Another question: how does extinction determine the world’s current biodiversity? This was a question on the test and I don’t understand. The question was “The two processes that determine the world’s current biodiversity are ______.” I said “allopatric and sympatric speciation” because this process plays a part in new species being developed considering geographical and behavioral separation between organisms. The answer he wanted was “extinction and speciation.” I can understand the speciation aspect, but how does extinction contribute to a greater biodiversity? Doesn’t extinction take away from biodiversity? For example, the K-T event wiped out a bunch of species at one time (I think it was like 75-90%…maybe that’s the Permian). Regardless, wouldn’t the result be one a very small number of species? So wouldn’t this actually DECREASE biodiversity? I’m confused…

Via:pdsblogs. org

Of course it is not as satisfying as when it comes on and cancels a school day, but it was beautiful snow for Christmas Day nonetheless. I was at my dad’s house in my hometown of Laurinburg, NC when the snow started falling, but could still see PDS covered in snow via our live cam (on my iPhone) on the weather station mounted on top of Overcash Hall:

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Our text defines urbanization as the shift from people living in rural areas to people living in urban areas and is probably the greatest change our society has undergone since the transition from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a settled agricultural lifestyle. What exactly is an urban area? An urban area is place with a population of 2,500 or more people. This said, around 50% of the earth’s population lives in urban areas, those urban areas only occupy about 3% of Earth’s land surface area.

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About 10 miles off the Santa Barbara coast, at the bottom of the Santa Barbara Channel, a series of impressive landmarks rise from the sea floor.

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PASADENA, Calif.—We are not alone—even in our own bodies. The human gut is home to 100 trillion bacteria, which, for millions of years, have co-evolved along with our digestive and immune systems. Most people view bacteria as harmful pathogens that cause infections and disease. Other, more agreeable, microbes (known as symbionts) have taken a different evolutionary path, and have established beneficial relationships with their hosts. Still other microbes may be perched somewhere in between, according to research by biologists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) that offers new insight into the causes of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colon cancer.

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DETROIT - Heart failure patients who develop kidney failure after receiving a mechanical heart pumping device are at increased risk of dying within in the first three years of surgery, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study.

Researchers found that 35 percent of patients who developed kidney failure died within 180 days after surgery compared to zero patients who did not develop kidney failure. The mortality rate worsened to 52 percent at three years post-surgery for patients who developed kidney failure versus 35 percent who did not develop kidney failure.

The study also showed the kidney failure patients endured longer stays in the intensive care unit and longer hospitalizations than those who did not develop kidney failure post-surgery.

The study will be presented Thursday at the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplant in Chicago.

"The short-term and long-term survival of these patients is worrisome," says Jeffrey Morgan, M. D., the study's lead author and associate director of Henry Ford's Circulatory Assist Device Program and Cardiac Transplantation.

"Future study is needed to look at developing a mathematical model that could predict the risk of kidney failure in certain patient populations and lead to improved patient outcomes."

The study followed 41 heart failure patients implanted with a left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, between March 2006 and June 2009 at Henry Ford. An LVAD is a battery-operated pumping device surgical implanted to help the pumping ability of the heart.

Researchers compared the survival rates and hospitalizations of 15 patients who developed kidney failure after surgery to the 26 patients who did not.

Researchers found that survival significantly decreased among the kidney failure patients at 30 days, 180 days, one year and three years compared to patients who did not develop kidney failure after surgery. The kidney failure patients also spent on average 15 days in the intensive compared to seven days for the non kidney failure patients in the first 30 days after surgery.

Dr. Morgan theorizes that improvement in patient selection and limiting a patient's time on the cardio-pulmonary bypass machine can reduce the risk of patients developing kidney failure after surgery.

The study was funded by Henry Ford Hospital.

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Scientists have developed a new computational model to uncover gene regulation, the key to how our body develops – and how it can go wrong.

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To evolve or not to evolve? That is the question scientists are closer to answering following a groundbreaking new study into the colourful hamlet fish.

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — It pays to keep employees who are good friends side by side in the workplace, suggests a University of Florida study that finds pals often help each other by working closely on a job but can reduce productivity if they labor in separate departments.

