Latest Science News -- ScienceDaily
Punishing a wrongdoer more rewarding to brain than supporting a victim
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 14:12:25 EST
Punishing a wrongdoer may be more rewarding to the brain than supporting a victim. That is one suggestion of new research which measured the brain activity of young men while they played a 'justice game.'
Mouse model of intellectual disability isolates learning gene
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 14:12:22 EST
Adult male mice lacking a gene linked to intellectual disability have trouble completing and remembering mazes, with no changes in social or repetitive behavior, according to new research. This animal model provides a new way to study the role of this gene in learning and memory and provides a rodent model of pure intellectual disability.
Real-time Captcha technique improves biometric authentication
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 14:12:19 EST
A new login authentication approach could improve the security of current biometric techniques that rely on video or images of users' faces. Known as Real-Time Captcha, the technique uses a unique 'challenge' that's easy for humans -- but difficult for attackers who may be using machine learning and image generation software to spoof legitimate users.
Computers aid discovery of new, inexpensive material to make LEDs with high color quality
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 12:48:03 EST
Computers have helped researchers develop a new phosphor that can make LEDs cheaper and render colors more accurately. Researchers predicted the new phosphor using supercomputers and data mining algorithms, then developed a simple recipe to make it in the lab. Unlike many phosphors, this one is made of inexpensive, earth-abundant elements and can easily be made using industrial methods. As computers predicted, the new phosphor performed well in tests and in LED prototypes.
First video of 'Dumbo' octopod hatchling shows that they look like mini-adults
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 12:48:00 EST
Researchers who've gotten the first look at a deep-sea 'dumbo' octopod hatchling report that the young octopods look and act much like adults from the moment they emerge from an egg capsule. Dumbo octopods are so named because their fins resemble Dumbo the elephant's ears.
New algorithm can pinpoint mutations favored by natural selection in large sections of the human genome
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 11:55:21 EST
A team of scientists has developed an algorithm that can accurately pinpoint, in large regions of the human genome, mutations favored by natural selection. The finding provides deeper insight into how evolution works, and ultimately could lead to better treatments for genetic disorders. For example, adaptation to chronic hypoxia at high altitude can suggest targets for cardiovascular and other ischemic diseases.
Novel mechanism linking changes in mitochondria to cancer cell death
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 11:55:19 EST
Researchers have discovered that the activation of a specific enzyme may help suppress the spread of tumors.
You are what you eat: Diet-specific adaptations in vampire bats
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 11:54:39 EST
Vampire bats feed exclusively on blood, a mode of feeding unique amongst mammals. It has therefore been long suspected that vampire bats have highly specific evolutionary adaptations, which would be documented in their genome, and most likely also have an unusual microbiome, the community of micro-organisms assembled in their digestive tract which may help with the digestion of blood.
Pattern formation: The paradoxical role of turbulence
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 11:53:04 EST
The formation of self-organizing molecular patterns in cells is a critical component of many biological processes. Researchers have proposed a new theory to explain how such patterns emerge in complex natural systems.
Lack of guidance may delay a child's first trip to the dentist
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 11:53:01 EST
Without a doctor or dentist's guidance, some parents don't follow national recommendations for early dental care for their children, a new national poll finds.
Duplicate genes help animals resolve sexual conflict
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 11:52:58 EST
Duplicate copies of a gene shared by male and female fruit flies have evolved to resolve competing demands between the sexes. New genetic analysis describes how these copies have evolved separate male- and female-specific functions that are crucial to reproduction and fertility.
Farming crops with rocks to reduce CO2 and improve global food security
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 11:52:52 EST
Farming crops with crushed rocks could help to improve global food security and reduce the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere, a new study has found.
Electrical implant reduces 'invisible' symptoms of man's spinal cord injury
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 11:52:50 EST
An experimental treatment that sends electrical currents through the spinal cord has improved 'invisible' yet debilitating side effects for a Canadian man with a spinal cord injury.
Fifteen new genes identified that shape our face
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 11:52:47 EST
Researchers have identified fifteen genes that determine our facial features.
Global grazing lands increasingly vulnerable to a changing climate
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 11:52:44 EST
A new study shows precipitation variability has increased significantly on 49 percent of the world's grazing lands.
Blood and urine tests developed to indicate autism in children
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:39:08 EST
New blood and urine tests which search for damage to proteins could lead to earlier detection of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and consequently children with autism could be given appropriate treatment much earlier in their lives. ASDs are defined as developmental disorders mainly affecting social interaction and they can include a wide spectrum of behavioral problems. These include speech disturbances, repetitive and/or compulsive behavior, hyperactivity, anxiety, and difficulty to adapt to new environments, some with or without cognitive impairment.
