Seafood Swaps Can Contain Unexpected Mercury
New measurements from fish purchased at retail seafood counters in 10 different states show the extent to which mislabeling can expose consumers to unexpectedly high levels of mercury, a harmful pollutant.
Fishery stock “substitutions” — which falsely present a fish of the same species, but from a different geographic origin — are the most dangerous mislabeling offense, according to new research by Univ. of Hawai‘i at Mānoa scientists.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/08/seafood-swaps-can-contain-unexpected-mercury
Alzheimer’s May Not Impact Quality of Life
A decline in cognitive functions does not necessarily mean lower health-related quality of life for people diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, new research suggests.
Undertaken by The Univ. of Western Australia and Royal Perth Hospital, the 18-month longitudinal study — published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry — is the first to investigate associations between quality of life and cognitive functions for people with Alzheimer’s, as reported by patients and caregivers.
Surprisingly, researchers found that 26 of 47 participants with the disease showed stable or increased quality of life despite deterioration in their conditions.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/08/alzheimers-may-not-impact-quality-life
'Lightning Rods' Channel Electricity Through Air
By zapping the air with a pair of powerful laser bursts, researchers at the Univ. of Arizona have created highly focused pathways that can channel electricity through the atmosphere.
The technique can potentially direct an electrical discharge up to 33 feet away or more, shattering previous distance records for transmitting electricity through air. It also raises the intriguing possibility of one day channeling lightning with laser power.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/08/lightning-rods-channel-electricity-through-air
Gov’t Won’t Reveal Health Site’s Security Measures
After promising not to withhold government information over “speculative or abstract fears,” the Obama administration has concluded it will not publicly disclose federal records that could shed light on the security of the government’s health care website because doing so could “potentially” allow hackers to break in.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services denied a request by The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act for documents about the kinds of security software and computer systems behind the federally funded HealthCare.gov. The AP requested the records late last year amid concerns that Republicans raised about the security of the website, which had technical glitches that prevented millions of people from signing up for insurance under Pres. Barack Obama’s health care law.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/08/govt-wont-reveal-health-sites-security-measures
Fewer Shakes from Manmade Quakes
Manmade earthquakes, a side effect of some high-tech energy drilling, cause less shaking and in general are about 16 times weaker than natural earthquakes with the same magnitude, a new federal study found.
People feeling the ground move from induced quakes — those that are not natural, but triggered by injections of wastewater deep underground— report significantly less shaking than those who experience more normal earthquakes of the same magnitude, according to a study by U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Susan Hough.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/08/fewer-shakes-manmade-quakes
Hatha Yoga Boosts Brain Function in Older Adults
Practicing hatha yoga three times a week for eight weeks improved sedentary older adults’ performance on cognitive tasks that are relevant to everyday life, researchers report.
The findings involved 108 adults between the ages of 55 and 79 years of age, 61 of whom attended hatha yoga classes. The others met for the same number and length of sessions and engaged in stretching and toning exercises instead of yoga.
At the end of the eight weeks, the yoga group was speedier and more accurate on tests of information recall, mental flexibility and task-switching than it had been before the intervention. The stretching-and-toning group saw no significant change in cognitive performance over time. The differences seen between the groups were not the result of differences in age, gender, social status or other demographic factors, the research team reported.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/08/hatha-yoga-boosts-brain-function-older-adults
UN Wants Exit Screening for Ebola at Airports
Ebola-affected countries should immediately begin exit screening all passengers leaving international airports, sea ports and major ground crossings, the U.N. health agency has said.
The agency didn’t spell out which countries should start screening passengers, but noted that the Ebola outbreak involves transmission in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leona and a “small number of people in Nigeria.” All countries, even those unaffected by the outbreak in West Africa, need to strengthen their ability to detect and immediately contain new cases without doing anything that unnecessarily interferes with international travel or trade, the agency said. But countries don’t need to impose travel restrictions and active screening of passengers if they do not share borders with Ebola-affected countries, it said.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/08/un-wants-exit-screening-ebola-airports
Sports Drinks Cause Weight Gain for Average People
Elite athletes down sports drink to help them reach new heights of performance. But for the average young person, these “health drinks” may cause them to reach new highs — on the bathroom scale.
