What's the buzz

What's the buzz

66 pc asthma sufferers are also allergic

At least two-thirds of all adult asthma sufferers also have an allergy, a new study has found.

The research concluded that an astonishing 75 percent of asthmatic adults aged 20- to 40-years-old, and 65 percent of asthmatic adults aged 55 years and older, have at least one allergy.

"Allergists have known the prevalence of allergies among asthmatic children is high at 60 to 80 percent, but it was thought allergies were not as common in asthmatic adults," said allergist Paula Busse, MD, lead study author. "These findings are important, and can help lead to proper diagnosis and treatment." A total of 2,573 adults were studied in a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). A panel of 19 allergens was used to detect allergy among asthmatics.

While asthma is frequently associated with children, it is not uncommon among adults 60 years and older, affecting three to seven percent. This number is likely higher, however, because asthma is often underdiagnosed in older adults, the report said.

How spiral galaxies get their arms

How spiral galaxies like our Milky Way get and maintain their characteristic arms has proved to be an enduring puzzle in astrophysics.

The answers to these and other questions are now coming into focus as researchers capitalize on powerful new computer simulations to follow the motions of as many as 100 million “stellar particles” as gravity and other astrophysical forces sculpt them into familiar galactic shapes.

A team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has made simulations that seem to resolve long-standing questions about the origin and life history of spiral arms in disk galaxies.
“We show for the first time that stellar spiral arms are not transient features, as claimed for several decades,” said UW-Madison astrophysicist Elena D’Onghia, who led the new research along with Harvard colleagues Mark Vogelsberger and Lars Hernquist.
“The spiral arms are self-perpetuating, persistent, and surprisingly long lived,” added Vogelsberger.

The origin and fate of the emblematic spiral arms in disk galaxies have been debated by astrophysicists for decades, with two theories predominating.

Carbon aerogel is world’s lightest substance

Chinese scientists have created the world’s lightest substance - a material so insubstantial that it can perch on the petals of a delicate flower without crushing them.
A cubic centimeter of the record-setting stuff, carbon aerogel, has a mass of only 0.16 milligram, according to a new study by scientists at Zhejiang University.

That’s 12 percent lighter than an equal volume of the previous record-holder, a substance known as aerographite.

If the average human body were made entirely of carbon aerogel instead of flesh and bone, it would weigh only a quarter-pound.

Lightweight substances can have some pretty heavy-duty applications, and that certainly seems to be the case here.

Durable and highly elastic, carbon aerogel may become a useful material in advanced electronics and a big player in pollution control, study co-author Dr. Chao Gao, a professor of polymer science and engineering at the university, told the Huffington Post in an email.

Carbon aerogel can absorb up to 900 times its weight in liquid, he said.  
Dr. Gao’s team started with a semi-solid gel of carbon nanotubes and graphene and then used a freeze-drying process to convert it to a solid.
Unlike earlier-generation ultralight materials, this new substance is “quite easy to make,” according to Gao.

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