Latest Science News -- ScienceDaily
'Virtual safe space' to help bumblebees
Wed, 23 May 2018 16:04:05 EDT
The many threats facing bumblebees can be tested using a 'virtual safe space.'
Cheap, small carbon nanotubes
Wed, 23 May 2018 16:01:48 EDT
Carbon nanotubes are supermaterials that can be stronger than steel and more conductive than copper, but they're rare because, until now, they've been incredibly expensive.
A promising target in the quest for a 1-million-year-old Antarctic ice core
Wed, 23 May 2018 16:01:43 EDT
The oldest ice core so far provides 800,000 years of our planet's climate history. A field survey in Antarctica has pinpointed a location where an entire million years of undisturbed ice might be preserved intact.
Microplastics may be abundant in the surface sediments of Baynes Sound and Lambert Channel
Wed, 23 May 2018 15:00:12 EDT
Microplastics were found at all 16 sites studied in Baynes Sound and Lambert Channel, British Columbia, and were most abundant in the sediments of Henry Bay and Metcalfe Bay, according to a new study.
Early-life obesity impacts children's learning and memory, study suggests
Wed, 23 May 2018 14:59:50 EDT
A new study found that children on the threshold of obesity or overweight in the first two years of life had lower perceptual reasoning and working memory scores than lean children when tested at ages five and eight. The study also indicated that IQ scores may be lower for higher-weight children.
'Uniquely human' muscles have been discovered in apes
Wed, 23 May 2018 14:58:42 EDT
Muscles believed to be unique to humans have been discovered in several ape species, challenging long-held anthropocentric theories on the origin and evolution of human soft tissues. This questions the view that certain muscles evolved to provide special adaptations for human traits, such as walking on two legs, tool use, and sophisticated vocal communication and facial expressions. The findings highlight that thorough knowledge of ape anatomy is necessary for a better understanding of human evolution.
Streams may emit more carbon dioxide in a warmer climate
Wed, 23 May 2018 14:58:39 EDT
Streams and rivers could pump carbon dioxide into the air at increasing rates if they continue to warm, potentially compounding the effects of global warming, a new worldwide analysis has shown.
Fleet of autonomous boats could service cities to reduce road traffic
Wed, 23 May 2018 14:58:36 EDT
Researchers have designed a fleet of autonomous boats that offer high maneuverability and precise control. The boats can also be rapidly 3-D printed using a low-cost printer, making mass manufacturing more feasible.
A first look at the earliest decisions that shape a human embryo
Wed, 23 May 2018 13:33:50 EDT
For the first time, scientists have shown that a small cluster of cells in the human embryo dictates the fate of other embryonic cells. The discovery of this developmental 'organizer' could advance research into any human diseases, and it suggests we have more in common with birds than meets the eye.
Unprecedented detail in pulsar 6,500 light-years from Earth
Wed, 23 May 2018 13:32:19 EDT
A team of astronomers has performed one of the highest resolution observations in astronomical history by observing two intense regions of radiation, 20 kilometers apart, around a star 6,500 light-years away. The observation is equivalent to using a telescope on Earth to see a flea on the surface of Pluto.
Researchers squeeze light into nanoscale devices and circuits
Wed, 23 May 2018 13:32:05 EDT
Investigators have made a major breakthrough in nanophotonics research, with their invention of a novel 'home-built' cryogenic near-field optical microscope that has enabled them to directly image, for the first time, the propagation and dynamics of graphene plasmons at variable temperatures down to negative 250 degrees Celsius. If researchers can harness this nanolight, they will be able to improve sensing, subwavelength waveguiding, and optical transmission of signals.
Utah fossil reveals global exodus of mammals' near relatives to major continents
Wed, 23 May 2018 13:32:03 EDT
A nearly 130-million-year-old fossilized skull found in Utah is an Earth-shattering discovery in one respect. The small fossil is evidence that the super-continental split likely occurred more recently than scientists previously thought and that a group of reptile-like mammals that bridge the reptile and mammal transition experienced an unsuspected burst of evolution across several continents.
Recombinant E. Coli As a biofactory for the biosynthesis of diverse nanomaterials
Wed, 23 May 2018 10:43:05 EDT
A metabolic research group has developed a recombinant E. coli strain that biosynthesizes 60 different nanomaterials covering 35 elements on the periodic table. Among the elements, the team could biosynthesize 33 novel nanomaterials for the first time, advancing the forward design of nanomaterials through the biosynthesis of various single and multi-elements.
