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Health - 07.12.2012
Sleeping pills can increase the risk of pneumonia
PA 361/12 There has been a call for more research into the effects of a class of commonly used sleeping pills after researchers at The University of Nottingham found that patients taking benzodiazepines were at an increased risk of contracting and dying from pneumonia.

Health - Agronomy / Food Science - 07.12.2012
Research proves low fat diet is key to a slimmer figure
Research proves low fat diet is key to a slimmer figure
Cutting down on fat, without dieting, will result in a slimmer figure - according to new research co-authored by Durham University Findings published today in the British Medical Journal show that exchanging fatty foods for lower fat alternatives will help people shift around three-and-a-half pounds - without dieting.

Health - Life Sciences - 07.12.2012
New study sheds light on how Salmonella spreads in the body
New study sheds light on how Salmonella spreads in the body
This research provides critical insight which will hopefully lead to new medical interventions for this disease." —Dr Andrew Grant Findings of Cambridge scientists, published today in the journal PLoS Pathogens , show a new mechanism used by bacteria to spread in the body with the potential to identify targets to prevent the dissemination of the infection process.

Health - Life Sciences - 07.12.2012
New Strategy to Prevent or Halt Periodontal Disease
Periodontitis, a form of chronic gum disease that affects nearly half of the U.S. adult population, results when the bacterial community in the mouth becomes unbalanced, leading to inflammation and eventually bone loss. In its most severe form, which affects 8.5 percent of U.S. adults, periodontitis can impact systemic health.

Health - 07.12.2012
Cognitive behavioural therapy can reduce depression and improve quality of life
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) provided alongside drug treatment can help reduce the symptoms of depression and improve patients' quality of life, according to new research. Depression is a very common illness which has a major impact on a patient's life. In the UK between five and ten per cent of the population has the illness at any one time.

Life Sciences - Health - 07.12.2012
Novel protein makes muscles bigger and stronger
Novel protein makes muscles bigger and stronger
In a study in mice, Swedish and American scientists have identified a previously unknown protein that spurs muscle growth and increased power following resistance exercise - such as bodybuilding or weightlifting. The findings are presented in the journal Cell, and the scientists speculate that artificially raising the novel protein's levels might someday help prevent muscle mass loss caused by, for example, cancer, prolonged inactivity in hospital patients, and aging.

Health - 07.12.2012
Babies get a better chance to escape a dangerous health cycle
A promising step forward in stopping an intergenerational cycle of birth complications, diabetes and obesity associated with gestational diabetes has been made by researchers at the University of Sydney. "To our knowledge, this is the first study to show that mums with carefully controlled gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) can give birth to babies with normal levels of body fat," said Cheryl Au, who recently completed her Bachelor of Medicine/Surgery at Sydney Medical School and is lead author of the study published in Diabetes Care today.

Health - 07.12.2012
Cognitive behavioural therapy is effective in reducing depression in people whose symptoms have not responded to treatment with antidepressants
Cognitive behavioural therapy is effective in reducing depression in people whose symptoms have not responded to treatment with antidepressants
Antidepressants are the most widely used treatment for people with moderate to severe depression. However, up to two thirds of people with depression don't respond fully to this type of treatment. New findings, published in The Lancet , have shown cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)*, provided in addition to usual care, can reduce symptoms of depression and help improve patients' quality of life.

Health - Life Sciences - 06.12.2012
Stem cells to aid search for new drugs in hard-to-treat conditions
Stem cells to aid search for new drugs in hard-to-treat conditions
Stem cells are to be used in a £45m effort to look at providing new treatments for a host of complex conditions affecting large numbers of people, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, autism and diabetes. However, it's not the stem cells themselves that would form the new treatments. Instead, the stem cells would provide a platform to transform the process of discovering new drugs.

Earth Sciences - Health - 06.12.2012
Medical imaging goes underground: SPECT maps 3-D changes in soil samples, may shed light on bioremediation
Medical imaging goes underground: SPECT maps 3-D changes in soil samples, may shed light on bioremediation
The same medical imaging technology that doctors use to noninvasively image the heart and brain is now giving scientists a close-up view of the subsurface world. Berkeley Lab scientists are developing a way to use Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography, or SPECT, to map 3-D changes in sediment samples without disturbing them.

