#Science

#Science


Scientists create a renewable source of cancer-fighting T cells

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 01:04 PM PST

A study by UCLA researchers is the first to demonstrate a technique for coaxing pluripotent stem cells -- which can give rise to every cell type in the body and which can be grown indefinitely in the lab -- into becoming mature T cells capable of killing tumor cells.

Orchards in natural habitats draw bee diversity, improve apple production

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 01:04 PM PST

Apple orchards surrounded by agricultural lands are visited by a less diverse collection of bee species than orchards surrounded by natural habitats.

Telling stories using rhythmic gesture helps children improve their oral skills

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 11:22 AM PST

For the first time it has been shown that a brief training session with rhythmic gestures has immediate benefits for narrative discourse in children of 5 and 6 years of age.

Psychological distress is a risk factor for dementia

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 11:22 AM PST

A new study suggests that vital exhaustion -- which can be perceived as an indicator of psychological distress -- is a risk factor for future risk of dementia.

Combination therapy treats leishmaniasis, HIV patients

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 11:22 AM PST

Coinfection with visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has been observed in at least 35 countries on four continents and requires special case management. Currently, the World Health Organization recommends AmBisome monotherapy for treatment. Now, researchers have showed that a combination therapy of AmBisome and miltefosine is more effective.

Saturn hasn't always had rings

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 11:21 AM PST

In its last days, the Cassini spacecraft looped between Saturn and its rings so that Earth-based radio telescopes could track the gravitational tug of each. Scientists have now used these measurements to determine the mass of the rings and estimate its age, which is young: 10-100 million years. This supports the hypothesis that the rings are rubble from a comet or Kuiper Belt object captured late in Saturn's history.

Artificially produced cells communicate with each other

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 11:21 AM PST

Researchers have for the first time created artificial cell assemblies that can communicate with each other. The cells, separated by fatty membranes, exchange small chemical signaling molecules to trigger more complex reactions, such as the production of RNA and other proteins.

New thermoelectric material delivers record performance

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 11:21 AM PST

Taking advantage of recent advances in using theoretical calculations to predict the properties of new materials, researchers have discovered a new class of half-Heusler thermoelectric compounds, including one with a record high figure of merit -- a metric used to determine how efficiently a thermoelectric material can convert heat to electricity.

New findings reveal surprising role of the cerebellum in reward and social behaviors

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 11:21 AM PST

A study in rodents found that the brain's cerebellum -- known to play a role in motor coordination -- also helps control the brain's reward circuitry. Researchers found a direct neural connection from the cerebellum to the ventral tegmental area (a brain area long known to be involved in reward processing and encoding). The findings shed light on the brain circuits critical to the affective and social dysfunction seen across multiple psychiatric disorders.

Gene therapy blocks peripheral nerve damage in mice

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 11:21 AM PST

Scientists have developed a gene therapy that blocks axonal degeneration, preventing axon destruction in mice and suggesting a therapeutic strategy that could help prevent the loss of peripheral nerves in multiple conditions.

Size matters: To livebearer fish, big fins are a big deal

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 11:21 AM PST

Biologists studied the evolution of 40 molly and Limia species, and concluded dorsal fin displays arose first for males to compete with other males, only later being used in courtship displays to females. These changes in fin function went hand in hand with enlargement of the male dorsal fin. The fins reached extreme sizes in a few species and appear to be associated with rapid evolution, especially in mollies.

Wired for obesity

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 11:21 AM PST

Researchers have discovered a set of genes that help to establish brain connections governing body weight.

Can a critic-turned-believer sway others? The case of genetically modified foods

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 11:21 AM PST

When an advocate for one side of an issue announces that he or she now believes the opposite, can that message affect others' views? Research shows that such a conversion message can influence public attitudes. Using video of environmentalist Mark Lynas speaking about his change from an opponent of genetically modified crops to an advocate, researchers found that message had a greater impact than his direct advocacy message.

Blocking hormone uptake burns more fat

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 11:21 AM PST

A newly discovered regulatory mechanism helps the body control the rate of fat metabolism, according to a new study. The finding may lead to new drugs to help burn stored fat and reduce weight.

Scientists accidentally engineer mice with unusually short and long tails

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 11:21 AM PST

Researchers from two groups studying mouse development have accidentally created mice with unusually long and unusually short tails. Their findings offer new insight into some of the key aspects controlling the development of tails in mice and have implications for understanding what happens when developmental pathways go awry.

