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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: Tue, 28 Mar 2017 06:00:01 EDT

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



Using a method from Wall Street to track slow slipping of Earth's crust

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

An indicator for stock prices can be used with GPS data to automatically detect slow-slip earthquakes from a single station's observations, offering a new way to monitor seismic activity.



Why does the same exercise exert effects on individuals differently?

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Selenoprotein P, a kind of hepatokine hormone secreted from the liver, has been found, through experiments with cultured muscle cells and mice and through clinical studies, to cause pathology named 'exercise resistance,' which prevents health promotion by physical exercise. The present results elucidate one of the reasons why individual responsiveness to exercise differs markedly as well as shed lights on development of therapy for lifestyle diseases due to lack of exercise, obesity and type-2 diabetes.



When writing interferes with hearing

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A cochlear implant is an electronic device capable of restoring hearing in a profoundly deaf person by stimulating the nerve endings in the inner ear. However, results can be extremely variable. Using brain imaging techniques, a neuroscientist from University of Geneva and a Parisian ENT surgeon have managed to predict the success of a cochlear implant among people who became profoundly deaf in their adult life. This research may be found in Nature Communications.



Novel approach can reveal personalized breast cancer treatments

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Researchers from various institutions, including Baylor College of Medicine, have developed a new way to approach breast cancer treatment. First, they search for the proteins that drive tumor growth, and then test in the lab drugs that potentially neutralize these specific biological drivers.



Study: Dust helps regulate Sierra Nevada ecosystems

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A new study released March 28 in the journal Nature Communications indicates it's important to understand how dust helps vegetation thrive, especially in light of the changing climate and land-use intensification.



Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Dust from as far away as the Gobi Desert in Asia is providing more nutrients than previously thought for plants, including giant sequoias, in California's Sierra Nevada mountains, a team of scientists, including several from the University of California, Riverside, have found.



Biomechanical analysis of head injury in pediatric patients

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

The biomechanics of head injury in youths (5 to 18 years of age) have been poorly understood. A new study reported in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics set out to determine what biomechanical characteristics predispose youths with concussions to experience transient or persistent postconcussion symptoms.



Mathematicians predict delaying school start times won't help sleep deprived teenagers

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Delaying school start times in the UK is unlikely to reduce sleep deprivation in teenagers, research from the University of Surrey and Harvard Medical School has found. The research, conducted in collaboration between mathematicians and sleep scientists, predicts that turning down the lights in the evening would be much more effective at tackling sleep deprivation.



With health insurance at risk, community health centers face cut-backs

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Repeal of key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, combined with a failure to renew critical funding streams, would result in catastrophic funding losses for community health centers-forcing these safety net providers to cut back on services, lay off staff or shut down clinical sites, according to a report published today. The report represents the first analysis of the potential effects on medically underserved communities of the types of health insurance losses contained in legislation now pending in Congress.



Astronomers probe swirling particles in halo of starburst galaxy

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Astronomers have used a radio telescope in outback Western Australia to see the halo of a nearby starburst galaxy in unprecedented detail.



Zika virus protein mapped to speed search for cure

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A study published today reports that a team led by Indiana University scientists has mapped a key protein that causes the Zika virus to reproduce and spread.



New finding could lead to earlier liver cancer diagnosis

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

MIT researchers have now developed a way to determine, by sequencing DNA of liver cells, whether cells have been exposed to aflatoxin. This profile of mutations could be used to predict whether someone has a high risk of developing liver cancer, potentially many years before tumors actually appear.



Kent State chemists create microscopic environment to study cancer cell growth

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

An online publication in Nature Nanotechnology this week by Kent State University researchers and their colleagues at Kyoto University in Japan, however, may offer new understanding about what turns good cells bad.



Satellites reveal bird habitat loss in California

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Reduced seasonal flooding of wetlands and farm fields in California's Sacramento Valley threatens a key stopover site for migratory shorebirds, a Duke-led study shows. Landsat satellite images reveal that flooded habitat is most limited during peak spring migration when the birds urgently need resting and feeding sites. Near the peak of migration, an area of seasonally flooded land twice the size of Washington, D.C. has been lost since 1983.



Researchers create artificial materials atom-by-atom

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Researchers at Aalto University have manufactured artificial materials with engineered electronic properties. By moving individual atoms under their microscope, the scientists were able to create atomic lattices with a predetermined electrical response. The possibility to precisely arrange the atoms on a sample bring 'designer quantum materials' one step closer to reality. By arranging atoms in a lattice, it becomes possible to engineer the electronic properties of the material through the atomic structure.



Psychologists enlist machine learning to help diagnose depression

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Cognitive neuroscientists from The University of Texas at Austin are using the Stampede supercomputer to provide accurate predictions of risk for those with depression and anxiety.They have been able to classify individuals with major depressive disorder with roughly 75 percent accuracy using a machine learning approach. Stampede 2 --which will come online later in 2017 -- will provide the increased computer processing required to incorporate more data and achieve even greater accuracy.



Research addresses the threat of Zika virus to the US blood supply

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Investigators have shown that certain screening methods that detect the genetic material of Zika virus can be used to ensure that donated blood supplies remain free of the virus.



For the birds: New prediction method sheds brighter light on flight

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, researchers at Stanford University found a new way to precisely measure the vortices -- circular patterns of rotating air -- created by birds' wings during flight. The results shed greater light on how these creatures produce enough lift to fly.



Researchers show p300 protein may suppress leukemia in MDS patients

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Scientists at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have shown that p300, a protein that increases gene expression by attaching acetyl molecules to DNA, may stop myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) from developing into acute myeloid leukemia (AML).



Saint Louis University researchers predict Zika hot spots in the US

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Researchers predicted the places in the continental US where Zika is most likely to be transmitted are along the Mississippi delta and southern states extending northward along the Atlantic coast and in southern California.



Timing a space laser with a NASA-style stopwatch

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

To time how long it takes a pulse of laser light to travel from space to Earth and back, you need a really good stopwatch -- one that can measure within a fraction of a billionth of a second.



Cookbooks give readers (mostly) bad advice on food safety

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A recent study finds bestselling cookbooks offer readers little useful advice about reducing food-safety risks, and much of the advice they do provide is inaccurate and not based on sound science.



World Water Day: Fog and dew keep Africa's Namib Desert ecosystem going

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

The ocean is not the sole source of the fog that sustains life for numerous plants and animals living in Africa's coastal Namib Desert. The fog also comes from groundwater and other sources, report ecohydrologists supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and affiliated with Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).



Scientists discover new class of anti-diabetes compounds that reduce liver glucose production

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A team of scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School and the Yale University School of Medicine, among others, have identified a new class of compounds that reduce production of glucose in the liver.



A little nudge may provide a big boost to flu vaccination rates

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Currently, only 44 percent of adults in the United States receive an annual flu vaccination. But, a new study suggests that a simple behavioral economics technique may be able to help. In the study, researchers programmed electronic health records (EHR) to alert care providers when a patient was eligible, and prompt them to choose to 'accept' or 'decline' a flu vaccination order. Results showed a 37 percent relative increase in vaccinations from the prior year.



Minority colorectal cancer patients report higher burden of poor quality-of-life

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A study of racial disparities in health-related quality of life of colorectal cancer patients revealed among several findings, that Hispanics and blacks had a higher burden of poor health-related quality-of-life (HR-QoL) than white patients and that poor HR-QoL resulted in shorter median survival. Yet Hispanics had an average survival time of 85.4 months as compared to blacks at 47.8 months and whites at 43.2 months.



NASA sees tiny Tropical Cyclone Caleb fading

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Tropical Cyclone Caleb is weakening in the Southern Indian Ocean and NASA's Aqua satellite caught one of the last bursts of strength as it passed overhead.



How do some opioids cause severe itching?

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

With a more accurate understanding of the characteristics and function of the receptor MRGRPX2, University of North Carolina School of Medicine researchers were also able to create chemical probe that will allow them study the receptor more precisely.



More than 100 years of flooding and erosion in 1 event

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Sara Rathburn of Colorado State University and colleagues have developed an integrated sediment, wood, and organic carbon budget for North St. Vrain Creek in the semi-arid Colorado Front Range following an extreme flooding event in September of 2013. Erosion of more than 500,000 cubic meters, or up to ~115-years-worth of weathering products, occurred through landsliding and channel erosion during this event.



NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Debbie approaching Queensland for landfall

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the storm early on March 27, 2017 as Tropical Cyclone Debbie had intensified into a powerful hurricane already affecting the coast of eastern Queensland, Australia.



Brain activity can be used to predict reading success up to 2 years in advance

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

By measuring brainwaves, it is possible to predict what a child's reading level will be years in advance, according to research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.



Basic microbiology research study unexpectedly uncovers practical findings for growers

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Several USDA-ARS researchers initially set out to describe the microbiology of rye cover crop roots and how they changed over time in a field setting. Among the many microorganisms detected, they found several poorly understood oomycetes, microorganisms often responsible for plant diseases. Because these organisms were also able to cause corn seedling disease, what they unexpectedly discovered was the potential for elevated disease risk in corn following the use of cereal rye as a cover crop.



GW study finds social media course impacts online behavior in first-year medical students

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Researchers at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences found a majority of first-year medical students changed their online behavior after participating in a social media and professionalism course, with results published in the Teaching and Learning in Medicine journal.



Paid medical malpractice claims decrease

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Researchers report that the overall rate of claims paid on behalf of all physicians dropped by 55.7 percent. Pediatricians had the largest decline, at 75.8 percent, and cardiologists had the smallest, at 13.5 percent. After adjusting for inflation, researchers found that the amount of the payment increased by 23.3 percent and was also dependent on specialty. Neurosurgery had the highest mean payment, and dermatology had the lowest. The percentage of payments exceeding $1 million also increased during the same time period.



Graphene-based neural probes probe brain activity in high resolution

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Graphene-based transistors enable a flexible neural probe with excellent signal-to-noise ratio. Such probes are useful for examining neural activity for understanding diseases, as well as in neuroprosthetics for control of artificial limbs.



Health problems may increase as young people infected with HIV at birth get older

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A Massachusetts General Hospital study has found that US youth infected with HIV around the time of their birth are at higher risk throughout their adolescence and young adulthood for experiencing serious health problems, poor control of the HIV virus or death.



Emotion: An important link to HIV prevention in black adolescents with mental illnesses

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Could unique psychological factors that hamper emotional regulation help explain differences in HIV/STI risk-related sexual behaviors among heterosexually active black youth with mental illnesses?



A big leap toward tinier lines

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A new interface control technique for block co-polymer self-assembly developed at MIT could provide long-sought method for making even tinier patterns on microchips with lines just 9 nanometers wide.



NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

NASA's Van Allen Probes uncover new phenomena in our near-Earth environment with their unique double orbit. Recently, the spacecraft were in just the right place, at just the right time, to catch an event caused by the fallout of a geomagnetic storm as it happened.



Rocks that tell our industrial history

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Researchers in the UPV/EHU's Department of Analytical Chemistry have published a study in which they analyze beachrocks, cemented sand formations that have industrial waste, produced as a result of metallurgical activities, trapped inside them. These strange rocks bear witness to the impact of industrial development and its influence on the coastal environment.



Protein transport: The quickest route to the tip

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

According to a theoretical model developed by physicists of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich, in cell protrusions, cargo-transporting motor proteins often get in each other's way. The upshot is that freely diffusing proteins reach the leading edge faster.



Longer telomeres may shield mice from age-related human diseases

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Researchers in Deepak Srivastava's laboratory at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease hypothesized that mice may be protected from age-associated human diseases due to the relatively longer length of their telomeres, the regions at the end of chromosomes that help guard against deterioration. In work published this week in the JCI, the researchers used mice with shortened telomeres to examine a genetic defect that causes an age-associated congenital heart disease in humans.



Ant-plant symbioses: Adapting to changes in partner abundance

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Many ant species live in often highly specific symbiotic relationships with plants from which both partners benefit. Researchers of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich now reveal that such selective interactions can break down over the course of evolution.



Farming becoming riskier under climate change

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Climate change is predicted to impact agriculture, but a new study puts these changes in terms that are directly applicable to farmers. For Illinois, the corn planting window will be split in two to avoid wet conditions in April and May. Each planting window carries increased risk -- the early planting window could be thwarted by frost or heavy precipitation, and the late window cut short by intense late-summer drought.



