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United Academics Magazine publishes popular science news on a daily basis.

United Academics
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Soeshanah Snel
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  • November 4, 2013
  • 06:31 AM

How To End HIV in Africa

by Patrícia Fonseca Pedro in United Academics

South Africa is known to have a major burden of HIV infection cases. As Pieter Fourie put it in 2006: “AIDS is killing South Africans at a rate equivalent to one September 11th attack every three days”. The situation still is as serious as this: life expectancy should have reached 64 years by now, but with the HIV pandemic it has regressed to about 47 years.... Read more »

  • November 3, 2013
  • 04:29 AM

Masculine Men Experience Greater Sexual Satisfaction

by Eva de Lozanne in United Academics

Initially, researchers S. Daniels and S.K. Bridges hypothesized that masculinity would relate negatively to sexual satisfaction. The ideal of masculinity, the researchers explain, teaches men that they should be directive, dominant, assertive and independent. They assumed that higher levels of these “masculine traits” would get in the way of men’s subjective and emotional satisfaction during sex.... Read more »

  • November 1, 2013
  • 05:14 AM

New Aids therapy works on monkeys

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

New therapy for Aids seems to work on rhesus monkeys. Nature just published two studies about the results of a treatment that uses antibodies to reduce the blood concentration of the virus.... Read more »

  • October 30, 2013
  • 04:00 PM

Serious Gaming, Serious Fun?

by Nura Rutten in United Academics

Serious gaming is big business. Many organizations – companies, schools, NGO’s – use games for training purposes, to engage customers, to advertise and to simulate important and critical situations. It is likely that you have been playing a game that was designed with the purpose of teaching you something, getting you to drink more milk or training your cooperative skills.

Researchers Liu, Li, and Santhanam have studied the way in which different digital games impact the behavior and emotion responses of the players. Their study addresses one key element of gaming: competition. Players seem to favor opportunities to compete with each other and games where there is a challenge. Therefore, their research attempts to analyze the influence of competition on the effort that participants put into their play and their enjoyment.... Read more »

Liu, D., Li, X., & Santhanam, R. (2013) Digital Games and Beyond: What Happens When Players Compete?. MIS Quarterly. info:/

  • October 28, 2013
  • 07:55 AM

5 Crazy Cures that Actually Work

by Jeffrey Daniels in United Academics

Ginger a sailor's best friend? An apple a day keeps the docter away? All kinds of health benefits of seawater, seaweed and silver? I decided to find out if actual peer-review concurs in any way to these claims. Turns out there is some agreement.... Read more »

Nezamoddin Berjis, Seyyed Mehdi Sonbolastan, Seyyed Hanif Okhovat, Ali Asghar Narimani, & Jaleh Razmjui. (2011) Normal Saline Versus Hypertonic 3% Saline: It’s Efficacy in Non-Acute Rhinosinusitis . Iranian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology. info:/

G. Thirumurugan and M. D. Dhanaraju. (2011) Silver Nanoparticles: Real Antibacterial Bullets. Antimicrobial Agents . DOI: 10.5772/32450  

Jun Sung Kim, DVM, PhD,a Eunye Kuk, MS,b Kyeong Nam Yu, MS,a Jong-Ho Kim, MS,g, Sung Jin Park, BS,a Hu Jang Lee, DVM, PhD,c So Hyun Kim, DVM, PhD,d, Young Kyung Park, DVM, MS,d Yong Ho Park, DVM, PhD,d, Cheol-Yong Hwang, DVM, PhD,e Yong-Kwon Kim, PhD,f Yoon-Sik Lee, PhD,g, Dae Hong Jeong, PhD,b,, & Myung-Haing Cho, DVM, PhD. (2007) Antimicrobial effects of silver nanoparticles. Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine. DOI: 10.1016/j.nano.2006.12.001  

  • October 26, 2013
  • 06:11 AM

Good News: Dating Success for the Underdog

by Nura Rutten in United Academics

In the recently published research titled ‘The attractive underdog: When disadvantage bolsters attractiveness’, Kenneth Michniewicz and Joseph Vandello found that unfairly disadvantaged people are perceived as more physically attractive and more suitable for dates.... Read more »

  • October 25, 2013
  • 12:18 PM

Beauty Sleep: Giving Our Brain a Detox

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

We all need our regular beauty sleep, but how exactly does sleep produce its regenerative effects? Scientists have uncovered a mechanism by which sleep helps eliminate toxic substances from the brain and thus critically contributes to maintaining our good health.... Read more »

