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A view from above and below: Hatchery chinook salmon are self-sorting in tanks

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 01:20 PM PST

Hatchery-raised chinook salmon sort themselves into surface- and bottom-oriented groups in their rearing tanks, and this behavior might be due in part to the fish's genes.

Undergraduate student uncovers genes associated with aggressive form of brain cancer

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 01:20 PM PST

Using publicly available data and novel computer software called KINC, an undergraduate researcher in genetics and biochemistry was able to uncover a group of 22 genes that are implicated together as having involvement in glioblastoma, the most aggressive type of brain cancer.

Stem cell research provides hope for tasmanian devils with a deadly, transmissible cancer

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 01:20 PM PST

Using stem cell therapy, researchers have taken the first step toward developing an effective treatment for devil facial tumor disease (DFTD), which is decimating Tasmanian devils in the wild.

New '4-D goggles' allow wearers to be 'touched' by approaching objects

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 01:19 PM PST

A team of researchers has developed a pair of '4-D goggles' that allows wearers to be physically 'touched' by a movie when they see a looming object on the screen, such as an approaching spacecraft.

One-in-three chance Hayward fault will rupture within 30 years

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:51 AM PST

In the next 30 years, there is a one-in-three chance that the Hayward fault will rupture with a 6.7 magnitude or higher earthquake. Such an earthquake will cause widespread damage to structures, transportation and utilities, as well as economic and social disruption in the East Bay.

Apgar scores in neonates predict risk of CP and epilepsy

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:48 AM PST

An infant's scores on the so-called Apgar scale can predict the risk of a later diagnosis of cerebral palsy or epilepsy. The risk rises with decreasing  Apgar score, but even slightly lowered scores can be linked to a higher risk of these diagnoses, according to an extensive observational study.

New map profiles induced earthquake risk for West Texas

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:14 AM PST

A map created by geophysicists can help predict which parts of West Texas and New Mexico may be at risk of fracking-induced earthquakes. The map could guide oil discovery efforts in the region.

Autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder share molecular traits, study finds

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:13 AM PST

Most medical conditions are largely defined by their physical symptoms. Psychiatric illnesses, however, are largely defined by a person's behavior. A new study challenges that distinction, identifying many shared -- and distinct -- patterns of gene expression in the brains of people with autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The data hint at potential targets that may one day lead to new treatment approaches.

Evolution -- and skill -- help hefty hummingbirds stay spry

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:13 AM PST

Evolved differences in muscle power and wing size -- along with a touch of skill -- govern hummingbirds' inflight agility, according to new research. As opposed to other winged animals, larger species of hummingbirds are able to adapt to outmaneuver smaller species.

Ball games and circuit strength training boost bone health in schoolchildren

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:13 AM PST

The type of exercise that children get in school does make a difference, according to a major Danish study. Schoolchildren 8 to 10 years old develop stronger bones, increased muscular strength and improved balance when ball games or circuit training are on the timetable.

Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:13 AM PST

Scientists have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

Deep-brain exploration with nanomaterial

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:13 AM PST

Studying deep brain tissues noninvasively is difficult. Now scientists have developed a way to send light deep into the brain without invasive optical fibers. The method uses infrared light outside the head to activate upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs). When these nanoparticles absorb near-infrared laser light, they emit visible photons to deep areas in the brain, allowing remote optogenetic stimulation or inhibition of neurons in the brain.

Influence of increasing carbon dioxide levels on the seabed

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:13 AM PST

Subseabed CO2 storage is a potential future climate change mitigation technology. In a holistic approach, this study presents how leaking CO2 affects sandy seabed habitats and their inhabitants. Researchers discovered that increased CO2 levels drastically alter the ecosystem. Most of the animals inhabiting the site disappeared due to the effect of the leaking CO2. The functioning of the ecosystem was disrupted also in the long-term.

Devoted frog fathers guard their eggs from predators

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:13 AM PST

A new study has revealed that male white-spotted bush frogs dedicatedly guard their fertilized eggs from other cannibalistic male frogs and predators. The study confirmed that the adult male white-spotted bush frogs are the sole caregivers of their offspring, predominantly by attending to and guarding the eggs.

Recreating liver tumors as organoids for faster, more accurate drug screening

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:12 AM PST

A major challenge in developing liver cancer drugs is that preclinical testing occurs in tumor models that do not accurately reflect human tumor features, causing drug candidates to later fail in clinical testing. Now, Singaporean researchers have grown organoids from liver tumors on specially engineered 3-D scaffolds. These organoids replicate important features of the original tumor, including genetic changes and intra-tumor heterogeneity, and could serve as tumor avatars for high-throughput drug screening.

