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.

06/28/2017 07:55 PM
Mildly obese fare better after major heart attack
People who survive a major heart attack often do better in the years afterward if they're mildly obese, a study by cardiologists shows.

06/28/2017 07:49 PM
Concurrent hot and dry summers more common in future
In the past, climate scientists have tended to underestimate the risk of a co-occurrence of heatwave and drought. This is the conclusion of one of the first studies to examine compound climate extremes.

06/28/2017 07:49 PM
'Bulges' in volcanoes could be used to predict eruptions
Researchers have developed a new way of measuring the pressure inside volcanoes, and found that it can be a reliable indicator of future eruptions.

06/28/2017 07:49 PM
More summer sunshine leading to increased Greenland ice melt
A marked decrease in summer cloud cover during the last 20 years has significantly accelerated melt from the Greenland ice sheet, a team of researchers has concluded.

06/28/2017 07:49 PM
Engineers design a robotic gripper for cleaning up space debris
Researchers combined gecko-inspired adhesives and a custom robotic gripper to create a device for grabbing space debris. They tested their gripper in multiple zero gravity settings, including the International Space Station.

06/28/2017 07:48 PM
Can antipoverty programs work globally?
Leaders of MIT's Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), one of world's foremost centers for antipoverty research, have developed their own formal framework for thinking about this vexing question, over the last several years. Now, in a new article, two J-PAL directors have unveiled the lab's approach.

06/28/2017 07:48 PM
How are long strands of DNA packed into tiny cells?
Scientists are a step closer to understanding how our DNA is squeezed into every cell in the body. They provide the first-ever detailed picture of the nucleosome, the most basic building block of chromosomes (the structures that house our DNA). This finding will inform research on all processes that involve chromosomes, such as gene expression and DNA repair, which are critical to the understanding of diseases such as cancer.

06/28/2017 07:48 PM
Combating chronic kidney disease with exercise
A research team is combating chronic kidney disease (CKD) with exercise. The team had patients engage in a specially designed exercise program and found that it improved their blood vessel health and exercise capacity.

06/28/2017 07:48 PM
Bacteria-coated nanofiber electrodes clean pollutants in wastewater
Researchers may have created an innovative, cost-competitive electrode material for cleaning pollutants in wastewater.

06/28/2017 06:19 PM
Heart attack shown to be 'systemic condition'
An acute heart attack should not be viewed in isolation – myocardial infarction is a "systemic" condition with an impact upon the whole body and engenders responses in other organs, such as liver and spleen, a new study concludes.

06/28/2017 06:18 PM
Brooding dinosaurs
A new method used to perform geochemical analysis of fossilized eggs from China has shown that oviraptorosaurs incubated their eggs with their bodies within a 35--40° C range, similar to extant birds today, scientists have discovered.

06/28/2017 06:18 PM
First 'haploid' human stem cells could change the face of medical research
Stem cell research holds huge potential for medicine and human health. In particular, human embryonic stem cells (ESCs), with their ability to turn into any cell in the human body, are essential to the future prevention and treatment of disease.

06/28/2017 06:17 PM
Biodegradable cleaning products and eco-friendly plastics from mushroom waste
More than 50,000 tonnes of mushroom waste are generated in Europe each week, posing an environmental challenge for the main industries that market this product worldwide. The new European project Funguschain aims to obtain high antimicrobial and antioxidant substances from these residues applicable to sectors as varied as food, cleaning or plastics.

06/28/2017 06:16 PM
Potentially lethal parasite rat lungworm found throughout Florida
Researchers have found rat lungworm, a parasitic nematode that can cause meningitis in humans and animals, in five Florida counties.

06/28/2017 06:15 PM
Sleep disturbances predict increased risk for suicidal symptoms, study finds
Sleep disturbances can warn of worsening suicidal thoughts in young adults, independent of the severity of an individual's depression, a study has found.

06/28/2017 06:15 PM
The multi-colored photons that might change quantum information science
With leading corporations now investing in highly expensive and complex infrastructures to unleash the power of quantum technologies, researchers have achieved a breakthrough in a light-weight photonic system created using on-chip devices and off-the-shelf telecommunications components. The team demonstrates that photons can become an accessible and powerful quantum resource when generated in the form of color-entangled quDits.

06/28/2017 06:15 PM
Analysis of Neanderthal teeth grooves uncovers evidence of prehistoric dentistry
A discovery of multiple toothpick grooves on teeth and signs of other manipulations by a Neanderthal of 130,000 years ago are evidence of a kind of prehistoric dentistry, according to a new study researcher.

