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New contender for oldest dinosaur

New contender for oldest dinosaur | Science News & other | Scoop.it
Palaeontologists identify what is likely to be the oldest known dinosaur specimen, patching a 10-15-million-year hole in dinosaurs' evolutionary history.

 

It walked on two legs, measured 2-3m in length with a large tail and weighed between 20 and 60kg. The find suggests that many millions of years passed between dinosaurs' first members and their dominance on land.

 

"It fills a gap between what we previously knew to be the oldest dinosaurs and their other closest relatives," report co-author Paul Barrett, of the Natural History Museum in London, told BBC News. The find shores up the idea that dinosaurs evolved on the southern parts of the supercontinent Pangaea. "There was this big gap in the fossil record where dinosaurs should've been present and this fossil neatly fills that gap." The early evolution of dinosaurs is difficult to unpick, as a rich variety of reptiles were proliferating at the time - and some may even have independently evolved characteristics that are associated with dinosaurs.

 

It now appears that those creatures shared the southern part of the supercontinent Pangaea - now South America, Africa, Antarctica and Australia - with N parringtoni. "Those animals were the earliest of this group that led up toward dinosaurs," explained Dr. Barrett. "Now this takes dinosaurs back to the right kind of time when those two groups would have split apart from each other." As it closes that evolutionary gap, it shows that dinosaurs did not start out as dominant as they later became. "Dinosaurs start out as a very insignificant group of reptiles - all relatively small animals, relatively rare in comparison with other reptile groups - and it's only a bit later in their history that they suddenly explode and take over as the dominant forms of life for nearly 100 million years" - Barrett said.


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Search For Extraterrestrial Life Suggests Other Solar Systems More Habitable Than Ours

Search For Extraterrestrial Life Suggests Other Solar Systems More Habitable Than Ours | Science News & other | Scoop.it

Scattered around the Milky Way are stars that resemble our own sun—but a new study is finding that any planets orbiting those stars may very well be hotter and more dynamic than Earth. That’s because the interiors of any terrestrial planets in these systems are likely warmer than Earth—up to 25 percent warmer, which would make them more geologically active and more likely to retain enough liquid water to support life, at least in its microbial form.

 

The preliminary finding comes from geologists and astronomers at Ohio State University who have teamed up to search for alien life in a new way. They studied eight “solar twins” of our sun—stars that very closely match the sun in size, age, and overall composition—in order to measure the amounts of radioactive elements they contain. Those stars came from a dataset recorded by the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher spectrometer at the European Southern Observatory in Chile.

 

They searched the solar twins for elements such as thorium and uranium, which are essential to Earth’s plate tectonics because they warm our planet’s interior. Plate tectonics helps maintain water on the surface of the Earth, so the existence of plate tectonics is sometimes taken as an indicator of a planet’s hospitality to life.

 

Of the eight solar twins they’ve studied so far, seven appear to contain much more thorium than our sun—which suggests that any planets orbiting those stars probably contain more thorium, too. That, in turn, means that the interior of the planets are probably warmer than ours.

 

For example, one star in the survey contains 2.5 times more thorium than our sun, said Ohio State doctoral student Cayman Unterborn. According to his measurements, terrestrial planets that formed around that star probably generate 25 percent more internal heat than Earth does, allowing for plate tectonics to persist longer through a planet’s history, giving more time for live to arise. “If it turns out that these planets are warmer than we previously thought, then we can effectively increase the size of the habitable zone around these stars by pushing the habitable zone farther from the host star, and consider more of those planets hospitable to microbial life,” said Unterborn.


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mdashf's curator insight, December 13, 2012 1:28 PM

Another proof of the contingent creation of life

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Brain 'reading centers' are culturally universal

Brain 'reading centers' are culturally universal | Science News & other | Scoop.it

Learning to read Chinese might seem daunting to Westerners used to an alphabetic script, but brain scans of French and Chinese native speakers show that people harness the same brain centers for reading across cultures.


