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Chemical News

Chemical News is your source of fresh chemistry data and insights. Chemical news are aggregated from multiple chemistry sources and presented here for convenient consumption.
BBC News - Science & Environment
News -- ScienceDaily
  • Far from home: Wayward star cluster is both tiny and distant
    Like the lost little puppy that wanders too far from home, astronomers have found an unusually small and distant group of stars that seems oddly out of place. The cluster, made of only a handful of stars, is located far away, in the Milky Way's 'suburbs.' It is located where astronomers have never spotted such a small cluster of stars before.
  • Real estate bidding wars aren't going away, experts say
    Frenzy, frustration and disappointment are what home buyers have come to dread about real estate bidding wars. They'd better get used to it, suggests a new study. Once a rarity -- representing between 3 and 4 per cent -- homes sold through bidding wars tripled their market share during the real estate boom between 1995 and 2005, says the paper.
  • ADHD plus childhood trauma heightens risk for self-harm, suicide
    Young women with ADHD who have been exposed to abuse, neglect or other traumas in childhood and adolescence are at greater risk for self-injury, eating disorders and suicide than those with ADHD who were not mistreated in early youth, according to new research.
  • Lasting severe weather impact found in feathers of young birds
    While studying a ground-nesting bird population near El Reno, Okla., a research team found that stress during a severe weather outbreak of May 31, 2013, had manifested itself into malformations in the growing feathers of the young birds. The team witnessed a phenomenon termed 'pallid bands' in a large proportion of fledgling Grasshopper Sparrows and found spikes in the chemical signatures of 'pallid bands,' which led to abnormalities in the new feathers.
  • Adults only really catch flu about twice a decade, suggests study
    Adults over the age of 30 only catch flu about twice a decade, a new study suggests. So, while it may feel like more, flu-like illness can be caused by many pathogens, making it difficult to assess how often people are infected by influenza.
  • Bans don't help smokers quit, researchers say
    No significant change in home habits of smokers have been observed in the aftermath of a ban on smoking in public spaces, researchers report. Greater inspiration to kick the habit likely comes from having friends or family who set an example by giving up cigarettes themselves, the authors write.
  • Poor heart function could be major risk for Alzheimer's disease
    Heart function has been associated with the development of dementia and Alzheimer's disease through a new study. Participants with decreased heart function, measured by cardiac index, were two to three times more likely to develop significant memory loss over the follow-up period.
  • A new level of earthquake understanding: Surprise findings from San Andreas Fault rock sample
    Researchers studied quartz from the San Andreas Fault at the microscopic scale, the scale at which earthquake-triggering stresses originate. The results could one day lead to a better understanding of earthquakes.
  • Understanding electric car 'range anxiety' could be key to wider acceptance
    Drivers have been slow to adopt electric vehicles due to 'range anxiety,' the fear of becoming stranded with an empty battery. This phenomenon was recently addressed in a study that aims to explain range anxiety and determine whether hands-on experience can reduce drivers' stress.
  • 3-D printed parts provide low-cost, custom alternatives for lab equipment
    The 3-D printing scene, a growing favorite of do-it-yourselfers, has spread to the study of plasma physics. With a series of experiments, researchers have found that 3-D printers can be an important tool in laboratory environments.
  • Divorce fuels kids' sugary beverage consumption, study finds
    Children of recently separated or divorced families are likelier to drink sugar-sweetened beverages than children in families where the parents are married, putting them at higher risk for obesity later in life, according to a new study. Maintaining family routines such as eating a regular dinner or carving out time to talk each day, however, can protect children during divorce against developing unhealthy eating habits.
  • Tools can identify nations vulnerable to Ebola and aid response, analysis finds
    Ebola remains a serious problem in parts of West Africa and the experiences in affected areas may provide lessons for future public health emergencies. A set of tools newly created may help identify nations that are vulnerable to future outbreaks of Ebola or other emergencies. The tools evaluate a nation's strengths across a wide range of measures such as political strength and health care capabilities, and can help assess remedies.
  • Researchers investigate possible colon cancer risk for new generation of weight-loss drugs
    Gastric bypass and similar stomach-shrinking surgeries are a popular option for obese patients looking to lose weight or treat type 2 diabetes. While the surgeries have been linked to a decreased risk in many cancers, the single outlier is colon cancer. Scientists now present work in mice that could explain this association and raise safety concerns for a new generation of weight-loss drugs that mimic the biological after effects of these procedures.
  • High-salt diet could protect against invading microbes
    Most people consume more salt than they need and therefore have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke, which are the two leading causes of death worldwide. But a new study reveals that dietary salt could have a biological advantage: Defending the body against invading microbes. A high-salt diet increased sodium accumulation in the skin of mice, thereby boosting their immune response to a skin-infecting parasite.
