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The premier online source for science news since 1996. A service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.



Last Build Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2018 10:21:01 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); All rights reserved.
 



Scientists discover how treating eczema could also alleviate asthma

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Scientists from VIB-UGent have discovered insights for a possible new therapy for eczema that also reduces the severity of asthma. The findings are an important next step in understanding the relationship between the two inflammatory diseases and to developing effective therapies. The results of the study are published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.



A nanophenomenon that triggers the bone-repair process

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Researchers at the Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia have resolved one of the great unknowns in bone self-repair: how the cells responsible for forming new bone tissue are called into action. Their work reveals the role of an electromechanical phenomenon at the nanoscale, flexoelectricity, as a possible mechanism for stimulating the cell response and guiding it throughout the fracture repair process.



Factor that doubles the risk of death from breast cancer identified

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have discovered that the risk of death from breast cancer is twice as high for patients with high heterogeneity of the oestrogen receptor within the same tumour as compared to patients with low heterogeneity. The study, published in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, shows that the higher risk of death is independent of other known tumour markers and also holds true for Luminal A breast cancer.



Algorithm increases employment opportunities for refugees

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

A data-driven approach could help increase employment levels for asylum seekers in Switzerland from 15 to 26 percent. Social scientists from Switzerland and the US, in collaboration with ETH's Public Policy Group, reached this conclusion in the journal Science.



Thorium reactors may dispose of enormous amounts of weapons-grade plutonium

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University are developing a new technology for multipurpose application of large amounts of weapons-grade plutonium accumulated in Russia and across the world. Instead of expensive storage of this nuclear material, TPU physicists propose to burn weapons-grade plutonium in reactors with thorium fuel, converting it into power and thermal energy. The units are capable of operating at low capacity (from 60 MW) at least 10-20 years.



Researchers find link between breast cancer and two gene mutations

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Individuals with Lynch syndrome, a genetic condition that has long been known to carry dramatically increased risk of colorectal cancer and uterine cancer, now also have an increased risk of breast cancer. This is the conclusion of a study in the journal Genetics in Medicine which is published by Springer Nature.



Hunting dogs as possible vectors for the infectious disease tularaemia

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

The zoonosis Tularaemia is life-threatening for rodents, rabbits and hares, but which can also infect humans and dogs. While contact with contaminated blood or meat makes hunters a high-risk group, the frequency of infections among hunting dogs has not been much studied. Researchers from Vetmeduni Vienna now confirmed a relevant prevalence of infections in Austrian hunting dogs. This could intensify the debate whether the often asymptomatic animals represent an additional risk of infection for people.



Free online access to millions of documents on chemical toxicity made possible through ToxicDocs

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Millions of pages of internal corporate and trade association documents relating to the introduction of new products and chemicals into the workplace and commerce have been compiled into a free searchable online database called ToxicDocs. The history and future outlook for this database is now the subject of a free to view special section in the Journal of Public Health Policy which is a Palgrave Macmillan journal and is published by Springer Nature.



Researchers disprove one of the most widespread assumptions among geneticists regarding DNA

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

A study by a Córdoba research team, just published in Proceedings of the USA National Academy of Sciences, shows that spontaneous DNA gaps are not -- as hitherto believed -- equivalent to those produced during DNA repair



Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.



The Down's syndrome 'super genome'

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Only 20 percent of foetuses with trisomy 21 reach full term. But how do they manage to survive the first trimester of pregnancy despite this heavy handicap? Researchers from UNIGE and UNIL have found that children born with Down's syndrome have an excellent genome - better than the average genome of people without the genetic abnormality. It is possible that this genome offsets the disabilities caused by the extra chromosome, helping the foetus to survive.



NMRCloudQ: A quantum cloud experience on a nuclear magnetic resonance quantum computer

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Cloud-based quantum computing is the most useful form for public users to experience with the power of quantum. Recently, a joint team led by G. Long at Tsinghua University, B. Zeng at University of Guelph and D. Lu at SUSTech launched a new cloud quantum computing service-NMRCloudQ which is based on 4-qubit nuclear magnetic resonance and aims to be freely accessible to either amateurs that keep pace with quantum era or professionals that want explore quantum phenomena.



