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Seals introduced tuberculosis to the New World

2014-08-20
Scientists from the University of Tübingen, Arizona State University, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) isolated Mycobacterium pinnipedii from skeletons found in Peru which are at least 1000 years old. The pathogen is a relative of the TB bacterium that affects seals but only occasionally causes disease in humans today. These researchers assume that seals carried the pathogens from Africa to the Peruvian coast. "The link to sea lions was unexpected" comments Sebastien Gagneux, from the Swiss Tropical and Public ...

Satellite eyes a big influence on Tropical Storm Karina

Satellite eyes a big influence on Tropical Storm Karina
2014-08-20
NOAA's Central Pacific Hurricane Center noted that Tropical Storm Karina's next move is based on its interaction with Tropical Storm Lowell. Lowell is positioned to the east of Tropical Storm Karina in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Karina is still well over 1,000 miles away from Hawaii and has become almost stationary as the mammoth Tropical Storm Lowell creeps closer to it. The CPHC expects Karina to start drifting eastward and away from Hawaii starting Thursday, August 21, as Karina starts being affected by Lowell's massive circulation. On August 20, NOAA's GOES-West ...

Beaver complex and July complex wildfires in California

Beaver complex and July complex wildfires in California
2014-08-20
The Beaver Complex is comprised of the Salt Creek Fire (20 miles northwest of Medford) and the Oregon Gulch Fire (15 miles east of Ashland), lightning-started fires that started on July 30-31, 2014. After it was first discovered on July 31, the Oregon Gulch Fire rapidly moved southeast from the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument into the Soda Mountain Wilderness Area, from Jackson County into Klamath County, and then into California. To date 35,302 acres have been affected. The wildfire complex is currently 100% contained. Per the Inciweb site total cost of this complex ...

Survey finds veterans generally satisfied with mental health care

2014-08-20
A survey of U.S. veterans receiving mental health services from the Veterans Health Administration finds general satisfaction, but also significant room for improvement among all areas studied. The RAND Corporation study, conducted in 2008 and 2009, found that patients with a substance use disorder were less satisfied than other veterans who received mental health services. Those with substance abuse problems also were less likely than others to report that staff listened to them or respected their decisions. The findings, published in the journal Psychiatric Services, ...

Recovery reversal seen in Oregon study of returning concussed athletes

Recovery reversal seen in Oregon study of returning concussed athletes
2014-08-20
EUGENE, Ore. -- When are athletes who have suffered concussions ready to return to action? A new University of Oregon study has found that high school athletes who head back on the field with medical clearance within 60 days experience a significant regression in their abilities to simultaneously walk and do simple mental tasks. The regression, as seen in changes in their balance and/or altered walking speed, was found in 12 of 19 athletes. Ten of the 12 had returned to activity in less than a month. Seven athletes, who performed similarly to uninjured control subjects, ...

Scientists learn more about rare skin cancer that killed Bob Marley

2014-08-20
Cancer Research UK scientists have discovered that acral melanomas – the rare type of skin cancer that caused reggae musician Bob Marley's death – are genetically distinct from other more common types of skin cancer, according to a study (link is external) published in the journal Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research. Acral melanoma most often affects the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, nail-beds and other hairless parts of the skin. Unlike other more common types of melanoma, it's not caused by UV damage from the sun. The team, from the Cancer Research UK Manchester ...

Drexel study: Enhanced communication key to successful teamwork in dynamic environments

2014-08-20
From management consulting projects to research and development laboratories to hospital trauma centers, organizations of all types are increasingly creating teams whose members have diverse professional backgrounds. While the allure of these cross-functional teams is their ability to use their diverse knowledge to solve complex problems, not all such teams are able to reach their full potential. According to new research led by Christian Resick, PhD, an associate professor of management in Drexel University's LeBow College of Business, these teams need to master the ...

Highs and lows: Height changes in the ice sheets mapped

Highs and lows: Height changes in the ice sheets mapped
2014-08-20
Researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany have used satellite data to map elevation and elevation changes in both Greenland and Antarctica. The new maps are the most complete published to date, from a single satellite mission. They also show the ice sheets are losing volume at an unprecedented rate of about 500 cubic kilometres per year. The results are published today in The Cryosphere, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU). "The new elevation maps are snapshots of the current state of the ice sheets," says lead-author Veit Helm ...