  • Marijuana: The allergen you never knew existed
    As marijuana’s legal status throughout the country continues to change, people should know it can cause allergic reactions.
  • Pregnant women with asthma need to curb urge to ask for antibiotics
    Twice as many children born to mothers who took antibiotics during pregnancy were diagnosed with asthma by age 3 than children born to mothers who didn’t take prenatal antibiotics, a new study has shown.
  • Outcomes of lung transplantations since implementation of need-based allocation system
    Since implementation of a medical need-based allocation system of donor lungs in 2005, double-lung transplantation has been associated with better graft survival than single-lung transplantation in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF); at 5 years, there has been no survival difference between single- and double-lung transplant recipients in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study.
  • Examination of prior authorization policies for antipsychotic prescribing to children
    With a concern about inappropriate prescribing of antipsychotic medications to children, 31 states in the U.S. have implemented prior authorization policies for atypical antipsychotic prescribing, mostly within the past 5 years, and with most states applying their policies to children younger than 7 years of age, according to a study.
  • Long-term follow-up of benign thyroid nodules shows favorable prognosis
    After five years of follow-up, a majority of asymptomatic, benign thyroid nodules exhibited no significant change in size, or actually decreased in size, and diagnoses of thyroid cancer were rare, according to a study.
  • Administering sedatives for patients receiving general anesthesia questioned
    Although sedatives are often administered before surgery, a randomized trial finds that among patients undergoing elective surgery under general anesthesia, receiving the sedative lorazepam before surgery, compared with placebo or no premedication, did not improve the self-reported patient experience the day after surgery, but was associated with longer time till removal off a breathing tube (extubation) and a lower rate of early cognitive recovery, according to a study.
  • Intervention results in more stable housing for homeless adults
    A program that included scattered-site supportive housing using rent supplements and case management services led to more stable housing for homeless adults with mental illness in four cities in Canada, compared with usual access to existing housing and community services -- but the intervention did not result in significant improvements in health-related quality of life, according to the study.
  • Float like a mosquito: Mechanical logic may inspire aquatic robots, better boats
    By examining the forces that the segments of mosquito legs generate against a water surface, researchers have unraveled the mechanical logic that allows the mosquitoes to walk on water, which may help in the design of biomimetic structures, such as aquatic robots and small boats.
  • Advisory about not feeding peanuts to infants and young children at risk for peanut allergy
    Pediatric otolaryngologists and surgeons are concerned with parents getting the wrong message regarding the safety/desirability of letting babies and young children eat peanuts to prevent them from developing peanut allergies.
  • Pressure is on to find the cause for vision changes in space
    The human body is approximately 60 percent fluids. During spaceflight, these fluids shift to the upper body and move across blood vessel and cell membranes differently than they normally do on Earth. One of the goals of the Fluid Shifts investigation, launching to the International Space Station this spring, is to test the relationship between those fluid shifts and a pattern NASA calls visual impairment and intracranial pressure syndrome, or VIIP. It involves changes in vision and the structure of the eyes and indirect signs of increased pressure in the brain, and investigators say more than half of American astronauts have experienced it during long spaceflights.
  • Cloudy, with a wisp of liquid rock: Clouds around exoplanets analyzed
    Meteorologists sometimes struggle to accurately predict the weather here on Earth, but now we can find out how cloudy it is on planets outside our solar system, thanks to new research.
  • In a heartbeat: new model shows that filaments in heart muscle cells don't automatically keep the beat
    Each heart muscle cell consists of numerous parallel filaments comprising repeated subunits. When the heart beats, each individual filament contracts to produce muscle cell contractions. However, new research shows that the filaments in heart muscle cells don't automatically keep the beat.
  • Gold standard management of the diabetic cat
    An expert panel of veterinary clinicians and academics has been convened to produce practical guidance to help veterinary teams deliver optimal management for the increasing numbers of diabetic cats that are presenting to practices.
  • When age matters: precise dating of ancient charcoal found near skull is helping reveal unique period in prehistory
    The precise dating of ancient charcoal found near a skull is helping reveal a unique period in prehistory. The Manot Cave, a natural limestone formation, had been sealed for some 15,000 years. It was discovered by a bulldozer clearing the land for development, and the first to find the partial skull, which was sitting on a ledge, were spelunkers exploring the newly-opened cave. Five excavation seasons uncovered a rich deposit, with stone tools and stratified occupation levels covering a period of time from at least 55,000 to 27,000 years ago.
  • Nice to sniff you: Handshakes may engage our sense of smell
    Why do people shake hands? A new study suggests one of the reasons for this ancient custom may be to check out each other's odors. Even if we are not consciously aware of this, handshaking may provide people with a socially acceptable way of communicating via the sense of smell. People sniff their hands twice as much after a handshake.