2-D tin (stanene) without buckling: A possible topological insulator

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

An international research team led by Nagoya University synthesized planar stanene: 2-D sheets of tin atoms, analogous to graphene. Tin atoms were deposited onto the Ag(111) surface of silver. The stanene layer remained extremely flat, unlike in previous studies wherein stanene was buckled. This leads to the formation of large area, high quality samples. Stanene is predicted to be a topological insulator, with applications in quantum computing and nanoelectronics.



Occupational therapy improves health, quality of life of young adults with diabetes

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

New results from a University of Southern California-led research study demonstrates the distinct value of occupational therapy for improving the health and quality of life of young adults living with diabetes. Research participants who completed the occupational therapy intervention program significantly improved their average blood glucose levels, diabetes-related quality of life and habits for checking blood glucose.



Climate change affects fish reproductive phenology in plateau area: Study

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

The Research Group of Biological Invasion and Adaptive Evolution (BIAE; PI: CHEN Yifeng) at Institute of Hydrobiology (IHB) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences recently answered how reproductive phenology of Gymnocypris selincuoensis, an endemic fish in Lake Selicuo in Tibetan Plateau, associated with climate changes.



UCLA study describes structure of herpes virus linked to Kaposi's sarcoma

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

UCLA team shows in the laboratory that an inhibitor can be developed to break down the herpes virus. Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpes virus, or KSHV, is one of two viruses known to cause cancer in humans.



New research collaboration with UTSA professor challenges existing models of black holes

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Chris Packham, associate professor of physics and astronomy at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), has collaborated on a new study that expands the scientific community's understanding of black holes in our galaxy and the magnetic fields that surround them.



Study ends debate over role of steroids in treating septic shock

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

The results from the largest ever study of septic shock could improve treatment for critically ill patients and save health systems worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars each year.Researchers at The George Institute for Global Health studied whether the use of steroids as an additional treatment to septic shock -- a severe life threatening infection -- would improve survival.



Prescription drug labels provide scant dosing guidance for obese kids

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Despite the US Congress providing incentives to drug manufacturers to encourage the study of medications in children, few approved drugs include safe dosing information for obese kids.



The Pentagon built with mineralized microbes predating dinosaurs

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

A new study led by The Australian National University (ANU) has found that some of the building blocks of the Pentagon and Empire State Building were made by microbes that lived up to 340 million years ago, predating the dinosaurs.



Let's make a deal: Could AI compromise better than humans?

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

BYU researchers developed an algorithm that teaches machines not just to win games, but to cooperate and compromise -- and sometimes do a little trash-talking too.



A Russian scientist improved nanofluids for solar power plants

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

An associate of Siberian Federal University (SFU) teamed up with his foreign colleagues to increase the efficiency of the heat transfer medium used in solar power plants. The results of the study were published in Renewable Energy journal.



Reviled animals could be our powerful allies

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Animal carnivores living in and around human habitation are declining at an unprecedented rate -- but they may provide crucial benefits to human societies. An international review led by University of Queensland researchers has revealed that predators and scavengers ranging from bats to leopards and vultures are valuable to human health and well-being.



Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute. The women who took the supplement also saw improvements in distance covered in 25 minutes on a stationary bike and a third test in which they stepped on and off a bench, according to research from The Ohio State University.



Americans are getting more ZZZZs

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye.



Temporary 'bathtub drains' in the ocean concentrate flotsam

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

An experiment using hundreds of plastic drifters in the Gulf of Mexico shows that rather than simply spread out, as current calculations would predict, many of them clumped together in a tight cluster.



Patients who live alone can safely be sent home after joint replacement

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Most patients who live alone can be safely discharged home from the hospital to recover after hip or knee replacement surgery, suggests a study in the Jan. 17, 2018 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. The journal is published in partnership with Wolters Kluwer.



Novel hypothesis on why animals diversified on Earth

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Can tumors teach us about animal evolution on Earth? Researchers believe so and now present a novel hypothesis of why animal diversity increased dramatically on Earth about half a billion years ago. A biological innovation may have been key.