Chimpanzee self-control is related to intelligence

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:12 AM PST

As is true in humans, chimpanzees' general intelligence is correlated to their ability to exert self-control and delay gratification, according to new research.

Search for genetically stable bioengineered gut and liver tissue takes step forward

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:12 AM PST

Before medical science can bioengineer human organs in a lab for therapeutic use, two remaining hurdles are ensuring genetic stability -- so the organs are free from the risk of tumor growth -- and producing organ tissues of sufficient volume and size for viable transplant into people. Scientists now report achieving both goals with a new production method for bioengineered human gut and liver tissues.

Enzyme plays a key role in calories burned both during obesity and dieting

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:12 AM PST

Ever wonder why obese bodies burn less calories or why dieting often leads to a plateau in weight loss? In both cases the body is trying to defend its weight by regulating energy expenditure. In a new paper, researchers identify the enzyme TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) as a key player in the control of energy expenditure during both obesity and fasting.

Breakthrough in controlling the transmission of light

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:12 AM PST

Researchers detail the development of a new light wave-isolation method.

Competing for blood: How ecologists are solving infectious disease mysteries

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:12 AM PST

By looking at malaria infections and hookworms as competitors battling over a key resource -- red blood cells -- ecologists were able to explain why co-infected patients often got sicker after being dewormed: without the hookworms to keep it in check, the malaria infection ran rampant.

Ebola virus infects reproductive organs in monkeys

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:12 AM PST

Ebola virus can infect reproductive organs of male and female macaques, according to a new study, suggesting humans could be similarly infected. Prior studies have revealed sexual transmission of Ebola virus, and viral RNA persisting in semen following recovery. While little is known about viral persistence in female reproductive tissues, pregnant women with Ebola virus disease have a maternal death rate of more than 80 percent and a fetal death rate of nearly 100 percent.

Sniffing out a mate with precision

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:12 AM PST

Male cockroaches can 'see' the spatial distribution of female pheromones to locate a sexual mate, according to researchers.

Researchers run first tests of unique system for welding highly irradiated metal alloys

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:12 AM PST

Scientists are conducting tests of a new system that will allow researchers to advance welding technologies for repair of irradiated materials by developing processing conditions and evaluating post-weld materials properties.

Big step toward stopping cancer metastasis

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:12 AM PST

New research may give scientists a chance to target tumors before they metastasize. The study shows that a protein called LTBP3 fuels a chain reaction that leads some early developing tumors to grow new blood vessels. These vessels then act like highways to spread cancer cells throughout the body, seeding metastatic tumors very early on.

Surprise finding points to DNA's role in shaping cells

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:12 AM PST

Working at the intersection of biology and physics, scientists have made a surprising discovery at the root of cell formation. They found that DNA executes an unexpected architectural role in shaping the cells of bacteria. Studying the bacterium Bacillus subtilis, the researchers used an array of experiments and technologies to reveal that DNA, beyond serving to encode genetic information, also 'pumps up' bacterial cells.

Savanna fires pump Central African forests full of nitrogen

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:12 AM PST

Researchers are revealing the unexpected role that large-scale fires and high nitrogen deposition play in the ecology and biogeochemistry of these lush Central African forests.

Molecular 'magnets' could improve cancer immunotherapy

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:12 AM PST

Chemicals that attract specialized immune cells toward tumors could be used to develop better immunotherapies for cancer patients, according to new research. Scientists have discovered that immune cells called Natural Killer cells accumulate in tumors and release chemicals that attract specialized dendritic cells (cDC1) -- white blood cells known for triggering anti-cancer immune responses -- to the tumor.

When it comes to genes, lichens embrace sharing economy

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:05 AM PST

Researchers have discovered the first known molecular evidence of obligate symbiosis in lichens, a distinctive co-evolutionary relationship that could shed new light on how and why some multicellular organisms consolidate their genomes in order to co-exist.

What happens when women stop MS treatment during pregnancy?

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 10:50 AM PST

Two new studies look at the effects of stopping the newer, stronger drug natalizumab for multiple sclerosis (MS) during pregnancy. Natalizumab is generally prescribed for people with MS who have not responded to or cannot tolerate other treatments for MS as it can have a rare but potentially fatal side effect.

Research explores workers' response to abusive supervision

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 10:17 AM PST

A recent study examined the damaging impact abusive supervision has in the workplace including the ways employees respond with retaliatory behavior, which lowers productivity.

Could asking one question help us better understand women and infants' health?

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 10:17 AM PST

"Have you ever been sexually active for a year or more without using contraception and becoming pregnant?" A study suggests that asking this question could help clinicians better understand women and infants' health.