Flexible warped nanographene developed for bioimaging
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:39:06 EST
An international team of scientists has developed a water-soluble "warped nanographene," a flexible molecule that is biocompatible and shows promise for fluorescent cell imaging. The new nanographene molecule also induces cell death when exposed to blue laser light. Further investigation is required to determine how nanocarbons could be used for a range of biological applications, such as photodynamic therapy for cancer treatments.
Spatial perception of odorants in cockroaches
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:39:04 EST
A recent study has described the first neural architecture capable of encoding the spatial location of odorants.
The starry sky shows nocturnal animals the way
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:39:02 EST
Nocturnal animals can use the stars and the Milky Way to find their way during the darkest hours.
D-galactose affects ageing male and female brains differently
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:39:00 EST
A research study demonstrates in mice the biological relevance of sex in the effects of accelerated ageing caused by a chronic treatment of D-galactose, a sugar found abundantly in milk and to a lesser extent in fruits and vegetables. At high doses, this substance accelerates ageing in males, affecting them at sensory and motor level and in their neuro-immuno-endocrine system, while females experience alterations in learning and their ability to register information about their surroundings and orientation. However, at low doses the treatment has positive effects, especially in males.
A Matter of Dynamics
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:33:00 EST
Most ion channels are very selective about the ions, which may or may not pass through them. They may be conductive for potassium ions and non-conductive for sodium ions or vice versa. However, a number of ion channels allows for the efficient passage of both kinds of ions. How do these channel proteins accomplish this?
Dispersal of fish eggs by water birds – just a myth?
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:32:58 EST
How do fish end up in isolated bodies of water when they can't swim there themselves? For centuries, researchers have assumed that water birds transfer fish eggs into these waters -- however, a systematic literature review by researchers at the University of Basel has shown that there is no evidence of this to date.
How the insulin receptor works
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:32:56 EST
As we are approaching the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin, a wide array of its signaling pathways has been defined. However, the initial step in insulin action, i.e. the engagement with its cell-surface receptor and the resulting conformational change, which propagates across the plasma membrane to the intracellular module, remains poorly understood.
Cellular recycling caught in the act
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:32:54 EST
Researchers have observed a normal physiological process, called "self-eating", that cells use to recycle their components. They developed an accurate technique that visualizes how mitochondria, cells’ energy factories, are fused with lysosomes, cells’ recycling machines, in order to get material destroyed and recycled. Since irregularities in this mechanism can lead to Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other complications, this research could help future advances in degenerative brain disease diagnosis and drug development.
Is social media to blame for poor grades?
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:32:17 EST
Do teenagers who frequent Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites perform worse academically? Scientists have taken a look at these concerns.
Many colors from a single dot
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:32:13 EST
Physicists have shown how even a separate single nanoparticle can be used to emit different colors of light. Their results show that the particles under consideration may be a very efficient and versatile tool to produce light of all colors at tiny scales.
Microanalysis of biological samples for early disease detection
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:32:11 EST
Researchers have developed a sensing method with the potential to significantly contribute to early detection of cancer and diabetes.
Electric eel-inspired device reaches 110 volts
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:24:19 EST
In an effort to create a power source for future implantable technologies, a team of researchers developed an electric eel-inspired device that produced 110 volts from gels filled with water, called hydrogels. Their results show potential for a soft power source to draw on a biological system's chemical energy.
College roommates underestimate each other's distress, new psychology research shows
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:24:16 EST
College roommates are sensitive to their roommates' distress but tend to underestimate the level of distress being experienced by others.
An enzyme's evolution from changing electric fields and resisting antibiotics
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:24:13 EST
Bacteria can produce enzymes that make them resistant to antibiotics; one example is the TEM beta-lactamase enzyme, which enables bacteria to develop a resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics, such as penicillin and cephalosporins. Researchers are now studying how an enzyme changes and becomes antibiotic-resistant.
Calcium may play a role in the development of Parkinson's disease
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 07:17:58 EST
Researchers have found that excess levels of calcium in brain cells may lead to the formation of toxic clusters that are the hallmark of Parkinson's disease.
Unconventional superconductor may be used to create quantum computers of the future
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 07:17:51 EST
With their insensitivity to decoherence what are known as Majorana particles could become stable building blocks of a quantum computer. The problem is that they only occur under very special circumstances. Now researchers have succeeded in manufacturing a component that is able to host the sought-after particles.
