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Video games could dramatically streamline educational research

Science News Daily - September 18, 2014 - 8:01pm
Scientists have figured out a dramatically easier and more cost-effective way to do research on science curriculum in the classroom -- and it could include playing video games. Called 'computational modeling,' it involves a computer 'learning' student behavior and then 'thinking' as students would. It could revolutionize the way educational research is done.
Categories: A Broader View

Unique waste cleanup for rural areas developed

Science News Daily - September 18, 2014 - 8:01pm
A unique method has been developed to use microbes buried in pond sediment to power waste cleanup in rural areas. The first microbe-powered, self-sustaining wastewater treatment system could lead to an inexpensive and quick way to clean up waste from large farming operations and rural sewage treatment plants while reducing pollution.
Categories: A Broader View

Tree rings used to determine history of geological features, arroyos

Science News Daily - September 18, 2014 - 8:00pm
A new study uses tree rings to document arroyo evolution along the lower Rio Puerco and Chaco Wash in northern New Mexico, USA. By determining burial dates in tree rings from salt cedar and willow, investigators were able to precisely date arroyo sedimentary beds 30 cm thick or greater. They then combined this data with aerial imagery, LiDAR, longitudinal profiles, and repeat surveys to reconstruct the history of these arroyos. Arroyos are deep, oversized channels that have vertical or steeply cut walls made up of silt, clay, or sand.
Categories: A Broader View

Spouse's personality influences career success, study finds

Science News Daily - September 18, 2014 - 7:59pm
As much as we might try to leave personal lives at home, the personality traits of a spouse have a way of following us into the workplace, exerting a powerful influence on promotions, salaries, job satisfaction and other measures of professional success, new research suggests.
Categories: A Broader View

Exercise boosts tumor-fighting ability of chemotherapy, team finds

Science News Daily - September 18, 2014 - 3:23pm
Study after study has proven it true: exercise is good for you. But new research suggests that exercise may have an added benefit for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Their work, performed in a mouse model of melanoma, found that combining exercise with chemotherapy shrunk tumors more than chemotherapy alone.
Categories: A Broader View

Microplastic pollution discovered in St. Lawrence River sediments

Science News Daily - September 18, 2014 - 3:23pm
Microplastics have been discovered widely distributed across the bottom of the St. Lawrence River, the first time such pollutants have been found in freshwater sediments. The microbeads likely originate from cosmetics, household cleansers, or industrial cleansers, to which they are commonly added as abrasives. Owing to their small size and buoyancy, they may readily pass through sewage treatment plants. Microplastics are a global contaminant in the world's oceans, but have only recently been detected in the surface waters of lakes and rivers.
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No sedative necessary: Scientists discover new 'sleep node' in the brain

Science News Daily - September 18, 2014 - 3:23pm
A sleep-promoting circuit located deep in the primitive brainstem has revealed how we fall into deep sleep. This is only the second 'sleep node' identified in the mammalian brain whose activity appears to be both necessary and sufficient to produce deep sleep.
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Sensing neuronal activity with light

Science News Daily - September 18, 2014 - 3:23pm
For years, neuroscientists have been trying to develop tools that would allow them to clearly view the brain's circuitry in action -- from the first moment a neuron fires to the resulting behavior in an organism. To get this complete picture, neuroscientists are working to develop a range of new tools to study the brain. Researchers have now developed one such tool that provides a new way of mapping neural networks in a living organism.
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Miranda: An icy moon deformed by tidal heating

Science News Daily - September 18, 2014 - 3:22pm
Miranda, a small, icy moon of Uranus, is one of the most visually striking and enigmatic bodies in the solar system. Despite its relatively small size, Miranda appears to have experienced an episode of intense resurfacing that resulted in the formation of at least three remarkable and unique surface features -- polygonal-shaped regions called coronae.
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Benefits of telecommuting greater for some workers, study finds

Science News Daily - September 18, 2014 - 2:09pm
Telecommuting is positively associated with improvement in two important employee measures: task-based performance and organizational citizenship behavior, including one's contributions toward creating a positive, cooperative and friendly work environment, an expert says.
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VIP: New way to prevent spread of devastating diseases