More efficient method devised to drug test athletes

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 10:17 AM PST

It will now be easier, faster and cheaper to catch athletes who take performance-enhancing drugs.

Rocky or gassy? Massive, dense super-Earth planet detected

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 10:17 AM PST

A star about 100 light years away in the Pisces constellation, GJ 9827, hosts what may be one of the most massive and dense super-Earth planets detected to date, according to new research. This new information provides evidence to help astronomers better understand the process by which such planets form.

Gut bacteria can be good, and bad, for health

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 10:17 AM PST

A new study found that impairing a rare group of cells (called Paneth cells) in the small intestine allows gut bacteria to invade the organ and cause major inflammation. The study was conducted in mice, but has implications for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a group of disorders characterized by chronic inflammation in the digestive track.

Biologists decipher a key piece of the odor-detection puzzle in flies, mosquitoes

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 10:17 AM PST

Biologists have discovered surprisingly that the complex odor-detecting machinery of the fruit fly Drosophila is heavily influenced by one specific odor receptor. This same receptor also exists in crop-damaging fly species and disease-carrying mosquitoes, opening the possibility for new chemical cocktails to control pests and render people

Dairy calves are natural optimists or pessimists, just like us

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 09:09 AM PST

Some calves are inherently optimistic or pessimistic, just as humans are, a new study has found. The study also assessed fearfulness through standard personality tests, and found that fearfulness and pessimism are closely related.

Molecular mechanisms of memory formation revelaed

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 09:09 AM PST

Neuroscientists have uncovered a cellular pathway that allows specific synapses to become stronger during memory formation. The findings provide the first glimpse of the molecular mechanism by which long term memories are encoded in a region of the hippocampus called CA3.

Distinctive brain pattern helps habits form

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 09:09 AM PST

Neuroscientists have found that certain neurons in the brain are responsible for grouping behaviors together into a single habitual routine, in a process known as 'chunking.' These neurons, located in a brain region highly involved in habit formation, fire at the beginning and the end of a habitual behavior, but not in the middle.

Breakthrough technique combats cancer drug resistance

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 09:09 AM PST

The ability for cancer cells to develop resistance to chemotherapy drugs -- known as multi-drug resistance -- remains a leading cause for tumor recurrence and cancer metastasis, but recent findings offer hope that oncologists could one day direct cancer cells to 'turn off' their resistance capabilities.

3-D vision discovered in praying mantis

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 09:09 AM PST

Miniature glasses have revealed a new form of 3-D vision in praying mantises that could lead to simpler visual processing for robots.

Walking fish suggests locomotion control evolved much earlier than thought

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 09:09 AM PST

Cartoons that illustrate evolution depict early vertebrates generating primordial limbs as they move onto land for the first time. But new findings indicate that some of these first ambulatory creatures may have stayed under water, spawning descendants that today exhibit walking behavior on the ocean floor.

Termites' unique gut 'factory' key to global domination

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 09:09 AM PST

Termites have achieved ecological dominance and now some ingredients for their success have been determined to lie in their unique gut microbiome 'factories' -- which enable the creatures to eat wood and other material relatively free of competition. New research shows the majority of termite gut microorganisms is not found in any other animals and that they are not only inherited from parents but are also shared across colonies and among distantly related termite species.

Alien honeybees could cause plant extinction

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 09:09 AM PST

New research indicates that introduced 'alien' honeybees are competing for resources with native bees and threatening the survival of plants that rely on interactions with specific pollinators.

The beneficial aspects of mindfulness for students of computer engineering

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 09:08 AM PST

Subjected to the same practice exercise, the group of students that participated in mindfulness sessions obtained better results than those that did not take part in this activity.

Quantum dots display promise for polymers

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 09:08 AM PST

Scientists are employing the power of the sun to build functional synthetic polymers using photosensitive, semiconducting quantum dots as a catalyst.

Nature, meet nurture

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 09:08 AM PST

Is it nature or nurture that ultimately shapes an organism? A new study reveals a dramatic landscape of gene expression changes across all cell types in the mouse visual cortex after a sensory experience, many linked to neural connectivity and the brain's ability to rewire itself to learn and adapt.

'Smart thermometer' improves flu forecasting

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 09:08 AM PST

A new approach shows that de-identified data from a 'smart thermometer' connected to a mobile phone app can track flu activity in real time at both population and individual levels and the data can be used to significantly improve flu forecasting.

Eye could provide 'window to the brain' after stroke

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 07:43 AM PST

Research into curious bright spots in the eyes on stroke patients' brain images could one day alter the way these individuals are assessed and treated. A team of scientists has found that a chemical routinely given to stroke patients undergoing brain scans can leak into their eyes, highlighting those areas and potentially providing insight into their strokes.