How to rapidly image entire brains at nanoscale resolution

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 11:21 AM PST

A powerful new technique combines expansion microscopy with lattice light-sheet microscopy for nanoscale imaging of fly and mouse neuronal circuits and their molecular constituents that's roughly 1,000 times faster than other methods.

Brain cells that make pain unpleasant

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 11:21 AM PST

If you step on a tack, neurons in your brain will register two things: that there's a piercing physical sensation in your foot, and that it's not pleasant. Now, a team of scientists has identified a bundle of brain cells in mice responsible for the latter -- that is, the negative emotions of pain.

How our cellular antennas are formed

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 11:20 AM PST

Most of our cells contain an immobile primary cilium. The 'skeleton' of the cilium consists of microtubule doublets, which are 'pairs' of proteins essential for their formation and function. Scientists have developed an in vitro system capable of forming microtubule doublets, and have uncovered the mechanism and dynamics of their assembly. Their study reveals the crucial role of tubulin, a real building block, in preventing the uncontrolled formation of ciliary structures.

Individual lichens can have up to three fungi

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 11:20 AM PST

Individual lichens may contain up to three different fungi, according to new research from an international team of researchers. This evidence provides new insight into another recent discovery that showed lichen are made up of more than a single fungus and alga, overturning the prevailing theory of more than 150 years.

Stress fracture? Your foot hitting pavement wasn't the main problem

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 11:20 AM PST

It starts as a persistent and irritating pain in the foot or lower leg, then it gets more intense, maybe with swelling, and soon a runner knows she's being sidelined by one of the most common running injuries: a stress fracture. These tiny cracks in the bone can halt training for months or even end a sports season. A segment of the multibillion-dollar wearables industry aims to save potential victims from this fate, but an engineering professor found a major problem: the devices are measuring the wrong thing.

New hope for stem cell approach to treating diabetes

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 11:20 AM PST

Researchers have tweaked the recipe for coaxing human stem cells into insulin-secreting beta cells and shown that the resulting cells are more responsive to fluctuating glucose levels in the blood.

Scientists find increase in asteroid impacts on ancient Earth by studying the Moon

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 11:20 AM PST

A team of scientists has determined the number of asteroid impacts on the Moon and Earth increased by two to three times starting around 290 million years ago. Previous theories held that there were fewer craters on both objects dating back to before that time because they had disappeared due to erosion. The new findings claim that there were simply fewer asteroid impacts during that earlier period.

Reinforcement learning expedites 'tuning' of robotic prosthetics

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 11:20 AM PST

Researchers have developed an intelligent system for 'tuning' powered prosthetic knees, allowing patients to walk comfortably with the prosthetic device in minutes, rather than the hours necessary if the device is tuned by a trained clinical practitioner. The system is the first to rely solely on reinforcement learning to tune the robotic prosthesis.

Body-painting protects against bloodsucking insects

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 09:27 AM PST

A study by researchers from Sweden and Hungary shows that white, painted stripes on the body protect skin from insect bites. It is the first time researchers have successfully shown that body-painting has this effect. Among indigenous peoples who wear body-paint, the markings thus provide a certain protection against insect-borne diseases.

Researchers race against extinction to uncover tree's cancer-fighting properties

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 08:59 AM PST

As the population of a fir tree in China dwindles, researchers are racing to replicate its cancer-fighting molecules.

How molecules teeter in a laser field

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 08:33 AM PST

When molecules interact with the oscillating field of a laser, an instantaneous, time-dependent dipole is induced. This very general effect underlies diverse physical phenomena. Now scientists report on an experiment where the dependence of the driven-dipole response on the bound state of an electron in a methyl iodine molecule is revealed.

A new way to transfer energy between cells

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 08:33 AM PST

Researchers have described a new method for the transmission of electrons between proteins that refutes the evidence from experiments until now. This process, involved in the generation of energy in both animal and plant cells, will permit better understanding of the behavior of proteins in the cells, as well as giving a deeper understanding of the energy dysfunctions that cause diseases.

Scientists search for new methods to cure neurodegenerative diseases

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 08:33 AM PST

Most neurons in the human brain are generated from neural stem cells during embryonic development. After birth, a small reservoir of stem cells remains in the brain that keeps on producing new neurons throughout life. However, the question arises as to whether these new neurons really support brain function? And if so, can we improve brain capacity by increasing the number of neurons? A research group has now answered these questions.

