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Wildebeest feast: Mass drownings fuel the Mara River ecosystem

Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
Each year, more than a million wildebeest migrate through Africa's Serengeti Mara Ecosystem. While crossing the Kenyan reach of the Mara River, thousands perish. A new study, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to reveal how wildebeest drownings impact the ecology of the iconic river.

CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing reverses Huntington's in mouse model

Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
Emory researchers used CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing to snip part of a gene producing toxic Huntington's disease protein aggregates in the brains of 9-month-old mice. Weeks later, where the delivery vehicle was applied, aggregated proteins had almost disappeared. In addition, the motor abilities of the mice had improved, although not to the level of control mice.

Volcanic eruptions triggered dawn of the dinosaurs

Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
Huge pulses of volcanic activity are likely to have played a key role in triggering the end Triassic mass extinction, which set the scene for the rise and age of the dinosaurs, new Oxford University research has found.

'Full toolbox' needed to solve the climate change problem

Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
Solving the climate change problem means transitioning to an energy system that emits little or no greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. According to new work from a team of experts including Carnegie's Ken Caldeira, achieving a near-zero-emissions energy system will depend on being able to draw on a diverse portfolio of near-zero-emissions energy technologies.

Healthcare providers should individualize patient education

Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
Health information should be tailored to a patient's ability to understand health concepts and keep them motivated to maintain long-term changes.

Deaths of migrating wildebeests key to Serengeti's vibrant ecosystem

Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
Wildebeest carcasses, casualties of the world's largest overland animal migration, pile up annually on the banks of the Mara River in Africa and play a crucial role in vibrant ecosystem of the Serengeti plains, a new Yale-led study has found.

The Asian summer monsoon -- a smokestack to the Northern Hemisphere stratosphere

Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
The formation of Asian tropopause aerosol layer is considered to be caused by the Asian summer monsoon, which effectively pumps the Asian pollutants to the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere, leading to enhanced aerosol formation. Chinese and American scientists used in situ measurements combined with modeling work to show that these particles subsequently spread throughout the entire Northern Hemispheric (NH) lower stratosphere, and contribute significantly (~15 percent) to the NH tratospheric column aerosol surface area on an annual basis.

Fighting global warming and climate change requires a broad energy portfolio

Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
Can the continental United States make a rapid, reliable and low-cost transition to an energy system that relies almost exclusively on wind, solar and hydroelectric power? While there is growing excitement for this vision, a study in PNAS by 21 of the nation's leading energy experts, including David Victor and George Tynan from UC San Diego argue that achieving net-zero carbon emissions requires incorporation of a much broader suite of energy sources and approaches.

Looking for trouble: Territorial aggressions and trespasses pay off among primates

Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
Two decades of research show group augmentation, increased offspring or propensity for offspring, and other rewards outweigh risks in territorial boundary patrols by male chimpanzees.

Family of patients with NAFLD and cirrhosis are at increased risk of liver fibrosis

Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can progress to cirrhosis and eventual liver disease. Family members of individuals diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease are at a higher risk for developing the disease themselves. This week in the JCI, a clinical trial led by Rohit Loomba at UCSD reports that these family members are also at an elevated risk for liver fibrosis.

Yoga is an effective alternative to physical therapy for easing low back pain

Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
A study of 320 predominantly low-income, racially diverse adults with chronic low back pain found that yoga was as safe and effective as physical therapy for restoring function and relieving pain. Compared to an education only intervention, patients who did yoga or physical therapy were also less likely to take pain medications at 12 weeks. The findings are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Surgery patients placed in alternate ICUs due to crowding get less attention from doctors

Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
Research has indicated that ICU boarder" patients -- for example, a brain surgery patient staying in a cardiac ICU -- have worse outcomes as a result of alternate placement, and now, a new study suggests one reason for these worse outcomes is that ICU boarders, compared to non-boarders, appear to get markedly less attention from doctors and other caregivers.

Mathematical modeling uncovers mysteries of HIV infection in the brain

Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
After uncovering the progression of HIV infection in the brain thanks to a new mathematical model developed by a UAlberta research team, clinicians and researchers are developing a nasal spray to administer drugs more effectively.

Wheat coproducts vary in protein digestibility when fed to pigs

Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
Research from the University of Illinois is helping to determine the quality of protein in wheat middlings and red dog, two coproducts of the wheat milling process that can be included in diets fed to pigs and other livestock.

Mapping how words leap from brain to tongue

Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
How the brain narrows down a smorgasbord of related concepts to the one word you're truly seeking is a complicated and poorly understood cognitive task. Looking at epilepsy patients who had a grid of electrodes directly atop their brains, researchers delved into this question and found that wide, overlapping swaths of the brain work in parallel to retrieve the correct word from memory.

X-ray eyes in the sky: Drones and WiFi for 3-D through-wall imaging

Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
Researchers at UC Santa Barbara professor Yasamin Mostofi's lab have given the first demonstration of 3-D imaging of objects through walls using ordinary wireless signal. The technique, which involves two drones working in tandem, could have a variety of applications, such as emergency search-and-rescue, archaeological discovery and structural monitoring.

Brain stimulation protocol reduces spasticity in spinal cord injury patients

Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
Spasticity, uncontrolled muscle contractions, is a common disorder experienced by patients with spinal cord injuries (SCI). Previous studies have shown that excitatory repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) can reduce spasticity. In a new study published in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, researchers found that a protocol of rTMS, excitatory intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS), was successful in reducing spasticity in patients with SCI and therefore may be a promising therapeutic tool.

Inexpensive organic material gives safe batteries a longer life

Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
Modern batteries power everything from cars to cell phones, but they are far from perfect -- they catch fire, they perform poorly in cold weather and they have relatively short lifecycles, among other issues. Now researchers from the University of Houston have described a new class of material that addresses many of those concerns in Nature Materials.

Figuring out the 3-D shape of molecules with a push of a button

Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
A team of researchers has developed a program that automates the process of figuring out a molecule's three-dimensional structure. The technique compresses a process that usually takes days into minutes and could shorten the pipeline of drug discovery by reducing human error.

Financial incentives enhance viral suppression among HIV-positive persons in the US

Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
The use of gift cards significantly increased viral suppression and clinic attendance among HIV-positive patients. Findings showed that there was a four-percent higher percentage of patients with viral suppression at HIV care sites that offered financial incentives at care sites compared to sites not offering gift cards. Additionally, there was an approximately five-percent higher viral suppression noted among a subgroup of patients who previously had not shown consistent viral suppression.

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