Latest Science News -- ScienceDaily
Release of ancient methane due to changing climate kept in check by ocean waters
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:40:22 EST
Ocean sediments are a massive storehouse for the potent greenhouse gas methane. But methane only acts as a greenhouse gas if and when it reaches the atmosphere. Environmental scientists recently set out to discover whether or not this ancient-sourced methane, which is released due to warming ocean waters, survives the journey from the seafloor and reaches the atmosphere.
Researchers explore psychological effects of climate change
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:40:10 EST
While some people have little anxiety about the Earth's changing climate, others are experiencing high levels of stress, and even depression, based on their perception of the threat of global climate change, researchers found. Psychological responses to climate change seem to vary based on what type of concern people show for the environment, with those highly concerned about the planet's animals and plants experiencing the most stress.
Prospective birth control pill for men has its origin in an arrow poison
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:40:07 EST
Women have many options for oral contraceptives that are safe, effective and reversible, but despite decades of research, men have none. Now, scientists report a rat study that shows they finally have a good lead for a male birth control pill. It's based on ouabain, a plant extract that African warriors and hunters traditionally used as a heart-stopping poison on their arrows.
Why we keep difficult people in our lives
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:25:13 EST
Chances are someone in your life causes a lot of tension and stress. Difficult relationships are common and hard to evade. New research suggests that difficult people are likely to be found in contexts where people have less freedom to pick and choose their associates. Often it's family and co-workers - people you're stuck with, either because you need them or because you can't ignore them -- making it difficult to cut the cord.
Self-healing fungi concrete could provide sustainable solution to crumbling infrastructure
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:25:11 EST
A new self-healing fungi concrete could help repair cracks in aging concrete permanently, and help save America's crumbling infrastructure.
Novel candidate for antidepressant treatment
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:25:07 EST
A recent article explores how a protein named CK2 could play a key role in the formulation of new antidepressants that work more efficiently and faster for more people.
Scientists on the road to discovering impact of urban road dust
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:25:04 EST
In an attempt to better understand the urban environment and its components, scientists have discovered that sunlight causes chemical reactions in the dust found on Edmonton roads.
Reimbursing ranchers for livestock killed by predators supports conservation efforts
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:24:59 EST
Alberta's predator compensation program offsets costs of conserving wildlife habitat on private lands in the province.
Small but fast: A miniaturized origami-inspired robot combines micrometer precision with high speed
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:13:13 EST
The milliDelta robot integrates a new microfabrication technique with high-performance composite materials that can incorporate flexural joints and bending actuators, the milliDelta can operate with high speed, force, and micrometer precision, which make it compatible with a range of micromanipulation tasks in manufacturing and medicine.
Low fitness is associated with larger waist size and higher degree of inflammation
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:13:09 EST
Low fitness is associated with a larger waist size and a higher degree of inflammation, according to a new study.
New report calls into question effectiveness of pregnancy anti-nausea drug
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:13:00 EST
Previously unpublished information from the clinical trial that the US Food and Drug Administration relied on to approve the most commonly prescribed medicine for nausea in pregnancy indicates the drug is not effective, a new report says.
Nearly imperceptible fluctuations in movement correspond to autism diagnoses
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:57:00 EST
A new study provides the strongest evidence yet that nearly imperceptible changes in how people move can be used to diagnose neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism.
New research could significantly accelerate drug discovery
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:56:58 EST
Many drugs work by inhibiting protein enzymes associated with a particular disease. Unfortunately, the same drugs can inhibit protein enzymes unrelated to the disease, resulting in harmful side effects. A team of computational biologist has developed a way to identify the features that distinguish one enzyme from similar enzymes. This research has the potential to significantly accelerate drug discovery, allowing scientists to develop more effective drugs, more quickly.
Better evidence needed on appropriate screen time for kids
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:55:03 EST
Much of the evidence for the negative effects of screen use in children and teenagers is not based on robust enough science.
New way to target the growth of breast cancer cells
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:55:01 EST
Researchers have found a new way of halting the growth of breast cancer cells. The researchers explored a new way to starve cancer cells from their molecular energy source. They hope that their discoveries can be further developed into a new way of treating breast cancer, and possibly other types of cancer.
