#Science

#Science


X-ray pulse detected near event horizon as black hole devours star

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 03:47 PM PST

New findings are the first demonstration of a tidal disruption flare being used to estimate a black hole's spin.

Long-duration space missions have lasting effects on spinal muscles

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 02:06 PM PST

Astronauts who spend several months on the International Space Station have significant reductions in the size and density of paraspinal muscles of the trunk after returning to Earth, reports a new study.

Respiratory microbiome may influence your susceptibility to flu

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 02:06 PM PST

Specific respiratory microbiome communities may be linked to influenza susceptibility, according to a new study.

The lonely giant: Milky Way-sized galaxy lacking galactic neighbors

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 02:06 PM PST

Long ago in a galaxy far, far away, fewer galaxies were born than expected -- and that could create new questions for galaxy physics, according to a new study.

Medical marketing has skyrocketed in the past two decades, while oversight remains limited

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 02:06 PM PST

Researchers have reviewed medical marketing (the marketing of prescription drugs, disease awareness, laboratory tests and health services to consumers and professionals) over a 20-year period from 1997 through 2016 and found that while it had increased dramatically from about $17.7 billion to $29.9 billion, regulation has not.

Worrisome statistics around medical cannabis users operating vehicles

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 02:06 PM PST

More than half of people who take medical cannabis for chronic pain say they've driven under the influence of cannabis within two hours of using it, at least once in the last six months, according to a new survey. One in five of them said they'd driven while 'very high' in the past six months.

Aggressive prostate cancer and hereditary breast cancer

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 01:42 PM PST

The study has potential implications for families with members suffering from these types of tumours who are at an increased risk of developing cancer.

Excessive body fat around the middle linked to smaller brain size, study finds

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 01:42 PM PST

Carrying extra body fat, especially around the middle, may be linked to brain shrinkage, according to new research. For the study, researchers determined obesity by measuring body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio in study participants and found those with higher ratios of both measures had the lowest brain volume.

Dogma of cancer metabolism theory overturned

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 12:57 PM PST

Scientists have discovered that squamous cell skin cancers do not require increased glucose to power their development and growth, contrary to a long-held belief about cancer metabolism. The findings could bring about a better understanding of many cancers' metabolic needs and lead to the development of more effective therapies for squamous cell skin cancer and other forms of epithelial cancer.

Fighting another virus? Blame your parents

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 11:27 AM PST

Genetics may play a bigger role in the body's disease-fighting ability than scientists previously thought, according to the results from a new study of twins.

New catalysts for better fuel cells

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 11:27 AM PST

Researchers have fabricated nano-sized catalysts that could improve the performance and production of clean energy fuel cells.

Canada's CHIME telescope detects second repeating fast radio burst

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 11:27 AM PST

Scientists have found the second repeating fast radio burst (FRB) ever recorded. The discovery of the extragalactic signal is among the first, eagerly awaited results from the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME). The repeating FRB was one of a total of 13 bursts detected over a period of just three weeks during the summer of 2018, while CHIME was in its pre-commissioning phase.

Decreased deep sleep linked to early signs of Alzheimer's disease

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 11:27 AM PST

Researchers have uncovered part of the explanation for why poor sleep is linked to Alzheimer's disease. They found that older people who have less slow-wave sleep -- the deep sleep you need to consolidate memories and wake up feeling refreshed -- have higher levels of the brain protein tau. Elevated tau is a sign of Alzheimer's disease and has been linked to brain damage and cognitive decline.

Genes on the move help nose make sense of scents

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 11:27 AM PST

With today's study, researchers have pinpointed a genomic mechanism by which a finite number of genes can ultimately help distinguish a seemingly near-infinite number of scents.

Astronomers observe evolution of a black hole as it wolfs down stellar material

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 11:26 AM PST

On March 11, an instrument aboard the International Space Station detected an enormous explosion of X-ray light that grew to be six times as bright as the Crab Nebula, nearly 10,000 light years away from Earth. Scientists determined the source was a black hole caught in the midst of an outburst -- an extreme phase in which a black hole can spew brilliant bursts of X-ray energy as it devours an avalanche of gas and dust from a nearby star.

