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Updated: 1 hour 53 min ago

Heat boosts phthalate emissions from vinyl crib mattress covers

Wed, 17/12/2014 - 3:13pm
The US continues to look at the use and regulation of phthalates, which have been associated with health problems. Of particular concern is the safety of these plastic additives to children. A new study aims to improve our understanding of one possible exposure route for babies: vinyl crib mattress covers. Scientists report that as these covers warm up, they emit more phthalates into the air.
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Not just for the holidays, mistletoe could fight obesity-related liver disease

Wed, 17/12/2014 - 3:13pm
Mistletoe hanging in doorways announces that the holidays are just around the corner. For some people, however, the symbolic plant might one day represent more than a kiss at Christmas time: It may mean better liver health. Researchers have found that a compound produced by a particular variety of the plant can help fight obesity-related liver disease in mice.
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Hugs help protect against stress, infection, say researchers

Wed, 17/12/2014 - 3:13pm
Researchers tested whether hugs act as a form of social support, protecting stressed people from getting sick. They found that greater social support and more frequent hugs protected people from the increased susceptibility to infection associated with being stressed and resulted in less severe illness symptoms.
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Asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs may have nearly knocked off mammals, too

Wed, 17/12/2014 - 3:13pm
The classic story is that mammals rose to dominance after the dinosaurs went extinct, but a new study shows that some of the most common mammals living alongside dinosaurs, the metatherians, extinct relatives of living marsupials, were also nearly wiped out when an asteroid hit the planet 66 million years ago.
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Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria syndrome: Substance from broccoli can moderate defects

Wed, 17/12/2014 - 3:13pm
Children who suffer from Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria syndrome age prematurely due to a defective protein in their cells. Scientists have now identified another important pathological factor: the system responsible for removing cellular debris and for breaking down defective proteins operates at lower levels in HGPS cells than in normal cells. The researchers have succeeded in reactivating protein breakdown in HGPS cells and thus reducing disease-related defects by using a substance from broccoli.
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Better focus at the micro world: A low-budget focus stacking system for mass digitization

Wed, 17/12/2014 - 3:13pm
Researchers constructed a focus stacking set-up made of consumer grade products with better end results than high-end solutions and this at only a tenth of the price of current existing systems. Because of the operational ease, speed and the low cost of the system, it is ideal for mass digitization programs involving type specimens.
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Anti-diabetic drug springs new hope for tuberculosis patients

Wed, 17/12/2014 - 3:13pm
A more effective treatment for tuberculosis (TB) could soon be available as scientists have discovered that metformin, a drug for treating diabetes, can also be used to boost the efficacy of TB medication without inducing drug resistance, scientists report.
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Women are more empathetic toward their partner than men

Wed, 17/12/2014 - 2:49pm
Women may long have suspected it to be the case, but large-scale research has found women are more empathetic toward their partners than men.
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Personality outsmarts intelligence at school: Conscientiousness and openness key to learning

Wed, 17/12/2014 - 2:08pm
Recent research has found that personality is more important than intelligence when it comes to success in education and this needs to take this into account when guiding students and teachers. Furthermore these personality traits for academic success can be developed.
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Firearm violence trends in the 21st century

Wed, 17/12/2014 - 2:08pm
While the overall death rate from firearm violence has remained unchanged for more than a decade, the patterns for suicide and homicide have changed dramatically, a study on the epidemiology of gun violence from 2003 to 2012 has found.
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Combining social media, behavioral psychology could lead to more HIV testing

Wed, 17/12/2014 - 2:08pm
Social media such as Twitter and Facebook, combined with behavioral psychology, could be a valuable tool in the fight against AIDS by prompting high-risk individuals to be tested, research shows. Though there have been many experimental HIV testing interventions in international settings, none have used social media technologies, said one investigator.
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Bugs life: The nerve cells that make locusts ‘gang up’

Wed, 17/12/2014 - 2:06pm
A team of biologists has identified a set of nerve cells in desert locusts that bring about 'gang-like' gregarious behavior when they are forced into a crowd. The findings demonstrate the importance of individual history for understanding how brain chemicals control behaviour, which may apply more broadly to humans also.
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Ancient Earth may have made its own water: Rock circulating in mantle feeds world's oceans even today, evidence suggests

Wed, 17/12/2014 - 2:05pm
In a finding that meshes well with recent discoveries from the Rosetta mission, researchers have discovered a geochemical pathway by which Earth makes it own water through plate tectonics. This finding extends the planet's water cycle to billions of years—and suggests that enough water is buried in the deep earth right now to fill the Pacific Ocean.
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Unraveling the light of fireflies

Wed, 17/12/2014 - 12:45pm
How do fireflies produce those mesmerizing light flashes? Using cutting-edge imaging techniques, scientists have unraveled the firefly's intricate light-producing system for the first time.
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Predicting antibiotic resistance

Wed, 17/12/2014 - 12:45pm
Treating bacterial infections with antibiotics is becoming increasingly difficult as bacteria develop resistance not only to the antibiotics being used against them, but also to ones they have never encountered before. By analyzing genetic and phenotypic changes in antibiotic-resistant strains of E. coli, researchers have revealed a common set of features that appear to be responsible for the development of resistance to several types of antibiotics.
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Global carbon dioxide emissions increase to new all-time record, but growth is slowing down

Wed, 17/12/2014 - 12:44pm
2013 saw global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use and cement production reach a new all-time high. This was mainly due to the continuing steady increase in energy use in emerging economies over the past ten years.  However, emissions increased at a notably slower rate (2%) than on average in the last ten years (3.8% per year since 2003, excluding the credit crunch years).
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North Atlantic signaled Ice Age thaw 1,000 years before it happened, reveals new research

Wed, 17/12/2014 - 12:44pm
The Atlantic Ocean at mid-depths may have given out early warning signals – 1,000 years in advance - that the last Ice Age was going to end, scientists report.
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Many children, adolescents get too much caffeine from energy drinks

Wed, 17/12/2014 - 12:43pm
When children aged 10-14 consume energy drinks, one in five consumes too much caffeine. When their caffeine intake from other sources such as cola and chocolate is included, every second child and more than one in three adolescents aged 15-17 consume too much caffeine. Researchers estimate that energy drinks cause or contribute to a large proportion of children and adolescents exceeding the recommended maximum daily intake of caffeine.
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Gothic cathedrals blend iron and stone

Wed, 17/12/2014 - 12:43pm
Using radiocarbon dating on metal found in Gothic cathedrals, an interdisciplinary team has shown, for the first time through absolute dating, that iron was used to reinforce stone from the construction phase. This study sheds new light on the technical skill and intentions of cathedral builders.
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Smart window that tints and powers itself invented

Wed, 17/12/2014 - 12:43pm
Scientists have developed a smart window which can darken or brighten without the need for an external power source.
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