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Tiny injectable sensor could provide unobtrusive, long-term alcohol monitoring

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 01:11 PM PDT

Engineers have developed a tiny, ultra-low power chip that could be injected just under the surface of the skin for continuous, long-term alcohol monitoring. The chip is powered wirelessly by a wearable device such as a smartwatch or patch. The goal of this work is to develop a convenient, routine monitoring device for patients in substance abuse treatment programs.

Cancer risk rises as patients wait for diagnostic testing

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 01:11 PM PDT

The longer a patient with a positive screening result waits for diagnostic testing, the worse their cancer outcomes may become, according to a literature review of breast, cervical, colorectal, and lung studies.

Humans and others exposed to prenatal stress have high stress levels after birth

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 01:11 PM PDT

Vertebrate species, including humans, exposed to stress prenatally tend to have higher stress hormones after birth, according to a new study. While previous research has reported examples of maternal stress experience predicting offspring stress hormones in different species, this study is the first to empirically demonstrate the impact of prenatal stress on offspring stress hormone levels using data from all known studies across vertebrates.

Making computer animation more agile, acrobatic -- and realistic

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 01:11 PM PDT

Animation in film and video games is hard to make realistic: each action typically requires creating a separate controller, while deep reinforcement learning has yet to generate realistic human or animal motion. Computer scientists have now developed an algorithm that uses reinforcement learning to generate realistic simulations that can even recover realistically, after tripping, for example. The same algorithm works for 25 acrobatic and dance tricks, with one month of learning per skill.

How to avoid a roadblock when reprogramming cells

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 01:10 PM PDT

Scientists have helped to answer lingering questions about cellular reprogramming.

Does physical activity influence the health of future offspring?

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 10:29 AM PDT

Physical and mental exercise is not only beneficial for your own brain, but can also affect the learning ability of future offspring -- at least in mice.

Thin engineered material perfectly redirects and reflects sound

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 10:28 AM PDT

Metamaterials researchers have created a thin plastic structure with geometric details allowing it to control the redirection and reflection of sound waves with almost perfect efficiency.

Center of world's marine biodiversity is in danger

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 10:28 AM PDT

Researchers have found that the world's center of biodiversity is under widespread threat of losing a key marine resource.

New sodium-ion electrolyte may find use in solid-state batteries

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 10:28 AM PDT

A newly discovered structure of a sodium-based material allows the materials to be used as an electrolyte in solid-state batteries, according to researchers. The team is fine-tuning the material using an iterative design approach that they hope will shave years off the time from research to everyday use.

Scientists uncover details of viral infections that drive environmental, human health

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 10:28 AM PDT

New research offers a glimpse into the complexity of interactions between bacteria and the viruses -- or phages -- that infect them.

Melting of Arctic mountain glaciers unprecedented in the past 400 years

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 10:28 AM PDT

Glaciers in Alaska's Denali National Park are melting faster than at any time in the past four centuries because of rising summer temperatures, a new study finds.

A cosmic gorilla effect could blind the detection of aliens

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 10:28 AM PDT

A well-known experiment with young people bouncing a ball showed that when an observer focuses on counting the passes, he does not detect if someone crosses the stage disguised as a gorilla. Something similar could be happening to us when we try to discover intelligent non-earthly signals, which perhaps manifest themselves in dimensions that escape our perception, such as the unknown dark matter and energy.

Gecko-inspired adhesives help soft robotic fingers get a better grip

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 08:09 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a robotic gripper that combines the adhesive properties of gecko toes and the adaptability of air-powered soft robots to grasp a much wider variety of objects than the state of the art.

Hepatitis C: A novel point-of-care assay

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 07:35 AM PDT

One of the major challenges identified by the WHO in efforts to eradicate the hepatitis C virus is the diagnosis of chronic cases that are generally asymptomatic. Major progress is required for new diagnostic techniques that can be 'decentralized,' in other words accessed by populations and countries with limited resources. Scientists have now developed and validated a rapid, reliable, point-of-care HCV assay.

