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Using bacteria to create a water filter that kills bacteria

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 11:55 AM PST

Engineers have created a bacteria-filtering membrane using graphene oxide and bacterial nanocellulose. It's highly efficient, long-lasting and environmentally friendly -- and could provide clean water for those in need.

Enhanced NMR reveals chemical structures in a fraction of the time

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 11:55 AM PST

Researchers have developed a way to dramatically enhance the sensitivity of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), a technique used to study the structure and composition of many kinds of molecules, including proteins linked to Alzheimer's and other diseases.

Smart microrobots that can adapt to their surroundings

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 11:55 AM PST

Scientists have developed tiny elastic robots that can change shape depending on their surroundings. Modeled after bacteria and fully biocompatible, these robots optimize their movements so as to get to hard-to-reach areas of the human body. They stand to revolutionize targeted drug delivery.

Classic double-slit experiment in a new light

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 11:55 AM PST

An international research group has developed a new X-ray spectroscopy method based on the classical double-slit experiment to gain new insights into the physical properties of solids.

Specific cognitive deficits in individuals with spinal cord injury

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 10:00 AM PST

A multidisciplinary team of researchers has identified specific cognitive deficits in individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). Their findings support the theory of accelerated aging after SCI, and have important implications for further research.

Green turtle: The success of the reintroduction program in Cayman Islands

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 09:30 AM PST

The reintroduction program for the green turtle in the Cayman Islands has been crucial in order to recover this species, which are threatened by the effects of human overexploitation, according to the first genetic study of the green turtle's reintroduction program in this area of the Atlantic ocean.

Scientists discover natural fitness watch in fishes that records their activity levels

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 09:30 AM PST

Scientists have shown for the first time that the energetic cost of living (the metabolic rate) of fish can be measured in structures that grow in their ears. This new tool can be used to show how fish are influenced by and adapt to changes in their environment, including climate change.

Waves in Saturn's rings give precise measurement of planet's rotation rate

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 09:30 AM PST

Saturn's distinctive rings were observed in unprecedented detail by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, and scientists have now used those observations to probe the interior of the giant planet and obtain the first precise determination of its rotation rate. The length of a day on Saturn, according to their calculations, is 10 hours 33 minutes and 38 seconds.

Does being bilingual make children more focused? Study says no

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 09:30 AM PST

Bilingual children do not have more advantages than monolingual children when it comes to executive function, which includes remembering instructions, controlling responses, and shifting swiftly between tasks.

Air pollution increases ER visits for breathing problems

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 09:30 AM PST

As levels of ozone and fine particulate pollution (PM2.5) rise, more patients end up in the ER with breathing problems, according to the largest US study of air pollution and respiratory emergency room visits of patients of all ages.

Placentas adapt when mothers have poor diets or low oxygen during pregnancy

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 09:30 AM PST

Researchers have discovered the placenta regulates how much oxygen and nutrients it transports to babies during challenging pregnancies in the first study of its kind. The placenta is one of the least understood human organs and it is notoriously difficult to study. This new research focused on analyzing the placental mitochondria and it is hoped the new findings could lead to tests to determine whether a mother's placenta is functioning properly.

Synaptic logic for connections between two brain hemispheres

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 09:30 AM PST

Researchers have developed a new combination of technologies that allows them to identify the functional properties of individual synapses that link the two hemispheres and determine how they are arranged within a neuron's dendritic field.

'Happiness' exercises can boost mood in those recovering from substance use disorder

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 09:30 AM PST

Brief, text-based, self-administered exercises can significantly increase in-the-moment happiness for adults recovering from substance use disorders, report researchers.

Fighting deadly drug resistant bacteria in intestines with new antibiotic

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 09:29 AM PST

Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a potentially deadly infection in the large intestine most common in people who need to take antibiotics for a long period of time, particularly in Australia's ageing population. But when doses of a new antibiotic called Ramizol were given to hamsters infected with a lethal dose of the bacteria, a significant proportion of hamsters survived the infection.

Poor sleep and heart-related death

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 08:08 AM PST

Elderly men who experience extended episodes of interrupted breathing while asleep have a high risk of heart problems. Research shows for the first time that poor blood oxygenation is a good indicator of the chance of heart-related death, which cannot be attributed to sleep apnoea alone.

Killer blows? Knockout study of pair of mouse MicroRNA provides cancer insight

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 08:08 AM PST

Researchers used knockout mouse models created by gene editing to reveal that the miRNA miR-146b, like miR-146a, is involved in the development of cancers, with them having similar but not identical effects. The knockout mice should help in the fight against cancers involving miRNA dysregulation.

How musicians communicate non-verbally during performance

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 08:08 AM PST

Scientists have discovered a new technique to examine how musicians intuitively coordinate with one another during a performance, silently predicting how each will express the music.

Mangrove patches deserve greater recognition no matter the size

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 08:08 AM PST

Governments must provide stronger protection for crucial small mangrove patches, experts say.

