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The Lead

Where are all the women in STEM?

September 2, 2014 5:00 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor and Eileen Whitmore, Art Director | Blogs | Comments

When it comes to women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathethmatics) the numbers just don’t add up. Even though the number of women majoring in STEM (and attending college) has increased in the past few decades, the number of women who actually enter the fields has barely increased at all. There probably isn’t one reason behind the dearth of women, but hopefully all the sciences will see an influx of women soon. 

Reducing water scarcity possible by 2050

September 2, 2014 12:51 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Water scarcity is not a problem just for the developing world. In California, legislators are...

A new synthetic amino acid for an emerging class of drugs

September 2, 2014 12:35 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

One of the greatest challenges in modern medicine is developing drugs that are highly effective...

Nature's tiny engineers

September 2, 2014 11:57 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Conventional wisdom has long held that corals — whose calcium-carbonate skeletons form the...

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Nano-forests to reveal secrets of cells

September 2, 2014 11:40 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Vertical nanowires could be used for detailed studies of what happens on the surface of cells. The findings are important for pharmaceuticals research, among other applications. A group of researchers from Lund University in Sweden have managed to make artificial cell membranes form....

Novel 'butterfly' molecule could build new sensors, photoenergy conversion devices

August 28, 2014 9:09 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Exciting new work by a Florida State University research team has led to a novel molecular system that can take your temperature, emit white light, and convert photon energy directly to mechanical motions. And, the molecule looks like a butterfly....

Kessler Foundation scientists study impact of cultural diversity in brain injury research

August 27, 2014 4:12 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Kessler Foundation scientists examined the implications for cultural diversity and cultural competence in brain injury research and rehabilitation. The article by Anthony Lequerica, PhD, and Denise Krch, PhD: Issues of cultural diversity in acquired brain injury (ABI) rehabilitation (doi:10.3233/NRE-141079) was published by Neurorehabilitation....

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Scripps Research Institute scientists link alcohol-dependence gene to neurotransmitter

August 27, 2014 4:07 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have solved the mystery of why a specific signaling pathway can be associated with alcohol dependence. This signaling pathway is regulated by a gene, called neurofibromatosis type 1 (Nf1), which TSRI scientists found is linked with excessive drinking in mice....

Kessler Foundation researchers publish first study of brain activation in MS using fNIRS

August 27, 2014 3:58 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), Kessler Foundation researchers have shown differential brain activation patterns between people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and healthy controls. This is the first MS study in which brain activation was studied using fNIRS while participants performed a cognitive task....

Water 'thermostat' could help engineer drought-resistant crops

August 27, 2014 3:51 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Duke University researchers have identified a gene that could help scientists engineer drought-resistant crops. The gene, called OSCA1, encodes a protein in the cell membrane of plants that senses changes in water availability and adjusts the plant's water conservation machinery accordingly....

New smartphone app can detect newborn jaundice in minutes

August 27, 2014 2:12 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Newborn jaundice: It's one of the last things a parent wants to deal with, but it's unfortunately a common condition in babies less than a week old. Skin that turns yellow can be a sure sign that a newborn is jaundiced and isn't adequately eliminating the chemical bilirubin. But that discoloration is sometimes hard to see, and severe jaundice left untreated can harm a baby....

Educated consumers more likely to use potentially unreliable online healthcare information

August 27, 2014 2:08 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

The last time you experienced worrisome medical symptoms, did you look for advice online before consulting a health-care professional? If so, you're not alone. Consumers are increasingly turning to forums, video-sharing sites, and peer support groups to gather anecdotal information and advice, which may distract them from more reliable and trustworthy sources....

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Scientists plug into a learning brain

August 27, 2014 1:59 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Learning is easier when it only requires nerve cells to rearrange existing patterns of activity than when the nerve cells have to generate new patterns, a study of monkeys has found. The scientists explored the brain's capacity to learn through recordings of electrical activity of brain cell networks. The study was partly funded by the National Institutes of Health....

New study throws into question long-held belief about depression

August 27, 2014 11:01 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

New evidence puts into doubt the long-standing belief that a deficiency in serotonin — a chemical messenger in the brain — plays a central role in depression. In the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience, scientists report that mice lacking the ability to make serotonin in their brains (and thus should have been "depressed" by conventional wisdom) did not show depression-like symptoms....

Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center awarded $18 million grant

August 27, 2014 10:58 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Outstanding basic research, a growing focus on translating discoveries into treatments, and a dedication to patient care have earned the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC) of Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital an $18 million, five-year Cancer Center Support Grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI)....

The roots of human altruism

August 27, 2014 10:38 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Scientists have long been searching for the factor that determines why humans often behave so selflessly. It was known that humans share this tendency with species of small Latin American primates of the family Callitrichidae (tamarins and marmosets), leading some to suggest that cooperative care for the young, which is ubiquitous in this family, was responsible for spontaneous helping behavior....