  • Step change for screening could boost biofuels
    Researchers have developed a new way of rapidly screening yeasts that could help produce more sustainable biofuels. The new technique could also be a boon in the search for new ways of deriving valuable renewable chemicals from plant-based wastes, reducing our reliance on petrochemicals.
  • Stress markers in unemployed linked to poor health
    It appears that stress markers in unemployed people can be found, independent of smoking, alcohol consumption and overweight/obesity. Results from a study suggest that long-term unemployment may be especially damaging to health. Authors also note that older jobseekers appear more affected than younger counterparts.
  • Plants detect bacterial endotoxin in similar process to mammals
    Similar to humans and animals, plants possess an innate immune system that protects them from invading pathogens. Molecular structures that only occur in pathogens enable their recognition and trigger the immune response. Lipopolysaccharide (endotoxin) is one such substance, occurring in the outer membrane of certain bacteria. A team of scientists has now described the first endotoxin immunosensor in plants.
  • Mystery solved: Why seashells' mineral forms differently in seawater
    For almost a century, scientists have been puzzled by a process that is crucial to much of the life in Earth's oceans: Why does calcium carbonate, the tough material of seashells and corals, sometimes take the form of calcite, and at other times form a chemically identical form of the mineral, called aragonite, that is more soluble -- and therefore more vulnerable to ocean acidification?
  • UK cities including London not as 'smart' as global counterparts
    Major cities in the UK are falling behind their international counterparts in terms of their use of smart technologies, according to a new study. The research has found that smart cities in the UK, such as London, are not as advanced as the leading smart cities across the globe, such as San Francisco, Barcelona and Amsterdam, because of a lack of citizen engagement with new smart technologies.
  • Researchers monitor for next novel influenza strain
    While flu season starts to die down, researchers are diligently monitoring for the next novel influenza virus by monitoring swine influenza viruses. The work is starting with swine in the field. Researchers are surveying for swine influenza viruses as part of a $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.
  • Modeling chimp behavior? Try using laws that govern matter
    To simulate chimp behavior, scientists created a computer model based on equations normally used to describe the movement of atoms and molecules in a confined space. An interdisciplinary research team has turned to the physical laws that govern matter to explore one facet of the question of climate change: how the animals will cluster and travel through their territory as the terrain they share with other members of their species shrinks.
  • Spurring production of a sluggish enzyme for crop yields
    Scientists have found a way to improve production of the Rubisco enzyme, essential to plant growth. Important staple crops, such as wheat, cotton and rice stand to benefit.
  • Some tropical plants pick the best hummingbirds to pollinate flowers
    Rather than just waiting patiently for any pollinator that comes their way to start the next generation of seeds, some plants appear to recognize the best suitors and 'turn on' to increase the chance of success. These findings stem from the discovery that the showy red and yellow blooms of Heliconia tortuosa, an exotic tropical plant, recognize certain hummingbirds by the way the birds sip the flowers' nectar. The plants respond by allowing pollen to germinate, ultimately increasing the chances for successful seed formation.
  • The rub with friction: News rules of friction at the microscopic level
    Scientists have explored friction at the microscopic level. They discovered that the force generating friction is much stronger than previously thought. The discovery is an important step toward understanding the physics of the cellular and molecular world and designing the next generation of microscopic and nanotechnologies.
  • Vaccine skeptics aren't swayed by emotional scare tactics
    On the heels of an American nationwide measles outbreak comes a report that campaigns aimed at scaring people about the consequences of non-vaccination might not be as effective as many think. Authors challenge the popular assumption that emotional appeals have a wide, sweeping effect on people's health beliefs.
  • Networks of micro-drones: What can they be expected to do?
    Micro-drones are already being put to use in a large number of areas: These small aircraft face extensive requirements when performing aerial observation tasks or when deployed in the field of disaster management. A newly developed concept summarizes these challenges.
  • Computer simulator will improve radiation therapy for cancer patients, experts say
    A project to develop a computer simulator of dual foil scattering systems used in radiation therapy is underway. "The user user-friendly interface and real-time nature of the simulator also make it an effective educational tool for gaining a better understanding of the effects that various system parameters have on dose profiles," an author said. "In other words, it will help medical physicists and linear accelerator designers to better understand the physics behind the equipment with which they will be working."
  • Time to 'just say no' to behavior-calming drugs for Alzheimer patients? Experts say yes
    Doctors write millions of prescriptions a year for drugs to calm the behavior of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. But non-drug approaches actually work better, and carry far fewer risks, experts conclude in a new report.
  • Educating college students on drinking risks can help lessen drinking behaviors, but only temporarily, study finds
    Briefly counseling college students on the dangers of binge drinking is effective in lowering heavy drinking levels among many students, but only temporarily. Three out of four will be right back where they started a year later, according to new research.
  • The more friends you drink with ... the more you drink
    Alcohol consumption of individuals appears to increase with the number of friends in their drinking group. A new study used internet-based questionnaires that study participants completed on their own smartphones to survey almost 200 young adult drinkers in Switzerland every hour while they were drinking in real-life situations, asking them to report the number of friends present and number of drinks they had consumed.