High burden of iodine deficiency found in Israel's first national survey

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

The first national iodine survey conducted in Israel has revealed a high burden of iodine deficiency among Israelis, posing a high risk of maternal and fetal hypothyroidism and impaired neurological development of the fetus in Israel. Addressing iodine deficiency will require government funding and legislation, and a government-regulated program of salt or food iodization, say scientists.



Tracking real-time proton induced radiation chemistry in water

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Proton therapy is a promising form of radiation treatment used to kill cancerous cells and effectively halt their rapid reproduction, and the fundamental understanding for it is contained in the radiation induced water chemistry that occurs immediately after the interaction. The ensuing processes are therefore a subject of considerable scientific interest. Researchers describe their work exploring this ionization with an experimental setup, with enhanced temporal resolution, in this week's Applied Physics Letters.



Is personal adversity contributing to political polarization?

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Unexpected life events can lead to political polarization, pushing moderates toward the spectrum's extremes, according to a new study co-authored by a University at Buffalo psychologist.



Of Star Trek, Mark Twain and helmets: 15 new species of wasps with curious names

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Fifteen new species of parasitic wasps have been described from the Neotropics. Apart from being quite distinct with their large and elongated bodies, the new insects also draw attention with their curious formal names. Among them, there are species named after characters from Star Trek and Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper, and five wasps bearing names translating to 'helmet' in three different languages. The study is published in the open access journal ZooKeys.



Improving memory with magnets

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

The ability to remember sounds, and manipulate them in our minds, is incredibly important to our daily lives -- without it we would not be able to understand a sentence, or do simple arithmetic. New research is shedding light on how sound memory works, and is even demonstrating a means to improve it.



The first crowdfunded study in Japan: Micro X-ray observation of a fleshy brittle star

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Not only have scientists from Japan performed the first non-destructive morphological observations on the fleshy brittle star, Asteronyx loveni, using micro X-ray tomography, but they also published their research as the first study supported by crowdfunding in the Asian country. The team leader Dr. Masanori Okanishi, Ibaraki University, managed to raise part of the funds via Japan's pioneering crowd-funding platform academist. The study is now openly available in the open access journal ZooKeys.



New collaboration looks for trans-Atlantic common ground in geriatrics

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Top research journals launch international editorial series tackling the latest in geriatrics clinical practice & public policy. Up first: commonalities 'across the pond' for older adults with multimorbidity.



Subtle steric differences reveal a model for Ni cross-coupling success

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Princeton researchers have developed a predictive model may enable challenging metal-catalyzed cross couplings reactions that are indispensable to drug development.



Scientists discover mechanism that causes cancer cells to self-destruct

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A new Tel Aviv University study discloses the role of three proteins in killing fast-duplicating cancer cells while they're dividing. The research finds that these proteins can be specifically modified to unleash an inherent 'death mechanism' that self-eradicates duplicating cancer cells.



Hydrogen production: This is how green algae assemble their enzymes

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum have analyzed how green algae manufacture complex components of a hydrogen-producing enzyme. The enzyme, known as the hydrogenase, may be relevant for the biotechnological production of hydrogen.



How do we get young men in vocational schools to eat healthy?

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

There are several challenges associated with getting young men in vocational schools to eat healthy. According to a new study from Aarhus University, the students overall dislike it when someone interferes with their dietary habits.



Do patients want complementary and alternative treatments and will they pay cash for them?

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

While complementary, alternative, and integrative medicine treatments such as acupuncture and massage therapy are usually offered in outpatient settings, a new study has shown that the majority of hospitalized patients perceived such integrative services to be helpful.



Unique wheat passes the test

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A unique, patented wheat can have significant importance to agriculture, the environment and undernourished people in developing countries. Animal tests recently demonstrated that this special wheat increases P and Ca digestibility.



New genetic risk factors identify 2 distinct glioma subtypes

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

An international consortium of researchers led by Dr. Melissa Bondy, professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, has conducted the largest study to date of malignant brain tumors looking for genetic markers of glioma, a highly aggressive form of brain cancer.