Digital penicillin production

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 07:35 AM PDT

Microorganisms are often used to produce chemicals. These processes are usually very complicated. It is hard to completely understand every detail of the process, when living organisms are involved. Therefore, bioreactors are often seen as 'black boxes' that can only be effectively exploited with a lot of experience. Scientists have succeeded in completely analyzing the penicillin production process, simulating it on the computer and making it predictable -- a paradigm shift for bioprocesses.

DNA testing can rapidly solve Legionnaires' disease outbreaks

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 07:35 AM PDT

A DNA test method called polymerase chain reaction allowed New York City health officials to identify the source of a Legionnaires' disease outbreak within hours of specimen collection and should be considered in all Legionnaires' outbreak investigations, researchers say.

Robust and inexpensive catalysts for hydrogen production

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 07:35 AM PDT

Scientists were able to observe the smallest details of hydrogen production with the synthetic mineral pentlandite. This makes it possible to develop strategies for the design of robust and cost-effective catalysts for hydrogen production.

How cheetahs outsmart lions and hyenas

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 07:35 AM PDT

Cheetahs in the Serengeti National Park adopt different strategies while eating to deal with threats from top predators such as lions or hyenas. A new study shows that male cheetahs and single females eat their prey as quickly as possible. Mothers with cubs, on the other hand, watch out for possible threats while their young are eating in order to give them enough time to eat their fill.

Birds migrate away from diseases

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 07:35 AM PDT

In a unique study, researchers have mapped the origins of migratory birds. They used the results to investigate and discover major differences in the immune systems of sedentary and migratory birds. The researchers conclude that migratory species benefit from leaving tropical areas when it is time to raise their young -- as moving away from diseases in the tropics enables them to survive with a less costly immune system.

Bugs, microbes and death can inform the living

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 07:35 AM PDT

A new study shows that the postmortem microbiome -- populations of micro-organisms that move in after death -- can provide crucial insights into public health. What's telling is that regardless of many factors -- sex, ethnicity or even type of death -- the microbiome is consistent and distinct, depending on the number of days after death.

Everything we know about Internet gaming disorder

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 07:34 AM PDT

An analysis of articles on Internet gaming disorder (IGD) notes that the condition has a complex psychosocial background, and many personal, neurobiological, familial, and environmental factors may put certain individuals at increased risk.

Outback radio telescope listens in on interstellar visitor

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 07:09 AM PDT

A telescope in outback Australia has been used to listen to a mysterious cigar-shaped object that entered our Solar System late last year. When 'Oumuamua was first discovered, astronomers thought it was a comet or an asteroid from within the Solar System. But after studying its orbit and discovering its long, cylindrical shape, they realised 'Oumuamua was neither and had come from interstellar space.

Machine learning offers new way of designing chiral crystals

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 07:09 AM PDT

Engineers and chemists have successfully used the same technology at the core of facial recognition to design chiral crystals. This is the first study reporting the use of this technology, called logistic regression analysis, to predict which chemical groups are best for making chiral molecules.

Polarization has strong impact on electrons, study shows

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 07:09 AM PDT

New research helps understand movement of electrons in two-dimensional systems.

Rats, cats, and people trade-off as main course for mosquitoes in Baltimore, Md.

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 05:42 AM PDT

Understanding how neighborhood dynamics regulate mosquito bites is key to managing diseases like West Nile virus and Zika virus. Today in Parasites & Vectors, researchers report that in Baltimore, Md., socioeconomic differences between neighborhoods influence bite risk, with rats being a primary blood meal source in lower income neighborhoods.

Brain Trauma: New Glasgow Coma Scale-pupils score and multifactor probability outcome charts

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 05:42 AM PDT

Scientists have created new assessment tools that build on the Glasgow Coma Scale to provide greater information on injury severity and prognosis in patients with traumatic brain injury while still offering simplicity of use.

