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Museum researchers rediscover animal not seen in 30 years

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 02:27 PM PDT

Researchers have rediscovered the San Quintin kangaroo rat (Dipodomys gravipes) in Baja California. The Museum is partnering with Terra and local authorities on a conservation plan for the species, which was last seen in 1986, and was listed as endangered by the Mexican government in 1994. It was held as an example of modern extinction due to agricultural conversion.

Clear as mud: Desiccation cracks help reveal the shape of water on Mars

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 02:26 PM PDT

As Curiosity rover marches across Mars, the red planet's watery past comes into clearer focus.

Male contraceptive compound stops sperm without affecting hormones: Study in monkeys

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 02:26 PM PDT

A new study details how a compound called EP055 binds to sperm proteins to significantly slow the overall mobility of the sperm without affecting hormones, making EP055 a potential 'male pill' without side effects.

New strategies for hospitals during mass casualty incidents

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 02:26 PM PDT

Using the layout of a typical urban hospital, the authors investigated a hospital's capacity and capability to handle mass casualty incidents of various sizes with various characteristics, and assessed the effectiveness of designed demand management and capacity-expansion strategies. Average performance improvements gained through capacity-expansion strategies were quantified and best response actions were identified.

Integrating optical components into existing chip designs

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 02:26 PM PDT

A new technique can assemble optical and electronic components separately on the surface of a computer chip, enabling the addition of optical components to existing chips with little design modification.

Dementia diagnosis linked to unnecessary medication use

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 12:46 PM PDT

A new study has found that medication use increases in newly diagnosed dementia patients, particularly unnecessary or inappropriate medications.

Variants in non-coding DNA contribute to inherited autism risk

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 12:46 PM PDT

In recent years, researchers have firmly established that gene mutations appearing for the first time, called de novo mutations, contribute to approximately one-third of cases of autism spectrum disorder. In a new study scientists have identified a culprit that may explain some of the remaining risk: rare inherited variants in regions of non-coding DNA.

Vitamin D deficiency linked to greater risk of diabetes

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 12:46 PM PDT

An epidemiological study suggests that persons deficient in vitamin D may be at much greater risk of developing diabetes.

Unprecedented wave of large-mammal extinctions linked to prehistoric humans

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 11:15 AM PDT

Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and other recent human relatives may have begun hunting large mammal species down to size -- by way of extinction -- at least 90,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to a new study. The magnitude and scale of the extinction wave surpassed any other recorded during the last 66 million years, according to the study.

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 11:15 AM PDT

Researchers playing with a cloud of ultracold atoms uncovered behavior that bears a striking resemblance to the universe in microcosm. Their work forges new connections between atomic physics and the sudden expansion of the early universe.

3-D human 'mini-brains' shed new light on genetic underpinnings of major mental illness

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 11:15 AM PDT

Researchers are leveraging gene-editing tools and mini-organs grown in the lab to study the effects of DISC1 mutations in cerebral organoids -- 'mini brains' -- cultured from human stem cells.

Your grandchildren may retire before we achieve gender equality in STEMM

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 11:15 AM PDT

New research has calculated that without further interventions, the gender gap for women working in STEMM is very likely to persist for generations, particularly in surgery, computer science, physics and maths.

Great Barrier Reef coral predicted to last at least 100 years before extinction from climate change

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 11:15 AM PDT

A common Great Barrier Reef coral species has enough genetic diversity to survive at least 100 years before succumbing to global warming, researchers predict.

Ramped up fight-or-flight response points to history of warfare for humans and chimps

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 11:15 AM PDT

Humans and chimpanzees recently evolved a more active fight-or-flight response compared to other primates, possibly in response to the threat of warfare.

How to bend and stretch a diamond

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 11:15 AM PDT

Brittle diamond can turn flexible and stretchable when made into ultrafine needles, researchers at MIT and elsewhere have discovered.

HIV-1 viruses transmitted at birth are resistant to antibodies in mother's blood

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 11:15 AM PDT

Of the genetically diverse population of HIV-1 viruses present in an infected pregnant woman, the few she might transmit to her child during delivery are resistant to attack by antibodies in her blood, according to new research.

Gene-edited stem cells show promise against HIV in non-human primates

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 11:15 AM PDT

Gene editing of bone marrow stem cells in pigtail macaques infected with simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) significantly reduces the size of dormant 'viral reservoirs' that pose a risk of reactivation.