Mothers and young struggle as Arctic warms

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

A new study from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and partners reveals for the first time the ways in which wild weather swings and extreme icing events are negatively impacting the largest land mammal of the Earth's polar realms -- the muskoxen. The paper demonstrates that while this denizen of the Arctic and other cold-adapted species have spectacular adaptations, the previously unknown effects of rain-on-snow events, winter precipitation, and ice tidal surges are costly for the animals, if not deadly.



Challenges and research for an evolving aviation system

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

A comprehensive aviation safety system as envisioned by NASA would require integration of a wide range of systems and practices, including building an in-time aviation safety management system (IASMS) that could detect and mitigate high-priority safety issues as they emerge and before they become hazards, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.



Moms, sisters, wives rank among more 'difficult' kin

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Most of us put up with whiners, naggers, control freaks and other annoying people in our lives for good reason - we're related to them. While female kin are more likely to be viewed as difficult, they are also seen as being more supportive and involved in family life.



Health care financing system deepens poverty and income inequality

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Households' payments for medical premiums, copayments and deductibles pushed more than 7 million Americans into poverty in 2014, according to a study in the American Journal of Public Health. Medical payments also dramatically worsened overall income inequality among Americans.



Study finds shift in patterns of glutamate and GABA in visuospatial working memory network

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

A new study in Biological Psychiatry has characterized the patterns of brain neurotransmitters glutamate and GABA in a network of regions that temporarily maintain and process visual information about the location of objects in space, a cognitive ability referred to as visuospatial working memory. The study reports that the patterns are altered in people with schizophrenia, suggesting a potential explanation for the impairments in visuospatial working memory that characterize people with the disorder.



Key to willpower lies in believing you have it in abundance

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Americans believe they have less stamina for strenuous mental activity than their European counterparts -- an indication that people in the US perceive their willpower or self-control as being in limited supply, suggests a study by University of Illinois educational psychologist Christopher Napolitano. The purpose of the study was to test the validity of the widely used Implicit Theory of Willpower for Strenuous Mental Activities Scale.



How did a deadly tropical fungus get to the temperate environs of the Pacific Northwest?

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

In what is being described as 'The Teddy Roosevelt effect,' a deadly fungus in the Pacific Northwest may have arrived from Brazil via the Panama Canal, according to a new study led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). Cryptococcus gattii -- which until a 1999 outbreak in British Columbia's Vancouver Island was considered primarily a tropical fungus -- can cause deadly lung and brain infections in both people and animals.



Low-income immigrants face barriers to US citizenship

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

New research shows that lowering application fees for naturalization could help more U.S. immigrants gain the benefits of citizenship.



Algorithm improves integration of refugees

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

A new machine learning algorithm developed by Stanford researchers could help governments and resettlement agencies find the best places for refugees to relocate, depending on their particular skills and backgrounds.



Researchers create first stem cells using CRISPR genome activation

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

In a scientific first, researchers at the Gladstone Institutes turned skin cells from mice into stem cells by activating a specific gene in the cells using CRISPR technology. The innovative approach offers a potentially simpler technique to produce the valuable cell type and provides important insights into the cellular reprogramming process.



Researchers find first evidence of sub-Saharan Africa glassmaking

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Scholars from Rice University, University College London and the Field Museum have found the first direct evidence that glass was produced in sub-Saharan Africa centuries before the arrival of Europeans, a finding that the researchers said represents a 'new chapter in the history of glass technology.'



Method uses DNA, nanoparticles and lithography to make optically active structures

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Northwestern University researchers have developed a first-of-its-kind technique for creating entirely new classes of optical materials and devices that could lead to light bending and cloaking devices -- news to make the ears of Star Trek's Spock perk up. Using DNA as a key tool, the scientists took gold nanoparticles of different sizes and shapes and arranged them in two and three dimensions to form optically active superlattices. The structures could be programmed to exhibit almost any color across the visible spectrum.



Cancer gene screening more cost effective in the general population than high-risk groups

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute indicates that screening the general population for mutations in specific genes is a more cost effective way to detect people at risk and prevents more breast and ovarian cancers compared to only screening patients with a personal or family history of these diseases.



More evidence of link between severe gum disease and cancer risk

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Data collected during a long-term health study provides additional evidence for a link between increased risk of cancer in individuals with advanced gum disease, according to a new collaborative study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and Tufts University School of Medicine and Cancer Center.



New robot can help treat rare birth defect

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Researchers at the University of Sheffield and Boston's Children Hospital, Harvard Medical School have created a robot that can be implanted into the body to aid the treatment of oesophageal atresia, a rare birth defect that affects a baby's oesophagus.



Single blood test screens for eight cancer types

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers developed a single blood test that screens for eight common cancer types and helps identify the location of the cancer.



Crop failure in the Andes

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

As co-author of a study published in Global Change Biology, Kenneth Feeley, along with fellow biologist, Richard Tito, a native Quechua Indian from the region and the study's first author, discovered that tough times lie ahead for rural farmers growing the Andes' staple crops -- corn and potatoes.



Crystal clear

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Atomic-resolution transmission electron microscopy of electron beam-sensitive crystalline materials.



Using data mining to make sense of climate change

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Georgia Techhas developed a new way of mining data from climate data sets that is more self-contained than traditional tools. The methodology brings out commonalities of data sets without as much expertise from the user, allowing scientists to trust the data and get more robust -- and transparent -- results.



Fanged friends: World's most vilified and dangerous animals may be humankind's best ally

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

An international review led by the University of Queensland and WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) says that many native carnivores that live in and around human habitation are declining at an unprecedented rate - spelling bad news for humans who indirectly rely on them for a variety of beneficial services.



Counting chromosomes: Plant scientists solve a century-old mystery about reproduction

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Geneticists have solved a century-old mystery by discovering a remarkable mechanism that enables plants to count their chromosomes. Their ability to detect imbalances in male and female contributions to the next generation determines their progeny's viability and fertility.



Research reveals atomic-level changes in ALS-linked protein

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

A new study details the minute changes -- down to the level of individual atoms -- that cause a particular protein to form cell-damaging clumps associated with ALS and other diseases.



Babies' babbling betters brains, language

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Babies are adept at getting what they need -- including an education. New research shows that babies organize mothers' verbal responses, which promotes more effective language instruction, and infant babbling is the key.



Viruses are everywhere, maybe even in space

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Viruses are the most abundant and one of the least understood biological entities on Earth. They might also exist in space, but as of yet scientists have done almost no research into this possibility. Portland State University biology professor Ken Stedman and colleagues are trying to change this through their article "Astrovirology: Viruses at Large in the Universe," published in the February 2018 issue of the journal Astrobiology.



NASA team studies middle-aged sun by tracking motion of Mercury

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Like the waistband of a couch potato in midlife, the orbits of planets in our solar system are expanding. It happens because the Sun's gravitational grip gradually weakens as our star ages and loses mass. Now, a team of NASA and MIT scientists has indirectly measured this mass loss and other solar parameters by looking at changes in Mercury's orbit.



Genetic sequencing points to endemic origin of monkeypox virus outbreak in Nigeria

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Scientists working to control a human outbreak of monkeypox virus (MXPV) in Nigeria performed genetic sequencing of patient samples, revealing that the outbreak likely originated from a source within the country. Their results emphasize the value of local surveillance for the early detection of viral spillovers and the need for advanced genetic characterization to help determine the origins of outbreaks.



Researchers discover new enzymes central to cell function

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Doctors have long treated heart attacks, improved asthma symptoms, and cured impotence by increasing levels of a single molecule in the body: nitric oxide. The tiny molecule can change how proteins function. But new research featured in Molecular Cell suggests supplementing nitric oxide--NO--is only the first step. Researchers have discovered previously unknown enzymes in the body that convert NO into 'stopgap' molecules--SNOs--that then modulate proteins. The newly discovered enzymes help NO have diverse roles in cells.



NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Berguitta soaking Mauritius and Reunion Island

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

NASA found heavy rainfall in Tropical Cyclone Berguitta as it closed in on Mauritius and Reunion Islands. On Jan. 18, NASA's Terra satellite captured an early morning visible image that showed the center of the storm just south of Mauritius and the storm blanketing both islands. Warnings were in effect for both islands. A tropical cyclone alert class 3 is in effect for Mauritius and La Reunion is on Orange Alert.