First evidence of gigantic remains from star explosions

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 11:26 AM PST

Astrophysicists have found the first ever evidence of gigantic remains being formed from repeated explosions on the surface of a dead star in the Andromeda Galaxy, 2.5 million light years from Earth. The remains or 'super-remnant' measures almost 400 light years across. The super-remnant -- larger than almost all known remnants of supernova explosions -- is consistent with being built up by frequent nova eruptions over millions of years.

Scientists design new responsive porous material inspired by proteins

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 11:26 AM PST

Scientists have, for the first time, synthesized a new material that exhibits structural change and triggered chemical activity like a protein.

How trees and turnips grow fatter

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 11:26 AM PST

Botanists have identified key regulatory networks controlling how plants grow 'outwards,' which could help us to grow trees to be more efficient carbon sinks and increase vegetable crop yields.

Elephants take to the road for reliable resources

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 11:26 AM PST

Landscapes can change from day-to-day and year-to-year, and many animals will move about according to resource availability. But do they remember past resource conditions? Just how important is memory and spatial cognition when seeking to understand wildlife movement? Researchers in Etosha National Park, Namibia, examined this question through African elephants.

Stem cell study offers clues for optimizing bone marrow transplants and more

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 11:26 AM PST

A new study, conducted in mice, shows that successfully transplanted stem cells don't behave 'normally' as in a healthy person without a transplant. Instead, the radiation and high-dose chemotherapy used to wipe out diseased stem cells prior to transplantation appear to trigger 'extreme behavior' in the newly transplanted cells.

Astronomers map 'light echoes' of newly discovered black hole

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 11:26 AM PST

A team of astronomers has charted the environment surrounding a relatively small, 'stellar mass' black hole that is 10 times the mass of the sun. The observations provide the clearest picture to date of how these small black holes consume matter and emit energy.

Thousands of stars turning into crystals

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 11:26 AM PST

The first direct evidence of white dwarf stars solidifying into crystals has been discovered by astronomers, and our skies are filled with them.

Carrots or candy bars? Context shapes choice of healthy foods

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 11:26 AM PST

Pop quiz: Given a choice between indulgent and healthy foods, what will most people pick? The answer may depend on what foods sit nearby on the grocery shelf, suggests new research. Paradoxically, the nearby presence of an indulgent treat such as Snickers or Oreos can cause more people to opt for a healthy food, such as salmon or grapefruit. Context, in other words, affects food choices.

15-meter-long ancient whale Basilosaurus isis was top marine predator

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 11:26 AM PST

The stomach contents of ancient whale Basilosaurus isis suggest it was an apex predator, according to a new study.

Scientists design protein that prods cancer-fighting T-cells

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 11:26 AM PST

Scientists have created a new protein that mimics a key immune regulatory protein, interleukin 2 (IL-2). IL-2 is a potent anticancer drug, but with toxic side effects. The researchers report using computer programs to design a protein that they have shown in animal models to have the same ability to stimulate cancer-fighting T-cells as IL-2, but without triggering harmful side effects.

Model predicts lithium-ion batteries most competitive for storage applications by 2030

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 08:48 AM PST

Researchers have developed a model to determine the lifetime costs of 9 electricity storage technologies for 12 different applications between 2015 and 2050. The model, which predicts lithium-ion batteries to be the cheapest technology in the coming decades.

Widely used physical health drugs may help treat serious mental illness

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 08:48 AM PST

Medications commonly used to combat physical health diseases, such as high blood pressure, could bring significant benefits to people with serious mental illnesses (SMI) such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or non-affective psychoses, according to a large cohort study.

Controlling children's behavior with screen time leads to more screen time, study reveals

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 08:48 AM PST

Researchers investigated the impact of parenting practices on the amount of time young children spend in front of screens. They found a majority of parents use screen time to control behavior, especially on weekends. This results in children spending an average of 20 minutes more a day on weekends in front of a screen. Researchers say this is likely because using it as a reward or punishment heightens a child's attraction to the activity.

Drug development options diversified with new metal catalyst

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 08:48 AM PST

Researchers have developed a new manganese-based catalyst that can change the structure of drug-like molecules to make new drugs, advancing the pace and efficiency of drug development.

Following Nepal's devastating 2015 earthquake, crisis in childhood malnutrition averted

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 08:48 AM PST

Despite widespread destruction, including severe agricultural-related losses caused by the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, child nutrition remained stable in the hardest hit areas, a new study finds.