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Super-massive black hole with a mass half the size of its hosting galaxy

Super-massive black hole with a mass half the size of its hosting galaxy | Science News & other | Scoop.it

A new survey recently reported in Nature found a supermassive black hole (mass~17 billions of solar masses) at the center of a relatively "light" galaxy. This wouldn't be a surprise if the mass of the black hole wasn't more than half the mass of the buldge of the hosting galaxy. The black line shows the mass–luminosity relation for galaxies with a directly measured black-hole mass.

 

NGC 1277 is a significant positive outlier. Indeed, we already know that most galaxies -- including our own Milky Way -- host supermassive black holes which lurk at the galactic center. Also, the mass of the black hole is believed to be tightly connected with the properties of the hosting galaxy. Several models of galaxy dynamics and mergers predict a black hole mass VS bulge luminosity relation similar to that shown in the Figure above and this has important implications in the understanding of the galaxy evolution and of black hole population models. Typically, the mass of the black hole is about 0.1 per cent of the mass of the stellar bulge of the galaxy and the maximum mass fraction observed so far was about 10%.

 

The discovery of NGC 1277, a compact, lenticular galaxy with a mass of roughly 1.2x10^11 solar masses, is particularly interesting because this galaxy hosts a black hole of mass about 1.7x10^10 solar masses, that is, roughly 59% of the total bulge mass. Indeed, it's evident in the Figure above how NGC 1277 deviates from the expected empirical behavior.

 

This discovery seems confirmed by other observations of galaxies that host oversized black holes and it might suggest a failure (or the need of some improvement) in current models.


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Could synthetic fuels eliminate entire US need for crude oil, create ‘new economy’?

Could synthetic fuels eliminate entire US need for crude oil, create ‘new economy’? | Science News & other | Scoop.it

The U.S. could eliminate the need for crude oil by using a combination of coal, natural gas, and non-food crops to make synthetic fuel, a team of Princeton researchers has found. Besides economic and national security benefits, the plan has potential environmental advantages. Because plants absorb carbon dioxide to grow, the United States could cut vehicle greenhouse emissions by as much as 50 percent in the next several decades using non-food crops to create liquid fuels, the researchers said.

 

Synthetic fuels would be an easy fit for the transportation system because they could be used directly in automobile engines and are almost identical to fuels refined from crude oil. That sets them apart from currently available biofuels, such as ethanol, which have to be mixed with gas or require special engines.

 

In a series of scholarly articles over the past year, a team led by Christodoulos Floudas, a professor of chemical and biological engineering at Princeton, evaluated scenarios in which the U.S. could power its vehicles with synthetic fuels rather than relying on oil. Floudas’ team also analyzed the impact that synthetic fuel plants were likely to have on local areas and identified locations that would not overtax regional electric grids or water supplies.

 

“The goal is to produce sufficient fuel and also to cut CO2 emissions, or the equivalent, by 50 percent,” said Floudas, the Stephen C. Macaleer ’63 Professor in Engineering and Applied Science. “The question was not only can it be done, but also can it be done in an economically attractive way. The answer is affirmative in both cases.”


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Organic metamaterial remembers its shape and flows like a liquid

Organic metamaterial remembers its shape and flows like a liquid | Science News & other | Scoop.it

A bit reminiscent of the Terminator T-1000, a new material created by Cornell researchers is so soft that it can flow like a liquid and then, strangely, return to its original shape. Rather than liquid metal, it is a hydrogel, a mesh of organic molecules with many small empty spaces that can absorb water like a sponge. It qualifies as a "metamaterial" with properties not found in nature and may be the first organic metamaterial with mechanical meta-properties.