Turning waste from rice, parsley and other foods into biodegradable plastic

2014-08-20
Your chairs, synthetic rugs and plastic bags could one day be made out of cocoa, rice and vegetable waste rather than petroleum, scientists are now reporting. The novel process they developed and their results, which could help the world deal with its agricultural and plastic waste problems, appear in the ACS journal Macromolecules. Athanassia Athanassiou, Ilker S. Bayer and colleagues at the Italian Institute of Technology point out that plastic's popularity is constantly growing. In 2012, its production reached 288 million tons worldwide, but its ubiquity comes at a ...

Celebrating 100 years of crystallography

2014-08-20
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of a revolutionary technique that underpins much of modern science, Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) magazine last week released a special edition on X-ray crystallography — its past, present and a tantalizing glimpse of its future. C&EN is the weekly news magazine of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society. The technique got its start when German physicist Max von Laue published the first paper on X-ray diffraction from a crystal in 1912. In the century following von Laue's discovery, which was ...

Teen sleeplessness piles on risk for obesity

2014-08-20
Teenagers who don't get enough sleep may wake up to worse consequences than nodding off during chemistry class. According to new research, risk of being obese by age 21 was 20 percent higher among 16-year-olds who got less than six hours of sleep a night, compared with their peers who slumbered more than eight hours. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends nine to ten hours of sleep for teenagers.) Researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Public Health are the first ...

Severe infections with hospitalization after prostate biopsy rising in Sweden

2014-08-20
New York, NY, August 20, 2014 – Transrectal ultrasound guided biopsy is the gold standard for detecting prostate cancer, but international reports have suggested that the number of risks associated with the procedure is increasing. In a new nationwide population-based study, Swedish researchers found that six percent of men filled a prescription for antibiotics for a urinary tract infection within 30 days after having a prostate biopsy, with a twofold increase in hospital admissions over five years, reports The Journal of Urology®. Earlier studies reported serious adverse ...

Salt, pink diamonds and DNA: 5 surprising facts about crystals (video)

Salt, pink diamonds and DNA: 5 surprising facts about crystals (video)
2014-08-20
WASHINGTON, August 11, 2014 — Many people think of crystals as little more than sparkly things behind glass cases in museums. But crystals are everywhere, from the dinner table to the human body. Because 2014 is the International Year of Crystallography, Reactions is celebrating with a video highlighting five surprising facts about crystals. The video is available at: http://youtu.be/urq8SuPMZ_w. Have a favorite crystal? Our friends at Chemical & Engineering News want to hear about it! Vote at http://cen.acs.org/favecrystals, and while you're there, you can learn a lot ...

Signs of deforestation in Brazil

Signs of deforestation in Brazil
2014-08-20
Multiple fires are visible in in this image of the Para and Mato Grosso states of Brazil. Many of these were most likely intentionally set in order to deforest the land. Deforestation is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is thereafter converted to a nonforest use. Examples of deforestation include conversion of forestland to farms, ranches, or urban use. The herringbone-patterned tan lines cutting through the dark green of the Amazon Rainforest in the middle of the image are evidence of deforestation in the Brazilian state of Pará. The deforestation ...

Newborn screening expansion offers early diagnosis and treatment to infants with SCID

2014-08-20
WORCESTER, MA – Using population-based screening outcomes of approximately 3 million infants, a team of scientists across 14 states, including four researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, have shown that newborn screening for severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) can be successfully implemented across public health newborn screening programs. Data from 11 newborn screening programs published in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed the rate of SCID in newborns is higher than previously thought and believed ...

Lyme disease risk is year-round in Northwest California, according to new study

Lyme disease risk is year-round in Northwest California, according to new study
2014-08-20
SILICON VALLEY, Calif., August 19, 2014 -- Bay Area Lyme Foundation, which aims to make Lyme disease easy to diagnose and simple to cure, applauds new research published in an upcoming issue of the Elsevier peer review journal Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases. The findings show that ticks that carry Lyme disease in Northwest California are active throughout the year, making the threat of Lyme disease year-round. The research was conducted by researchers at California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Vector-borne Disease Section and University of California, Berkeley (UC-B). "These ...

NASA sees Tropical Storm Lowell's tough south side

NASA sees Tropical Storm Lowells tough south side
2014-08-20
VIDEO: NOAA's GOES-14 satellite was brought out of storage and put in Super Rapid Scan Operations for GOES-R mode and data of Tropical Storm Lowell from Aug. 19 was animated.... Click here for more information. The south side of Tropical Storm Lowell appears to be its toughest side. That is, the side with the strongest thunderstorms, according to satellite imagery from NOAA's GOES-14 and NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellites. NOAA took its GOES-14 satellite out of storage to simulate ...

