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Updated: 1 hour 48 min ago

Gut flora influences HIV immune response

Wed, 13/08/2014 - 5:00pm
Normal microorganisms in the intestines appear to play a pivotal role in how the HIV virus foils a successful attack from the body’s immune system, according to new research. "Gut flora keeps us all healthy by helping the immune system develop, and by stimulating a group of immune cells that keep bacteria in check," said the study's senior author. "But this research shows that antibodies that react to bacteria also cross-react to the HIV envelope."
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Care facility choice after hospital discharge about more than location, location, location

Wed, 13/08/2014 - 2:39pm
Deciding on the right post-hospital discharge rehabilitation destination is important to future health and quality of life. However, it is a decision for which many patients and families are unprepared and unsupported, according to scientists.
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MRSA colonization common in groin, rectal areas

Wed, 13/08/2014 - 2:39pm
Colonization of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus allows people in the community to unknowingly harbor and spread this life-threatening bacteria. The inside of the front of the nose is where this bacteria is most predominant, but new research shows nearly all colonized individuals have this bacteria living in other body sites, including the groin and rectal areas.
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Bacteria growing less susceptible to common antiseptic

Wed, 13/08/2014 - 2:39pm
Bacteria that cause life-threatening bloodstream infections in critically ill patients may be growing increasingly resistant to a common hospital antiseptic, according to a recent study. Chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) has been increasingly used in hospitals in light of recent evidence that daily antiseptic baths for patients in intensive care units (ICUs) may prevent infections and stop the spread of healthcare-associated infections. The impact of this expanded use on the effectiveness of the disinfectant is not yet known.
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Clues uncovered about how most important tuberculosis drug attacks its target

Wed, 13/08/2014 - 2:39pm
A new clue to understanding how the most important medication for tuberculosis (TB) works to attack dormant TB bacteria in order to shorten treatment has been found by researchers. The antibiotic Pyrazinamide (PZA) has been used to treat TB since the 1950s, but its mechanisms are the least understood of all TB drugs. The PZA findings may help researchers identify new and more effective drugs not only for TB -- which can require six months or more of treatment -- but other persistent bacterial infections.
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Teachers play key role in program to fight childhood obesity

Wed, 13/08/2014 - 2:39pm
An innovative physical activities guide is helping North Carolina fight childhood obesity. New research shows that when teachers direct these physical activities, young children become more active and less sedentary. "For the first time in over a century, children's life expectancies are declining because of increased numbers of overweight kids," researchers note. These statistics are especially alarming, they say, because research has long shown that being overweight during childhood is associated with health issues later in life.
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Engineers turns metal into glass: New process solves an age-old conundrum

Wed, 13/08/2014 - 2:38pm
Materials scientists have long sought to form glass from pure, monoatomic metals. Now a team of researchers has done it. Metallic glasses are unique in that their structure is not crystalline (as it is in most metals), but rather is disordered, with the atoms randomly arranged. They are sought for various commercial applications because they are very strong and are easily processed.
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Exercise associated with reduced risk of breast cancer in African American women

Wed, 13/08/2014 - 2:38pm
Regular exercise, including brisk walking, is associated with a decrease in the incidence of breast cancer in African American women. In a recently published study, researchers found strong evidence linking physical exercise to a lower rate of breast cancer in African American women, a group in which previous evidence has been lacking.
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Flexible tapes from the nanoworld

Wed, 13/08/2014 - 2:37pm
Scientists are working on a research project to develop tiny flat molecule tapes. These structures could find versatile applications. Via direct coupling on a silver surface, the scientists successfully formed dimers and short chains of porphine molecules without contaminating byproducts.
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Snow has thinned on Arctic sea ice, study finds

Wed, 13/08/2014 - 2:37pm
Modern measurements and historic observations provide a decades-long record showing that the snowpack on Arctic sea ice is thinning. What thinner snow will mean for the ice is not certain. Deeper snow actually shields ice from cold air, so a thinner blanket may allow the ice to grow thicker during the winter. On the other hand, thinner snow cover may allow the ice to melt earlier in the springtime.
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HPV vaccine could 'close the gap' on Australian Indigenous health