Short bouts of stairclimbing throughout the day can boost health

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 08:08 AM PST

It just got harder to avoid exercise. A few minutes of stair climbing, at short intervals throughout the day, can improve cardiovascular health, according to new research.

Exposure to chemicals during pregnancy is not associated with an increase in blood pressure

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 08:08 AM PST

Exposure to certain chemicals such as phthalates, parabens or Bisphenol A could be associated with a decrease in blood pressure during pregnancy.

New ways to harness wasted methane

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 08:08 AM PST

The primary component of natural gas, methane, is itself a potent greenhouse gas. A recent study has unveiled a high performance catalyst for methane conversion to formaldehyde.

Hand-knitted molecules

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 08:08 AM PST

Molecules are usually formed in reaction vessels or laboratory flasks. An Empa research team has now succeeded in producing molecules between two microscopically small, movable gold tips -- in a sense as a 'hand-knitted' unique specimen. The properties of the molecules can be monitored in real time while they are being produced. The research results have just been published in Nature Communications.

New therapeutic avenue in the fight against chronic liver disease

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 08:08 AM PST

A recent study, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has introduced a novel targeted drug delivery system in the fight against cancer.

Mediterranean freshwater fish species susceptible to climate change

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 08:08 AM PST

Climate change will strongly affect many European freshwater fish species. This is particularly the case for species in the Mediterranean region.

Potential biotech and health applications with new knowledge on bacteria and viruses

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 06:59 AM PST

New research to better understand how bacteria and their viruses interact and evolve will enable future studies to exploit the use of bacteria and their viruses for potential biotechnology and health applications.

Plant peptide helps roots to branch out in the right places

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 06:59 AM PST

How do plants space out their roots? A research team has identified a peptide and its receptor that help lateral roots to grow with the right spacing.

Home-based hypertension program produces 'striking' results

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 05:32 AM PST

Pilot study finds that an innovative care-delivery program helped 81 percent of participants achieve blood pressure control in seven weeks.

Unraveling of 58-year-old corn gene mystery may have plant-breeding implications

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 05:32 AM PST

In discovering a mutant gene that 'turns on' another gene responsible for the red pigments sometimes seen in corn, researchers solved an almost six-decades-old mystery with a finding that may have implications for plant breeding in the future.

Violence in PG-13 rated movies not linked to violence in US society

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 05:32 AM PST

New research suggests that policy makers should remain focused on issues that have been demonstrated to impact criminal behavior, such as family environment, mental health, poverty and education.

Gene therapy promotes nerve regeneration

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 05:31 AM PST

Researchers have shown that treatment using gene therapy leads to a faster recovery after nerve damage. By combining a surgical repair procedure with gene therapy, the survival of nerve cells and regeneration of nerve fibers over a long distance was stimulated. The discovery is an important step towards the development of a new treatment for people with nerve damage.

Why do Hydra end up with just a single head?

Posted: 18 Jan 2019 05:31 AM PST

Hydra is able to regenerate any part of its body to rebuild an entire individual. The head organizer performs two opposite activities, one activating, which causes the head to differentiate, and the other inhibiting, which prevents the formation of supernumerary heads. Researchers have discovered the identity of the inhibitor, called Sp5, and deciphered the dialogue between these two antagonistic activities, which helps maintain a single-headed adult body and organize an appropriate regenerative response.

Frailty could make people more susceptible to dementia

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 04:27 PM PST

New research suggests that frailty makes older adults more susceptible to Alzheimer's dementia, and moderates the effects of dementia-related brain changes on dementia symptoms. The findings suggest that frailty should be considered in clinical care and management of Alzheimer's dementia.

Salad, soda and socioeconomic status: Mapping a social determinant of health in Seattle

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 02:52 PM PST

Seattle residents who live in waterfront neighborhoods tend to have healthier diets compared to those who live along Interstate-5 and Aurora Avenue, according to new research on social disparities. The study used local data to model food consumption patterns by city block. Weekly servings of salad and soda served as proxies for diet quality.

Bee surveys in newest US national park could aid pollinator studies elsewhere

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 02:52 PM PST

Declines in native bee populations are widely reported, but can existing data really analyze these trends? Entomologists report findings about pollinator biodiversity in California's Pinnacle National Park derived from three separate surveys spanning 17 years and say similar studies in other areas are needed.

Bioethicists call for oversight of consumer 'neurotechnologies' with unproven benefits

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 02:52 PM PST

The marketing of consumer 'neurotechnologies' can be enticing: apps that diagnose a mental state, and brain devices that improve cognition or 'read' one's emotional state. However, many of these increasingly popular products aren't fully supported by science and have little to no regulatory oversight, which poses potential health risks to the public. Two bioethicists suggest the creation of a working group that would further study, monitor, and provide guidance for this growing industry -- which is expected to top $3 billion by 2020.

Scientists learn how common virus reactivates after transplantation

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 11:21 AM PST

A new study challenges long-held theories of why a common virus -- cytomegalovirus, or CMV -- can reactivate and become a life-threatening infection in people with a compromised immune system, including blood cancer patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation.