Latest Science News -- ScienceDaily

Breaking science news and articles on global warming, extrasolar planets, stem cells, bird flu, autism, nanotechnology, dinosaurs, evolution -- the latest discoveries in astronomy, anthropology, biology, chemistry, climate and environment, computers, engineering, health and medicine, math, physics, psychology, technology, and more -- from the world's leading universities and research organizations.

07/26/2017 08:18 PM
Mineral layer around avian flu pathogen may be the cause for human infections
Avian flu can be transmitted from birds to humans; transmission among humans, however, is limited. The reason may be an eggshell-like mineral layer that the virus acquires due to the high calcium concentration in the intestines of birds. These mineralized viruses are significantly more infectious and, in addition, more robust and heat stable than the native viruses.

07/26/2017 08:16 PM
The power of perovskite
Researchers improve perovskite-based technology in the entire energy cycle, from solar cells harnessing power to LED diodes to light the screens of future electronic devices and other lighting applications.

07/26/2017 08:16 PM
Cheesemaking secret unlocked
Researchers say their new knowledge on the inner workings of a bacterium has important implications for Australia's billion dollar cheese industry. The research group has explained the regulation of an enzyme in the bacterium Lactococcus, which is used as a starter culture in cheese production.

07/26/2017 08:16 PM
Mechanisms explaining positional diversity of the hindlimb in tetrapod evolution
Elucidating how body parts in their earliest recognizable form are assembled in tetrapods during development is essential for understanding the nature of morphological evolution. Researchers found in eight tetrapod species that the position of the sacral vertebrae and the hindlimbs is determined by the initiation timing of Gdf11 gene expression. This will contribute to a forthcoming model explaining the coupling of spine and hindlimb positioning - a major step in fully understanding tetrapod evolution.

07/26/2017 08:16 PM
Rebutting the claim that antidepressants do not work
A theory that has gained considerable attention in international media suggest that antidepressant drugs, such as the SSRIs, do not exert any actual antidepressant effect. A research group has now analyzed data from clinical trials and can rebut this theory.

07/26/2017 08:16 PM
How whip-like cell appendages promote bodily fluid flow
Researchers have revealed that a molecule called Daple is essential for the correct orientation and coordinated beating of cilia on the surface of cells lining ventricles in the brain. Without Daple, the cilia develop a random arrangement and cannot produce a uniform flow of CSF. This in turn leads to a build-up of fluid, which is associated with swelling of the head, known as hydrocephalus.

07/26/2017 08:16 PM
Flexibility at work key to helping women maintain careers after childbirth
Flexibility in the workplace is the key to helping women maintain their career trajectory after childbirth, new research has shown.

07/26/2017 08:16 PM
Artificial neural networks decode brain activity during performed and imagined movements
Filtering information for search engines, acting as an opponent during a board game or recognizing images: Artificial intelligence has far outpaced human intelligence in certain tasks. Researchers are showing how ideas from computer science could revolutionize brain research. They illustrate how a self-learning algorithm decodes human brain signals that were measured by an electroencephalogram (EEG).

07/26/2017 08:16 PM
Organ crosstalk: Fatty liver can cause damage to other organs
Scientists have discovered that a fatty liver can cause damage to other organs. They demonstrate the effects of fatty liver disease on the function of the hormone-producing islet cells in the pancreas and on renal function.

07/26/2017 08:16 PM
Population health impact of infants born small for gestational age in low- and middle-income countries
Researchers have used the first international, multi-ethnic birth weight standard, known as the INTERGROWTH-21st, to describe the global burden of suboptimal fetal growth.

07/26/2017 08:16 PM
Mitochondria: A map of the cell's powerhouse
Researchers are mapping the distribution of all proteins in mitochondria for the first time.

07/26/2017 07:29 PM
Why whisky tastes better when diluted with water
There is a reason why whisky is diluted with water before being bottled. The same reason also makes many whisky enthusiasts add a few drops of water in their glasses – it makes the whisky taste better. But why is this so? Researchers have now presented an answer to this question.

07/26/2017 07:14 PM
Spoiler alert: Computer simulations provide preview of upcoming eclipse
Scientists have forecast the corona of the sun during the upcoming eclipse. The findings shed light on what the eclipse of the sun might look like Aug. 21 when it will be visible across much of the US, tracing a 70-mile-wide band across 14 states.

07/26/2017 07:14 PM
Archaeologists uncover ancient trading network in Vietnam
A team of archaeologists has uncovered a vast trading network which operated in Vietnam from around 4,500 years ago up until around 3,000 years ago.

07/26/2017 07:14 PM
Climate change and habitat conversion combine to homogenize nature
Climate change and habitat conversion to agriculture are working together to homogenize nature. In other words, the more things change, the more they are the same.

07/26/2017 07:14 PM
Histone 1, the guardian of genome stability
Genomic instability is the main risk factor for tumor development in humans. Therefore understanding its origin and and exploring therapeutic targets is paramount. Histone 1 silences a region of the genome that causes irreparable DNA damage when translated and is lethal for the organism.

07/26/2017 07:14 PM
Right kind of collaboration is key to solving environmental problems
Society's ability to solve environmental problems is tied to how different actors collaborate and the shape and form of the networks they create, says a new study.

07/26/2017 07:14 PM
Allergies: Cross-reactivity between cypress pollen and peaches/citrus fruits explained
Medical researchers have identified the likely origin of the cross-reactivity between cypress pollen, peaches and citrus fruits. Their work has shown that these sources contain allergens belonging to a new family of proteins involved in pollen food associated syndrome. This discovery paves the way for the development of novel allergy diagnostic tests.

07/26/2017 07:14 PM
Citrus fruits were the clear status symbols of the nobility in the ancient Mediterranean
New research reveals that citrons and lemons were status symbols for the ancient Roman ruling elite. It also plots the route and evolution of the citrus trade in the ancient Mediterranean.

07/26/2017 07:13 PM
Hypertension during pregnancy may affect women's long-term cardiovascular health
Women who experience hypertension during pregnancy face an increased risk of heart disease and hypertension later in life, according to a new study.

07/26/2017 06:05 AM
Athletic ability and finger length linked?
Researchers have studied the correlation between athletic ability and finger length.

07/26/2017 05:03 AM
Contraceptive pill linked to lowered risk of rheumatoid arthritis
Taking the contraceptive pill, particularly for seven or more consecutive years, is linked to a lowered risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

07/26/2017 05:02 AM
Schoolchildren who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try tobacco
New research suggests that teenagers who had tried an e-cigarette were almost four times more likely to start smoking a conventional cigarette within a year, when compared to classmates who had not.

07/26/2017 05:02 AM
In search of Edwards' pheasant: Amost extinct?
Scientists say we need to improve our information about little-known species to reduce the risk of one going extinct just because no-one is interested in looking for it.

07/26/2017 02:53 AM
Cholesterol crystals are sure sign a heart attack may loom
A new study on 240 emergency room patients shows just how much of a role a person's cholesterol plays, when in a crystallized state, during a heart attack.

07/26/2017 02:53 AM
The laws of attraction: Pheromones don't lie, fruit fly research suggests
For the first time, scientists have shown that a female fruit fly's pheromone signals can actually tell males how much energy her body has invested in egg production versus in storing away energy for her own survival. And it's a signal that she can't change in order to make herself more attractive.

07/26/2017 02:13 AM
A better way to measure mortality trends?
A new study suggests long-term mortality trends may be better understood by focusing on life-years lost -- remaining life expectancy for a decedent -- instead of solely looking at cause of death.

07/26/2017 02:13 AM
Cigarette makers shifted stance on nicotine patches, gum, study shows
Tobacco companies have known for decades that, without counseling, NRT hardly ever works, and that consumers often use it to complement smoking. This insight from the formerly secret industry documents, outlines a new report.

07/26/2017 02:13 AM
Community health workers lead to better health, lower costs for Medicaid patients
As politicians struggle to solve the nation's healthcare problems, a new study finds a way to improve health and lower costs among Medicaid and uninsured patients. Researchers showed that patients who received support from community health workers (CHWs) had 30 percent fewer hospital admissions in one year compared to those who did not receive CHW support. The results also showed reductions in cigarette smoking, obesity, diabetes severity, and mental illness.

07/26/2017 02:13 AM
Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form
What makes quasicrystals so interesting? Their unusual structure. Now scientists are actively pursuing this relatively new area of study.

