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A vegetarian carnivorous plant

Friday, 19 December, 2014

Carnivorous plants catch and digest tiny animals in order and derive benefits for their nutrition. Interestingly the trend towards vegetarianism seems to overcome carnivorous plants as well. The aquatic carnivorous bladderwort, which can be found in many lakes and ponds worldwide, does not only gain profit from eating little animals but also by consuming algae and pollen grains. This results in survival in aquatic habitats where prey animals are rare, and in increased fitness if the animals and algae are caught in a well-balanced diet. An Austrian research group around Marianne Koller-Peroutka and Wolfram Adlassnig published these results in the journal Annals of Botany.

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Experts call for faster mobilisation of “overlooked” survivors to contain Ebola epidemic

Wednesday, 10 December, 2014

“Survivors of Ebola infection are valuable resources still largely overlooked in the struggle to contain the epidemic,” says editorial published in the International Journal of Epidemiology
 
In an editorial published online today in the International Journal of Epidemiology, experts from the Departments of Psychiatry and Epidemiology at Columbia University, New York, are calling for survivors of the Ebola epidemic to be mobilised in a bid to hasten containment of the disease.

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New analysis of the SYMPLICITY HTN-3 trial of renal denervation to lower blood pressure highlights key factors that may have contributed to the unexpected outcome

Monday, 08 December, 2014

A new analysis of an important trial of the blood pressure-lowering procedure, renal denervation, shows that the main results may have been affected by a number of confounding factors that partially explain the unexpected blood pressure responses in patients.
 
The analysis, published in the European Heart Journal, identified factors in the SYMPLICITY HTN-3 trial, such as variations in the way the procedure was performed and changes in patients’ medications and drug adherence, which may have had a significant impact on the results.
 
Results of the SYMPLICITY HTN-3 trial sent shock waves through the cardiology community when they appeared to show that there was no significant difference in patient outcome between renal denervation and a sham procedure among patients with drug resistant hypertension. As a result, renal denervation procedures came to a halt.

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Terrorist attacks decrease fertility levels, says new research

Thursday, 20 November, 2014

A new study published online today in the journal Oxford Economic Papers has found that, on average, terrorist attacks decrease fertility, reducing both the expected number of children a woman has over her lifetime and the number of live births occurring during each year.
 
In recent years, terrorism has grown as a significant factor affecting our lives in unforeseen ways. Much has been written regarding the causes of terrorism, yet the ramifications of prolonged exposure to terrorism are still to be thoroughly studied. This new study, carried out by Dr. Claude Berrebi of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and Dr. Jordan Ostwald of the US Air Force, is the first to empirically identify and quantify an effect of terrorism on fertility.

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A medium amount of physical activity can lower the risk of Parkinson's disease

Wednesday, 19 November, 2014

A new study, published online in Brain: A Journal of Neurology today, followed 43,368 individuals in Sweden for an average of 12.6 years to examine the impact of physical activity on Parkinson's disease risk. It was found that "a medium amount" of physical activity lowers the risk of Parkinson's disease.

Karin Wirdefeldt of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and her colleagues used the Swedish National March Cohort to analyse comprehensive information on physical activity of all kinds. They assessed household and commuting activity, occupational activity, leisure time exercise, and total daily physical activity according to data provided by 27,863 females and 15,505 males as part of an extensive questionnaire. Compared with participants who spent less than two hours per week on household and commuting activity, those who spent more than six hours per week on the same types of activities had a 43% lower risk of developing Parkinson's disease.

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