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Thursday, November 30, 2017

#Science

#Science


Blowing in the stellar wind: Scientists reduce the chances of life on exoplanets in so-called habitable zones

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 03:00 PM PST

A new article describes the detrimental impact of stellar wind on the atmosphere of exoplanets.

Anti-aging protein could be targeted to rejuvenate immune cells

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 02:02 PM PST

An anti-aging protein called SIRT1, commonly known for being activated by red wine, has been shown to protect against age-related diseases, such as cancer, neurodegeneration, and cardiovascular disease. A study now reveals that it could also be targeted to rejuvenate cells in the immune system.

Targeted treatment could prevent spread of pancreatic cancer, heart damage

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 02:02 PM PST

A new targeted treatment could benefit patients with certain pancreatic tumors by preventing spread of the cancer and protecting their heart from damage -- a direct result of the tumor. Higher levels of serotonin among other tumor secretions can cause injury to the valves of the heart over time, leading to cardiac impairment -- a condition referred to as cardiac carcinoid disease -- in these patients.

Brain activity mapped to improve prosthetic design

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 12:04 PM PST

High-tech prosthetics allow amputees to engage more fully in everyday life, even to compete in sporting events. Researchers have demonstrated how brain activity is used to identify different terrains -- level ground and stairs, for example -- a key step in developing prosthetics that allow the user's prosthesis to automatically adjust to changing ground conditions in real time.

What gives poetry its aesthetic appeal? New research has well-versed answer

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 12:04 PM PST

New psychology research points to the factors that explain why we find particular poems aesthetically pleasing -- results that enhance our understanding of 'why we like what we like.'

Conspiracy thinking less likely with greater news media literacy, study suggests

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 12:04 PM PST

The more you know about the news media and how it works, the less likely you are to believe conspiracy theories - even ones you might find politically tempting. The connection held true overall even where conspiracy theories resonated with an individual's political beliefs.

People with disabilities more likely to be arrested

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 12:04 PM PST

People with disabilities face all sorts of discrimination every day. New Cornell University research suggests they may also face it while interacting with the police.

Going swimmingly: Biotemplates breakthrough paves way for cheaper nanobots

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 12:04 PM PST

New developments may now propel nanoswimmers from science fiction to reality thanks to unexpected help from bacteria. Engineers have demonstrated a new technique for plating silica onto flagella, the helix-shaped tails found on many bacteria, to produce nanoscale swimming robots. The group's biotemplated nanoswimmers spin their flagella thanks to rotating magnetic fields and can perform nearly as well as living bacteria.

Deducing the properties of a new form of diamond

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 12:04 PM PST

Earlier this year, amorphous diamond was synthesized for the first time using a technique involving high pressures, moderately high temperatures and a tiny amount of glassy carbon as starting material. A father-son team at Clemson University has now successfully calculated a number of basic physical properties for this new substance, including elastic constants and related quantities.

More mammoth bones recovered from Michigan farm where skull, tusks and dozens of intact bones of an ice age mammoth were found

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 12:04 PM PST

Paleontologists conducted a second excavation this week at the Chelsea-area farm where the skull, tusks and dozens of intact bones of an ice age mammoth were pulled from the ground in late 2015.

Sonic Kayaks: Environmental monitoring and experimental music by citizens

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 11:13 AM PST

Researchers have rigged kayaks with underwater environmental sensors and speakers to create an environmental monitoring tool suitable for citizen scientists. Instructions for the hardware and open-source software for making the 'Sonic Kayak' are available.

New treatment investigated for brain tapeworm infection

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 11:12 AM PST

Treating neurocysticercosis (NCC), an infection of the brain with tapeworm larvae, often leads to inflammation and seizures when the parasites in the brain die. Now, researchers have reported that pretreatment with the anti-tumor necrosis factor drug etanercept (ETN) is a viable strategy to manage this post-treatment inflammation.

Bat cave study sheds new light on origin of SARS virus

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 11:12 AM PST

Genetic recombination between viral strains in bats may have produced the direct evolutionary ancestor of the strain that caused a deadly outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in humans, according to new research.

Do your ears hang low? The complex genetics behind earlobe attachment

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 11:11 AM PST

A common, hands-on method for teaching genetics in grade school encourages students to compare their earlobes with those of their parents: are they attached and smoothly mesh with the jawline? Or are they detached and dangly? The answer is meant to teach students about dominant and recessive genes. Simple, right? Not so fast.

