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Astrophysicists settle cosmic debate on magnetism of planets and stars

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 10:14 AM PST

Using one of the world's most powerful laser facilities, a team of scientists experimentally confirmed a long-held theory for cosmic magnetic field generation: the turbulent dynamo. By creating a hot turbulent plasma the size of a penny, that lasts a few billionths of a second, the researchers recorded how the turbulent motions can amplify a weak magnetic field to the strengths of those observed in our sun, distant stars, and galaxies.

New brain disease test for Parkinson's, dementia with Lewy bodies

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 10:14 AM PST

Scientists have modified a test for early diagnosis of prion diseases with the goal of improving early diagnosis of Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. The group tested cerebral spinal fluid samples from people with Parkinson's disease; people with dementia with Lewy bodies; and controls, some of whom had Alzheimer's disease. The test correctly excluded all the controls and diagnosed both Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies with 93 percent accuracy.

Mysterious lives of narwhals

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 10:14 AM PST

Narwhals are some of the most elusive creatures in the ocean, spending most of their lives in deep water far from shore. But new research may shed a bit of light on these enigmatic marine mammals.

Clock protein controls daily cycle of gene expression by regulating chromosome loops

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 10:14 AM PST

It's well known that the human body functions on a 24-hour schedule. The up-and-down daily cycles of a long-studied clock protein called Rev-erb coordinates the ebb and flow of gene expression by tightening and loosening loops in chromosomes, according to new research.

Microscopic chariots deliver molecules within our cells

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 10:14 AM PST

Understanding how the dynein-dynactin complex is assembled and organized provides a critical foundation to explain the underlying causes of several dynein-related neurodegenerative diseases.

Aerial imagery gives insight into water trends

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 10:14 AM PST

Researchers say aerial images taken from drones or helicopters are just as accurate as more conventional field methods used for estimating river discharge.

Direct link between glands and implanting embryos critical to pregnancy

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 10:14 AM PST

Researchers used 3-D imaging with molecular testing to uncover new insight into the earliest stages of mammalian pregnancy -- offering clues to unsolved questions in pregnancy. The scientists demonstrate in mice that glands in the uterus must link and communicate directly with the embryo so it will implant and begin pregnancy.

Placebo pills prescribed honestly help cancer survivors manage symptoms

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 08:45 AM PST

Fatigue in cancer survivors is significantly reduced by placebo pill, even when it is known it is a fake pill.

Chicken pox vaccine linked with shingles at the vaccination sight in some children

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 08:44 AM PST

New research reports several cases of shingles that developed at the original vaccination site in healthy children after they were immunized against chicken pox. Most of these cases were initially misdiagnosed as other skin rashes. While some of these patients underwent tests to help make the diagnosis, all of the children recovered without complications.

Stand-alone system to produce drinking water by means of solar energy

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 08:42 AM PST

Researchers in applied electrochemistry and electrocatalysis have developed a stand-alone system for desalinating and treating water through electrodialysis. The system is directly powered by solar energy and can be applied in off-grid areas.

Sleepless in Japan: How insomnia kills

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 08:42 AM PST

Lay people tend to think that insomnia is usually a symptom of something else, like stress, a bad diet or a sedentary lifestyle, but this may not be true at all. It is possible that insomnia itself causes many of the conditions that it is seen as a symptom of. Using previous research that shows that insomnia causes a decrease in blood flow in the front dorsal lobe of the brain, which correlates with depression, the authors seek to establish a link between insomnia and depression.

Cool Snake - Warmth-loving Grass Snake survived the Ice Age in Central Europe

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 08:25 AM PST

Using genetic analyses, scientists have discovered that not all Grass Snakes retreated to warm southern refugia during the last Central European Ice Age. They offer first evidence for the survival of a warmth-loving, egg-laying reptile during this cold period.

Scientists create functioning kidney tissue

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 08:24 AM PST

Scientists have successfully produced human kidney tissue within a living organism which is able to produce urine, a first for medical science. The study signifies a significant milestone in the development of treatment for kidney disease.

Routine imaging scans may predict fracture risk in older adults

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 08:23 AM PST

Routine body CT scans may help clinicians estimate an individual's risk of future osteoporotic fracture, according to new study.

Water-soluble warped nanographene

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 08:23 AM PST

Graphene and its nano-sized little sibling, nanographene, are well known for their remarkable photoelectronic properties. However, biomedical applications are hampered by the insolubility of the materials, especially in water. A Japanese team of scientists has now introduced substituted 'warped nanographene,' which is soluble in a broad range of solvents while maintaining its photophysical properties. In their publication in Angewandte Chemie, the authors also emphasize its photodynamic potential to selectively kill cells upon irradiation.

Forging a quantum leap in quantum communication

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 08:23 AM PST

The major drawback of quantum communication today is the slow speed of data transfer, which is limited by the speed at which the parties can perform quantum measurements. Researchers have now devised a method that overcomes this.

Your gadget's next power supply? Your body

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 08:23 AM PST

Searching for a power outlet may soon become a thing of the past. Instead, devices will receive electricity from a small metallic tab that, when attached to the body, is capable of generating electricity from bending a finger and other simple movements.

Impact companion animals have on owners

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 08:17 AM PST

A new study suggests that pets provide benefits to those with mental health conditions.

Printed paper-based device could drug testing more efficient and affordable

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 07:07 AM PST

Engineers have devised a way to make testing for new drugs more efficient and affordable, and reduce the time for helpful medications to reach the public. The printed paper-based device can speed up and improve the accuracy of the drug screening process. Their work could also be used to diagnose diseases, identify environmental contaminants and pinpoint biological warfare agents.

Texas flood: Researchers compare pollution levels before and after Hurricane Harvey

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 07:07 AM PST

Recent years have seen rising interest in improving post-disaster research. Although understanding the wide-ranging effects of disasters is vital for an effective public health response, a lack of baseline data has made it difficult to attribute post-disaster changes in environmental conditions to the impacts of disasters.

Improving drone performance in headwinds

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 07:07 AM PST

Stability of unmanned aerial vehicles in heavy winds can be improved through rotor placement and angle.

Neanderthals' lack of drawing ability may relate to hunting techniques

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 07:07 AM PST

Visual imagery used in drawing regulates arm movements in manner similar to how hunters visualize the arc of a spear.

Organic food provides significant environmental benefits to plant-rich diets

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 07:07 AM PST

A study of the diets of 34,000 people confirms that a diet high in fruit and vegetables is better for the planet than one high in animal products. The study also finds that organic food provides significant, additional climate benefits for plant-based diets, but not for diets with only moderate contribution from plant products. This is the first-ever study to look at the environmental impacts of both food choices and farm production systems.

Can ultraviolet light fight the spread of influenza?

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 07:07 AM PST

Overhead far-UVC light, a type of ultraviolet light that is harmless to humans, effectively killed airborne flu virus, researchers have found. The lighting may offer a new weapon against the spread of flu virus in public spaces.

Gene therapy researchers find a viral barcode to cross the blood-brain barrier

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 08:03 PM PST

Researchers have discovered a structure on viruses that makes them better at crossing from the bloodstream into the brain – a key factor for administering gene therapies at lower doses for treating brain and spinal disorders. Experiments also showed decreased liver toxicity.

Lab-grown eggs could pave way towards new fertility treatments

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 07:58 PM PST

Human eggs have been developed in the lab from their earliest stage to full maturity, in a study that could lead to improved fertility treatments.

Cockroach ancient geographic and genomic history traced back to last supercontinent

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 03:03 PM PST

Armed with a vast amount of genomic information, a team of researchers has performed the first molecular dating to gain the clearest picture yet of the biogeographical history of cockroaches. They have traced back the key evolutionary time points of the cockroach -- all the way back almost 300 million years ago when the Earth's mass was organized into the Pangaea supercontinent.

Blood sodium levels may affect cognition in older adults

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 03:03 PM PST

In generally healthy older men, slightly lower sodium levels in the blood were related to both cognitive impairment and declines in cognitive function over time. Additional studies are needed to determine whether correction of lower serum sodium may influence cognition in older adults.

Metasurfaces enable improved optical lens performance

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 03:03 PM PST

Producing the perfect color images we need and love often requires multiple, heavy lenses so that each color focuses in exactly the same plane. Now engineers have developed a new theory that solves the problem using a single thin lens comprised of gradient index materials and metasurface layers to properly direct the light.

AI computer vision breakthrough IDs poachers in less than half a second

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 03:03 PM PST

Researchers have long been applying AI to protect wildlife. Initially, computer scientists were using AI and game theory to anticipate the poachers' haunts, and now they have applied artificial intelligence and deep learning to spot poachers in near real-time.

Simple rules can help fishery managers cope with ecological complexity

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 03:03 PM PST

A team of ecologists and economists are the first to test whether real-life ecological interactions produce economic benefits for the fishing industry.

Hearing loss linked to poor nutrition in early childhood, study suggests

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 01:20 PM PST

Young adults who were undernourished as preschool children were approximately twice as likely to suffer from hearing loss as their better- nourished peers, a new study suggests.

Apalutamide delays progression of nonmetastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 01:20 PM PST

A multi-institutional phase 3 trial found that treatment with an investigational androgen receptor inhibitor significantly delayed the development of metastasis in patients with prostate cancer that had become resistant to standard androgen-deprivation therapy.

Lights, camera, action! New endomicroscopic probes visualize living animal cell activity

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:51 AM PST

Researchers report they have developed two new endoscopic probes that significantly sharpen the technology's imaging resolution and permit direct observation of fine tissue structures and cell activity in small organs in sheep, rats and mice.

Scientists take big step toward stopping cancer metastasis

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:49 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.

Snacking snakes act as ‘ecosystem engineers’ in seed dispersal

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:49 AM PST

Despite the bad rap snakes often get, they are more central to ecology than most people realize. New research reveals that snakes might even play a key role in dispersing plant seeds.

Timing is everything, to our genes

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:13 AM PST

Scientists discover critical gene activity follows a biological clock, affecting diseases of the brain and body.

Only one-third of patients diagnosed with depression start treatment

Posted: 08 Feb 2018 11:12 AM PST

Despite the wide availability of effective treatments for depression and a growing effort nationwide to detect and begin treating depression during primary care visits, only about one-third of individuals newly diagnosed with depression start treatment.