Top-precision optical atomic clock starts ticking

Science Daily - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 11:35pm
A state-of-the-art optical atomic clock is now 'ticking away.' As the first of its kind in Poland and one of just a handful of clocks of this caliber in the world, the new clock will keep track of the passage of time with extraordinary precision.
Categories: Science

Poor response to cholesterol drugs may indicate blocked arteries

Science Daily - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 11:35pm
Patients whose bad cholesterol levels don't respond to cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may have more artery blockages than those whose cholesterol levels drop with treatment, scientists report.
Categories: Science

Statin use associated with reduced risk of liver cancer among those in the uk

Science Daily - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 11:35pm
In a nested-case control study of individuals living in the UK, a part of the world with a relatively low incidence of liver cancer, statin use is associated with a decreased risk of liver cancer, according to a new study.
Categories: Science

Urine test predicts heart failure patients' risk of kidney injury

Science Daily - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 11:34pm
Urinary angiotensinogen levels at the time of hospital admission predicted acute decompensated heart failure patients' risk of developing acute kidney injury with considerable accuracy, scientists report. Patients' urinary angiotensinogen level at the time of admission also helped clinicians predict patients' risk of being rehospitalized or dying within one year.
Categories: Science

OPSEC For Activists, Because Encryption Is No Guarantee

Slashdot - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 11:28pm
Nicola Hahn writes: "In the wake of the Snowden revelations strong encryption has been promoted by organizations like The Intercept and Freedom of the Press Foundation as a solution for safeguarding privacy against the encroachment of Big Brother. Even President Obama acknowledges that "there's no scenario in which we don't want really strong encryption." Yet the public record shows that over the years the NSA has honed its ability to steal encryption keys. Recent reports about the compromise of Gemalto's network and sophisticated firmware manipulation programs by the Office of Tailored Access Operations underscore this reality. The inconvenient truth is that the current cyber self-defense formulas being presented are conspicuously incomplete. Security tools can and will fail. And when they do, what then? It's called Operational Security (OPSEC), a topic that hasn't received much coverage — but it should.

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Categories: Science

3D Printers Making Inroads In Kitchens

Slashdot - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 10:45pm
mpicpp sends an article from Fortune about the tiny industry springing up around food-related 3D printing. While such devices are still too expensive and too special-purpose for home kitchens, professionals in restaurants and large cafeterias are figuring out ways they can automate certain time-intensive tasks. For example, pasta: "If the user is making a recipe for ravioli, for instance, the [device] prints the bottom layer of dough, the filling and the top dough layer in subsequent steps. It reduces a lengthy recipe to two minutes construction time and ensures that no one has to clean a countertop caked with leftover dough and flour." The companies developing these 3D printers hope they'll be this generation's version of the microwave, gradually finding a use in almost every kitchen.

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Categories: Science

Spinning 'Origami' Antenna Successfully Deployed In Space | Video

Space.com - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 10:16pm
NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive mission team deployed its spacecraft's large antenna on Feb. 24th, 2015. The mission will track and map soil moisture on Earth.
Categories: Science

Graphene shown to neutralize cancer stem cells

Kurzweil AI - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 10:13pm

Graphene oxide targeting cancer stem cells with differentiation-based nano-therapy (credit: Marco Fiorillo et al./Oncotarget)

University of Manchester scientists have used graphene oxide to target and neutralize cancer stem cells (CSCs) while not harming other cells.

This new development opens up the possibility of preventing or treating a broad range of cancers, using a non-toxic material.

In combination with existing treatments, this finding could eventually lead to tumor shrinkage as well as preventing the spread of cancer and its recurrence after treatment, according to the team of researchers led by Professor Michael Lisanti and Aravind Vijayaraghavan, writing in an open-access paper in the journal Oncotarget.

“Cancer stem cells possess the ability to give rise to many different tumor cell types,” said Lisanti, the Director of the Manchester Centre for Cellular Metabolism within the University’s Institute of Cancer Sciences. CSCs are responsible for the spread of cancer within the body — known as metastasis — which is responsible for 90% of cancer deaths.

“They also play a crucial role in the recurrence of tumors after treatment. This is because conventional radiation and chemotherapies only kill the ‘bulk’ cancer cells, but do not generally affect the CSCs.”

Targeted delivery

Graphene oxide flakes in water solution selectively inhibited proliferation of six types of cancer stem cell types; shown here, lung cancer cells before (left) and after (right) treatment (credit: Marco Fiorillo et al./Oncotarget)

“Graphene oxide can readily enter or attach to the surface of cells, making it a candidate for targeted drug delivery,” said Vijayaraghavan. “In this work, surprisingly, it’s the graphene oxide itself that has been shown to be an effective anti-cancer drug.