Former elite athletes live longer than their brothers
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:54:22 EST
On average, former elite athletes survive longer than their brothers. In addition, their self-rated health and health-related habits are better in comparison to their brothers at an older age. The study included in total 900 former elite athletes and their brothers.
Exposure to water that is both salty and fresh is key to future success
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:54:20 EST
According to Charles Darwin the ability to adapt to new conditions is essential for survival of species. The capacity to cope with altered conditions is becoming increasingly important in the face of climate change. New evidence on salt water tolerance in spawning migrating pike from the Baltic Sea suggests that not being adapted to specific local environments may promote persistence in an uncertain, rapidly changing world.
DIPG tumor patterns offer new insight on survival
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:51:39 EST
A small subset of patients with tumors that bear mutations in a gene in the basic packaging of DNA (known as histone mutations) may have better outcomes than others, suggests new research.
Scale-eating fish adopt clever parasitic methods to survive
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:51:36 EST
A small group of fishes -- possibly the world's cleverest carnivorous grazers -- feeds on the scales of other fish in the tropics. Biologists are trying to understand these scale-feeding fish and how this odd diet influences their body evolution and behavior.
New details emerge on temperature, mobility of earth's lower crust in Rocky Mountains
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:51:33 EST
A research team has mapped the temperature and viscosity of earth's lower crust for the first time.
Key driver of atopic dermatitis discovered
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:12:05 EST
Severe eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that is driven by an allergic reaction. In a new study, researchers reveal an important player that promotes skin inflammation in atopic dermatitis and the characteristic thickening of the skin.
Gaining or losing weight alters molecular profile in humans
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:11:59 EST
The human body undergoes dramatic changes during even short periods of weight gain and loss, according to a new study.
Modular gene enhancer promotes leukemia and regulates effectiveness of chemotherapy
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:11:56 EST
Every day, billions of new blood cells are generated in the bone marrow. The gene Myc is known to play an important role in this process, and is also known to play a role in cancer. Scientists have now found that just how big a role Myc plays is determined by a distant section of DNA that contains a cluster of gene enhancers.
Midbrain 'start neurons' control whether we walk or run
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:11:49 EST
Strolling around or running to catch the train similarly requires us to move. However, the neuronal mechanisms in the brain that allow us to initiate and control these movements are different, a new study reveals. 'Start neurons' in the midbrain are essential to take the first step to initiate locomotion and control the speed, mice models show.
Scientists zoom in to watch DNA code being read
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:11:47 EST
Scientists have unveiled incredible images of how the DNA code is read and interpreted -- revealing new detail about one of the fundamental processes of life.
Secrets of longevity protein revealed in new study
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:11:42 EST
Named after the Greek goddess who spun the thread of life, Klotho proteins play an important role in the regulation of longevity and metabolism. In a recent study, researchers revealed the three-dimensional structure of one of these proteins, beta-Klotho, illuminating its intricate mechanism and therapeutic potential.
Semiconductor breakthrough may be game-changer for organic solar cells
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:11:39 EST
In an advance that could push cheap, ubiquitous solar power closer to reality, researchers have found a way to coax electrons to travel much further than was previously thought possible in the materials often used for organic solar cells and other organic semiconductors.
Future climate change revealed by current climate variations
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:11:32 EST
Uncertainty surrounding the extent of future climate change could be dramatically reduced by studying year-on-year global temperature fluctuations, new research has shown.
Chemical evolution: Progenitors of the living world
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:11:29 EST
RNA was probably the first informational molecule. Now chemists have demonstrated that alternation of wet and dry conditions could have sufficed to drive the prebiotic synthesis of the RNA nucleosides found in all domains of life.
Himawari-8 data assimilated simulation enables 10-minute updates of rain and flood predictions
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:55:25 EST
Using the power of Japan's K computer, scientists have shown that incorporating satellite data at frequent intervals -- 10 minutes in the case of this study -- into weather prediction models can significantly improve the rainfall predictions of the models and allow more precise predictions of the rapid development of a typhoon.
Scientists develop a new material for manipulating molecules
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:55:19 EST
Scientists have created a new porous single-crystal material which could have numerous applications in nanotechnology and catalysis.
New research to help reduce number of algae blooms that form annually
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:16:44 EST
A new study shows that sampling headwaters where streams form can identify which landscapes are resilient enough to handle the rigors of farming and which are vulnerable to leaching toxic residue into waterways.