Under an electron microscope the material is revealed to consist of tiny "bird's nests" of tangled DNA, top, which are tied together by more DNA stands into a mass, bottom. The tangled structure creates many tiny spaces that absorb water like a sponge. Hydrogels have already been considered for use in drug delivery -- the spaces can be filled with drugs that release slowly as the gel biodegrades -- and as frameworks for tissue rebuilding. The ability to form a gel into a desired shape further expands the possibilities. For example, a drug-infused gel could be formed to exactly fit the space inside a wound.

Dan Luo, professor of biological and environmental engineering, and colleagues describe their creation in the Dec. 2 issue of the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

 

The new hydrogel is made of synthetic DNA. In addition to being the stuff genes are made of, DNA can serve as a building block for self-assembling materials. Single strands of DNA will lock onto other single stands that have complementary coding, like tiny organic Legos. By synthesizing DNA with carefully arranged complementary sections Luo's research team previously created short stands that link into shapes such as crosses or Y's, which in turn join at the ends to form meshlike structures to form the first successful all-DNA hydrogel. Trying a new approach, they mixed synthetic DNA with enzymes that cause DNA to self-replicate and to extend itself into long chains, to make a hydrogel without DNA linkages.

 

"During this process they entangle, and the entanglement produces a 3-D network," Luo explained. But the result was not what they expected: The hydrogel they made flows like a liquid, but when placed in water returns to the shape of the container in which it was formed. Exactly how this works is "still being investigated," the researchers said, but they theorize that the elastic forces holding the shape are so weak that a combination of surface tension and gravity overcomes them; the gel just sags into a loose blob. But when it is immersed in water, surface tension is nearly zero -- there's water inside and out -- and buoyancy cancels gravity.

 

To demonstrate the effect, the researchers created hydrogels in molds shaped like the letters D, N and A. Poured out of the molds, the gels became amorphous liquids, but in water they morphed back into the letters. As a possible application, the team created a water-actuated switch. They made a short cylindrical gel infused with metal particles placed in an insulated tube between two electrical contacts. In liquid form the gel reaches both ends of the tube and forms a circuit. When water is added. the gel reverts to its shorter form that will not reach both ends. (The experiment is done with distilled water that does not conduct electricity.)

 

The DNA used in this work has a random sequence, and only occasional cross-linking was observed, Luo said. By designing the DNA to link in particular ways he hopes to be able to tune the properties of the new hydrogel.


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Cat parasite toxoplasma gondii uses 'Trojan horse' strategy to infect human brains and may influence human behavior

Cat parasite toxoplasma gondii uses 'Trojan horse' strategy to infect human brains and may influence human behavior | Science News & other | Scoop.it

A food-borne parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, that infects domestic cats can get inside the human brain by commandeering special cells of the immune system which it uses as a Trojan horse to enter the central nervous system, a study has found.

 

Scientists believe they have finally discovered the mechanism that allows Toxoplasmas to pass from the human gut to the brain where it may cause behavioural changes. They have shown that the parasite can infect the dendritic white blood cells of the immune system causing them to secrete a chemical neurotransmitter that allows the infected cells, and the parasite, to cross the natural barrier protecting the brain.

 

Latest figures released in September by the Food Standards Agency show about 1,000 people a day in Britain – 350,000 a year – are being infected with toxoplasma, probably from either direct contact with cats or by eating poorly-cooked meat or vegetables. Up to 40 per cent of the British population are believed to be infected with toxoplasma and although the vast majority show no apparent symptoms, there is a risk to unborn children if their mothers become infected for the first time during pregnancy.