“Cancer stem cells differentiate to form a small mass of cells known as a tumor-sphere. We saw that the graphene oxide flakes prevented CSCs from forming these, and instead forced them to differentiate into non-cancer stem-cells.

“Naturally, any new discovery such as this needs to undergo extensive study and trials before emerging as a therapeutic. We hope that these exciting results in laboratory cell cultures can translate into an equally effective real-life option for cancer therapy.”

May be effective for all types of cancer

The team prepared a variety of graphene oxide formulations for testing against six different cancer types — breast, pancreatic, lung, brain, ovarian and prostate.  The flakes inhibited the formation of tumor-sphere formation in all six types, suggesting that graphene oxide could be effective across all, or at least a large number of, different cancers, by blocking processes that take place at the surface of the cells. The researchers suggest that, used in combination with conventional cancer treatments, this may deliver a better overall clinical outcome.

The researchers noted that the research results also show that graphene oxide is not toxic to healthy cells, which suggests that this treatment is likely to have fewer side-effects if used as an anti-cancer therapy.

Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at the University of Manchester won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 for “groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene.”

Abstract of Graphene oxide selectively targets cancer stem cells, across multiple tumor types: Implications for non-toxic cancer treatment, via “differentiation-based nano-therapy”

Tumor-initiating cells (TICs), a.k.a. cancer stem cells (CSCs), are difficult to eradicate with conventional approaches to cancer treatment, such as chemo-therapy and radiation. As a consequence, the survival of residual CSCs is thought to drive the onset of tumor recurrence, distant metastasis, and drug-resistance, which is a significant clinical problem for the effective treatment of cancer. Thus, novel approaches to cancer therapy are needed urgently, to address this clinical need. Towards this end, here we have investigated the therapeutic potential of graphene oxide to target cancer stem cells. Graphene and its derivatives are well-known, relatively inert and potentially non-toxic nano-materials that form stable dispersions in a variety of solvents. Here, we show that graphene oxide (of both big and small flake sizes) can be used to selectively inhibit the proliferative expansion of cancer stem cells, across multiple tumor types. For this purpose, we employed the tumor-sphere assay, which functionally measures the clonal expansion of single cancer stem cells under anchorage-independent conditions. More specifically, we show that graphene oxide effectively inhibits tumor-sphere formation in multiple cell lines, across 6 different cancer types, including breast, ovarian, prostate, lung and pancreatic cancers, as well as glioblastoma (brain). In striking contrast, graphene oxide is non-toxic for “bulk” cancer cells (non-stem) and normal fibroblasts. Mechanistically, we present evidence that GO exerts its striking effects on CSCs by inhibiting several key signal transduction pathways (WNT, Notch and STAT-signaling) and thereby inducing CSC differentiation. Thus, graphene oxide may be an effective non-toxic therapeutic strategy for the eradication of cancer stem cells, via differentiation-based nano-therapy.

Categories: Science

Microsoft's Goals For Their New Web Rendering Engine

Slashdot - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 10:04pm
An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft has put up a post about explaining what they wanted to accomplish when they started working on Project Spartan, the new web browser that will ship with Windows 10. They say some things you wouldn't expect to hear from Microsoft: "We needed a plan to make it easy for Web developers to build compatible sites regardless of which browser they develop first for. We needed a plan which ensured that our customers have a good experience regardless of whether they browse the head or tail of the Web. We needed a plan which gave enterprise customers a highly backward compatible browser regardless of how quickly we pushed forward with modern HTML5 features." They also explain how they decided against using WebKit so they wouldn't contribute to "a monoculture on the Web."

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Categories: Science

Aided by Art, Theory of Life's Extra-Solar Origin Gets Boost

Space.com - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 9:56pm
Did life come to Earth from the shattered rocks of a distant star?
Categories: Science

Levodopa-Carbidopa intestinal gel may prove more effective for long-term treatment of Parkinson's disease than standard Levodopa

Science Daily - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 9:33pm
Data from one-year trial on long-term safety, efficacy, and quality of life in advanced Parkinson's disease patients using levodopa-carbidopa intestinal gel has been released by researchers, suggesting that it may be an effective long term treatment for the illness.
Categories: Science

Study successfully screens for diabetes at dental visits using oral blood

Science Daily - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 9:32pm
Using gingival crevicular blood (GCB) for hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) testing produced values that were nearly identical to those obtained using finger stick blood (FSB), with a correlation of .991 between the two blood samples of 408 dental patients. Testing HbA1c is promoted by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) for diabetes diagnostic purposes and glycemic control monitoring.
Categories: Science

Can coffee reduce your risk of MS?

