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Wiping out the gut microbiome could help with heart failure

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 04:05 PM PDT

The bacteria that reside on and within our bodies are known to have a significant influence on our health. New research suggests wiping out the gut microbiota could improve heart functioning and potentially slow the cardiac damage that occurs with heart failure.

Young athletes interested in healthy protein, not French fries

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 02:00 PM PDT

The greasy food being served at hockey rinks isn't really what young hockey players want, according to a new study.

Upswings in older-age cognitive ability may not be universal

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 02:00 PM PDT

A study of a majority-black cohort finds no clear upward trend in cognitive abilities among older adults.

Carbon capture could be a financial opportunity for US biofuels

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 12:51 PM PDT

With recent tax credits and other policies, removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it underground is not only possible but profitable for US biofuel refineries.

Applying network analysis to natural history

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 12:51 PM PDT

By using network analysis to search for communities of marine life in the fossil records of the Paleobiology Database, biologists were able to quantify the ecological impacts of major events like mass extinctions and may help us anticipate the consequences of a 'sixth mass extinction.'

Did last ice age affect breastfeeding in Native Americans?

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 12:50 PM PDT

Biologists have been puzzled by the evolutionary adaptation behind a common tooth trait of northern Asians and Native Americans: shovel-shaped incisors. An analysis of archeological specimens shows that nearly 100 percent of early Native Americans had shoveled incisors, and genetic evidence pinpoints the selection to the Beringian standstill 20,000 years ago. One researcher proposes that a trait linked to shoveling, mammary duct growth, was selected to provide vitamin D and fat to infants.

Earth BioGenome Project aims to sequence genomes of 1.5 million species

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 12:50 PM PDT

Scientists is proposing a massive project to sequence, catalog and analyze the genomes of all eukaryotic species on the planet, an undertaking the researchers say will take 10 years, cost $4.7 billion and require more than 200 petabytes of digital storage capacity. Eukaryotes include all organisms except bacteria and archaea. There are an estimated 10-15 million eukaryotic species on Earth.

Swirling liquids work similarly to bitcoin

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 12:50 PM PDT

The physics involved with stirring a liquid operate the same way as the mathematical functions that secure digital information. This parallel could help in developing even more secure ways of protecting digital information.

Hemp shows potential for treating ovarian cancer

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 12:50 PM PDT

Results from some of the first studies to examine hemp's ability to fight cancer show that it might one day be useful as plant-based treatment for ovarian cancer. Hemp is part of the same cannabis family as marijuana but doesn't have any psychoactive properties or cause addiction.

Promise for safer opioid pain reliever

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 12:50 PM PDT

Researchers have engineered a new compound that animal tests suggest could offer the pain-relieving properties of opioids such as morphine and oxycodone without the risk of addiction.

Girls more likely than boys to struggle with social, behavioral, academic needs

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 12:50 PM PDT

The more failing grades students have during eighth grade, the more likely they are to experience social-emotional learning problems, academic difficulties and behavioral problems during their freshman year in high school, researchers found in a new study. And despite the gender stereotype that boys are more likely to be the problem children in school, the researchers found that girls constitute the majority of youths who struggled the most academically, socially and behaviorally.

Scientists generate an atlas of the human genome using stem cells

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 12:50 PM PDT

Scientists have generated an atlas of the human genome that illuminates the roles our genes play in health and disease. The gene atlas, created using a state-of-the-art gene editing technology and human embryonic stem cells, enables a new functional view on how we study the human genome, and provides a tool that will change how we study and treat cancer and genetic disorders.

How do you get teens to stop cellphone use while driving? Survey says, show them the money

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 12:50 PM PDT

Teens who admit to texting while driving may be convinced to reduce risky cellphone use behind the wheel when presented with financial incentives such as auto-insurance apps that monitor driving behavior, according to a new survey. However, while more than 90 percent of teens surveyed said they were willing to give up sending or reading text messages, almost half indicated that they would want to retain some control over phone functions such as music and navigation.

Light at end of the tunnel for world's wildlife and wild places

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 12:50 PM PDT

A new article finds that the enormous trends toward population stabilization, poverty alleviation, and urbanization are rewriting the future of biodiversity conservation in the 21st century, offering new hope for the world's wildlife and wild places.