Blister fluid could help diagnose burn severity

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 08:33 AM PST

Severe burns can leave physical and psychological scars, especially in children. When a burn patient enters the clinic, doctors use factors such as the depth and size of the burn, as well as the time required for skin healing -- or re-epithelialization -- to determine the best course of treatment. Now, researchers have found another, possibly more accurate way to classify burn severity: analyzing proteins in blister fluid.

Scientists confirm pair of skeletons are from same early hominin species

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 08:08 AM PST

Separate skeletons suggested to be from different early hominin species are, in fact, from the same species, a team of anthropologists has concluded in a comprehensive analysis of remains first discovered a decade ago.

Lack of fair access to urban green spaces

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 08:08 AM PST

People with higher incomes and more education tend to have greater access to urban green spaces than their less privileged neighbors, a new study of parks and greenery in 10 major North American cities has found.

Complex molecules emerge without evolution or design

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 08:08 AM PST

In biology, folded proteins are responsible for most advanced functions. These complex proteins are the result of evolution or design by scientists. Now scientists have discovered a new class of complex folding molecules that emerge spontaneously from simple building blocks.

Additive manufacturing reflects fundamental metallurgical principles to create materials

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 08:08 AM PST

Engineers have been taking a novel approach to the development of engineering components produced using additive manufacturing.

Local focus could help tackle global problems

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 08:08 AM PST

People's love for their local areas could be harnessed to tackle global environmental problems, researchers say.

Epigenetics contribute to male and female differences in fear memory

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 08:08 AM PST

In a mouse model of traumatic memory, male mice recall fear-related memories better than female mice, according to a new study.

Cultivating 4D tissues: The self-curving cornea

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 08:08 AM PST

Scientists have developed a biological system which lets cells form a desired shape by molding their surrounding material -- in the first instance creating a self-curving cornea. The astonishing video shows the cornea molding itself into a bowl-like structure over the course of 5 days.

The cytoskeleton of neurons has been found to be involved in Alzheimer's disease

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 08:08 AM PST

A researcher has participated in a study describing what it is during the early stages of Alzheimer's that triggers the loss of dynamics and subsequent impairment of the dendritic spines, the compartments of the neurons responsible for receiving nerve impulses from other neurons. The role played by the actin cytoskeleton of these compartments and how it responds in the presence of beta-amyloid peptides, the component most commonly associated with Alzheimer's, have been described.

New test to detect disease and infection

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 08:08 AM PST

Researchers have developed a highly innovative new enzyme biomarker test that has the potential to indicate diseases and bacterial contamination saving time, money and possibly lives.

This computer program makes pharma patents airtight

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 08:08 AM PST

Routes to making life-saving medications and other pharmaceutical compounds are among the most carefully protected trade secrets in global industry. Building on recent work programming computers to identify synthetic pathways leading to pharmaceutically complex molecules, researchers have unveiled computerized methods to suggest only synthetic strategies that bypass patent-protected aspects of essential drugs.

New findings on eye-signal blending

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 08:08 AM PST

Knowing precisely where the signals meet and the brain processes them is vital to treating amblyopia, or reduced vision in one eye because the brain and eye aren't working together properly.

Puzzling phenomenon in a quantum gas: Insulators with conducting edges

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 07:24 AM PST

Insulators that are conducting at their edges hold promise for interesting technological applications. However, until now their characteristics have not been fully understood. Physicists have now modeled what are known as topological insulators with the help of ultracold quantum gases. They now demonstrate how the edge states could be experimentally detected.

Proposed engineering method could help make buildings and bridges safer

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 07:23 AM PST

Researchers discovered that the distance between dislocations in nanolayer interfaces of pearlite can determine how much the material can stretch or contract without breaking (ductility). The dislocations are disruptions in the regular arrangements of atoms in nanolayers. This discovery opens the possibility of engineering materials with higher ductility by simply manipulating the spacing between their dislocations and may improve the safety of structures such as buildings and bridges in earthquakes.

New risk score far more effective for diabetes diagnosis

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 07:23 AM PST

Researchers have developed a new risk score which takes into account detailed genetic information known to increase the chances of type 1 diabetes. This could be used to help identity babies at highest risk of developing the condition in the future. The score may also be used at the time of diabetes diagnosis to help decide if someone has type 1 or type 2 diabetes, which need very different treatments.

Engineered immune cells target broad range of pediatric solid tumors in mice

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 07:23 AM PST

Immune cells engineered to attack childhood cancers were able to eradicate different types of pediatric tumors in mice, according to a new study.

Measuring ability of artificial intelligence to learn is difficult

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 06:26 AM PST

Organizations looking to benefit from the artificial intelligence (AI) revolution should be cautious about putting all their eggs in one basket, a study has found.

