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Life Sciences - Health - 18.12.2012
'DNA sensor' sounds the alarm when viruses invade
’DNA sensor’ sounds the alarm when viruses invade
By Eliot Barford Researchers at Imperial College London have identified a molecule that sounds the alarm when viruses invade our cells. Our immune system has evolved to recognise distinctive features of infectious agents like bacteria, fungi and viruses in order to fight infections, but some viruses are hard to detect.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 18.12.2012
The solar wind is swirly
Using ESA's Cluster quartet of satellites as a space plasma microscope, scientists have zoomed in on the solar wind to reveal the finest detail yet, finding tiny turbulent swirls that could play a big role in heating it. Turbulence is highly complex and all around us, evident in water flowing from a tap, around an aircraft wing, in experimental fusion reactors on Earth, and also in space.

Life Sciences - Economics - 18.12.2012
The Green Revolution is wilting
The Green Revolution is wilting
The Green Revolution has stagnated for key food crops in many regions of the world, according to a new study. Led by IonE research fellow Deepak Ray, the study team developed geographically detailed maps of annual crop harvested areas and yields of maize (corn), rice, wheat and soybeans from 1961 to 2008.

Life Sciences - Health - 18.12.2012
The best-laid plans: How we update our goals based on new information
The best-laid plans: How we update our goals based on new information
Humans are adept at setting goals and updating them as new situations arise — for example, a person who is playing a video game may switch to a new goal when their phone rings. Now, Princeton University researchers have identified mechanisms that govern how the brain incorporates information about new situations into our existing goals, according to research recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Earth Sciences - 18.12.2012
Study of 2011 census reveals greater diversity and integration
Study of 2011 census reveals greater diversity and integration
Dr Gemma Catney is a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Research Fellow in the Department of Geography and Planning A study of the 2011 Census by the University of Liverpool has found that the population of England and Wales is more diverse than ever yet is more integrated. The study of the data found that the proportion of people who report themselves as being from an ethnic group other than `White' has increased to 14 per cent, an increase of five percentage points since 2001.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.12.2012
Antibiotics based on a new principle may defeat MRSA
Scientists at Karolinska Institutet have presented a new principle for fighting bacterial infections, in other words, a new type of antibiotic, in the medical journal FASEB. The new antibiotic mechanism is based on selectively blocking the thioredoxin system in the cells, which is crucial to the growth of certain bacteria.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 18.12.2012
Prehistoric ghosts revealing new details
Prehistoric ghosts revealing new details
18 Dec 2012 Their work on a 50 million year old lizard skin identified the presence of teeth (invisible to visible light), demonstrating for the first time that this fossil animal was more than just a skin moult. This was only possible using some of the brightest light in the universe, x-rays generated by a synchrotron.

Psychology - 18.12.2012
Study links personality changes to changes in social well-being
Study links personality changes to changes in social well-being
CHAMPAIGN, lll. Researchers report that changes in social well-being are closely tied to one's personality, with positive changes in one corresponding to similar changes in the other. Their study reveals potential new mechanisms that can help individuals thrive as they age. Their findings appear in Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Linguistics / Literature - 18.12.2012
A bigger melting pot: what the census really tells us
18 Dec 2012 The detailed analysis of the 2011 census data of England and Wales by the University's new research Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) reveals the term 'ethnic minority' is fast becoming redundant. Previously passionate debates over how segregated we are, they say, should now be a thing of the past.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.12.2012
Silent stroke can cause Parkinson's disease
Silent stroke can cause Parkinson’s disease
18 Dec 2012 Whilst conditions such as a severe stroke have been linked to the disease, for many sufferers the tremors and other symptoms of Parkinson's disease can appear to come out of the blue. Researchers at the university's Faculty of Life Sciences have now discovered that a small stroke, also known as a silent stroke, can cause Parkinson's disease.