Neutron-star merger yields new puzzle for astrophysicists

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

The afterglow from the distant neutron-star merger detected last August has continued to brighten - much to the surprise of astrophysicists studying the aftermath of the massive collision that took place about 138 million light years away and sent gravitational waves rippling through the universe. New observations from NASA's orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory, reported in Astrophysical Journal Letters, indicate that the gamma ray burst unleashed by the collision is more complex than scientists initially imagined.



Increased scientific rigor will improve wildlife research and management

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Wildlife management relies on rigorous science that produces reliable knowledge because it increases accurate understanding of the natural world and informs management decisions.



Using Hawkeye from the Avengers to communicate on the eye

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Superheroes can be used to communicate learning objectives to students in an interesting, fun, and accessible manner. Hawkeye, a member of the Avengers, is one such superhero, as Barry Fitzgerald of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft, The Netherlands) argues in the article 'Using Hawkeye from the Avengers to communicate on the eye', published in the journal Advances in Physiology Education.



Recent advances in understanding coral resilience are essential to safeguard coral reefs

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

The most urgent course of action to safeguard coral reefs is to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, but concurrently there is also a need to consider novel management techniques and previously over-looked reef areas for protective actions under predicted climate change impacts. The conclusions were reached following a comprehensive review of the literature on the mechanisms of potential coral resistance and recovery across scales from global reef areas to the microbial level within individual corals.



Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

New researcher shows how Zika virus infection in five pregnant rhesus monkeys caused placental tissues to become thickened and inflamed, resulting in less oxygen being transported across the placenta and to the baby.



Two new breast cancer genes emerge from Lynch syndrome gene study

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Columbia University researchers have identified two new breast cancer genes that also cause Lynch syndrome.



Study finds convergent evolution of gene regulation in humans and mice

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Organisms that aren't closely related may evolve similar traits as they adapt to similar challenges. It's called convergent evolution, and familiar examples include the wings of birds, bats, and insects, and echolocation in bats and dolphins. Now, molecular biologists have found evidence of convergent evolution in an important mechanism of gene regulation in humans and mice.



Root discovery may lead to crops that need less fertilizer

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Bean plants that suppress secondary root growth in favor of boosting primary root growth forage greater soil volume to acquire phosphorus, according to Penn State researchers, who say their recent findings have implications for plant breeders and improving crop productivity in nutrient-poor soils.



College branding makes beer more salient to underage students

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Major beer companies have rolled out marketing campaigns and products -- such as 'fan cans,' store displays, and billboard ads -- that pair beer with university colors, mascots, and logos. Research published in the January 2018 issue of Psychological Science shows that such campaigns may enhance the motivational significance of marketed beer brands, especially for students who identify strongly with their university. The researchers conclude that this effect could potentially increase underage students' alcohol consumption.



NIH scientists find microbes on the skin of mice promote tissue healing, immunity

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Beneficial bacteria on the skin of lab mice work with the animals' immune systems to defend against disease-causing microbes and accelerate wound healing, according to new research from scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. Researchers say untangling similar mechanisms in humans may improve approaches to managing skin wounds and treating other damaged tissues. The study was published online today in Cell.



Can mice really mirror humans when it comes to cancer?

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

A new Michigan State University study is helping to answer a pressing question among scientists of just how close mice are to people when it comes to researching cancer. The findings reveal how mice can actually mimic human breast cancer tissue and its genes, even more so than previously thought, as well as other cancers including lung, oral and esophagus.



Protein designed entirely from scratch functions in cells as a genuine enzyme

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Artificial biology is working toward creating a genuinely new organism. At Princeton, Chemistry Professor Michael Hecht and the researchers in his lab are designing and building proteins that can fold and mimic the chemical processes that sustain life. Now, Hecht and his colleagues have confirmed that at least one of their new proteins can catalyze biological reactions in E. coli, meaning that a protein designed entirely from scratch functions in cells as a genuine enzyme.



UNH researchers find human impact on forest still evident after 500 years

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire used high-tech tools to more precisely view where these cleared sites were and how much lasting impact they had on the rainforest in the Amazon Basin in South America.