 

However, recent studies have also suggested that toxoplasma may be a trigger for psychological disturbances in humans, including schizophrenia, although the research has fallen well short of showing a cause-and-effect. Antonio Barragan of Sweden’s Centre for Infectious Diseases at the Karolinksa Institute in Stockholm said that when infected with toxoplasma human dendritic cells, which are not part of the central nervous system, begin to secrete a neurotransmitter called GABA which is normally produced by brain cells. “For toxoplasma to make cells in the immune defence to secrete GABA was as surprising as it was unexpected…This was unknown before. It means that the parasite had the capacity potentially to manipulate the central nervous system,” Dr Barragan said. GABA, or gamma aminobutyric acid, is involved, among other things, in inhibiting the sense of fear and anxiety. Rats and mice infected with toxoplasma show little fear of cats and Dr Barragan suggested that infected dendritic cells may continue to stimulate the production of GABA once the cells have entered the brain. However, other scientists have shown that toxoplasma is capable of producing another nerve substance called L-dopa which is a chemical precursor to the dopamine neurotransmitter, which may be another route to altering mammalian behavior. “Many neuropsychiatric disorders implicate a dysregulation of several neurotransmitters. If one is affected, this may affect the others, or the balance between neurotransmitters. How GABA specifically acts in the equation is a question for the future,” Dr Barragan said.

 

Scientists emphasised that the jury is still out on whether toxoplasma is capable of influencing the behaviour or mental state of infected people given the preliminary nature of the studies showing a tentative link between the parasite and human behaviour.


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Perfection Is Only Skin Deep: Everyone Has Many Flawed Genes (400 on average)

We all know that nobody's perfect. But now scientists have documented that fact on a genetic level. Researchers discovered that normal, healthy people are walking around with a surprisingly large number of mutations in their genes.

 

It's been well known that everyone has flaws in their DNA, though, for the most part, the defects are harmless. It's been less clear, however, just how many mistakes are lurking in someone's genes. "It's such an interesting question that people had been trying to make estimates from indirect approaches for a long time," says Chris Tyler-Smith of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, England. "There were estimates that ranged from just a handful up to 100 or more serious disease-associated mutations."

 

But Tyler-Smith and his colleagues wanted to get a more precise, direct estimate. So they analyzed the DNA of 179 people from the United States, Japan, China and Nigeria who had volunteered to have their entire genetic blueprints deciphered through the 1,000 Genomes project. Now, in a paper appearing in the American Journal of Human Genetics, the researchers are reporting a big surprise.

"We found quite amazingly large numbers of deleterious and known disease-causing mutations," Tyler-Smith says. According to their analysis, the average person has around 400 defects in his or her genes, including at least a couple that are associated with disease.

 

The weird thing is, none of the people whose DNA was studied were severely sick. They all seemed perfectly happy and healthy. "It could be that in many cases the other copy of that gene or a similar gene within a multi-gene family takes over," Tyler-Smith says. "It's a bit surprising that people should be walking around apparently healthy yet we're seeing known disease-causing mutations in their genomes," he says. "But the answer was that these tended to be for mild and very often late-onset conditions. Things like heart disease, an increased risk of developing cancer."


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Researchers discover fastest light-driven process - 10,000 times faster than today's transistors

Researchers discover fastest light-driven process - 10,000 times faster than today's transistors | Science News & other | Scoop.it

Professor of Physics Mark Stockman worked with Professor Vadym Apalkov of Georgia State and a group led by Ferenc Krausz at the prestigious Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics and other well-known German institutions.

 

There are three basic types of solids: metals, semiconductors, used in today's transistors, and insulators – also called dielectrics. Dielectrics do not conduct electricity and get damaged or break down if too high of fields of energy are applied to them. The scientists discovered that when dielectrics were given very short and intense laser pulses, they start conducting electricity while remaining undamaged. The fastest time a dielectric can process signals is on the order of 1 femtosecond – the same time as the light wave oscillates and millions of times faster than the second handle of a watch jumps. Dielectric devices hold promise to allow for much faster computing than possible today with semiconductors. Such a device can work at 1 petahertz, while the processor of today's computer runs slightly faster than at 3 gigahertz.

 

"Now we can fundamentally have a device that works 10 thousand times faster than a transistor that can run at 100 gigahertz," Stockman said. "This is a field effect, the same type that controls a transistor. The material becomes conductive as a very high electrical field of light is applied to it, but dielectrics are 10,000 times faster than semiconductors."