Coping with climate stress in Antarctica
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:16:40 EST
Some Antarctic fish living in the planet's coldest waters are able to cope with the stress of rising carbon dioxide levels the ocean. They can even tolerate slightly warmer waters. But they can't deal with both climate change stressors at the same time, according to a new study.
California sea lion population rebounded to new highs
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:50:03 EST
California sea lions have fully rebounded under the protection of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, with their population on the West Coast reaching carrying capacity in 2008 before unusually warm ocean conditions reduced their numbers, according to the first comprehensive population assessment of the species.
Accelerating progress to reduce alcohol-impaired driving fatalities
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:49:44 EST
Despite progress in recent decades, more than 10,000 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities occur each year in the US. To address this persistent problem, stakeholders -- from transportation systems to alcohol retailers to law enforcement -- should work together to implement policies and systems to eliminate these preventable deaths, says a new report.
Recording a thought's fleeting trip through the brain
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:49:24 EST
Recording brain activity via electrodes placed directly on the cortical surface (ECoG) provides much clearer views of thinking activity and how the prefrontal cortex coordinates the brain's response to a perception. With the help of 16 epilepsy patients, neuroscientists tracked the brain's activity as it detects, interprets, settles on a response and activates motor areas to respond. The brain prepares to respond very early, even before we know how we will respond.
Patient-derived organoids may help personalize the treatment of gastrointestinal cancers
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:49:21 EST
A new review highlights the potential of 3-D organoid models derived from patient cells to help personalize therapy for individuals with gastrointestinal cancers.
Ultra-thin memory storage device paves way for more powerful computing
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:49:18 EST
A team of electrical engineers has developed the thinnest memory storage device with dense memory capacity, paving the way for faster, smaller and smarter computer chips for everything from consumer electronics to big data to brain-inspired computing.
Prebiotics in infant formula could improve learning and memory and alter brain chemistry
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:49:16 EST
Among other benefits, breast milk contains natural sources of prebiotics: small, indigestible fiber molecules that promote the growth of good bacteria in the baby's gut. Yet for many families, breastfeeding is difficult or impossible. Fortunately, modern infant formulas are getting closer to the real thing with the help of University of Illinois researchers.
Fresh approach to TB vaccine offers better protection
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:49:10 EST
A unique platform that resulted in a promising HIV vaccine has also led to a new, highly effective vaccine against tuberculosis that is moving toward testing in humans. The new vaccine completely protected 41 percent and reduced overall TB disease by 68 percent in vaccinated rhesus macaques, according to a new study.
Minority trainees are up, but not minority faculty
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:49:07 EST
Despite increasing numbers of underrepresented minority (URM) trainees in the biomedical sciences, there is a persistent shortage of URM faculty who are involved in basic biomedical research at medical schools. Investigators examined the entire training pathway of potential faculty candidates to identify points of greatest loss of URM trainees. Two key points of loss: during undergraduate education and in transition from postdoctoral fellowship to tenure-track faculty.
Mantis shrimp size each other up before ceding a fight
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:48:57 EST
To a mantis shrimp, walking away from a fight doesn't mean being a wimp. It means recognizing who they're up against and knowing when to bail rather than drag out a doomed battle, researchers say. Mantis shrimp use sparring matches to decide when to fight and when to fold.
Not just for Christmas: Study sheds new light on ancient human-turkey relationship
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:41:36 EST
For the first time, research has uncovered the origins of the earliest domestic turkeys in ancient Mexico. The study also suggests turkeys weren't only prized for their meat -- with demand for the birds soaring with the Mayans and Aztecs because of their cultural significance in rituals and sacrifices.
Scientists shed light on a key molecular mechanism of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:40:11 EST
An international team of researchers has unraveled a crucial aspect of the molecular basis of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease. Focusing on the immunomodulatory cytokine IL-23 they discovered that its pro-inflammatory activity, which underlies a wide range of inflammatory diseases, critically depends on structural activation of the cytokine by its receptor, IL-23R.
Asymptomatic atrial fibrillation poses challenges for cardiac care
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:40:08 EST
Researchers have found that asymptomatic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF) patients are more likely to be older, male, and have more comorbidities and a higher risk of stroke than symptomatic patients. In an analysis of a sustained AF (SAF) group, the prevalence of major comorbidities and stroke risk were comparable in both asymptomatic and symptomatic patients.