Gamblers are greedy bird-brains, University of Warwick research finds

August 27, 2014 10:34 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Gamblers are greedy bird-brains, University of Warwick research finds. Gamblers show the same tendencies as pigeons when they make risky decisions, new research has shown. Researchers, led by Dr Elliot Ludvig of the University of Warwick's Department of Psychology, conducted tests that found that both human gamblers and pigeons were 35% more likely to gamble for high-value than low-value rewards....

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Preclinical development of tumor therapeutic agent starts

August 27, 2014 10:23 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

There is an urgent need for medical agents to treat metastatic tumors. In case of pancreatic cancer, one of the most aggressive types of cancer that is often detected late, 95% of the patients die within five years after the diagnosis. The KIT spinoff amcure develops tumor therapeutic agents that might reduce this mortality rate....

The thunder god vine, assisted by nanotechnology, could shake up future cancer treatment

August 27, 2014 10:18 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the second leading cause of cancer-associated death worldwide. These regrettably poor prognoses are due to the difficulty in treating this cancer using conventional chemotherapeutic drugs such as doxorubicin, epirubicin, cisplatin, 5-fluorouracil, etoposide or combinations therein....

Sleep apnea treatment is effective for older people

August 27, 2014 9:33 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Continuous positive airway pressure is effective at treating sleep apnoea in older people, a new study has found. Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a condition where the walls of the throat relax and narrow during sleep, interrupting normal breathing and causing profound sleepiness....

Collaboration aims to reduce, treat vision problems in astronauts

August 27, 2014 9:17 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

To reduce and better treat spaceflight-induced visual impairment, University of Houston (UH) optometrists are collaborating on a NASA study that examines ocular changes seen in a number of astronauts. The research, developed by Heidelberg Engineering, uses Spectralis® Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), which is a technique for obtaining subsurface images of translucent or opaque materials....

Introducing the multi-tasking nanoparticle

August 27, 2014 9:08 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Kit Lam and colleagues from UC Davis and other institutions have created dynamic nanoparticles (NPs) that could provide an arsenal of applications to diagnose and treat cancer. Built on an easy-to-make polymer, these particles can be used as contrast agents to light up tumors for MRI and PET scans or deliver chemo and other therapies to destroy tumors....

New technology may identify tiny strains in body tissues before injuries occur

August 27, 2014 9:05 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have developed algorithms to identify weak spots in tendons, muscles and bones prone to tearing or breaking. The technology, which needs to be refined before it is used in patients, one day may help pinpoint minor strains and tiny injuries in the body's tissues long before bigger problems occur....

Breakthrough antibacterial approach could resolve serious skin infections

August 27, 2014 9:00 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Like a protective tent over a colony of harmful bacteria, biofilms make the treatment of skin infections especially difficult. Microorganisms protected in a biofilm pose a significant health risk due to their antibiotic resistance and recalcitrance to treatment, and biofilm-protected bacteria account for some 80 percent of total bacterial infections in humans....

Tilted acoustic tweezers separate cells gently

August 26, 2014 9:24 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Precise, gentle and efficient cell separation from a device the size of a cell phone may be possible thanks to tilt-angle standing surface acoustic waves, according to a team of engineers. "For biological testing we often need to do cell separation before analysis," said Tony Jun Huang, professor of engineering science and mechanics....

Revolutionary handheld DNA diagnostic unit allows lab-quality analysis in the field

August 26, 2014 9:10 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

A revolutionary handheld and battery-powered DNA diagnostic device invented at New Zealand's University of Otago is poised to become a commonly used field tool for rapidly detecting suspected viruses or bacteria in samples while also determining the level of infection....

Eye implant developed at Stanford could lead to better glaucoma treatments

August 26, 2014 9:01 am | News | Comments

For the 2.2 million Americans battling glaucoma, the main course of action for staving off blindness involves weekly visits to eye specialists who monitor – and control – increasing pressure within the eye. Now, a tiny eye implant developed at Stanford ...

US has seen widespread adoption of robot-assisted cancer surgery to remove the prostate

August 26, 2014 8:59 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

A new study reveals that the US has experienced widespread adoption of robot-assisted prostate removal surgery to treat prostate cancer in recent years. The BJU International study also found that while such surgeries are more expensive than traditional surgeries....

In our digital world, are young people losing the ability to read emotions?

August 22, 2014 9:32 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Children's social skills may be declining as they have less time for face-to-face interaction due to their increased use of digital media, according to a UCLA psychology study. UCLA scientists found that sixth-graders who went five days without even glancing at a smartphone, television or other digital screen did substantially better at reading human emotions than sixth-graders from the same school who continued to spend hours....

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