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Showing posts from October 12, 2015

Daniel Fells' Infection: How Often Does MRSA Lead to Amputation?

The nasty superbug MRSA has been linked to life-threatening conditions such as body-wide inflammation and organ failure, and now the NFL reports that New York Giants player Daniel Fells may lose his foot due to complications from an MRSA infection. Doctors found that his ankle was infected with a bacterium called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, and they fear that the infection might have spread to Fells' bone, which could make an amputation necessary, according to the NFL. Doctors say that people with MRSA infections seldom need to have a limb amputated.

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Chilean scientists create contraceptive vaccine for dogs

Veterinary scientists in Chile have invented a contraceptive vaccine for dogs, which can be used in both males and females, and may provide an inexpensive option to help control the country's growing canine population. Scientists from the University of Chile Veterinary and Livestock Faculty developed the vaccine from an existing formula used to sterilize pigs, as professor Leonardo Saenz explains. What we did was to take the concept of immuno-castration which already existed and we developed and improved for use in domestic animals, mainly in dogs, and to create an alternative for pigs, better than what already exists.

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Rat Brain Reconstructed in a Computer

Scientists have digitally recreated a slice of a juvenile rat's brain — including 31,000 brain cells, of 207 different types, with 37 million connections. The computer-simulated brain achievement is part of the Blue Brain Project, whose aim is to create a rat brain and, eventually, a human brain inside a computer. The team first conducted tens of thousands of experiments in live juvenile rats, painstakingly cataloging the types of neurons and synapses, or brain cell connections.


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Earth's Gravitational Pull Cracks Open the Moon

Earth's gravitational pull is massaging the moon, opening up faults in the lunar crust, researchers say. Just as the moon's gravitational pull causes seas and lakes to rise and fall as tides on Earth, the Earth exerts tidal forces on the moon. Scientists have known this for a while, but now they've found that Earth's pull actually opens up faults on the moon.


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Florida circus elephants find second career in research

At a Florida retirement home for former circus elephants, residents enjoy a steady diet of high-quality hay and local fruits and vegetables, as well as baths and occasional walks. For these majestic beasts, this life of relative leisure at the 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation comes after years on the road, entertaining America in "The Greatest Show on Earth" for Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus. In March, the circus company announced with some reluctance that it would end its elephant acts by 2018.


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Gene editing could pave way for pig organ transplants: U.S. study

U.S. researchers have used a new gene editing technique to trim away potentially harmful virus genes that have impeded the use of pig organs for transplants in humans. The study, published in the journal Science, expands on capabilities of the genome editing tool known as CRISPR–Cas9, which works as a type of molecular scissors that can selectively trim away unwanted parts of the genome. Previous efforts with the technology have only managed to cut away six areas of the genome at one go.

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Gene editing could pave way for pig organ transplants - US study

U.S. researchers have used a new gene editing technique to trim away potentially harmful virus genes that have impeded the use of pig organs for transplants in humans. The study, published in the journal Science, expands on capabilities of the genome editing tool known as CRISPR–Cas9, which works as a type of molecular scissors that can selectively trim away unwanted parts of the genome. Previous efforts with the technology have only managed to cut away six areas of the genome at one go.

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Many Kids with Mental Health Issues See Only Pediatricians

One in three children who were diagnosed and treated for mental health conditions on an outpatient basis saw their primary-care doctors for this care, a new study reports. Using data from a nationally representative survey, the researchers found that about 35 percent of children receiving mental health care in the past year had appointments only with their primary-care physicians compared with about 26 percent who saw only psychiatrists and 15 percent who saw only psychologists or social workers. The findings highlight the role that primary-care providers are playing on a national level in caring for children with mental health conditions, said Dr. Jeanne Van Cleave, a pediatrician at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston.

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This Computer Chip Will Self-Destruct in 5 Seconds

The new method uses silicon computer wafers attached to a piece of tempered glass that shatters into smithereens when heated in one spot. The heat can be turned on via a remote, which in the future could conceivably be triggered by anything from Wi-Fi to a radiofrequency signal, said Gregory Whiting, a materials scientist and manager of the Novel Electronics Group that produced the chip at PARC, a Xerox company.


