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Endangered hammerhead shark found migrating into unprotected waters

2014-11-26
The precise movements of a young hammerhead shark have been tracked for the first time and are published in the open access journal Animal Biotelemetry. The study, which ran over a 10-month period, reveals important gaps in current efforts to protect these endangered sharks and suggests key locations that should be protected to help the survival of the species. Hammerhead sharks, which have recently received new protections from the UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, are experiencing drastic population declines in excess of 90% in ...

Female color perception affects evolution of male plumage in birds

Female color perception affects evolution of male plumage in birds
2014-11-26
The expression of a gene involved in female birds' color vision is linked to the evolution of colorful plumage in males, reports a new study from the University of Chicago. The findings, published Nov. 26 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, confirm the essential role of female color perception in mate selection and sexual dimorphism. "This is the first time an aspect of the visual system in birds has been directly associated with plumage evolution," said Natasha Bloch, PhD, who authored the study while a graduate student in ecology & evolution at the University ...

Diagnosing deafness early will help teenagers' reading development

2014-11-26
Deaf teenagers have better reading skills if they were identified as deaf by the time they were nine months old, research from the University of Southampton has shown. The Southampton team has been studying the development of a group of children who were identified with permanent childhood hearing impairment (PCHI) at a very early age in a pilot screening programme conducted in Southampton and London in the 1990s. Follow up assessments when the children were aged eight showed those who were screened at birth had better language skills than those children who were not ...

'Utter neglect' of rheumatic heart disease revealed by results from global study

2014-11-26
Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) - the most common acquired heart disease in children in many countries of the world - is being neglected and poorly treated, according to new findings from the Global Rheumatic Heart Disease Registry (the REMEDY study), published online today (Wednesday) in the European Heart Journal [1]. RHD accounts for up to 1.4 million deaths every year, with the highest numbers of people affected by it and dying occurring in low and middle-income countries. It is triggered by rheumatic fever (RF) that can be prevented and controlled. RF is preceded by ...

Sweet-smelling breath to help diabetes diagnosis in children

2014-11-26
The potential to quickly diagnose children with type 1 diabetes before the onset of serious illness could be achieved using a simple, non-invasive breath test, according to new research published today. In one of the most comprehensive breath-based studies of children with type 1 diabetes performed to date, a team of researchers from Oxford, UK have linked a sweet-smelling chemical marker in the breath with a build-up of potentially harmful chemicals in the blood that accumulate when insulin levels are low. It is hoped these results--linking an increased level of breath ...

Better forecasts for sea ice under climate change

2014-11-26
University of Adelaide-led research will help pinpoint the impact of waves on sea ice, which is vulnerable to climate change, particularly in the Arctic where it is rapidly retreating. Published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A, the research reports the first laboratory experiments testing theoretical models of wave activity in frozen oceans. "Sea ice is both an indicator and agent of climate change," says project leader Dr Luke Bennetts, Research Fellow in the School of Mathematical Sciences. "Sea ice covering the ocean surface is white and efficiently ...

A warming world may spell bad news for honey bees

2014-11-26
Researchers have found that the spread of an exotic honey bee parasite -now found worldwide - is linked not only to its superior competitive ability, but also to climate, according to a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The team of researchers, including Myrsini Natsopoulou from the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, who co-led the research alongside Dr. Dino McMahon from Queen's University Belfast, believes that the parasite could become more prevalent in the UK in the future and their findings demonstrate the importance ...

New study examines the effect of timing of folic acid supplementation during pregnancy

2014-11-26
Taking folic acid before conception significantly reduces the risk of small for gestational age (SGA) at birth, suggests a new study published today (26 November) in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG). This UK population-based study and systematic review assessed the effect of timing of folic acid supplementation during pregnancy on the risk of the baby being SGA at birth, defined as birth weight less than the 10th centile or in the lowest 10% of babies born. Being small for gestational age is associated with increased neonatal morbidity ...

Web-savvy older adults who regularly indulge in culture may better retain 'health literacy'

2014-11-26
The Institute of Medicine defines health literacy as the degree to which a person is able to obtain, understand, and process basic health information and services, so that s/he can make appropriate decisions about his/her health. Low levels of health literacy among older adults are associated with poorer self-care, particularly of long term conditions, higher than average use of emergency care services, low levels of preventive care, and an overall increased risk of death. The most important factor governing a decline in health literacy in later years is thought to ...