The role of 'extra' DNA in cancer evolution and therapy resistance

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 11:33 AM PDT

Researchers tracked genomic alterations detected in patient samples during tumor cell evolution in culture, in patient-derived xenograft (PDX) mouse models from the cultures, as well as before and after treatment in patients. The team reports that tumor progression was often driven by cancer-promoting genes, known as oncogenes, on extrachromosomal pieces of DNA.

Hungry birds as climate change drives food 'mismatch'

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 10:51 AM PDT

Warmer springs create a 'mismatch' where hungry chicks hatch too late to feast on abundant caterpillars, new research shows.

Detecting Alzheimer's disease before it's too late

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 10:50 AM PDT

The rate at which the protein beta-amyloid accumulates into the sticky plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) is already slowing by the time a patient would be considered to have preclinical AD, according to a longitudinal study of healthy adults.

Found: A new form of DNA in our cells

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 10:50 AM PDT

In a world first, researchers have identified a new DNA structure -- called the i-motif -- inside cells. A twisted 'knot' of DNA, the i-motif has never before been directly seen inside living cells.

A neurobiological link between PTSD and addiction

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 10:50 AM PDT

Recalling traumatic memories enhances the rewarding effects of morphine in male rats, finds new research. These findings may help to explain the co-occurrence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and addiction.

Even a single mindfulness meditation session can reduce anxiety

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 10:50 AM PDT

Mindfulness meditation programs have shown promise for the treatment of anxiety, one of the most common mental health disorders in the US. New research suggests people can begin to derive psychological and physiological benefits from the practice after a single introductory session.

Paint job transforms walls into sensors, interactive surfaces

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 10:50 AM PDT

Walls are what they are -- big, dull dividers. With a few applications of conductive paint and some electronics, however, walls can become smart infrastructure that sense human touch, and detect things like gestures and when appliances are used. Researchers found that they could transform dumb walls into smart walls at relatively low cost using simple tools and techniques, such as a paint roller.

'Environmental DNA' used to identify killer whales in Puget Sound

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 10:50 AM PDT

When endangered killer whales swim through the sheltered waters of Puget Sound, they leave behind traces of 'environmental DNA' that researchers can detect as much as two hours later has found.

Liquid cell transmission electron microscopy makes a window into the nanoscale

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 10:50 AM PDT

From energy materials to disease diagnostics, new microscopy techniques can provide more nuanced insight. Researchers first need to understand the effects of radiation on samples, which is possible with a new device developed for holding tightly sealed liquid cell samples for transmission electron microscopy.

Cigarillo packaging can influence product perception

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 10:49 AM PDT

Researchers surveyed 2,664 young adults who were current users, never users, or past users of little cigars and cigarillos, finding cigarillo packs with colors and containing a flavor descriptor were rated more positively for taste and smell, and health warnings didn't fully mitigate the draw of the packaging.

Size, structure help poziotinib pose threat to deadly exon 20 lung cancer

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 09:52 AM PDT

A drug that failed to effectively strike larger targets in lung cancer hits a bulls-eye on the smaller target presented by a previously untreatable form of the disease.

Guns used in cross-border crimes originate from states with more lax laws

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 09:51 AM PDT

Opponents of gun control have frequently pointed to high rates of gun violence in cities such as Chicago to argue that strong state gun control laws are not effective. But guns used in states with stricter gun laws typically flow from states with weaker laws, according to a new study.

Face recognition for galaxies: Artificial intelligence brings new tools to astronomy

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 09:51 AM PDT

A machine learning method called 'deep learning,' which has been widely used in face recognition and other image- and speech-recognition applications, has shown promise in helping astronomers analyze images of galaxies and understand how they form and evolve. In a new study, researchers used computer simulations of galaxy formation to train a deep learning algorithm, which then proved surprisingly good at analyzing images of galaxies from the Hubble Space Telescope.

Playing quantum catch in new research

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 09:51 AM PDT

Researchers 'pitch' a qubit -- a tiny bit of quantum data -- from one physical point in a microwave cavity to a separate point in a different cavity. It is the first time an end-to-end quantum transmission has been done on demand.

Bias keeps women with higher body weights away from the doctor

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 09:51 AM PDT

The stigma of weight and internalized feelings relating to it were found to be associated with healthcare avoidance in women with higher body weights.