07/26/2017 02:13 AM
Study validates East Antarctic ice sheet to remain stable even if western ice sheet melts
A new study validates that the central core of the East Antarctic ice sheet should remain stable even if the West Antarctic ice sheet melts.

07/26/2017 02:13 AM
Gold nanostars and immunotherapy vaccinate mice against cancer
By combining an FDA-approved cancer immunotherapy with an emerging tumor-roasting nanotechnology, researchers improved the efficacy of both therapies in a proof-of-concept study using mice. The potent combination also attacked satellite tumors and distant cancerous cells, completely curing two mice and effectively vaccinating one against the disease.

07/26/2017 02:13 AM
Loans Applications? New techniques to measure social bias in software
Today, banks are increasingly using software to decide who will get a loan, courts to judge who should be denied bail, and hospitals to choose treatments for patients. These uses of software make it critical that the software does not discriminate against groups or individuals, say computer science researchers.

07/26/2017 02:13 AM
AI implications: Engineer's model lays groundwork for machine-learning device
In what could be a small step for science potentially leading to a breakthrough, an engineer has taken steps toward using nanocrystal networks for artificial intelligence applications.

07/26/2017 02:13 AM
New gene catalog of ocean microbiome reveals surprises
Oceanographers report completing the largest single-site microbiome gene catalog constructed to date. With this new information, the team discovered nutrient limitation is a central driver in the evolution of ocean microbe genomes.

07/26/2017 12:11 AM
Disrupted gut microbiome makes children more susceptible to amoebic dysentery
Children with lower diversity of microbial species in their intestines are more susceptible to severe infection with the Entamoeba histolytica parasite, according to a new study.

07/26/2017 12:11 AM
Gene that makes large, plump tomatoes identified
Farmers can grow big, juicy tomatoes thanks to a mutation in the cell size regulator gene that occurred during the tomato domestication process.

07/26/2017 12:11 AM
Tuberculosis drug may work better than others in its class
Treatment of tuberculosis involves a combination of several drugs, sometimes including drugs from a class known as fluoroquinolones. Using computer simulations, scientists have shown that the fluoroquinolone known as moxifloxacin may be superior to two other commonly used fluoroquinolones.

07/26/2017 12:11 AM
Brain regions most likely to cause epilepsy seizures
Scientists have developed a new way to detect which areas of the brain contribute most greatly to epilepsy seizures, according to a new study. The strategy could help surgeons select specific brain areas for removal to stop seizures.

07/26/2017 12:11 AM
Worm atlas profiles gene readouts in every cell type in the animal
A worm atlas has been built that profiles gene readouts for every kind of cell in the animal. This is the first time this type of comprehensive profiling for a multi-cellular organism has been created. The study was conducted at a larval stage of the roundworm C. elegans. The resource should have many uses, such as for studies on how genetic instructions guide the formation of body parts.

07/26/2017 12:11 AM
New technique overcomes genetic cause of infertility
Scientists have created healthy offspring from genetically infertile male mice, offering a potential new approach to tackling a common genetic cause of human infertility.

07/26/2017 12:10 AM
Non-toxic, lubricant-infused coatings deter mussels and prevent their attachment by disrupting their mechanosensory and adhesive systems
Mussels are one of the worst perpetrators of biofouling, or the unwanted accumulation of organisms on underwater structures. A team of scientists has demonstrated that a lubricant-infused surface effectively prevents mussels from sticking by masking the solid surface with a layer of liquid.

07/26/2017 12:10 AM
Genome analysis with near-complete privacy possible, say researchers
It is now possible to scour complete human genomes for the presence of disease-associated genes without revealing any genetic information not directly associated with the inquiry, say researchers.

07/26/2017 12:10 AM
An unusual white dwarf may be a supernova leftover
Astronomers have identified a white dwarf star in our galaxy that may be the leftover remains of a recently discovered type of supernova.

07/26/2017 12:10 AM
New terahertz imaging approach could speed up skin cancer detection
Researchers have developed a new terahertz imaging approach that, for the first time, can acquire micron-scale resolution images while retaining computational approaches designed to speed up image acquisition.

07/26/2017 12:10 AM
New Pathology Atlas maps genes in cancer to accelerate progress in personalized medicine
A new Pathology Atlas is launched today with an analysis of all human genes in all major cancers showing the consequence of their corresponding protein levels for overall patient survival. The difference in expression patterns of individual cancers observed in the study strongly reinforces the need for personalized cancer treatment based on precision medicine.

