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+ - Experimental drug stops Ebola-like infection->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "An experimental treatment against an Ebola-related virus can protect monkeys even when given up to 3 days after infection, the point at which they show the first signs of disease. The virus, known as Marburg, causes severe hemorrhagic fever—vomiting, diarrhea, and internal bleeding. In one outbreak, it killed 90% of people it infected. There are no proven treatments or vaccines against it. The new results raise hopes that the treatment might be useful for human patients even if they don’t receive it until well after infection. The company that makes the compound, Tekmira, based in Burnaby, Canada, has started a human safety trial of a related drug to treat Ebola virus disease, and researchers hope that it, too, might offer protection even after a patient has started to feel ill."
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+ - Seals infected early Americans with tuberculosis->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "We catch new flu viruses from ducks and pigs. And Ebola, the disease that's got the world worried at the moment, may have originated in bats. Now, a study of microbial DNA isolated from 1000-year-old Peruvian mummies blames seals for spreading tuberculosis (TB) to humans in South America long before European settlers arrived. "This work provides an entirely new vista on the arrival of [TB] in the New World, and also the potential role of sea mammals in the global dissemination of the TB [bacteria]," says Stephen Gordon, a microbiologist at University College Dublin who was not involved in the work. The analysis also indicates that TB as a human disease is much younger than researchers have thought."
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+ - China pulls plug on genetically modified rice and corn->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "China’s Ministry of Agriculture has decided not to renew biosafety certificates that allowed research groups to grow genetically modified (GM) rice and corn. The permits, to grow two varieties of GM rice and one transgenic corn strain, expired on 17 August. The reasoning behind the move is not clear, and it has raised questions about the future of related research in China."
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+ - Origin of mummies pushed back 1500 years->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "New evidence pushes back the origin of mummification in ancient Egypt by 1500 years. The scientists examined funeral wrappings excavated from pit graves in the earliest recorded cemeteries, dating to between 4500 and 3350 B.C.E., in the Badari region in Upper Egypt. Using biochemical analysis, the team identified complex embalming agents on the linen wrappings, pictured above, made from ingredients such as pine resin, gum, aromatic plant extract, and natural petroleum. The researchers say recipes using the same ingredients in similar proportions would eventually produce the more well-known mummies at the height of the Pharaonic period, some 3000 years later."
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+ - Bacteria shrink tumors in humans, dogs->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "A syringe full of noxious bacteria sounds like the last thing a cancer patient needs. But a new study of dogs with tumors, and even one human cancer patient, reveals that injecting certain bacteria directly into the growths can shrink or even eliminate them. The results strengthen the case that using bacteria to treat cancer, an approach that performed poorly in some clinical trials, will work."
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+ - This tattoo battery may one day power your smart phone->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Stick this sensor-embedded tattoo on your upper arm the next time you work out, and it will tell you how fit you are—and perhaps even power your smart phone someday. Scientists have developed a tattoo biobattery that converts lactate, a chemical in sweat, into electricity. As yet, electricity generated by the tattoo biobattery is too weak to power a watch, but researchers hope to enhance the design so it could eventually power small electronic devices."
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+ - Why hasn't this asteroid disintegrated?->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Planetary scientists have found an asteroid spinning too fast for its own good. The object, known as 1950 DA, whips around every 2.1 hours, which means that rocks on its surface should fly off into space. What’s keeping the remaining small rocks and dust on the surface? The researchers suggest van der Waals forces, weak forces caused by the attraction of polar molecules, which have slightly different charges on different sides of the molecule. For example, water molecules exhibit surface tension because of van der Waals forces, because the negative charge of one water molecule’s oxygen atom is attracted to nearby water molecules’ hydrogen atoms, which have a positive charge at their surfaces. Similar attractions could be occurring between molecules on the surfaces of different pieces of dust and rock. Such forces would be comparable to those that caused lunar dust to stick to astronauts’ space suits."
