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

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  • March 19, 2014
  • 06:57 AM

Maxwell Equations And Knot Theory

by Simone Munao in United Academics

Recently published computations show that there are structures of light that satisfy the Maxwell equations with the form of a knot. The simulations prove that the field lines do not lose their topological characteristics, that is to say that they maintain the same shape, up to continuous deformations.... Read more »

Hridesh Kedia, Iwo Bialynicki-Birula, Daniel Peralta-Salas, & William T. M. Irvine. (2013) Tying knots in light fields. Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 150404 (2013) [5 pages]. arXiv: 1302.0342v1

  • March 18, 2014
  • 08:57 AM

Deleting The ‘I’ From CIAP

by Pieter Carrière in United Academics

Although similar symptoms are found in other polyneuropathies, CIAP is an exceptional disease, primarily because the cause is unknown. Researchers only recently found an interesting link between CIAP and other clinical conditions, which could lead to a better diagnosis.... Read more »

Notermans NC, Wokke JH, Franssen H, van der Graaf Y, Vermeulen M, van den Berg LH, Bär PR, & Jennekens FG. (1993) Chronic idiopathic polyneuropathy presenting in middle or old age: a clinical and electrophysiological study of 75 patients. Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry, 56(10), 1066-71. PMID: 7691991  

Visser, N., Vrancken, A., van der Schouw, Y., van den Berg, L., & Notermans, N. (2012) Chronic Idiopathic Axonal Polyneuropathy Is Associated With the Metabolic Syndrome. Diabetes Care, 36(4), 817-822. DOI: 10.2337/dc12-0469  

Singer MA, Vernino SA, & Wolfe GI. (2012) Idiopathic neuropathy: new paradigms, new promise. Journal of the peripheral nervous system : JPNS, 43-9. PMID: 22548623  

  • March 17, 2014
  • 09:50 AM

Obesity, Coca-Colonization And Hunger

by Eva de Lozanne in United Academics

Obesity is (no longer) a problem restrained to wealthy nations. Not a single developing nations has managed to eradicate hunger without shifting to problems of obesity. Hunger may, funny enough, even be one of the factors contributing to obesity.... Read more »

Black RE, Victora CG, Walker SP, Bhutta ZA, Christian P, de Onis M, Ezzati M, Grantham-McGregor S, Katz J, Martorell R.... (2013) Maternal and child undernutrition and overweight in low-income and middle-income countries. Lancet, 382(9890), 427-51. PMID: 23746772  

  • March 14, 2014
  • 06:25 AM

Electroacupuncture blocks deadly systemic inflammation

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

In a paper published in Nature Medicine, Torres-Rosas and colleagues (of Rotgers University in Newark, NJ and of the National Medical Center Siglo XXI in Mexico City), report how nerve stimulation by electroacupuncture (EA) may attenuate the immune responses involved in sepsis and control intense inflammatory states.... Read more »

Torres-Rosas R, Yehia G, Peña G, Mishra P, Del Rocio Thompson-Bonilla M, Moreno-Eutimio MA, Arriaga-Pizano LA, Isibasi A, & Ulloa L. (2014) Dopamine mediates vagal modulation of the immune system by electroacupuncture. Nature medicine, 20(3), 291-5. PMID: 24562381  

Angus, D., & van der Poll, T. (2013) Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock. New England Journal of Medicine, 369(9), 840-851. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMra1208623  

  • March 13, 2014
  • 08:02 AM

Smart Elephants

by Shefali Sabharanjak in United Academics

Although the native Maasai and Kambala tribes live in reasonable harmony with elephants, there have been episodes where Maasai men have speared elephants. Elephants, in order to protect themselves, have learnt to recognize the voices of Maasai men as a warning sign of danger.... Read more »

  • March 12, 2014
  • 07:04 AM

Just A Blood Test Is Enough to Detect Dementia

by geetanjali yadav in United Academics

Researchers developed a technique by which they can forecast if a person is capable of developing dementia in two to three years.This study will help to design and develop a drug that might delay or prevent the onset of disease symptoms in those individuals that are at risk.... Read more »