Mobile gold fingers

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Drugs containing gold have been used for centuries to treat conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, they might be effective against cancer and HIV. One mechanism by which they work could occur because gold ions force the zinc ions out of zinc fingers -- looped, nucleic acid binding protein domains. American researchers have characterized such 'gold fingers' using ion mobility mass spectrometry. As reported in the journal Angewandte Chemie, they identified the exact gold binding sites.



Liver fully recovers from a low protein diet

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Damage caused to the liver by a low protein diet can be repaired, a new study just published in the prestigious journal Nutrition has found.



Wall lizard becomes accustomed to humans and stops hiding

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Habituating to predators or fleeing and hiding are tactics that vary between species. Scientists from two research centers in Italy and Spain have observed that adult male common wall lizards sharing their living spaces with humans become accustomed to them and hide less when humans approach them. Yellow lizards were the most 'daring.'



Unrestricted improvements in fishing technology threaten the future of seafood

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A study conducted by ICTA-UAB (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) researcher Eric Galbraith shows that future improvement of fishing technology poses a threat for the global fishery that could be greater than climate change. The results suggest that we may have recently passed the peak of global catch, but could potentially maintain present levels through improved regulation of fisheries.



The skin cancer screening paradigm: Reviewing current guidelines for detecting melanoma

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A new perspective piece brings together the opinions of over 50 leading experts in the skin cancer field to assess controversies in current melanoma screening guidelines, as well as provide their own data-derived recommendations.



Rising flood insurance costs growing burden to communities and homeowners in New York City

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Flood insurance is already difficult to afford for many homeowners in New York City, and the situation will only worsen as flood maps are revised to reflect current risk and if the federal government continues to move toward risk-based rates, according to a first-of-its-kind study by the RAND Corporation.



Color change test to help cancer research advance

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A simple color changing test to help scientists investigate potential cancer drugs has been developed by University of Bath scientists, allowing research to progress at a much greater speed than has been possible until now.



Cells grow more naturally in 'spaghetti'

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

The usual way of cultivating cells is to use a flat laboratory dish of glass. However, inside a human body, the cells do not grow on a flat surface, but rather in three dimensions. This has lead researchers at Lund University in Sweden to develop a porous 'spaghetti' of tissue-friendly polymers with cavities in which the cells can develop in a more natural way.



Transgenic plants against malaria

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Scientists have discovered a gene that allows to double the production of artemisinin in the Artemisia annua plant.The artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) is the standard treatment for malaria worldwide, endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO).The paper, published in The Plant Journal, represents an important step towards reducing artemisinin production costs.



Proteomics helps to understand the influence of genetic variations

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

How does type 2 diabetes develop? A team of researchers headed by the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University of Munich has come closer to finding an answer to this problem. The team examined the functional effects of exemplary genetic variations relevant for type 2 diabetes. Their approach can be applied to many clinical pictures.



Transport of molecular motors into cilia

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Molecular motors produce the force that powers the beat of sperm cell tails to generate movement toward the egg cell for fertilization. New research now shows how the molecular motors that power the movement of sperm cells are recognized and specifically transported into the tail region of the cell. This knowledge can pave the way for a better understanding of disease causing mutations causing sterility.



Patent analysis highlights importance of bioactives of saffron

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Increased stress levels, sleep disorders and obesity have become hallmarks of present lifestyle. These conditions are often correlated with serious health problems such as cancer, diabetes, cerebral ischemia, stroke, etc.



A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Hybrid UAVs with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability as well as cruise flying capabilities have attracted the worldwide research interest. However, it is a great challenge to combine the two functionalities effectively into one single UAV, not to mention automating it. In 2016, the research group led by Professor Ben M. Chen from NUS have conquered the difficulty by designing a novel reconfigurable structured UAV, U-Lion and successfully automated it. The technology developed has great potential in many applications.



New international banking rules would not prevent another financial crisis

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

The Basel III regulatory framework, as planned, will not reduce systemic risk in the financial sector, according to new research. Instead, regulations should aim to increase the resilience of financial networks.



No 'weekend admission effect' for the elderly sustaining broken hips in the NHS

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

New research has found NHS patients admitted to hospital at the weekend with a hip fracture are at no greater risk of death compared to weekdays.