Xie L, Kang H, Xu Q, Chen MJ, Liao Y, Thiyagarajan M, O'Donnell J, Christensen DJ, Nicholson C, Iliff JJ.... (2013) Sleep drives metabolite clearance from the adult brain. Science (New York, N.Y.), 342(6156), 373-7. PMID: 24136970  

  • October 24, 2013
  • 07:48 AM

Saving Face: The Psychology Of Sunglasses And Facial Moisturizer

by Katja Keuchenius in United Academics

Always wondered why some people just love moisturizing cream and those enormous sunglasses? A new study shows it could be embarrassment. People that are temporarily suffering from this unpleasant feeling are more likely to use a product that could help to ‘save their face’.... Read more »

  • October 23, 2013
  • 07:01 AM

Prospecting for Gold? Trees Will Show You the Way

by Shefali Sabharanjak in United Academics

Want to find gold underground? Plant a tree. No, I mean literally plant a tree. Then come back after a few years, pluck a leaf and chuck it under a microscope. If there is gold underneath the ground, the leaves will have some of the glittering metal in their cells.... Read more »

  • October 22, 2013
  • 10:05 AM

True or False: Birth Control Pills Sabotage Sexual Attraction

by Elisabeth Buhl Thubron in United Academics

Studies exploring the infamous pill are coming to the same conclusion: the Pill affects women’s mate preferences and could ultimately affect the quality and outcome of long-term relationships. Should we be worried or are researchers jumping to conclusions?... Read more »

  • October 21, 2013
  • 08:06 AM

Trouble Understanding Others? Read More Literature

by Chiara Civardi in United Academics

Madame Bovary was a keen reader, but she empathised so deep with the characters of the books that she lost her sense of reality and ended up with a profound dissatisfaction. However, what a recent study shows is that she could have actually become a good psychologist.... Read more »

Kidd DC, & Castano E. (2013) Reading literary fiction improves theory of mind. Science (New York, N.Y.), 342(6156), 377-80. PMID: 24091705  

  • October 18, 2013
  • 10:40 AM

Scientists Detect Alzheimer’s In Patient’s Blood

by Rebekah Morrow in United Academics

A group of Japanese scientists have recently discovered another biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease: a group of seven microRNAs found in the blood. There are several advantages to this newest Alzheimer’s biomarker. ... Read more »

Kumar P, Dezso Z, MacKenzie C, Oestreicher J, Agoulnik S, et al. (2013) Circulating miRNA Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease. PLoS ONE . DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0069807  

Podlesniy P, Figueiro-Silva J, Llado A, Antonell A, Sanchez-Valle R, Alcolea D, Lleo A, Molinuevo JL, Serra N, & Trullas R. (2013) Low cerebrospinal fluid concentration of mitochondrial DNA in preclinical Alzheimer disease. Annals of neurology. PMID: 23794434  

Doecke JD, Laws SM, Faux NG, Wilson W, Burnham SC, Lam CP, Mondal A, Bedo J, Bush AI, Brown B, De Ruyck K, Ellis KA, Fowler C, Gupta VB, Head R, Macaulay SL, Pertile K, Rowe CC, Rembach A, Rodrigues M, Rumble R, Szoeke C, Taddei K, Taddei T, Trounson B, A. (2012) Blood-based protein biomarkers for diagnosis of Alzheimer disease. Arch Neurol. . DOI: 10.1001/archneurol.2012.1282  

  • October 18, 2013
  • 06:57 AM

Researchers Discover Link Between Itch And Pain

by Geetanjali Yadav in United Academics

When you have an itch on the skin, what is the first thing you do? Obviously, our first immediate and natural response would be to scratch the spot of the itch with our fingernails. But, do you have any idea what is happening under your skin when you have an itch?... Read more »

Zhau ZQ, Huo FQ, Jeffry J, Hampton L, Demehri S, Kim S, Liu XY, Barry DM, Wan L, Liu ZC, Li H, Turkoz A, Ma K, Cornelius LA, Kopan R, Battey JF, Zhong J, Chen ZF. (2013) Chronic itch development in sensory neurons requires BRAF signaling pathways. The Journal of Clinical Investigation. DOI: 10.1172/JCI70528  

  • October 17, 2013
  • 06:40 AM

6 Reasons to Take Vitamin D Supplementation

by Guillaume Cote-Maurais in United Academics

Vitamin D is now considered to have several extraskeletal effects, and deficiency in vitamin D is associated with several conditions. Therefore, vitamin D supplementation is being considered as a prevention agent for several health conditions. There are 6 important effects of vitamin D.... Read more »