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Metabolic gatekeeper provides new target for disrupting cancer metabolism

Metabolic gatekeeper provides new target for disrupting cancer metabolism | Science News & other | Scoop.it
In the 1920s, the German physiologist Otto Warburg proposed that cancer cells generate energy in ways that are distinct from normal cells. Healthy cells mainly metabolize sugar via respiration in the mitochondria, switching only to glycolysis in the cytoplasm when oxygen levels are low. In contrast, cancer cells rely on glycolysis all the time, even under oxygen-rich scenarios. This shift in how energy is produced—the so-called ‘Warburg effect’, as the observation came to be known—is now recognized as a primary driver of tumor formation, but a mechanistic explanation for the phenomenon has remained elusive.

 

Now, researchers have implicated a chromatin regulator known as SIRT6 as a key mediator of the switch to glycolysis in cancer cells, a finding that could lead to new therapeutic modalities. “This work is very significant for the cancer field,” says Andrei Seluanov, a cancer biologist at the University of Rochester in New York State who studies SIRT6 but was not involved in the latest study. “It establishes the role of SIRT6 as a tumor suppressor and shows that SIRT6 loss leads to tumor formation in mice and humans.”

 

SIRT6 encodes one of seven mammalian proteins called sirtuins, a group of histone deacetylases that play a role in regulating metabolism, lifespan and aging. SIRT1—which is activated by resveratrol, a molecule found in the skin of red grapes—is perhaps the best known sirtuin, but several of the others are now the focus of active investigation as therapeutic targets for a range of conditions, from metabolic syndrome to cancer. Just last month, for example, a paper in Nature Medicine demonstrated that SIRT6 plays an important role in heart disease.

 

Six years ago, a team led by Raul Mostoslavsky, a molecular biologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston, first showed that SIRT6 protects mice from DNA damage and had anti-aging properties. In 2010, the same team established SIRT6 as a critical regulator of glycolysis. Now, reporting today in Cell, Mostoslavsky and his colleagues have shown that SIRT6 function is lost in cancer cells—thus, definitively establishing SIRT6 as a potent tumor suppressor.

 

In the latest study, the researchers showed that mouse embryonic cells genetically engineered to lack SIRT6 proliferated much faster than normal cells, growing from 5,000 cells to 200,000 cells in three days. In contrast, SIRT6-expressiong cells grew at less than half that rate over the same time period. When injected into adult mice, these SIRT6-deficient cells also rapidly formed tumors, but this tumor growth was reversed when the scientists put SIRT6 back into the cells.


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Aliens may find Earth boring: UK astronomer - Moneycontrol.com

Aliens may find Earth boring: UK astronomer - Moneycontrol.com | Science News & other | Scoop.it
Moneycontrol.comAliens may find Earth boring: UK astronomerMoneycontrol.comFearing an alien invasion? It is not likely to happen!
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Science News and Technology News: Top Stories

Inspiring Technology and Science News From Around the World (Positive: British engineers create petrol from air and water: A small British company has developed a way to cre...)...
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NASA - Hubble Sees Galaxy in a spin

NASA - Hubble Sees Galaxy in a spin | Science News & other | Scoop.it
NGC 3344 is a glorious spiral galaxy around half the size of the Milky Way, which lies 25 million light-years distant.
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New Evidence of Human Influence on Global Warming - Troposphere warms and stratosphere cools

New Evidence of Human Influence on Global Warming - Troposphere warms and stratosphere cools | Science News & other | Scoop.it
Using state-of-the-art climate models, a new study has found clear evidence of a discernible human influence on atmospheric temperature.

 

Specifically, Ben Santer of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and 21 colleagues found that while the troposphere — the lowest part of the atmosphere — has warmed over the past three decades, the stratosphere, which starts 5 to 12 miles above the ground, has cooled. This is exactly what you’d expect if greenhouse gases were trapping heat near the surface rather than letting it percolate upward. “This is not a new idea,” Santer said in an interview. “We did the first fingerprinting studies of the troposphere and stratosphere back in 1996.”

