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Showing posts from November 23, 2016

Scientists develop skin patch with on-the-spot sweat monitor app

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists in the United States have developed a flexible microfluidic device that easily sticks to the skin and measures sweat levels to show how the wearer's body is responding to exercise. The low-cost device, which can quickly analyse key elements such as lactate, Ph or glucose levels and let the user know if they should stop or change their activity, could also in future help diagnose and monitor disease, the researchers said. "Sweat is a rich, chemical broth containing a number of important chemical compounds with physiological health information," said John Rogers, a professor Northwestern University in the United States who led the development of what he called a "lab on the skin" Reporting results of the trial of the device in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the researchers said one of its attractions is that it allows people to monitor their health on the spot without the need for blood sampling.

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Why Fewer Americans Say They Want to Lose Weight

The reason for the findings is not clear, but Gallup also found that Americans' perception of their ideal weight is changing. Americans surveyed in the 1990s said that their ideal weight was 153 lbs., on average. "The benchmark for their ideal weight continues to be set higher," Gallup said.


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Australia's Bizarre Outbreak: What Is 'Thunderstorm Asthma'?

Hundreds of people in Melbourne, Australia, experienced breathing problems during a recent storm, in what's being called an outbreak of "thunderstorm asthma." But what's behind this rare phenomenon? On Monday (Nov. 21) evening, the ambulance service in Melbourne, called Ambulance Victoria, received more than 1,800 calls during the storm, which is about six times more than usual, according to the BBC. About 200 calls were for cases of asthma, and 600 calls were for people with breathing difficulties, Mick Stephenson, executive director of emergency operations at Ambulance Victoria, told the BBC.


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Are Colds and Flu Worse in Women Than in Men?

The women in the study were more likely than the men in the study to report severe fatigue and muscle aches when they had a cold or the flu, according to the findings, presented in New Orleans last month at IDWeek 2016, a meeting of several organizations focused on infectious diseases. In addition, women's severe symptoms lasted longer than men's, according to the study participants' self-reports, the researchers found. In the study, the researchers compared self-reported cold and flu symptoms in 777 men and women who were seen between 2009 and 2014 at five military treatment facilities across the U.S., said study co-author Dr. Robert Deiss, a research physician with the Infectious Disease Clinical Research Program, a program of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.


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Huge Underground Ice Deposit on Mars Is Bigger Than New Mexico

A giant deposit of buried ice on Mars contains about as much water as Lake Superior does here on Earth, a new study reports. "This deposit is probably more accessible than most water ice on Mars, because it is at a relatively low latitude and it lies in a flat, smooth area where landing a spacecraft would be easier than at some of the other areas with buried ice," co-author Jack Holt, of the University of Texas, Austin, said in a statement. The researchers, led by Cassie Stuurman of the Institute for Geophysics at the University of Texas, analyzed observations of Mars' Utopia Planitia region made by the ground-penetrating Shallow Radar (SHARAD) instrument aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.


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Navigation system failure cited in crash of European Mars lander

Europe's Schiaparelli Mars lander crashed last month after a sensor failure caused it to cast away its parachute and turn off braking thrusters more than two miles (3.7 km) above the surface of the planet, as if it had already landed, a report released on Wednesday said. The error stemmed from a momentary glitch in a device that measured how fast the spacecraft was spinning, the report by the European Space Agency said. "When merged into the navigation system, the erroneous information generated an estimated altitude that was negative - that is, below ground level.


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Crustacean revelation: coconut crab's claw is stunningly strong

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It may not be wise to get into a scrap with a coconut crab. Scientists on Wednesday said they measured the pinch strength of this large land crab that inhabits islands in the Indian and southern Pacific oceans, calculating that its claw can exert up to an amazing 742 pounds (336.5 kg) of force. The coconut crab's pinch strength even matches or beats the bite strength of most land predators.