Science Daily - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 9:32pm
Drinking coffee may be associated with a lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a new study.
Categories: Science

Worldwide Precipitation Time-Lapsed From Satellite Data | Video

Space.com - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 9:31pm
NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite can measure global precipitation (rain and snow) every 30 minutes. The data has been transformed into high resolution imagery that tracks the movement of precipitation over the entire globe.
Categories: Science

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to Get National Academy of Sciences' Top Award

Space.com - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 9:27pm
Tyson will receive the Academy's most prestigious award, the Public Welfare Medal, in recognition of his extensive efforts to get the public excited about science.
Categories: Science

The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

Slashdot - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 9:20pm
An anonymous reader writes: This article has a look inside the #NoEstimates movement, which wants to rid the software world of time estimates for projects. Programmers argue that estimates are wrong too often and a waste of time. Other stakeholders believe they need those estimates to plan and to keep programmers accountable. Is there a middle ground? Quoting: "Software project estimates are too often wrong, and the more time we throw at making them, the more we steal from the real work of building software. Also: Managers have a habit of treating developers' back-of-the-envelope estimates as contractual deadlines, then freaking out when they're missed. And wait, there's more: Developers, terrified by that prospect, put more and more energy into obsessive trips down estimation rabbit-holes. Estimation becomes a form of "yak-shaving" — a ritual enacted to put off actual work."

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Categories: Science

The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

Slashdot - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 9:20pm
An anonymous reader writes: This article has a look inside the #NoEstimates movement, which wants to rid the software world of time estimates for projects. Programmers argue that estimates are wrong too often and a waste of time. Other stakeholders believe they need those estimates to plan and to keep programmers accountable. Is there a middle ground? Quoting: "Software project estimates are too often wrong, and the more time we throw at making them, the more we steal from the real work of building software. Also: Managers have a habit of treating developers' back-of-the-envelope estimates as contractual deadlines, then freaking out when they're missed. And wait, there's more: Developers, terrified by that prospect, put more and more energy into obsessive trips down estimation rabbit-holes. Estimation becomes a form of "yak-shaving" — a ritual enacted to put off actual work."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

Slashdot - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 9:20pm
An anonymous reader writes: This article has a look inside the #NoEstimates movement, which wants to rid the software world of time estimates for projects. Programmers argue that estimates are wrong too often and a waste of time. Other stakeholders believe they need those estimates to plan and to keep programmers accountable. Is there a middle ground? Quoting: "Software project estimates are too often wrong, and the more time we throw at making them, the more we steal from the real work of building software. Also: Managers have a habit of treating developers' back-of-the-envelope estimates as contractual deadlines, then freaking out when they're missed. And wait, there's more: Developers, terrified by that prospect, put more and more energy into obsessive trips down estimation rabbit-holes. Estimation becomes a form of "yak-shaving" — a ritual enacted to put off actual work."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

Slashdot - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 9:20pm
An anonymous reader writes: This article has a look inside the #NoEstimates movement, which wants to rid the software world of time estimates for projects. Programmers argue that estimates are wrong too often and a waste of time. Other stakeholders believe they need those estimates to plan and to keep programmers accountable. Is there a middle ground? Quoting: "Software project estimates are too often wrong, and the more time we throw at making them, the more we steal from the real work of building software. Also: Managers have a habit of treating developers' back-of-the-envelope estimates as contractual deadlines, then freaking out when they're missed. And wait, there's more: Developers, terrified by that prospect, put more and more energy into obsessive trips down estimation rabbit-holes. Estimation becomes a form of "yak-shaving" — a ritual enacted to put off actual work."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

Slashdot - Thu, 26/02/2015 - 9:20pm
An anonymous reader writes: This article has a look inside the #NoEstimates movement, which wants to rid the software world of time estimates for projects. Programmers argue that estimates are wrong too often and a waste of time. Other stakeholders believe they need those estimates to plan and to keep programmers accountable. Is there a middle ground? Quoting: "Software project estimates are too often wrong, and the more time we throw at making them, the more we steal from the real work of building software. Also: Managers have a habit of treating developers' back-of-the-envelope estimates as contractual deadlines, then freaking out when they're missed. And wait, there's more: Developers, terrified by that prospect, put more and more energy into obsessive trips down estimation rabbit-holes. Estimation becomes a form of "yak-shaving" — a ritual enacted to put off actual work."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science