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Showing posts from July 27, 2016

New crop of robots to vie for space in the operating room

By Susan Kelly CHICAGO (Reuters) - Even though many doctors see need for improvement, surgical robots are poised for big gains in operating rooms around the world. Within five years, one in three U.S. surgeries - more than double current levels – is expected to be performed with robotic systems, with surgeons sitting at computer consoles guiding mechanical arms. Robotic surgery has been long dominated by pioneer Intuitive Surgical Inc, which has more than 3,600 of its da Vinci machines in hospitals worldwide and said last week the number of procedures that used them jumped by 16 percent in the second quarter compared to a year earlier.


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Scientists hunt 'anti-evolution' drugs in new cancer fight

By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists are opening a new front in the war on cancer with plans to develop "anti-evolution" drugs to stop tumor cells from developing resistance to treatment. Britain's Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), one of the world's top cancer centers, said on Friday its initiative was the first to have at its heart the target of overcoming cancer evolution and drug resistance. In the same way that bacteria evolve resistance to antibiotics, cancer cells also change to evade the medicines used to fight them, leading to "survival of the nastiest".


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Brazil scientists find Zika traces in Culex mosquitoes in wild

Brazilian researchers on Thursday said they found signs of the Zika virus in a common mosquito that is a separate species from the insect known to be the primary means of transmission. The scientists, from a leading Brazilian research institute known as the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, discovered the Zika traces in Culex mosquitoes captured in and around the northeastern Brazilian city of Recife, capital of the state that was hit hardest by the Zika outbreak since last year. In March, the same researchers said they had successfully transmitted the Zika virus to Culex mosquitoes in the lab, but were not yet sure at the time whether the species could carry the virus naturally.


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'Game of Thrones' Ant Has Dragon-Like Spikes

A dragon from "Game of Thrones" has come to life — sort of. A new ant species' dragon-like appearance inspired scientists to name it for the fire-breathing star of the popular fantasy series. The Pheidole drogon's large and distinctive spine reminded researchers of Drogon, one of the dragons on the "Game of Thrones" TV show, adapted from the novels written by George R. R. Martin.

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Great Red Spot storm heating Jupiter's atmosphere, study shows

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Scientists have long wondered why Jupiter's upper atmosphere has temperatures similar to those of Earth, even though the biggest planet in the solar system is five times farther away from the sun. The answer may be The Great Red Spot, an enormous storm big enough to swallow three Earths that has been raging on Jupiter for at least three centuries, a study showed on Wednesday. Using an infrared telescope at Hawaii's Mauna Kea Observatory, scientists discovered that the upper atmosphere above the Great Red Spot – the largest storm in the solar system - is hundreds of degrees hotter than anywhere else on the planet.


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Scientists find potential new antibiotic, right under their noses

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists in Germany have discovered a bacteria hiding out in peoples' noses that produces an antibiotic compound that can kill several dangerous pathogens, including the superbug MRSA. The early-stage finding, reported in the journal Nature on Wednesday, could one day lead to a whole new class of antibiotic medicines being developed to fight drug-resistant bacterial infections, the researchers said. As well as being a focal point for many viral infections, the nasal cavity is also a rich ecosystem of 50 or so different species of bacteria, lead researcher Andreas Peschel of the University of Tuebingen told reporters in a telephone briefing.

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Scientist Brian Cox holds summer master class in London for kids

British physics professor Brian Cox taught students at St. Paul's Way Trust School in London on Tuesday how to create fire with methane gas. The school is hosting a science summer school and invited the celebrity physicist, who says he hopes the project will bring in those from different backgrounds. "There is no shortage of enthusiasm for students and young people when you talk about science and engineering," Cox said.


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Scientists find potential new antibiotic, right under their noses

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists in Germany have discovered a bacteria hiding out in peoples' noses that produces an antibiotic compound that can kill several dangerous pathogens, including the superbug MRSA. The early-stage finding, reported in the journal Nature on Wednesday, could one day lead to a whole new class of antibiotic medicines being developed to fight drug-resistant bacterial infections, the researchers said. As well as being a focal point for many viral infections, the nasal cavity is also a rich ecosystem of 50 or so different species of bacteria, lead researcher Andreas Peschel of the University of Tuebingen told reporters in a telephone briefing.