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No More Sticky Mess! Scientists Develop Slower-Melting Ice Cream

Indulging in an ice cream cone on a hot summer day can be a refreshing but sticky treat. Now, scientists are trying to take some of the mess out of this simple pleasure by developing ice cream that melts slower than conventional varieties. Researchers from the University of Edinburgh and the University of Dundee, both in the United Kingdom, discovered that a protein called BsIA, normally found in large bacterial communities in structures called biofilm, can be used as an ingredient to keeps everything combined in ice cream.

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Is Stephen Hawking Right About Hostile Aliens?

"We have brains that are three times bigger than those of our closest relatives," said Mark Flinn, an anthropologist at the University of Missouri who has researched the emergence of human intelligence. "You need to have the better mousetrap every time.


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Buzz Aldrin: Apollo 11's 50th Anniversary Should Kick Off Crewed Mars Effort

The 50th anniversary of the first human landing on the moon would be a fine occasion to kick off a serious effort to put astronauts on Mars, Buzz Aldrin says. Buzz Aldrin would like the president of the United States — whomever it happens to be — to announce a firm crewed Mars commitment on July 20, 2019, the "golden anniversary" of the giant leaps Aldrin and fellow Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong took on the lunar surface in 1969. "We can progress with a national holiday of July 20, and begin to remind people of all the great progress that we made in the '60s and '70s, and how that reflects through cooperative means into the future," Aldrin told Space.com.


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Great Scott! 'Back to the Future' Documentary to Bring Back Our Favorite Time Machine

Where they're going, they won't need roads: a new documentary spotlighted at New York Comic-Con examines the making of the "Back to the Future" trilogy and its 30-year impact on pop culture and society. Yesterday morning (Oct. 8) at New York Comic Con, 300 fans filed into a panel room at the Javits convention center to get sent back… to 2013, when director Jason Aron first turned to the crowdfunding website Kickstarter to produce a documentary about the beloved time-travel movie trilogy. Fellow filmmakers Louis Krubich and Lee Leshen joined him onstage, where they reminisced about the process and showed clips from the upcoming film that's poised to release right around Oct. 21, 2015 — the time protagonist Marty McFly visits in the second "Back to the Future" movie.


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Many Americans Don't Get Recommended Vaccines Before Travel

One study of Americans visiting travel clinics found that more than half of those who were recommended to get a measles vaccination did not do so before traveling. "Americans planning international travel should see their health care providers or visit a travel clinic four to six weeks before the trip to learn what vaccines are recommended before heading to their destinations," said Dr. Emily Hyle, an instructor at Harvard Medical School in Boston, who led the measles vaccine study. About half of all U.S. measles case are tied to people who catch the disease while traveling abroad, Hyle said.

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Teens Want to Know Genetic Test Results

When genetic testing is done in adolescents, they don't have the option to learn about these types of results — but a new study reveals that teens would overwhelmingly prefer to know. In the new study, the researchers surveyed a group of adolescents and found that 83 percent of them would prefer to know the results of a genetic test, even if the results were about conditions that would not affect them until adulthood. When adults undergo genetic testing, there's a huge consent process, and they can decide whether they want access to any incidental findings, said lead study author Dr. Sophia Hufnagel, a pediatric geneticist at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

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Destined for Glasses? Firstborn Kids More Likely Nearsighted

Firstborn children may have a slightly higher risk of becoming nearsighted later in life, compared with later-born siblings, new research suggests. In the study, researchers looked at birth order and nearsightedness in about 89,000 people, ages 40 to 69. However, when the researchers adjusted their results for education levels, such as the highest educational degree the people had attained, it turned out education accounted for about 25 percent of the link between birth order and the risk of nearsightedness.

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Are Healthy School Lunch Programs a Waste?

Critics of the updated National School Lunch Program say yes, and they have lots of anecdotal evidence to back up their claim. Photographs and videos of kids dumping their veggies in the trash and giving the thumbs down have exploded on social media since the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act was passed in 2010. Yet recent studies have shown that claims of food waste may be inflated.

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OxyContin Approved for Kids, Worrying Doctors

Doctors are worried about the recent approval of OxyContin for use in children as young as age 11. The drug, which is a powerful painkiller, has been linked to the rise in heroin addiction and drug overdose deaths. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its use in children in August.

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