Scalping can raise ticket prices

Science Daily - Fri, 25/07/2014 - 6:46pm
A new study finds that resale markets like Craigslist can add value to tickets sold by concert venues and Ticketmaster.
Categories: Science

New EMS system dramatically improves survival from cardiac arrest

Science Daily - Fri, 25/07/2014 - 6:46pm
A new emergency medicine system that sent patients to designated cardiac receiving centers dramatically increased the survival rate of victims of sudden cardiac arrest in Arizona, according to a study. Under the study, 31 hospitals, serving about 80 percent of the state's population, were designated as cardiac receiving centers between December 2007 and November 2010. Approximately 55 emergency medicine service agencies also participated in the study.
Categories: Science

Designer potatoes on the menu to boost consumption

Science Daily - Fri, 25/07/2014 - 6:45pm
A decline in overall potato consumption has breeders working on “designer” spuds that meet the time constraints and unique tastes of a younger generation.
Categories: Science

Climate Change Increases Risk of Crop Slowdown in Next 20 Years

Science Daily - Fri, 25/07/2014 - 6:44pm
The world faces a small but substantially increased risk over the next two decades of a major slowdown in the growth of global corn and wheat yields because of climate change, according to new research. Such a slowdown would occur as global demand for crops rapidly increases.
Categories: Science

Primary texting bans associated with lower traffic fatalities, study finds

Science Daily - Fri, 25/07/2014 - 6:44pm
States that allow officers to pull over a driver for texting while driving saw fewer deaths than those that use secondary enforcement of texting bans. Some states have banned all drivers from texting while driving, while others have banned only young drivers. Also, some states' texting bans entail secondary enforcement, meaning an officer must have another reason to stop a vehicle, like speeding or running a red light, before citing a driver for texting while driving. These differences appear to impact traffic deaths, this study concludes.
Categories: Science

Slow walking speed, memory complaints can predict dementia

Science Daily - Fri, 25/07/2014 - 6:44pm
A study involving nearly 27,000 older adults on five continents found that nearly 1 in 10 met criteria for pre-dementia based on a simple test that measures how fast people walk and whether they have cognitive complaints. People who tested positive for pre-dementia were twice as likely as others to develop dementia within 12 years.
Categories: Science

SLS Project Coming Up $400 Million Short

Slashdot - Fri, 25/07/2014 - 6:43pm
schwit1 writes: A GAO report finds that the Space Launch System is over budget and NASA will need an additional $400 million to complete its first orbital launch in 2017. From the article: "NASA isn't meeting its own requirements for matching cost and schedule resources with the congressional requirement to launch the first SLS in December 2017. NASA usually uses a calculation it calls the 'joint cost and schedule confidence level' to decide the odds a program will come in on time and on budget. 'NASA policy usually requires a 70 percent confidence level for a program to proceed with final design and fabrication,' the GAO report says, and the SLS is not at that level. The report adds that government programs that can't match requirements to resources 'are at increased risk of cost and schedule growth.' In other words, the GAO says SLS is at risk of costing more than the current estimate of $12 billion to reach the first launch or taking longer to get there. Similar cost and schedule problems – although of a larger magnitude – led President Obama to cancel SLS's predecessor rocket system called Constellation shortly after taking office." The current $12 billion estimate is for the program's cost to achieve one unmanned launch. That's four times what it is costing NASA to get SpaceX, Boeing, and Sierra Nevada to build their three spaceships, all scheduled for their first manned launches before 2017.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Study suggests probiotics could prevent obesity and insulin resistance

Kurzweil AI - Fri, 25/07/2014 - 6:10pm

Obese vs. lean mouse (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Vanderbilt University researchers have discovered that engineered probiotic bacteria (“friendly” bacteria like those in yogurt) in the gut produce a therapeutic compound that inhibits weight gain, insulin resistance, and other adverse effects of a high-fat diet in mice.

“Of course it’s hard to speculate from mouse to human,” said senior investigator Sean Davies, Ph.D., assistant professor of Pharmacology. “But essentially, we’ve prevented most of the negative consequences of obesity in mice, even though they’re eating a high-fat diet.”

The findings published in the August issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation (open access) suggest that it may be possible to manipulate the bacterial residents of the gut — the gut microbiota — to treat obesity and other chronic diseases.

Davies has a long-standing interest in using probiotic bacteria to deliver drugs to the gut in a sustained manner, in order to eliminate the daily drug regimens associated with chronic diseases. In 2007, he received a National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award to develop and test the idea.

Manipulating gut bacteria to promote health

Other studies have demonstrated that the natural gut microbiota plays a role in obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. “The types of bacteria you have in your gut influence your risk for chronic diseases,” Davies said. “We wondered if we could manipulate the gut microbiota in a way that would promote health.”