Insight into cause of brain disorders may aid quest for treatments

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Fresh discoveries about a range of neurological disorders may inform the development of new therapies.



Nitrogen foraging ability of plants relies on mobile shoot-root hormone signal

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Nagoya University researchers discovered the molecular mechanisms underlying the shoot-to-root stage of nitrogen-demand signaling in plants. The team found that genes encoding CEPD polypeptides are switched on in the shoots in response to nitrogen starvation in the roots. These polypeptides then descend into the roots, and activate a nitrate transporter gene only if sufficient nitrate is available in the surrounding soil. These findings have implications for maximizing plant nutrient acquisition and improving agricultural productivity.



NUS Pharmacy team develops 'calculator' to predict risk of early hospital readmission

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore has developed a novel web-based tool that predicts a patient's 15-day readmission risk.



The electric sands of Titan

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Experiments suggest the particles that cover the surface of Saturn's moon, Titan, are 'electrically charged.' When the wind blows hard enough, Titan's non-silicate granules get kicked up and start to hop in a motion. As they collide, they become frictionally charged, like a balloon rubbing against your hair, and clump together in a way not observed for sand dune grains on Earth -- they become resistant to further motion.



Researchers warn of hazards of smoking and need for wider use of varenicline to quit

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

More than 35 million Americans are trying to quit smoking. Researchers reassure clinicians and their patients that varenicline, whose brand name is Chantix, is a safe and effective way to achieve smoking cessation and that failure to use this drug has caused preventable heart attacks and deaths from cardiovascular disease. Just a few months ago, the FDA removed the black box warning from varenicline.



Genetics reveal mysteries of hard-to-treat bacterial infection in cystic fibrosis

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

New UBC research on bacteria that cause major problems for those with cystic fibrosis reveals clues as to how it proliferates for so long in the lungs and offers new ideas for treatments to explore.



Scientists overcome inaccessibility of caves through molecular genetic approach

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

An international group of scientists has used a novel highly sensitive method for detection of environmental DNA in groundwater to extend the poorly known range of the rare subterranean amphibian from the Dinaric Karst. With this highly sensitive non-invasive method they discovered 12 new localities of the olm (Proteus anguinus). Their findings were published on March 27, 2017 in the journal Scientific Reports.



The economic case for wind and solar energy in Africa

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

To meet skyrocketing demand for electricity, African countries may have to triple their energy output by 2030. While hydropower and fossil fuel power plants are favored approaches in some quarters, a new assessment by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found that wind and solar can be economically and environmentally competitive options and can contribute significantly to the rising demand.



During late life, what's important changes

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Supportive late life care improves experience and cost, and model can be replicated.



Playing to beat the blues: Video games viable treatment for depression

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Video games and 'brain training' applications are increasingly touted as an effective treatment for depression. A new UC Davis study carries it a step further, though, finding that when the video game users were messaged reminders, they played the game more often and in some cases increased the time spent playing.



How randomness helps cancer cells thrive

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

In a research effort that merged genetics, physics and information theory, a team at the Schools of Medicine and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University has added significantly to evidence that large regions of the human genome have built-in variability in reversible epigenetic modifications made to their DNA.



Study provides path for new immunotherapy approaches to prostate cancer

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Prostate cancer, notoriously resistant to immunotherapy due to its immunologically cool nature, triggers two pathways to chill an immune attack after one immunotherapy drug fires up the immune system, researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center report in Nature Medicine.



Enzyme structures illuminate mechanism behind bacteria's bioremediation prowess

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

In a publication in the journal Nature released today (March 27, 2017), scientists from the Department of Biochemistry and Department of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have solved the structure of an enzyme caught in the act of attacking toluene -- a chemical derived from wood and oil.



New tool allows analysis of single-cell RNA data in pre-malignant tumours

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute scientists and their collaborators have developed a new analysis tool that showed, for the first time, which genes were expressed by individual cells in different genetic versions of a benign blood cancer. Reported in Nature Methods today, the new computer tool -- Single Cell Consensus Clustering -- was shown to be more accurate and robust than existing methods of analyzing single-cell RNA sequence data, and is freely available for researchers to use.



