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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, 22 Sep 2017 06:00:02 EDT

Copyright: Copyright 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); All rights reserved.
 



Are you happy you voted -- or didn't?

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

An analysis of 22 election-period surveys in five countries shows that people who cast a ballot are much more glad they did than people who abstain.



Why do people in new democracies stop voting?

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

An exhaustive study of legislative elections in all 91 democracies that were born around the world from 1939 to 2015 finds that in half of them, there was a substantial decline in voter turnout. But what actually caused people to stay home depended on what country they lived in and how democratization had happened there.



Forgoing chemo linked to worse survival in older patients with advanced colon cancer who had dementia

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A pre-existing diagnosis of dementia was associated with increased risk of death for older patients with advanced colon cancer; however, some of the effects of dementia on survival could be mediated by receipt of chemotherapy.



The math of doughnuts: 'Moonshine' sheds light on elliptic curves

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Mathematicians have opened a new chapter in the theory of moonshine, one which begins to harness the power of the pariahs -- sporadic simple groups that previously had no known application.



NIST's quick test may speed antibiotic treatment and combat drug resistance

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated a potential new tactic for rapidly determining whether an antibiotic combats a given infection, thus hastening effective medical treatment and limiting the development of drug-resistant bacteria. Their method can quickly sense mechanical fluctuations of bacterial cells and any changes induced by an antibiotic.



Understanding the dance to save the dance

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Plant-pollinator relationships are vital to our natural and agricultural ecosystems, with an incredible amount of food crops worldwide dependent on plant-pollinator interaction success. But the advancement of climate change is disrupting plant-pollinator relationships. A special issue of Applications in Plant Sciences -- Studying Plant-Pollinator Interactions Facing Climate Change and Changing Environments -- explores the creative methods being used by researchers to study the effects of climate change on plant-pollinator relationships.



In US, spread of Zika linked to time outdoors

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

New research by a Northeastern infectious disease modeling expert has linked a person's risk of contracting Zika in the U.S. to time spent outdoors. The findings could impact how communities address the spread of the virus.



Personality changes don't precede clinical onset of Alzheimer's, FSU study shows

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Findings of a new and comprehensive study from FSU College of Medicine Associate Professor Antonio Terracciano and colleagues, published today in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, has found no evidence to support the idea that personality changes begin before the clinical onset of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia.



Alternative splicing, an important mechanism for cancer

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Scientists discover several alterations in this cellular process with implications in cancer by analyzing samples from more than 4,000 patients.



Strong alcohol policies help reduce alcohol-involved homicides

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Stronger alcohol policies, including taxes and sales restrictions, have been shown to reduce the likelihood of alcohol involvement among homicide victims, according to a new study from Boston Medical Center (BMC) and Boston University.



Preterm children have more medical sleep problems but fall asleep more independently

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A new study suggests that while healthy preterm children have more medical sleep problems than full-term children, they are more likely to fall asleep independently.



BU: Resurgence of whooping cough may owe to vaccine's inability to prevent infections

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

The startling global resurgence of pertussis, or whooping cough, in recent years can largely be attributed to the immunological failures of acellular vaccines, Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers argue in a new journal article.



Trusted messages key to counter community concerns during disease outbreak

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Utilizing messages focused on images created by local artists and written information communicated through local dialects proved essential to counter misperceptions during the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone, according to a new study.



NASA measures Hurricane Maria's torrential rainfall, sees eye re-open

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Hurricane Maria has caused catastrophic flooding in Puerto Rico and left a wake of heavy rainfall that NASA measured using a fleet of satellites in space. NASA satellite imagery also saw Maria's eye close up as it tracked across Puerto Rico and re-open after its exit.



From self-folding robots to computer vision

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

From self-folding robots, to robotic endoscopes, to better methods for computer vision and object detection, researchers at the University of California San Diego have a wide range of papers and workshop presentations at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (or IROS) which takes place from Sept. 24 to 28 in Vancouver, Canada. UC San Diego researchers also are organizing workshops on a range of themes during the event.