Wed, 13/08/2014 - 2:37pm
In just four years, the HPV vaccine has resulted in a dramatic drop in genital warts in young Australians from a range of backgrounds, a result that could herald further good news for cervical cancer rates in future. These are the results of the most comprehensive assessment of its type, the researchers report.
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Why seniors don't eat: It's complicated

Wed, 13/08/2014 - 2:36pm
More than half of older adults who visit emergency departments are either malnourished or at risk for malnutrition, but not because of lack of access to health care, critical illness or dementia. Despite clear signs of malnutrition or risk of malnutrition, more than three-quarters had never previously been diagnosed with malnutrition, according to the results of a study.
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Reduction of tau protein improves symptoms in model of severe childhood epilepsy

Wed, 13/08/2014 - 2:36pm
Reducing brain levels of the protein tau effectively blocks the development of disease in a mouse model of Dravet syndrome, a severe intractable form of childhood epilepsy, researchers report. Dravet syndrome is one of the most challenging forms of childhood epilepsy, resulting from a specific genetic mutation that affects sodium channels in the brain. Frequent, relentless seizures are accompanied by cognitive impairments and behavioral problems similar to autism, and up to 20% of patients succumb to sudden death.
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Passengers who survived terrifying flight help psychologists uncover new clues about post-traumatic stress vulnerability

Wed, 13/08/2014 - 2:36pm
An extraordinary opportunity to study memory and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a group of Air Transat passengers who experienced 30 minutes of unimaginable terror over the Atlantic Ocean in 2001 has resulted in the discovery of a potential risk factor that may help predict who is most vulnerable to PTSD.
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How spiders fix their webs: Adhesion can vary depending on surface

Wed, 13/08/2014 - 2:35pm
Spider silk is light and delicate, while incredibly resilient and tear-resistant. Understanding the structure and way of construction of these threads is a challenge. Now scientists have examined five different spider species regarding the adhesion and tensile strength of a particular silk they use to fix the main thread to a surface. As shown in their new study, the scientists found out that the substrate has a particularly significant impact on the silk’s adhesion.
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Forest fires in Spain have evolved with climate since 1968

Wed, 13/08/2014 - 2:35pm
The landscape of forest fires in Spain has been defined on a scale over the course of 42 years. The research has found that the abandonment of agricultural land and higher temperatures have contributed to intensifying the fires. The study's main findings reflect the fact that, in broad terms, an increase in both the number of fires and the burned area was recorded in the 1970s. In 1990 there was a drop in the Mediterranean region that spread to the rest of the territory in the vegetative season, from May to November.
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How arbitrary is language? English words structured to help kids learn

Wed, 13/08/2014 - 2:35pm
Words in the English language are structured to help children learn, according to research. Words like "woof" accurately represent the sound of a dog while sounds with similar meanings may have a similar structure, such as the "sl" sound at the beginning of a word often has negative properties as in "slime, slur, slum, slug."
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Survey of marine scientists: Ocean productivity, ocean acidification, ocean-life stressors are serious issues

Wed, 13/08/2014 - 2:34pm
Declines in ocean productivity, increases in ocean acidification, and the cumulative effects of multiple stressors on ocean health are among the most pressing issues facing coastal and maritime countries, according to a survey of scientists. All three issues were ranked in the top five ocean research priorities by oceanographers and marine ecologists from around the globe.
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Population density and testes size: more than meets the eye

Wed, 13/08/2014 - 2:34pm
Changes in population density can affect the size of animals’ testes and therefore impact on reproduction, researchers have found. Across the animal kingdom, there is usually a positive relationship between sperm competing to fertilize eggs and the male reproductive effort in producing large ejaculates. This usually manifests in males evolving larger testes. However, demographic and ecological processes may drastically alter the level of sperm competition and therefore the evolution of testes size, it turns out.
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Rural hospitals: Lean six sigma principles shorten queues, save time

Wed, 13/08/2014 - 2:34pm
By adapting the "Lean Six Sigma" principle of manufacturing to rural hospitals, researchers suggest that patient queues might be shortened by 91 percent while consultation time could be reduced to about a third of the time.
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