Atomic-scale manufacturing now a reality
Wed, 23 May 2018 10:43:00 EDT
Scientists have applied a machine learning technique using artificial intelligence to perfect and automate atomic-scale manufacturing, something which has never been done before. The vastly greener, faster, smaller technology enabled by this development greatly reduces impact on the climate while still satisfying the insatiable demands of the information age.
Beyond the limits of conventional electronics: Stable organic molecular nanowires
Wed, 23 May 2018 10:42:53 EDT
Scientists have created the first thermally stable organic molecular nanowire devices using a single 4.5-nm-long molecule placed inside electroless gold-plated nanogap electrodes.
Lightening up dark galaxies
Wed, 23 May 2018 09:13:07 EDT
Astronomers have identified at least six candidates for dark galaxies -- galaxies that have a few (if any) stars in them and are, for that reason, notoriously difficult to detect with current instruments.
Skin responsible for greater exposure to carcinogens in barbecue smoke than lungs
Wed, 23 May 2018 09:13:04 EDT
With summer coming, it's only a matter of time before the smells and tastes of barbecued foods dominate the neighborhood. But there's a downside to grilling that can literally get under your skin. Scientists report that skin is a more important pathway for uptake of cancer-causing compounds produced during barbecuing than inhalation. They also found that clothing cannot fully protect individuals from this exposure.
Spike in severe black lung disease among former US coal miners
Wed, 23 May 2018 09:13:02 EDT
The number of cases of progressive massive fibrosis, the most severe form of black lung disease, has been increasing dramatically among coal workers and especially younger workers in central Appalachia.
Floridians could far far more frequent, intense Heatwaves
Wed, 23 May 2018 09:12:51 EDT
By the late 21st century, if atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations reach worst-case projections, Floridians could experience summer heatwaves three times more frequently, and each heatwave could last six times longer and be much hotter than at present, according to new research.
Leg exercise is critical to brain and nervous system health
Wed, 23 May 2018 08:02:14 EDT
New research shows that using the legs, particularly in weight-bearing exercise, sends signals to the brain that are vital for the production of healthy neural cells. The groundbreaking study fundamentally alters brain and nervous system medicine -- giving doctors new clues as to why patients with motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal muscular atrophy and other neurological diseases often rapidly decline when their movement becomes limited.
Top 10 new species for 2018
Wed, 23 May 2018 08:02:11 EDT
The large and small, beautiful and bizarre are among the newly discovered animals, plants and microbes announced as the Top 10 New Species for 2018.
Evening use of light-emitting tablets may disrupt healthy sleep
Wed, 23 May 2018 08:02:06 EDT
A new study reveals that evening use of light-emitting tablets can induce delays in desired bedtimes, suppress secretion of melatonin (the hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness), and impair next-morning alertness.
Space-like gravity weakens biochemical signals in muscle formation
Wed, 23 May 2018 08:02:00 EDT
Microgravity conditions affect DNA methylation of muscle cells, slowing their differentiation.
Can weekend sleep make up for the detriments of sleep deprivation during the week?
Wed, 23 May 2018 08:00:35 EDT
In a recent study, short, but not long, weekend sleep was associated with an increased risk of early death in individuals under 65 years of age.
Centenarians' end-of-life thoughts: is their social network informed?
Wed, 23 May 2018 07:59:56 EDT
People in centenarians' close social networks are often not aware of their thoughts on end-of-life issues, a new study reveals.
Early life trauma in men associated with reduced levels of sperm microRNAs
Tue, 22 May 2018 22:56:02 EDT
Exposure to early life trauma can elevate risk for poor physical and mental health in individuals and their children. A new epigenetics study in both men and mice posits that some of the vulnerability in children may derive from stress-associated reductions in microRNAs in their father's sperm.
Prescription costs increase for low-value treatments despite reduction in numbers
Tue, 22 May 2018 22:55:58 EDT
Despite a fall in prescription numbers for low-value treatments, the overall cost of prescribing these items in English primary care has risen, according to new research.
Study casts doubt on traditional view of pterosaur flight
Tue, 22 May 2018 22:55:49 EDT
A new study of how ligaments restrict joint movement suggests that pterosaurs and 'four-winged' dinosaurs couldn't have flown in the same way that bats do.
How high-latitude corals cope with the cold
Tue, 22 May 2018 22:55:45 EDT
Corals growing in high-latitude reefs in Western Australia can regulate their internal chemistry to promote growth under cooler temperatures, according to new research.
New treatment for severe asthma
Tue, 22 May 2018 17:00:52 EDT
Researchers have developed a new method to treat severe asthma. In a study of over 200 participants with severe asthma, the new treatment was shown to have improved asthma symptoms and lung function, while reducing the need for corticosteroids by up to 70%.