Mapstone, M., Cheema, A., Fiandaca, M., Zhong, X., Mhyre, T., MacArthur, L., Hall, W., Fisher, S., Peterson, D., Haley, J.... (2014) Plasma phospholipids identify antecedent memory impairment in older adults. Nature Medicine. DOI: 10.1038/nm.3466  

  • March 9, 2014
  • 01:00 PM

Prehistoric Giant Virus Found

by Chiara Civardi in United Academics

Prehistoric giant virus buried in the Siberian ice recovered from a scientific expedition. No, it is not the plot of “The Thing”, but the utter truth: a thirty- thousand- year old virus, whose dimensions are 50 times bigger than the ones of average virus from today, was found by Abergel and Claverie’s team in the Russian permafrost.... Read more »

Legendre M, Bartoli J, Shmakova L, Jeudy S, Labadie K, Adrait A, Lescot M, Poirot O, Bertaux L, Bruley C.... (2014) Thirty-thousand-year-old distant relative of giant icosahedral DNA viruses with a pandoravirus morphology. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 24591590  

Philippe N, Legendre M, Doutre G, Couté Y, Poirot O, Lescot M, Arslan D, Seltzer V, Bertaux L, Bruley C.... (2013) Pandoraviruses: amoeba viruses with genomes up to 2.5 Mb reaching that of parasitic eukaryotes. Science (New York, N.Y.), 341(6143), 281-6. PMID: 23869018  

  • March 7, 2014
  • 04:17 AM

New Teeth Without Surgical Pain

by Patricia Fonseca Pedro in United Academics

Engineering artificial teeth without current complications.... Read more »

  • March 7, 2014
  • 02:15 AM

How intensive care is linked to cognitive defecits

by Rebekah Morrow in United Academics

Patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) often develop cognitive deficits. The symptoms are very similar to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. New research focuses on this link. ... Read more »

Pandharipande PP1, Girard TD, Jackson JC, Morandi A, Thompson JL, Pun BT, Brummel NE, Hughes CG, Vasilevskis EE, Shintani AK, Moons KG, Geevarghese SK, Canonico A, Hopkins RO, Bernard GR, Dittus RS, Ely EW; BRAIN-ICU Study Investigators. (2014) Long-Term Cognitive Impairment after Critical Illness. New England Journal of Medicine, 370(2), 184-186. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc1313886  

  • March 6, 2014
  • 09:07 AM

What’s My Sex Again? Self-image And Gender Affected By Media

by Eva de Lozanne in United Academics

Study shows that sex-priming substantially influences gender-based self-perception... Read more »

  • March 3, 2014
  • 10:10 AM

Why People Pay Fortunes For Celebrity Memorabilia

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

Objects that belonged to famous personalities are very wanted. People pay incredibly high prices to obtain them. Researchers found that the price of an object was influenced by the estimated amount of physical contact that the celebrity had with it. Two theories may explain this finding. ... Read more »

  • March 1, 2014
  • 07:42 AM

Suicide in organisms can benefit kin

by Flora Brils in United Academics

Researchers found that in single-celled algae, suicide is altruistic and helps the organism’s relatives. An interview with the researcher about his findings and the implications for human suicide.... Read more »

  • February 28, 2014
  • 05:10 AM

Sing me a song: the link between bird song and classical music

by Nura Rutten in United Academics

Researchers define the attractiveness of bird song to humans... Read more »

Hsu, K., & Hsu, A. (1990) Fractal geometry of music. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 87(3), 938-941. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.87.3.938  

  • February 27, 2014
  • 06:54 AM

Spanking correlates to reduced vocabulary and bad behavior

by Kate Blanchfield in United Academics

Researchers suggest spanking young children causes behavioural and cognitive problems... Read more »

MacKenzie, M., Nicklas, E., Waldfogel, J., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2013) Spanking and Child Development Across the First Decade of Life. PEDIATRICS, 132(5). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2013-1227  

