Tech

BOSTON, Mass. (December 15, 2010)—Absence makes your heart grow fonder, but close-quarters may boost your career.

According to new research by scientists at Harvard Medical School, the physical proximity of researchers, especially between the first and last author on published papers, strongly correlates with the impact of their work.

Absence makes your heart grow fonder, but close-quarters may boost your career.

According to new research by scientists at Harvard Medical School, the physical proximity of researchers, especially between the first and last author on published papers, strongly correlates with the impact of their work.

URBANA – Is red seaweed a viable future biofuel? Now that a University of Illinois metabolic engineer has developed a strain of yeast that can make short work of fermenting galactose, the answer is an unequivocal yes.

"When Americans think about biofuel crops, they think of corn, miscanthus, and switchgrass. ln small island or peninsular nations, though, the natural, obvious choice is marine biomass," said Yong-Su Jin, a U of I assistant professor of microbial genomics and a faculty member in its Institute for Genomic Biology.

Not a happy holiday thought, but an important one: The number of babies who die of SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, surges by 33 percent on New Year's Day. The suspected reason? Alcohol consumption by caretakers the night before.

Led by sociologist David Phillips of the University of California, San Diego, the study documenting the dramatic rise in SIDS deaths on New Year's is published in the journal Addiction. The spike, write Phillips and his coauthors, is beyond the normal winter increase in SIDS.

Madison, WI DECEMBER 15, 2010 -- The manufacturing of nanomaterials has been steadily on the rise in the medical, industrial, and scientific fields. Nanomaterials are materials that are engineered to have dimensions less than 100 nanometers and have very unique properties as a result of their small size.

In a study funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a team of scientists from the University of Kentucky determined that earthworms could absorb copper nanoparticles present in soil.

MADISON — It's one of the more frustrating parts of summer. You check the weather forecast, see nothing dramatic, and go hiking or biking. Then, four hours later, a thunderstorm appears out of nowhere and ruins your afternoon.

Thunderstorms can bring intense rain, hail, lightning and even tornadoes, but "predicting them a few hours out is one of the great problems of meteorology," says Chian-Yi Liu, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Los Angeles, CA (December 15, 2010) Being a part of many different social groups can improve mental health and help a person cope with stressful events. It also leads to better physical health, making you more able to withstand—and recover faster from—physical challenges, according to a study in the current Social Psychological and Personality Science (published by SAGE).

Los Angeles, CA (December 15, 2010) When computerized neuropsychological testing is used, high school athletes suffering from a sports-related concussion are less likely to be returned to play within one week of their injury, according to a study in The American Journal of Sports Medicine (published by SAGE). Unfortunately, concussed football players are less likely to have computerized neuropsychological testing than those participating in other sports.

LA JOLLA, CA-In addition to fast food, desk jobs, and inertia, there is one more thing to blame for unwanted pounds-our genome, which has apparently not caught up with the fact that we no longer live in the Stone Age.

That is one conclusion drawn by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, who recently showed that mice lacking a gene regulating energy balance are protected from weight gain, even on a high fat diet. These findings have implications for the worldwide obesity epidemic and its consequences, such as type two diabetes.

New method for making tiny catalysts holds promise for air quality

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Fortified with iron: It's not just for breakfast cereal anymore. University of Illinois researchers have demonstrated a simpler method of adding iron to tiny carbon spheres to create catalytic materials that have the potential to remove contaminants from gas or liquid.

Humans are consuming an increasing amount of the Earth's total annual land plant production, new NASA research has found.

As the human population continues to grow and more societies develop modern economies, this rate of consumption is increasing both as a whole and on a per capita basis globally. In addition to as food, plants are consumed for paper, clothing, livestock feed, firewood, biofuels, building and packaging materials, among other uses.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — A new study of nursing home records shows more residents with dementia are seeking a hospice benefit and using it longer. The study also estimates that 40 percent of nursing home residents die with some degree of dementia. Researchers hope the new data will help policymakers preserve the hospice benefit even as they seek to control Medicare costs.

Research in the Christmas issue published on bmj.com today explodes the Danish myth that it is possible to get drunk by submerging your feet in alcohol.

The authors, led by Dr Peter Lommer Kristensen from the Hillerød Hospital in Denmark, say it was important that the myth underwent scientific scrutiny to prevent students wasting their time experimenting with this activity.

Neonatal intensive care provides substantial population health benefits in Mexico relative to its costs, even for very premature babies, and as such offers exceptional value for money within the country's Popular Health Insurance (Seguro Popular) program, which offers free access to a specific set of health care interventions. Furthermore, neonatal intensive care could also be cost effective in other middle-income countries.

Tackling the erosion of a special river island

Locke Island is a small island in a bend of the Columbia River in eastern Washington that plays a special role in the culture of the local Indian tribes. Since the 1970s, however, it has been eroding away at a rate that has alarmed tribal leaders.

The island is part of the Hanford Reservation, which is managed by the Department of Energy.