Training compassion 'muscle' may boost brain's resilience to others' suffering
Tue, 22 May 2018 17:00:49 EDT
A new study suggests that as little as two weeks of compassion meditation training -- intentionally cultivating positive wishes to understand and relieve the suffering of others -- may reduce the distress a person feels when witnessing another's suffering. The findings may have implications for professions in which people routinely work with others who are suffering, like doctors, law enforcement officers and first responders.
Putting the optical microscope under the microscope to achieve atomic accuracy
Tue, 22 May 2018 17:00:46 EDT
New work enables optical microscopes to measure these nanometer-scale details with a new level of accuracy.
Amazonian 'lookout' birds help other species live in dangerous neighborhoods
Tue, 22 May 2018 17:00:44 EDT
Usually, birds of a feather flock together -- but in the Amazon, some flocks feature dozens of species of all shapes and colors. A new study singles out one reason why these unusually diverse flocks exist: lookout species that call in alarm when they spot dangerous predators.
How order first appears in liquid crystals
Tue, 22 May 2018 16:01:54 EDT
Chemists have shown a technique that can identify regions in a liquid crystal system where molecular order begins to emerge just before the system fully transitions from disordered to ordered states.
Posttraumatic stress affects academics
Tue, 22 May 2018 15:44:16 EDT
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by traumatic military experiences is associated with feelings of anxiety, anger, sadness and/or guilt. New research is evaluating how PTSD symptoms increase risks for academic difficulties as well.
Guns in Chicago just '2.5 handshakes' away, study finds
Tue, 22 May 2018 15:44:12 EDT
In one of the first studies to try to map a gun market using network science, researchers used the novel scientific approach to understand how close offenders are to guns in the city of Chicago. Recreating Chicago's co-offending network of approximately 188,000 people, the researchers used data on firearms recovered by the Chicago Police Department to locate who in the network possessed those guns.
Gauging language proficiency through eye movement
Tue, 22 May 2018 15:21:26 EDT
A new study indicates eye movement can reveal the proficiency of people reading English as a second language.
Fluid dynamics may play key role in evolution of cooperation
Tue, 22 May 2018 15:21:23 EDT
In a new study, physicists examined how the mechanical properties of an environment may shape the social evolution of microbial populations.
Science in the palm of your hand: How citizen science transforms passive learners
Tue, 22 May 2018 15:21:20 EDT
Citizen science projects can engage even children who previously were not interested in science. This article provides guidance on building these lessons.
Malaria-causing parasite manipulates liver cells to survive
Tue, 22 May 2018 15:21:17 EDT
Before invading the bloodstream, the malaria-causing Plasmodium parasite rapidly reproduces inside its host's liver cells. Researchers show that liver-stage Plasmodium relies on a host protein called aquaporin-3 to survive and copy itself. Inhibiting the function of aquaporin-3 may provide a new way to keep Plasmodium from proliferating and prevent malaria before symptoms start.
Using 3-D X-rays to measure particle movement inside lithium ion batteries
Tue, 22 May 2018 15:21:14 EDT
Lithium ion battery performance can decay over time, may not fully charge after many charge/discharge cycles, and may discharge quickly even when idle. Researchers have applied a technique using 3D X-ray tomography of an electrode to better understand what is happening on the inside of a lithium ion battery and ultimately build batteries with more storage capacity and longer life.
New tech may make prosthetic hands easier for patients to use
Tue, 22 May 2018 13:27:03 EDT
Researchers have developed new technology for decoding neuromuscular signals to control powered, prosthetic wrists and hands. The work relies on computer models that closely mimic the behavior of the natural structures in the forearm, wrist and hand. The technology could also be used to develop new computer interface devices for applications such as gaming and computer-aided design.
Invasive seaweed makes fish change their behavior
Tue, 22 May 2018 13:26:36 EDT
Researchers have found that changes in the seascape may impact the behavior of fish and could be leaving them less options for refuge and more vulnerable to predators.
Technique doubles conversion of CO2 to plastic component
Tue, 22 May 2018 13:26:14 EDT
Fossil fuels have long been the precursor to plastic, but new research has detailed a technique for doubling the amount of carbon dioxide that gets converted to ethylene -- an essential component of the world's most common plastic.
Two-and-a-half-year expedition ends in world's most biodiverse protected area
Tue, 22 May 2018 13:26:07 EDT
After a two-and-a-half-year expedition through the world's most biodiverse protected area, the Identidad Madidi explorers have concluded their epic quest of completing a massive biological survey of Madidi National Park, uncovering more than 120 potentially new species of plants, butterflies and vertebrates in the process.
