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Water, not temperature, limits global forest growth as climate warms

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 12:06 PM PST

The growth of forest trees all over the world is becoming more water-limited as the climate warms. The effect is most evident in northern climates and at high altitudes where the primary limitation on tree growth had been cold temperatures. The research details the first time that changes in tree growth in response to current climate changes have been mapped at a near-global scale.

An ancient relative of humans shows a surprisingly modern trait

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 12:06 PM PST

A relative of modern humans that lived at least 104,000 years ago in northern China showed evidence of dental growth and development very similar to that of people today, a new study found.

Feathers: Better than Velcro?

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 12:06 PM PST

The structures zipping together the barbs in bird feathers could provide a model for new adhesives and new aerospace materials, according to a new study. Researchers 3D printed models of the structures to better understand their properties.

Gastric bypass surgery may benefit muscle strength more than previously thought

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 12:06 PM PST

Gastric bypass surgery improves relative muscle strength and physical performance in people with obesity, according to a new study.

Full carbonate chemistry at the site of calcification in a tropical coral

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 12:06 PM PST

Researchers have succeeded in directly measuring three key parameters necessary for skeleton formation in a live tropical coral. This way, they completely characterized the carbonate chemistry at the site of calcification.

High-speed supernova reveals earliest moments of a dying star

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 11:06 AM PST

An international team of researchers found evidence for the much theorized 'hot cocoon'.

Wearable sensor can detect hidden anxiety, depression in young children

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 11:06 AM PST

Anxiety and depression in young children are hard to detect and often go untreated, potentially leading to anxiety disorders and increased risk of suicide and drug abuse later. In a new study, researchers showed a wearable sensor detected these 'internalizing disorders' in children with 81 percent accuracy, reducing to 20 seconds what would take clinicians months to diagnose, opening the door to inexpensive screening that could be part of routine developmental assessments.

'Ambidextrous' robots could dramatically speed e-commerce

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 11:06 AM PST

Engineers present a novel, 'ambidextrous' approach to grasping a diverse range of object shapes without training.

How bad will my postpartum depression be in 12 months?

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 11:06 AM PST

A new study was able to successfully predict -- with 72.8 percent accuracy -- if a new mother would experience worsening depressive symptoms over the first year after giving birth. The scientists predicted this depression trajectory using four maternal characteristics that put the mother at risk. Identifying these factors early in the postpartum period will allow mothers to seek treatment earlier and improve their chance of a full recovery.

Acupressure relieves long-term symptoms of breast cancer treatment, study finds

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 11:06 AM PST

A new study finds acupressure could be a low-cost, at-home solution to a suite of persistent side effects that linger after breast cancer treatment ends.

Ozaena ground beetles likely parasitize ants throughout their life cycle

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 11:06 AM PST

Ozaena ground beetles likely have anatomical adaptations enabling them to parasitize ant nests throughout their life cycle, according to a new study.

Marine mammals and sea turtles recovering after Endangered Species Act protection

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 11:06 AM PST

More than three-quarters of marine mammal and sea turtle populations have significantly increased after listing of the US Endangered Species Act (ESA), according to a new study.

Researchers rescue photoreceptors, prevent blindness in animal models of age-related macular degeneration

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 11:06 AM PST

Using a novel patient-specific stem cell-based therapy, researchers prevented blindness in animal models of geographic atrophy, the advanced 'dry' form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is a leading cause of vision loss among people age 65 and older. The protocols established by the animal study set the stage for a first-in-human clinical trial testing the therapy in people with geographic atrophy, for which there is currently no treatment.

Experimental treatment approach shows potential against Staphylococcus aureus

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 11:06 AM PST

A new class of engineered proteins may counter infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus -- a bacterial species considered one of the largest global health threats, a new study suggests.

Scientists grow perfect human blood vessels in a petri dish

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 10:08 AM PST

Scientists have managed to grow perfect human blood vessels as organoids in a petri dish for the first time. The breakthrough engineering technology dramatically advances research of vascular diseases like diabetes, identifying a key pathway to potentially prevent changes to blood vessels -- a major cause of death and morbidity among those with diabetes.

How stem cells self-organize in the developing embryo

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 10:08 AM PST

New study uses live imaging to understand a critical step in early embryonic development -- how genes and molecules control forces to orchestrate the emergence of form in the developing embryo. The study findings could have important implications for how stem cells are used to create functional organs in the lab, and lead to a better understanding of the underlying causes of gastrointestinal birth defects.