New light shed on intensely studied material

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 06:26 AM PST

The organic polymer PEDOT is probably one of the world's most intensely studied materials. Despite this, researchers have now demonstrated that the material functions in a completely different manner than previously believed. The result has huge significance in many fields of application.

Economist find a global tax on carbon may be feasible

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 06:25 AM PST

There is a consistently high level of public support across nations for a global carbon tax if the tax policy is carefully designed, according to a recent survey.

Sea slug study illuminates how mitochondria move

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 06:25 AM PST

Defects in the transport of cells' energy organelles are a suspected cause of diseases including Alzheimer's, ALS, Huntington's and Parkinson's. A new study reveals the genetics behind mitochondrial shifts.

Nanoparticle breakthrough in the fight against cancer

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 06:25 AM PST

A recent study has introduced a novel targeted drug delivery system in the fight against cancer.

Multiple sclerosis treatments delay progression of the disease

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 06:25 AM PST

A new study finds multiple sclerosis treatments have long-term benefits, and that early treatment is important. The study is the first to provide evidence that the currently available therapies can delay progression of disability in Multiple Sclerosis. It showed that early treatment -- particularly within five years of onset -- delayed the secondary progressive stage of MS, which is characterised by an ongoing increase of disability.

Soft drinks + hard work + hot weather = possible kidney disease risk

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 06:05 AM PST

New research suggests that drinking sugary, caffeinated soft drinks while exercising in hot weather may increase the risk of kidney disease.

Risk for developing more than one mental health disorder revealed

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 06:05 AM PST

A new study has revealed the risks behind developing a seconds mental health disorder after an initial diagnosis in the largest and most comprehensive study of comorbidity to date.

Managerialism in UK schools erodes teachers' mental health and well-being

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 06:05 AM PST

Performance targets, increased workload, curriculum changes and other bureaucratic changes are eroding teachers' professional identity and harming their mental health, a new study finds.

HPV vaccination rates remain critically low among younger adolescents in the U.S.

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 06:05 AM PST

Only about 16 percent of U.S. adolescents have been fully vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV) by the time they turn 13, despite national recommendations that call for vaccination at 11 to 12 years of age. The new findings highlight the need for stronger efforts to encourage HPV vaccination and to improve immunization rates in this key age group.

Penguins, starfish, whales: Which animals will win and lose in a warming Antarctic?

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 06:05 AM PST

Using risk assessments, like those used for setting occupational safety limits in the workplace, researchers determined the winners and losers of climate change in the Antarctic. They show that marine animals associated with sea ice for food or breeding, such as some whales and penguins, are most at risk from the effects of climate change, while seafloor predators and open-water feeding animals like starfish and jellyfish will benefit from the opening up of new habitat.

Antibiotics still routinely prescribed in the ER for infants with viral lung infections

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 06:05 AM PST

Despite recommendations first issued more than a decade ago, antibiotics are still routinely prescribed in US emergency rooms for infants with bronchiolitis, a common viral lung infection. The findings highlight a concerning lag in translating evidence-based guidelines into clinical practice and underscore the need to continue educating health care providers and the public about appropriate antibiotic use.

More animal species under threat of extinction, new method shows

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 06:04 AM PST

Currently approximately 600 species might be inaccurately assessed as non-threatened on the Red List of Threatened Species. More than a hundred others that couldn't be assessed before, also appear to be threatened. A new more efficient, systematic and comprehensive approach to assess the extinction risk of animals has shown this.

Dangerous increases in patients mixing opioids, benzodiazepines or Z-drugs

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 06:04 AM PST

The number of Americans taking a dangerous combination of both opioids and benzodiazepines -- a group of drugs commonly prescribed for pain, insomnia and anxiety -- increased by 250 percent over a 15-year period, while there was an 850 percent increase in patients taking benzodiazepines and so-called Z-drugs, according to a new study.

Mindfulness may ease menopausal symptoms

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 06:04 AM PST

Mindfulness may be associated with fewer menopausal symptoms for women, according to a new study. Researchers discovered that being mindful may be especially helpful for menopausal women struggling with irritability, anxiety and depression.

U.S. youth suicides more prevalent in states with higher gun ownership, study finds

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 06:04 AM PST

A new study finds that states with higher levels of household gun ownership also have higher overall youth suicide rates, with every 10 percentage-point increase in household gun ownership associated with a 26.9 percent increase in the youth suicide rate.
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