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Showing posts from February 1, 2016

High-Fiber Diet May Help Lower Breast Cancer Risk

Teenage girls and young women who eat a lot of foods high in fiber, such as fruits and vegetables, may have a lower risk of breast cancer later in life, a new study suggests. The researchers found that the women who consumed high amounts of fiber during early adulthood had a 12 to 19 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer over the 20-year study, compared with the women who consumed very little fiber in early adulthood. And the women who consumed high amounts of fiber during their teenage years had a 24 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer before menopause, compared with those who consumed little fiber as teens.

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Cases of Gastroschisis, a Birth Defect, on the Rise in the US

Cases of a rare birth defect called gastroschisis are increasing in the U.S., according to a recent government report. Gastroschisis (GAS-tro-SKEE-sis) occurs when the muscles in the intestinal wall of a fetus do not develop properly, thus causing the intestines to poke through an opening in the skin, to the right of the umbilical cord. In some cases, other organs, like the stomach, may also develop outside the baby's body, said Dr. Holly Hedrick, an attending pediatric and fetal surgeon at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.


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Zika Prevention: Can Pregnant Women Safely Use Mosquito Repellants?

The possible connection between Zika virus and microcephaly, a potentially fatal condition in infants, is a serious concern for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant. Women are being told to take all possible measures to prevent mosquito bites, including using some pretty heavy-duty insect repellants. But generally, pregnant women are bombarded by advice about avoiding chemicals.

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Gadget That 'Eavesdrops' on Water Warns You of Waste

A sleek, white gadget that looks more like a trendy speaker than a tool for water conservation could stop people from wasting precious H2O, said one Silicon Valley startup. "I know more about the sound of water than you'll ever believe," said Baback Elmieh, founder and CEO of Nascent. The device, dubbed the "Droppler," is like Shazam (an app that can identify artists and song titles just by hearing the music) for water, Elmieh said.


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Drone's-Eye View: Flying Vehicles Could Monitor Ice in Remote Regions

Over the past year, powerhouse companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook have all announced big plans to integrate different forms of drone technology into their businesses. But in the Arctic and Antarctica, drones face a different roster of challenges, as specially trained and certified scientists test how these autonomous flying machines could help create maps of sea ice in some of the most remote locations on Earth. Researchers published a report describing their pilot program on Jan. 19 in Eos, a publication of the American Geophysical Union, outlining an April 2015 expedition to East Antarctica's ice shelves onboard the U.S. icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer, to determine just how well drones would handle the harsh polar environment.


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Nice Guys Win: Women Choose Altruism Over Looks

Altruism is the term for when someone acts in a way that is beneficial to others and not themselves. Scientists from the University of Worcester and the University of Sunderland, both in the United Kingdom, said they wanted to know if this trait has any impact on how women choose a partner. In the new study, the researchers analyzed what happened when two desirable characteristics, physical attractiveness and altruism, were investigated together, and whether women preferred one quality over the other.

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Sharpshooting spray system cuts crop chemical use

By Matthew Stock A new spray technology that shoots a targeted droplet with incredible accuracy could cut agricultural use of chemicals by more than 99 percent, according to the developers. The technology has the potential to not only save farmers money, but also help protect the environment by dramatically reducing the amount of chemicals that are applied. Through that we can massively reduce both cost and environmental impact," said Niall Mottram, head of agrifood product development at developers Cambridge Consultants.

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'4D-Printed' Objects Change Shape After They're Made

By mimicking the way orchids, calla lilies and other plants bend and twist, scientists have created shape-shifting "4D-printed" structures that they say could one day help heal wounds and be used in robotic surgical tools. The scientists found that they could make the structures they created shift into cone, saddle, ruffle and spiral shapes minutes after they were soaked in water.


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Mind-Reading Computer Instantly Decodes People's Thoughts

A new computer program can decode people's thoughts almost in real time, new research shows. Researchers can predict what people are seeing based on the electrical signals coming from electrodes implanted in their brain, and this decoding happens within milliseconds of someone first seeing the image, the scientists found. The new results could one day have applications for helping people, such as those who cannot speak or have trouble communicating, express their thoughts, Rajesh Rao, a neuroscientist at the University of Washington in Seattle, said in a statement.

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Tombs of Ancient Rabbis Possibly Discovered in Galilee

Archaeologists surveying an ancient cemetery in Israel say they have discovered 1,700-year-old inscriptions in stone that may mark the burial place of elite rabbis. The inscriptions were uncovered at Zippori, also known as Sepphoris, which was once the Jewish capital of Galilee in northern Israel. For the past three years, archaeologist Motti Aviam, of the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archaeology, and his colleagues have documented several hundred ancient tombs of Zippori.


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Ancient Humans Ate Cantaloupe-Size Eggs from 500-Pound Birds

The burnt eggshell fragments of an ancient giant bird have helped scientists solve a 50,000-year-old whodunit in Australia. Before humans arrived in Australia about 50,000 years ago, these flightless birds lived across much of the continent. Now, evidence of human-scorched eggshells suggests that the new arrivals were cooking up the eggs for supper, likely putting a large dent in the birds' reproductive success, a new study shows.


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Britain gives scientist go-ahead to genetically modify human embryos

By Kate Kelland LONDON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - - Scientists in Britain have been give the go-ahead to edit the genes of human embryos for research, using a technique that some say could eventually be used to create "designer babies". Less than a year after Chinese scientists caused an international furore by saying they had genetically modified human embryos, Kathy Niakan, a stem cell scientist from London's Francis Crick Institute, was granted a licence to carry out similar experiments. "The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has approved a research application from the Francis Crick Institute to use new 'gene editing' techniques on human embryos," Niakan's lab said on Monday.


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Britain gives scientist go-ahead to genetically modify human embryos

By Kate Kelland LONDON, (Reuters) - Scientists in Britain have been give the go-ahead to edit the genes of human embryos for research, using a technique that some say could eventually be used to create "designer babies". Less than a year after Chinese scientists caused an international furore by saying they had genetically modified human embryos, Kathy Niakan, a stem cell scientist from London's Francis Crick Institute, was granted a licence to carry out similar experiments. "The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has approved a research application from the Francis Crick Institute to use new 'gene editing' techniques on human embryos," Niakan's lab said on Monday.

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Britain gives scientist go-ahead to genetically modify human embryos

By Kate Kelland LONDON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - - Scientists in Britain have been give the go-ahead to edit the genes of human embryos for research, using a technique that some say could eventually be used to create "designer babies". Less than a year after Chinese scientists caused an international furor by saying they had genetically modified human embryos, Kathy Niakan, a stem cell scientist from London's Francis Crick Institute, was granted a license to carry out similar experiments. "The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has approved a research application from the Francis Crick Institute to use new 'gene editing' techniques on human embryos," Niakan's lab said on Monday.


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Swan song: humans implicated in huge Australian bird's demise

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The mystery behind the extinction of a huge flightless bird called Genyornis that flourished in the grasslands and woodlands of prehistoric Australia may have been solved, with burned eggshells as the clue and people as the culprits. Scientists said on Friday burn patterns detected on eggshell fragments indicate that the humans who first arrived in Australia roughly 50,000 years ago gathered and cooked the big bird's eggs, playing havoc with its reproductive success. The study is the first to provide direct evidence that these early human inhabitants preyed on the remarkable large animals that once thrived in Australia but disappeared after people got there, University of Colorado geological sciences professor Gifford Miller said.


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