Reported link between early life exposure to paracetamol and asthma 'overstated'

2014-11-26
Respiratory infections are likely to have an influential role, the findings suggest. And the evidence is simply not strong enough to warrant changes to current guidance on the use of this medicine, say the researchers. The use of paracetamol during pregnancy and/or a child's early life has been implicated in the development of childhood asthma, prompting concerns to be raised about the drug's continued use during these periods. The researchers wanted to find out if the available evidence was sufficient to rule out the role of common respiratory infections, which paracetamol ...

The Lancet: Most comprehensive global study to date shows wide gulf in cancer survival between countries

2014-11-26
The most comprehensive international comparison of cancer survival to date, covering countries that are home to two-thirds of the world's population, shows extremely wide differences in survival between countries. The CONCORD-2 study, published in The Lancet, reports 5-year survival estimates for 25.7 million cancer patients diagnosed with one of 10 common cancers [1] and 75 000 children diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia between 1995 and 2009, using individual patient data from 279 cancer registries in 67 countries [2]. Even after researchers had adjusted ...

The Lancet Oncology: Overweight and obesity linked to nearly 500,000 new cancers in 2012

2014-11-26
Excess body weight causes around 481 000 new cancer cases a year in adults--or 3.6% of cancers worldwide--new estimates published in The Lancet Oncology suggest. The burden is far higher in more developed countries, with almost two-thirds (64%) of these obesity-related cancers occurring in North America and Europe. Based on the results, the researchers led by Dr Melina Arnold from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), estimate that a quarter of all obesity-related cancers in 2012 (118 000 cases) were attributable to the rising average body mass index ...

Therapy found effective in older, African-American lung cancer patients

2014-11-26
CINCINNATI--University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers have found in a phase-2 clinical trial that a Food and Drug Administration-approved therapy could be effective in treating both older and African American patients with advanced lung cancer who may not be candidates for chemotherapy. These findings are published Nov. 25, 2014, in the online journal Clinical Medicine Insights: Oncology. Nagla Karim, MD, PhD, associate professor in the division of hematology oncology at the UC College of Medicine and member of the Cincinnati Cancer Center and the UC Cancer Institute, ...

Endangered Idaho salmon regaining fitness advantage

2014-11-25
Endangered Snake River sockeye salmon are regaining the fitness of their wild ancestors, with naturally spawned juvenile sockeye migrating to the ocean and returning as adults at a much higher rate than others released from hatcheries, according to a newly published analysis. The analysis indicates that the program to save the species has succeeded and is now increasingly shifting to rebuilding populations in the wild. Biologists believe the increased return rate of sockeye spawned naturally by hatchery-produced parents is high enough for the species to eventually sustain ...

Full-day preschool linked with increased school readiness compared with part-day

2014-11-25
Children who attended a full-day preschool program had higher scores on measures of school readiness skills (language, math, socio-emotional development, and physical health), increased attendance, and reduced chronic absences compared to children who attended part-day preschool, according to a study in the November 26 issue of JAMA. Participation in high-quality early childhood programs at ages 3 and 4 years is associated with greater school readiness and achievement, higher rates of educational attainment and socioeconomic status, and lower rates of crime. Although ...

Study examines FDA influence on design of pivotal drug studies

2014-11-25
An examination of the potential interaction between pharmaceutical companies and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to discuss future studies finds that one-quarter of recent new drug approvals occurred without any meeting, and when such meetings occurred, pharmaceutical companies did not comply with one-quarter of the recommendations made by the FDA regarding study design or primary outcome, according to a study in the November 26 issue of JAMA. To enhance protocol quality, federal regulations encourage but do not require meetings between pharmaceutical companies ...

Satellite views early Thanksgiving travel trouble areas in US

Satellite views early Thanksgiving travel trouble areas in US
2014-11-25
As the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday approaches this Thursday, November 27, NOAA's GOES-East and GOES-West satellites are keeping a weather eye out for storms that may affect early travelers. In an image from Nov. 25, the satellites show an active weather pattern is in place for travelers across the central and eastern U.S. NOAA's GOES-East satellite provides visible and infrared images over the eastern U.S. and the Atlantic Ocean, while NOAA's GOES-West satellite covers the western U.S. and Pacific Ocean from its fixed orbit in space. Data from both satellites were combined ...

