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Phone counseling reduces pain, disability after back surgery

Wed, 01/04/2015 - 5:27pm
Having a short series of phone conversations with trained counselors can substantially boost recovery and reduce pain in patients after spinal surgery, a new study shows. The phone calls, designed to enrich standard pre- and post-operative care by reinforcing the value of sticking with physical therapy and back-strengthening exercise regimens, are a relatively inexpensive and simple intervention that can maximize surgical outcomes for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who undergo spinal surgeries every year, the investigators say.
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Premature aging of stem cell telomeres, not inflammation, linked to emphysema

Wed, 01/04/2015 - 5:27pm
Lung diseases like emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis are common among people with malfunctioning telomeres, the “caps” or ends of chromosomes. Now, researchers say they have discovered what goes wrong and why.
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Exercise for older mouse mothers lowers risk of heart defects in babies

Wed, 01/04/2015 - 5:27pm
In people, a baby's risk of congenital heart defects is associated with the age of the mother. Risk goes up with increasing age. Newborn mice predisposed to heart defects because of genetic mutations show the same age association. A new study demonstrates that older mouse mothers reduce this risk for their offspring to that of younger mouse mothers through exercise alone, according to researchers.
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Springing ahead of nature: Device increases walking efficiency

Wed, 01/04/2015 - 5:27pm
It's taken millions of years for humans to perfect the art of walking. But research results show that humans can get better 'gas mileage' using an unpowered exoskeleton to modify the structure of their ankles.
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Students drop their stereotypes of science when they 'meet the scientist'

Wed, 01/04/2015 - 4:07pm
Young people who may have thought that scientists were ‘boring’ and ‘nerdy’ changed their minds after having an opportunity to ‘Meet the Scientist’ face-to-face, a study says. The ‘Meet the Scientist’ sessions are part of a wider initiative in England to promote health literacy through science education.
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Hong Kong's first identified dinosaur-era vertebrate

Wed, 01/04/2015 - 3:58pm
A ~147 million-year-old Jurassic-aged osteoglossoid osteoglossomorph fish Paralycoptera from outcrops at Lai Chi Chong has been described. This fossil represents the first dinosaur-era fish - as well as vertebrate - from Hong Kong to be identified.
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Study of brain networks shows differences in children with OCD

Wed, 01/04/2015 - 3:57pm
Communication between some of the brain's most important centers is altered in children with obsessive-compulsive disorder, a new study shows. The results are highly consistent with observations in the clinic, said a researcher. "Children with OCD are beset by preoccupations and can't easily move on from certain tasks and behaviors. As all complex behavior arises from brain networks, being trapped in this mode must arise from impaired brain network interactions in OCD. In our previous studies we had focused on assessing the structure and the neurochemistry of the anterior cingulate. We had long suspected that brain network interactions originating in this region are impaired in the disorder. But this is the first study to clearly demonstrate this."
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Texting too tempting for college students even when inappropriate

Wed, 01/04/2015 - 3:57pm
College students may realize that texting in the shower or at a funeral is inappropriate, but many do it anyway, according to psychologists. The researchers suggest that college students are not necessarily trying to create new norms in texting behaviors, but that breaking with these norms is just too tempting for them in most cases. When they receive texts, the temptation to check their texts and send messages back is much greater than the urge to pay attention to their present situation.
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Old cancer drug could have new use in fighting cancer

Wed, 01/04/2015 - 3:57pm
An old cancer drug can not only kill cancer cells, but also works to change how certain cancer cells function, weakening those cells so they can be killed by other drugs, a veterinary researcher has discovered.
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Anticancer drug can spur immune system to fight infection

Wed, 01/04/2015 - 3:57pm
Imatinib, an example of a 'targeted therapy' against cancer, or related drugs might be tools to fight a variety of infections, scientists say. Imatinib, is an example of a "targeted therapy" against certain types of cancer. It blocks tyrosine kinase enzymes, which are dysregulated in cancers such as chronic myelogenous leukemia and gastrointestinal stromal tumors.
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Where no smartphone has gone before

Wed, 01/04/2015 - 3:57pm
Star Trek's 'Tricorder' was an essential tool, a multifunctional hand-held device used to sense, compute, and record data in a threatening and unpredictable universe -- and it's no longer completely science fiction. A new invention may be able to turn smartphones into powerful hyperspectral sensors, capable of identifying the chemical components of objects from a distance.
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Barriers found that prevent Ugandans with rheumatic heart disease from receiving needed penicillin

Wed, 01/04/2015 - 3:45pm
Access to penicillin can prevent deaths from rheumatic heart disease. Researchers collaborated to learn about obstacles that prevent people from receiving the medication and find ways to overcome them.
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Quantum teleportation on a chip: Significant step towards ultra-high speed quantum computers

Wed, 01/04/2015 - 3:45pm
The core circuits of quantum teleportation, which generate and detect quantum entanglement, have been successfully integrated into a photonic chip by an international team of scientists. These results pave the way to developing ultra-high-speed quantum computers and strengthening the security of communication.
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Team succeeds in doubling life span of mice suffering from premature aging

Wed, 01/04/2015 - 3:45pm
An increase in the capacity to produce nucleotides, the 'building blocks' of DNA, reduces genome fragility and counteracts premature aging in mutant mice for the ATR protein. The experiments may explain the beneficial effects of folic acid, a precursor of nucleotides, which are clinically used to alleviate the degenerative symptoms associated with aging.
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Food-poisoning pathogen: A multi-faceted poison?

Wed, 01/04/2015 - 3:45pm
The Bacillus cereus bacteria is one of the potential causes of food poisoning. A recent study shows that this versatile pathogen produces 19 different variants of a poison that causes nausea and vomiting in human beings. This variety could explain why some cases are relatively benign and others can result in death.
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'Beige' fat-burning cells in humans identified

Wed, 01/04/2015 - 1:36pm
For the first time, a research team has isolated energy-burning 'beige' fat from adult humans, which is known to be able to convert unhealthy white fat into healthy brown fat. The scientists also found new genetic markers of this beige fat.
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Simplifying SNP discovery in the cotton genome

Wed, 01/04/2015 - 1:36pm
Researchers have developed a strategy that simplifies the discovery of useful single-nucleotide polymorphisms within the complex cotton genome. This method will be useful for marker-assisted selection, linkage and QTL mapping, and genetic diversity studies. It has the added benefit of being applicable to other economically important allotetraploid species, including the brassicas, and can be extended to species that do not currently have a reference genome.
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Mighty microexons take center stage in shaping of the brain

Wed, 01/04/2015 - 1:36pm
Complex brain disorders, such as autism or schizophrenia, still puzzle scientists because their causes lie hidden in early events of brain development, which are still poorly understood. This is about to change thanks to researchers who have developed a powerful model that will allow researchers to better understand the physiology behind many disorders.
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Value of local knowledge in recovering endangered species

Wed, 01/04/2015 - 1:36pm
A new study explores how recreational anglers' understanding of the ecosystem and fishing practices influence their views of conserving bocaccio, canary rockfish, and yelloweye rockfish in Puget Sound.
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Light-powered gyroscope is world's smallest: Promises a powerful spin on navigation

Wed, 01/04/2015 - 1:36pm
A new detection scheme that may lead to the world's smallest gyroscope has been uncovered by scientists. More than creative learning toys, gyroscopes are indispensable components in a number of technologies, including inertial guidance systems, which monitor an object's motion and orientation. Space probes, satellites, and rockets continuously rely on these systems for accurate flight control. But like so many other essential pieces of aerospace technology, weight is a perennial problem.
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