Hundreds of fossilized eggs shed light on pterosaur development

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 11:11 AM PST

An invaluable collection of more than 200 eggs is providing new insights into the development and nesting habits of pterosaurs.

Butterfly pattern emerges from quantum simulation

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 11:11 AM PST

An international team demonstrates on Google's quantum chip a novel method to study quantum phases of matter.

New research agenda to accelerate malaria elimination, eradication

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 11:11 AM PST

Over 180 scientists, malaria program managers and policy makers from around the world have come together through a consultative process to update the research agenda for malaria elimination and eradication, first produced in 2011. The outcome is a series of seven 'malERA Refresh' papers. This forward-looking research and development agenda should help accelerate progress towards a malaria-free world.

Antibiotics may reduce the ability of immune cells to kill bacteria

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 11:11 AM PST

A new study has shown that antibiotics can reduce the ability of mouse immune cells to kill bacteria, and that changes to the biochemical environment directly elicited by treatment can protect the bacterial pathogen.

Public resource boosts drug discovery, offers insights into protein function

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 11:10 AM PST

Researchers have taken the Connectivity Map -- a widely used resource of tools and data -- to new heights with a massively scaled-up version. This expanded 'connectivity map' creates more than 1.3 million gene expression profiles of drug treatment and genetic perturbation, accelerating research on small molecules and gene function. For this new platform, the researchers have improved its accessibility for the scientific community, enabling studies of small molecule and gene function and informing clinical trials.

Squeezing light into a tiny channel brings optical computing a step closer

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 11:10 AM PST

By forcing light to go through a smaller gap than ever before, researchers have paved the way for computers based on light instead of electronics.

New early gravity signals to quantify the magnitude of strong earthquakes

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 11:10 AM PST

After an earthquake, there is a disturbance in the field of gravity almost instantaneously. This could be recorded before the seismic waves. Researchers have managed to observe these weak signals and to understand where they come from. Because they are sensitive to the magnitude of earthquakes, these signals may play an important role in the early identification of the occurrence of a major earthquake.

Gravitational waves could shed light on the origin of black holes

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 11:10 AM PST

The detection of gravitational waves has given astronomers a new way of looking at the universe, and a new study shows how these ripples in the fabric of spacetime might confirm or rule out the existence of a certain type of black hole.

Designing a golden nanopill

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 11:10 AM PST

Researchers have investigated the optical properties of complex plasmonic vesicles, which can navigate the bloodstream, and, when hit with a quick pulse of laser light, change shape to release their contents. The researchers used supercomputers to gain insights into the how plasmonic nanoparticles can be optimally designed and activated.

Cigarette smokers are 10 times more likely to be daily marijuana users

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 11:10 AM PST

Daily marijuana use has been on the rise over the past decade. Now, a new study found that cigarette smokers are 10 times more likely to use marijuana on a daily basis. Marijuana use occurred nearly exclusively among current cigarette smokers, daily or non-daily smokers, compared with former smokers and those who have never smoked. However, even among non-smokers, daily marijuana use is increasing, particularly among youth and female cigarette smokers.

Speaking up against bigotry can reduce bad behavior

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 11:06 AM PST

If you're sitting around the holiday table and one of your curmudgeonly uncles says something unintentionally bigoted, your inclination may be to ask for more mashed potatoes and get on with the feast. But researchers say that might be a mistake.

Breakthrough process for directly converting methane to methanol

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 10:38 AM PST

The direct oxidation of methane -- found in natural gas -- into methanol at low temperatures has long been a holy grail. Now, researchers have found a breakthrough way to accomplish the feat using a heterogeneous catalyst and cheap molecular oxygen, according to a new article.

What leads certain people to seek vengeance? Sadism

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 10:38 AM PST

People who enjoy hurting others and seeing them in pain are more likely to seek revenge against those who have wronged them, according to a new study.

Copy of 'Jesus' secret revelations to his brother' discovered by biblical scholars

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 10:38 AM PST

The first-known original Greek copy of a heretical Christian writing describing Jesus' secret teachings to his brother James has been discovered by biblical scholars. The original manuscript was probably a teacher's model used to help students learn to read and write.

