January 17, 2013
Danger Lurking in Your Tank: “Disturbing” Number of Pet Fish Carry Deadly Superbug That Can Infect Humans
People who keep tropical fish in tanks at home or at work may be at risk from bacterial infections and life-threatening disease, according to a new study.
Scientists from Oregon State University found that a “disturbing” number of ornamental tropical fish in the U.S. are already resistant to antibiotics.
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Danger Lurking in Your Tank: “Disturbing” Number of Pet Fish Carry Deadly Superbug That Can Infect Humans

People who keep tropical fish in tanks at home or at work may be at risk from bacterial infections and life-threatening disease, according to a new study.

Scientists from Oregon State University found that a “disturbing” number of ornamental tropical fish in the U.S. are already resistant to antibiotics.

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Filed under: science medicine health fish 
January 8, 2013
Modern Medicine Has Roots in 2,200-Year-Old Tuscan Shipwreck
We like to believe that modern medicine is a drastic improvement over the methods employed by ancient civilization. In fact, in many ways, modern medicine is a huge step up, since we no longer perform lobotomies, use leeches, and have lead in our beauty products. However, the finding of a shipwreck discovered off the coast of Tuscany indicates that our ancestors also knew a thing or two about medicine. Ingredients found in treatments that would have been used to soothe sore eyes are some of the same ones that we still use today.
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Modern Medicine Has Roots in 2,200-Year-Old Tuscan Shipwreck

We like to believe that modern medicine is a drastic improvement over the methods employed by ancient civilization. In fact, in many ways, modern medicine is a huge step up, since we no longer perform lobotomies, use leeches, and have lead in our beauty products. However, the finding of a shipwreck discovered off the coast of Tuscany indicates that our ancestors also knew a thing or two about medicine. Ingredients found in treatments that would have been used to soothe sore eyes are some of the same ones that we still use today.

Read more

January 6, 2013
Breast Milk Contains Over 700 Bacterial Species
It is well-known that breastfeeding gives infants nutrients. However, for the first time Spanish researchers created a map of the bacterial microbiota in new mothers’ breast milk. They found that, on average, women’s breast milk contains about 700 bacterial species.
Researchers had previously been well-aware that mothers’ breast milk is instrumental in creating a baby’s bacterial flora, or the unique bacterial community that exists in each person. However, until this study, it was not known what types of species existed in breast milk and what exactly their role was. 
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Breast Milk Contains Over 700 Bacterial Species

It is well-known that breastfeeding gives infants nutrients. However, for the first time Spanish researchers created a map of the bacterial microbiota in new mothers’ breast milk. They found that, on average, women’s breast milk contains about 700 bacterial species.

Researchers had previously been well-aware that mothers’ breast milk is instrumental in creating a baby’s bacterial flora, or the unique bacterial community that exists in each person. However, until this study, it was not known what types of species existed in breast milk and what exactly their role was. 

Read more

January 4, 2013
The Way You Pronounce the Letter ‘S’ Reveals Your Gender
How can you tell if a person is male or female just by their voice? In general, men have deeper voices than women. However, according to a study conducted by Lal Zimman, a doctoral student at The University of Colorado - Boulder at the time of his research, the style of speech can impact perceptions of a person’s gender as well, not simply the pitch of his or her voice. In fact, the letter “S” can, on its own, impact people’s perception of the speaker’s gender.
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The Way You Pronounce the Letter ‘S’ Reveals Your Gender

How can you tell if a person is male or female just by their voice? In general, men have deeper voices than women. However, according to a study conducted by Lal Zimman, a doctoral student at The University of Colorado - Boulder at the time of his research, the style of speech can impact perceptions of a person’s gender as well, not simply the pitch of his or her voice. In fact, the letter “S” can, on its own, impact people’s perception of the speaker’s gender.

Read more

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Filed under: science voice gender sound 
December 31, 2012
Panda Blood May Hold Potent Assailant Against Superbugs
Pandas have long been the face of conservation efforts by environmental activists, but a recent finding may boost even further the need for pandas to evade extinction. Researchers have discovered a powerful antibody in panda blood that could serve as the next frontier in the fight against increasingly prevalent superbugs.
The compound is called cathelicin-AM. Discovered when researchers analyzed the creatures’ DNA, it has been found to kill fungus and bacteria. It is believed that the antibiotic is released to protect the animal from infections in the wild and, in studies, it has been found to kill both standard and drug-resistant strains of microbes and fungi. The compound also worked extremely quickly, killing off strains of bacteria in just an hour, while conventional antibiotics needed six.
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Panda Blood May Hold Potent Assailant Against Superbugs

Pandas have long been the face of conservation efforts by environmental activists, but a recent finding may boost even further the need for pandas to evade extinction. Researchers have discovered a powerful antibody in panda blood that could serve as the next frontier in the fight against increasingly prevalent superbugs.

The compound is called cathelicin-AM. Discovered when researchers analyzed the creatures’ DNA, it has been found to kill fungus and bacteria. It is believed that the antibiotic is released to protect the animal from infections in the wild and, in studies, it has been found to kill both standard and drug-resistant strains of microbes and fungi. The compound also worked extremely quickly, killing off strains of bacteria in just an hour, while conventional antibiotics needed six.

Read more

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Filed under: science medicine panda 
December 21, 2012
Ancient Bones Show That Caring for the Disabled Is as Old as Society Itself
While violence seems to be as old as humanity itself, so too does kindness and compassion. While evidence suggests that human hands, for example, evolved to throw punches, other studies show that it is in our genetic nature to stand up to bullies. Indeed, a growing pool of archaeologists are finding evidence that, even in ancient times, humans have banded together in order to take care of severely ailing and disabled people, many of whom were unable to take care of themselves.
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Ancient Bones Show That Caring for the Disabled Is as Old as Society Itself

While violence seems to be as old as humanity itself, so too does kindness and compassion. While evidence suggests that human hands, for example, evolved to throw punches, other studies show that it is in our genetic nature to stand up to bullies. Indeed, a growing pool of archaeologists are finding evidence that, even in ancient times, humans have banded together in order to take care of severely ailing and disabled people, many of whom were unable to take care of themselves.