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    Zortress offers kidney transplant recipients a new option for preventing organ rejection and preserving kidney function with reduced doses of cyclosporine[1] Preventing organ rejection while reducing the side effects of treatment regimens containing cyclosporine is a major challenge in kidney transplantation[2] Zortress inhibits the proliferation of cells that play a key role in transplant rejection[3] First approved outside the US over six years ago as Certican®, everolimus is an established transplant immunosuppressant therapy in more than 70 countries

Basel, April 22, 2010 - The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Zortress (everolimus) oral tablets for the prevention of organ rejection of kidney transplants in adult patients at low-to-moderate immunologic risk. Zortress is to be given in combination with reduced doses of the calcineurin inhibitor (CNI) cyclosporine, as well as basiliximab and corticosteroids[4].

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DALLAS – April 21, 2010 – UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have determined how a protein that normally latches onto molecules inside cells and marks them for destruction also gives life to the body’s immune response against viruses.

The researchers discovered that a certain form of the “death” protein ubiquitin interacts with another protein, called RIG-I, but does not mark it for destruction. Instead, this form of ubiquitin binds to and activates RIG-I, which is known to trigger the body’s immune system when a virus invades a cell.

Dr. Zhijian “James” Chen, professor of molecular biology at UT Southwestern, is senior author of the study, which is available online and in the journal Cell.

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Rice physicists: Odd electron mix has fault-tolerant quantum registry.

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New Electrodes Could Generate Electricity at Lower Cost Than Solar Arrays.

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A study carried out at Newcastle University has discovered a link between liver disease and the rate of falls in elderly people.

The findings suggest that patients suffering from Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC) are more than twice as likely to fall as non-sufferers and could lead to targeted treatment which would reduce physical and emotional pain, as well as save NHS money.

The research, which is published in the current edition of the Quarterly Journal of Medicine, looked at patients suffering from PBC. Of those, 72% had had at least one fall, significantly higher than the rate of falls in the control group. Fifty five per cent had suffered a fall in the past year and 22% were regular fallers, having had more than one fall in the previous year.

In each case this was more than double the rate for people who do not suffer from PBC. Every year the NHS spends ?1b treating falls injuries, about ?7.8m of that connected to PBC. This finding could potentially save a significant proportion of that cash, as well as the physical and emotional pain caused by falls.

Many of those who had fallen had suffered serious injuries, including fractures, and one in five of the PBC fallers had to be admitted to hospital as a result of their fall, compared with none from the control group who had to be admitted.

PBC is a chronic condition which mainly affects women, with around 40,000 total sufferers in the UK. It often runs in families and is not caused by drinking too much alcohol.

The findings show that falls and resultant injury are prevalent in PBC and more common than previously recognized. It is believed abnormalities in blood pressure control, poor balance and muscle weakness are causing the falls, as well as poor memory and having a fear of falling (low confidence to go out etc).
Experts say that addressing postural dizziness, poor balance and lower limb weakness using a multi-disciplinary approach has the potential to reduce falls, injuries and deaths, and as a result improve quality of life.

Dr James Frith, clinical research associate at Newcastle Biomedicine, a partnership between Newcastle University and Newcastle NHS Foundation, who led the research said: “Falls cause serious injuries to thousands of people every year. Now we have found this link we may be able to offer treatments to patients who are high risk and hopefully stop some of these falls from happening in the first place.  A fall can cause huge emotional issues as well as the physical problems. People lose their confidence and independence after they fall.

“It appears that people with PBC are falling as a result of abnormal regulation of their blood pressure. There is a strong link between PBC and blood pressure regulation.  In addition falls also appear to be related to abnormal gait and balance, which is probably a result of abnormalities in the system which controls blood pressure.

“A recent piece of research suggested that that many older women would prefer to die than suffer a broken hip, which would leave them feeling vulnerable and stop them living their life.”

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Computational model can be used to identify regulatory elements for other organs, tissues.

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BBSRC-funded scientists have pinpointed how a key hormone helps animals to recognise others by their smell.

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Researchers develop novel strategy to probe 'genetic haystack'.

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New Haven, Conn. — More frequent tropical cyclones in Earth’s ancient past contributed to persistent El Nino-like conditions, according to a team of climate scientists led by Yale University. Their findings, which appear in the Feb. 25 issue of the journal Nature, could have implications for the planet’s future as global temperatures continue to rise due to climate change.

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Brain images during money-transfer experiments show "rich" participants prefer to see others get financial windfall.