Smoking negatively impacts long-term survival after breast cancer

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A new study published in JNCI Cancer Spectrum finds that smoking negatively impacts long-term survival after breast cancer. Quitting smoking after diagnosis may reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer.



When good immune cells turn bad

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Investigators at CHLA have identified the molecular pathway used to foster neuroblastoma and demonstrated use of a clinically available agent, ruxolitinib, to block the pathway.



Into more thin air

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Many research groups have explored human adaptation to high altitude living among three major far-flung global populations: Tibetans, Ethiopians and Peruvians. But few have simultaneously explored the other extreme---maladaptation----in the form of chronic mountain sickness (CMS).Now, in the largest whole genome study of its kind, an international research team led by University of California San Diego's Chairman of Pediatrics, Dr. Gabriel Haddad, has expanded on their recent study of understanding both adaptation extremes in a Peruvian population.



Unique gene therapy prevents, reverses multiple sclerosis in animal model

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Multiple sclerosis can be inhibited or reversed using a novel gene therapy technique that stops the disease's immune response in mouse models, University of Florida Health researchers have found.



New Wayne State research findings offers hope to people with fibromyalgia

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A novel psychological therapy that encourages addressing emotional experiences related to trauma, conflict and relationship problems has been found helpful for people with the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia. A research team led by Mark A. Lumley, Ph.D., distinguished professor of psychology at Wayne State University, has released the results of its research in the prestigious journal, PAIN.



New technique accurately digitizes transparent objects

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A new imaging technique makes it possible to precisely digitize clear objects and their surroundings, an achievement that has eluded current state-of-the-art 3-D rendering methods.



'Labyrinth' chip could help monitor aggressive cancer stem cells

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Inspired by the Labyrinth of Greek mythology, a new chip etched with fluid channels sends blood samples through a hydrodynamic maze to separate out rare circulating cancer cells into a relatively clean stream for analysis. It is already in use in a breast cancer clinical trial.



Ozark grasslands experience major increase in trees and shrubs

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Woody vegetation, such as trees and shrubs, has increased dramatically in Ozark grasslands over the past 75 years, according to a study published this week in the journal Landscape Ecology. If these ecosystems continue to favor woody vegetation, will it be possible to maintain open grasslands for the foreseeable future?



Exosomes are the missing link to insulin resistance in diabetes

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Chronic tissue inflammation resulting from obesity is an underlying cause of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. But the mechanism by which this occurs has remained cloaked, until now. In a paper, published in the journal Cell, University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers identified exosomes -- extremely small vesicles or sacs secreted from most cell types -- as the missing link.



Blood metal ion levels can identify hip replacement patients at low risk of ARMD

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Patients with 'metal on metal' artificial hips are at risk of complications caused by adverse reactions to metal debris (ARMD). A study in the Sept. 20, 2017, issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery confirms that blood metal ion levels specific to the type of hip implant used can help predict patients who are at low risk of ARMD.



IUPUI study links juveniles' views of police with likelihood of aggressive behavior

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A new Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis study of juvenile offenders finds that when youth perceive police injustice, it affects not only how they view the justice system, but also their rates of aggression.



Babies can learn that hard work pays off

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A study from MIT reveals babies as young as 15 months can learn the value of hard work. Researchers found babies who watched an adult struggle to reach two different goals before succeeding tried harder at their own difficult task than babies who saw an adult succeed effortlessly.



Study shows diet and exercise improve treatment outcomes for obese pediatric cancer patients

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Diet and exercise may improve treatment outcomes in pediatric cancer patients, according to a study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital.



Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

For years, medical investigators have tried and failed to develop vaccines for a type of staph bacteria associated with the deadly superbug MRSA. But a new study by Cedars-Sinai investigators shows how staph cells evade the body's immune system, offering a clearer picture of how a successful vaccine would work.



