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Risky Alcohol Consumption Can Increase at Time of Retirement

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Every tenth employee increases their alcohol consumption to risky levels at the time of retirement from full-time employment. However, the increase seems to be temporary as risky drinking often decreases during the retirement. For most pensioners, alcohol consumption remains below the risk levels before and after retirement. The results of the new Finnish study were published in the esteemed Addiction journal. Of retiring employees, 12 percent increased their risky drinking at the time of retirement. However, for most people, there was no change in risky level alcohol consumption around the time of retirement: 81 percent sustained healthy drinking during the follow-up, and in 7 percent of the participants risky drinking was constant, although they experienced a slow decline in risky level alcohol consumption after retirement. In the study, the levels for risky drinking were 24 units per week for men and 16 units for women, or passing out due to extreme alcohol consumption.


Identification of Protein Crucial to Lymphatic System Development

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Polydom deficient mouse shows severe edema in skin and thoracic cavity (right). Wild-type mouse embryo is shown in left panel.


Lymphatic vessels form a circulatory system that plays an important role in controlling the amount of fluid in tissues, and allowing the immune system to identify and target threats. When the lymphatic system malfunctions, fluid accumulates in tissues, producing a condition known as edema. This can be fatal; for example, lung edema can cause respiratory arrest. The molecular mechanisms underlying lymphatic system development are not fully understood, with particular uncertainty surrounding the later stages of development, in which the primitive system is remodeled to produce a mature, functional lymphatic vasculature.


Children with autism find understanding facial expressions difficult but make similar mistakes as peers - new study finds

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Examples of morph sequence stimuli from low intensity (left) to high intensity (right). From top to bottom; male adult angry sequence, female adult surprise sequence, male child happy sequence, female child sad sequence


Young people with autism spectrum conditions (ASC) have difficulties recognising and distinguishing between different facial expressions, according to research from one of the largest studies to look at emotion recognition in children and adolescents with ASC. The University of Bristol findings are published today [31 Mar 2017] in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. A team from Bristol’s School of Experimental Psychology aimed to find out whether six basic facial expressions differing in intensity are challenging for young people with autism to recognise.


Scientists go out on a limb to study tree-climbing land snails

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Land snails are generally believed to be ground-dwelling creatures, preferring dark and humid places, like the forest floor, or a suburban garden. So why do we find some species of snails in the tops of trees, where it is relatively light and dry? Associate Professor Ikuyo Saeki from the University of Tsukuba, Japan and her colleagues from Hokkaido University and other institutions, have performed some fascinating research to find out why. Prof. Saeki wanted to know what drives animals to leave the ground, defying gravity to live in the tree tops. Is it because there are fewer predators, or less competition with other animals? Is there more, or better, food? Some studies suggest that tree-dwelling species live longer than ground dwellers, but this idea, along with the others, is not easy to test in a natural environment. That’s when Prof. Saeki and her colleagues decided to enlist the help of a Japanese tree-climbing land snail.


Corals Die as Global Warming Collides with Local Weather in the South China Sea

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Bleached Acropora colony photographed in July 2015. A new study finds that a 2°C rise in the sea surface temperature of the South China Sea in June 2015 was amplified to produce a 6°C rise on the Dongsha Atoll, killing approximately 40 percent of the resident coral community. (Photo by Thomas DeCarlo, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

In the South China Sea, a 2°C rise in the sea surface temperature in June 2015 was amplified to produce a 6°C rise on Dongsha Atoll, a shallow coral reef ecosystem, killing approximately 40 percent of the resident coral community according to a study published in Scientific Reports this week. Wind and waves churn the sea, flushing shallow-water coral reefs with seawater from the open ocean to help them stay cool. But according to new research from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), when the weather turns still and these natural cooling mechanisms subside, just a few degrees of ocean warming can prove lethal to the corals that live there.


