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In A Global Warming Future, Autumn Foliage Will Come Later, Last Longer

There are few things as spectacular as flying into Pennsylvania in the autumn. The myriad vibrant...

Longer Telomeres And Genetic Determinant For Melanoma Risk

An international research consortium has found that longer telomeres increase the risk of melanoma....

GelSight: Fingertip Sensor Gives Robot Dexterity In Real Time

Researchers have equipped a robot with a novel tactile sensor that lets it grasp a USB cable draped...

Second Skin: Skintight Spacesuits Leave The Bulk Behind

For future astronauts, the process of suiting up may go something like this: Instead of climbing...

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A new study of African lions says climate extremes, which would include the increased frequency of droughts and floods predicted by global warming models, can create conditions in which diseases that are tolerated individually might converge and cause mass extinction of livestock or wildlife.

The study suggests that extreme climatic conditions are capable of altering normal host-pathogen relationships and causing a "perfect storm" of multiple infectious outbreaks that could trigger epidemics with catastrophic mortality.

Led by scientists at the University of California, Davis, the University of Illinois and the University of Minnesota, the research team examined outbreaks of canine distemper virus (CDV) in 1994 and 2001 that resulted in unusually high mortality of lions in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater. CDV periodically strikes these ecosystems, and most epidemics have caused little or no harm to the lions.


Researchers at Johns Hopkins say that epigenetic marks on DNA - chemical marks other than the DNA sequence - do indeed change over a person's lifetime, and that the degree of change is similar among family members.

The team suggests that overall genome health is heritable and that epigenetic changes occurring over one's lifetime may explain why disease susceptibility increases with age, they say in their article in the June 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

If epigenetics does contribute to such diseases through interaction with environment or aging, says Andrew P. Feinberg, M.D., M.P.H, a professor of molecular biology and genetics and director of the Epigenetics Center at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, a person's epigenetic marks would change over time. So his team embarked on an international collaboration to see if that was true. They focused on methylation-one particular type of epigenetic mark, where chemical methyl groups are attached to DNA.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that, in the U.S. alone, foodborne pathogens are responsible for 76 million illnesses every year. Of the people affected by those illnesses, 300,000 are hospitalized and more than 5,000 die. These widespread outbreaks of food-borne illnesses are attributed, in part, to the fast-paced distribution of foods across the nation. Recently, raw tomatoes caused an outbreak of salmonellosis that sickened more than 300 people in at least 28 states and Canada.

University of Georgia researchers have developed an effective technology for reducing contamination of dangerous bacteria on food. The new antimicrobial wash rapidly kills Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 on foods ranging from fragile lettuce to tomatoes, fruits, poultry products and meats. It is made from inexpensive and readily available ingredients that are recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The new technology, which has commercial application for the produce, poultry, meat and egg processing industries, is available for licensing from the University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc., which has filed a patent application on the new technology.

Just like humans, liver cells love doughnuts, but these are polystyrene ring “doughnuts”, just a few microns across, and they might give scientists a new way to deliver drugs selectively, potentially eliminating nasty side effects of life-saving treatments such as chemotherapy, according to chemists writing in Chemical Communications.

Mark Bradley and colleagues at the University of Edinburgh, UK, serendipitously made the polymer doughnuts while studying potential drug-carrying microparticles.

While synthesising micro-spheres, the team added a small amount of dioxane to their usual ethanol solvent. To their surprise, the resulting microparticles were regular in size and shape, with a hole through the middle like a doughnut.


More than 55 million cosmetic surgery procedures will be performed in 2015, predicts a recent study in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

That's 4 times the number of procedures performed in 2005. Pushing this growth is what you might expect - marketing and vanity.

The study's findings are great news for the plastic surgery industry but the ASPS suggests caution to current and future patients. While cosmetic procedures seem lower risk than ever and are easy to access, they are not a cure-all for many patients, and choosing a surgeon with the training to perform all procedures, from non-invasive therapies to surgery, can mean the difference between achieving desired results and requiring more procedures down the road.

An international team has reached a milestone in the construction of one of the largest ever cameras to detect the mysterious Dark Energy component of the Universe. The pieces of glass for the five unique lenses of the camera have been shipped from the US to France to be shaped and polished into their final form. The largest of the five lenses is one metre in diameter, making it one of the largest in the world.

Each milestone in the completion of this sophisticated camera brings us closer to detecting the mysterious and invisible matter that cosmologists estimate makes up around three quarters of our Universe and is driving its accelerating expansion. Observations suggest that roughly 4% of the Universe is made up from ordinary matter and 22% from Dark Matter; this leaves 74% unaccounted for - the so-called Dark Energy.

The Dark Energy Survey (DES) camera will map 300 million galaxies using the Blanco 4-meter telescope - a large telescope with new advanced optics at Chile’s Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory.