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SCIENCE
October 2, 2012 | By Jon Bardin
The coral in Australia's Great Barrier Reef is rapidly disappearing due to a host of factors -- all of which are influenced by humans, according to a new study. The report, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, tracks coral cover over the last 27 years and finds levels have fallen by nearly 50%. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world's most beloved natural attractions because of its remarkable array of sea life. But, according to researchers, a trio of factors has conspired to degrade the reef: tropical cyclones, attacks from the coral predator the crown-of-thorns starfish, and rising water temperatures.
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SCIENCE
June 13, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
The U.S. Supreme Court decision that Myriad Genetics cannot patent two genes linked to ovarian and breast cancer came as welcome relief to researchers whose work on BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes had been thwarted by legal challenges from the company. But while researchers and clinicians no longer will receive cease-and-desist orders from Myriad, they will have to labor for years to catch up with the data and analysis the Utah-based company has been able to accumulate during the 17 years it held a U.S. monopoly on analyzing the genes, said Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla.
SCIENCE
January 29, 2013 | By Joseph Serna
Scientists have found a new way to study spider webs that literally shines a light on arachnid technology like never before. Using light-scattering technology previously used for studying proteins, collagens and muscle fibers, researchers at Arizona State University measured the strength, elasticity and stiffness of spider webs. Scientists hope what they learn can help them develop new technologies for everyday life. Researchers collected silk from a garden spider, western black widow, orb-weaver spider and green lynx spider.
SCIENCE
April 20, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
DNA and RNA molecules are the basis for all life on Earth, but they don't necessarily have to be the basis for all life everywhere, scientists have shown. Researchers at the Medical Research Council in Cambridge, England, demonstrated that six synthetic molecules that are similar to - but not exactly like - DNA and RNA have the potential to exhibit "hallmarks of life" such as storing genetic information, passing it along and undergoing evolution. The man-made molecules are called "XNAs.
NEWS
September 10, 2010
What makes a corporate merger go bad? Is it a dramatic change in stock price? A revelation about an unprofitable business unit? Resistance from federal regulators? Researchers from the University of British Columbia propose another explanation – too much testosterone . Maurice Levi, Kai Li and Feng Zhang of the university’s Sauder School of Business came up with their theory based on prior research showing that the male sex hormone affects the way men play the ultimatum game . In one version of this game, Player A was asked to divide up $40 between himself and Player B – he could choose either a $35-$5 split, or a $15-$25 split.
NEWS
January 8, 2011 | By Karen Kaplan
Organic produce is more expensive than the conventional variety, and there are many reasons why consumers fork over that extra money. But if one of those reasons is a belief that organic fruits and veggies are healthier, Danish researchers have some bad news. A detailed scientific assessment of carrots, potatoes and onions – some grown conventionally and some grown organically – found that all of the veggies had essentially the same levels of flavonoids and phenolic acids, two types of nutrients that are thought to be helpful in preventing ailments such as heart disease, cancer and dementia.
NEWS
June 13, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
The gender gap persists in academic medicine, with female physicians who do research earning about $13,000 a year less than their male counterparts, researchers reported Tuesday in the journal JAMA. The coauthors, from the University of Michigan and Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, surveyed 1,729 physician-researchers who received National Institutes of Health grants for career development between 2000 and 2003 -- reasoning that members of that cohort were likely to have similar aptitude and to conduct similar work.
NEWS
April 11, 2011 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
If your child is a bad sleeper – one who can’t fall asleep on her own, wakes up frequently at night, or insists on sleeping in your bed – is it because you are a bad parent? Or are her genes to blame? For the most part, the fault probably lies with you and the choices you make about your child’s sleeping environment, according to a study published online Monday in the Journal Pediatrics. Italian researchers studied 127 pairs of identical twins and 187 pairs of fraternal twins to reach this conclusion.
NEWS
September 17, 2010
British researchers reported Friday that it may be possible to identify people who are going to develop Type 2 diabetes even before symptoms occur. If the test can be verified, it might be possible to screen people who are at higher-than-normal risk of developing diabetes and intervene before symptoms, and the broad spectrum of complications that accompany them, occur. Triggered by increases in obesity, Type 2 diabetes is becoming a major health problem, with an estimated 285 million people worldwide now affected by the disease -- a number that is expected to grow to 400 million by 2030.
NEWS
September 6, 2012 | By Mary MacVean
As a parent, I never wished popularity on my children; it takes a lot of work to stay on top. And researchers have come up with a reason I hadn't thought of: Popular kids are more likely to smoke cigarettes, they say. The conclusion, published Wednesday in the Journal of Adolescent Health, is based on surveys among teenagers in ninth and 10 th grades at seven predominantly Latino high schools in the Los Angeles area. It confirms previous studies about high school students in the U.S. and Mexico.
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