Why bees soared and slime flopped as inspirations for systems engineering
Sun, 18 Feb 2018 19:21:10 EST
Honeybees gathering nectar inspired an algorithm that eased the burden of host servers handling unpredictable traffic by about 25 percent. Nature can inspire some great engineering, but it can also lead to some flops. Take slime mold: Standard algorithms beat it hands down to model connectivity.
Studying mitosis' structure to understand the inside of cancer cells
Sun, 18 Feb 2018 13:59:07 EST
Cell division is an intricately choreographed ballet of proteins and molecules that divide the cell. During mitosis, microtubule-organizing centers assemble the spindle fibers that separate the copying chromosomes of DNA. While scientists are familiar with MTOCs' existence and the role they play in cell division, their actual physical structure remains poorly understood. Researchers are now trying to decipher their molecular architecture.
What makes circadian clocks tick?
Sun, 18 Feb 2018 13:59:04 EST
Circadian clocks arose as an adaptation to dramatic swings in daylight hours and temperature caused by the Earth's rotation, but we still don't fully understand how they work. Scientists studying the circadian clock of blue-green colored cyanobacteria. The group discovered that how the proteins move hour by hour is central to cyanobacteria's circadian clock function.
Ras protein's role in spreading cancer
Sun, 18 Feb 2018 13:59:01 EST
Protein systems make up the complex signaling pathways that control whether a cell divides or, in some cases, metastasizes. Ras proteins have long been the focus of cancer research because of their role as 'on/off switch' signaling pathways that control cell division and failure to die like healthy cells do. Now, a team of researchers has been able to study precisely how Ras proteins interact with cell membrane surfaces.
Using mutant bacteria to study how changes in membrane proteins affect cell functions
Sun, 18 Feb 2018 13:58:58 EST
Stretchable electronics a 'game changer' for stroke recovery treatment
Sat, 17 Feb 2018 18:48:37 EST
A first-of-its-kind sensor that sticks to the throat and measures speech and swallowing patterns could be a game-changer in the field of stroke rehabilitation.
Newborn babies who suffered stroke regain language function in opposite side of brain
Sat, 17 Feb 2018 18:48:34 EST
A stroke in a baby -- even a big one -- does not have the same lasting impact as a stroke in an adult. A study found that a decade or two after a 'perinatal' stroke damaged the left 'language' side of the brain, affected teenagers and young adults used the right sides of their brain for language.
Ultrathin, highly elastic skin display developed
Sat, 17 Feb 2018 18:48:31 EST
A new ultrathin, elastic display that fits snugly on the skin can show the moving waveform of an electrocardiogram recorded by a breathable, on-skin electrode sensor. Combined with a wireless communication module, this integrated biomedical sensor system -- called 'skin electronics' -- can transmit biometric data to the cloud.
To sleep, perchance to forget
Sat, 17 Feb 2018 18:48:28 EST
People and other animals sicken and die if they are deprived of sleep, but why is sleep so essential? Psychiatrists proposed the 'synaptic homeostasis hypothesis' (SHY) in 2003. This hypothesis holds that sleep is the price we pay for brains that are plastic and able to keep learning new things. A few years ago, they started research that could show direct evidence for their theory. The result offers visual proof of SHY.
Asteroid 'time capsules' may help explain how life started on Earth
Sat, 17 Feb 2018 18:48:24 EST
In popular culture, asteroids play the role of apocalyptic threat, get blamed for wiping out the dinosaurs -- and offer an extraterrestrial source for mineral mining. But for one researcher, asteroids play an entirely different role: that of time capsules showing what molecules originally existed in our solar system. Having that information gives scientists the starting point they need to reconstruct the complex pathway that got life started on Earth.
Personalized curriculum captures students' imagination, interest
Sat, 17 Feb 2018 18:48:20 EST
Focusing on their personal DNA and genealogies, middle school students appear to have learned as much as their peers who used case studies, according to a researcher.
Illegal global trade of pangolins
Sat, 17 Feb 2018 11:39:16 EST
Animal traffickers are taking advantage of remote ivory trade routes to smuggle pangolins – one of the world’s most endangered animals – out of Central Africa, a new study has found.