To start, the team needed a safe bacterial strain that colonizes the human gut. They selected E. coli Nissle 1917, which has been used as a probiotic treatment for diarrhea since its discovery nearly 100 years ago.

They genetically modified the E. coli Nissle strain to produce a lipid compound called N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine (NAPE)*, which is normally synthesized in the small intestine in response to feeding. NAPE is rapidly converted to NAE, a compound that reduces both food intake and weight gain. Some evidence suggests that NAPE production may be reduced in individuals eating a high-fat diet.

“NAPE seemed like a great compound to try — since it’s something that the host normally produces,” Davies said.

The investigators added the NAPE-producing bacteria to the drinking water of mice eating a high-fat diet for eight weeks. Mice that received the modified bacteria had dramatically lower food intake, body fat, insulin resistance and fatty liver compared to mice receiving control bacteria.

They found that these protective effects persisted for at least four weeks after the NAPE-producing bacteria were removed from the drinking water. And even 12 weeks after the modified bacteria were removed, the treated mice still had much lower body weight and body fat compared to the control mice. Active bacteria no longer persisted after about six weeks.

“We still haven’t achieved our ultimate goal, which would be to do one treatment and then never have to administer the bacteria again,” Davies said. “Six weeks is pretty long to have active bacteria, and the animals are still less obese 12 weeks out. “This paper provides a proof of concept,” he said. “Clearly, we can get enough bacteria to persist in the gut and have a sustained effect. We would like for that effect to last longer.”

Davies noted that the researchers also observed effects of the compounds in the liver, suggesting that it may be possible to use modified bacteria to deliver therapeutics beyond the gut.

The investigators are currently working on strategies to address regulatory issues related to containing the bacteria, for example by knocking out genes required for the bacteria to live outside the treated host.

So when can we expect a weight-loss pill?

“It is likely to be at least several years, as we need to further engineer the bacteria with additional safety mechanisms in order to gain approval from the FDA for clinical trials, and then these trials would need to be conducted,” Davies explained to KurzweilAI in an email interview. “For human clinical trials, additional safety mechanisms will have to be engineered into the bacteria.”

Davies noted that currently, there are two standard treatments for obesity: diet/exercise and bariatric surgery. “As many people have experienced, losing weight using diet/exercise is often highly effective in the short-term, but generally difficult to maintain for the long-term. Bariatric surgery is quite helpful for those that are morbidly obese, but the initial risk of the surgery is significant.

“Our hope is that by engineering the gut microbiota to produce NAPE, we can create sustained weight loss for very long periods of time, with only relatively infrequent booster doses of bacteria.

“While it might be possible to create the same effect as with our bacteria simply by injection of the NAPE everyday, in general, long-term compliance with medications that have to be taken every day is quite poor.  The key point we are trying to achieve, and that our paper shows proof-of-concept for, is creating sustained drug delivery by engineering the gut microbiota to make the therapeutic compound.”

This research was supported by the New Innovator Award and by other grants from the National Institutes of Health.

* Curiously, NAPES are also important intermediaries in the biosynthesis of endocannabinoids, as noted in this Wikipedia post. “The endocannabinoid system is a group of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors in the brain that are involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory; it mediates the psychoactive effects of cannabis [the active ingredient of marijuana].” Could this also explain “the munchies”?

Abstract of Journal of Clinical Investigation paper

Metabolic disorders, including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, are widespread in Westernized nations. Gut microbiota composition is a contributing factor to the susceptibility of an individual to the development of these disorders; therefore, altering a person’s microbiota may ameliorate disease. One potential microbiome-altering strategy is the incorporation of modified bacteria that express therapeutic factors into the gut microbiota. For example, N-acylphosphatidylethanolamines (NAPEs) are precursors to the N-acylethanolamide (NAE) family of lipids, which are synthesized in the small intestine in response to feeding and reduce food intake and obesity. Here, we demonstrated that administration of engineered NAPE-expressing E. coli Nissle 1917 bacteria in drinking water for 8 weeks reduced the levels of obesity in mice fed a high-fat diet. Mice that received modified bacteria had dramatically lower food intake, adiposity, insulin resistance, and hepatosteatosis compared with mice receiving standard water or control bacteria. The protective effects conferred by NAPE-expressing bacteria persisted for at least 4 weeks after their removal from the drinking water. Moreover, administration of NAPE-expressing bacteria to TallyHo mice, a polygenic mouse model of obesity, inhibited weight gain. Our results demonstrate that incorporation of appropriately modified bacteria into the gut microbiota has potential as an effective strategy to inhibit the development of metabolic disorders.