Gene therapy protects mice from lethal heart condition, MU researchers find

Gene therapy protects mice from lethal heart condition, MU researchers find
2014-08-20
COLUMBIA, Mo. — A new gene therapy developed by researchers at the University of Missouri School of Medicine has been shown to protect mice from a life-threatening heart condition caused by muscular dystrophy. "This is a new therapeutic avenue," said Yi Lai, Ph.D., the leading author of the study and assistant research professor in the MU School of Medicine's Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. "This is just a first step, but we hope this could lead to a treatment for people with this devastating heart condition, which is a leading cause of death for ...

Providing futile care in the ICU prevents other patients from receiving critical care

Providing futile care in the ICU prevents other patients from receiving critical care
2014-08-20
Providing futile treatment in the intensive care unit sets off a chain reaction that causes other ill patients needing medical attention to wait for critical care beds, according to a study by researchers from UCLA and RAND Health. The study is the first to show that when unbeneficial medical care is provided, others who might be able to benefit from treatment are harmed, said study lead author Dr. Thanh Huynh, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The findings also ...

Novel gene predicts both breast cancer relapse and response to chemotherapy

2014-08-20
Singapore—Scientists have made it easier to predict both breast cancer relapses and responses to chemotherapy, through the identification of a unique gene. The newly found marker could help doctors classify each breast cancer patient and customise a treatment regimen that is more effective. The discovery was a collaborative effort by scientists from A*STAR's Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), and the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (CSI Singapore) at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Despite advancements in cancer treatment, breast cancer ...

Record decline of ice sheets

Record decline of ice sheets
2014-08-20
"The new elevation maps are snapshots of the current state of the ice sheets. The elevations are very accurate, to just a few metres in height, and cover close to 16 million km2 of the area of the ice sheets. This is 500,000 square kilometres more than any previous elevation model from altimetry", says lead-author Dr. Veit Helm, glaciologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven. For the new digital maps, the AWI scientists had evaluated all data by the CryoSat-2 altimeter SIRAL. Satellite altimeter measure the height of an ice sheet by sending radar or laser ...

Researchers find security flaws in backscatter X-ray scanners

Researchers find security flaws in backscatter X-ray scanners
2014-08-20
A team of researchers from the University of California, San Diego, the University of Michigan, and Johns Hopkins University have discovered several security vulnerabilities in full-body backscatter X-ray scanners deployed to U.S. airports between 2009 and 2013. In laboratory tests, the team was able to successfully conceal firearms and plastic explosive simulants from the Rapiscan Secure 1000 scanner. The team was also able to modify the scanner operating software so it presents an "all-clear" image to the operator even when contraband was detected. "Frankly, we were ...

Testing the shelf-life of nuclear reactors

2014-08-20
Oxford, August 20, 2014 – Researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls and TerraPower based in Bellevue, Washington, have demonstrated the power of high-energy beams of charged particles (ions). The ions can rapidly and consistently damage samples of ferritic-martensitic steel, the material used in certain nuclear reactor components. The significance of the result is that the breakdown closely replicates that seen when high-energy neutrons from a nuclear reactor interact with the material - ...

Chemically extracted acellular allogeneic nerve graft with CNTF for sciatic nerve repair

2014-08-20
Chemically extracted acellular allogeneic nerve, from which Schwann cells, myelin sheath and disintegrating fragments have been removed, reduced postoperative immune rejection. Simultaneously, chemically extracted acellular allogeneic nerve retains neural substrates and base materials, such as the bottom layer of Schwann cells, which can provide a good scaffold in the process of nerve regeneration. Chemically extracted acellular allogeneic nerve, similar to autologous nerve transplantation, can guide nerve regeneration and provide a favorable local environment for neural ...

The channel that relaxes DNA

The channel that relaxes DNA
2014-08-20
VIDEO: This is a model DNA chain inside a nanochannel that is 100nm wide. The spontaneous dynamical evolution of the DNA is accompanied by frequent knotting and entanglement at the chain ends.... Click here for more information. With the widespread use of methods for DNA analysis and manipulation, it's certainly useful to find a way to unravel and relax the strands of this molecule that tends to form tangles spontaneously. One way is to use channels, or rather nano-channels, ...
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