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Showing posts from April, 2015

Quenching the thirst for clean, safe water

It is estimated that one in nine people globally lack access to safe water. Researchers are looking to fill that critical need and provide safe drinking water to the most remote locations in the world with a new foam water filter that significantly reduces dangerous pathogens in drinking water.

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Brain circuitry for positive vs. negative memories discovered in mice

Neuroscientists have discovered brain circuitry for encoding positive and negative learned associations in mice. After finding that two circuits showed opposite activity following fear and reward learning, the researchers proved that this divergent activity causes either avoidance or reward-driven behaviors. They used cutting-edge optical-genetic tools to pinpoint these mechanisms critical to survival, which are also implicated in mental illness.

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Researchers closer to being able to change blood types

What do you do when a patient needs a blood transfusion but you don't have their blood type in the blood bank? It's a problem that scientists have been trying to solve for years but haven't been able to find an economic solution -- until now.

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Energy consumption rises with automated bill payment

The adage 'out of sight, out of mind' applies to utility consumption, according to new research. A study of 16 years of billing records from one South Carolina electric utility found that residential customers using automated bill payment consumed 4 to 6 percent more power than those who did not. Commercial electricity customers used 8 percent more.

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Why do obese men get bariatric surgery far less than women?

Demographic, socioeconomic and cultural factors contribute to a major gender disparity among US men and women undergoing weight loss surgeries. Men undergo the surgeries in far lower numbers than women, researchers report.

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Discovery may change cancer treatment

A discovery has been made that may change the principles for treating certain types of cancer. The discovery relates to the so-called telomeres that constitute the ends of human chromosomes. Short telomeres are related to unhealthy lifestyles, old age and the male gender -- all of which are risk factors in terms of high mortality. Up until now, the assumption has been that short telomeres are related to ill health. The challenge for researchers worldwide has therefore been to find out whether or not the short telomeres were indeed a signifier or an indirect cause of increased mortality.

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Durable benefits seen for lung volume reduction surgery for emphysema

The National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT) was a multicenter, randomized, controlled clinical trial comparing the efficacy of lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) plus medical management with rehabilitation to medical management plus rehabilitation in patients with severe emphysema. In 2003, the results of NETT demonstrated that LVRS could improve lung function in patients with emphysema, and that the procedure led to improved survival. Yet, adoption of LVRS has been very slow with concerns expressed regarding safety and long-term efficacy. Now researchers present the results of ten years of’ experience with LVRS for emphysema.

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Research prompts rethink of enzyme evolution

There is a need for a fundamental rethink of the evolutionary path of enzymes, the proteins vital to all life on Earth, new research suggests. Enzymes catalyze a vast array of biologically relevant chemical reactions even in the simplest living cells. Scientists have generally thought of their evolution as events occurring at the molecular level; a smooth and steady trajectory, from barely functional primordial catalysts to the highly active and specific enzymes. However the reality may be quite different.

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease increases the risk of sudden cardiac death

People suffering from the common lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), have an increased risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD), according to new research. The large study of 15,000 people is the first to show that COPD is associated with an increased risk of SCD in the general population.

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