Nursery stock, homeowner preferences drive tree diversity in Salt Lake Valley

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 07:42 AM PST

What factors shape the formation of a new urban forest? Researchers' survey of tree species diversity in the Salt Lake Valley found that diversity can be shaped by the species available in nurseries, the preferences of the homeowners, and even the tree selections of their neighbors.

Harnessing the power of genomic sequencing augments diagnosis and treatment of lymphoid cancer

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 07:42 AM PST

A new study has established that hybrid-capture sequencing is the method of choice for sequencing 'actionable' gene mutations across the most common forms of lymphoid cancer. Due to its applicability in routinely acquired formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues, this assay can be implemented by clinical laboratories into routine diagnostic workflows. It reliably identifies potentially actionable gene mutations in 91 percent of patients, bringing the benefits of precision diagnosis and individualized therapy to patients with lymphoid cancer.

First hybrid nanotech device mimicking blood-brain barrier

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 07:42 AM PST

Researchers fabricated an artificial device reproducing a 1:1 scale model of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), the anatomical and functional structure that protects the central nervous system from external substances, such as contaminants, but also drugs when they are injected intravenously into the body. The device will be fundamental for studying new therapeutic strategies to overcome blood-brain barrier and treat brain diseases.

Peptide improves glucose and insulin sensitivity, lowers weight in mice

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 07:42 AM PST

Treating obese mice with catestatin (CST), a peptide naturally occurring in the body, showed significant improvement in glucose and insulin tolerance and reduced body weight, report researchers.

Thirdhand smoke lingers in casino months after smoking ban

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 07:42 AM PST

Decades of smoking in casinos causes the massive buildup of toxic residue on walls, furniture, and in carpets, according to a new study. The researchers found that the residue, known as thirdhand smoke, declined significantly after smoking was banned in a Northern California casino. But even six months later, toxic tobacco smoke residue remained above levels found in hotels or private homes with smoking bans.

From black hat to white hat: Findings tip assumptions about TAK1 in muscle growth

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 07:42 AM PST

Convention was that the signaling protein, transforming growth factor-ß-activated kinase 1 (TAK1) is detrimental to muscle health since it activates pathways associated with muscle wasting. However deactivating TAK1 did not preserve muscle health as expected, but resulted in the opposite effect: muscle wasting.

Drug shown to reverse brain deficits caused by alcohol

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 07:42 AM PST

Researchers have identified a drug that could potentially help our brains reboot and reverse the damaging impacts of heavy alcohol consumption on regeneration of brain cells. Their studies in adult mice show that two weeks of daily treatment with the drug tandospirone reversed the effects of 15 weeks of binge-like alcohol consumption on neurogenesis - the ability of the brain to grow and replace neurons (brain cells).

Genetic basis of quantitative traits and diseases in Japanese

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 07:42 AM PST

Researchers presented one of the largest non-European genome-wide association study (GWAS) of quantitative biological traits to date, identifying 1,407 trait-associated loci for 58 traits in 162,255 Japanese individuals. By incorporating the additional GWAS results of the 32 complex diseases and traits in Japanese, they further identified numerous loci that control more than one trait, together with the wide-ranging genetic correlations and distinct cell-type specificity among the quantitative traits and diseases.

iPS cell-derived inner ear cells may improve congenital hearing loss

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 07:42 AM PST

A Japanese research group has successfully grafted human iPS cell-derived inner ear cells that express human-derived proteins into the inner ears of embryonic mice. Hereditary hearing loss accounts for about half of all congenital hearing loss cases, and this work is a major contribution toward research that targets the embryonic inner ear.

Self-defeating humor promotes psychological well-being, study reveals

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 07:42 AM PST

Researchers provide new data on the consequences of using different styles of humor, emphasizing the importance of analyzing cultural differences in future psychological research.

'Zipping-up' rings to make nanographenes

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 07:42 AM PST

Nanographenes are attracting wide interest from many researchers as a powerful candidate for the next generation of carbon materials due to their unique electric properties. Scientists have now developed a fast way to form nanographenes in a controlled fashion. This simple and powerful method for nanographene synthesis could help generate a range of novel optoelectronic materials, such as organic electroluminescent displays and solar cells.

Scientists observe nanowires as they grow

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 07:42 AM PST

Scientists have followed the growth of tiny wires of gallium arsenide live. Their observations reveal exact details of the growth process responsible for the evolving shape and crystal structure of the crystalline nanowires. The findings also provide new approaches to tailoring nanowires with desired properties for specific applications.