Science News Daily - September 18, 2014 - 2:09pm
Researchers around the country are adopting a technique to try to guard against infection. The method, called VIP, was originally designed to trigger an immune response to HIV, and because of its success with HIV is now being studied, in mice, for protection against influenza, malaria, hepatitis C, and tuberculosis.
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New insights on an ancient plague could improve treatments for infections

Science News Daily - September 18, 2014 - 2:08pm
Dangerous new pathogens such as the Ebola virus invoke scary scenarios of deadly epidemics, but even ancient scourges such as the bubonic plague are still providing researchers with new insights on how the body responds to infections.
Categories: A Broader View

Small, fast, and crowded: Mammal traits amplify tick-borne illness

Science News Daily - September 18, 2014 - 1:15pm
In the U.S., some 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease annually. Thousands also suffer from babesiosis and anaplasmosis, tick-borne ailments that can occur alone or as co-infections with Lyme disease. In our struggle to manage the ever-growing list of tick-borne diseases, we need to understand which animals magnify human disease risk. New results suggest when generalist pathogens emerge, small mammals with large populations and a fast pace of life warrant careful monitoring.
Categories: A Broader View

A new quality control pathway in the cell

Science News Daily - September 18, 2014 - 1:15pm
Researchers have described a new protein quality control system in the inner nuclear membrane. The new system has two main functions, to eliminate misfolded proteins and to protect the nucleus from accumulating mislocalized or ectopic proteins. This may be especially relevant in non-dividing cells such as neurons.
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Pupil size shows reliability of decisions, before information on decision is presented

Science News Daily - September 18, 2014 - 1:15pm
The precision with which people make decisions can be predicted by measuring pupil size before they are presented with any information about the decision, according to a new study.
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A more efficient, lightweight and low-cost organic solar cell: Researchers broke the 'electrode barrier'

Science News Daily - September 18, 2014 - 1:14pm
For decades, polymer scientists and synthetic chemists working to improve the power conversion efficiency of organic solar cells were hampered by the inherent drawbacks of commonly used metal electrodes, including their instability and susceptibility to oxidation. Now for the first time, researchers have developed a more efficient, easily processable and lightweight solar cell that can use virtually any metal for the electrode, effectively breaking the 'electrode barrier.'
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How epigenetic memory is passed through generations: Sperm and eggs transmit memory of gene repression to embryos

Science News Daily - September 18, 2014 - 1:14pm
A growing body of evidence suggests that environmental stresses can cause changes in gene expression that are transmitted from parents to their offspring, making 'epigenetics' a hot topic. Epigenetic modifications do not affect the DNA sequence of genes, but change how the DNA is packaged and how genes are expressed. Now, scientists have shown how epigenetic memory can be passed across generations and from cell to cell during development.
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World population to keep growing this century, hit 11 billion by 2100

Science News Daily - September 18, 2014 - 1:14pm
The chance that world population in 2100 will be between 9.6 billion and 12.3 billion people is 80 percent, according to the first such United Nations forecast to incorporate modern statistical tools.
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Changes in coastal upwelling linked to temporary declines in marine ecosystem

Science News Daily - September 18, 2014 - 1:14pm
In findings of relevance to both conservationists and the fishing industry, new research links short-term reductions in growth and reproduction of marine animals off the California Coast to increasing variability in the strength of coastal upwelling currents -- currents which historically supply nutrients to the region's diverse ecosystem.
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How pneumonia bacteria can compromise heart health

Science News Daily - September 18, 2014 - 1:14pm
Bacterial pneumonia in adults carries an elevated risk for adverse cardiac events (such as heart failure, arrhythmias, and heart attacks) that contribute substantially to mortality -- but how the heart is compromised has been unclear. A study now demonstrates that Streptococcus pneumoniae, the bacterium responsible for most cases of bacterial pneumonia, can invade the heart and cause the death of heart muscle cells.
Categories: A Broader View