Change of teeth causes yo-yo effect in elephants' weight

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 08:48 AM PST

The weight of elephants living in zoos fluctuates over the course of their adult lives in cycles lasting around a hundred months, researchers have found. The fluctuation is linked to the particular pattern of tooth change in elephants, which results in them having more or less chewing surface available.

Overtones can provide faster data communication

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 08:48 AM PST

Researchers have succeeded in producing what are known as spin wave overtones. The technology paves the way for increasing the data transmission rate of wireless communication.

Beech trees are dying, and nobody's sure why

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 08:47 AM PST

A confounding new disease is killing beech trees in Ohio and elsewhere, and plant scientists are sounding an alarm while looking for an explanation. Researchers and naturalists in northeastern Ohio report on the emerging 'beech leaf disease' epidemic, calling for speedy work to find a culprit so that work can begin to stop its spread.

Mechanism for impaired allergic inflammation in infants may explain hygiene hypothesis

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 08:01 AM PST

New research describes a mechanism in a mouse model of asthma that supports the hygiene hypothesis -- researchers found that infant mice need a higher exposure to a bacterial endotoxin, compared to adult mice, to avoid developing asthma-like reactions to house dust mites. The hygiene hypothesis suggests that decreased exposure to microbial products in industrialized nations is the main driver of increased allergic airway disease.

Let's map our DNA and save billions each year in health costs

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 08:01 AM PST

A scientist has called for Australia to embrace pharmacogenetic (PGx) testing to deliver medication more effectively and slash around $2.4 billion wasted each year through unsafe and ineffective drug prescriptions.

First pregnancy after robot-assisted uterus transplant

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 08:01 AM PST

Research on uterine transplantation is now supported by robotic surgery. This change has made operating on the donors considerably less invasive. After the technical modification, a first woman is now pregnant.

Stick insect study shows the significance of passive muscle force for fast movements

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 08:01 AM PST

Zoologists have gained new insights into the motor function of limbs of different sizes.

Two billion birds migrate over Gulf Coast

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 08:00 AM PST

A new study combining data from citizen scientists and weather radar stations is providing detailed insights into spring bird migration along the Gulf of Mexico and how these journeys may be affected by climate change. Findings on the timing, location, and intensity of these bird movements have been published.

By using recorded audio feedback academics can reduce workload mentally and physically

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 08:00 AM PST

Academics experience that by using the Recorded Audio Feedback (RAF) in higher education they can give more relaxed and dialogic feedback for their learners and reduce their own workload both mentally and physically.

Lifting the veil on star formation in the Orion Nebula

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 08:00 AM PST

Astronomers describe their discovery that stellar wind from a newborn star in the Orion Nebula is preventing more stars from forming nearby.

Sunscreen and cosmetics compound may harm coral by altering fatty acids

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 08:00 AM PST

Although sunscreen is critical for preventing sunburns and skin cancer, some of its ingredients are not so beneficial to ocean-dwelling creatures. In particular, sunscreen chemicals shed by swimmers are thought to contribute to coral reef decline. Now, researchers say that one such chemical, octocrylene (OC), which is also in some cosmetics and hair products, accumulates in coral as fatty acid esters that could be toxic to the marine organism.

Parental CPTSD increases transmission of trauma to offspring of Tutsi genocide survivors

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 08:00 AM PST

Nearly 25 years after the genocide against the Tutsi of Rwanda took the lives of up to one million victims, the offspring of Tutsi survivors, who weren't even born at the time, are among those most affected by trauma.

New technique offers rapid assessment of radiation exposure

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 08:00 AM PST

Researchers have developed a new technique that allows them to assess radiation exposure in about an hour using an insulator material found in most modern electronics. The technique can be used to triage medical cases in the event of a radiological disaster.

How words get an emotional meaning

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 08:00 AM PST

Everyday objects and people have an emotional meaning. A wool sock might have an emotional value if it was the last thing grandmother knitted before her death. The same applies to words. A stranger's name has no emotional value, but if a loving relationship develops, the name suddenly has positive connotations. Researchers investigated how the brain processes such stimuli -- positive or negative.

Two-thirds of stroke survivors are in exceptionally good mental health

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 08:00 AM PST

Two-thirds of stroke survivors are in complete mental health despite the impact of their stroke, according to a large, nationally representative Canadian study.

Ultra-sensitive sensor with gold nanoparticle array

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 07:24 AM PST

Scientists have developed a new type of sensor platform using a gold nanoparticle array, which is 100 times more sensitive than current similar sensors.