Decoding digital ownership: Why your e-book might not feel like 'yours'
Tue, 22 May 2018 13:23:27 EDT
People feel very differently about owning physical books versus e-books, a recent study shows. While stereotypes suggest that younger consumers prefer digital books, that is not actually the case, researchers found.
New brain development disorder identified by scientists
Tue, 22 May 2018 13:22:59 EDT
Researchers have identified a new inherited neurodevelopmental disease that causes slow growth, seizures and learning difficulties in humans.
First record of large-antlered muntjac in Vietnam
Tue, 22 May 2018 12:33:27 EDT
In November 2017 -- under a biodiversity monitoring and assessment activity supported by the US Agency for International Development -- scientists and conservationists captured photographs of one of the rarest and most threatened mammal species of Southeast Asia, the large-antlered muntjac, in Quang Nam province, central Vietnam.
Married couples share risk of developing diabetes
Tue, 22 May 2018 12:33:24 EDT
Researchers have discovered a connection between the BMI of one spouse and the other spouse's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The researchers therefore believe that efforts to detect undiagnosed diabetes and so-called prediabetes should not focus exclusively on the individual, but also on couples and households.
Embryonic mammary gland stem cells identified
Tue, 22 May 2018 12:33:21 EDT
Scientists have identified the mechanisms that regulate mammary gland development. Using a combination of lineage tracing, molecular profiling, single cell sequencing and functional experiments, they have demonstrated that mammary gland initially develops from multipotent progenitors during the early steps of embryonic mammary gland morphogenesis whereas postnatal mammary gland development is mediated by lineage-restricted stem cells.
'Spooky action at a distance': Researchers develop module for quantum repeater
Tue, 22 May 2018 12:33:19 EDT
Physicists have succeeded in entangling a single atom with a single photon in the telecom wavelength range. This constitutes a basic building block for transmission of quantum information over long distance with low loss.
Researchers build artificial cellular compartments as molecular workshops
Tue, 22 May 2018 12:33:16 EDT
How to install new capabilities in cells without interfering with their metabolic processes? Scientists have altered mammalian cells in such a way that they formed artificial compartments in which sequestered reactions could take place, allowing the detection of cells deep in the tissue and also their manipulation with magnetic fields.
The prevalence of twin births in pure Spanish horses
Tue, 22 May 2018 12:33:11 EDT
A group of researchers has published the first study to determine the prevalence of twin births and chimerism in a large population of PRE horses, and the results suggest that chimerism is not especially connected to infertility.
Lead exposure found to affect fertility rates
Tue, 22 May 2018 12:33:08 EDT
New research that examined the impact of exposure to lead (in the air and topsoil) on fertility in the United States has found that exposure matters for both women and men. It is the first study to find causal evidence of the relationship between lead exposure and fertility rates in the 1980s and mid-2000s.
Remote control of transport through nanopores
Tue, 22 May 2018 12:33:05 EDT
In our bodies, the transfer of genetic information, viral infections and protein trafficking, as well as the synthesis and degradation of biomolecules are all phenomena that require the transport of molecules through channels. In a new study scientists have shown how to alter external factors such as external voltage to control the transport of a sample molecule through a test nanopore.
Research supports restrictions on opioid-containing cold medicines for children
Tue, 22 May 2018 12:33:01 EDT
Prescription cough and cold medicines containing the opioid hydrocodone were more likely to cause serious side effects in children than those containing codeine, according to a new study. The research supports recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) restrictions on prescription hydrocodone- and codeine-containing cough medicines for children and suggests that opioids in general should not be prescribed for coughs and colds in pediatric populations.
From a model of fluids to the birth of a new field in computational physics
Tue, 22 May 2018 12:32:58 EDT
It may sound like the stuff of fairy tales, but in the 1950s two numerical models initially developed as a pet project by physicists led to the birth of an entirely new field of physics: computational statistical mechanics.
Physicists with green fingers estimate tree spanning rate in random networks
Tue, 22 May 2018 12:32:55 EDT
Scientists calculate the total number of spanning trees in randomly expanding networks. This method can be applied to modelling scale-free network models, which, as it turns out, are characterized by small-world properties.
Could we predict the next Ebola outbreak by tracking the migratory patterns of bats?
Tue, 22 May 2018 12:32:50 EDT
The researchers worked with satellite information and parameter sampling techniques to create their Ebola-prediction framework, which integrates data and modeling to predict the conditions linking bats' behavior with the outbreak of Ebola.
Subtle hearing loss while young changes brain function
Tue, 22 May 2018 12:32:46 EDT
New research has found that young people with subtle hearing loss -- the kind they aren't even aware of -- are putting demands on their brains that typically wouldn't be seen until later in life.