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3-D neural structure guided with biocompatible nanofiber scaffolds and hydrogels

2015-04-01
Damage to neural tissue is typically permanent and causes lasting disability in patients, but a new approach has recently been discovered that holds incredible potential to reconstruct neural tissue at high resolution in three dimensions. Research recently published in the Journal of Neural Engineering demonstrated a method for embedding scaffolding of patterned nanofibers within three-dimensional (3D) hydrogel structures, and it was shown that neurite outgrowth from neurons in the hydrogel followed the nanofiber scaffolding by tracking directly along the nanofibers, particularly ...

Researchers identify 'beige' fat-burning cells in humans

2015-04-01
For the first time, a research team, led by a UC San Francisco biologist, has isolated energy-burning "beige" fat from adult humans, which is known to be able to convert unhealthy white fat into healthy brown fat. The scientists also found new genetic markers of this beige fat. The discovery is an important advance in the search for new medications to fight obesity, said senior investigator Shingo Kajimura, PhD, UCSF assistant professor of cell and tissue biology, with a joint appointment in the UCSF Diabetes Center and the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration ...

Two-dimensional dirac materials: Structure, properties, and rarity

Two-dimensional dirac materials: Structure, properties, and rarity
2015-04-01
Graphene, a two-dimensional (2D) honeycomb sheet composed of carbon atoms, has attracted intense interests worldwide because of its outstanding properties and promising prospects in both basic and applied science. The great development of graphene is closely related to the unique electronic structure, that is, Dirac cones. The cone which represents linear energy dispersion at Fermi level gives graphene massless fermions, leading to various quantum Hall effects, ultra high carrier mobility, and many other novel phenomena and properties. Dirac cone is special but might ...

Agricultural contaminant impacts fish reproductive behavior

2015-04-01
A common growth-promoting hormone used worldwide in the cattle industry has been found to affect the sexual behaviours of fish at a very low concentration in waterways - with potentially serious ecological and evolutionary consequences. Researchers from Monash University, in collaboration with researchers from Åbo Akademi University in Finland, have found that the steroid 17β-trenbolone - used on livestock to increase muscle growth - alters male reproductive behaviour in guppy fish (Poecilia reticulata). This androgenic growth promoter is part of a group ...

Atmospheric energy escaped from the Tibetan Plateau

2015-04-01
The increase of green-house gases in the atmosphere reduces outgoing radiation and thus causes global warming. About 93% extra energy trapped by the greenhouse gases is stored in oceans and only 1% is used to heat the atmosphere. As a main reservoir of heat sink, Oceans are slowing down the global warming magnitude by absorbing the extra energy. Global warming hiatus was observed since 1998, but the Tibetan Plateau (TP) (also known as the Third Pole) is still undergoing significant warming. Meanwhile, the thermal forcing over the TP, which is a well-known driver of the ...

Poses of power are less powerful than we thought

2015-04-01
Hands pressed to the hips or perhaps leaning back with arms crossed behind the head are typical poses of power. Referred to power poses or high status gestures in technical jargon, they are assumed to stimulate both psychological and physiological processes. Researchers around Amy Cuddy of Harvard Business School concluded in a study in 2010 that power poses held for a short time influenced the hormones and the willingness to take on financial risks for the subjects participating in the study. Scientists of the University of Zurich now refute these findings with a large ...

Widespread agricultural contaminant impacts fish reproductive behavior

2015-04-01
A common growth-promoting hormone used worldwide in the cattle industry has been found to affect the sexual behaviours of fish at a very low concentration in waterways - with potentially serious ecological and evolutionary consequences. Researchers from Monash University, Australia in collaboration with researchers from Åbo Akademi University in Finland, have found that the steroid 17β-trenbolone - used on livestock to increase muscle growth - alters male reproductive behaviour in guppy fish (Poecilia reticulata). This androgenic growth promoter is part of ...

Negotiating: Careful choice of words increases chances of success

2015-04-01
When negotiating your next pay raise, haggling at the flea market or selling a used car, attention should be paid to the choice of words. Because the findings of a recent study by Leuphana University of Lüneburg and Saarland University revealed that proper wording can translate into hard cash. Thus, even slight linguistic nuances may significantly affect the outcome of negotiations - an effect which can also benefit non-professional negotiators. The paper will be published shortly in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (DOI: 10.1037 / pspi0000009). Imagine ...