Trees change inside as drought persists

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 07:24 AM PST

Scientists have found that trees change their anatomy in response to prolonged drought.

New synthesis strategy for chiral drugs: Versatile chiral chemical species from aldehydes

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 07:24 AM PST

Chirality is a geometric property of some molecules and ions, and a chiral molecule/ion is non-superposable on its mirror image, just like our right and left hands. A number of chiral molecules can be found in the world of chemistry, while their constituting atoms and alignment are the same. Enantiomers, which are chiral molecules, have similar chemical and physical characteristics but their biological functions, if any, are very different one another. For example, out of a pair of chiral molecules, one enantiomer may show an excellent pharmaceutical/medical activity while the other enantiomer may exert an adverse effect. Thus, developing a chemical synthesis reaction that selectively produces one enantiomer of chiral molecules useful in medicine is of great significance in the synthesis of drugs and their precursors.

New simulation technology to discover causes of congestion at airports in a few minutes

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 07:24 AM PST

Scientists have developed a new technology that automatically analyzes the factors leading to congestion based on the results of human behavior simulations.

Mice sleeping fitfully provide clues to insomnia

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 07:24 AM PST

Researchers working with mice with sleep problems similar to those experienced by people with the genetic disease neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) -- believe the animals will help shed light on insomnia linked to NF1 or other factors.

BRCA Exchange aggregates data on thousands of BRCA variants to understand cancer risk

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 07:24 AM PST

A global resource that includes data on thousands of inherited variants in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes is available to the public. The BRCA Exchange was created through the BRCA Challenge, a long-term demonstration project initiated by the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) to enhance sharing of BRCA1 and BRCA2 data.

Maternal stress leads to overweight in children

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 07:24 AM PST

Researchers were able to identify mother's perceived stress during the first year of the child's life as a risk factor for developing overweight in infancy. Researchers found this to have long-lasting effects on girls' weight development in particular.

Using drones to tackle climate change

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 07:24 AM PST

Scientists are using drones to survey woody climbing plants and better understand how they may affect the carbon balance of tropical rainforests.

Leafcutter ants emit as much N2O as wastewater treatment tanks

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 07:24 AM PST

Tropical forests are one of the largest natural sources of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O), and a tiny insect may play a big role in how those emissions are spread out across the landscape.

'Environmentally friendly' flame retardant could degrade into less safe compounds

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 06:10 AM PST

To reduce the risk of fire, many everyday products -- from building materials to furniture to clothing -- contain flame retardants. In recent years, some of these compounds were shown to have harmful effects on the environment, causing them to be replaced by more eco-friendly alternatives. However, a new study indicates that heat or ultraviolet light could break down a 'safe' flame retardant into potentially harmful compounds.

Lack of standard dosage for blood thinners can lead to bleeding during bariatric surgery

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 06:09 AM PST

Researchers have found a way to reduce bleeding in patients following bariatric surgery.

How specific gene variants may raise bipolar disorder risk

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 06:09 AM PST

New research directly links genetic variants found in people with bipolar disorder to reduced expression, function of protein CPG2, with specific effects on synapses and neural circuits.

Artificial bug eyes

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 06:09 AM PST

Single lens eyes, like those in humans and many other animals, can create sharp images, but the compound eyes of insects and crustaceans have an edge when it comes to peripheral vision, light sensitivity and motion detection. That's why scientists are developing artificial compound eyes to give sight to autonomous vehicles and robots, among other applications. Now, a new report describes the preparation of bioinspired artificial compound eyes using a simple low-cost approach.

School counselors reflect on their experience following student deaths

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 06:09 AM PST

When five school counselors who were part of a counseling team were interviewed to learn how they professionally and personally experienced the deaths of multiple students in one year in their school while attending to the needs of the school community, several themes emerged. The Journal of Counseling & Development study's first theme, gravity of the losses, related to the significance of the losses the counseling team and broader school community experienced as each student died.

Better outcomes in depression therapy with new innovations in treatment planning

Posted: 09 Jan 2019 06:09 AM PST

Adolescents with depression who were treated with interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT-A) had significantly better outcomes when their therapists regularly assessed depression symptoms and augmented treatment for insufficient responders after four weeks of therapy rather than waiting until Week 8.
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