New analysis explains role of defects in metal oxides

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

An MIT team has determined formulas to guide development of a promising new high-tech material, composed of insulating metal oxides known as alkaline-earth-metal binary oxides, that could lead to better computer memory chips, refrigeration systems, and other devices.



Dino-killing asteroid's impact on bird evolution

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Human activities could change the pace of evolution, similar to what occurred 66 million years ago when a giant asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs, leaving modern birds as their only descendants. That's one conclusion drawn by the authors of a new study published in Systematic Biology.



NAM special publication on how health clinicians can counter opioid epidemic

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Halting the opioid epidemic requires aggressive action across multiple dimensions, including informed, active, and determined front-line leadership from health clinicians working in every setting throughout the nation, says a new National Academy of Medicine (NAM) special publication developed at the request of the National Governors Association to assist the nation's governors as they work with clinicians to counter the opioid crisis.



Health center services at risk if Congress fails to renew funding

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Community health centers all over the country could suffer catastrophic losses, resulting in site closures, job and economic losses, and a disruption in health care access for 9 million people.



Researchers demonstrate quantum teleportation of patterns of light

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Nature Communications today published research by a team comprising Scottish and South African researchers, demonstrating entanglement swapping and teleportation of orbital angular momentum 'patterns' of light. This is a crucial step towards realizing a quantum repeater for high-dimensional entangled states.



Rapid imaging of granular matter

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Granular systems such as gravel or powders can be found everywhere, but studying them is not easy. Researchers at ETH Zurich have now developed a method by which pictures of the inside of granular systems can be taken 10,000 times faster than before.



WWF and UCF study wildlife rangers, what motivates them?

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Wildlife rangers are on the front lines protecting our most iconic species -- tigers, elephants, gorillas and many others. But their challenges involve more than confrontations with wild animals and poachers.



Flu vaccine used in elderly may benefit middle-aged adults with chronic conditions

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Expanding the high-dose influenza vaccine recommendation to include middle-aged adults with chronic health conditions may make economic sense and save lives. The findings may justify for clinical trials of the high-dose and new recombinant trivalent influenza vaccines in 50- to 64-year-old adults with chronic illnesses, such as heart or lung disease, diabetes, or cancer, to determine if they do provide considerably better protection than the currently recommended standard dose quadrivalent vaccine.



Drug combination may improve impact of immunotherapy in head and neck cancer

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Checkpoint inhibitor-based immunotherapy has been shown to be very effective in recurrent and metastatic head and neck cancer but only in a minority of patients. University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers may have found a way to double down on immunotherapy's effectiveness.



Smart staffers: Why educated areas are good for business

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

The key to a thriving business may be the educational level of non-executive employees, according to new University of Georgia research.



Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars? New research says look for the element vanadium

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A new paper in the journal Astrobiology suggests NASA and others hunting for proof of Martian biology in the form of 'microfossils' could use the element vanadium in combination with Raman spectroscopy to confirm traces of extraterrestrial life.



NASA sees large Tropical Storm Jose doing a 'sit and spin' off the Massachusetts coast

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Tropical Storm Jose continued to spin south of Massachusetts when NASA's Aqua satellite flew overhead from space and captured an image of the large storm that hasn't moved much.



Surprising discovery -- how the African tsetse fly really drinks your blood

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Researchers at the University of Bristol have been taking a close-up look at the biting mouthparts of the African tsetse fly as part of ongoing work on the animal diseases it carries. Using the new high-powered scanning electron microscope in the University's Life Sciences Building, researchers from the Trypanosome Research Group were able to see the rows of sharp teeth and rasps that the fly uses to chew through the skin when it bites.



Study links brain inflammation to suicidal thinking in depression

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) have increased brain levels of a marker of microglial activation, a sign of inflammation, according to a new study in Biological Psychiatry by researchers at the University of Manchester. Dr. Talbot and colleagues found that the increase in the inflammatory marker was present specifically in patients with MDD who were experiencing suicidal thoughts, pinning the role of inflammation to suicidality rather than a diagnosis of MDD itself.