New study highlights the value of local knowledge in recovering endangered species

2015-04-01
A new study highlights the value of local knowledge in recovering endangered species. The collaborative research, co-authored by NOAA Fisheries, the University of Washington, and researchers from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, is specifically designed to incorporate the knowledge of recreational anglers into recovery planning for three rockfish species in Puget Sound--bocaccio, canary rockfish, and yelloweye rockfish, each of which was listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2010. The study explores how recreational anglers' understanding of the ecosystem ...

Mighty microexons take center stage in shaping of the brain

2015-04-01
Complex brain disorders, such as autism or schizophrenia, still puzzle scientists because their causes lie hidden in early events of brain development, which are still poorly understood. This is about to change thanks to research by University of Toronto Professors Ben Blencowe and Sabine Cordes, who have developed a powerful model that will allow researchers to better understand the physiology behind many disorders. Blencowe and Cordes joined forces to create a mouse model that lacks the nSR100 gene (also known as SRRM4), which is important for brain development. They ...

Simplifying SNP discovery in the cotton genome

2015-04-01
The term "single-nucleotide polymorphism" (SNP) refers to a single base change in DNA sequence between two individuals. SNPs are the most common type of genetic variation in plant and animal genomes and are, thus, an important resource to biologists. The ubiquity of these markers and the fact that these polymorphisms show variation at such a fine scale (i.e., at the individual level) makes them ideal markers for many applications, such as population-level genetic diversity studies and genetic mapping in plants. The growing popularity of next-generation sequencing has ...

Will the Affordable Care Act eliminate health disparities?

2015-04-01
Massachusetts' health reform may be a crystal ball for researchers and policymakers in forecasting the potential impact of the Affordable Care Act. Many see the ACA as the backbone of efforts toward closing the nation's health gap. Because minorities and low-income populations are more likely to be uninsured, health coverage is widely assumed to be the most essential strategy to eliminating disparities in health outcomes. However, new research published Wednesday in the BMJ, examining use of joint replacement and preventable hospital admissions, shines fresh light on ...

Cancer prevention efforts in the US a mixed bag

2015-04-01
ATLANTA - April 1, 2015- While there has been substantial progress in some cancer control efforts in the past several decades, like reductions in smoking and increased utilization of cancer screening, progress in some areas is lagging, according to a new report. Among the areas of most concern: smoking rates among certain populations, obesity, indoor tanning, and low utilization of a new vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical and other cancers. Additionally, colorectal cancer screening, which not only detects tumors early but also may prevent ...

Number of childhood cancer survivors increasing, most have morbidities

2015-04-01
Bottom Line: The prevalence of childhood cancer survivors is estimated to have increased, and the majority of those who have survived five or more years beyond diagnosis may have at least one chronic health condition. Journal in Which the Study was Published: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research Author: Siobhan M. Phillips, PhD, MPH, assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago Background: The goal of the study was to update prevalence ...

ERS and ATS publish statement on the current state and future directions of COPD research

2015-04-01
The European Respiratory Society (ERS) and American Thoracic Society (ATS) have published a statement describing the current evidence on the diagnosis, assessment and management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), identifying gaps in knowledge and making recommendations for the directions of future research. ERS Guidelines Director, Professor Guy Brusselle, commented: "The World Health Organization predicts that COPD will become the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2030. It is therefore a critical time for us to act on improving the management of ...

Blood test predicts severity of peanut and seafood allergies

2015-04-01
(NEW YORK -- April 01, 2015) A new blood test promises to predict which people will have severe allergic reactions to foods according to a new study led by Mount Sinai researchers and published online today in the The Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. To detect food allergies, physicians typically use skin prick tests or blood tests that measure levels of allergen-specific IgE (sIgE), a protein made by the immune system. However, these tests cannot predict the severity of allergic reactions. Oral food challenges, in which specific allergens are given to patients ...