  • In hot and cold water: The private lives of 'Hoff' crabs revealed
    Researchers have shed light on the private life of a new species of deep-sea crab, previously nicknamed the 'Hoff' crab because of its hairy chest.
  • Strong link between adolescent obesity, high blood pressure
    Body mass index in healthy adolescents has a statistically significant association with both systolic blood pressures and diastolic blood pressures, research shows, and it highlights the significance of the global trend of rapidly increasing adolescent obesity, experts say.
  • One million patients could lose primary care if residency training in underserved regions is eliminated
    The shortage of primary care doctors could worsen if funding for the Teaching Health Centers, a program to train medical residents in underserved areas, is eliminated in the United States, says a new report.
  • MR spectroscopy shows precancerous breast changes in women with BRCA gene
    A magnetic resonance spectroscopy technique that monitors biochemical changes in tissue could improve the management of women at risk of breast cancer, according to a new study.
  • Losing a spouse often too hastily linked to depression
    Loneliness brought about by the death of a spouse can trigger a wider network of depression-like symptoms, a study has found, but authors suggest that doctors are often too quick to attribute these symptoms to depression.
  • New data on the nature of dark matter
    Recent research contributes to the effort to determine the nature of dark matter, one of the most important mysteries in physics. As indirect evidence provided by its gravitational effects, dark matter amounts to more than 80% of the universe.
  • Graphene Research: Electrons Moving along Defined Snake States
    Physicists have shown for the first time that electrons in graphene can be moved along a predefined path. This movement occurs entirely without loss and could provide a basis for numerous applications in the field of electronics.
  • Breakthrough in particle control creates special half-vortex rotation
    A breakthrough in the control of a type of particle known as the polariton has created a highly specialised form of rotation.
  • Family based interpersonal psychotherapy for depressed preadolescents is more effective than child-centered therapy
    Family Based Interpersonal Psychotherapy (FB-IPT) is more effective in treating preadolescent children with depression compared to child-centered therapy (CCT), a recent study has found. Preadolescents with depressive disorders may be under-diagnosed and go untreated because those presenting for outpatient treatment with clinically significant depressive symptoms often do not meet full diagnostic criteria for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). However, preadolescents with depressive symptoms are at increased risk of experiencing MDD in adolescence.
  • Neuropsychological, neuropsychiatric, functional assessments help follow course of Alzheimer's disease
    The cognitive performance of persons with Alzheimer's disease and behavioral and psychological problems are linked to their performance of activities of daily living, according to a recent study. However, difficulties in cognitive performance were not linked to behavioral and psychological problems, although both deteriorated as the disease progressed. Some persons may have significant problems in memory and other cognitive performance without the presence of behavioral and psychological problems, while others experience behavioral and psychological problems already at the early phase of the disease.
  • 'Cardiovascular revolution' has increased life expectancy in Spain
    Over the last century, life expectancy for Spaniards has increased by 40 years. A study highlights the main cause, since 1980, as being the reduced incidence of cardiovascular diseases while other pathologies, such as mental illnesses and certain types of cancer, have been seen to rise. The authors predict that the effects of the economic recession on mortality will show up in the long-term.
  • The taming of magnetic vortices: A unified theory for skyrmion-materials
    Magnetic vortex structures, so-called skyrmions, could in future store and process information very efficiently. They could also be the basis for high-frequency components. For the first time, a team of physicists succeeded in characterizing the electromagnetic properties of insulating, semiconducting and conducting skyrmion-materials and developed a unified theoretical description of their behavior. This lays the foundation for future electronic components with purpose-designed properties.
  • Gorilla origins of the last two AIDS virus lineages confirmed
    Two of the four known groups of human AIDS viruses (HIV-1 groups O and P) have originated in western lowland gorillas, according to new research. The scientists conducted a comprehensive survey of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection in African gorillas.
  • Scientists move closer to creating cartilage from stem cells
    Scientists have succeeded in producing cartilage formed from embryonic stem cells that could in future be used to treat the painful joint condition osteoarthritis. With their huge capacity to proliferate, embryonic stem cells, which can be manipulated to form almost any type of mature cell, offer the possibility of high-volume production of cartilage cells. Their use would also be cheaper and applicable to greater number of arthritis patients, the researchers claim.
  • Defect responsible for memory impairment in aging found
    Everyone worries about losing their memory as they grow older—memory loss remains one of the most common complaints of the elderly. But the molecular reasons behind the processes remain unclear, particularly those associated with advancing age. Now, a mechanism that causes long-term memory loss due to age in Drosophila, the common fruit fly, has been discovered by scientists.
