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A new method may help determine whether a person has Alzheimer's disease or frontotemporal dementia, two different types of dementia that often have similar symptoms, according to a preliminary study.
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Marked improvements have been made over the past few decades in managing cystic fibrosis, but as more adults are diagnosed with the disease radiologists can do more to monitor the wide spectrum of CF in adults, including nonclassic imaging findings, according to an article.
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Over the past 10,000 years human cultures have expanded from small groups of hunter-gatherers to colossal and complexly organized societies. The secrets to how and why this major cultural transition occurred have largely remained elusive. A new article outlines how advances in computational methods and large cross-cultural datasets are beginning to reveal the broad patterns and processes underlying our cultural histories.
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Bacteria have an extraordinary ability to maintain and recover their morphology even after being twisted out of shape. Researchers know that shape is determined by the cell wall, yet little is known about how bacteria monitor and control it. Since the cell wall is the target of most antibiotics, understanding how bacteria grow their cell walls may provide insight into more effective medicines. Now, a team of researchers has found that Escherichia coli (E. coli) may use mechanical cues to keep their shape.
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Does the type of surgery used to treat breast cancer impact a woman's sensuality and sexual function in survivorship? New research analyzed the association of surgical modality with sexual function and found that breast-specific sensuality and appearance satisfaction are better with lumpectomy and may correlate with improved sexual function post-operatively.
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Modern films and TV shows are filled with spectacular computer-generated sequences computed by rendering systems that simulate the flow of light in a three-dimensional scene and convert the information into a two-dimensional image. But computing the thousands of light rays (per frame) to achieve accurate color, shadows, reflectivity and other light-based characteristics is a labor-intensive, time-consuming and expensive undertaking. An alternative is to render the images using only a few light rays.
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Exosuits can be used to improve walking after stroke, say researchers. This is a critical step in de-risking exosuit technology towards real-world clinical use.
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Obese patients who underwent bariatric surgery were more like to achieve a body mass index (BMI) of less than 30 one year after surgery if they had a BMI of less than 40 before surgery, according to a study.
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3.6 out of 1,000 children in the US are diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Their symptoms can include abnormal gait patterns such as crouch gait, characterized by excessive flexion of the hips, knees, or ankles. A pilot study demonstrates a robotic training method that improves posture and walking in children with crouch gait by enhancing their muscle strength and coordination.
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Experimenters with a powerful 'electron camera' have discovered that light whirls atoms around in perovskites, potentially explaining the high efficiency of these next-generation solar cell materials and providing clues for making better ones.
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Scientists have found surprising electron behavior that may help unravel the ever-elusive mechanism behind high-temperature superconductivity -- a phenomenon in which electrical current flows freely without resistance through a material at unusually high temperatures relative to those of conventional superconductors.
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Fresh insights into how cells detect damage to their DNA -- a hallmark of cancer -- could help explain how the body keeps disease in check. Scientists have discovered how damage to the cell's genetic material can trigger inflammation, setting in motion processes to remove damaged cells and keep tissues healthy.
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Kidney transplant patients appear to be at a greater risk of developing melanoma than the general population and risk factors include being older, male and white, findings that corroborate results demonstrated in other studies, according to a new article.