Christakos S,, Hewison M,, Gardner DG,, Wagner CL,, Sergeev IN,, Rutten E,, Pittas AG,, Boland R,, Ferrucci L, & Bikle DD. (2013) Vitamin D: Beyond Bone. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences . DOI: 10.1111/nyas.12129  

  • October 16, 2013
  • 09:37 AM

Open Access Journals: Overgrowth and Erosion of Quality?

by Nura Rutten in United Academics

Last week, Science published an article that exposed the shortcomings of open-access journals. Author John Bohannon, a science journalist, created fake papers to evaluate the quality of peer review and to find out whether they would be submitted.... Read more »

  • October 16, 2013
  • 07:28 AM

Drugs For Parkinson May Help Attack Multiple Sclerosis

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

In a study published in Nature, scientists from the Scripps Research Institute screened a collection of about 100’000 drugs to find molecules that can promote oligodendrocyte differentiation and stimulate myelination in patients with Multiple Sclerosis. They suprisingly identified benztropine. This is a well-known drug already used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, but its effects on oligodendrocyte differentiation had never been described.... Read more »

Deshmukh VA, Tardif V, Lyssiotis CA, Green CC, Kerman B, Kim HJ, Padmanabhan K, Swoboda JG, Ahmad I, Kondo T.... (2013) A regenerative approach to the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Nature. PMID: 24107995  

  • October 15, 2013
  • 08:28 AM

5 Truths And Lies About Your Brain

by Patricia Pedro in United Academics

Throughout the years we have heard a lot about what we can and should do with our brain. But how much of it is true? Various new studies (dis!)prove six popular brain claims.... Read more »

  • October 14, 2013
  • 10:42 AM

Smarter People Tend To Drink More Alcohol

by Simone Munao in United Academics

According to the social scientist John Mayer, from Western Reserve University, people with a higher IQ drink more alcohol than the average person. He published a research article about his findings in the journal Review of General Psychology. His explanation: it is all about novel evolutionarily experiences.... Read more »

  • October 14, 2013
  • 04:55 AM

Newly Found Fossils Show Origin Of ‘Curling Up’ Defensive Strategy

by Gunnar de Winter in United Academics

You’re under attack! Quick, what do you do? One of the options is to curl up and protect your vulnerable parts, to roll your body into a little ball and prevent as much damage as you possibly can. From woodlice to hedgehogs, this is a defensive strategy that’s widely used throughout the animal kingdom. Now, a new discovery, published in Biology Letters, exposes the earliest known example of this behavior.... Read more »

  • October 12, 2013
  • 11:09 AM

Researchers Discover Link Obesity And Liver Cancer

by Pieter Carrière in United Academics

Is life worth living? It all depends on the liver, postulated ‘Father of American psychology’ William James (1842-1910). His famous quote underlines the central role the liver plays in detoxification, digestion of lipids, storage of nutrients to maintain homeostasis and so on.

Sadly, liver cancer is one the most common cancers worldwide, with 750.000 new patients each year and presumably causing almost 700.000 deaths annually. These figures reveal that liver cancer is extremely lethal and we need to understand more about its etiology.... Read more »

Yoshimoto S, Loo TM, Atarashi K, Kanda H, Sato S, Oyadomari S, Iwakura Y, Oshima K, Morita H, Hattori M.... (2013) Obesity-induced gut microbial metabolite promotes liver cancer through senescence secretome. Nature, 499(7456), 97-101. PMID: 23803760  

Stephenson G.D. and Rose D.P. (2003) Breast cancer and obesity: an update. Nutrition and cancer. DOI: 10.2741/S253  

Ridaura VK, Faith JJ, Rey FE, Cheng J, Duncan AE, Kau AL, Griffin NW, Lombard V, Henrissat B, Bain JR.... (2013) Gut microbiota from twins discordant for obesity modulate metabolism in mice. Science (New York, N.Y.), 341(6150), 1241214. PMID: 24009397  

Swartz MA, Iida N, Roberts EW, Sangaletti S, Wong MH, Yull FE, Coussens LM, & DeClerck YA. (2012) Tumor microenvironment complexity: emerging roles in cancer therapy. Cancer research, 72(10), 2473-80. PMID: 22414581  

Williams S.C.P. (2013) Link between obesity and cancer. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. info:/

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