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Updated: 1 hour 13 min ago

Many people with congenital heart disease living longer

Thu, 26/02/2015 - 4:03pm
At one time, many children born with congenital heart disease (CHD) suffered from issues that carried fatal prognoses. But that's changing, thanks to technological advancements.
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New report on pediatric cardiac surgery outcomes

Thu, 26/02/2015 - 4:03pm
A first-of-its-kind report has been released on pediatric and congenital heart surgery. The report provides the public with volume and in-hospital mortality data on nine widely-performed heart surgeries. The data reported was provided to PHC4 by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and covers the four-year period of 2009-2012, the most recent data available.
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Twin study lends new insights into link between back pain and depression

Thu, 26/02/2015 - 4:03pm
Genetic factors help to explain the commonly found association between low back pain and depression, suggests a large study of twins. Genetic factors affecting both conditions may be involved in the association between back pain and depression, according to the report.
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Emergency doctors and paramedics commonly misinterpret documents for end-of-life care choices, study finds

Thu, 26/02/2015 - 4:03pm
Emergency care providers vary in their understanding of a type of medical order intended to communicate seriously ill patients' choices for life-sustaining treatments, according to a pair of studies recently published.
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Optogenetic stimulation of the brain to control pain demonstrated in study

Thu, 26/02/2015 - 3:16pm
New research reveals for the first time how a small area of the brain can be optically stimulated to control pain. Researchers found that by using specific frequency of light to modulate a very small region of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex, or ACC, they could considerably lessen pain in laboratory mice.
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Team approach boosts human and environmental wellbeing, researcher says

Thu, 26/02/2015 - 3:16pm
Even seemingly intractable problems such as the antibiotic crisis and the obesity epidemic could be resolved by treating human health and society as an integral part of an ecosystem, researchers say. "The problem now faced is that ecosystems have been plundered in such an anthropocentric fashion that their sustainability is precarious and our health with it," one author states.
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Pancreatic cancer patients who benefit from personalized treatment identified

Thu, 26/02/2015 - 3:16pm
About 15 percent of people with pancreatic cancer may benefit from therapy targeting a newly identified gene signature, scientists say. This sub-group of pancreatic cancer patients who possess a strong angiogenic gene signature could benefit from personalized therapies that cut off the pathways that feed the cancer's growth, they note.
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Marshaling the body's own weapons against psoriasis

Thu, 26/02/2015 - 3:16pm
A three-character code brings relief to patients with psoriasis and sheds light on complex immunoregulation processes: IL-4, an abbreviation for the endogenous signaling molecule Interleukin 4. The substance's ability to inhibit inflammation is well known, but its mechanism of action was not fully understood. Scientists have now shown in an animal model and in a study on patients how IL-4 helps against psoriasis at the molecular level.
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A taxi ride to starch granules

Thu, 26/02/2015 - 3:16pm
Plant scientists have discovered a specific protein that significantly influences the formation of starch in plant cells. The findings may be useful in the food and packaging industries, they say.
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Lithium from the coal in China

Thu, 26/02/2015 - 3:16pm
Coal from China could become a major source of the metal lithium, according to a review of the geochemistry. Lithium is an essential component of rechargeable batteries used almost ubiquitously in mobile gadgets such as phones, laptops, tablet computers and in many electric vehicles.
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Criminologist's study shows lack of mental health care for prisoners

Thu, 26/02/2015 - 1:49pm
A substantial number of prison inmates have not received treatment for mental health conditions, a expert claims. The study recommends that prisons prioritize the use of validated screening procedures for mental health disorders plus treatment.
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'Blue-green algae' proliferating in lakes

Thu, 26/02/2015 - 1:49pm
The organisms commonly known as blue-green algae have proliferated much more rapidly than other algae in lakes across North America and Europe over the past two centuries -- and in many cases the rate of increase has sharply accelerated since the mid-20th century, according to an international team of researchers.
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Optical features embedded in marine shells may help develop responsive, transparent displays

Thu, 26/02/2015 - 1:49pm
The blue-rayed limpet is a tiny mollusk that lives in kelp beds along the coasts of Norway, Iceland, the United Kingdom, Portugal, and the Canary Islands. These diminutive organisms -- as small as a fingernail -- might escape notice entirely, if not for a very conspicuous feature: bright blue dotted lines that run in parallel along the length of their translucent shells. Depending on the angle at which light hits, a limpet's shell can flash brilliantly even in murky water.
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Aggressive plant fungus threatens wheat production

Thu, 26/02/2015 - 1:49pm
The spread of exotic and aggressive strains of a plant fungus is presenting a serious threat to wheat production in the UK, according to research. The research uses a new surveillance technique that could be applied internationally to respond to the spread of a wide variety of plant diseases.
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MUSE goes beyond Hubble: Looking deeply into the universe in 3-D

Thu, 26/02/2015 - 1:49pm
The MUSE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope has given astronomers the best ever three-dimensional view of the deep universe. After staring at the Hubble Deep Field South region for only 27 hours, the new observations reveal the distances, motions and other properties of far more galaxies than ever before in this tiny piece of the sky. They also go beyond Hubble and reveal previously invisible objects.
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Finland: Wheat harvest turned larger than oat for the first time in a century

Thu, 26/02/2015 - 1:48pm
On the average, the Finnish grain crop harvest has been over four billion kilograms every other year in the 2000s. In 2014, this figure was exceeded for the seventh time. For the first time in the over hundred years that crop statistics have been compiled in Finland, the wheat crop was slightly larger than that of oat. In recent years, barley, wheat and oat crops have been sufficient to enable exporting. The same does not apply to rye.
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Research cracks code governing infections single-stranded RNA viruses

Thu, 26/02/2015 - 1:48pm
Researchers have cracked a code that governs infections caused by simple, single-stranded RNA viruses similar in many respects to viruses that cause the common cold, polio and the winter vomiting norovirus infections.
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Suspended soils maintain rainforest ecosystems, says researcher

Thu, 26/02/2015 - 1:48pm
The bird’s nest fern, a plant commonly found in many of our homes, has a critical place in maintaining the biodiversity and the ecosystems of the world’s rainforests, researchers say.
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One brain area, two planning strategies

Thu, 26/02/2015 - 1:48pm
Ready to strike, the spear fisherman holds his spear above the water surface. He aims at the fish. But he is misled by the view: Due to the refraction of light on the surface, he does not see the actual location of the fish. How must his brain now plan the arm movement? Do the brain cells (neurons) reflect the position where the fish was spotted, in other words, the visual target? Or do they plan the physical target, which is the actual direction in which the arm and spear should move in order to hit the fish? In new research, investigators tried to answer this question on the different aspects of planning a limb movement.
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Early signs in young children predict type 1 diabetes

Thu, 26/02/2015 - 1:47pm
It is possible to predict the development of type 1 diabetes, new research indicates. By measuring the presence of autoantibodies in the blood, it is possible to detect whether the immune system has begun to break down the body’s own insulin cells.
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