Brain cells found to control aging

Jul. 26th, 2017 01:21 pm
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Scientists have found that stem cells in the brain's hypothalamus govern how fast aging occurs in the body. The finding, made in mice, could lead to new strategies for warding off age-related diseases and extending lifespan.
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Scientists have succeeded in regenerating functional retinal cells in adult mice. Like humans, mice cannot repair damage to their retinas. However, because zebrafish can, researchers created in mice a version of the fish gene responsible for turning Muller glia into retinal cells if eye injury occurs. Researchers found way to prevent the gene's activity from being blocked as the mice got older. The new interneurons formed connections and reacted normally to signals from light-detecting cells in the retina.
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Scientists have demonstrated how living cells can be induced to carry out computations in the manner of tiny robots or computers.
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Gamma-ray bursts are among the most energetic and explosive events in the universe. They are also short-lived, lasting from a few milliseconds to about a minute. This has made it tough for astronomers to observe a gamma-ray burst in detail. Using a wide array of ground- and space-based telescope observations, astronomers constructed one of the most detailed descriptions of a gamma-ray burst to date.
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Inside the crater of a volcano on Graciosa Island in the Azores archipelago, in the Atlantic Ocean, an international team of researchers has discovered the bones of a new extinct species of songbird, a bullfinch which they have named Pyrrhula crassa. The remains were found in a small cavity through which time ago the lava flowed. This bird disappeared a few hundreds of years ago due to human colonization of the islands and the introduction of invasive species.
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Despite the millions companies spend to gather information about customer satisfaction, senior managers often fail to understand those customers' expectations.
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Using new 3-D methods to analyze stone projectile points crafted by North America's earliest human inhabitants, scientists have found that these tools show evidence of a shift toward more experimentation about 12,500 years ago, following hundreds of years of consistent stone-tool production. The findings provide clues into changes in social interactions during a time when people are thought to have been spreading into new parts of North America.
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While past attempts to treat melanoma failed to meet expectations, an international team of researchers are hopeful that a compound they tested on both mice and on human cells in a petri dish takes a positive step toward creating a drug that can kill melanoma cancer cells without harming nearby healthy cells.
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Researchers are studying the impact of climate change and environmental toxins on the lake's fauna. They addressed the question of how Baikal amphipods that fulfill important ecological functions in the lake react to pollutants in the water.
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Sit on Disney Research's Magic Bench and you may have an elephant hand you a glowing orb. Or you might get rained on. Or a tiny donkey might saunter by and kick the bench. It's a combined augmented and mixed reality experience, but not the type that involves wearing a head-mounted display or using a handheld device. Instead, the surroundings are instrumented rather than the individual, allowing people to share the 'magical' experience as a group.
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Scientists enhance conversion efficiency of crystalline Si solar cells by effectively preventing reflection loss, passivating a submicron silicon structure, and adding a rough nanoscale surface texture using simple and inexpensive processes.
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New work describes vital aspects of diffusion processes in tissue development, including the roles that molecular diffusion gradients have on stem cell signaling pathways along with new modeling tools that describe gradients of nutrients and signaling factors in three-dimensional tissue constructs.
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The food chains recovered more rapidly than previously assumed after Earth's most devastating mass extinction event about 252 million years ago as demonstrated by the fossilized skull of a large predatory fish called Birgeria americana discovered by paleontologists from the University of Zurich in the desert of Nevada.
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Future early-stage colon cancer patients could benefit from specific genetic tests that forecast their prognosis and help them make the right decision regarding chemotherapy. Two of the biomarkers are the MACC1 gene, high levels of which promote aggressive tumor growth and the development of metastasis, and a defective DNA mismatch repair (dMMR) system, which plays a role in tumor formation. Life expectancy is longer for patients with dMMR tumors and with low MACC1 gene activity.
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Although scarce, the recently discovered innate lymphoid cells vie with T cells for a shared source of interleukin-7, which helps them to survive. These findings could deepen our understanding of immune memory in vaccine and aging.
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Sports scientists are warning that fatigue from weight training can carry over to endurance training and the two activities must be better coordinated to maximize athletes' performance.
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A new study shows that difference in water temperature between the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans together with global warming impact the risk of drought and wildfire in southwestern North America.
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Amphibians, reptiles, mammals -- all of them communicate via acoustic signals. And humans are able to assess the emotional value of these signals. The authors interpreted their findings as evidence that there might be a universal code for the vocal expression and perception of emotions in the animal kingdom.
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Researchers reported their latest brain research on ADHD in a scientific journal targeting -- and peer-reviewed by -- children.
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New research examines how frequently and in what order different aspects of self-reported near-death-experiences occur. By analyzing written first-hand accounts of near-death-experiences, the researchers looked at whether specific aspects of these experiences tend to occur in the same order for different people. They found that even though some events are more common, and some are more likely to follow one another, near-death-experiences tend to be unique to the individual in terms of chronology.
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Two studies examine the personality characteristics that drive dogmatism in the religious and nonreligious. In both groups, higher critical reasoning skills were associated with lower levels of dogmatism. But these two groups diverge in how moral concern influences their dogmatic thinking.
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Bacterial populations can, under certain conditions, react in a coordinated manner to chemical messages produced by a minority of their members, as a new theoretical study carried out by biophysicists shows.

Taking technology to the next level

Jul. 26th, 2017 10:30 am
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Physicists have developed a new hybrid integrated platform, promising to be a more advanced alternative to conventional integrated circuits. The researchers demonstrated their approach is mass manufacturable, making it possible to integrate the platform into everyday electronic equipment like smartphones. For end users this technical advance means it may lead to faster internet on their next-generation electronic devices.
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Schizophrenia patients often experience an altered sense of self, for example, as if someone else is controlling their actions. This impairment is described as a deficit in the “sense of agency”, and while it has been well established and linked to problems with sensorimotor brain signals, another category has been left unexplored: the “sense of body ownership” by which we feel that our bodies belong to ourselves. Using a full-body illusion experiment, EPFL scientists have now determined that body ownership is not affected in schizophrenia.
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Researchers have produced the first direct evidence that parts of our brains implicated in mental disorders may be shaped by a 'residual echo' from Neanderthal DNA in our genomes. Evidence from MRI scans suggests that such ancient genetic variation may affect the way our brains work today -- and may hold clues to understanding deficits seen in schizophrenia and autism-related disorders.
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In 1966, a US Fish and Wildlife Service biologist named Chan Robbins launched an international program designed to measure changes in bird populations using volunteers recruited to count birds on pre-set routes along country roads. The result, the North American Breeding Bird Survey or BBS, is still going strong more than five decades later.
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Why use regular sunscreen when you can apply a DNA film to your skin? Researchers have developed a coating made out of DNA that gets better at protecting skin from ultraviolet light the more you expose it to the sun, and it also keeps your skin hydrated.
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A Bronze Age wooden container found in an ice patch at 2,650m in the Swiss Alps could help archaeologists shed new light on the spread and exploitation of cereal grains following a chance discovery.
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Scientists have discovered a new method of observing the brain changes caused by Parkinson's disease, which destroys neurons important for movement. The development suggests that fluid changes in a specific brain area could provide a way to track that damage.

Trees can make or break city weather

Jul. 26th, 2017 09:15 am
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Even a single urban tree can help moderate wind speeds and keep pedestrians comfortable as they walk down the street, according to a new study that also found losing a single tree can increase wind pressure on nearby buildings and drive up heating costs.
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Eight out of 355 cardiac arrest patients who did not immediately wake up after hospitalization, have benefited from being cooled down to a temperature of 33°C for as long as 48 hours. However, this does not provide researchers with evidence to conclude that 48-hour cooling is preferable to the typical 24 hours when it comes to preventing brain damage. The level of uncertainty is too high and the difference too small to reach this conclusion.
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Researchers have developed a new type of user-interactive electronic skin, with a color change perceptible to the human eye, and achieved with a much-reduced level of strain. Their results could have applications in robotics, prosthetics and wearable technology.
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Researchers have developed an inexpensive, scalable smart surface that is powered by just a conventional electric battery. The copper-based surface changes from being highly water-repellent (superhydrophobic) to highly water-absorbent (superhydrophilic) as electric potential is applied.

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