Microscopy: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 10:38 AM PST

Physicists have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

Despite forest loss, African protected area can support 10s of thousands of elephants

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 10:38 AM PST

Despite some forest loss, Mozambique's sprawling Niassa National Reserve has the potential to support tens of thousands of elephants and 1,000 lions according to a new land-use study.

Neutrophil-inspired propulsion

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 10:38 AM PST

Inspired by white blood cells rolling on endovascular walls before transmigrating to the disease site, scientists have succeeded in getting particles to move along the walls of microscopic, three-dimensional vessels. This method could be used in targeted cancer therapeutics.

Obesity increases dementia risk

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 10:38 AM PST

People who have a high body mass index (BMI) are more likely to develop dementia than those with a normal weight, according to a new study.

Humble sponges are our deepest ancestors: Dispute in evolutionary biology solved

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 09:29 AM PST

New research has resolved evolutionary biology's most-heated debate, revealing it is the morphologically simple sponges, rather than the anatomically complex comb jellies, which represent the oldest lineage of living animals.

Migration makes breeding harder for seabirds

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 09:29 AM PST

The key drivers of seabird migration have now been revealed for the first time in a new study. The research suggests that puffin colonies that travel great distances during the winter often find it more difficult to breed than others, and that escaping your habitat with far flung migration therefore carries a cost.

Interrupted reprogramming converts adult cells into high yields of progenitor-like cells

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 09:28 AM PST

A modified version of iPS methodology, called interrupted reprogramming, allows for a highly controlled, safer, and more cost-effective strategy for generating progenitor-like cells from adult cells. Researchers converted adult mouse respiratory tract cells called Club cells into large, pure populations of induced progenitor-like cells, which retained a residual memory of their parental cell lineage. Moreover, these cells showed potential as a cell replacement therapy in mice with cystic fibrosis.

Under stress, newborn babies show greater brain response to pain

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 09:28 AM PST

When newborn babies are under stress, their brains show a heightened response to pain, a new study has found. However, you'd never know it from the way those infants act. The findings show that stress leads to an apparent disconnect between babies' brain activity and their behavior. Stressed babies may not seem to respond to pain, even as their brain is still processing it.

Invasive cells in head and neck tumors predict cancer spread

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 09:28 AM PST

Head and neck tumors that contain cells undergoing a partial epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition -- which transforms them from neatly organized blocks into irregular structures that extrude into the surrounding environment -- are more likely to invade and spread to other parts of the body, according to a new study.

Why are genetically identical individuals different? Ask your mum!

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 09:28 AM PST

Does the age of a mother influence the traits and characteristics of her progeny, and how? A team of scientists have addressed these questions by studying tiny, genetically identical C. elegans worms.

'Aggressive' surgery is best treatment option for early stage lung cancer

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 09:28 AM PST

Patients with early stage lung cancer live longer when they receive a lobectomy -- the most common type of operation for the disease -- rather than a less extensive operation or radiation treatment.

Reading between the lines in children's vocabulary differences

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 09:28 AM PST

A new study has found that differences in vocabulary growth among grade school children of different socioeconomic statuses are likely related to differences in the process of word learning.

Climate-friendly architecture thanks to natural folding mechanisms

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 09:27 AM PST

Mobile components on buildings whose design was copied from naturally occurring solutions -- that is the subject of new research. The aim is to outfit them with drive elements that can move without energy input. Serving as a model here are pine cones, which utilize the varying swelling behaviors of their tissue to open when moist or close when dry.

Helping the brain prune bad habits

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 09:27 AM PST

Fasudil, a drug that stimulates neuron pruning, can nudge mice away from habit-driven behaviors when combined with retraining. A potential tool for facilitating the treatment of drug abuse and preventing relapse.

Consumption is the bottleneck for sustainable development

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 08:24 AM PST

From ending poverty to improving wellbeing, gender equality, cities' resilience or climate action -- while synergies among most of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) foster progress in sustainable development, there are some key conflicts or bottlenecks that could hamper achieving the SDG objectives for 2030. Responsible consumption and production seems to be such a bottleneck, as data from the past shows.

New software can verify someone's identity by their DNA in minutes

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 08:24 AM PST

Researchers have developed a method to quickly and accurately identify people and cell lines from their DNA. The technology has a wide range of applications, but its most immediate use could be to flag mislabeled or contaminated cell lines in cancer experiments.

