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Fungus-growing ants selectively cultivate their crops

Wed, 10/12/2014 - 6:13pm
Ever since agriculture evolved ca 10,000 years ago, plants have been artificially selected to become the fast growing and highly productive varieties we know today. However, humans were not the first to see merit in cultivating their own food, as ants have been doing this for 50 million years.
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Testosterone may contribute to colon cancer tumor growth

Wed, 10/12/2014 - 6:13pm
Evidence suggesting that the male hormone testosterone may actually be a contributing factor in the formation of colon cancer tumors has been discovered. "Previously, scientists believed that female hormones may have lent some sort of protection against tumor susceptibility," the lead researcher said. "However, by showing that removing testosterone from rats leads to a drastic decrease in colon cancer susceptibility, it appears that male hormones may actually contribute to colon tumor growth rather than female hormones being protective."
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No laughing matter: Nitrous oxide rose at end of last ice age

Wed, 10/12/2014 - 6:13pm
Nitrous oxide is an important greenhouse gas that doesn't receive as much notoriety as carbon dioxide or methane, but a new study confirms that atmospheric levels of N2O rose significantly as the Earth came out of the last ice age and addresses the cause.
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Teen Smoking: Deeper Analysis of Statistics Needed, Study Finds

Wed, 10/12/2014 - 6:12pm
When it comes to measuring teen smoking, many public health agencies rely too heavily on reports of monthly cigarette use, a broad statistic that makes it difficult to draw conclusions about current habits and historical trends, a new study finds.
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Next-Generation Treatment for Urinary Tract Infections May Focus on Fitness Genes

Wed, 10/12/2014 - 6:10pm
Ask any woman: urinary tract infections are painful and unpredictable. Now researchers have identified genes to help fight the infections that are becoming resistant to antibiotics. The findings reveal the specific genes expressed by Escherichia coli, the bacteria that most often causes UTIs in otherwise healthy people.
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Immune function marker does not predict benefit of trastuzumab in HER-2+ breast cancer patients

Wed, 10/12/2014 - 6:10pm
A marker of immune function that predicts for better outcomes in patients treated with chemotherapy for triple negative breast cancer is also linked to improved prognosis in patients treated with chemotherapy for HER2-positive breast cancer.
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Pathway that degrades holiday turkey fuels metastasis of triple negative breast cancer

Wed, 10/12/2014 - 6:10pm
Triple negative breast cancer cells process tryptophan to promote survival while traveling through the body in order to seed new tumor sites, researchers say. “I’m not saying that people with metastatic breast cancer shouldn’t eat turkey during the holidays, but triple-negative breast cancer appears to have found a way to process tryptophan more quickly, equipping cancer cells to survive while in circulation, which allows them to metastasize,” says the first author of a new paper.
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Dragonflies on the hunt display complex choreography

Wed, 10/12/2014 - 6:10pm
The dragonfly is a swift and efficient hunter. Once it spots its prey, it takes about half a second to swoop beneath an unsuspecting insect and snatch it from the air. Researchers have used motion-capture technology to reveal new insight into the sophisticated information processing and acrobatic skills of dragonflies on the hunt.
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Breakthrough solves centuries-old animal evolution mystery

Wed, 10/12/2014 - 6:10pm
Researchers have developed a method for spying on the activity of every gene within a cell at once. The breakthrough allows them to determine the order in which the three layers of cells in animal embryos evolved. Other applications include cancer research.
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Patients given less blood during transfusions do well

Wed, 10/12/2014 - 5:14pm
It's a simple premise -- now backed up by more evidence than ever: 'Why give more blood to anyone if you can't show it benefits them?' Research has found that for many patients, smaller blood transfusions after surgery are at least as beneficial as larger ones, both in the short term and the long term.
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How long can Ebola live? No one really knows

Wed, 10/12/2014 - 5:14pm
The Ebola virus travels from person to person through direct contact with infected body fluids. But how long can the virus survive on glass surfaces or countertops? How long can it live in wastewater when liquid wastes from a patient end up in the sewage system? A new article reviews the latest research to find answers to these questions.
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Theory details how 'hot' monomers affect thin-film formation

Wed, 10/12/2014 - 5:14pm
Researchers have devised a mathematical model to predict how 'hot' monomers on cold substrates affect the growth of thin films being developed for next-generation electronics.
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Better biomonitor for children with asthma

Wed, 10/12/2014 - 5:14pm
A diagnostic technique tested on Ground Zero firefighters to assess the effects of pollution is now being used on urban asthmatic children. The study has revealed that environmental sampling stations located in urban areas are not sufficient to protect the health of these children.
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Students design workstations that accommodate groups and individual

Wed, 10/12/2014 - 5:14pm
New school and office workspace designs created by engineering students are intended to allow users to share space and materials while maintaining their own work areas -- a dual purpose the researchers say has been neglected.
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New study measures methane emissions from natural gas production and offers insights into two large sources

Wed, 10/12/2014 - 5:14pm
A small subset of natural gas wells are responsible for the majority of methane emissions from two major sources -- liquid unloadings and pneumatic controller equipment -- at natural gas production sites. With natural gas production in the United States expected to continue to increase during the next few decades, there is a need for a better understanding of methane emissions during natural gas production.
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New insight into cancer defense mechanism

Wed, 10/12/2014 - 5:14pm
A new mechanism that gives a better understanding of cancer development has been identified by scientists. The molecular mechanism ensures that when cells divide, the genomic material passes correctly to the resulting daughter cells: "The process, known as chromosome segregation, is vitally important because incorrect passage of the genomic material makes cells prone to develop into cancer cells," says one investigator. The new discovery depends on a protein called BubR1 which if mutated can cause cancer.
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'Smart windows' have potential to keep heat out and save energy

Wed, 10/12/2014 - 5:14pm
Windows allow brilliant natural light to stream into homes and buildings. Along with light comes heat that, in warm weather, we often counter with energy-consuming air conditioning. Now scientists are developing a new kind of 'smart window' that can block out heat when the outside temperatures rise. The advance could one day help consumers better conserve energy on hot days and reduce electric bills.
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How-to exercise pamphlet for people with MS developed

Wed, 10/12/2014 - 5:14pm
Fatigue and pain, along with other symptoms, prevent many people with multiple sclerosis from exercising. But a new how-to guide for a home-based exercise program offers a way for people with MS to stay more physically active.
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New 'electronic skin' for prosthetics, robotics detects pressure from different directions

Wed, 10/12/2014 - 5:14pm
Touch can be a subtle sense, but it communicates quickly whether something in our hands is slipping, for example, so we can tighten our grip. For the first time, scientists report the development of a stretchable 'electronic skin' closely modeled after our own that can detect not just pressure, but also what direction it's coming from. The study on the advance could have applications for prosthetics and robotics.
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U.S. taxpayers bear financial burden of smoking-related disease

Wed, 10/12/2014 - 5:14pm
Cigarette smoking generates as much as $170 billion in annual health care spending in the United States, according to a new study. The study found that taxpayers bear 60 percent of the cost of smoking-attributable diseases through publicly funded programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Despite declines in the rates of smoking in recent years, the costs on society due to smoking have increased.
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