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Testes size correlates with men's involvement in toddler care

New research seeks to determine why some fathers invest more energy in parenting than others

Men with smaller testes than others are more likely to be involved in hands-on care of their toddlers, a new study conducted by anthropologists at Emory University finds. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) have published the results of the study.

Making people invisible to mosquitoes

Substances in skin can block mosquitoes' ability to smell and target their victims.

In an advance toward providing mosquito-plagued people, pets and livestock with an invisibility cloak against these blood-sucking insects, scientists have described the discovery of substances that occur naturally on human skin and block mosquitoes' ability to smell and target their victims.

Benefits of stem cells for MS declines with donor’s age

Study finds that stem cells donated by older people are less effective than cells from younger donors.

As stem cell clinical trials for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients become more common, it is crucial for researchers to understand the biologic changes and therapeutic effects of older donor stem cells. A new study appearing in the latest issue of STEM CELLS Translational Medicine is the first to demonstrate that, in fact, adipose-derived stem cells donated by older people are less effective than cells from their younger counterparts.

Commercial baby foods don’t meet infants’ weaning needs

And they are promoted for infants starting at an age when all they need is breast milk

UK commercial baby foods don’t meet infants’ dietary weaning needs, because they are predominantly sweet foods that provide little extra nutritional goodness over breast milk, indicates research published online in Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Furthermore, they are promoted for infants from the age of four months - an age when they should still be on an exclusive breast milk diet, say the researchers.

Artificial lung to remove carbon dioxide from smokestacks

The amazingly efficient lungs of birds and the swim bladders of fish have become the inspiration for a new filtering system to remove carbon dioxide from electric power station smokestacks before the main greenhouse gas can billow into the atmosphere and contribute to global climate change.

A report on the new technology, more efficient than some alternatives, was presented at the 246th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Breath tests could be used to diagnose lung cancer

Collecting samples of exhaled breath from people at a high risk of lung cancer could be a cheap and non-invasive method of diagnosing the disease, according to new research.

The findings have been presented at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) Annual Congress in Barcelona.

Current tests for lung cancer include blood and urine tests, followed by CT scans and chest radiographs. This new method could see people at a high risk of lung cancer receiving an initial breath test to quickly assess their symptoms.

Fish oil could help protect alcohol abusers from dementia

A Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine study suggests that omega-3 fish oil might help protect against alcohol-related dementia.

Previous studies have shown that long-term alcohol abuse increases the risk of dementia. The Loyola study found that in the brain cells of rats exposed to high levels of alcohol, a fish oil compound protected against inflammation and cell death.

The study by Michael A. Collins, PhD, and colleagues was reported Sept. 8 at the 14th Congress of the European Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism in Warsaw.

Explaining why so many cases of cardiac arrest strike in the morning

Evidence from people with heart disease strongly supports the existence of the molecular link first discovered in laboratory mice between the body's natural circadian rhythms and cardiac arrest or sudden cardiac death (SCD) — the No. 1 cause of death in heart attacks, a scientist said a the 246th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Mukesh Jain, M.D., who reported on the research, said that it pinpoints a previously unrecognized factor in the electrical storm that makes the heart's main pumping chambers suddenly begin to beat erratically in a way that stops the flow of blood to the brain and body. Termed ventricular fibrillation, the condition causes SCD, in which the victim instantly becomes unconscious and dies unless CPR or a defibrillator is available to shock the heart back into its steady beat.

Rare fossil ape cranium found in China

A team of researchers has discovered the cranium of a fossil ape from Shuitangba, a Miocene site in Yunnan Province, China.

The juvenile cranium of the fossil ape Lufengpithecus is significant, according to team member Nina Jablonski, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at Penn State.

Jablonski noted that juvenile crania of apes and hominins are extremely rare in the fossil record, especially those of infants and young juveniles. This cranium is only the second relatively complete cranium of a young juvenile in the entire Miocene -- 23-25 million years ago -- record of fossil apes throughout the Old World, and both were discovered from the late Miocene of Yunnan Province.

Inner-ear disorders may cause hyperactivity

Behavioral abnormalities are traditionally thought to originate in the brain. But a new study by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has found that inner-ear dysfunction can directly cause neurological changes that increase hyperactivity.

The study, conducted in mice, also implicated two brain proteins in this process, providing potential targets for intervention. The findings were published today in the online edition of Science.

For years, scientists have observed that many children and adolescents with severe inner-ear disorders – particularly disorders affecting both hearing and balance – also have behavioral problems, such as hyperactivity. Until now, no one has been able to determine whether the ear disorders and behavioral problems are actually linked.

Interstellar winds buffeting solar system have shifted direction

Scientists, including University of New Hampshire astrophysicists involved in NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) mission, have discovered that the particles streaming into the solar system from interstellar space have likely changed direction over the last 40 years.

