Public Release: 7-Aug-2008
Trigger for brain plasticity identified
Researchers have long sought a factor that can trigger the brain’s ability to learn — recapturing the “sponge-like” quality of childhood. A study coming in the Aug. 8 Cell identifies such a factor. Called Otx2, it causes a key type of cell in the cortex to mature, initiating a critical period — a window of heightened brain plasticity, when the brain can readily make new connections
Human Frontiers Science Program, Fondation pour La Recherche Medicale, RIKEN, Japanese Ministry of Science, Education and Technology

Public Release: 6-Aug-2008
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Jupiter and Saturn full of liquid metal helium
A strange metal brew lies buried deep within giant gaseous planets such as Jupiter and Saturn, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and in London. The study demonstrates that metallic helium is less rare than was previously thought, and is produced under the kinds of conditions present at the centers of giant gaseous planets such as Jupiter and Saturn, mixing with metal hydrogen to form a liquid metal alloy.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy

Public Release: 6-Aug-2008
Geophysical Research Letters
AGU journal highlights — August 6, 2008
In the issue: Recent African drought heralds drier conditions to come; Is climate change reducing hail over China?; Mapping Venus’s winds; Deep evidence shows past and present warming; Climate models may underestimate heat stored in ground; and Soot from ships worse than expected.

Public Release: 6-Aug-2008
Fossil and molecular evidence reveals the history of major marine biodiversity hotspots
International experts have described three major marine biodiversity hotspots in the last 50 million years, from the oldest, peaked in southwest Europe and northwest Africa, to the modern Indo-Australian Archipelago hotspot. The birth, evolution and death of such hotspots are a product of ecological processes operating over geological time scales of millions of years. To what extent is human activity speeding the evolutionary process of the focus with the highest level of biological diversity, the coral reef ecosystems?

Public Release: 6-Aug-2008
American Association of Diabetes Educators Annual Meeting
94 percent of doctors surveyed are aware of relationship between type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea
Most doctors and diabetes educators are aware of the link between sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes, however little has been done in clinical practice to take the steps needed to diagnose and treat sleep apnea in T2D patients. In response, diabetes clinical educator Virginia Zamudio-Lange will be presenting “While You Were Sleeping: Implementing a Sleep Apnea Screening Protocol” at this year’s American Association of Diabetes Educators annual meeting to demonstrate how doctors and diabetes educators can translate theory into action.

Public Release: 6-Aug-2008
American Journal of Medicine
Alcohol consumption declining, according to results of new study
Overall alcohol use — particularly consumption of beer — is declining in the US, according to a new study published in the August 2008 issue of the American Journal of Medicine. Researchers examined 50 years of data and found several changes in alcohol intake but no change in alcohol use disorders. Americans are drinking significantly less beer and more wine, while hard liquor use has remained fairly constant. More people now report that they are nondrinkers.


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