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Health, Science & Technology News

Are my muscular dystrophy drugs working?
People with muscular dystrophy could one day assess the effectiveness of their medication with the help of a smartphone-linked device, a new study in mice suggests. The study used a new method to process ultrasound imaging information that could lead to hand-held instruments that provide fast, convenient medical information.

Scientists replicate the tide with two buckets, aquarium tubing, and a pump
A design for a new, inexpensive tidal simulation unit enables researchers to investigate tidal marsh plant growth in a controlled setting. The unit costs less than US$27 to build, takes up less than two square feet of space, and does not require external plumbing; the protocol is available in the November issue of Applications in Plant Sciences. The system could be an important tool for researchers working to preserve and restore environmentally important wetlands.

Massive geographic change may have triggered explosion of animal life
A new paper by The University of Texas at Austin's Jackson School of Geosciences published in the November issue of Geology suggests a major tectonic event may be connected with the apparent burst of life that occurred 530 million years ago during the Cambrian explosion.

Tracking a gigantic sunspot across the Sun
An active region on the sun -- an area of intense and complex magnetic fields -- rotated into view on Oct. 18, 2014. Labeled AR 12192, it soon grew into the largest such region in 24 years, and fired off 10 sizable solar flares as it traversed across the face of the sun. The region was so large it could be seen without a telescope for those looking at the sun with eclipse glasses, as many did during a partial eclipse of the sun on Oct. 23.

Goodbye to rainy days for US, Japan's first rain radar in space
After 17 years of groundbreaking 3-D images of rain and storms, the joint NASA and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission will come to an end next year. NASA predicts that science operations will cease in or about April 2015, based on the most recent analysis by mission operations at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.

Breaking down DNA by genome
A new study in the November issue of Applications in Plant Sciences provides plant biologists with an efficient approach for separating plant nuclear DNA from organellar DNA for genomic and metagenomic studies. The approach targets the methyl-CpG-binding domain and allows researchers to isolate nuclear, chloroplast, and mitochondrial DNA, and can also target genomes of endophytes and prokaryotic parasites in plant DNA samples.

Mussels on California Coast contaminated with giardia transmitted from land-based sources
The pathogen Giardia duodenalis is present in mussels from freshwater run-off sites and from areas where California Sea Lions lounge along the coast of California, according to a team of researchers from the University of California, Davis. One of the G. duodenalis strains found is known to infect humans; the two others occur mostly in dogs and other canids. 'Thus, the detection of these assemblages implies a potential public health risk if consuming fecally contaminated water or uncooked shellfish,' says coauthor Woutrina Smith.

Immune cells proposed as HIV hideout don't last in primate model
New research from Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, sheds light on the question of which cells support viral replication and persistence, and the answers have implications for future efforts to eliminate HIV from the body in human patients.

Resveratrol could reverse benefits of being active
Adding resveratrol supplements to your exercise routine may not enhance the effects of physical activity.

Fun and games make for better learners
Four minutes of physical activity can improve behavior in the classroom for primary school students, according to new research by Brendon Gurd. A brief, high-intensity interval exercise, or a 'FUNterval,' for Grade 2 and Grade 4 students reduced off-task behaviors like fidgeting or inattentiveness in the classroom.

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