News -- ScienceDaily
  • Far from home: Wayward star cluster is both tiny and distant
    Like the lost little puppy that wanders too far from home, astronomers have found an unusually small and distant group of stars that seems oddly out of place. The cluster, made of only a handful of stars, is located far away, in the Milky Way's 'suburbs.' It is located where astronomers have never spotted such a small cluster of stars before.
  • Real estate bidding wars aren't going away, experts say
    Frenzy, frustration and disappointment are what home buyers have come to dread about real estate bidding wars. They'd better get used to it, suggests a new study. Once a rarity -- representing between 3 and 4 per cent -- homes sold through bidding wars tripled their market share during the real estate boom between 1995 and 2005, says the paper.
  • ADHD plus childhood trauma heightens risk for self-harm, suicide
    Young women with ADHD who have been exposed to abuse, neglect or other traumas in childhood and adolescence are at greater risk for self-injury, eating disorders and suicide than those with ADHD who were not mistreated in early youth, according to new research.
  • Lasting severe weather impact found in feathers of young birds
    While studying a ground-nesting bird population near El Reno, Okla., a research team found that stress during a severe weather outbreak of May 31, 2013, had manifested itself into malformations in the growing feathers of the young birds. The team witnessed a phenomenon termed 'pallid bands' in a large proportion of fledgling Grasshopper Sparrows and found spikes in the chemical signatures of 'pallid bands,' which led to abnormalities in the new feathers.
  • Adults only really catch flu about twice a decade, suggests study
    Adults over the age of 30 only catch flu about twice a decade, a new study suggests. So, while it may feel like more, flu-like illness can be caused by many pathogens, making it difficult to assess how often people are infected by influenza.
  • Bans don't help smokers quit, researchers say
    No significant change in home habits of smokers have been observed in the aftermath of a ban on smoking in public spaces, researchers report. Greater inspiration to kick the habit likely comes from having friends or family who set an example by giving up cigarettes themselves, the authors write.
  • Poor heart function could be major risk for Alzheimer's disease
    Heart function has been associated with the development of dementia and Alzheimer's disease through a new study. Participants with decreased heart function, measured by cardiac index, were two to three times more likely to develop significant memory loss over the follow-up period.
  • A new level of earthquake understanding: Surprise findings from San Andreas Fault rock sample
    Researchers studied quartz from the San Andreas Fault at the microscopic scale, the scale at which earthquake-triggering stresses originate. The results could one day lead to a better understanding of earthquakes.
  • Understanding electric car 'range anxiety' could be key to wider acceptance
    Drivers have been slow to adopt electric vehicles due to 'range anxiety,' the fear of becoming stranded with an empty battery. This phenomenon was recently addressed in a study that aims to explain range anxiety and determine whether hands-on experience can reduce drivers' stress.
  • 3-D printed parts provide low-cost, custom alternatives for lab equipment
    The 3-D printing scene, a growing favorite of do-it-yourselfers, has spread to the study of plasma physics. With a series of experiments, researchers have found that 3-D printers can be an important tool in laboratory environments.
  • Divorce fuels kids' sugary beverage consumption, study finds
    Children of recently separated or divorced families are likelier to drink sugar-sweetened beverages than children in families where the parents are married, putting them at higher risk for obesity later in life, according to a new study. Maintaining family routines such as eating a regular dinner or carving out time to talk each day, however, can protect children during divorce against developing unhealthy eating habits.
  • Tools can identify nations vulnerable to Ebola and aid response, analysis finds
    Ebola remains a serious problem in parts of West Africa and the experiences in affected areas may provide lessons for future public health emergencies. A set of tools newly created may help identify nations that are vulnerable to future outbreaks of Ebola or other emergencies. The tools evaluate a nation's strengths across a wide range of measures such as political strength and health care capabilities, and can help assess remedies.
  • Researchers investigate possible colon cancer risk for new generation of weight-loss drugs
    Gastric bypass and similar stomach-shrinking surgeries are a popular option for obese patients looking to lose weight or treat type 2 diabetes. While the surgeries have been linked to a decreased risk in many cancers, the single outlier is colon cancer. Scientists now present work in mice that could explain this association and raise safety concerns for a new generation of weight-loss drugs that mimic the biological after effects of these procedures.
  • High-salt diet could protect against invading microbes
    Most people consume more salt than they need and therefore have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke, which are the two leading causes of death worldwide. But a new study reveals that dietary salt could have a biological advantage: Defending the body against invading microbes. A high-salt diet increased sodium accumulation in the skin of mice, thereby boosting their immune response to a skin-infecting parasite.
  • Marijuana: The allergen you never knew existed
    As marijuana’s legal status throughout the country continues to change, people should know it can cause allergic reactions.
  • Pregnant women with asthma need to curb urge to ask for antibiotics
    Twice as many children born to mothers who took antibiotics during pregnancy were diagnosed with asthma by age 3 than children born to mothers who didn’t take prenatal antibiotics, a new study has shown.
