Science

Study shows the efficiency of stingers in piercing skin — ScienceDaily

Next time you're stung by a wasp or a honeybee, consider the elegantly designed stinger that caused you so much pain. In a new study, researchers found that the stingers of the two species are about five times softer at the tip than at the base to make it easier to pierce your skin. The stingers are harder closer to the insect's body so they don't bend too much, or break, as you yelp in agony. "Wasps and bees don't want to create too much pain to start with, and...
Science

Why single embryo transfer during IVF sometimes results in twins or triplets — ScienceDaily

It has been known for some time that it is better to transfer a single embryo to a woman's womb during assisted reproduction treatment (ART) rather than several embryos in order to avoid a multiple pregnancy and the risks associated with it such as fetal deaths, miscarriage, premature delivery and low birthweight. However, even when single embryo transfer (SET) is performed, some women still become pregnant with twins or even triplets. In a study published today (Tuesday) in Human Reproduction, one of the world's leading reproductive medicine journals, researchers have...
Science

Asthma may contribute to childhood obesity epidemic — ScienceDaily

Toddlers with asthma are more likely to become obese children, according to an international study led by USC scientists. The finding is a turnabout for children's health as obesity has often been seen as a precursor to asthma in children, not the other way around. The study, conducted by a team of 40 scientists including researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, was recently published in the European Respiratory Journal. This is the largest study yet about early-onset asthma and obesity. It focused on more than 20,000 youths...
Science

Education improves decision-making ability, study finds — ScienceDaily

 There has been interest across behavioral and social sciences - including psychology, economics and education - in whether people are born to be rational decision-makers or if rationality can be enhanced through education. Published in Science, a new study led by Hyuncheol Bryant Kim, assistant professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell University, found that education can be leveraged to help enhance an individual's economic decision-making quality or economic rationality. "Using a randomized controlled trial of education support and laboratory experiments that mimic real-life examples, we established causal evidence...
Science

Gene signature predicts outcome after spinal cord injury — ScienceDaily

Scientists have determined a gene signature that is linked to the severity of spinal cord injury in animals and humans, according to a study in the open-access journal eLife. The discovery of key genes that are switched on or off in response to spinal cord injury could inform the development of biomarkers that predict recovery and possibly pinpoint new targets for treatment. At the moment, there are no widely available treatments capable of immediately restoring motor and sensory function after injury. A major barrier is the lack of understanding of...
Science

Lessons from the 1918 flu pandemic, 100 years on — ScienceDaily

This year marks the centenary of the 1918 influenza pandemic, the worst flu outbreak in recorded history. A new study into the human, viral and societal factors behind its severity provides valuable lessons that could save lives in future pandemics. Publishing in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, the authors warn that while the world is better prepared than 100 years ago, new challenges will affect the impact of the next influenza virus pandemic -- including changing population demographics, antibiotic resistance and climate change. "We've seen three additional influenza pandemics...
Science

Sleep promoting neurons also tied to regulating body temperature — ScienceDaily

Two decades ago, Clifford B. Saper, MD/PhD, Chairman of the Department of Neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), and colleagues discovered a set of nerve cells they thought might be the switch that turns the brain off, allowing it to sleep. In a new study published in Nature Communications today, Saper and colleagues demonstrate in mice that that these cells -- located in a region of the hypothalamus called the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus (VLPO) -- are in fact essential to normal sleep. "Our paper is the first test...
Science

Novel technology enables detection of early-stage lung cancer when surgical cure still is possible — ScienceDaily

Non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) is often fatal because most cases are not diagnosed until they are so advanced that surgical intervention is no longer possible. To improve outcomes researchers are developing a blood test to detect lung cancer earlier in the disease. A report in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describes a new technology, electric field-induced release and measurement (EFIRM) that is both highly sensitive and specific in detecting two epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations associated with lung cancer in the blood of NSCLC patients with early-stage disease. This...
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