Unprecedented study of Picasso's bronzes uncovers new details
Sat, 17 Feb 2018 11:36:48 EST
Scientists have completed the first major material survey and study of the Musee national Picasso-Paris' Pablo Picasso bronzes using portable instruments. They used the instruments and a database of alloy 'fingerprints' to non-invasively analyze a group of 39 bronzes and 11 painted sheet metal sculptures, revealing new details about the modern master's art.
Research team uncovers hidden details in Picasso Blue Period painting
Sat, 17 Feb 2018 11:36:45 EST
Scientists have used multiple modes of light to uncover details hidden beneath the visible surface of Pablo Picasso's painting 'La Miséreuse accroupie', a major work from the artist's Blue Period. The researchers found images connected to other works by Picasso as well as a landscape -- likely by another Barcelona painter -- underneath Picasso's painting.
Scientists shed light on biological roots of individuality
Fri, 16 Feb 2018 17:47:38 EST
A new study illuminates the biology that guides behavior across different stages of life in worms, and suggests how variations in specific neuromodulators in the developing nervous system may lead to occasional variations.
Increasing incidence of rare skin cancer
Fri, 16 Feb 2018 17:46:58 EST
While it may not be as common as other skin cancers, Merkel cell carcinoma is highly aggressive and often deadly — and according to new research, it’s also becoming more common.
Shot may help shield against shingles
Fri, 16 Feb 2018 17:46:56 EST
Two vaccines are available to help prevent shingles, which can affect anyone who has had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine; both diseases are caused by the same virus, which stays in the body after chickenpox clears.
Progress in pursuit of sickle cell cure
Fri, 16 Feb 2018 15:03:41 EST
Bioengineers use gene editing to correct the mutation responsible for sickle cell disease in up to 40 percent of patients' cells used for lab testing.
Cells communicate in a dynamic code
Fri, 16 Feb 2018 15:03:38 EST
Scientists discover an unexpectedly dynamic vocabulary for the language of cellular communication.
Why we have yet to find extraterrestrial life
Fri, 16 Feb 2018 14:27:12 EST
Are we alone in the universe? Few questions have captured the public imagination more than this. Yet to date we know of just one sample of life, that which exists here on Earth.
Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms
Fri, 16 Feb 2018 14:27:09 EST
The scientists identified which mechanisms destroy the quantum properties of individual insulator. Using a Scanning Tunneling Microscope, which utilizes an atomically sharp metal tip, they were able to precisely image individual iron atoms and measure and control the time that the iron atom can maintain its quantum behavior.
Humans will actually react pretty well to news of alien life
Fri, 16 Feb 2018 14:27:05 EST
Hollywood has it wrong. Humans would actually react positively to news of alien life -- intelligent or microbial.
Pilot study in Kenya shows link between chronic pain and glutamate consumption
Fri, 16 Feb 2018 14:27:02 EST
Preliminary research from a small pilot study carried out in Meru, in eastern Kenya, shows a link between chronic pain and consumption of glutamate, a common flavor enhancer found in Western and non-Western diets worldwide.
Lab-grown human cerebellar cells yield clues to autism
Fri, 16 Feb 2018 14:26:59 EST
Increasing evidence has linked autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with dysfunction of the brain's cerebellum, but the details have been unclear. In a new study, researchers used stem cell technology to create cerebellar cells known as Purkinje cells from patients with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), a genetic syndrome that often includes ASD-like features.
Immune signature predicts asthma susceptibility
Fri, 16 Feb 2018 14:26:56 EST
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease driven by the interplay of genetics, environmental factors and a diverse cast of immune cells. Researchers have now identified a subset of T cells, whose frequency serves as early childhood immune signature that predicts the risk of developing asthma later on.
Drug transfer tested using placenta-on-a-chip
Fri, 16 Feb 2018 14:26:53 EST
Researchers have demonstrated the feasibility of their 'organ-on-a-chip' platform in studying how drugs are transported across the human placental barrier.
Scientists eavesdrop on volcanic rumblings to forecast eruptions
Fri, 16 Feb 2018 14:26:49 EST
Sound waves generated by burbling lakes of lava atop some volcanoes point to greater odds of magmatic outbursts. This finding could provide advance warning to people who live near active volcanoes.
Link between hallucinations and dopamine not such a mystery, finds study
Fri, 16 Feb 2018 14:26:46 EST
Researchers have found that people with schizophrenia who experience auditory hallucinations tend to hear what they expect, an exaggerated version of a perceptual distortion that is common among other people without hallucinations. The researchers found that elevated dopamine could make some patients rely more on expectations, which could then result in hallucinations.