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New tool uses your smartphone camera to track your alertness at work

Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
Our level of alertness rises and falls over the course of a workday, sometimes causing our energy to drop and our minds to wander just as we need to perform important tasks. To help understand these patterns and improve productivity, Cornell University researchers have developed a tool that tracks alertness by measuring pupil size, captured through a burst of photographs taken every time users unlock their smartphones.

UMass Amherst researchers unfold secret stability of bendy straws

Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
Collapsible dog bowls and bendable straws seem to work on a common principle, snapping into stable and useful states, but mechanisms have remained elusive. Now a team led by polymer scientists at UMass Amherst discuss how 'pre-stress' built into the structure helps them function.

Novel DNA vaccine design offers broad protection against influenza-A H3N2

Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
Researchers developed a novel DNA influenza vaccine based on four micro-consensus antigenic regions selected to represent the diversity of seasonal H3N2 viruses across decades.

How to catch fruit flies (video)

Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar -- or can you? In this video, Reactions explains the chemistry behind why fruit flies love vinegar so much that some entomologists call them 'vinegar flies'.

New data science method makes charts easier to read at a glance

Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
Researchers have developed a new method -- 'Pixel Approximate Entropy' -- that measures the complexity of a data visualization and can be used to develop easier to read visualizations. 'In fast-paced settings, it is important to know if the visualization is going to be so complex that the signals may be obscured. The ability to quantify complexity is the first step towards automatically doing something about this.'

Nanodiamonds as photocatalysts

Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
Diamond nanomaterials are considered hot candidates for low-cost photocatalysts. They can be activated by light and can then accelerate certain reactions between water and CO2 and produce carbon-neutral 'solar fuels'. The EU project DIACAT has now doped such diamond materials with boron and shown at BESSY II how this could significantly improve the photocatalytic properties.

Army researcher minimizes the impact of cyber-attacks in cloud computing

Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
Through a collaborative research effort, an Army researcher has made a novel contribution to cloud security and the management of cyberspace risks.

UToledo research finds link between refined dietary fiber, gut bacteria and liver cancer

Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
Adding refined soluble fiber to processed foods could present a health risk for certain people, researchers say in newly published study.

New finding could unmask blood doping in athletes

Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
Autologous blood doping, in which an athlete is transfused with their own stored red blood cells to increase their oxygen capacity for competition, might be detectable now with the use of a microRNA marker of blood aging. An 18-nucleotide miRNA called miR-720 is produced in a predictable pattern as blood ages, which would allow sports officials to detect this kind of blood doping for the first time. The finding might also improve blood storage.

Nanocages in the lab and in the computer: how DNA-based dendrimers transport nanoparticles

Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
How to create nanocages, i.e., robust and stable objects with regular voids and tunable properties? Short segments of DNA molecules are perfect candidates for the controllable design of novel complex structures. Physicists investigated methodologies to synthesize DNA-based dendrimers in the lab and to predict their behavior using detailed computer simulations. Their results are published in the high-impact journal Nanoscale.

Increased mortality in children with inflammatory bowel disease

Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
Children who develop inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease) have an increased risk of death, both in childhood and later in life, a study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in the journal Gastroenterology reports. It is therefore important that patients who are diagnosed as children are carefully monitored, argue the researchers behind the study.

High stakes decision-making causes a little more cheating, a lot less charity

Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
The age old adage of virtue being its own reward may not hold true in the corporate world -- in fact, honourable acts could lead workers to behave more selfishly later on, new research has shown.

Study points to new method to deliver drugs to the brain

Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center have discovered a potentially new approach to deliver therapeutics more effectively to the brain. The research could have implications for the treatment of a wide range of diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, ALS, and brain cancer.

South American marsupials discovered to reach new heights

Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
There have long been speculations that the mouse-sized marsupial monito del monte climbs to lofty heights in the trees. Yet, no previous records exist documenting such arboreal habits for this creature. Researchers set motion-sensing camera traps to capture photographic evidence confirming the high-climbing theories surrounding this miniature mammal. The findings are published in a new study in the Ecological Society of America's journal Ecosphere.

Pathogens may evade immune response with metal-free enzyme required for DNA replication

Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
New study shows that some bacterial pathogens, including those that cause strep throat and pneumonia, are able to create the components necessary to replicate their DNA using a ribonucleotide reductase enzyme that does not require a metal ion cofactor.

Big-picture approach to understanding cancer will speed new treatments

Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
The new approach lets scientists examine the cumulative effect of multiple gene mutations, providing a much more complete picture of cancers' causes.

Neo-colonial attitudes to security in war-torn nations out-of-date and unhelpful

Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
Developed countries imposing their own Security Sector Reform (SSR) processes onto nations recovering from war often rely on entrenched colonial attitudes with no guarantee of success. Research led by the University of Kent looked at the Democratic Republic Congo and Nepal contrasting their outcomes and examining the reasons for success or failure of SSR policies based on Europe. They question whether the systems work in their countries of origin where statistics show ongoing institutional racism.

Medicating distress: Risky sedative prescriptions for older adults vary widely

Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
A new study shows wide variation in prescriptions of sedative drugs, called benzodiazepines, to people with Medicare coverage. Some counties, especially in southern and rural western states, had three times the level of sedative prescribing as others. The study also highlights gaps at the level of individual prescribers: Some primary care providers prescribed sedatives more than six times more often than their peers. These high-intensity prescribers also tended to be high-intensity prescribers of opioid painkillers.

How plants bind their green pigment chlorophyll

Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
Water-soluble protein helps to understand the photosynthetic apparatus.

Communism continues to cause heavy drinking in Eastern European countries

Mié, 10/17/2018 - 22:00
Men and women who lived under communist regimes during the Cold War drink more alcohol more often than people in capitalist nations in the West, according to new research from the University of Kent.

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