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+ - Is the next supermaterial hiding in your refrigerator?->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "That gooey substance that clings to an eggshell after it’s been cracked—called an eggshell membrane—may be too valuable to just toss in the trash. Instead, it can be used for a variety of industrial and medical applications, according to a new study. Under the lens of a scanning electron microscope, the membrane contains a network of more than 62 types of proteins, which can be used to precipitate gold from a solution, craft aluminum nanowires to form semiconductors, or soak up dyes or heavy metals from contaminated water, according to researchers. By attaching compounds to the eggshell membrane, researchers have created biosensors that can detect glucose, dopamine, or urea concentrations in human blood. The membranes can also be ground into a powder that a Missouri company markets to treat joint disorders."
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+ - Chile earthquake triggered icequakes in Antarctica->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "In 2010, a powerful magnitude-8.8 earthquake struck off the coast of central Chile, rocking much of the country and producing tremor as far away as Argentina and Peru. But a new study suggests its effects were felt even farther away—in Antarctica. In the wake of the Maule temblor, the scientists found, several seismic stations on the frozen continent registered “icequakes,” probably due to fracturing of the ice as the planet’s crust shook."
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+ - Laser probes explosives from afar->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Scientists have developed a new way to identify a chemical sample more than four football fields away, simply by shining a laser on it. The advance could one day provide a powerful tool for the military to detect explosives from a distance and even for astronomers to probe alien worlds for life."
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+ - Duetting musicians are linked by math->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Musicians playing a duet don’t just make beautiful music—they make beautiful math. A new study finds that as two players mesh, tiny hiccups in their rhythms follow repeating patterns. The study has implications for “humanizing” computer-generated music and helps reveal the complex mathematics underlying the common ways in which we interact."
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+ - Scientists create artificial brain out of spongy goo-> 3

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "They may look like Play-Doh, but these colorful, spongy rings of goo are alive and may one day be able to learn. The rings are engineered to mimic the structure and function of the six layers of human cortical brain tissue. Scientists coaxed neurons to grow around stiff, porous matrices made of silk proteins immersed in collagen gel. Then, they colored the layers with food dye and pieced them together like a jigsaw puzzle. By tweaking the size and orientation of matrix pores, researchers attempted to emulate variations of cellular structure and function in a real cortex. The rings live longer than other models; researchers hope to keep the neuronal sponge alive for at least 6 months. Already, researchers are using them to study how neural networks respond to drugs and heal after various insults, such as disease or a traumatic injury."
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+ - Geneticists decry book on race and evolution-> 1

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "A best-seller by former New York Times science writer Nicholas Wade about recent human evolution and its potential effects on human cultures has drawn critical reviews since its spring publication. Now, nearly 140 senior human population geneticists around the world, many of whose work was cited in the book, have signed a letter to The New York Times Book Review stating that Wade has misinterpreted their work. The letter criticizes “Wade’s misappropriation of research from our field to support arguments about differences among human societies,” and is slated to appear in the 10 August issue of the Book Review."
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+ - Study finds that astronauts are severely sleep deprived->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Researchers tracked the sleep patterns of 85 crew members aboard the International Space Station and space shuttle and found that despite an official flight schedule mandating 8.5 hours of sleep per night, they rarely got more than five. In fact, getting a full night’s rest was so difficult that three-quarters of shuttle mission crew members used sleep medication, and sometimes entire teams were sedated on the same night. Given that sleep deprivation contributes to up to 80% of aviation accidents, it’s important to better understand why sleep is so difficult in space, the authors say."
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+ - Paint dust covers the upper layer of the world's oceans->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Even when the sea looks clean, its surface can be flecked with tiny fragments of paint and fiberglass. That’s the finding from a study that looked for plastic pollution in the uppermost millimeter of ocean. The microscopic fragments come from the decks and hulls of boats, and they could pose a threat to tiny creatures called zooplankton, which are an important part of the marine food web."
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