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Updated: 2 hours 24 min ago

Hyperthyroidism patients more likely to take extended sick leave than healthy peers

Tue, 17/06/2014 - 5:07pm
People who have hyperthyroidism are more likely to take sick leave for extended periods than their healthy colleagues, particularly in the first year after diagnosis, according to a new study. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is overactive. The thyroid, which is located in the front of the neck, secretes hormones that regulate how the body uses energy, consumes oxygen and produces heat.
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Distracted minds still see blurred lines

Tue, 17/06/2014 - 4:19pm
Even as we're processing a million things at once, we are still sensitive to certain kinds of changes in our visual environment -- even while performing a difficult task. "Our study proves that, much like other simple visual features such as color and size, blur in an image doesn't seem to require mental effort to detect," one researcher says.
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Growing use of complex therapies for heart rhythm abnormalities

Tue, 17/06/2014 - 4:19pm
The White Book contains data on the use of cardiovascular implantable electronic devices including pacemakers, implantable cardiac defibrillators, cardiac resynchronization therapy devices, and lead extractions procedures in Europe. Its newest version has been recently launched.
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Livestock gut microbes contributing to greenhouse gas emissions

Tue, 17/06/2014 - 4:19pm
One-fifth of methane emissions has been attributed by researchers to livestock such as cattle, sheep and other ruminants, but the amount of methane produced varies substantially among animals in the same species. Researchers aimed to explore role the microbes living in the rumen play in this process.
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Bats make social alliances that affect roosting behavior

Tue, 17/06/2014 - 3:22pm
Depending on habitat availability, the endangered Indiana bat may be able to use its social connections to survive a certain amount of roost destruction, according to research. Indiana bats form maternity colonies in summer beneath the bark of live trees or standing dead trees known as snags. "Social dynamics are important to bat roosting behavior," said one investigator. "And now, looking at results of a study of roosting and foraging activity in a new light, we have evidence that Indiana bats make social contacts during foraging."
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Gut bacteria predict survival after stem cell transplant, study shows

Tue, 17/06/2014 - 3:22pm
The diversity of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract of patients receiving stem cell transplants may be an important predictor of their post-transplant survival, researchers report. Researchers found a strong connection between post-transplant gut microbiota diversity and outcomes, observing overall survival rates of 36 percent, 60 percent, and 67 percent among the low, intermediate, and high diversity groups, respectively.
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Crowdsourcing the phase problem

Tue, 17/06/2014 - 3:22pm
Compared with humans, computers have the capacity to solve problems at much greater speed. There are many problems, however, where computational speed alone is insufficient to find a correct or optimal solution.
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Sub-wavelength images to be made at radio frequencies

Tue, 17/06/2014 - 3:22pm
Imaging and mapping of electric fields at radio frequencies currently requires structures about the same size as the wavelength of the RF fields to be mapped. New theoretical and experimental work suggests an innovative method to overcome this limit. The new technique uses a pair of highly stable lasers and rubidium atoms as tunable resonators to map and potentially image electric fields at resolutions far below their RF wavelengths.
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Surfing the Web in class? Bad idea

Tue, 17/06/2014 - 3:22pm
Even the smartest college students suffer academically when they use the Internet in class for non-academic purposes, finds new research. All students, regardless of intellectual ability, had lower exam scores the more they used the Internet for non-academic purposes such as reading the news, sending emails and posting Facebook updates, researcher report.
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Unique greenhouse gas meter developed

Tue, 17/06/2014 - 3:20pm
Scientists have come up with a high-resolution meter to gauge the concentration of gases in the atmosphere with unparalleled precision. Tracking down carbon dioxide, methane and other gases with simultaneous determination of their concentrations at different altitudes is necessary, in particular, for research into global warming.
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Scientists predict fermionic matter in a previously unknown state

Tue, 17/06/2014 - 3:20pm
Scientists have presented theoretical calculations which indicate the possible existence of fermionic matter in a previously unknown state -- in the form of a one-dimensional liquid, which cannot be described within the framework of existing models.
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Climate change deflecting attention from biodiversity loss

Tue, 17/06/2014 - 3:20pm
Recent high levels of media coverage for climate change may have deflected attention and funding from biodiversity loss, researchers suggest. the team conducted a content analysis of newspaper coverage in four US broadsheets and four UK broadsheets. Academic peer-reviewed coverage and project funding by the World Bank and National Science Foundation were also examined.
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Conditions linked to deadly bird flu revealed: High risk areas identified

Tue, 17/06/2014 - 3:20pm
A dangerous strain of avian influenza, H7N9, that's causing severe illness and deaths in China may be inhabiting a small fraction of its potential range and appears at risk of spreading to other suitable areas of India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, according to a new study.
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Gene differences in yellow fever, malaria mosquitoes mapped

Tue, 17/06/2014 - 3:18pm
Entomologists have developed a chromosome map for about half of the genome of the mosquito Aedes agypti, the major carrier of dengue fever and yellow fever. With the map, researchers can compare the chromosome organization and evolution between this mosquito and the major carrier of malaria, and chart ways to prevent diseases.
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Novel nanoparticle production method could lead to better lights, lenses, solar cells

Tue, 17/06/2014 - 3:18pm
Researchers have come up with a way to make titanium-dioxide nanoparticles, which have a variety of uses in everything from solar cells to LEDs. Titanium-dioxide nanoparticles show great promise, but industry has largely shunned them in the past because they’ve been difficult and expensive to make.
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'Vital signs' of teaching captured by quick, reliable in-class evaluation

Tue, 17/06/2014 - 3:18pm
A 20-minute classroom assessment that is less subjective than traditional in-class evaluations by principals can reliably measure classroom instruction and predict student standardized test scores, a team of researchers reported. The assessment also provides immediate and meaningful feedback making it an important new tool for understanding and improving instructional quality.
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Ultra-thin wires for quantum computing

Tue, 17/06/2014 - 3:18pm
Take a fine strand of silica fiber, attach it at each end to a slow-turning motor, torture it over a flame until it nearly reaches its melting point and then pull it apart. The middle will thin out like taffy until it is less than half a micron across, and that, according to researchers, is how you fabricate ultrahigh transmission optical nanofibers, a potential component for future quantum information devices.
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Breast cancer diagnosis, mammography improved by considering patient risk

Tue, 17/06/2014 - 2:29pm
A new approach to examining mammograms that takes into account a woman's health risk profile would reduce the number of cancer instances missed and also cut the number of false positives, according to a paper. Providing radiologists with the patient's risk profile information for breast cancer at the most advantageous time when examining the mammogram , together with statistical weighting based on profile risk, reduces false negatives by 3.7%, thus alerting women whose cancer would have gone undiagnosed at an early stage, when treatment is most effective, research shows.
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Boost for dopamine packaging protects brain in Parkinson's model

Tue, 17/06/2014 - 2:29pm
An increase in the protein that helps store dopamine, a critical brain chemical, led to enhanced dopamine neurotransmission and protection from a Parkinson's disease-related neurotoxin in mice in a recent study. Dopamine and related neurotransmitters are stored in small storage packages called vesicles by the vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT2). When released from these packages dopamine can help regulate movement, pleasure, and emotional response.
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Strange physics turns off laser

Tue, 17/06/2014 - 2:29pm
Inspired by anomalies that arise in certain mathematical equations, researchers have demonstrated a laser system that paradoxically turns off when more power is added rather than becoming continuously brighter. The findings could lead to new ways to manipulate the interaction of electronics and light, an important tool in modern communications networks and high-speed information processing.
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