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Updated: 2 hours 47 min ago

Ocean warming could drive heavy rain bands toward poles

Mon, 18/08/2014 - 3:32pm
In a world warmed by rising atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, precipitation patterns are going to change because of two factors: one, warmer air can hold more water; and two, changing atmospheric circulation patterns will shift where rain falls. According to previous model research, mid- to high-latitude precipitation is expected to increase by as much as 50 percent. Yet the reasons why models predict this are hard to tease out.
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Ebola has profound effects on wildlife population dynamics

Mon, 18/08/2014 - 3:32pm
New research in gorillas that were affected by an Ebola virus outbreak shows that disease can influence reproductive potential, immigration and social dynamics, and it highlights the need to develop complex models that integrate all the different impacts of a disease.
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Butterflies' evolutionary responses to warmer temperatures may compromise their ability to adapt to future climate change

Mon, 18/08/2014 - 3:32pm
Members of the brown argus butterfly species that moved north in response to recent climate change have evolved a narrower diet dependent on wild Geranium plants, researchers report. However, butterflies that did not move north have more diverse diets, including plants such as Rockrose that are abundant in southern parts of the UK.
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Did an exceptional iceberg sink the Titanic?

Mon, 18/08/2014 - 3:32pm
While the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 is typically blamed on human, design and construction errors, a new paper points to two other unfavorable factors outside human control: there were a greater number of icebergs than normal that year, and weather conditions had driven them further south, and earlier in the year, than was usual.
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Free fatty acids may be as effective as antibiotics in treating catheter infections

Mon, 18/08/2014 - 3:32pm
A free fatty acid, made up of compounds similar to those naturally made in the body, may be as effective at fighting certain infections as antibiotics, researchers report. More and more bacteria are developing resistance to commonly used antibiotics, and this study shows that clinicians may have an alternative to treat infections caused by intravenous catheters.
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Prioritizing suicide research can help lead to fewer suicide attempts, deaths

Mon, 18/08/2014 - 2:21pm
Suicide experts recommend research into early behavioral detection, interventions, use of mass media, and other areas, researchers report. Proposed strategies include research into early detection of suicidal behavior, particularly among youth and adolescents, intervention, evidence-based follow-up care, and reducing stigma through the use of mass media.
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International scientific team criticizes adoption of 'novel ecosystems' by policymakers

Mon, 18/08/2014 - 2:20pm
Novel ecosystems arise when human activities transform biological communities through species invasions and environmental change. They are seemingly ubiquitous, and thus many policymakers and ecologists argue for them to be accepted as the "new normal" -— an idea the researchers say is a bad one.
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White, straight women leading surge in infertility treatments

Mon, 18/08/2014 - 2:20pm
Heterosexual white women are twice as likely as racial or sexual minority women to obtain medical help to get pregnant, according to a recent study. While income and lack of insurance only partially explained the lower number of racial minority women receiving fertility assistance, lack of insurance appeared to play a crucial role in whether lesbian and bisexual women received medical fertility help, especially in more recent years, according to an American study.
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Antibiotics in early life may alter immunity long-term

Mon, 18/08/2014 - 1:59pm
A new study aims to help scientists understand how different antibiotics affect bacteria that play a positive role in promoting a healthy immune system. “This is the first step to understanding which bacteria are absolutely necessary to develop a healthy immune system later in life,” says the lead researcher.
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Stronger drunk driving laws lead to safer roads: Study

Mon, 18/08/2014 - 1:52pm
Changes to British Columbia's laws against driving while impaired have reduced fatal crashes as well as ambulance calls and hospital admissions resulting from motor vehicle crashes, a new study finds.
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Visual 'gist' helps us figure out where a crowd is looking

Mon, 18/08/2014 - 1:52pm
Have you ever seen a crowd of people looking off into the distance, perhaps toward a passing biker or up to the top of a building? You probably looked there, too, instantly, even without paying attention to the individuals in the group. Researchers have discovered that we rely on a specialized visual process known as 'ensemble coding' to perceive where a crowd is looking.
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Sun's activity influences natural climate change, ice age study shows

Mon, 18/08/2014 - 1:52pm
A new study has, for the first time, reconstructed solar activity during the last ice age. The study shows that the regional climate is influenced by the sun and offers opportunities to better predict future climate conditions in certain regions.
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Microbes can create dripstones in caves

Mon, 18/08/2014 - 1:50pm
Scientists have found that microscopic organisms can create dripstones in caves. The research illustrates how biological life can influence the formation of Earth's geology -- and the same may be happening right now on other planets.
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Toothless 'dragon' pterosaurs dominated the Late Cretaceous skies

Mon, 18/08/2014 - 1:50pm
A new study provides an exciting insight into the diversity and distribution of pterosaurs from the Azhdarchidae family. Dominating the Late Cretaceous skies this group of toothless flying 'dragons' represent an important link in evolutionary transitions between the pre-historic times and the world as we know it today.
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Artificial cells act like the real thing

Mon, 18/08/2014 - 1:50pm
Scientists have created an artificial, network-like cell system that is capable of reproducing the dynamic behavior of protein synthesis. This achievement is not only likely to help gain a deeper understanding of basic biological processes, but it may, in the future, pave the way toward controlling the synthesis of both naturally-occurring and synthetic proteins for a host of uses.
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Myc inhibition an effective therapeutic strategy against most aggressive brain tumors

Mon, 18/08/2014 - 1:50pm
The Myc protein plays a key role in the development of several tumor types and its inhibition could therefore prove an effective therapy against many different cancers. Previous studies successfully blocked Myc through expression of an inhibitor, resulting in the eradication of lung tumors in preclinical models.
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From rectal cells to neurons: Keys to understanding transdifferentiation

Mon, 18/08/2014 - 1:48pm
How can a specialized cell change its identity? A research team investigated a 100% effective natural example of this phenomenon, which is called transdifferentiation. This process, by which some cells lose their characteristics and acquire a new identity, could be more generally involved in tissue or organ regeneration in vertebrates, and is a promising research avenue for regenerative medicine. This study identifies the role of epigenetic factors involved in this conversion, underlines the dynamic nature of the process, and shows the key mechanisms for effective transdifferentiation.
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Music to your ears? Evidence of damage to hearing from music

Mon, 18/08/2014 - 1:48pm
Many people listen to loud music without realizing that this can affect their hearing. This could lead to difficulties in understanding speech during age-related hearing loss which affects up to half of people over the age of 65. New research has examined the cellular mechanisms that underlie hearing loss and tinnitus triggered by exposure to loud sound.
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Success in intracellular imaging of cesium distribution in plants used for cesium absorption

Mon, 18/08/2014 - 1:48pm
Since the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the discharge of radioactive cesium into the environment has become a serious environmental problem. While various decontamination methods are currently being studied, methods involving cesium absorption from soil and water by plants has drawn attention since they can be used to concentrate cesium, produce little waste, are inexpensive, and environmentally benign. The method developed in new research can be used to detect cesium carbonate particles at high resolution (micrometer-level) by using a fluorescent probe called "Cesium Green," which also enables intracellular imaging of cesium distribution.
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Genes determine traces that stress leaves behind on brains

Mon, 18/08/2014 - 1:48pm
Our individual genetic make-up determines the effect that stress has on our emotional centers, researchers have found. Not every individual reacts in the same way to life events that produce the same degree of stress. Some grow as a result of the crisis, whereas others break down and fall ill, for example with depression. The outcome is determined by a complex interaction between depression gene versions and environmental factors.
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