Study highlights need for strength training in older women to ward off effects of aging

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 09:51 AM PDT

Study looked at 46 women across two different age ranges, 60-74 and 75-90, to learn how physical activity affects frailty differently in the two groups.

New cell therapy aids heart recovery -- without implanting cells

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 09:51 AM PDT

Medical researchers have designed a creative new approach to help injured hearts regenerate by applying extracellular vesicles secreted by cardiomyocytes rather than implanting the cells. The study shows that the cardiomyocytes derived from human pluripotent stem cells (derived in turn from a small sample of blood) could be a powerful, untapped source of therapeutic microvesicles that could lead to safe and effective treatments of damaged hearts.

Dementia trend shows later onset with fewer years of the disease

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 09:51 AM PDT

People may be deteriorating into dementia later in life and living with it for a shorter period of time, a new study suggests.

A better fake leather, inspired by plants

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 09:50 AM PDT

Nature has inspired a coating for synthetic leather that repels oil and water -- and keeps the material from getting sticky in the heat.

First total penis and scrotum transplant

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 09:50 AM PDT

Many soldiers returning from combat bear visible scars, or even lost limbs, caused by blasts from improvised explosive devices, or IEDs. However, some servicemen also return with debilitating hidden injuries -- the loss of all or part of their genitals. Now, the reconstructive surgery team that performed the country's first bilateral arm transplant in a wounded warrior has successfully performed the first total penis and scrotum transplant in the world.

Prenatal cannabis use associated with low birth weights

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 09:50 AM PDT

With marijuana use during pregnancy on the rise, a new study shows that prenatal cannabis use was associated with a 50 percent increased likelihood of low birth weight, setting the stage for serious future health problems including infection and time spent in neonatal intensive care units.

New control strategy helps reap maximum power from wind farms

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 09:50 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a way to extract more power from the wind. The researchers used supercomputers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center to filter out the effects of turbulence and apply control algorithms that can better manage the operation of wind farms. The approach has the potential to increase wind power generation by 6-7 percent with a estimated increase in revenue of more than $600 million nationwide.

Watch your step: How vision leads locomotion

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 09:50 AM PDT

Using new technologies to track how vision guides foot placement, researchers come one step closer in determining what is going on in the brain while we walk, paving the way for better treatment for mobility impairments -- strokes, aging and Parkinson's -- and technology development -- prosthetics and robots.

Neutrons provide insights into increased performance for hybrid perovskite solar cells

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 09:50 AM PDT

Neutron scattering has revealed, in real time, the fundamental mechanisms behind the conversion of sunlight into energy in hybrid perovskite materials. A better understanding of this behavior will enable manufacturers to design solar cells with significantly increased efficiency.

Galaxies grow bigger and puffier as they age

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 09:50 AM PDT

A new international study has found that galaxies grow bigger and puffier as they age.

Just one more ash dieback spore could push European ash trees to the brink

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 09:50 AM PDT

Europe's ash dieback epidemic could well have been caused by just one or two mushroom-like fruiting bodies of a fungal pathogen from Asia, according to a comprehensive genome sequencing effort. This leaves even the most resistant ash trees at threat from the introduction of just one more spore from East Asia.

Five new blanket-hermit crab species described 130 years later from the Pacific

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 08:08 AM PDT

Unlike most hermit crabs, the blanket-hermit crab does not use empty shells for protection, and instead lives symbiotically with a sea anemone. The crab uses the anemone to cover its soft abdomen, and can pull the anemone's tissue over its head to protect itself whenever necessary. Since 1888, this crab had been considered a unique species until a research team recently described five new ones and a new genus.

Let it go: Mental breaks after work improve sleep

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 08:08 AM PDT

If you've had a bad day at work thanks to rude colleagues, doing something fun and relaxing after you punch out could net you a better night's sleep.

New hope for treating diabetic wounds that just won't heal

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 08:08 AM PDT

New research uncovers the role of a particular protein in maintaining diabetic wounds and suggests that reversing its effects could help aid wound healing in patients with diabetes.

Climate change intensifies droughts in Europe

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 08:08 AM PDT

Global warming will exacerbate soil droughts in Europe - droughts will last longer, affect greater areas, and have an impact on more people. If the earth warms by three degrees Celsius, extreme events could become the normal state in the future.

Virulence switch in 'Iraqibacter': potential Achilles heel?