  • February 26, 2014
  • 07:00 AM

Why (some) women (dis)like porn

by Annemarie van Oosten in United Academics

Pornography is considered a male thing and women are expected to dislike it. But is this really true? Research shows hyperfeminine women evaluate pornographic content quite positively. ... Read more »

  • February 24, 2014
  • 07:00 AM

Newly-found antibodies predict joint damage in Rheumatoid Arthritis

by Pieter Carrière in United Academics

Promising Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) research is done about the involvement of anti-CarP antibodies. These antibodies seem to be an important cause of RA. Moreover, they are associated with more severe joint destruction in RA patients.... Read more »

6. Peters M.J.L., Symmons D.P.M., McCarey D., Dijkmans B.A.C., Nicola P., Kvien T.K., McInnes I.B., Haentzschel H., Gonzalez-Gay M.A., Provan S., Semb A., Sidiropoulos P., Kitas G., Smulders Y.M., Soubrier M., Szekanecz Z., Sattar N. and Nurmohamed M.T. (2010) EULAR evidence-based recommendations for cardiovascular risk management in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of inflammatory arthritis. . Annals of Rheumatic Diseases. DOI: 10.1136/ard.2009.113696  

Wang Z, Nicholls SJ, Rodriguez ER, Kummu O, Hörkkö S, Barnard J, Reynolds WF, Topol EJ, DiDonato JA, & Hazen SL. (2007) Protein carbamylation links inflammation, smoking, uremia and atherogenesis. Nature medicine, 13(10), 1176-84. PMID: 17828273  

Mydel P, Wang Z, Brisslert M, Hellvard A, Dahlberg LE, Hazen SL, & Bokarewa M. (2010) Carbamylation-dependent activation of T cells: a novel mechanism in the pathogenesis of autoimmune arthritis. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), 184(12), 6882-90. PMID: 20488785  

  • February 22, 2014
  • 05:00 AM

How silver can get toxic and harm marine life

by Dyani Lewis in United Academics

Humans have been using silver for millennia – as currency, jewellery, or fine dining cutlery. In these forms, the lustrous metal is harmless. But when silver is allowed to dissolve into solution – as it does in photographic processing applications or in mining operations – the innocuous metal becomes highly toxic. That’s because the free silver ions (Ag ) present in such solutions are far more reactive than those in the solid metal.... Read more »

Pillai S, Behra R, Nestler H, Suter MJF, Sigg L . (2014) Linking toxicity and adaptive responses across the transcriptome, proteome, and phenotype ofChlamydomonas reinhardtii exposed to silver. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/

  • February 21, 2014
  • 08:21 AM

Virtual Customer Service Agents: Any Help?

by Nura Rutten in United Academics

Perhaps you are able to recall this, but there was a time that if you had a question or a complaint, you could go to a building, with a desk, and there was an actual person to talk to and get annoyed with. Nowadays, you type hours of your life away writing emails or filling in contact forms, while being on hold at the customer service for days in a row. However, not long ago, the virtual customer service agent (VCSA) appeared. ... Read more »

  • February 21, 2014
  • 02:51 AM

No Sex Please: Understanding Asexuality

by Elisabeth Buhl Thubron in United Academics

Lack of sexual interest in a highly sexualised Western society: how does that work? Interest in this topic has sky-rocketed in the past decade, yet we still know very little about it. Once thought to be a psychological or biological disorder, asexuality is slowly being accepted as a normal orientation separate from sexual orientations such as heterosexuality and homosexuality.... Read more »

Van Houdenhove E, Gijs L, T'sjoen G, & Enzlin P. (2013) Asexuality: Few Facts, Many Questions. Journal of sex . PMID: 24134401  

  • February 19, 2014
  • 07:10 AM

Western Tests Misdiagnose Morrocan Immigrants As Schizophrenic

by eva de lozanne in United Academics

Immigrants are more often than natives diagnosed with schizophrenia. Afro-Carribeans in England, Inuits in Denmark and Moroccans in the Netherlands are among the most likely to become schizophrenic, according to a Dutch newspaper article. New research however has indicated that standardized test may overdiagnose immigrants due to cultural misinterpretation.... Read more »

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