 

The problem back then, Santer said, was that only a couple of climate models were available for studies like this. Models are crucial in this kind of research because you can’t do controlled experiments with the planet the way doctors do when they test new pharmaceuticals. With medicines, you give some patients the drug and others a placebo, or sugar pill, and see the difference in how their illnesses respond.

 

With the climate system, by contrast, there’s only one patient, and it’s already been dosed with extra greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. So scientists like Santer do simulations of how the atmosphere should look both with and without those extra gases. Unlike in 1996, Santer and his co-authors had 20 different simulations to work with for this study, all of them state-of-the-art models developed for the upcoming major report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, due out starting in 2014.

 

The obtained results mean, that the warming of the troposphere and cooling of the stratosphere can’t be explained in any other way than by the heat-trapping effects of human-generated greenhouse gases. “It was surprising to me how large the signal was,” Santer said

This is only one of the fingerprints scientists expect to see in a human–influenced climate, moreover. “In the past we’ve looked at ocean surface temperatures changes in hurricane-forming regions, patterns in atmospheric pressure; rainfall patterns, and changes in Arctic sea ice,” Santer said. All of these and more can be identified more easily and clearly with the new models. “I think these simulations are like a scientific gold mine,” Santer said. “Analysts will be exploiting them for many years to come.”


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Most of the harmful mutations in humans arose in the past 5,000 to 10,000 years

Most of the harmful mutations in humans arose in the past 5,000 to 10,000 years | Science News & other | Scoop.it

European Americans have a larger proportion of potentially harmful variants than African Americans --- probably an artefact of their original migration out of Africa.

 

The human genome has been busy over the past 5,000 years. Human populations have grown exponentially, and new genetic mutations arise with each generation. Humans now have a vast abundance of rare genetic variants in the protein-encoding sections of the genome.

 

A study published in Nature now helps to clarify when many of those rare variants arose. Researchers used deep sequencing to locate and date more than one million single-nucleotide variants — locations where a single letter of the DNA sequence is different from other individuals — in the genomes of 6,500 African and European Americans.

 

The findings confirm their earlier work suggesting that the majority of variants, including potentially harmful ones, were picked up during the past 5,000–-10,000 years.


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Whitney Souery's curator insight, August 29, 2013 12:49 PM

Genetic mutations (both negative and positive included) arose during migration. This article descirbes how European Americans have a greater amount of mutations than African Americans- meaning that after the migration from Africa, mutations began to arise. 

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Intelligent Frames for Psychology / Neuroscience (continuously updated)

Intelligent Frames for Psychology / Neuroscience (continuously updated) | Science News & other | Scoop.it

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Surgeons implant first brain ‘pacemaker’ for Alzheimer’s disease in US

Surgeons implant first brain ‘pacemaker’ for Alzheimer’s disease in US | Science News & other | Scoop.it
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine have surgically implanted a pacemaker-like device into the brain of a patient in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, the first such operation in the United States.

The device, which provides deep brain stimulation and has been used in thousands of people with Parkinson’s disease, is seen as a possible means of boosting memory and reversing cognitive decline. Instead of focusing on drug treatments, many of which have failed in recent clinical trials, the research focuses on the use of the low-voltage electrical charges delivered directly to the brain. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease yet.

 

The surgery is part of a federally funded, multicenter clinical trial marking a new direction in clinical research designed to slow or halt the ravages of the disease, which slowly robs its mostly elderly victims of a lifetime of memories and the ability to perform the simplest of daily tasks, researchers at Johns Hopkins say. Some 40 patients are expected to receive the deep brain stimulation implant over the next year or so at Johns Hopkins and four other institutions in North America as part of the Advance Study led by Constantine G. Lyketsos, M.D., M.H.S., a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Andres Lozano, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the neurology department at the University of Toronto. Only patients whose cognitive impairment is mild enough that they can decide on their own to participate will be included in the trial. Other sites performing the operation, supported by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging (R01AG042165), are the University of Toronto, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Florida, and Banner Health System in Phoenix, Ariz. The medical device company, Functional Neuromodulation Ltd., is also supporting the trial.