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Hanover, N. H.—Dartmouth researchers report finding a new pathway with which the environmental toxin arsenic may trigger cancer of the bladder, lungs, and skin. They unveiled results of their study on February 23 in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

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BLACKSBURG, Va., February 24, 2010 -- In a paper appearing in the Feb. 24 issue of the "Proceedings of the Royal Society of London A," Virginia Tech Engineering Science and Mechanics Professor Hassan Aref, and his colleague Johan Roenby at the Technical University of Denmark shed new light on the chaotic motion of a solid body moving through a fluid.

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"Progressive walking" combined with glucosamine sulphate supplementation has been shown to improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open-access journal Arthritis Research and Therapy, found that patients who walked at least two bouts of 1500 steps each on three days of the week reported significantly less arthritis pain, and significantly improved physical function.

Dr Kristiann Heesch worked with a team of researchers from The University of Queensland, Australia, to carry out the trial in 36 osteoarthritis patients (aged 42–73 years).

All patients received the dietary supplement for six weeks, after which they continued to take the supplement during a 12-week progressive walking program. The program, called Stepping Out, includes a walking guide; a pedometer; weekly log sheets; and a weekly planner, all intended to help patients adopt the exercise regime.

Seventeen patients were randomly assigned to walk five days per week, while the remaining 19 were instructed to walk three days a week.

The team found that both groups achieved significant improvement in their symptoms, however being encouraged to walk five days a week was not more effective than being encouraged to walk three days.

"These findings are not surprising given that the three-day and five-day walking groups did not differ significantly in the mean number of days actually walked per week, the mean number of daily steps walked, nor their weekly minutes of physical activity," Dr Heesch said.

"These findings provide preliminary evidence that osteoarthritis sufferers can benefit from a combination of glucosamine sulphate and walking 3000 steps per day for exercise, in bouts of at least 1500 steps each, on at least three days per week.

"This amount of walking is less than current physical activity recommendations for the general population, but follows the recommendations for people with arthritis."

Contact: Andrew Dunne, Communications Officer, Tel: 07 3365 2802, Email: a. dunne@uq. edu. au

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The ability to recognise faces is largely determined by your genes, according to new research at UCL.

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AUGUSTA, Ga. – The presence of certain proteins in premalignant oral lesions may predict oral cancer development, Medical College of Georgia researchers said.

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Severe heartburn is the most important risk factor for suffering from glandular cell carcinoma (adenocarcinoma) in the esophagus. Scientists have therefore hoped that surgery for heartburn should have a protective effect against this aggressive cancer. However, a large Swedish study, published in the scientific journal Gastroenterology, show that patients who undergo surgery for heartburn still are in high risk of having esophageal cancer a long time after they have had surgery.

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Max Planck scientists succeed with a novel technique in the fight against the cause of peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer.

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Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced today the topline results from a global phase III trial investigating the use of Avastin (bevacizumab) in combination with Xeloda (capecitabine) or fluorouracil and cisplatin chemotherapy in patients with inoperable, advanced or metastatic gastric cancer (stomach cancer). The study, known as AVAGAST, did not meet its primary endpoint of extending overall survival in patients treated with Avastin in combination with chemotherapy compared to the same chemotherapy plus placebo.

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Conservation managers need to take a long-term view when assessing the value of marine protected areas, according to a paper in today’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

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Acupuncture appears to be an effective way to reduce depression symptoms during pregnancy, according to a first-of-its-kind study from Stanford University School of Medicine researchers.

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Genetic interactions between avian H5N1 influenza and human seasonal influenza viruses have the potential to create hybrid strains combining the virulence of bird flu with the pandemic ability of H1N1, according to a new study.

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Sponsored by the NHLBI, Study Shows that COPD, Even When Mild, Limits Heart Function.

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Infant intelligence is more likely to be shaped by family environment than by the amount of omega 3 fatty acids, called DHA, fed in breast milk or fortified formula, according to new research funded by the Medical Research Council and the Food Standards Agency.

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Subgroup analysis from the NO16968 (XELOXA) study demonstrates benefits of Xeloda for patients over 65 or 70 years of age.

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This is the Brooks Residence, and it’s one of the 10 highest LEED-rated homes in California. Located in Venice, California, the craftsman-style home received 109 points and is one of about 20 local homes certified under the LEED for Homes program. It was built by Rick Arreola and designed by Duvivier Architects for principle Isabelle Duvivier, who wanted to modernize the existing home with more space, light, and sustainability.

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