  • Outcomes of lung transplantations since implementation of need-based allocation system
    Since implementation of a medical need-based allocation system of donor lungs in 2005, double-lung transplantation has been associated with better graft survival than single-lung transplantation in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF); at 5 years, there has been no survival difference between single- and double-lung transplant recipients in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study.
  • Examination of prior authorization policies for antipsychotic prescribing to children
    With a concern about inappropriate prescribing of antipsychotic medications to children, 31 states in the U.S. have implemented prior authorization policies for atypical antipsychotic prescribing, mostly within the past 5 years, and with most states applying their policies to children younger than 7 years of age, according to a study.
  • Long-term follow-up of benign thyroid nodules shows favorable prognosis
    After five years of follow-up, a majority of asymptomatic, benign thyroid nodules exhibited no significant change in size, or actually decreased in size, and diagnoses of thyroid cancer were rare, according to a study.
  • Administering sedatives for patients receiving general anesthesia questioned
    Although sedatives are often administered before surgery, a randomized trial finds that among patients undergoing elective surgery under general anesthesia, receiving the sedative lorazepam before surgery, compared with placebo or no premedication, did not improve the self-reported patient experience the day after surgery, but was associated with longer time till removal off a breathing tube (extubation) and a lower rate of early cognitive recovery, according to a study.
  • Intervention results in more stable housing for homeless adults
    A program that included scattered-site supportive housing using rent supplements and case management services led to more stable housing for homeless adults with mental illness in four cities in Canada, compared with usual access to existing housing and community services -- but the intervention did not result in significant improvements in health-related quality of life, according to the study.
  • Float like a mosquito: Mechanical logic may inspire aquatic robots, better boats
    By examining the forces that the segments of mosquito legs generate against a water surface, researchers have unraveled the mechanical logic that allows the mosquitoes to walk on water, which may help in the design of biomimetic structures, such as aquatic robots and small boats.
  • Advisory about not feeding peanuts to infants and young children at risk for peanut allergy
    Pediatric otolaryngologists and surgeons are concerned with parents getting the wrong message regarding the safety/desirability of letting babies and young children eat peanuts to prevent them from developing peanut allergies.
  • Pressure is on to find the cause for vision changes in space
    The human body is approximately 60 percent fluids. During spaceflight, these fluids shift to the upper body and move across blood vessel and cell membranes differently than they normally do on Earth. One of the goals of the Fluid Shifts investigation, launching to the International Space Station this spring, is to test the relationship between those fluid shifts and a pattern NASA calls visual impairment and intracranial pressure syndrome, or VIIP. It involves changes in vision and the structure of the eyes and indirect signs of increased pressure in the brain, and investigators say more than half of American astronauts have experienced it during long spaceflights.
  • Cloudy, with a wisp of liquid rock: Clouds around exoplanets analyzed
    Meteorologists sometimes struggle to accurately predict the weather here on Earth, but now we can find out how cloudy it is on planets outside our solar system, thanks to new research.
  • In a heartbeat: new model shows that filaments in heart muscle cells don't automatically keep the beat
    Each heart muscle cell consists of numerous parallel filaments comprising repeated subunits. When the heart beats, each individual filament contracts to produce muscle cell contractions. However, new research shows that the filaments in heart muscle cells don't automatically keep the beat.
  • Gold standard management of the diabetic cat
    An expert panel of veterinary clinicians and academics has been convened to produce practical guidance to help veterinary teams deliver optimal management for the increasing numbers of diabetic cats that are presenting to practices.
  • When age matters: precise dating of ancient charcoal found near skull is helping reveal unique period in prehistory
    The precise dating of ancient charcoal found near a skull is helping reveal a unique period in prehistory. The Manot Cave, a natural limestone formation, had been sealed for some 15,000 years. It was discovered by a bulldozer clearing the land for development, and the first to find the partial skull, which was sitting on a ledge, were spelunkers exploring the newly-opened cave. Five excavation seasons uncovered a rich deposit, with stone tools and stratified occupation levels covering a period of time from at least 55,000 to 27,000 years ago.
  • Nice to sniff you: Handshakes may engage our sense of smell
    Why do people shake hands? A new study suggests one of the reasons for this ancient custom may be to check out each other's odors. Even if we are not consciously aware of this, handshaking may provide people with a socially acceptable way of communicating via the sense of smell. People sniff their hands twice as much after a handshake.
  • Step change for screening could boost biofuels
    Researchers have developed a new way of rapidly screening yeasts that could help produce more sustainable biofuels. The new technique could also be a boon in the search for new ways of deriving valuable renewable chemicals from plant-based wastes, reducing our reliance on petrochemicals.