How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Cancer metastasis, the migration of cells from a primary tumor to form distant tumors in the body, can be triggered by a chronic leakage of DNA within tumor cells, according to a team led by Weill Cornell Medicine and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center researchers.



Flu may be spread just by breathing, new UMD-led study shows

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

It is easier to spread the influenza virus (flu) than previously thought, according to a new study released today. People commonly believe that they can catch the flu by exposure to droplets from an infected person's coughs or sneezes or by touching contaminated surfaces. But, new information about flu transmission reveals that we may pass the flu to others just by breathing.



Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Dust is everywhere -- not just in your attic or under your bed, but also in outer space. To astronomers, dust can be a tool to study the history of our universe, galaxy, and Solar System. For example, observations indicate that type II supernovae -- explosions of stars more than ten times as massive as the Sun -- produce copious amounts of dust, but how and when they do so is not well understood.



DNA study casts light on century-old mystery of how cells divide

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Scientists have solved a longstanding puzzle of how cells are able to tightly package lengthy strands of DNA when they divide -- an essential process for growth, repair and maintenance in living organisms.



Using crumpled graphene balls to make better batteries

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

The paper ball-like graphene particles stack into a porous scaffold to suppress filament growth of lithium metal that degrades the battery.



Army researchers make explosive discovery

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Scientists from the US Army Research Laboratory and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory found a solution to a significant challenge in making high-energy explosives.



North, east, south, west: The many faces of Abell 1758

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Resembling a swarm of flickering fireflies, this beautiful galaxy cluster glows intensely in the dark cosmos, accompanied by the myriad bright lights of foreground stars and swirling spiral galaxies. A1758N is a sub-cluster of Abell 1758, a massive cluster containing hundreds of galaxies. Although it may appear serene in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, the sub-cluster actually comprises two even smaller structures currently in the turbulent process of merging.



Scientists identify potential target genes to halt progression of thyroid cancer

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Research shows that expression of 52 microRNAs falls as the disease becomes more aggressive. Restoring levels of these molecules in the tumor could be a novel therapeutic strategy.



Statins to help prevent scar tissue in the eye?

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Statin medication seems to reduce the risk of repeated surgery in patients who undergo a vitrectomy to treat a detached retina, shows the new study. The researchers believe that statins might prevent the formation of scar tissue inside the eye.



Hold the salt: Gut reaction may impair the brains of mice

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

In a new mouse study, scientists link changes in the gut caused by a high-salt diet to impaired blood flow in the brain. This reduced blood flow can eventually lead to impaired cognition that could be reversed by changing back to a normal diet. The study, published in Nature Neuroscience, also provides molecular clues for treating these problems.



Boston University study: Hits, not concussions, cause CTE

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Researchers have identified evidence of early Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) brain pathology after head impact -- even in the absence of signs of concussion. Early indicators of CTE pathology not only persisted long after injury but also spread through the brain, providing the best evidence to date that head impact, not concussion, causes CTE.



Researchers find post-fire logging harms spotted owls

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Post-fire logging, rather than the wildfires themselves, is responsible for the steep decline in territory occupancy of the rare spotted owls living in the forests of California. The study's results coincide with the strong consensus among hundreds of US scientists opposing post-fire logging operations due to a wide range of ecological harms. The research is published in the open-access journal Nature Conservation.



Natural environments promote positive body image

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

New research shows that the natural environment has a powerful effect on promoting positive body image -- and you don't even have to set foot outdoors to experience the benefits.



Smartphones come in handy for the rare cosmic particles search

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Researchers from the Laboratory of Methods for Big Data Analysis (LAMBDA) at the Higher School of Economics have improved their way of analyzing ultra-high energy cosmic rays (UHECR) with the use of mobile phones. The work has been carried out as part of the CRAYFIS experiment and the results were presented at the 22nd International Conference on Computing in High Energy and Nuclear Physics.



Let the good tubes roll

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

PNNL scientists have created new tiny tubes that could help with water purification and tissue engineering studies.



A novel method of isolating infecting organisms after joint replacement

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Next-generation Genomic Sequencing could help identify infecting organisms and guide treatment for patients with joint-replacement infection.