Algorithm tool works to silence online chatroom sex predators

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 10:46 AM PDT

An algorithm tool developed by researchers will help law enforcement filter out and focus on sex offenders most likely to set up face-to-face meetings with child victims.

A novel way of creating gold nanoparticles in water

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 10:46 AM PDT

The discovery that water microdroplets can replace potentially toxic agents in the creation of gold nanoparticles and nanowires could help usher in a new era of 'green chemistry.'

Dogs could be more similar to humans than we thought

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 10:11 AM PDT

Dog and human gut microbiomes have more similar genes and responses to diet than we previously thought, according to a new study

Natural selection gave a freediving people in Southeast Asia bigger spleens

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 10:11 AM PDT

The Bajau people of Southeast Asia, known as Sea Nomads, spend their whole lives at sea, working eight-hour diving shifts with traditional equipment and short breaks to catch fish and shellfish for their families. Researchers now report that the extraordinary diving abilities of the Bajau may be thanks in part to their unusually large spleens, a rare example of natural selection in modern humans.

Neurons derived from super-obese people respond differently to appetite hormones

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 10:11 AM PDT

Scientists have successfully generated hypothalamic-like neurons from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) taken from the blood and skin cells of super-obese individuals and people with a normal body weight. The researchers found that the brain cells derived from the super obese were more likely to dysregulate hormones related to feeding behavior and hunger, as well as obesity-related genes and metabolic pathways.

Using the right plants can reduce indoor pollution and save energy

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 10:11 AM PDT

A plant physiologist concludes that a better knowledge of plant physiology, along with integration of smart-sensor-controlled air cleaning technologies, could improve indoor air quality in a cost-effective and sustainable way.

Molecule that dilates blood vessels hints at new way to treat heart disease

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 10:11 AM PDT

Americans die of heart or cardiovascular disease at an alarming rate. In fact, heart attacks, strokes and related diseases will kill an estimated 610,000 Americans this year alone. Some medications help, but to better tackle this problem, researchers need to know exactly how the heart and blood vessels stay healthy in the first place.

Scientists identify connection between dopamine and behavior related to pain and fear

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 10:11 AM PDT

Scientists have for the first time found direct causal links between the neurotransmitter dopamine and avoidance -- behavior related to pain and fear. Researchers have long known that dopamine plays a key role in driving behavior related to pleasurable goals, such as food, sex and social interaction. In general, increasing dopamine boosts the drive toward these stimuli. But dopamine's role in allowing organisms to avoid negative events has remained mysterious.

Machine-learning system processes sounds like humans do

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 10:11 AM PDT

Using a machine-learning system known as a deep neural network, researchers have created the first model that can replicate human performance on auditory tasks such as identifying a musical genre. This type of model can shed light on how the human brain may be performing the same tasks.

Gene variant increases empathy-driven fear in mice

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 10:10 AM PDT

A small difference in a gene affecting brain circuitry explains variations in empathic fear among different inbred mice strains. As empathy is evolutionarily conserved from rodents to humans, the study brings new insights into the workings of the mammalian brain in social behavior.

Rapid rise in mass school shootings in the United States, study shows

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 10:10 AM PDT

More people have died or been injured in mass school shootings in the United States in the past 18 years than in the entire 20th century. In a new study, researchers have reviewed the history of mass school shootings in the U.S. and found some alarming trends.

Study predicts 2018 flu vaccine will likely have 20 percent efficacy

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 10:10 AM PDT

A new study of 6,610 human flu sequences predicts that this fall's flu vaccine will likely have the same reduced efficacy against the dominant circulating strain of influenza A as the vaccine given in 2016 and 2017 due to viral mutations related to vaccine production in eggs.

Pregnant moms and their offspring should limit added sugars in their diets to protect childhood cognition

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 10:09 AM PDT

A new study has determined that poorer childhood cognition occurred, particularly in memory and learning, when pregnant women or their offspring consumed greater quantities of sugar. Substituting diet soda for sugar-sweetened versions during pregnancy also appeared to have negative effects. However, children's fruit consumption had beneficial effects and was associated with higher cognitive scores.

Vast stellar nursery of Lagoon Nebula

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 10:09 AM PDT

This colorful cloud of glowing interstellar gas is just a tiny part of the Lagoon Nebula, a vast stellar nursery. This nebula is a region full of intense activity, with fierce winds from hot stars, swirling chimneys of gas, and energetic star formation all embedded within a hazy labyrinth of gas and dust.