Pelvic Floor Society statement -- use of mesh surgeries for constipation & rectal prolapse

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

In light of ongoing concerns by the media and the public surrounding the use of mesh in women with pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence, the Pelvic Floor Society has issued a consensus statement addressing the use of mesh for the treatment of constipation and rectal prolapse (via a surgical procedure called ventral mesh rectopexy, or VMR).



New study on reasons for low rates of blood glucose monitoring in type 2 diabetes in China

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Researchers in China who assessed self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) behavior among nearly 19,000 patients with type 2 diabetes treated with oral medications reported very low SMBG rates both before and after the patients began treatment with basal insulin, although the data showed an increase in mean SMBG frequency after six months and the percentage of patients who never monitored their blood glucose decreased.



Scientists and farmers work together to wipe out African lovegrass

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A partnership between QUT, the NSW Government and farmers could lead to the eventual eradication of the highly invasive African lovegrass threatening pastures and native grasslands Australia-wide.What they discovered is that local knowledge is the key to a successful management approach.



Application of air-sensitive semiconductors in nanoelectronics

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Scientists from Russia, Germany, and Venezuela investigated the evolution of the 2-D semiconductor GaSe exposed to air. They revealed that GaSe properties could be exploited in nanoelectronics when manufactured in a vacuum or inert atmosphere. This research opens up new prospects for the technological application of this promising 2-D material.



Better rechargeable batteries coming soon?

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Novel lithium electrodes coated with indium could be the basis for more powerful, longer-lasting, rechargeable batteries. The coating hinders undesirable side-reactions between the electrode and electrolyte, provide a more uniform deposition of lithium when charging, and augments storage in the lithium anode via alloying reactions between lithium and indium, as reported by American scientists in the journal Angewandte Chemie. Their success stems from the good diffusion of lithium ions along the interfacial layer.



Cannabis, 'Spice' -- better think twice

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Marijuana is the most commonly abused drug in the world, and the advent of synthetic cannabinoids creates additional challenges to the society because of their higher potency and ability to escape drug detection screenings. Scientists from Japanese sleep institute have a warning for the society about a danger coming from cannabinoid abuse.



Rapid hepatitis C testing may help better screen young adults

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Routine and rapid hepatitis C virus testing among young adults who use injection drugs improves life expectancy and may provide a good use of limited resources, according to new research out of Boston Medical Center, in partnership with the Boston Public Health Commission. The findings are published online ahead of print in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.



Early trilobites had stomachs, new fossil study finds

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Exceptionally preserved trilobite fossils from China, dating back to more than 500 million years ago, have revealed new insights into the extinct marine animal's digestive system. The new study shows that at least two trilobite species evolved a stomach structure 20 million years earlier than previously thought.



Whole food diet may help prevent colon cancer, other chronic conditions

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A diet that includes plenty of colorful vegetables and fruits may contain compounds that can stop colon cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases in pigs, according to an international team of researchers. Understanding how these compounds work on a molecular level could be an initial step toward finding treatments for people with cancer, they added.



Researchers discover new cattle disease and prevent it from spreading

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Following genetic studies of deformed calves research conducted at the University of Copenhagen is able to uncover a hitherto unknown disease found among Holstein cattle. The breeding bull from which the mutation and thus the deformation originate has now been put down to prevent the disease from spreading further.



Changing of the guard -- research sheds light on how plants breathe

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

New research is set to change the textbook understanding of how plants breathe.



Production of key diabetes cells can be improved

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

In the future diabetics might benefit from getting insulin-regulating beta cells transplanted into their body because their own beta cells are destroyed or less functional. However, according to new stem cell research at the University of Copenhagen, the current way of producing beta cells from stem cells has significant shortfalls. The beta cells produced have some features resembling alpha cells.



UMN researchers find recipe for forest restoration

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A new study led by graduate student Leland Werden and associate professor Jennifer Powers of the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences has uncovered some valuable information on ways to maximize the success of replanting efforts, bringing new hope for restoring these threatened ecosystems.



Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Doctors at Penn Medicine have become the first in the world to treat a patient with a new treatment platform designed to streamline the way therapeutic radiation is delivered to cancer patients.



Lightning-fast trappers

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

New findings on the biomechanics and evolution of suction traps in carnivorous bladderworts.



Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Researchers have quantified the astonishingly high speeds at which future solar cells would have to operate in order to stretch what are presently seen as natural limits on their energy conversion efficiency.



Obese dogs helped by 'effective' weight loss trials

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

On average overweight dogs lose an average of 11 percent of their body weight when enrolled on a weight loss trial according to researchers who have conducted the largest international multi-center weight study.



DNA discovery could help shed light on rare childhood disorder

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Fresh analysis of how our cells store and manage DNA when they undergo cell division could give valuable insights into a rare developmental condition known as Cornelia de Lange syndrome.



CSIC reconstructs how Neanderthals grew, based on an El Sidrón child

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

How did Neanderthals grow? Does modern man develop in the same way as Homo neanderthalensis did? How does the size of the brain affect the development of the body? A study led by the Spanish National Research Council researcher, Antonio Rosas, has studied the fossil remains of a Neanderthal child's skeleton in order to establish whether there are differences between the growth of Neanderthals and that of sapiens.



Football helmet smartfoam signals potential concussions in real time

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

While football-related concussions have been top of mind in recent years, people have struggled to create technology to accurately measure them in real time.BYU mechanical engineering Ph.D. student Jake Merrell and a team of researchers across three BYU departments have developed and tested a nano composite smartfoam that can be placed inside a football helmet (and pads) to more accurately test the impact and power of hits.



How the views of liberals evolved from the 19th century to the present day

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Scientists from the RUDN University have analyzed historical sources and revealed the foreign policy views of Russian liberals from the 1850s to the early 1890s. The researchers came to the conclusion that the views of modern liberals have nothing to do with the views of their predecessors. The study is published in The International History Review.



Heat-loving Australian ants believe in diversity, hint 74 species new to science

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A genus of Australian ants, many of whose members prefer to forage in blistering temperatures of up to 50°C (122°F), is revised to include 74 new species. The ants include seed-eaters, ant and termite raiders, 'honeypot ants' that store nectar and honeydew, and numerous others whose biology is not yet understood. Some are bizarre: one species has eyes like inverted ice-cream cones. The revision is published in the open-access journal ZooKeys.



Going diving in the tropics? Don't eat the reef fish!

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Reducing tourist consumption of reef fish is critical for Palau's ocean sustainability, finds a new UBC study that suggests other small island nations might also consider adopting this strategy.



Stopping problem ice -- by cracking it

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Most efforts to control ice build-up on structures like wind turbines and solar cells involve creating a surface that repels water. But Norwegian researchers have engineered a different approach that allows ice to form on a surface, but then causes it to crack off.



Higher manganese levels in children correlate with lower IQ scores, UC study finds

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A study led by environmental health researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine finds that children in East Liverpool, Ohio with higher levels of Manganese (Mn) had lower IQ scores. The research appears online in the journal NeuroToxicology.



Mitochondria drive cell survival in times of need

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

McGill University researchers have discovered a mechanism through which mitochondria, the energy factory of our body's cells, play a role in preventing cells from dying when the cells are deprived of nutrients - a finding that points to a potential target for next-generation cancer drugs.



Being active saves lives whether a gym workout, walking to work or washing the floor

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study, led by the Population Health Research Institute of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences, shows any activity is good for people to meet the current guideline of 30 minutes of activity a day, or 150 minutes a week to raise the heart rate.



Big herbivorous dinosaurs ate crustaceans as a side dish, says CU Boulder study

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Some big plant-eating dinosaurs roaming present-day Utah some 75 million years ago were slurping up crustaceans on the side, a behavior that may have been tied to reproductive activities, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study.



