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My Picks From ScienceDaily

U.S. Reporters Often Do A Poor Job Of Reporting About New Medical Treatments, Analysis Finds:

Most medical news stories about health interventions fail to adequately address costs, harms, benefits, the quality of evidence, and the existence of other treatment options, finds a new analysis in this week’s PLoS Medicine. The analysis was conducted by Gary Schwitzer from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Sedentary High School Girls Are At Significant Risk For Future Osteoporosis:

Significant numbers of female high school athletes and non-athletes suffer from one or more components of the female athlete triad, a combination of three conditions that can lead to cardiovascular disease, according to a new study by Medical College of Wisconsin researchers in Milwaukee.

Tourists To Caribbean Urged To Pay One Dollar Each To Help Fight Tropical Diseases Of Poverty:

Away from the beaches, resorts, and cruise ships of the Caribbean, there lies a hidden underbelly of poverty and with this poverty comes endemic neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). In an editorial in this month’s PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, the journal’s Editor in Chief, Professor Peter Hotez (George Washington University and Sabin Vaccine Institute) proposes that a modest US $1.00 airline or cruise ship tax or a tax on tourist entry could provide a funding mechanism for the Caribbean countries to control these NTDs.

First ‘Smell Map’ Supports Idea That Universal Laws For Smell Are Hard-Wired In Brain:

Is the smell of almonds closer to that of roses or bananas? Weizmann Institute scientists have now answered that question (roses) by showing for the first time that smells can be mapped and the relative distance between various odors determined. Their findings, which appeared recently in Nature Methods, may help scientists to unravel the basic laws underlying our sense of smell, as well as potentially enabling odors to be digitized and transferred via computer in the future.

How Fairness Is Wired In The Brain:

In the biblical story in which two women bring a baby to King Solomon, both claiming to be the mother, he suggests dividing the child so that each woman can have half. Solomon’s proposed solution, meant to reveal the real mother, also illustrates an issue central to economics and moral philosophy: how to distribute goods fairly.

Did Walking On Two Feet Begin With A Shuffle?:

Somewhere in the murky past, between four and seven million years ago, a hungry common ancestor of today’s primates, including humans, did something novel. While temporarily standing on its rear feet to reach a piece of fruit, this protohominid spotted another juicy morsel in a nearby shrub and began shuffling toward it instead of dropping on all fours, crawling to the shrub and standing again.

World’s Rarest Rhinos Make First Video Trap Appearance — Then Toss Camera:

After just a month in operation, specially designed video cameras installed to capture wildlife footage in the jungles of South East Asia have twice recorded remarkable images of a mother and child pair of the world’s rarest rhino.

Altruism In Social Insects Is A Family Affair:

The contentious debate about why insects evolved to put the interests of the colony over the individual has been reignited by new research from the University of Leeds, showing that they do so to increase the chances that their genes will be passed on.

Heat, Not Light, May Be Real Engine Driving Biodiversity:

What causes tropical life to thrive: temperature, or sunlight? The answer is not necessarily “both.” According to a study recently published online in PNAS Early Edition, the explosion of species at the tropics has much more to do with warmth than with light.

Saltwater Sleuths: Seeking Clues To Help Determine Ages Of Fish And Shellfish Populations:

Fishery biologist Sandy Sutherland looks through the lens of the microscope at tiny sections of fish earbones, known as otoliths, each showing annual bands of growth. She carefully counts the bands to determine the age of the fish, then moves on to the next sample. Known as an age reader, Sutherland is one of a small team at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) whose aging work is critical to stock assessments needed to manage the nation’s fishery resources in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean.

Common Aquatic Animal’s Genome Can Capture Foreign DNA:

Long viewed as straitlaced spinsters, sexless freshwater invertebrate animals known as bdelloid rotifers may actually be far more promiscuous than anyone had imagined: Scientists at Harvard University have found that the genomes of these common creatures are chock-full of DNA from plants, fungi, bacteria, and animals.