Researchers see drop in methane emissions from natural gas local distribution systems

2015-03-31
PULLMAN, Wash.- A team led by Washington State University researchers has found that methane emissions from local natural gas distribution systems in cities and towns throughout the U.S. have decreased in the past 20 years with significant variation by region. The researchers found that upgrades in metering and regulating stations, changes in pipeline materials, better instruments for detecting pipeline leaks as well as regulatory changes have led to methane emissions that are from 36% to 70% lower than current Environmental Protection Agency estimates when the data ...

New recommendations for treating patients with high blood pressure and CVD

2015-03-31
DALLAS, March 31, 2015 -- A new scientific statement issued jointly by three medical organizations and published in the American Heart Association's journal Hypertension, addresses how low to aim when treating patients with high blood pressure who also have vascular diseases. The document provides an up-to-date summary on treating hypertension in patients who have both high blood pressure and have had a stroke, heart attack or some other forms of heart disease, said Elliott Antman, M.D., President of the American Heart Association and professor of medicine at Harvard ...

Montréal scientists get 1 step closer to finding how to repair damaged nerve cells

2015-03-31
Montréal, March 31, 2015 - A team of researchers at the IRCM led by Frédéric Charron, PhD, in collaboration with bioengineers at McGill University, uncovered a new kind of synergy in the development of the nervous system, which explains an important mechanism required for neural circuits to form properly. Their breakthrough, published today in the scientific journal PLoS Biology, could eventually help develop tools to repair nerve cells following injuries to the nervous system (such as the brain and spinal cord). Researchers in Dr. Charron's laboratory ...

How does fertility affect women's desire for variety in products?

2015-03-31
Women seek a greater variety of products and services when they are ovulating, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research. "Fertile women seek more options in men and this drives their desire for alternative options as consumers. If you are open to checking out alternatives, you are simply more likely to find the best option and it turns out that the desire for alternatives in mate choice impacts other choice situations," write authors Kristina M. Durante and Ashley Rae Arsena (both University of Texas, San Antonio). In one study, women reported how ...

When are consumers more likely to rely on feelings to make decisions?

2015-03-31
Why do some consumers make choices based on their feelings instead of rational assessments? According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, consumers who consider themselves independent are more inclined to rely on feelings when making decisions. "When making a decision, we can either base the decision on how we feel about the different options or on our logical reasoning about the specific features of the options. Our feelings often contradict logical assessments and the product that appeals more to our feelings is not the one that 'makes more sense' based ...

Saving money: Do consumers spend less if they think about the future?

2015-03-31
Why is it so hard for consumers to save money? According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, consumers are often impatient and do not think about the long-term consequences of spending money. "We've known that being aware of the benefits of not spending and being patient contribute to savings, but our research finds that one or the other is not enough. For consumers to be motivated to save money, they need to both consider the future financial consequences and care enough about their financial future when spending money," write authors Daniel M. Bartels ...

Cultivating timeflow: Can consumers shape how they experience time?

2015-03-31
Why does time seem to crawl if you're waiting in line at the post office, but hours can fly by in minutes when you're doing something fun? A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research examines the factors that determine how consumers experience time. "Consumers lie happily on the beach for hours despite the uneventfulness of the activity, but they can become impatient and extremely frustrated after just a few minutes of waiting in line. This puzzled us, and we wanted to know more as this phenomenon poses a number of challenges for businesses," write authors Niklas ...

Mayo Clinic study suggests acute injured kidneys can be considered for transplant

2015-03-31
PHOENIX -- The shortage of kidneys needed for organ transplantation in the U.S. can be alleviated in part by using select kidneys with Acute Kidney Injury (AKI), resulting in safe and positive outcomes, according to research conducted at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Results of the single-site study, led by Raymond Heilman, M.D., Chair of the Division of Nephrology, suggest that acutely injured kidneys from deceased donors can be considered for transplantation -- reconsidering previous thinking that such kidneys should be discarded. Kidneys can result in acute injury when ...

Folic acid may help elderly weather heat waves

2015-03-31
Supplemental folic acid can enhance blood vessel dilation in older adults, according to Penn State researchers, suggesting that folic acid supplements may be an inexpensive alternative for helping older adults to increase skin blood flow during heat waves and reduce cardiovascular events. "We know that when older adults are exposed to heat, their bodies are not able to increase skin blood flow to the same extent that young subjects do, and as a consequence, older adults are at a greater risk for cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke, during environmental ...
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