  • Stress markers in unemployed linked to poor health
    It appears that stress markers in unemployed people can be found, independent of smoking, alcohol consumption and overweight/obesity. Results from a study suggest that long-term unemployment may be especially damaging to health. Authors also note that older jobseekers appear more affected than younger counterparts.
  • Plants detect bacterial endotoxin in similar process to mammals
    Similar to humans and animals, plants possess an innate immune system that protects them from invading pathogens. Molecular structures that only occur in pathogens enable their recognition and trigger the immune response. Lipopolysaccharide (endotoxin) is one such substance, occurring in the outer membrane of certain bacteria. A team of scientists has now described the first endotoxin immunosensor in plants.
  • Mystery solved: Why seashells' mineral forms differently in seawater
    For almost a century, scientists have been puzzled by a process that is crucial to much of the life in Earth's oceans: Why does calcium carbonate, the tough material of seashells and corals, sometimes take the form of calcite, and at other times form a chemically identical form of the mineral, called aragonite, that is more soluble -- and therefore more vulnerable to ocean acidification?
  • UK cities including London not as 'smart' as global counterparts
    Major cities in the UK are falling behind their international counterparts in terms of their use of smart technologies, according to a new study. The research has found that smart cities in the UK, such as London, are not as advanced as the leading smart cities across the globe, such as San Francisco, Barcelona and Amsterdam, because of a lack of citizen engagement with new smart technologies.
  • Researchers monitor for next novel influenza strain
    While flu season starts to die down, researchers are diligently monitoring for the next novel influenza virus by monitoring swine influenza viruses. The work is starting with swine in the field. Researchers are surveying for swine influenza viruses as part of a $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.
  • Modeling chimp behavior? Try using laws that govern matter
    To simulate chimp behavior, scientists created a computer model based on equations normally used to describe the movement of atoms and molecules in a confined space. An interdisciplinary research team has turned to the physical laws that govern matter to explore one facet of the question of climate change: how the animals will cluster and travel through their territory as the terrain they share with other members of their species shrinks.
  • Spurring production of a sluggish enzyme for crop yields
    Scientists have found a way to improve production of the Rubisco enzyme, essential to plant growth. Important staple crops, such as wheat, cotton and rice stand to benefit.
  • Some tropical plants pick the best hummingbirds to pollinate flowers
    Rather than just waiting patiently for any pollinator that comes their way to start the next generation of seeds, some plants appear to recognize the best suitors and 'turn on' to increase the chance of success. These findings stem from the discovery that the showy red and yellow blooms of Heliconia tortuosa, an exotic tropical plant, recognize certain hummingbirds by the way the birds sip the flowers' nectar. The plants respond by allowing pollen to germinate, ultimately increasing the chances for successful seed formation.
  • The rub with friction: News rules of friction at the microscopic level
    Scientists have explored friction at the microscopic level. They discovered that the force generating friction is much stronger than previously thought. The discovery is an important step toward understanding the physics of the cellular and molecular world and designing the next generation of microscopic and nanotechnologies.
  • Vaccine skeptics aren't swayed by emotional scare tactics
    On the heels of an American nationwide measles outbreak comes a report that campaigns aimed at scaring people about the consequences of non-vaccination might not be as effective as many think. Authors challenge the popular assumption that emotional appeals have a wide, sweeping effect on people's health beliefs.
  • Networks of micro-drones: What can they be expected to do?
    Micro-drones are already being put to use in a large number of areas: These small aircraft face extensive requirements when performing aerial observation tasks or when deployed in the field of disaster management. A newly developed concept summarizes these challenges.
  • Computer simulator will improve radiation therapy for cancer patients, experts say
    A project to develop a computer simulator of dual foil scattering systems used in radiation therapy is underway. "The user user-friendly interface and real-time nature of the simulator also make it an effective educational tool for gaining a better understanding of the effects that various system parameters have on dose profiles," an author said. "In other words, it will help medical physicists and linear accelerator designers to better understand the physics behind the equipment with which they will be working."
  • Time to 'just say no' to behavior-calming drugs for Alzheimer patients? Experts say yes
    Doctors write millions of prescriptions a year for drugs to calm the behavior of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. But non-drug approaches actually work better, and carry far fewer risks, experts conclude in a new report.
  • Educating college students on drinking risks can help lessen drinking behaviors, but only temporarily, study finds
    Briefly counseling college students on the dangers of binge drinking is effective in lowering heavy drinking levels among many students, but only temporarily. Three out of four will be right back where they started a year later, according to new research.
  • The more friends you drink with ... the more you drink
    Alcohol consumption of individuals appears to increase with the number of friends in their drinking group. A new study used internet-based questionnaires that study participants completed on their own smartphones to survey almost 200 young adult drinkers in Switzerland every hour while they were drinking in real-life situations, asking them to report the number of friends present and number of drinks they had consumed.