Large-scale replication study challenges key evidence for the pro-active reading brain

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 05:42 AM PDT

When people read or listen to a conversation, their pro-active brains sometimes predict which word comes next. But a scientific team now demonstrates that the predictive function of the human language system may operate differently than the field has come to believe in the last decade. Their study is the first large-scale, multi-laboratory replication effort for the field of cognitive neuroscience.

Paralyzed patient feels sensation again

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 05:42 AM PDT

Using a tiny array of electrodes implanted in the brain's somatosensory cortex, scientists have induced sensations of touch and movement in the hand and arm of a paralyzed man.

Researchers explore little-known, deadly fungal infections

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 05:42 AM PDT

A new study sheds light on little-known fungal infections caused by the fungus Cryptococcus. There are currently no vaccines available for any fungal infection, which can be extremely deadly to patients under treatment for diseases like HIV, AIDS and cancer.

Later school start times really do improve sleep time

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 05:42 AM PDT

A new study indicates that delaying school start times results in students getting more sleep, and feeling better, even within societies where trading sleep for academic success is common.

Women most at risk for heart failure weeks after giving birth

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 05:42 AM PDT

Heart failure is a leading cause of maternal morbidity and death in the US -- with the rate of pregnancy-related deaths more than doubling between 1987 and 2011. Even so, much about heart failure-related hospitalizations before, during and after delivery is unknown.

Almost 100 million adults have COPD in China

Posted: 09 Apr 2018 03:53 PM PDT

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is widespread in China with 8.6 percent of the country's adult population -- almost 100 million people -- suffering from the chronic lung disease, according to a new study. The study, which provided lung-function screenings for more than 50,990 participants, is the largest survey of COPD across age groups ever conducted in China.

Substance that guides ant trail is produced by symbiotic bacteria

Posted: 09 Apr 2018 03:53 PM PDT

A research with ant from genus Atta reveals that a bacteria in their microbiota plays a key role in communication among individuals and also on the colony's defense against pathogens. A group of scientists also showed how a type of fungus participates on stingless bees' development cycle.

Why some beetles like alcohol

Posted: 09 Apr 2018 03:53 PM PDT

Alcohol used as a 'weed killer' optimizes the harvest of ambrosia beetles.

Man develops severe 'thunderclap' headaches after eating world's hottest chili pepper

Posted: 09 Apr 2018 03:53 PM PDT

Taking part in a hot chili pepper eating contest might have some unexpected consequences, highlight doctors in a recent case study.

Bloodless revolution in diabetes monitoring

Posted: 09 Apr 2018 02:09 PM PDT

Scientists have created a non-invasive, adhesive patch, which promises the measurement of glucose levels through the skin without a finger-prick blood test, potentially removing the need for millions of diabetics to frequently carry out the painful and unpopular tests.

Advancing the science of smell -- with a hint of musk

Posted: 09 Apr 2018 01:13 PM PDT

Researchers have identified key molecular mechanisms at work when people smell musks, a highly valued group of fixatives used in many perfumes and colognes. The discovery may have implications for a wide range of effects on mood and behavior in vertebrates, said the scientists.

Move over fake news: Hostile neighbors pose big threats to governance

Posted: 09 Apr 2018 01:13 PM PDT

Propaganda by way of 'fake news' is one way a nation can wage war without firing a single shot. Another is through tactics of subversion and coercion, in which a country intentionally keeps neighboring countries weak in order to advance its own foreign policy interests, according to a new study.

Survival strategy: How one enzyme helps bacteria recover from exposure to antibiotics

Posted: 09 Apr 2018 01:13 PM PDT

Researchers focused on an enzyme in gram-negative bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a pathogen that causes pneumonia and sepsis.

High efficiency solar power conversion allowed by a novel composite material

Posted: 09 Apr 2018 11:47 AM PDT

A composite thin film made of two different inorganic oxide materials significantly improves the performance of solar cells. Researchers have developed this material which combines two crystal phases comprising the atomic elements bismuth, manganese, and oxygen. The combination of phases optimizes this material's ability to absorb solar radiation and transform it into electricity. The results are highly promising for the development of future solar technologies, and also potentially useful in other optoelectronic devices.