Perovskite solar cells: Mesoporous interface mitigates the impact of defects

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

The nominal cell operating life of perovskite solar cells is strongly influenced by their inner architecture.This was shown by two scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and the Technical University of Munich. They combined experiments with numerical simulations in order to explain this observation.



Hybridization can give rise to different genome combinations

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Researchers have for the first time determined that hybridization between two bird species can give rise to several novel and fully functional hybrid genomic combinations. This could potentially be because hybrid species emerged through independent hybridisation events between the same parent species on different islands.



New blood protein markers help track premature ageing disease

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is an extremely rare fatal genetic disorder which causes sufferers to age prematurely. In a new study in the journal Pediatric Research, which is published by Springer Nature, scientists have identified protein biomarkers which can be used to assess how HGPS patients have reacted to treatment. The research was led by Leslie B. Gordon of the Hasbro Children's Hospital and Boston Children's Hospital in the US.



How did we evolve to live longer?

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Researchers at Newcastle University, UK show that a collection of small adaptations in proteins that respond to stress, accumulated over millennia of human history, could help to explain our increased natural defences and longer lifespan.



A new, dynamic view of chromatin movements

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

In cells, proteins tightly package the long thread of DNA into pearl necklace-like complexes known as chromatin. Scientists at EPFL show for the first time how chromatin moves, answering longstanding questions about how its structure helps regulate gene expression. The study is published in Nature Communications.



More genes are active in high-performance maize

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

When two maize inbred lines are crossed with each other, an interesting effect occurs: The hybrid offspring have a significantly higher yield than either of the two parent plants. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now investigated a number of genetically distinct hybrids. They showed that the offspring had many more active genes than the original parents. These results may help in the cultivation of even higher-yielding maize varieties.



Bacteria under your feet

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

In cooperation with Universidad Rey Juan Carlos - URJCAn international team of researchers, including ERC grantee Fernando T. Maestre from Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (URJC), pieced together a global atlas of soil bacteria. The study, published today in Science, identifies some five hundred species of dominant bacteria living in soils worldwide. The findings, based on EU-funded research, could open new paths to improve soil fertility and increase agricultural production.



Researchers identify a new chromatin regulatory mechanism linked to SirT6

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Researchers IDIBELL, led by Dr. Àlex Vaquero, have proposed a new double mechanism of inhibition of the NF-κB pathway linked to the action of SirT6 on chromatin.



Researchers begin isolating blood-feeding and non-biting genes in mosquitoes

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Researchers have taken the first step on a path that eventually could result in female mosquitoes that no longer bite and spread diseases.



Mobility patterns influence the spread and containment of an epidemic

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Contrary to expectations, recurring mobility between different cities or districts of a large city (for example, from home to work and back again) can minimise the spread of an epidemic. This is the finding of research carried out by researchers from the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Àlex Arenas) and the University of Zaragoza (Jesús Gómez and David Soriano) and which has just been published in the journal Nature Physics.



Using electricity to switch magnetism

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

TU Wien has managed to use electrical fields to control the magnetic oscillations of certain ferrous materials. This has opened up huge potential for computer technology applications, as data is currently transferred in the form of electrical signals but stored magnetically.



New technique for finding life on Mars

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Miniaturized scientific instruments and new microbiology techniques successfully identified and characterized microorganisms living in Arctic permafrost -- one of the closest analogs to Mars on Earth. By avoiding delays that come with having to return samples to a laboratory for analysis, the methodology could also be used on Earth to detect and identify pathogens during epidemics in remote areas.



From healthcare to warfare: How to regulate brain technology

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Ethicists from the University of Basel have outlined a new biosecurity framework specific to neurotechnology. While the researchers declare an outright ban of dual-use technology ethically unjustified, they call for regulations aimed at protecting the mental privacy and integrity of humans. The journal Neuron has published the study.



Coupling experiments to theory to build a better battery

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

A Berkeley Lab-led team of researchers has reported that a new lithium-sulfur battery component allows a doubling in capacity compared to a conventional lithium-sulfur battery, even after more than 100 charge cycles.



Distorted view amongst smokers of when deadly damage caused by smoking will occur

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

Smokers have a distorted perception on when the onset of smoking-related conditions will occur, a new study in the Journal of Cognitive Psychology reports.