  • In hot and cold water: The private lives of 'Hoff' crabs revealed
    Researchers have shed light on the private life of a new species of deep-sea crab, previously nicknamed the 'Hoff' crab because of its hairy chest.
  • Strong link between adolescent obesity, high blood pressure
    Body mass index in healthy adolescents has a statistically significant association with both systolic blood pressures and diastolic blood pressures, research shows, and it highlights the significance of the global trend of rapidly increasing adolescent obesity, experts say.
  • One million patients could lose primary care if residency training in underserved regions is eliminated
    The shortage of primary care doctors could worsen if funding for the Teaching Health Centers, a program to train medical residents in underserved areas, is eliminated in the United States, says a new report.
  • MR spectroscopy shows precancerous breast changes in women with BRCA gene
    A magnetic resonance spectroscopy technique that monitors biochemical changes in tissue could improve the management of women at risk of breast cancer, according to a new study.
  • Losing a spouse often too hastily linked to depression
    Loneliness brought about by the death of a spouse can trigger a wider network of depression-like symptoms, a study has found, but authors suggest that doctors are often too quick to attribute these symptoms to depression.
  • New data on the nature of dark matter
    Recent research contributes to the effort to determine the nature of dark matter, one of the most important mysteries in physics. As indirect evidence provided by its gravitational effects, dark matter amounts to more than 80% of the universe.
  • Graphene Research: Electrons Moving along Defined Snake States
    Physicists have shown for the first time that electrons in graphene can be moved along a predefined path. This movement occurs entirely without loss and could provide a basis for numerous applications in the field of electronics.
  • Breakthrough in particle control creates special half-vortex rotation
    A breakthrough in the control of a type of particle known as the polariton has created a highly specialised form of rotation.
  • Family based interpersonal psychotherapy for depressed preadolescents is more effective than child-centered therapy
    Family Based Interpersonal Psychotherapy (FB-IPT) is more effective in treating preadolescent children with depression compared to child-centered therapy (CCT), a recent study has found. Preadolescents with depressive disorders may be under-diagnosed and go untreated because those presenting for outpatient treatment with clinically significant depressive symptoms often do not meet full diagnostic criteria for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). However, preadolescents with depressive symptoms are at increased risk of experiencing MDD in adolescence.
  • Neuropsychological, neuropsychiatric, functional assessments help follow course of Alzheimer's disease
    The cognitive performance of persons with Alzheimer's disease and behavioral and psychological problems are linked to their performance of activities of daily living, according to a recent study. However, difficulties in cognitive performance were not linked to behavioral and psychological problems, although both deteriorated as the disease progressed. Some persons may have significant problems in memory and other cognitive performance without the presence of behavioral and psychological problems, while others experience behavioral and psychological problems already at the early phase of the disease.
  • 'Cardiovascular revolution' has increased life expectancy in Spain
    Over the last century, life expectancy for Spaniards has increased by 40 years. A study highlights the main cause, since 1980, as being the reduced incidence of cardiovascular diseases while other pathologies, such as mental illnesses and certain types of cancer, have been seen to rise. The authors predict that the effects of the economic recession on mortality will show up in the long-term.
  • The taming of magnetic vortices: A unified theory for skyrmion-materials
    Magnetic vortex structures, so-called skyrmions, could in future store and process information very efficiently. They could also be the basis for high-frequency components. For the first time, a team of physicists succeeded in characterizing the electromagnetic properties of insulating, semiconducting and conducting skyrmion-materials and developed a unified theoretical description of their behavior. This lays the foundation for future electronic components with purpose-designed properties.
  • Gorilla origins of the last two AIDS virus lineages confirmed
    Two of the four known groups of human AIDS viruses (HIV-1 groups O and P) have originated in western lowland gorillas, according to new research. The scientists conducted a comprehensive survey of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection in African gorillas.
  • Scientists move closer to creating cartilage from stem cells
    Scientists have succeeded in producing cartilage formed from embryonic stem cells that could in future be used to treat the painful joint condition osteoarthritis. With their huge capacity to proliferate, embryonic stem cells, which can be manipulated to form almost any type of mature cell, offer the possibility of high-volume production of cartilage cells. Their use would also be cheaper and applicable to greater number of arthritis patients, the researchers claim.
  • Defect responsible for memory impairment in aging found
    Everyone worries about losing their memory as they grow older—memory loss remains one of the most common complaints of the elderly. But the molecular reasons behind the processes remain unclear, particularly those associated with advancing age. Now, a mechanism that causes long-term memory loss due to age in Drosophila, the common fruit fly, has been discovered by scientists.
News from Science

  • DOD encourages U.S. academics to partner with transatlantic colleagues

  • New study in mice shows that hoarding salt in skin may boost the body’s ability to fend off microbes

  • Technique could be used to image HIV and influenza

  • Flexible hind legs are the secret to the feat

  • Opponents say measures designed to hamper regulatory efforts
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