History / Archeology - Earth Sciences - 18.12.2012
Study of pipestone artifacts overturns a century-old assumption
Study of pipestone artifacts overturns a century-old assumption
CHAMPAIGN, lll. In the early 1900s, an archaeologist, William Mills, dug up a treasure-trove of carved stone pipes that had been buried almost 2,000 years earlier. Mills was the first to dig the Native American site, called Tremper Mound, in southern Ohio. And when he inspected the pipes, he made a reasonable - but untested - assumption.

Health - Pedagogy - 17.12.2012
Two cups of milk a day ideal for children’s health, study shows
New research from the University of Toronto answers one of the most common questions parents ask their doctors: How much milk should I be giving my children? The answer is two cups per day. And while too little milk is a problem, so is too much, the study found. "We started to research the question because professional recommendations around milk intake were unclear and doctors and parents were seeking answers," said Professor Jonathon Maguire of the Department of Paediatrics and Institute of Health of Policy, Management and Evaluation.

Physics - Life Sciences - 17.12.2012
Technique offers high-speed, 3-D images in living tissue
Technique offers high-speed, 3-D images in living tissue
Scientists trying to decipher the microenvironment of living biological tissues now have a way of taking high-resolution, high-speed, three-dimensional images of their inner workings. Cornell researchers led by Chris Xu, associate professor of applied and engineering physics, have demonstrated a new imaging technique that can quickly provide information not only about light intensity but also its "lifetime" - how long it takes for a photon to be re-emitted after excitation.

Health - Life Sciences - 17.12.2012
Hypertension traced to source in brain, triggering new paradigm for hypertension treatment
Hypertension traced to source in brain, triggering new paradigm for hypertension treatment
When the heart works too hard, the brain may be to blame, says new Cornell research that is changing how scientists look at high blood pressure (hypertension). The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation in November, traces hypertension to a newfound cellular source in the brain and shows that treatments targeting this area can reverse the disease.

Chemistry - Earth Sciences - 17.12.2012
Within the Earth, blobs of molten iron on the move
New research by Yale University scientists suggests an explanation for the amount of iron in the Earth's largest interior layer, the mantle: migrating "iron-rich blobs" generated by chemical interactions in the zone between the planet's core and mantle. Scientists have long known of the core's rich iron content, but they have struggled to explain how the rocky mantle acquires iron in any abundance.

Life Sciences - History / Archeology - 17.12.2012
Fossil of ancient marine animal reveals softer side
Fossil of ancient marine animal reveals softer side
A Yale scientist and colleagues in Britain have found a highly unusual ancient marine fossil that retains soft body parts as well as its shell, including limbs, eyes, gills and alimentary system. The fossil represents a new species of ostracod, a tiny crustacean related to crabs, lobsters and shrimps.

Life Sciences - Health - 17.12.2012
Cocaine Addiction Resistance May Be Passed Down from Father to Son
Cocaine Addiction Resistance May Be Passed Down from Father to Son
New research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) reveals that sons of male rats exposed to cocaine are resistant to the rewarding effects of the drug, suggesting that cocaine-induced changes in physiology are passed down from father to son.

Physics - 17.12.2012
New Insight into an Intriguing State of Magnetism
New Insight into an Intriguing State of Magnetism
Magnonics is an exciting extension of spintronics, promising novel ways of computing and storing magnetic data. What determines a material's magnetic state is how electron spins are arranged (not everyday spin, but quantized angular momentum). If most of the spins point in the same direction, the material is ferromagnetic, like a refrigerator magnet.

Health - 17.12.2012
GOOOAAALLL! What soccer can teach health researchers
GOOOAAALLL! What soccer can teach health researchers
Make no mistake, Alex Clark and Lionel Messi were not separated at birth. Both might be stars in their own right, but Clark, associate dean of research in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta, realizes he's not about to woo stadiums of crazed soccer fans like FC Barcelona's all-time top scorer.

Health - Life Sciences - 16.12.2012
New technology may enable earlier cancer diagnosis
Nanoparticles amplify tumor signals, making them much easier to detect in the urine. Finding ways to diagnose cancer earlier could greatly improve the chances of survival for many patients. One way to do this is to look for specific proteins secreted by cancer cells, which circulate in the bloodstream.