Chemistry - 06.12.2012
Attitudes to organic labels depend on consumers' values
Attitudes to organic labels depend on consumers’ values
Labeling food as "organic" may not always lead to a positive impression, according to a recent Cornell study. The research, published Nov. 27 online in the journal Appetite, flips the notion of a "halo" effect for ethical food labels. A halo effect refers to a phenomenon where a label leads consumers to have a positive opinion - and in the case of an organic label, a healthful impression - of those foods.

Environment - Life Sciences - 06.12.2012
Top conservation issues to look out for in 2013
Top conservation issues to look out for in 2013
This kind of horizon scanning exercise can be useful to avoid situations where we're ill-prepared to deal with the consequences." —Professor Bill Sutherland A UK-led team of researchers has identified 15 issues that could affect the diversity of life on Earth in 2013. They include using synthetic DNA to genetically modify organisms, soaring demand for coconut water, and competition for land to grow plants for fish farming.

Life Sciences - 06.12.2012
Moths wired two ways to take advantage of floral potluck
Moths wired two ways to take advantage of floral potluck
Moths are able to enjoy a pollinator's buffet of flowers - in spite of being among the insect world's picky eaters - because of two distinct "channels” in their brains, scientists at the University of Washington and University of Arizona have discovered. One olfactory channel governs innate preferences of the palm-sized hawk moths that were studied - insects capable of traveling miles in a single night in search of favored blossoms.

Health - 06.12.2012
Buying time in cancer fight
Buying time in cancer fight
Pancreatic cancer has a dismal prognosis, especially if it is diagnosed late. But a new non-invasive way of detecting the disease early offers the potential for more treatment options, say Edmonton researchers. The scientific team, led by Department of Oncology researcher Michael Sawyer , found that by using metabolomics-the unique chemical fingerprints that cellular processes leave behind-to detect pancreatic cancer at an early stage may facilitate the discovery of novel pancreatic cancer biomarkers.

Physics - Chemistry - 06.12.2012
Seeing in Color at the Nanoscale
Seeing in Color at the Nanoscale
If nanoscience were television, we'd be in the 1950s. Although scientists can make and manipulate nanoscale objects with increasingly awesome control, they are limited to black-and-white imagery for examining those objects. Information about nanoscale chemistry and interactions with light-the atomic-microscopy equivalent to color-is tantalizingly out of reach to all but the most persistent researchers.

Life Sciences - Health - 06.12.2012
Discovery of pathway leading to depression reveals new drug targets
Scientists have identified the key molecular pathway leading to depression, revealing potential new targets for drug discovery, according to research led by King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry. The study, published today , reveals for the first time that the 'Hedgehog pathway' regulates how stress hormones, usually elevated during depression, reduce the number of brain cells.

Health - Life Sciences - 06.12.2012
New gene found that turns carbs into fat, could be target for future drugs
New gene found that turns carbs into fat, could be target for future drugs
A gene that helps the body convert that big plate of holiday cookies you just polished off into fat could provide a new target for potential treatments for fatty liver disease, diabetes and obesity. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, are unlocking the molecular mechanisms of how our body converts dietary carbohydrates into fat, and as part of that research, they found that a gene with the catchy name BAF60c contributes to fatty liver, or steatosis.

Health - 06.12.2012
Cycling safer than driving for young people
Cycling safer than driving for young people
Researchers from UCL have found that cycling is safer than driving for young males, with 17 to 20 year old drivers facing almost five times greater risk per hour than cyclists of the same age. The researchers looked at hospital admissions and deaths in England between 2007 and 2009 for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.

Earth Sciences - 06.12.2012
New light on the Nazca Lines
New light on the Nazca Lines
The first findings of the most detailed study yet by two British archaeologists into the Nazca Lines - enigmatic drawings created between 2,100 and 1,300 years ago in the Peruvian desert - have been published in the latest issue of the journal Antiquity. As part of a five-year investigation, Nicholas Saunders of the University of Bristol's Department of Archaeology and Anthropology and Clive Ruggles of the University of Leicester walked 1,500 km of desert in southern Peru, tracing the lines and geometric figures created by the Nasca people between 100 BC and AD 700.

Earth Sciences - Physics - 06.12.2012
Hot spots for world's more powerful earthquakes revealed
Hot spots for world’s more powerful earthquakes revealed
The locations of where the world's largest earthquakes are most likely to take place have been pinpointed with greater accuracy than ever before, by researchers from the University of Sydney. "Subduction zones, where one plate slips under another, have long been known to harbour very powerful earthquakes but our research suggests that regions where fracture zones on the seafloor meet subduction zones are at much higher risk," said Dietmar Müller , from the University's School of Geosciences.