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December 20, 2012
Human Cloning Will Be Possible Within 50 Years, Nobel Prize-Winning Scientist Claims
Sir John Gurdon, the British developmental biologist whose research cloning frogs in the 1950s and 60s led to the later creation of Dolly the sheep in 1996, believes that human cloning could happen within the next 50 years.
He said that parents who lose their children to tragic accidents might be able to clone replacements in the next few decades.
Gurdon, who won this year’s Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, said that while any attempts to clone a human would likely raise complex ethical issues, he believes that in the near future people would overcome their concerns if cloning became medically useful.
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Human Cloning Will Be Possible Within 50 Years, Nobel Prize-Winning Scientist Claims

Sir John Gurdon, the British developmental biologist whose research cloning frogs in the 1950s and 60s led to the later creation of Dolly the sheep in 1996, believes that human cloning could happen within the next 50 years.

He said that parents who lose their children to tragic accidents might be able to clone replacements in the next few decades.

Gurdon, who won this year’s Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, said that while any attempts to clone a human would likely raise complex ethical issues, he believes that in the near future people would overcome their concerns if cloning became medically useful.

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Filed under: science cloning medicine 
December 18, 2012
The Scientific Explanation for Rudolph’s Red Nose
Rudolph may be the most famous red-nosed reindeer of all time, but there are others. A small amount of reindeer, Rangifer tarandus - native to the Arctic regions in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Russia, and Scandinavia - do have noses with a distinctively red coloring. In fact, a study published in BMJ, delves into the scientific reasons that this phenomenon exists.
Thermal imaging revealed that reindeers - even outside of the arctic region - really do have red noses. While exercising, their noses can reach 75 degrees Fahrenheit, warm for reindeer. This finding indicates that the function of these blood vessels is to regulate body temperature.
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The Scientific Explanation for Rudolph’s Red Nose

Rudolph may be the most famous red-nosed reindeer of all time, but there are others. A small amount of reindeer, Rangifer tarandus - native to the Arctic regions in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Russia, and Scandinavia - do have noses with a distinctively red coloring. In fact, a study published in BMJ, delves into the scientific reasons that this phenomenon exists.

Thermal imaging revealed that reindeers - even outside of the arctic region - really do have red noses. While exercising, their noses can reach 75 degrees Fahrenheit, warm for reindeer. This finding indicates that the function of these blood vessels is to regulate body temperature.

Read more

December 17, 2012
Single Microbe May Have Triggered World’s Largest Mass Extinction
About 251 million years ago, 90 percent of the Earth’s species became extinct. The mass extinction, called the “Great Dying” or the more scientific-sounding Permian-Triassic extinction event, made 96 percent of marine animals and 70 percent of land-dwelling animals extinct in just a few thousand years, and it took the earth as much as 10 million years to regain the biodiversity that it had lost. Researchers believe that they may finally know why the event occurred, but the theory is not without controversy.
There are several theories, including the possibility of a meterorite hitting the planet. Previously, most researchers believed that the Permian mass extinction was a result of a series of volcanic eruptions in what is now Siberia. These eruptions would have caused a dramatic rise in the amount of greenhouse gases which would have, in turn, killed off a bulk of species.
However, Daniel Rothman from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is floating around a different theory. As he presented in a meeting for the American Geophysical Union, he believes that the mass extinction could have been caused by something much smaller. His theory is that the extinction was caused by a single strain of bacteria.
Read more

Single Microbe May Have Triggered World’s Largest Mass Extinction

About 251 million years ago, 90 percent of the Earth’s species became extinct. The mass extinction, called the “Great Dying” or the more scientific-sounding Permian-Triassic extinction event, made 96 percent of marine animals and 70 percent of land-dwelling animals extinct in just a few thousand years, and it took the earth as much as 10 million years to regain the biodiversity that it had lost. Researchers believe that they may finally know why the event occurred, but the theory is not without controversy.

There are several theories, including the possibility of a meterorite hitting the planet. Previously, most researchers believed that the Permian mass extinction was a result of a series of volcanic eruptions in what is now Siberia. These eruptions would have caused a dramatic rise in the amount of greenhouse gases which would have, in turn, killed off a bulk of species.

However, Daniel Rothman from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is floating around a different theory. As he presented in a meeting for the American Geophysical Union, he believes that the mass extinction could have been caused by something much smaller. His theory is that the extinction was caused by a single strain of bacteria.

Read more

December 12, 2012
Scientists Make Life-Saving Injectable Foam to Fight Soldiers’ Internal Bleeding
The military has set its sights on a group of scientists working on powerful injectable foam designed to temporarily limit internal bleeding of soldiers wounded on the battlefield. Experts say that if the expanding foam technology proves successful in trials, it may also be used to save the lives of many civilians injured in serious accidents far from a medical facility.
The foam is made of two different liquids. Once the liquids are injected into the body, they mix, expand and harden to create an internal dressing.
Read more

Scientists Make Life-Saving Injectable Foam to Fight Soldiers’ Internal Bleeding

The military has set its sights on a group of scientists working on powerful injectable foam designed to temporarily limit internal bleeding of soldiers wounded on the battlefield. Experts say that if the expanding foam technology proves successful in trials, it may also be used to save the lives of many civilians injured in serious accidents far from a medical facility.

The foam is made of two different liquids. Once the liquids are injected into the body, they mix, expand and harden to create an internal dressing.

Read more