When activated, 'social' brain circuits inhibit feeding behavior in mice

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 10:08 AM PST

Feeding behavior and social stimulation activate intermingled but distinct brain circuits, and activating one circuit can inhibit the other, according to a new study.

Scientists discover novel process to convert visible light into infrared light

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 10:08 AM PST

Scientists have developed a novel chemical process to convert infrared energy into visible light, allowing innocuous radiation to penetrate living tissue and other materials without the damage caused by high-intensity light exposure. The discovery could advance numerous fields, including clinical applications for photodynamic therapy and drug development.

New yeast model of metabolic disorders may lead to life-saving therapies

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 09:26 AM PST

A new study suggests that the role of yeast, the world's most basic eukaryotic unicellular organism, may pave the way for the development of novel, more effective therapies for congenital diseases.

From emergence to eruption: Comprehensive model captures life of a solar flare

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 09:26 AM PST

A team of scientists has, for the first time, used a single, cohesive computer model to simulate the entire life cycle of a solar flare: from the buildup of energy thousands of kilometers below the solar surface, to the emergence of tangled magnetic field lines, to the explosive release of energy in a brilliant flash.

Artificial intelligence applied to the genome identifies an unknown human ancestor

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 09:26 AM PST

By combining deep learning algorithms and statistical methods, investigators have identified, in the genome of Asian individuals, the footprint of a new hominid who cross bred with its ancestors tens of thousands of years ago.

Drones shown to make traffic crash site assessments safer, faster and more accurate

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 09:26 AM PST

Research shows that drones can be more effective and safer in crash mapping of vehicular highway accidents than conventional methods. Drones using new imaging technology allows highway safety officers to capture and print 3D composites of crash sites and reduce mapping time and improve traffic flow following a crash by 60 percent.

Mechanism for leukaemia cell growth revealed, prompting new treatment hopes

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 09:26 AM PST

A mechanism which drives leukaemia cell growth has been discovered by researchers, who believe their findings could help to inform new strategies when it comes to treating the cancer.

Evidence of changing seasons, rain on Saturn's moon Titan's north pole

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 08:55 AM PST

An image from the international Cassini spacecraft provides evidence of rainfall on the north pole of Titan, the largest of Saturn's moons. The rainfall would be the first indication of the start of a summer season in the moon's northern hemisphere.

Urbanization may hold key to tiger survival

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 08:55 AM PST

A new study says the future of tigers in Asia is linked to the path of demographic transition -- for humans.

New AI can detect urinary tract infections

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 08:55 AM PST

New AI could identify and help reduce one of the top causes of hospitalization for people living with dementia: urinary tract infections (UTI).

Engineered light to improve health, food

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 08:55 AM PST

intentionally controlled light can help regulate human health and productivity by eliciting various hormonal responses. Tailored LED wavelengths and intensities also can efficiently stimulate plant growth, alter their shapes and increase their nutritional value, opening a new world of scientific and technological possibilities for indoor farming.

Fiery sighting: A new physics of eruptions that damage fusion experiments

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 08:55 AM PST

Sudden bursts of heat that can damage the inner walls of tokamak fusion experiments are a hurdle that operators of the facilities must overcome. Such bursts, called 'edge localized modes (ELMs),' occur in doughnut-shaped tokamak devices that house the hot, charged plasma that is used to replicate on Earth the power that drives the sun and other stars. Now researchers have directly observed a possible and previously unknown process that can trigger damaging ELMs.

Nepal earthquake: Waiting for the complete rupture

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 08:55 AM PST

Nepal was struck by an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 in 2015, but the country may still face the threat of much stronger temblor. This is the conclusion reached by researchers based on a new model that simulates physical processes of earthquake rupture between the Eurasian and Indian Plates.

Welding process for manufacturing industries

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 08:55 AM PST

New research will optimize the welding, additive and manufacturing process.

Fighting perinatal mood and anxiety disorders on multiple levels

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 08:11 AM PST

Over the past several decades, it's become increasingly recognized that perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs), including postpartum depression, are more than just "baby blues." They're the most common complication of childbirth in the U.S., affecting about 14 percent of women in their lifetimes and up to 50 percent in some specific populations. PMADs can lead to a variety of adverse outcomes for both mothers and their babies, including poor breastfeeding rates, poor maternal-infant bonding, lower infant immunization rates and maternal suicides that account for up to 20 percent of postpartum deaths.