Neuron types in brain are defined by gene activity shaping their communication patterns

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

In a major step forward, scientists at CSHLtoday publish a discovery about the molecular-genetic basis of neuronal cell types. Neurons are the basic building blocks that wire up brain circuits supporting mental activities and behavior. The study, which involves sophisticated computational analysis of the messages transcribed from genes that are active in a neuron, points to patterns of cell-to-cell communication as the core feature that makes possible rigorous distinctions among neuron types across the mouse brain.



Ancient human DNA in sub-Saharan Africa lifts veil on prehistory

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

The first large-scale study of ancient human DNA from sub-Saharan Africa opens a long-awaited window into the identity of prehistoric populations in the region and how they moved around and replaced one another over the past 8,000 years.



Premature births cost health plans $6 billion annually

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A new study estimates employer-sponsored health plans spent at least $6 billion extra on infants born prematurely in 2013 and a substantial portion of that sum was spent on infants with major birth defects.



Quantum twisted Loong confirms the physical reality of wavefunctions

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Are quantum states real? This most fundamental question in quantum mechanics has not yet been satisfactorily resolved, although its realistic interpretation seems to have been rejected by various delayed-choice experiments. Recently, scientists from University of Science and Technology of China, Harbin University of Science and Technology and other collaborators propose and demonstrate a quantum twisted double-slit experiment, in which the physical reality of wavefunctions is confirmed for the first time.



We must accelerate transitions for sustainability and climate change, experts say

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

We must move faster towards a low-carbon world if we are to limit global warming to 2 degrees C this century, experts have warned.



An extraordinary cave animal found in Eastern Turkmenistan

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A remote cave in Eastern Turkmenistan was found to shelter a marvelous cave-adapted inhabitant that turned out to represent a species and genus new to science. This new troglodyte is the first of its order from Central Asia and the first strictly subterranean terrestrial creature recorded in the country. The study is published in the open-access journal Subterranean Biology.



Why poison frogs don't poison themselves

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Poison frogs harbor some of the most potent neurotoxins we know, yet scientists have long wondered -- how do these frogs keep from poisoning themselves? With a new paper published in the journal Science, scientists are a step closer to resolving that head-scratcher. And the answer has potential consequences for the fight against pain and addiction.



Excess dietary manganese promotes staph heart infection

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Too much dietary manganese -- an essential trace mineral found in leafy green vegetables, fruits and nuts -- promotes infection of the heart by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. The findings, reported this week in Cell Host & Microbe, add to evidence that diet modifies risk for infection and suggest that people who have excess levels of tissue manganese, potentially from dietary supplements, may be at increased risk for staph infection of the heart.



Locking down the big bang of immune cells

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Scientists have found that ignored pieces of DNA play a critical role in the development of immune cells known as T cells. Such 'non-coding' DNA activates a change in the 3-D structure of DNA that brings together crucial elements necessary for T cell formation. This 'big bang' discovery may be unfolding throughout the animal and plant kingdoms as well as aid in combating diseases such as lymphoma and leukemia.



Signs of sleep seen in jellyfish

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

The upside-down jellyfish Cassiopea demonstrates the three hallmarks of sleep and represents the first example of sleep in animals without a brain, HHMI researchers report.



Breathing dirty air may harm kidneys

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Outdoor air pollution may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease and contribute to kidney failure, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veterans Affairs (VA) St. Louis Health Care System. Scientists used VA data to evaluate the effects of air pollution and kidney disease on nearly 2.5 million people and compared it to air-quality levels collected by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).



Precisely defined polymer chains now a reality

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

The materiality exhibited by manmade polymers currently relies on simple chemical bonds and the sequence order taken by molecules in the polymer chain.We now no longer need to rely on fate to determine such materiality with this new technique for precisely defining polymer-chain order.This system uses highly specific 'grabber' ends on each molecule that bond with only one type of 'pin' end on another molecule.



Broad swath of US deemed environmentally suitable for mosquitoes that transmit disease

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Three-quarters of counties in the contiguous United States present suitable environmental conditions for at least part of the year for either Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquitoes to survive if introduced, according to researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The two mosquito species can transmit viruses that cause Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever.