 

While experimental for Alzheimer’s patients, more than 80,000 people with the neurodegenerative disorder Parkinson’s disease have undergone the procedure over the past 15 years, with many reporting fewer tremors and requiring lower doses of medication afterward, Lyketsos says. Other researchers are testing deep brain stimulation to control depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder resistant to other therapies. The surgery involves drilling holes into the skull to implant wires into the fornix on either side of the brain. The fornix is a brain pathway instrumental in bringing information to the hippocampus, the portion of the brain where learning begins and memories are made, and where the earliest symptoms of Alzheimer’s appear to arise. The wires are attached to a pacemaker-like device, the “stimulator,” which generates tiny electrical impulses into the brain 130 times a second. The patients don’t feel the current, Rosenberg says. “Deep brain stimulation might prove to be a useful mechanism for treating Alzheimer’s disease, or it might help us develop less invasive treatments based on the same mechanism,” Rosenberg says. By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease may triple, experts say, from 5.2 million to a projected 11 million to 16 million, unless effective treatments are found.


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Jet Crisis: #Turkey’s War With #Syria Drags In #Russia

Jet Crisis: #Turkey’s War With #Syria Drags In #Russia | Science News & other | Scoop.it

STOP NATO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TURKEY ON SYRIA:
http://www.scoop.it/t/from-tahrir-square?q=SYRIA+TURKEY

RUSSIA ON SYRIA:

http://www.scoop.it/t/from-tahrir-square?q=syria+russia

 


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#US & WW3: Romney sings Da Doo War War

#US & WW3: Romney sings Da Doo War War | Science News & other | Scoop.it

Asia Times Online - By Pepe Escobar 

 

US ON MENA:
http://www.scoop.it/t/from-tahrir-square?q=US

 


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Deep Genetic Sequencing Traces Gypsies Back to Ancient Indian Origin

Deep Genetic Sequencing Traces Gypsies Back to Ancient Indian Origin | Science News & other | Scoop.it

The Romani people—once known as “gypsies” or Roma—have been objects of both curiosity and persecution for centuries. Today, some 11 million Romani, with a variety of cultures, languages and lifestyles, live in Europe—and beyond. But where did they come from?

 

A team of European researchers has now collected data on some 800,000 genetic variants (single nucleotides polymorphisms) in 152 Romani people from 13 different Romani groups in Europe. The team then contrasted the Romani sequences with those already known for more than 4,500 Europeans as well as samples from the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia and the Middle East.

 

According to the analysis, the initial founding group of Romani likely departed from what is now the Punjab state in northwestern India close to the year 500 CE. From there, they likely traveled through Central Asia and the Middle East but appear to have mingled only moderately with local populations there. The subsequent doorway to Europe seems to have been the Balkan area—specifically Bulgaria—from which the Romani began dispersing around 1,100 CE.

 

These travels, however, were not always easy. For example, after the initial group left India, their numbers took a dive, with less than half of the population surviving (some 47 percent, according to the genetic analysis). And once groups of Romani that would go on to settle Western Europe left the Balkan region, they suffered another population bottleneck, losing some 30 percent of their population. 

 

Local mixing was not constant over the past several centuries—even in the same groups. The genetic history, as told through this genome-wide analysis, reveals different social mores at different times. For example, Romani populations in Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Croatia show genetic patterns that suggest a limited pairing with local populations until recently. Whereas Romani populations in Portugal, Spain and Lithuania have genetic sequences that suggest they had previously mixed with local European populations more frequently but have “higher levels of recent genetic isolation from non-Romani Europeans,” the researchers noted in their paper.