Rare genetic forms of obesity more numerous, diverse than previously thought

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

In their search of seven databases and analysis of 161 papers, Meyre and his colleagues found that 79 obesity syndromes have been previously reported. Of the 79 syndromes, 19 have been genetically solved, to the point where a lab test could confirm a doctor's suspicions. Another 11 have been partially clarified, and 27 have been mapped to a chromosomal region. For the remaining 22 syndromes, neither the gene(s) nor the chromosomal location(s) have yet been identified.



Largest ever brain cancer study reveals new secrets to inherited risk

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Scientists have uncovered a treasure trove of information about the genetic causes of brain cancer in the largest ever study of the disease.



Stars born in winds from supermassive black holes

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Observations using ESO's Very Large Telescope have revealed stars forming within powerful outflows of material blasted out from supermassive black holes at the cores of galaxies. These are the first confirmed observations of stars forming in this kind of extreme environment. The discovery has many consequences for understanding galaxy properties and evolution. The results are published in the journal Nature.



New rice strain could help farmers predetermine harvest time

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A new strain of rice that flowers within a certain period of time after being sprayed with commercial chemicals commonly used to protect rice from fungal diseases is now available, say Japanese scientists. This new strain could one day allow rice farmers to dictate the timing of their harvest regardless of weather, temperature and other conditions that currently affect cultivation.



Renewable energy has robust future in much of Africa

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Africa's energy demand is expected to triple by 2030. A new Berkeley study shows that the continent's energy needs can be met with renewable power from wind and solar in a way that reduces reliance on undependable hydroelectric power and imported fossil fuels, while at the same time saving money and providing jobs. Good sites exist for solar and wind farms even if one avoids remote or environmentally sensitive areas.



Analysis of antibiotics, appendectomy for uncomplicated appendicitis in kids

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

An analysis of several studies including 404 pediatric patients suggests antibiotic treatment for acute uncomplicated appendicitis was safe and effective in the majority of patients but the risk that antibiotic treatment would fail increased in patients with appendicolith, a calcified deposit in the appendix, according to a new article published online by JAMA Pediatrics.



'Medicinal food' diet counters onset of type 1 diabetes

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Monash University's Biomedicine Discovery Institute researchers have led an international study that found -- for the first time -- that a diet yielding high amounts of the short-chain fatty acids acetate and butyrate provided a beneficial effect on the immune system and protected against type 1 or juvenile diabetes.



Gastric medications increase risk for recurrence of Clostridium difficile infection

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Researchers at Mayo Clinic have found patients who use gastric suppression medications are at a higher risk for recurrent Clostridium difficile (C-diff) infection. C-diff is a bacterium that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon. The study is published in JAMA Internal Medicine.



Mouse in the house tells tale of human settlement

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Long before the advent of agriculture, hunter-gatherers began putting down roots in the Middle East, building more permanent homes and altering the ecological balance in ways that allowed the common house mouse to flourish, new research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicates. Findings suggest that the roots of animal domestication go back to human sedentism thousands of years prior to what has long been considered the dawn of agriculture.



Friction shapes zebrafish embryos

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

The biochemical signals that give an embryo its shape have been studied extensively. The role of mechanical forces on the other hand is the subject of a study by Carl-Philipp Heisenberg, Professor at IST Austria, and his group, including first author and postdoc Michael Smutny. In their study, published today in Nature Cell Biology, the researchers show that friction between moving tissues generates force. This force shapes the nervous system of the zebrafish embryo.



Implementing large-scale teleretinal diabetic retinopathy screening program

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Can a large-scale, primary care-based teleretinal diabetic retinopathy screening (TDRS) program reduce wait times for screening and improve the timeliness of care in the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, the largest publicly operated county safety net health care system in the United States?



Longer telomeres protect against diseases of aging: A tale of mice and men

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes discovered a key mechanism that protects mice from developing a human disease of aging, and begins to explain the wide spectrum of disease severity often seen in humans. Both aspects center on the critical role of telomeres, protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that erode with age.



Major genetic study identifies 12 new genetic variants for ovarian cancer

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 EDT

A genetic trawl through the DNA of almost 100,000 people, including 17,000 patients with the most common type of ovarian cancer, has identified 12 new genetic variants that increase risk of developing the disease and confirmed the association of 18 of the previously published variants.