If at first adults don't succeed, babies are more likely to try, try again

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Babies who observe adults push through failure and repeatedly attempt to achieve a goal are more likely to persist when faced with their own difficult tests, scientists report.



Ultra-high-energy cosmic rays come from galaxies far, far away

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A new study reveals that cosmic rays with the highest energies that make their way to Earth originated from outside our Milky Way galaxy.



Neandertal skeleton reveals the growth pattern of our extinct cousins

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A new analysis of a well-preserved Neandertal child's skeleton reveals that Neandertals may have had extended period of brain growth compared to modern humans.



The 'paradox' of poisonous frog resistance against their own toxins explained

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Researchers are now equipped with additional insight into how poisonous frogs may have evolved resistance against their own toxins, thanks to the results of a new study.



Tiny Brazilian frogs are deaf to their own calls

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Pumpkin toadlets, found on the leaf litter of Brazil's Atlantic forest, are among the smallest frogs in the world. An international team from Brazil, Denmark and the United Kingdom, has discovered that two species of these tiny orange frogs cannot hear the sound of their own calls.



No magic pill to cure alcohol dependence yet

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A new study published by the scientific journal Addiction has found no reliable evidence for using nalmefene, naltrexone, acamprosate, baclofen or topiramate to control drinking in patients with alcohol dependence or alcohol use disorder. At best, some treatments showed low to medium efficacy in reducing drinking, but those findings were from studies with a high risk of bias. None demonstrated any benefit on health outcomes.



Study confirms cosmic rays have extragalactic origins

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

International collaboration by scientists with the Pierre Auger Observatory confirms that most of the highest energy cosmic rays that reach the Earth come from outside the Milky Way galaxy.



Detecting cosmic rays from a galaxy far, far away

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Where do cosmic rays come from? Solving a 50-year-old mystery, a collaboration of researchers has discovered it's much farther than the Milky Way.



Dancing electrons lose the race

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

In a report now published in the journal Science ultrashort pulses of light were employed to start a race between electrons emitted from different initial states in a solid material. Timing this race reveals an unexpected result: the fastest electrons arrive in last place.



The surprising, ancient behavior of jellyfish

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

The discovery that primitive jellyfish sleep suggests that sleep is an ancient, evolutionarily conserved behavior.



Air pollution may have damaging effects on the kidneys

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

In a study of US veterans, researchers found a linear relationship between air pollution levels and risk of experiencing kidney function decline and of developing kidney disease or kidney failure.



Study reveals high rates of opioid prescriptions and excessive dosing in dialysis patients

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

From 2006 to 2010, almost two thirds of US dialysis patients received at least one opioid prescription every year and >20 percent received chronic prescriptions. More than 25 percent of dialysis patients using opioids received doses exceeding recommendationsUse of opioid medications was linked with higher risks of early death, discontinuation of dialysis, and the need for hospitalization in dialysis patients.



Many YouTube videos glorify alcohol

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

YouTube videos featuring alcohol are heavily viewed and nearly always promote the 'fun' side of drinking. That's the finding of a study in September issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.



Green algae could hold clues for engineering faster-growing crops

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Two new Princeton-led studies provide a detailed look at an essential part of algae's growth machinery, with the eventual goal of applying this knowledge to improving the growth of crops.



Scientists sequence asexual tiny worm -- whose lineage stretches back 18 million years

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A team of scientists has sequenced, for the first time, a tiny worm that belongs to a group of exclusively asexual species that originated approximately 18 million years ago--making it one of the oldest living lineages of asexual animals known.



Gene immunotherapy protects against multiple sclerosis in mice

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A potent and long-lasting gene immunotherapy approach prevents and reverses symptoms of multiple sclerosis in mice, according to a study published Sept. 21 in the journal Molecular Therapy. The researchers used a viral vector to deliver a gene encoding a myelin sheath protein to the liver, thereby inducing robust and durable immune tolerance in mice by preventing T cells from attacking the myelin sheath.