A new study published in the journal Obesity suggests that young people who consume one or more sports drinks each day gained more weight over a three year period than classmates who chose other beverages.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/08/sports-drinks-cause-weight-gain-average-people
U.S. Coal Used is Asia Could Slash Emissions
Under the right scenario, exporting U.S. coal to power plants in South Korea could lead to a 21 percent drop in greenhouse gas emissions compared to burning the fossil fuel at plants in the U.S., according to a new Duke Univ.-led study.
“Despite the large amount of emissions produced by shipping the coal such a long distance, our analysis shows that the total emissions would drop because of the superior energy efficiency of South Korea’s newer coal-fired power plants,” said Dalia Patiño-Echeverri, assistant professor of energy systems and public policy at Duke.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/08/us-coal-used-asia-could-slash-emissions
Artificial Cells Act Real
Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery, but mimicking the intricate networks and dynamic interactions that are inherent to living cells is difficult to achieve outside the cell. Now, as published in Science, Weizmann Institute scientists have created an artificial, network-like cell system that is capable of reproducing the dynamic behavior of protein synthesis. This achievement is not only likely to help gain a deeper understanding of basic biological processes, but it may pave the way toward controlling the synthesis of both naturally-occurring and synthetic proteins for a host of uses.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/08/artificial-cells-act-real
Bionic Liquid Paves Way for Closed Loop Biofuel Refineries
While the powerful solvents known as ionic liquids show great promise for liberating fermentable sugars from lignocellulose and improving the economics of advanced biofuels, an even more promising candidate is on the horizon — bionic liquids.
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have developed “bionic liquids” from lignin and hemicellulose, two by-products of biofuel production from biorefineries. JBEI is a multi-institutional partnership led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) that was established by the DOE Office of Science to accelerate the development of advanced, next-generation biofuels.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/08/bionic-liquid-paves-way-closed-loop-biofuel-refineries
By finding a way to bind a slippery molecule naturally found in the fluid that surrounds healthy joints, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have engineered surfaces that have the potential to deliver long-lasting lubrication at specific spots throughout the body. The finding, described in Nature Materials, could eventually offer a new way to ease the pain of arthritic joints, keep artificial joints working smoothly or even make contact lenses more comfortable.
According to the investigators, scientists have long known that a biochemical known as hyaluronic acid (HA), found in abundance in joints’ synovial fluid, is an important component for naturally lubricating tissues. One form of HA also reduces inflammation and protects cells from metabolic damage. Diseased, damaged or aging joints in hips, knees, shoulders and elbows often have far lower concentrations of HA, presumably because a protein that binds HA molecules to joint surfaces is no longer able to retain HA where it is needed. HA injections into painful joints, known as viscosupplementation, have become a popular way to treat painful joints in the past several years. But without a way to retain HA at the site, the body’s natural cleaning processes soon wash it away.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/08/long-lasting-joint-lubrication-mimics-nature
New Tech Studies Small Clusters of Atoms
Physicists at the Univ. of York, working with researchers at the Universities of Birmingham and Genoa, have developed new technology to study atomic vibration in small particles, revealing a more accurate picture of the structure of atomic clusters where surface atoms vibrate more intensively than internal atoms.
Using new computer technology based on gaming machines, scientists were able to use a combination of molecular dynamics and quantum mechanics calculations to simulate the electron microscopy of gold particles. By modelling the atomic vibration of individual atoms in such clusters realistically, external atoms on the surface of the structure can be seen to vibrate more than internal atoms.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/08/new-tech-studies-small-clusters-atoms
U.S. Wants Cars to Talk to Each Other
The Obama administration has said it is taking a first step toward requiring that future cars and light trucks be equipped with technology that enables them to warn each other of potential danger in time to avoid collisions.
A research report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that the technology could eventually prevent 592,000 left-turn and intersection crashes a year, saving 1,083 lives. The agency said it will begin drafting rules to require the technology in new vehicles.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/08/us-wants-cars-talk-each-other