'Statistics anxiety' is real, and new research suggests targeted ways to handle it

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 08:11 AM PST

A new study uses an analytical technique called 'network science' to determine factors contributing to statistics anxiety among psychology majors.

Vampire bat venom could hold key to new medical treatments

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 08:11 AM PST

Vampire bats could hold the key to new treatments for a range of serious medical problems, but researchers have hit a snag accessing the specimens needed to advance their work. Now scientists have found a new class of blood pressure-regulating peptides in the venom of the common vampire bat (Diphylla ecaudata).

Jellyfish map could be the future to protecting UK waters and fish

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 08:10 AM PST

Researchers have developed a map of chemicals found in jellyfish caught across 1 million square kilometers of UK waters. The same chemicals are found in other marine animals such as birds and fish. These findings can support conservation efforts by helping track an animals movements and also be used as a tool to detect food fraud by identifying where seafood products were sourced from.

Chaos in the body tunes up your immune system

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 08:10 AM PST

Chaos in bodily regulation can optimize our immune system, according to researchers. The discovery may prove to be of great significance for avoiding serious diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

Ammonia by phosphorus catalysis

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 08:10 AM PST

More than 100 years after the introduction of the Haber-Bosch process, scientists continue to search for alternative ammonia production routes that are less energy demanding. Scientists have now discovered that black phosphorus is an excellent catalyst for the electroreduction of nitrogen to ammonia. Layered black phosphorus nanosheets are a highly selective and efficient catalyst in this process.

How manganese produces a parkinsonian syndrome

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 08:10 AM PST

Using X-ray fluorescence at synchrotrons DESY and ESRF, researchers have demonstrated the consequences of a mutation responsible for a hereditary parkinsonian syndrome: accumulated manganese in the cells appears to disturb protein transport.

Risk of infection from water in the air at home

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 08:10 AM PST

Researchers have developed a more detailed framework for understanding and managing the risk of transmitting a bacterial disease via water spray from sinks, showers and toilets. As continuous testing of indoor water is not always feasible, the guidelines can help to identify water use situations that could increase the risk of exposure.

Nudging does not necessarily improve decisions

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 08:10 AM PST

Nudging, the concept of influencing people's behavior without imposing rules, bans or coercion, is an idea that government officials and marketing specialists alike are keen to harness, and it is often viewed as a one-size-fits-all solution. Now, a new study puts things into perspective: Whether a nudge really does improve decisions depends on a person's underlying decision-making process.

Fighting the crave for fattening food? Just surround yourself in its scent

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 08:10 AM PST

A new study proves one sense can compensate another.

Climate change: How could artificial photosynthesis contribute to limiting global warming?

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 08:10 AM PST

If CO2 emissions do not fall fast enough, then CO2 will have to be removed from the atmosphere to limit global warming. Not only could planting new forests and biomass contribute to this, but new technologies for artificial photosynthesis as well. Physicists have estimated how much surface area such solutions would require. Although artificial photosynthesis could bind CO2 more efficiently than the natural model, huge investments into research are needed to upscale the technology.

Coralline red algae have existed for 300 million years longer than presumed

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 08:10 AM PST

Coralline red algae have existed for 130 million years, in other words since the Cretaceous Period, the time of the dinosaurs. At least this was the established view of palaeontologists all over the world until now. However, this classification will now have to be revised after fossils prove that coralline red algae existed as far back as 430 million years ago.

Identifying 'friends' in an objective manner

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 08:09 AM PST

Scientists have developed a new method for identifying individuals that have essential connections between them -- what they call 'significant ties'.

Ultra ultrasound to transform new tech

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 08:09 AM PST

A new, more sensitive method to measure ultrasound may revolutionize everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles. Researchers have combined modern nanofabrication and nanophotonics techniques to build the ultra precise ultrasound sensors on a silicon chip.

Neurofeedback helps to control learning success

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 08:09 AM PST

Those who regulate their brain rhythm themselves can release capacities to learn new things.

Athletes should build neck strength to reduce concussion risk, researchers recommend

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 08:09 AM PST

Researchers have proposed a way to mitigate risk for football and soccer players and others at risk of concussion: Protect your head with neck-strengthening exercises in the pre-season. New research examines previous studies on the role that the neck's strength, size and posture play in reducing concussion risk.