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Scientists develop skin patch with on-the-spot sweat monitor app

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists in the United States have developed a flexible microfluidic device that easily sticks to the skin and measures sweat levels to show how the wearer's body is responding to exercise. The low-cost device, which can quickly analyse key elements such as lactate, Ph or glucose levels and let the user know if they should stop or change their activity, could also in future help diagnose and monitor disease, the researchers said. "Sweat is a rich, chemical broth containing a number of important chemical compounds with physiological health information," said John Rogers, a professor Northwestern University in the United States who led the development of what he called a "lab on the skin" Reporting results of the trial of the device in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the researchers said one of its attractions is that it allows people to monitor their health on the spot without the need for blood sampling.

from Sci…

Europe's New Mars Orbiter Begins Testing Science Gear

The Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) arrived at Mars on Oct. 19 and is currently circling the planet once every 4.2 days. TGO was scheduled to begin testing and calibrating its four instrument suites on Sunday (Nov. 20), and this work should continue through next Monday (Nov. 28), European Space Agency (ESA) officials said late last week. "We’re excited we will finally see the instruments perform in the environment for which they were designed, and to see the first data coming back from Mars," HÃ¥kan Svedhem, ESA’s TGO project scientist, said in a statement on Friday (Nov. 18).


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First-Ever Madagascar Dolphin Fossil Discovered

A single fossilized backbone is the first evidence on record that dolphins once swam around the waters of ancient Madagascar, scientists say. The fossil backbone, or vertebra, dates to between 5 million and 9 million years ago during the late Miocene epoch, and belongs to a previously unknown and still unnamed species of dolphin, the researchers said. "This exciting discovery marks the first fossil cetacean [a group including dolphins, whales and porpoises] from Madagascar," said study lead researcher Karen Samonds, an associate professor of biological sciences at Northern Illinois University.


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2 Dome-Headed Dinosaurs the Size of German Shepherds Discovered

The discovery of a pair of fossilized skulls from dome-headed dinosaurs is shedding light on how these bizarre creatures called pachycephalosaurs evolved, researchers say. The location of these skulls — in the southern Mountain states — indicates that pachycephalosaurids may have diversified in the south before they moved north and gave rise to the pachycephalosaur known as Stegoceras, said study lead researcher David Evans, an associate professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto. Pachycephalosaurids (which means "thick-headed lizards") were bipedal, herbivorous and possibly head-butting dinosaurs that lived during the Cretaceous period (145.5 million to 65.5 million years ago).


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Aging Bonobos Become Farsighted, Just Like Humans

Bonobos have a decidedly low-tech solution to farsightedness, scientists have found. Researchers noted that when older bonobos groomed their neighbors, they sat back and extended their arms farther than younger bonobos did — and they stretched their arms even more over time. Scientists had previously observed this behavior in wild bonobos, though no one had investigated it closely enough to interpret it, according to study co-author Heungjin Ryu, a researcher at the Primate Research institute of Kyoto University, in Japan.


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The Real Reason for Viking Raids: Shortage of Eligible Women?

For all their infamous raiding and plundering, the Vikings who attacked from Scandinavia might have been just a bunch of lonely-hearted bachelors, new research suggests. During the Viking Age, which archaeological discoveries and written texts suggested lasted from about A.D. 750 to 1050, shipborne crews from Scandinavia went "viking" — that is, they started raiding. Previous research suggested a wide range of potential triggers for the Viking Age.


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Sealed chamber brings wonders of nature to hospitalized kids

By Randi Belisomo (Reuters Health) - At North Carolina Children’s Hospital, immune-compromised kids can experience the natural environment while getting around hospital rules - digging in dirt, poking into pitcher plants and observing other wonders of nature otherwise prohibited - thanks to a new device called the WonderSphere. “Nature has always been a source of refuge, hope and joy,” said Katie Stoudemire, founder of Wonder Connection, a program of the North Carolina Botanical Garden at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Stoudemire volunteered at children’s hospitals while completing her biology degree at North Carolina’s Davidson College, and it pained her to witness kids’ boredom and isolation from the environment.

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Why Do So Many Big Earthquakes Strike Japan?

A magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck yesterday off the coast of Fukushima, Japan, likely along the same fault that ruptured in 2011, unleashing a massive 9.0-magnitude temblor that triggered deadly tsunamis and caused widespread destruction. Over the course of its history, Japan has seen its share of shaking, but what makes this part of the world so susceptible to big earthquakes? The answer has to do with Japan's location.


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