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Transgender Identity Is Not a Mental Health Disorder, Study Finds

People who identify as transgender should not be considered to have a mental health disorder, according to a new study from Mexico. The World Health Organization currently lists transgender identity as a mental health disorder, and the new study is the first in a series of research aimed at finding out whether this categorization is apt. In the new study, published today (July 26) in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry, the researchers investigated whether the distress and dysfunction associated with transgender identity were the result of social rejection and stigmatization or an inherent part of being transgender.

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Dolly the Sheep's Clone 'Sisters' Are Healthy in Old Age

Four cloned sheep that are genetically identical to Dolly, the first cloned mammal, are still healthy even in old age, a new study found. The four sheep, which were derived from the same batch of cells as Dolly and could be considered her clone "sisters," have just reached their 9th birthday, which is equivalent to age 70 in human years, researchers who have been studying the sheep said. All of the sheep were free from many diseases commonly found in older sheep, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, the study showed.


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Police Killings and Race: Do the Numbers Tell the Whole Story?

Police officers in the U.S. are more likely to stop or arrest black, Hispanic and Native American people than they are to stop or arrest non-Hispanic white people, a new study finds. The researchers also found that more blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans were killed and injured by police over the study period than non-Hispanic whites. "Both blacks and white Hispanics are four times as likely to be killed by the police as white non-Hispanics are," said lead study author Ted Miller, a senior research scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Maryland.

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Prehistoric Village Likely Torched by Bronze-Age Warriors

A fire that destroyed a Bronze Age village in the marshlands of eastern England around 3,000 years ago may have been set on purpose, possibly in a raid by warriors from a hostile group, according to a new archaeological study. "We've been working with [a fire] investigator who works a lot with modern fires, and he thinks there's a good chance that the fire was set deliberately," said Selina Davenport, an archaeologist at the University of Cambridge. "For that to have spread from something like a spark off a hearth is unlikely," Davenport told Live Science.


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Huge Quake for the Himalayas? Ancient Hindu Temples Hold Clues

Past earthquakes that damaged ancient temples perched high in the Himalayas could be harbingers of dangerous quakes to come, new research suggests.


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'Grow' Your Own Glowing Flowers: The Science of Fluorescence

If you're looking for a gift to dazzle a special someone, and regular flowers just don't seem like enough to do the trick, how about creating a beautiful bouquet that can "glow" in the dark? The American Chemical Society (ACS) recently released a new video showing a fun, at-home science experiment that lets you "grow" fluorescent flowers that glow under black light. It turns out, flowers aren't picky when it comes to their water.


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These Honeybees Have Mastered Twerking: How They Do It

Honeybees are famous for their wiggling, waggling dances, which they use to communicate with others in their hives. Now, a new study reveals the anatomical limits to a honeybee's moves.


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Ancestor of All Life on Earth Had Steamy Beginning

The mysterious common ancestor of all life on Earth may have lived in hot springs that were iron-rich and oxygen-poor, a new study finds. The last universal common ancestor, or LUCA, is what scientists call the forerunner of all living things. To learn more about how and where LUCA might have lived, researchers analyzed 6.1 million genes from prokaryotes — microscopic, single-celled organisms that lack distinct cell nuclei.


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Belgian scientists make novel water-from-urine machine

By Reuters Staff A team of scientists at a Belgian university say they have created a machine that turns urine into drinkable water and fertilizer using solar energy, a technique which could be applied in rural areas and developing countries. While there are other options for treating waste water, the system applied at the University of Ghent uses a special membrane, is said to be energy-efficient and to be applicable in areas off the electricity grid. "We're able to recover fertilizer and drinking water from urine using just a simple process and solar energy," said University of Ghent researcher Sebastiaan Derese.


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