‘Forest mobilisation:’ unlocking Europe’s wood energy potential

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Increasing the woody biomass supply sustainably, continuously and at acceptable prices is a huge challenge . It’s not always easy to see the wood from trees when dealing with complex challenges in energy policy. However, Europe is increasingly finding in its forests a significant source of renewable energy that could help the region move away from fossil fuel dependency. Known collectively as woody biomass, these by-products of forest management are also useful raw materials to be crafted into wood products, turned into energy or converted into mulch and erosion control materials.


A new approach to amplifying DNA; A small paradigm shift within molecular photocopying

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During replication, the two strands are separated. Each strand of the original DNA molecule then serves as a template for the production of its complementary counterpart (Figure: Wikimedia Commons).


Analyzing DNA is useful for a number of vital applications. This includes diagnosis and monitoring of diseases, identification of criminals, and studying the function of a targeted segment of DNA. However, methods used for analyses often require more DNA than may be available in a typical sample. ‘Therefore, amplification is necessary, but not always straightforward. The most widely used amplification or photocopying method is the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A new PCR method could help the amplification process, and thus develop robust assays that previously would not have been possible. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a molecule found in the nucleus of cells and carries the 'instructions' for the development and functioning of living organisms. It is often compared to a set of blueprints since it contains the instructions needed to build cells. These instructions are divided into segments along a strand of DNA.


Rischi per l'ambiente dall'uso eccessivo di antibiotici nella zootecnia

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Con l'aumento della produzione zootecnica, per soddisfare le esigenze di una popolazione mondiale in crescita, è cresciuta a dismisura anche la somministrazione di antibiotici a bovini, suini e polli negli allevamenti di tipo intensivo. Si tratta di una pratica ancora vietata in Europa, ma praticata senza divieti in Cina e Stati Uniti. L’impiego è normalmente previsto per contenere infezioni e altre malattie fra capi che vivono fra di loro a stretto contatto, ma la FDA denuncia anche un uso superfluo per accelerare la crescita della muscolatura, in particolare nei bovini. Una stima parla addirittura dell'80 % di produzione di antibiotici negli Stati Uniti destinata all'allevamento.  Questa tendenza sta facendo in modo che aumenti la resistenza dei batteri agli antibiotici all'interno del suolo, comportando rischi sulla reale efficacia di questi farmaci. Il loro impiego massiccio infatti svolge un 'azione sul suolo, ed in particolare sui microrganismi, che non va sottovalutata.


Un hub per la scienza del patrimonio culturale

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Prende il via la fase preparatoria dell’infrastruttura di ricerca europea per la scienza applicata al patrimonio culturale: E-RIHS PP - European Research Infrastructure for Heritage Science Preparatory Phase. Firenze candidata a ospitare la sede centrale europea. Il progetto è finanziato dall’Ue e guidato dal Cnr, con il patrocinio del Comune di Firenze e della Regione Toscana e con il supporto della Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze


Si è tenuto oggi a Firenze, presso la Sala Capitolare della Caserma Redi (ex Convento del Maglio), il workshop internazionale ‘Towards a European Research Infrastructure for Heritage Science’, evento di avvio della fase preparatoria ‘E-RIHS PP - European Research Infrastructure for Heritage Science Preparatory Phase’, l’infrastruttura di ricerca europea per la scienza del patrimonio, unico dei sei nuovi progetti entrati nella Roadmap ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructure) nel 2016 a guida italiana. Per questo avvio la Commissione Europea ha approvato un finanziamento di 4 milioni di euro sul programma di ricerca e sviluppo Horizon 2020. Il progetto è finanziato dall’Ue e sostenuto da Miur, Mibact, Mise, patrocinato da Comune di Firenze e Regione Toscana, con il supporto della Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze che si è impegnata a mettere a disposizione l’immobile (cioè la Caserma Redi) nel caso Firenze diventi la sede permanente.



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Scienzaonline con sottotitolo Sciencenew 
Autorizzazioni del Tribunale di Roma – diffusioni:
telematica quotidiana 229/2006 del 08/06/2006
mensile per mezzo stampa 293/2003 del 07/07/2003
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