New insights into breast cancer spread could yield better tests and treatments

2014-11-25
November 25, 2014--(BRONX, NY)--A study combining tumor cells from patients with breast cancer with a laboratory model of blood vessel lining provides the most compelling evidence so far that a specific trio of cells is required for the spread of breast cancer. The findings could lead to better tests for predicting whether a woman's breast cancer will spread and to new anti-cancer therapies. The study, led by researchers at the NCI-designated Albert Einstein Cancer Center and Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care(MECCC), was published online today in Science Signaling. According ...

Penn researchers identify protein that predicts post-concussion severity in professional athletes

2014-11-25
PHILADELPHIA - New Penn Medicine research has found that elevated levels in the blood of the brain-enriched protein calpain-cleaved αII-spectrin N-terminal fragment, known as SNTF, shortly after sports-related concussion can predict the severity of post-concussion symptoms in professional athletes. The complete findings were released today in the Journal of Neurotrauma. This new study builds on previous research from this group showing that elevated blood levels of SNTF on the day of a mild traumatic brain injury treated in the emergency room predicted those ...

Novel type 1 diabetes treatment shown to work on human beta cells transplanted into mice

Novel type 1 diabetes treatment shown to work on human beta cells transplanted into mice
2014-11-25
TORONTO, Nov. 29, 2014--A chemical produced in the pancreas that prevented and even reversed Type 1 diabetes in mice had the same effect on human beta cells transplanted into mice, new research has found. GABA, or gamma-aminobutryic acid, is an amino acid produced by the same beta cells that make and secrete insulin. Drs. Gerald Prud'homme and Qinghua Wang of the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Sciences of St. Michael's Hospital published a paper in 2011 showing for the first time that GABA injections not only prevented Type 1 diabetes in mice, but even reversed ...

Lawrence Livermore researchers develop efficient method to produce nanoporous metals

2014-11-25
LIVERMORE, Calif. - Nanoporous metals -- foam-like materials that have some degree of air vacuum in their structure -- have a wide range of applications because of their superior qualities. They posses a high surface area for better electron transfer, which can lead to the improved performance of an electrode in an electric double capacitor or battery. Nanoporous metals offer an increased number of available sites for the adsorption of analytes, a highly desirable feature for sensors. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the Swiss Federal Institute of ...

Entrepreneurs to venture capitalists: Don't be a Scrooge

Entrepreneurs to venture capitalists: Dont be a Scrooge
2014-11-25
WACO, Texas (Nov. 25, 2014) - Note to venture capitalists: Entrepreneurs are watching to see if you're naughty or nice. A recently published study of more than 550 decisions and responses from 144 experienced entrepreneurs reveals that "knowledge of explicit ethical or unethical behavior (by venture capitalists) profoundly shapes the entrepreneurs' willingness to partner." Baylor University researcher Matthew S. Wood, Ph.D., assistant professor of entrepreneurship in Baylor's Hankamer School of Business, co-authored the study, "Take the money or run? Investors' ethical ...

Powdered measles vaccine found safe in early clinical trials

2014-11-25
A measles vaccine made of fine dry powder and delivered with a puff of air triggered no adverse side effects in early human testing and it is likely effective, according to a paper to be published November 28 in the journal Vaccine. The paper is now available online. In 2013, measles killed 145,700 people, most of them children, according to the World Health Organization. That's despite the fact that the conventional injectable vaccine against the measles virus is effective. "Delivering vaccines in the conventional way, with needle injections, poses some serious challenges, ...

Obstructive sleep apnea treatments may reduce depressive symptoms

2014-11-25
Treatment for obstructive sleep apnea with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or mandibular advancement devices (MADs) can lead to modest improvements in depressive symptoms, according to a study published by Marcus Povitz, Carmelle Bolo, and colleagues from University of Calgary, Canada, in this week's PLOS Medicine. The researchers identified 22 randomized controlled trials that investigated the effects of CPAP or MAD treatment on patients with obstructive sleep apnea and that measured depressive symptoms before and after treatment. By pooling the results from ...

International collaboration completes genome sequence of centipede

2014-11-25
HOUSTON - (Nov. 25, 2014) - An international collaboration of scientists including Baylor College of Medicine has completed the first genome sequence of a myriapod, Strigamia maritima - a member of a group venomous centipedes that care for their eggs - and uncovered new clues about their biological evolution and unique absence of vision and circadian rhythm. Over 100 researchers from 12 countries completed the project. They published their work online today in the journal PLOS Biology. "This is the first myriapod and the last of the four classes of arthropods to have ...
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