Lighting the way to switch chemical reaction pathways

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 08:24 AM PST

Researchers have pioneered a system that modulates visible, colored light to change the reactions of a powerful chemical coupling agent.

Computer analysis fills gaps in antibody blueprint

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 08:24 AM PST

Antibodies defend our bodies against intruders. These molecules consist of proteins with attached sugars. However, the blueprint directing the processing of these sugars on the protein was not well understood until now. Scientists have now used computer analysis to complete this blueprint and confirmed their findings in the laboratory.

HIV directly impacts the brain in the early stages of the infection, report researchers

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 08:24 AM PST

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) directly impacts the brain in the early stages of the infection, researchers have found.

Visible signals from brain and heart

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 08:23 AM PST

Key processes in the body are controlled by the concentration of calcium in and around cells. Scientists have now developed the first sensor molecule that is able to visualize calcium in living animals with the help of a radiation-free imaging technique known as optoacoustics. The method does not require the cells to be genetically modified and involves no radiation exposure.

Mass of warm rock rising beneath New England

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 06:41 AM PST

Slowly but steadily, an enormous mass of warm rock is rising beneath part of New England, although a major volcanic eruption isn't likely for millions of years, a new study suggests. The research is unprecedented in its scope and challenges textbook concepts of geology.

Phase III immunotherapy trial for migraine shows positive results

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 06:41 AM PST

An antibody therapy against a key inflammatory molecule involved in migraines reduces the number of headaches that chronic migraine patients experience per month in a phase III trial.

The origin of rain and smells

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 06:40 AM PST

Everyday questions like what really causes clouds and rain, what gives sparkling wines their distinctive aroma and why do tires generate so much smoke when they burn have answers that are intimately connected. Now researchers have developed a particularly exact model to show the origin of all these phenomena from a universal microscopic mechanism that occurs on the surface of liquids, independently of mere evaporation.

How blood-sucking insects find dark-coated cattle in the dark

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 06:39 AM PST

Dark-coated horses suffer more from blood-sucking horseflies compared to their white counterparts, research shows. Now, investigators know why animals with a dark, smooth coat are particularly vulnerable - even in a dark environment.

New UK map of air pollution provides insights into nitrogen dioxide levels across the country and within towns and cities

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 06:39 AM PST

Researchers have created the first ever high resolution map of air pollution in the UK. The map shows how air pollution, specifically nitrogen dioxide, changes across the country and within towns and cities, highlighting likely sources and potential clean-air refuge areas.

Patients with post-traumatic stress disorder respond differently to certain sounds, research finds

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 06:39 AM PST

A new neurobiological marker have have just been found to help recognize patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The future of electronics: New catalytic effect discovered for producing gallium oxide

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 06:39 AM PST

Semiconducting oxides are a new class of materials that are currently enjoying great attention in the field of semiconductor technology. Gallium oxide is the archetypal example for its ability to handle extremely high voltages and its optical transparency in the deep ultraviolet region. Such components are based on very thin, ultrapure semiconductor layers produced by special deposition methods. Physicists have now drastically increased the yield of gallium oxide with a catalytic effect observed for the first time during crystal growth.

Superconducting qubit 3-D integration prospects bolstered by new research

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 06:01 AM PST

Researchers have taken an important step towards the goal of building a large-scale quantum computer. They have presented a new process for creating superconducting interconnects, which are compatible with existing superconducting qubit technology.

People born premature have smaller airways causing respiratory problems

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 06:01 AM PST

People born prematurely may have smaller airways than those born at full term, which can cause respiratory problems.

Fighting the flu, year after year

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 06:01 AM PST

The process of preparing seasonal influenza vaccines in eggs may contribute to their limited effectiveness. The authors offer research strategies that might yield more protective vaccine candidates.

Feces from entangled North Atlantic right whales reveals 'sky-high' stress levels

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 06:00 AM PST

North Atlantic right whale scientists found that whales who undergo prolonged entanglements in fishing gear endure 'sky-high hormone levels,' indicating severe stress, which researchers discovered using a pioneering technique of examining scat from live, entangled, and dead whales over 15 years.

Brain's appetite regulator disrupted in obese teens

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 06:00 AM PST

Researchers using advanced MRI to study obese adolescents found disrupted connectivity in the complex regions of the brain involved in regulating appetite, according to a new study.