07/26/2017 12:10 AM
Discovery could lead to new catalyst design to reduce nitrogen oxides in diesel exhaust
Researchers have discovered a new reaction mechanism that could be used to improve catalyst designs for pollution control systems to further reduce emissions of smog-causing nitrogen oxides in diesel exhaust.

07/26/2017 12:10 AM
Vitamin C may encourage blood cancer stem cells to die
Vitamin C may 'tell' faulty stem cells in the bone marrow to mature and die normally, instead of multiplying to cause blood cancers.

07/26/2017 12:10 AM
Algal blooms cost Ohio homeowners $152 million over six years
Algal blooms at two Ohio lakes cost Ohio homeowners $152 million in lost property value over six years, researchers estimate. Meanwhile, a related study suggests that algae is driving anglers away from Lake Erie, causing fishing license sales to drop at least 10 percent every time a bloom reaches a moderate level of health risk.

07/26/2017 12:10 AM
Communicating in a foreign language takes emotion out of decision-making
If you could save the lives of five people by pushing another bystander in front of a train to his death, would you do it? And should it make any difference if that choice is presented in a language you speak, but isn't your native tongue? Psychologists know communicating in a foreign language matters. In a new study, they take a major step toward understanding why.

07/26/2017 12:10 AM
Artificial womb raises hope for premature babies
Researchers hope an artificial womb used to incubate healthy baby lambs can be used in future technology for premature babies.

07/26/2017 12:10 AM
Super-photostable fluorescent labeling agent for super-resolution microscopy
Chemists have developed a super-photostable fluorescent dye, PhoxBright 430 (PB430), to visualize cellular ultrastructure by super resolution microscopy. The exceptional photostability of this new dye enables continuous STED imaging and together with its ability to fluorescently label proteins, PB430 demonstrates its use in the 3D construction and multicolor imaging of biological structures.

07/26/2017 12:08 AM
Early Indian Ocean trade routes bring chicken, black rat to eastern Africa
The earliest introduction of domestic chickens and black rats from Asia to the east coast of Africa came via maritime trade routes between the 7th and 8th centuries AD.

07/26/2017 12:08 AM
Bacteria stab amoebae with micro-daggers
Researchers have discovered a type of bacteria that uses tiny daggers to prevent itself from being eaten by amoebae. The scientists also resolved the three-dimensional structure of the mechanism that allows the micro-daggers to be shot quickly.

07/26/2017 12:08 AM
Female mouse embryos actively remove male reproductive systems
A protein called COUP-TFII determines whether a mouse embryo develops a male reproductive tract, according to new research. The discovery changes the long-standing belief that an embryo will automatically become female unless androgens, or male hormones, in the embryo make it male.

07/26/2017 12:08 AM
Antibiotics found to weaken body's ability to fight off disease
Adding another reason for doctors to avoid the overuse of antibiotics, new research shows that a reduction in the variety of microbes in the gut interferes with the immune system's ability to fight off disease.

07/25/2017 11:52 PM
Early rotator cuff surgery yields good long-term outcomes
Early surgery to repair tears of one of the shoulder rotator cuff muscles provides lasting improvement in strength, function, and other outcomes, reports a study.

07/25/2017 11:04 PM
How particular fear memories can be erased
Researchers have devised a method to selectively erase particular fear memories by weakening the connections between neurons involved in forming these memories. In their experiments, they found that fear memory can be manipulated in such a way that some beneficial memories are retained while others, detrimental to our daily life, are suppressed. The research, done using a mouse model, offers insights into how PTSD/specific phobias may be better treated.

07/25/2017 11:04 PM
Surprising discovery about how neurons talk to each other
New findings challenge existing dogma that neurons release fixed amounts of chemical signal at any one time and could have implications for brain disorders including Parkinson's and schizhophrenia.

07/25/2017 11:04 PM
Model for lighter armor developed
Engineers are working on developing new light-weight ceramic materials that resist fracture. They are working to better understand exactly how these materials, which are suited for Soldier personal protection and Army systems, fracture, and how they can be further improved. They are focusing on failure through cracking; the material eventually disintegrates into a granular-like state through a process called comminution.