Female rugby players shows a regular season of play results in changes in brain
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:40:05 EST
Researchers have shown that a regular season of play can cause changes in the brain that are similar to changes caused by concussion, though less severe. Using sophisticated Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy the researchers looked at metabolite levels in the brains of female varsity rugby players at the beginning of their season, after suffering a concussion, and again at the end of the season.
Will there be enough public health workers when baby boomers retire?
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:39:59 EST
Researchers estimate that over one quarter of the governmental public health workforce will disappear. They further project that while enough students graduate each year to replace retirees and others who voluntarily quit, they question whether the public health sector can compete with the private sector to hire qualified candidates.
Breakthrough enables screening millions of human antibodies for new drug discovery
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:39:55 EST
A new article outlines a pioneering method of screening a person's diverse set of antibodies for rapid therapeutic discovery. Antibody proteins are an important part of the human immune system that specifically target foreign viruses and bacteria, and they have been the fastest-growing class of approved drugs in the past several decades.
Physicists succeed in measuring mechanical properties of 2-D monolayer materials
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:26:51 EST
Physicists have for the first time succeeded in characterizing the mechanical properties of free-standing single-atom-thick membranes of graphene.
Canine distemper confirmed in Far Eastern leopard, world's most endangered big cat
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:26:48 EST
The Far Eastern or Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) is already among the rarest of the world's big cats, but new research reveals that it faces yet another threat: infection with canine distemper virus (CDV).
Ultra-thin optical fibers offer new way to 3-D print microstructures
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:26:44 EST
For the first time, researchers have shown that an optical fiber as thin as a human hair can be used to create microscopic structures with laser-based 3-D printing. The innovative approach might one day be used with an endoscope to fabricate tiny biocompatible structures directly into tissue inside the body.
Ultrathin black phosphorus for solar-driven hydrogen economy
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:26:37 EST
Researchers combined two different types of 2-D materials -- black phosphorus and bismuth vanadate -- to form a biologically inspired water-splitting catalyst. Normal sunlight could drive the reactions and careful design of the catalyst enabled the expected ratio of hydrogen and oxygen production.
Designing the next generation of hair dyes
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 09:23:45 EST
A public database of more than 300 substances used to dye hair will help accelerate research and development work on more sustainable hair color. Researchers say computer modeling can save years of lab work and millions of dollars.
Nanowrinkles could save billions in shipping and aquaculture
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 09:23:42 EST
Biofouling costs shipping billions in increased fuel costs and affects aquaculture. A nanostructured surface inspired by the carnivorous pitcher plant could slash those costs.
Why don't turtles still have tail spikes?
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 09:23:38 EST
In a study covering 300 million years of evolutionary history, researchers have found four necessary components to tail weapon development: size, armor, herbivory and thoracic stiffness.
Building molecular wires, one atom at a time
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 09:23:34 EST
Researchers have found a simple way to construct and deconstruct molecular metal chains, atom-by-atom.
Morbid obesity: Gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy are comparable
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 09:23:31 EST
In Switzerland, 5,500 operations to combat morbid obesity are conducted every year. Gastric bypasses and sleeve gastrectomy operations perform similarly: patients lose two-thirds of their excess weight in the long term. When it comes to gastric acid reflux, the bypass clearly shows better results.
Nearly 25 percent of chronic ischemic heart disease patients dead or hospitalized in 6 months
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 08:57:29 EST
Nearly a quarter of patients with chronic ischemic cardiovascular disease are dead or hospitalized within six months, reports a new study.
Some nursing homes gaming the system to improve their Medicare star ratings
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 08:57:25 EST
A new study of nursing homes in California, the nation's largest system found that some nursing homes inflate their self-assessment reporting to improve their score in the Five-Star Quality Rating System employed by Medicare to help consumers.
Odd behavior of star reveals lonely black hole hiding in giant star cluster
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 08:56:06 EST
Astronomers using ESO's MUSE instrument on the Very Large Telescope in Chile have discovered a star in the cluster NGC 3201 that is behaving very strangely. It appears to be orbiting an invisible black hole with about four times the mass of the sun -- the first such inactive stellar-mass black hole found in a globular cluster and the first found by directly detecting its gravitational pull.