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An important development in understanding how the bacterium that causes pneumonia, meningitis and septicemia remains harmlessly in the nose and throat has been discovered by scientists. Streptococcus pneumoniae is a 'commensal', which can live harmlessly in the nasopharynx as part of the body's natural bacterial flora. However, in the very young and old it can invade the rest of the body, leading to serious diseases such as pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis, which claim up to a million lives every year worldwide.
Researchers have found that 'Eat for Life,' a new wellness approach that focuses on mindfulness and intuitive eating as a lifestyle, is more effective than traditional weight-loss programs in improving individuals' views of their bodies and decreasing problematic eating behaviors.
A long-term study of the links between climate and marine life along the rapidly warming West Antarctic Peninsula reveals how changes in physical factors such as wind speed and sea-ice cover send ripples up the food chain, with impacts on everything from single-celled algae to penguins.
The Summary for Policymakers recently produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has triggered a public debate about excessive governmental intrusion in the IPCC process. The IPCC cannot avoid alternative political interpretations of data and must involve policy makers in finding out how to address these implications, according to a team of researchers.
For the last century, the concept of crystals has been a mainstay of solid-state physics. Crystals are paragons of order; crystalline materials are defined by the repeating patterns their constituent atoms and molecules make. Physicists now have evidence that a new concept should undergird our understanding of most materials: the anticrystal, a theoretical solid that is completely disordered.
Obesity, especially excessive belly fat, is a risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to a new article. Excessive belly fat and low physical activity are linked to progression of the disease in people with COPD, but it is not known whether these modifiable factors are linked to new cases.
Let's say you're a bee and you've spotted a new and particularly lucrative source of nectar and pollen. What's the best way to communicate the location of this prize cache of food to the rest of your nestmates without revealing it to competitors, or 'eavesdropping' spies, outside of the colony? One risky way is to "shout" to warn would-be competitors that their prime source of food will be fiercely defended if they show up to the site.
Sedentary lifestyle and not caloric intake may be to blame for increased obesity in the US, according to a new analysis. A study reveals that in the past 20 years there has been a sharp decrease in physical exercise and an increase in average body mass index (BMI), while caloric intake has remained steady. Investigators theorized that a nationwide drop in leisure-time physical activity, especially among young women, may be responsible for the upward trend in obesity rates.
Only one in five properties in Central Falls, Pawtucket, Providence, and Woonsocket that are covered by Rhode Island's lead hazard mitigation law were in compliance with the statute more than four years after it took effect, according to a study by a local team of academic, government, and nonprofit researchers. Many exempt dwellings also seem likely to harbor hazards. But where landlords have complied, the data show that children have benefited.
How many patients receive an incorrect diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease? The answer is a surprisingly high number: over a third, researchers report. To reduce the number of errors, researchers have developed a simplified diagnosis based on the most specific criteria of the disease. A challenge primarily for research, but also for clinical practice.
Scientists have combined cookies, citizen science and robust research methods to track the diversity of ant species across the United States, and are now collaborating with international partners to get a global perspective on how ants are moving and surviving in the modern world. The School of Ants project was developed to help researchers get a handle on the diversity of ant species across the United States.
Techniques for controlling ultra-cold atoms traveling in ring traps currently represent an important research area in physics. A new study gives a proof of principle, confirmed by numerical simulations, of the applicability to ultra-cold atoms of a very efficient and robust transport technique called spatial adiabatic passage.
Thermal systems use heat to produce cold, and vice versa. To do so, a material is needed that can dissipate water vapor particularly well and quickly. A new method simply applies this property as a layer onto the components.
Twenty-four hours of sleep deprivation can lead to conditions in healthy persons similar to the symptoms of schizophrenia. This discovery was made by an international team of researchers, who point out that this effect should be investigated more closely in persons who have to work at night. In addition, sleep deprivation may serve as a model system for the development of drugs to treat psychosis.
New research has solved a long-standing mystery surrounding the evolution of galaxies, deepening our understanding of the future of the Milky Way. The supermassive black holes in the cores of some galaxies drive massive outflows of molecular hydrogen gas. As a result, most of the cold gas is expelled from the galaxies. Since cold gas is required to form new stars, this directly affects the galaxies' evolution.
Short smartphone breaks throughout the workday can improve workplace productivity, make employees happier and benefit businesses, a researcher reports. "By interacting with friends or family members through a smartphone or by playing a short game, we found that employees can recover from some of their stress to refresh their minds and take a break," the researcher said.
Dating during the teen years takes a violent turn for nearly 1 in 6 young people, a new study finds, with both genders reporting acts like punching and throwing things. The data, drawn from a survey of over 4,000 patients ages 14 to 20, indicate that dating violence is common & affects both genders.
For more than a half-century, NASA has made the stuff of science fiction into reality. Researchers are continuing that tradition by designing robots to work in a deep-space habitat, tending gardens and growing food for astronaut explorers. It sounds like a concept from Star Wars, but a team of graduate students from the University of Colorado Boulder is now developing the innovative technology to make it possible.
Astronauts on future missions may nibble on lettuce and grow their own antibiotics, depending on the results of research that student scientists plan to conduct on the International Space Station. Mission 5 of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is scheduled to launch to the space station on July 11. A total of 1,344 proposals yielded 15 selected investigations for the flight. These investigations represent a diversity of subject matter from bacteria to tadpole shrimp and locations from Massachusetts to Arizona.
A new test for tuberculosis could dramatically improve the speed and accuracy of diagnosis for one of the world's deadliest diseases, enabling health care providers to report results to patients within minutes, according to a study. Although preventable, TB claims three lives every minute, making it the second leading cause of mortality from an infectious disease in the world.