New survey shows 36-percent increase in pediatric patients treated with proton therapy

Results from a new nationwide survey announced today indicate a steady increase in the number of pediatric patients who are being treated with proton radiation therapy for cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.

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Mosquito sex-determining gene could help fight dengue fever

Males aren’t relevant — at least when it comes to disease transmission by mosquitoes.

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From reverberating chaos to concert halls, good acoustics is culturally subjective

Play a flute in Carnegie Hall, and the tone will resonate and fill the space. Play that same flute in the Grand Canyon, and the sound waves will crash against the rock walls, folding back in on each other in sonic chaos. The disparity in acoustics is clear – to the modern listener, the instrument belongs in an auditorium.

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Mapping poaching threats: York ecologists and WCS develop new method

Ecologists from the University of York, together with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), have developed a new method to better identify where poachers operate in protected areas.

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Thunder god vine used in traditional Chinese medicine is a potential obesity treatment

An extract from the thunder god vine, which has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine, reduces food intake and causes up to a 45% decrease in body weight in obese mice. The weight-loss compound, called Celastrol, produces its potent effects by enhancing the action of an appetite-suppressing hormone called leptin. The findings, published May 21 in Cell, are an early indicator that Celastrol could be developed into a drug for the treatment of obesity.

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Partly human yeast show a common ancestor’s lasting legacy

Despite a billion years of evolution separating humans from the baker’s yeast in their refrigerators, hundreds of genes from an ancestor that the two species have in common live on nearly unchanged in them both, say biologists at The University of Texas at Austin. The team created thriving strains of genetically engineered yeast using human genes and found that certain groups of genes are surprisingly stable over evolutionary time.

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Faster heart rate linked to diabetes risk

An association between resting heart rate and diabetes suggests that heart rate measures could identify individuals with a higher future risk of diabetes, according to an international team of researchers.

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Robot masters new skills through trial and error

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed algorithms that enable robots to learn motor tasks through trial and error using a process that more closely approximates the way humans learn, marking a major milestone in the field of artificial intelligence.

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