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 08:08 AM PDT

Microbiologists have identified a component of a genetic switch, which they call a potential 'Achilles' heel,' for a type of bacteria often associated with wounded warriors. The switch makes it possible for Acinetobacter baumannii to change between a virulent, hardy form and an avirulent form that is better at surviving at lower temperatures outside a host. Defining the switch could map out targets for new antibiotics.

Pediatric obesity, depression connected in the brain

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 08:08 AM PDT

Early-life obesity and depression may be driven by shared abnormalities in brain regions that process rewards, according to researchers.

Organic solar cells reach record efficiency, benchmark for commercialization

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 08:08 AM PDT

In an advance that makes a more flexible, inexpensive type of solar cell commercially viable, researchers have demonstrated organic solar cells that can achieve 15 percent efficiency.

Odd one out: Protein goes against the family to prevent cancer

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 08:08 AM PDT

Researchers have made the surprise discovery that the 'odd one out' in a family of proteins known to drive cancer development is instead critical for preventing stomach cancers. The research team showed switching off a certain gene caused spontaneous development of stomach cancers, driven by chronic inflammation. The study also revealed that immunotherapy may prove to be a significant tool for treating stomach cancers that are driven by runaway inflammation, warranting further investigation.

Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 08:08 AM PDT

Researchers have succeeded in observing the behavior of epidermal cells for the regeneration of smooth skin without remaining scar tissue using their model animal, the zebrafish.

New research modernizes rammed earth construction

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 08:08 AM PDT

A building method as old as dirt is being re-examined as a 'new' and viable modern construction material. Compressed soil, also known as rammed earth, is a method of construction that dates back centuries.

Animal cyborg: Behavioral control by 'toy' craving circuit

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 08:07 AM PDT

Children love to get toys from parents for their birthday present. This craving toward items also involves object hoarding disorders and shopping addiction. However, the biological meaning of why the brain pursues objects or items has remained unknown.

A blood test when it is safe to return to play after a sports-related concussion

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 08:07 AM PDT

A high-sensitive blood test can aid concussed hockey players when it might be safe to return to play. Researchers have identified a superior blood-based biomarker for assessing subtle brain injury.

Scientists create innovative new 'green' concrete using graphene

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 08:07 AM PDT

A new greener, stronger and more durable concrete that is made using the wonder-material graphene could revolutionise the construction industry.

Could eating moss be good for your gut?

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 08:07 AM PDT

An international team of scientists has discovered a new complex carbohydrate in moss that could possibly be exploited for health or other uses.

Attosecond physics: Molecules brilliantly illuminated

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 08:07 AM PDT

A new high-power laser system generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum.

Saving a penalty: How science helps predict soccer scores

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 08:02 AM PDT

Ever since the first penalty kicks were introduced to soccer in 1891, experts, coaches and supporters have puzzled over the question of why some goalkeepers are better at stopping penalties than others. A new review now demonstrates that simply learning which corner to dive to is not enough. It is important that goalkeepers also perfectly calculate their dive to get to the corner at the right time.

Asthma and hay fever linked to increased risk of psychiatric disorders

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 05:54 AM PDT

A new study is the first to find a significant link between asthma, hay fever and a broad spectrum of psychiatric disorders. Over 15 years, 10.8 percent of patients with allergic diseases developed a psychiatric disorder, compared to only 6.7 percent of those without allergies. Monitoring the mental health of patients with allergies could help doctors care for their patients more effectively.

Why freeloader baby-eating ants are welcomed to the colony

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 05:54 AM PDT

It might seem surprising that a colony of ants would tolerate the type of guests that gobble both their grub and their babies. But new research shows there's likely a useful tradeoff to calmly accepting these parasite ants into the fold: They have weaponry that's effective against their host ants and a more menacing intruder ant.

Growing evidence that probiotics are good for your liver

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 05:54 AM PDT

Increased awareness of the importance of the microbes that live in our gut has spurred a great deal of research on the microbiome and fueled a booming probiotics industry. A new study suggests probiotics can improve not only the health of our gut but liver health, as well.

Human-like walking mechanics evolved before the genus Homo

Posted: 23 Apr 2018 05:54 AM PDT

A close examination of 3.6-million-year-old hominin footprints discovered in Laetoli, Tanzania, suggests our ancestors evolved the hallmark trait of extended leg, human-like bipedalism substantially earlier than previously thought.