The finding helps scientists map our location within the Milky Way galaxy and is crucial for understanding our place in the cosmos through the vast sweep of time—where we've come from, where we're currently located, and where we're going in our journey through the galaxy.

Additionally, scientists now gain deeper insight into the dynamic nature of the interstellar winds, which has major implications on the size, structure, and nature of our sun's heliosphere—the gigantic bubble that surrounds our solar system and helps shield us from dangerous incoming galactic radiation.

Protecting 17% of Earth's land could save two-thirds of plant species

Protecting key regions that comprise just 17 percent of Earth's land may help preserve more than two-thirds of its plant species, according to a study by an international team of scientists.

The researchers from Duke University, North Carolina State University and Microsoft Research used computer algorithms to identify the smallest set of regions worldwide that could contain the largest numbers of plant species. They published their findings today in the journal Science.

Scientists confirm existence of largest single volcano on earth

Massive underwater shield volcano rivals the largest in the solar system

A University of Houston (UH) professor led a team of scientists to uncover the largest single volcano yet documented on Earth. Covering an area roughly equivalent to the British Isles or the state of New Mexico, this volcano, dubbed the Tamu Massif, is nearly as big as the giant volcanoes of Mars, placing it among the largest in the Solar System.

Teleportation with engineered quantum systems

A team of University of Queensland physicists has transmitted an atom from one location to another inside an electronic chip.

The team, which includes Dr Arkady Fedorov and Dr Matthias Baur from UQ's ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems and the School of Mathematics and Physics, published its findings in Nature this month.

Dr Fedorov said the team had achieved quantum teleportation for the first time, which could lead to larger electronic networks and more functional electronic chips.

“This is a process by which quantum information can be transmitted from one place to another without sending a physical carrier of information,” Dr Fedorov said.

Study reveals how cheetahs catch their prey

A new research study has revealed that the cheetah, the world's fastest land animal, matches and may even anticipate the escape tactics of different prey when hunting, rather than just relying on its speed and agility, as previously thought.

The study, which has just been published in the Royal Society Journal Biology Letters was carried out by a team of researchers from Queen's University Belfast, in collaboration with other Institutions in the UK (University of Aberdeen, University of Swansea, Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, University of Oxford), and elsewhere (North Carolina State University, The Lewis Foundation, South African National Parks, Earth and OCEAN Technologies, Kiel, Germany).

What scientists can see in your pee

Researchers at the University of Alberta have determined the chemical composition of human urine.

The study, which took more than seven years and involved a team of nearly 20 researchers, has revealed that more than 3,000 chemicals or "metabolites" can be detected in urine. The results are expected to have significant implications for medical, nutritional, drug and environmental testing.

"Urine is an incredibly complex biofluid. We had no idea there could be so many different compounds going into our toilets," noted David Wishart, the senior scientist on the project.

Sleep Deprivation Increases Food Purchasing the Next Day

People who were deprived of one night’s sleep purchased more calories and grams of food in a mock supermarket on the following day in a new study published in the journal Obesity.

Sleep deprivation also led to increased blood levels of ghrelin, a hormone that increases hunger, on the following morning; however, there was no correlation between individual ghrelin levels and food purchasing, suggesting that other mechanisms—such as impulsive decision making—may be more responsible for increased purchasing.

Researchers in Sweden were curious as to whether sleep deprivation may impair or alter an individual’s food purchasing choices based on its established tendency to impair higher-level thinking and to increase hunger.

Dishonesty leads to 'cheater's high' if no one gets hurt

Behaving unethically may lead to feeling better than being guilt-free, research discovers

People who get away with cheating when they believe no one is hurt by their dishonesty are more likely to feel upbeat than remorseful afterward, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

Although people predict they will feel bad after cheating or being dishonest, many of them don't, reports a study published online in APA's Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

WA scientists beat ‘lab burger’ by a decade

The world's first lab-grown beef burger may have captured headlines at the start of August but, despite reports, in vitro meat is not something new.

Perth-based researchers from SymbioticA at the UWA’s Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts first grew an in vitro ‘steak’ in 2000 while undertaking a research residency at Harvard Medical School’s Tissue Engineering and Organ Fabrication Laboratory.

“It was grown from pre-natal sheep cells harvested as part of research into tissue engineering techniques in utero,” SymbioticA director Oron Catts says.

“Isolated skeletal muscle cells from a sheep embryo were grown over a polyglycolic acid mash, which is a bio-absorbable polymer scaffold.

Eureka for Australasian Science guest editor

Sex, obesity and the evolution of the human placenta are just three of the many topics tackled by one of Australia’s most prolific science writers, Professor Rob Brooks.

Rob Brooks, Professor of Evolution at the University of New South Wales, has won the 2013 Australian Museum Australian Government Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Australian Science Research.