Mechanism helps explain the ear's exquisite sensitivity

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 08:09 AM PST

Researchers have decoded the way structures in the inner ear give our hearing its remarkable sensitivity and selectivity.

Simple rules predict and explain biological mutualism

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 08:09 AM PST

Scientists have long employed relatively simple guidelines to help explain the physical world, from Newton's second law of motion to the laws of thermodynamics. Biomedical engineers have used dynamic modeling and machine learning to construct similarly simple rules for complex biology. They have devised a framework to accurately interpret and predict the behavior of mutually beneficial biological systems, such as human gut bacteria, plants and pollinators, or algae and corals.

Alterations in hippocampal structural connections differentiate between responders of ECT

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 06:07 AM PST

A new study in people with major depression reports that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) induces changes in the fibers connecting the hippocampus to brain regions involved in mood and emotion.

Ketone body utilization decreases when blood flow to the heart is reduced

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 06:07 AM PST

Researchers have measured the ketone body utilization rate in the heart and confirmed that it decreases when the heart is in a state of reduced blood flow (myocardial ischemia).

Dry-cured ham bones -- a source of heart-healthy peptides?

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 06:07 AM PST

Drinking bone broth is a recent diet fad that proponents claim fights inflammation, eases joint pain and promotes gut health. Simmering animal bones in water releases collagen and other proteins into the broth that may have health benefits, although more research is needed to validate these claims. Now, a new study has shown that ham bones contain peptides that could have cardioprotective effects.

Following heart health guidelines also reduces diabetes risk

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 06:07 AM PST

You've probably heard that things like staying active, eating healthy and keeping your blood pressure in check can help your heart, and a new study finds that following a set of seven lifestyle factors can also drastically reduce your risk of developing diabetes.

New quantum structures in super-chilled helium may mirror early days of universe

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 06:06 AM PST

Experimental proof of a decades-old prediction opens a pathway to recreate possible conditions of the early universe here on earth.

The pace at which the world's permafrost soils are warming

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 06:06 AM PST

Global warming is leaving more and more apparent scars in the world's permafrost regions. As the new global comparative study conducted by the international permafrost network GTN-P shows, in all regions with permafrost soils the temperature of the frozen ground at a depth of more than 10 meters rose by an average of 0.3 degrees Celsius between 2007 and 2016 -- in the Arctic and Antarctic, as well as the high mountain ranges of Europe and Central Asia.

Right green for crop, environment, wallet

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 06:06 AM PST

Researchers found an efficient approach to managing nitrogen in agriculture and reducing its environmental impact. It's all about being green.

Mosquito known to transmit malaria has been detected in Ethiopia for the first time

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 06:06 AM PST

A type of mosquito that transmits malaria has been detected in Ethiopia for the first time, and the discovery has implications for putting more people at risk for malaria in new regions.

High pesticide exposure among farmers linked to poor sense of smell later

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 06:06 AM PST

A new study has shown an association between unusually high pesticide exposure and poor sense of smell among aging farmers.

Ocean giant gets a health check: Combination blood, tissue test reveals whale shark diets

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 06:06 AM PST

Whale sharks, the world's largest fish, likely endure periods of starvation and may eat more plants than previously thought, according to the first results of a new health check. Ocean scientists now have a powerful, simple tool to discover the diets, migrations, and conservation needs of this endangered species.

Born to run: Just not on cocaine

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 06:06 AM PST

A study finds a surprising response to cocaine in a novel strain of mutant mice -- they failed to show hyperactivity seen in normal mice when given cocaine and didn't run around. In other tests, they still found cocaine appealing, but displayed an inability to shake the memory of cocaine's actions when the drug was no longer administered. The key change that blocks cocaine's stimulant effects in these mice is serotonin, not dopamine, which is responsible for producing a high.

Differences among brain neurons that coincide with psychiatric conditions

Posted: 16 Jan 2019 06:06 AM PST

Scientists have found about 13,000 regions of epigenetic differences between neurons in different brain regions that vary by at least 10 percent. The location of those epigenetic changes -- covering about 12 million bases in the genome -- co-locate with the genetic signal contributing to addictive behavior, schizophrenia and neuroses such as biopolar disorder.