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Oxygen nucleus with twice as many neutrons as normal is shown to be surprisingly stable

Oxygen nucleus with twice as many neutrons as normal is shown to be surprisingly stable | Science News & other | Scoop.it
The nucleus at the heart of an atom is held together by a subtle balance between the nuclear force that binds protons and neutrons and the electric repulsion that tries to fling the positively charged protons apart. Understanding how the number of nucleons—the collective term for protons and neutrons—affects this balance is crucial for predicting nuclear processes such as radioactive decay. RIKEN researchers, working as part of an international team, have now shown that 'heavy' oxygen nuclei with 16 neutrons form into a solid ball, which makes them unexpectedly stable.

 

Tohru Motobayashi from the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science, collaborating with Yoshinori Satou from the Seoul National University, Korea, Takashi Nakamura from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan, and co-workers from France, Hungary and China have now performed the first spectroscopic study of oxygen nuclei with 16 neutrons using a technique known as proton inelastic scattering. They fired a beam of these oxygen-24 atoms at a liquid-hydrogen target, and then extracted the properties of the neutron-rich nuclei by tracking the direction and speed of the particles after the collision.

 

A nucleus has either a spherical or elliptical shape depending on the number of neutrons and protons. "The nucleus is more stable and solid when it is spherical," explains Motobayashi. "In our experiments we can hear the sound associated with this solidity, just as you can when you strike an everyday solid object." An intriguing aspect of this result is that it runs contrary to the now well-established observation that nuclei are usually stable when the number of neutrons and protons corresponds to a so-called magic number: 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82 or 126. "We can now confirm that a neutron number of 16 is magic when proton and neutron numbers are largely unbalanced," says Motobayashi. "This supports other recent experiments on different nuclei." This cutting edge experiment is another example of the importance of the steadily growing research collaboration between RIKEN, the Tokyo Institute of Technology and a number of Korean universities. "We next hope to explore more neutron-rich oxygen isotopes with 17, 18 or more neutrons to see if another stable oxygen nucleus exists," says Motobayashi.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Cassini Solstice Mission: Hexagonal Storm Pattern On Saturn's North Pole

Cassini Solstice Mission: Hexagonal Storm Pattern On Saturn's North Pole | Science News & other | Scoop.it

What's happening at the north pole of Saturn? A vortex of strange and complex swirling clouds. The center of this vortex was imaged in unprecedented detail last week by the robotic Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn. These clouds lie at the center of the unusual hexagonal cloud system that surrounds the north pole of Saturn. The sun rose on Saturn's north pole just a few years ago, with Cassini taking only infrared images of the shadowed region previously. The above image is raw and unprocessed and is being prepared for release in 2013. Several similar images of the region have recently been condensed into a movie. Planetary scientists are sure to continue to study this most unusual cloud formation for quite some time.


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Astonishing galactic smash-up as seen by the ... - ZME Science

Astonishing galactic smash-up as seen by the ... - ZME Science | Science News & other | Scoop.it
Pictured above is a galactic amalgam of the fantastic proportions, at the center of which lies the polar-ring galaxy NGC 660. Around it, space debris.
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Astronomers Uncover A Surprising Trend In Galaxy Evolution - Sacramento Bee

Astronomers Uncover A Surprising Trend In Galaxy Evolution - Sacramento Bee | Science News & other | Scoop.it
BBC NewsAstronomers Uncover A Surprising Trend In Galaxy EvolutionSacramento BeeWASHINGTON, Oct.
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Book review: 'Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic' by ... - Washington Post

Book review: 'Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic' by ... - Washington Post | Science News & other | Scoop.it
Book review: 'Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic' by ...Washington PostWe kept a bottle of mosquito repellent right next to the back door this summer and made sure the balky screen door was pulled tight each time we came in...
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