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GEDi: Genetic Test For Inherited Eye Disease Highly Accurate

The retina is the neural tissue in the back of the eye that initiates vision. It is responsible...

Stachys Caroliniana: Rare New Species Of Plant Discovered

Sometimes you don't need to travel to the unexplored corners of the globe to discover a new species...

Little Considered: Treatment Of Transgendered Prison Inmates

It's pretty common in culture, from Turkey to Tennessee, for a public that otherwise does not condone...

Eosinophilic Esophagitis: Genetic Clues Of Severe Food Allergy

Scientists have identified four new genes associated with a severe food allergy called eosinophilic...

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There are two big problems we face; energy and health. Zhiyou Wen, assistant professor of biological systems engineering in Virginia Tech's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has found a way to tackle both using biodiesel.

The typical American diet often lacks omega-3 fatty acids despite clinical research that shows their potential human health benefits and biodiesel plants leave behind approximately 10 percent crude glycerol during the production process.

This has led the price of glycerol, a chemical compound widely used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, to drop in recent years. The rise in biodiesel production over the last decade means that the market can no longer absorb all the extra glycerol so biodiesel producers must find alternative means for disposing of crude glycerol, which is prohibitively expensive to purify for industry use.

For Charles Darwin, the problem of the peacock's tail, in light of his theory of natural selection, was vexing in the extreme.

Indeed, in 1860, writing to Asa Gray, his most ardent American champion, Darwin confessed: "The sight of a feather in a peacock's tail, whenever I gaze at it, makes me sick!"

In his struggle to explain why such extravagant and seemingly burdensome features existed, the great English naturalist struck upon the idea of sexual selection -- that showy traits such as the Peacock's ornamentation were an advantage in the mating game that outweighed other disadvantages.

Noise can be irritating and possibly harmful for everything from mice to humans – and maybe even 60-foot whales in the Gulf of Mexico. That's why in recent years, there has been concern that man-made noise may be a cause of stress for dolphins, whales and other marine mammals, but the results of a five-year study show that noise pollution – especially noise generated by seismic airguns during geophysical exploration for oil and gas – seems to have minimal effect on endangered sperm whales in the Gulf of Mexico, say researchers from Texas A&M University who led the project and released their 323-page report today at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

The multi-year $9 million study, the largest of its type ever undertaken and formally titled Sperm Whale Seismic Study in the Gulf of Mexico, was conducted by the Minerals Management Service and featured cooperation with the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The project brought together researchers from eight universities, but it was managed overall by Texas A&M's Department of Oceanography, with research scientist Ann Jochens and professor Doug Biggs serving as principal investigators.

Children's refusal to swallow liquid medication, or even vomit it back up, can be an important public health problem that means longer or more serious illness for thousands of kids each year.

In a report presented today at the 236th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Julie A. Mennella, Ph.D., described how knowledge from basic research on the chemical senses explains why a child's rejection of bitter medicine and nutritious but bitter-tasting foods like spinach and other green vegetables is a reflection of their basic biology.

She says that children are born with a much stronger preference for sweet flavors, naturally attracting infants to mother's milk. This heightened preference for sweets continues even in their teenage years. By late adolescence, kids start to outgrow their sugary predilection.


A group at the University of Washington has developed software that for the first time enables deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans to use sign language over a mobile phone. UW engineers got the phones working together this spring, and recently received a National Science Foundation grant for a 20-person field project that will begin next year in Seattle.

This is the first time two-way real-time video communication has been demonstrated over cell phones in the United States. Since posting a video of the working prototype on YouTube, deaf people around the country have been writing on a daily basis.

"A lot of people are excited about this," said principal investigator Eve Riskin, a UW professor of electrical engineering.

As the American Presidential election approaches, pollsters are scrambling to predict who will win. A team of researchers at The University of Western Ontario, Canada, and the University of Padova, Italy say they can give pollsters a new way to determine how the undecided will vote - even before the voters know themselves.

Senior author Bertram Gawronski, Canada Research Chair in Social Psychology at The University of Western Ontario, explains that sometimes, people have already made up their minds at an unconscious level, even when they consciously indicate they are undecided.