Young victims of cyberbullying twice as likely to attempt suicide and self-harm, study finds

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 10:09 AM PDT

Children and young people under 25 who are victims of cyberbullying are more than twice as likely to self-harm and enact suicidal behavior, according to a new study. The research also suggests the perpetrators themselves are at higher risk of experiencing suicidal thoughts and behaviors as well.

Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 10:09 AM PDT

Researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Researchers achieve HD video streaming at 10,000 times lower power

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 10:09 AM PDT

Engineers have developed a new HD video streaming method that doesn't need to be plugged in. Their prototype skips power-hungry components and has something else, like a smartphone, process the video instead.

More students report carrying guns in Chicago than New York or Los Angeles

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 10:00 AM PDT

More students report carrying guns in Chicago than in New York or Los Angeles, a new study shows. The findings provide historical background for Chicago's 2016 spike in gun violence, which occurred mostly among youth and young adults.

NASA planet hunter on its way to orbit

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 07:57 AM PDT

NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) launched on the first-of-its-kind mission to find worlds beyond our solar system, including some that could support life. Researchers will use spectroscopy to determine a planet's mass, density and atmospheric composition. Water, and other key molecules, in its atmosphere can give us hints about a planets' capacity to harbor life.

Eyes of adolescents could reveal risk of cardiovascular disease, study finds

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 07:02 AM PDT

New research has found that poorer well-being or 'health-related quality of life' (HRQoL) in adolescence could be an indicator of future cardiovascular disease risk. Researchers found that adolescents with poorer scores in the social and mental well-being domains of HRQoL have structural changes in their retinal blood vessels that could be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in later life.

Biofeedback relaxation app may help kids during medical procedures

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 07:02 AM PDT

A new study indicates that biofeedback-assisted relaxation may help manage pain and anxiety in children undergoing medical procedures.

Frog embryos can fully regrow their eyes after injury, debunking a belief that they can't

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 07:01 AM PDT

Scientists have found that frog embryos can fully regrow their eyes after injuries, a breakthrough that may lead one day to the ability to orchestrate tissue regeneration in humans.

Anyone can be an innovator, research finds

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 07:01 AM PDT

Innovators aren't born, but they can be made, a recent study suggests. Researchers created a contest -- for engineering and computer science students -- designed to answer the question: Are persuaded innovators less capable than those who naturally gravitate to innovative activities?

The bugs in your gut could make you weak in the knees

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 07:01 AM PDT

Scientists have long thought that osteoarthritis in people who are obese was a consequence of excess wear and tear on joints, but a new study suggests that the microbiome is the culprit. The study shows that a high fat diet (like the Western diet) can alter gut microbes, increase inflammation throughout the body, and speed deterioration of joints. An interesting twist: a common dietary supplement overturned these effects in mice.

Hurricane Harvey: Most fatalities occurred outside flood zones, Dutch-Texan research shows

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 07:01 AM PDT

Scientists found that most Houston-area drowning deaths from Hurricane Harvey occurred outside the zones designated by government as being at higher risk of flooding: the 100- and 500-year floodplains. Harvey, one of the costliest storms in US history, hit Texas on Aug. 25, 2017, causing unprecedented flooding and killing dozens.

Researchers find new way of exploring the afterglow from the Big Bang

Posted: 19 Apr 2018 07:01 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a new way to improve our knowledge of the Big Bang by measuring radiation from its afterglow, called the cosmic microwave background radiation. The new results predict the maximum bandwidth of the universe, which is the maximum speed at which any change can occur in the universe.

Synthetic cancer indicator: An artificial mole as an early warning system

Posted: 18 Apr 2018 11:14 AM PDT

Researchers have developed an early warning system for the four most common types of cancer. Should a tumor develop, a visible mole will appear on the skin.

Republicans more persuasive than scientists on climate change

Posted: 18 Apr 2018 11:13 AM PDT

Regardless of political affiliation, people are more likely to believe facts about climate change when they come from Republicans speaking against what has become a partisan interest in this country, according to a new study.

Obesity linked with higher chance of developing rapid, irregular heart rate

Posted: 18 Apr 2018 11:13 AM PDT

People with obesity are more likely to develop a rapid and irregular heart rate, called atrial fibrillation, which can lead to stroke, heart failure and other complications, according to Penn State researchers. They found that people with obesity had a 40 percent higher chance of developing atrial fibrillation than people without obesity.