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Probing the complex nature of concussion

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 02:13 PM PDT

Concussion is a major public health problem, but not much is known about the impacts that cause concussion or how to prevent them. A new study suggests that the problem is more complicated than previously thought.

To prevent collapse of tropical forests, protect their shape

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 02:13 PM PDT

Scientists have made a fundamental discovery about how fires on the edges of tropical forests control their shape and stability. The study implies that when patches of tropical forest lose their natural shape it could contribute to the catastrophic transformation of that land from trees to grass.

Is there life adrift in the clouds of Venus?

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 02:13 PM PDT

In the search for extraterrestrial life, scientists have turned over all sorts of rocks. Mars, for example, has geological features that suggest it once had -- and still has -- subsurface liquid water. Scientists have also eyed Saturn's moons as well as Jupiter's as possible havens for life in the oceans under their icy crusts. Now, however, scientists are dusting off an old idea that promises a new vista in the hunt for life beyond Earth: the clouds of Venus.

Engineers turn plastic insulator into heat conductor

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 11:53 AM PDT

Is your laptop or phone overheating? Newly engineered plastic could lead to self-cooling casings for common electronics.

Cat-like 'hearing' with device tens of trillions times smaller than human eardrum

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 11:53 AM PDT

Researchers are developing atomically thin 'drumheads'-- tens of trillions of times thinner than the human eardrum -- able to receive and transmit signals across a radio frequency range far greater than what we can hear with the human ear. Their work will likely contribute to making the next generation of ultralow-power communications and sensory devices smaller and with greater detection and tuning ranges.

Uncovering clue to disarm gonorrhea superbug

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 11:53 AM PDT

Researchers have discovered a way the gonorrhea bacteria cleverly evade the immune system -- opening up the way for therapies that prevent this process, allowing the body's natural defenses to kill the bug.

Microengineered slippery rough surface for water harvesting from air

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 11:53 AM PDT

A slippery rough surface (SRS) inspired by both pitcher plants and rice leaves outperforms state-of-the-art liquid-repellent surfaces in water harvesting applications, according to a team of researchers.

Cracking eggshell nanostructure: Implications for food safety

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 11:53 AM PDT

How is it that fertilized chicken eggs manage to resist fracture from the outside, while at the same time, are weak enough to break from the inside during chick hatching? It's all in the eggshell's nanostructure, according to a new study.

Adult-onset neurodegeneration has roots in early development

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 11:53 AM PDT

The roots of a progressive degenerative disease begin much earlier than previously thought, according to a recent study.

Can a Mediterranean diet pattern slow aging?

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 11:53 AM PDT

A series of six articles finds new correlations between a Mediterranean diet and healthy aging outcomes -- while also underscoring the need for careful approaches to the use of data in order to measure the diet's potential benefits.

Butterflies of the soul: Developmental origins of interneurons

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 11:53 AM PDT

A new study reveals how interneurons, dubbed 'the butterflies of the soul,' emerge and diversify in the brain. The findings may help inform the development of new classes of drugs for diseases such as autism, schizophrenia and Alzheimer's.

Gut microbes could help better predict risk of hospitalization for patients with cirrhosis

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 11:53 AM PDT

The gut microbiome -- a collection of bacteria and other microbes in the gut -- could be a highly accurate predictor of hospitalizations for patients with cirrhosis, according to a recently published study.

Is your Easter egg bad for the environment?

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 07:58 AM PDT

A recent study has looked at the carbon footprint of chocolate and its other environmental impacts. It has done this by assessing the impacts of ingredients, manufacturing processes, packaging and waste.

Pediatric cancer drug shows 93 percent response rate

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 07:58 AM PDT

A first-of-its-kind drug targeting a fused gene found in many types of cancer was effective in 93 percent of pediatric patients tested, researchers say.

Strings of electron-carrying proteins may hold the secret to 'electric bacteria'

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 07:58 AM PDT

Could a unique bacterium be nature's microscopic power plant? Scientists who work with a species of bacteria that essentially 'breathe' rocks think it's possible.

Calculating the impacts of natural events on wildlife

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 07:58 AM PDT

A new method could help scientists understand how wildlife populations are affected by major natural events, such as hurricanes, severe winters, and tsunamis.

A novel test bed for non-equilibrium many-body physics

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 07:58 AM PDT

The behavior of electrons in a material is typically difficult to predict. Novel insight comes now from experiments and simulations performed by physicists who have studied electronic transport properties in a one-dimensional quantum wire containing a mesoscopic lattice.

Computer searches telescope data for evidence of distant planets

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 07:58 AM PDT

MIT researchers have used physics principles to improve the performance of a machine-learning system, trained on data from a NASA crowdsourcing project, that searches astronomical data for evidence of debris disks around stars, which can indicate the presence of an exoplanet.

Basking sharks gather in large groups off northeast US coast

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 07:57 AM PDT

Groups of basking sharks ranging from as few as 30 to nearly 1,400 individual animals have been observed aggregating in waters from Nova Scotia to Long Island. While individual sightings are fairly common, seeing large groups is not. The reason why the animals congregate has not been clearly determined, and observations of these aggregation events are relatively rare.

Using chosen names reduces odds of depression and suicide in transgender youths

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 05:56 AM PDT

In one of the largest and most diverse studies of transgender youths to date, researchers have found that when transgender youths are allowed to use their chosen name in places such as work, school and at home, their risk of depression and suicide drops.

Did highest known sea levels create the iconic shape of Mount Etna?

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 05:56 AM PDT

New research suggests the Mediterranean Sea may have played a major role in the development of its iconic shape tens of thousands of years ago.

Stroke affects more than just the physical

Posted: 29 Mar 2018 04:08 PM PDT

A new study looks at what problems affect people most after a stroke and it provides a broader picture than what some may usually expect to see. Stroke affects more than just physical functioning.

A decade after housing bust, mortgage industry on shaky ground, experts warn

Posted: 29 Mar 2018 04:08 PM PDT

New regulations on banks fueled a boom in nonbank mortgage companies, a category of independent lenders that are more lightly regulated and more financially fragile than banks. These lenders now originate half of all US home mortgages yet have little capital of their own.

Unprecedented contrast agent to measure the age of skin and blood vessels

Posted: 29 Mar 2018 10:31 AM PDT

Scientists have synthesized the first contrast agent to observe and measure elastin, the protein that gives strength to blood vessel walls, and flexibility to skin. The dye could be useful to better understand the role of elastin in biological processes and to verify the health of blood vessels and organs.

Patients who travel abroad for plastic surgery can bring home serious complications

Posted: 29 Mar 2018 10:30 AM PDT

With the promise of inexpensive procedures luring patients to travel abroad for plastic surgery, medical tourism has become an expanding, multi-billion-dollar industry. But while the initial procedure may be cheap, it can place a significant burden on US public health systems when patients return from abroad with complications. A new study describes the magnitude of medical complications that can result from plastic surgery abroad.