, planning and anxiety in the weeks leading up to the conference, only to culminate in excitement and joy for a few days.

Smoking Tied to More Deaths, Disease

February 12, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Marilynn Marchione | News | Comments

Breast cancer, prostate cancer and even routine infections. A new report ties these and other maladies to smoking and says an additional 60,000 to 120,000 deaths each year in the U.S. are probably because of tobacco use.

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Squid Edit Their Gene Code As They Go

February 12, 2015 3:00 pm | by American Friends of Tel Aviv Univ. | News | Comments

Research that explored RNA editing in the Doryteuthis pealieii squid found it to be the first example of an animal that can edit its own genetic makeup on-the-fly to modify most of its proteins, enabling adjustments to its immediate surroundings.

Methane Emissions from Gas Higher than Thought

February 12, 2015 3:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

World leaders are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it’s unclear just how much we’re emitting. In the U.S., the EPA has a new program to track these emissions, but scientists are reporting that it vastly underestimates methane emissions from the growing natural gas industry.

Dead Zones Aid Oyster Disease

February 12, 2015 7:00 am | by Smithsonian | News | Comments

In shallow waters around the world, where nutrient pollution runs high, oxygen levels can plummet to nearly zero at night. Oysters living in these zones are far more likely to pick up the lethal Dermo disease.

CO2 from Ocean Helped End Last Ice Age

February 11, 2015 3:00 pm | by The Australian National Univ. | News | Comments

Scientists have found a release of carbon dioxide stored deep in the ocean helped warm the planet and bring it out of the last ice age. The findings will help scientists understand how the ocean affects the carbon cycle and climate change.  

Dyes Act as Probes to Aid Food Quality

February 11, 2015 3:00 pm | by Biophysical Society | News | Comments

Researchers have found that the fluorescence of five common food colors increases as the viscosity of the surrounding fluid increases— meaning the dyes could potentially act as embedded sensors for food's physical consistency in products such as yogurt or strawberry milk.  

How to Stop Retracted Papers and Bad Data

February 11, 2015 9:28 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Articles | Comments

Leonard Freedman believes the current challenges of data quality and reproducibility can be solved by implementing standards in life science research. 

Skeletons Indicate Major Roman Cemetery

February 11, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Exeter | Videos | Comments

Fifteen ancient skeletons have been discovered on an archaeological dig in Ipplepen, a major Romano-British settlement in Devon and now the best preserved Roman cemetery. Archaeologists uncovered the human remains during an excavation of a Roman Road and found a roadside cemetery, the like of which has never been seen in the region.

Crowdfunding Solves Orphan Disease Mystery

February 11, 2015 7:00 am | by American Friends of Tel Aviv Univ. | News | Comments

Orphan diseases — those that affect fewer than one in 200,000 people— are often identified early in life. Some 30 percent of kids with these diseases don’t live to see their fifth birthday. But there is hope for them in our Internet age. Researchers recently concluded a successful experiment to identify a novel genetic mutation as the source of a specific rare disease, and their experiment was supported through Internet crowdfunding.

Feds: Time to Test Idea of Cooling with Pollution

February 11, 2015 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Seth Borenstein | News | Comments

It's time to study and maybe even test the idea of cooling the Earth by injecting sulfur pollution high in the air to reflect the sun's heat, a first-of-its-kind federal science report said this week. The idea was once considered fringe— to purposely reengineer the planet's climate as a last ditch effort to battle global warming with an artificial cloud. No longer.

Napping Reverses Damage Done by Poor Sleep

February 10, 2015 3:00 pm | by Endocrine Society | News | Comments

Lack of sleep is recognized as a public health problem. Insufficient sleep can contribute to reduced productivity as well as vehicle and industrial accidents. But a study shows that a short nap can help relieve stress and bolster the immune systems of men who slept only two hours the previous night.

Buckyballs Hold Environmental Potential

February 10, 2015 3:00 pm | by Rice Univ. | News | Comments

Treated buckyballs not only remove valuable but potentially toxic metal particles from water and other liquids, but also reserve them for future use, research has found.

Spanish Polluted Air Long Before Industrial Revolution

February 10, 2015 3:00 pm | by The Ohio State Univ. | News | Comments

In the 16th century, during its conquest of South America, the Spanish Empire forced countless Incas to work extracting silver from the mountaintop mines of Potosí— then the largest source of silver in the world. The Inca already knew how to refine silver, but the Spanish introduced a new technology that boosted production many times over and sent thick clouds of lead dust rising over the Andes for the first time in history.

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