Categories: Science

Colonize Space with ‘Civilization: Beyond Earth’ | Game Trailer

Space.com - Fri, 25/07/2014 - 6:04pm
The latest installment in Sid Meier's Civilization series takes mankind in search of a new home after the collapse of modern society on Earth. Pre-order the game here.
Categories: Science

New SSL Server Rules Go Into Effect Nov. 1

Slashdot - Fri, 25/07/2014 - 6:01pm
alphadogg writes: Public certificate authorities (CAs) are warning that as of Nov. 1 they will reject requests for internal SSL server certificates that don't conform to new internal domain naming and IP address conventions designed to safeguard networks. The concern is that SSL server digital certificates issued by CAs at present for internal corporate e-mail servers, Web servers and databases are not unique and can potentially be used in man-in-the-middle attacks involving the setup of rogue servers inside the targeted network, say representatives for the Certification Authority/Browser Forum (CA/B Forum), the industry group that sets security and operational guidelines for digital certificates. Members include the overwhelming bulk of public CAs around the globe, plus browser makers such as Microsoft and Apple. The problem today is that network managers often give their servers names like 'Server1' and allocate internal IP addresses so that SSL certificates issued for them through the public CAs are not necessarily globally unique, notes Trend Micro's Chris Bailey.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Amazon’s Cloud Is Growing So Fast It’s Scaring Shareholders

Wired News - Fri, 25/07/2014 - 5:47pm
Amazon has pulled off a pretty amazing trick over the past decade. It's invented and then built a nearly $5 billion cloud computing business catering to fickle software developers and put the rest of the technology industry on the defensive. Big enterprise software companies such as IBM and HP and even Google are playing catchup, even as they acknowledge that cloud computing is the tech industry's future.






Categories: Science

Hubble Space Telescope Could Become LEGO Model with Fan Votes

Space.com - Fri, 25/07/2014 - 5:29pm
The Hubble Space Telescope is an amazing example of space engineering that for nearly a quarter century has been a vital research tool and public relations boon for astronomy. As such, it is due time for a LEGO model of the observatory, fan Gabriel Russo
Categories: Science

Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered

Slashdot - Fri, 25/07/2014 - 5:18pm
A new study published in Science (abstract) suggests that most dinosaurs were covered with feathers. This conclusion was drawn after the discovery of fossils belonging to a 1.5-meter-long, two-legged dinosaur called Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus. "The fossils, which included six skulls and many more bones, greatly broaden the number of families of dinosaurs sporting feathers—downy, ribboned, and thin ones in this case—indicating that plumes evolved from the scales that covered earlier reptiles, probably as insulation." Its distinctiveness from earlier theropod fossil discoveries suggests that feathered dinosaurs appeared much further back in history than previously thought. Paleontologist Stephen Brusatte said, "This does mean that we can now be very confident that feathers weren't just an invention of birds and their closest relatives, but evolved much deeper in dinosaur history. I think that the common ancestor of dinosaurs probably had feathers, and that all dinosaurs had some type of feather, just like all mammals have some type of hair."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered

Slashdot - Fri, 25/07/2014 - 5:18pm
A new study published in Science (abstract) suggests that most dinosaurs were covered with feathers. This conclusion was drawn after the discovery of fossils belonging to a 1.5-meter-long, two-legged dinosaur called Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus. "The fossils, which included six skulls and many more bones, greatly broaden the number of families of dinosaurs sporting feathers—downy, ribboned, and thin ones in this case—indicating that plumes evolved from the scales that covered earlier reptiles, probably as insulation." Its distinctiveness from earlier theropod fossil discoveries suggests that feathered dinosaurs appeared much further back in history than previously thought. Paleontologist Stephen Brusatte said, "This does mean that we can now be very confident that feathers weren't just an invention of birds and their closest relatives, but evolved much deeper in dinosaur history. I think that the common ancestor of dinosaurs probably had feathers, and that all dinosaurs had some type of feather, just like all mammals have some type of hair."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered

Slashdot - Fri, 25/07/2014 - 5:18pm
A new study published in Science (abstract) suggests that most dinosaurs were covered with feathers. This conclusion was drawn after the discovery of fossils belonging to a 1.5-meter-long, two-legged dinosaur called Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus. "The fossils, which included six skulls and many more bones, greatly broaden the number of families of dinosaurs sporting feathers—downy, ribboned, and thin ones in this case—indicating that plumes evolved from the scales that covered earlier reptiles, probably as insulation." Its distinctiveness from earlier theropod fossil discoveries suggests that feathered dinosaurs appeared much further back in history than previously thought. Paleontologist Stephen Brusatte said, "This does mean that we can now be very confident that feathers weren't just an invention of birds and their closest relatives, but evolved much deeper in dinosaur history. I think that the common ancestor of dinosaurs probably had feathers, and that all dinosaurs had some type of feather, just like all mammals have some type of hair."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered

Slashdot - Fri, 25/07/2014 - 5:18pm
A new study published in Science (abstract) suggests that most dinosaurs were covered with feathers. This conclusion was drawn after the discovery of fossils belonging to a 1.5-meter-long, two-legged dinosaur called Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus. "The fossils, which included six skulls and many more bones, greatly broaden the number of families of dinosaurs sporting feathers—downy, ribboned, and thin ones in this case—indicating that plumes evolved from the scales that covered earlier reptiles, probably as insulation." Its distinctiveness from earlier theropod fossil discoveries suggests that feathered dinosaurs appeared much further back in history than previously thought. Paleontologist Stephen Brusatte said, "This does mean that we can now be very confident that feathers weren't just an invention of birds and their closest relatives, but evolved much deeper in dinosaur history. I think that the common ancestor of dinosaurs probably had feathers, and that all dinosaurs had some type of feather, just like all mammals have some type of hair."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered

Slashdot - Fri, 25/07/2014 - 5:18pm
A new study published in Science (abstract) suggests that most dinosaurs were covered with feathers. This conclusion was drawn after the discovery of fossils belonging to a 1.5-meter-long, two-legged dinosaur called Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus. "The fossils, which included six skulls and many more bones, greatly broaden the number of families of dinosaurs sporting feathers—downy, ribboned, and thin ones in this case—indicating that plumes evolved from the scales that covered earlier reptiles, probably as insulation." Its distinctiveness from earlier theropod fossil discoveries suggests that feathered dinosaurs appeared much further back in history than previously thought. Paleontologist Stephen Brusatte said, "This does mean that we can now be very confident that feathers weren't just an invention of birds and their closest relatives, but evolved much deeper in dinosaur history. I think that the common ancestor of dinosaurs probably had feathers, and that all dinosaurs had some type of feather, just like all mammals have some type of hair."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered

Slashdot - Fri, 25/07/2014 - 5:18pm
A new study published in Science (abstract) suggests that most dinosaurs were covered with feathers. This conclusion was drawn after the discovery of fossils belonging to a 1.5-meter-long, two-legged dinosaur called Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus. "The fossils, which included six skulls and many more bones, greatly broaden the number of families of dinosaurs sporting feathers—downy, ribboned, and thin ones in this case—indicating that plumes evolved from the scales that covered earlier reptiles, probably as insulation." Its distinctiveness from earlier theropod fossil discoveries suggests that feathered dinosaurs appeared much further back in history than previously thought. Paleontologist Stephen Brusatte said, "This does mean that we can now be very confident that feathers weren't just an invention of birds and their closest relatives, but evolved much deeper in dinosaur history. I think that the common ancestor of dinosaurs probably had feathers, and that all dinosaurs had some type of feather, just like all mammals have some type of hair."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered

Slashdot - Fri, 25/07/2014 - 5:18pm
A new study published in Science (abstract) suggests that most dinosaurs were covered with feathers. This conclusion was drawn after the discovery of fossils belonging to a 1.5-meter-long, two-legged dinosaur called Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus. "The fossils, which included six skulls and many more bones, greatly broaden the number of families of dinosaurs sporting feathers—downy, ribboned, and thin ones in this case—indicating that plumes evolved from the scales that covered earlier reptiles, probably as insulation." Its distinctiveness from earlier theropod fossil discoveries suggests that feathered dinosaurs appeared much further back in history than previously thought. Paleontologist Stephen Brusatte said, "This does mean that we can now be very confident that feathers weren't just an invention of birds and their closest relatives, but evolved much deeper in dinosaur history. I think that the common ancestor of dinosaurs probably had feathers, and that all dinosaurs had some type of feather, just like all mammals have some type of hair."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered

Slashdot - Fri, 25/07/2014 - 5:18pm
A new study published in Science (abstract) suggests that most dinosaurs were covered with feathers. This conclusion was drawn after the discovery of fossils belonging to a 1.5-meter-long, two-legged dinosaur called Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus. "The fossils, which included six skulls and many more bones, greatly broaden the number of families of dinosaurs sporting feathers—downy, ribboned, and thin ones in this case—indicating that plumes evolved from the scales that covered earlier reptiles, probably as insulation." Its distinctiveness from earlier theropod fossil discoveries suggests that feathered dinosaurs appeared much further back in history than previously thought. Paleontologist Stephen Brusatte said, "This does mean that we can now be very confident that feathers weren't just an invention of birds and their closest relatives, but evolved much deeper in dinosaur history. I think that the common ancestor of dinosaurs probably had feathers, and that all dinosaurs had some type of feather, just like all mammals have some type of hair."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science