Skin tough: Why skin is resistant to tearing

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Researchers have recorded the first direct observations of the micro-scale mechanisms behind the ability of skin to resist tearing. The results could be applied to the improvement of artificial skin, or to the development of thin film polymers for flexible electronics.

Soil organic matter susceptible to climate change

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Soil organic matter, long thought to be a semi-permanent storehouse for ancient carbon, may be much more vulnerable to climate change than previously thought. Scientists have found that the common root secretion, oxalic acid, can promote soil carbon loss by an unconventional mechanism — freeing organic compounds from protective associations with minerals.

Exercise largely absent from US medical school curriculum, study shows

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Fewer than half of the physicians trained in the United States in 2013 received formal education or training on the subject of exercise, according to new research. “There are immense medical benefits to exercise; it can help as much as medicine to address some health concerns,” said a national expert on the benefits of physical activity. “Because exercise has medicinal as well as other benefits, I was surprised that medical schools didn’t spend more time on it.”

Bullying by students with disabilities reduced by social-emotional learning

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Peer victimization — bullying — declined 20 percent among students with disabilities who participated in Second Step social-emotional learning curricula, authors of a new study report. More than 120 students with disabilities at two school districts in the Midwest United States participated in the research, which was part of a larger three-year clinical trial of the widely used social-emotional learning curricula Second Step.

In Alzheimer’s mice, memory restored with cancer drug

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Memory and as well as connections between brain cells were restored in mice with a model of Alzheimer’s given an experimental cancer drug, researchers report. “With this treatment, cells under bombardment by beta amyloid plaques show restored synaptic connections and reduced inflammation, and the animal’s memory, which was lost during the course of the disease, comes back,” said the senior author of the study.