06/28/2017 06:15 PM
Ancient antiviral defense system could revolutionize a new class of RNA-based medicine
Medicinal payload could be delivered by engineered RNAs that can be controlled by a billion year-old 'genetic fossil' found in all cells, say investigators.

06/28/2017 06:15 PM
Consensus recommendations on isotretinoin and timing of skin procedures
A new article reports on a panel of national experts that was convened and a review of the medical literature that was done to provide evidence-based recommendations regarding the safety of skin procedures performed either concurrently with, or immediately after, treatment with the acne medication isotretinoin.

06/28/2017 06:15 PM
No detectable limit to how long people can live
By analyzing the lifespan of the longest-living individuals from the USA, the UK, France and Japan for each year since 1968, investigators found no evidence for such a limit, and if such a maximum exists, it has yet to be reached or identified.

06/28/2017 06:14 PM
World first: New polymer goes for a walk when illuminated
Scientists have developed a new material that can undulate and therefore propel itself forward under the influence of light. To this end, they clamp a strip of this polymer material in a rectangular frame. When illuminated it goes for a walk all on its own. This small device, the size of a paperclip, is the world's first machine to convert light directly into walking, simply using one fixed light source.

06/28/2017 06:14 PM
Understanding early melanoma metastasis and developing new targets for treatment
A new study allows to visualize 'in vivo' how melanomas act before metastasis occurs, and how these invasive signals are reactivated when surgery is not efficient. The researchers have also identified new metastasis mechanisms induced by very small lesions in the skin, which represent new progression biomarkers and potential targets for melanoma treatment.

06/28/2017 06:14 PM
Climate change impacts Antarctic biodiversity habitat
Ice-free areas of Antarctica -- home to more than 99 percent of the continent's terrestrial plants and animals -- could expand by more than 17,000 km2 by the end of this century, a study reveals. The study is among the first to investigate how ice-free areas in Antarctica may be affected by climate change.

06/28/2017 06:14 PM
Does symmetry matter for speed? Study finds Usain Bolt may have asymmetrical running gait
World champion sprinter Usain Bolt may have an asymmetrical running gait, say researchers, throwing into question whether symmetry matters for speed. Using a 'two-mass' model for assessing patterns of ground-force application suggests Bolt's right and left legs may perform differently, defying scientific assumptions that asymmetry hinders performance. Unexpected and potentially significant asymmetry in the fastest human runner ever would help scientists better understand the basis of maximal running speeds.

06/28/2017 06:13 PM
Swimming microbots can remove pathogenic bacteria from water
The lack of clean water in many areas around the world is a persistent, major public health problem. One day, tiny robots could help address this issue by zooming around contaminated water and cleaning up disease-causing bacteria, report scientists.

06/28/2017 06:13 PM
The value of nature
Money may not grow on trees, but trees themselves and all that they provide have a dollar value nonetheless, say authors of a new report.

06/28/2017 06:13 PM
Real-time vapor analysis could improve training of explosive-detecting dogs
With a sense of smell much greater than humans, dogs are considered the gold standard for explosive detection in many situations. But that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement. In a new study, scientists report on a new, more rigorous approach to training dogs and their handlers based on real-time analysis of what canines actually smell when they are exposed to explosive materials.

06/28/2017 06:13 PM
It's kind of a drag: Engineer shows how minimizing fluid friction can make oceangoing vessels more fuel-efficient and reduce harmful emissions
Imagine walking from one side of a swimming pool to the other. Each step takes great effort -- that's what makes water aerobics such effective physical exercise.

06/28/2017 04:36 PM
Discovering, counting, cataloguing proteins
Scientists describe a well-defined mitochondrial proteome in baker's yeast, in a newly published report.

06/28/2017 04:36 PM
Study examines use of fat grafting for postmastectomy breast reconstruction
The use of fat grafting as a tool for breast reconstruction following a mastectomy may improve breast satisfaction, psychosocial well-being, and sexual well-being in patients, according to a study.

06/28/2017 03:23 PM
Microneedle patch developed for flu vaccination
An influenza vaccine can produce robust immune responses and be administered safely with an experimental patch of dissolving microneedles, shows new research. The method is an alternative to needle-and-syringe immunization; with further development, it could eliminate the discomfort of an injection as well as the inconvenience and expense of visiting a flu clinic.

06/28/2017 03:23 PM
Image analysis and artificial intelligence will change dairy farming
An early detection method for cow lameness (hoof disease), a major disease of dairy cattle, has now been developed from images of cow gait with an accuracy of 99 percent or higher by applying human gait analysis. This technique allows early detection of lameness from cow gait, which was previously difficult. It is hoped that a revolution in dairy farming can be achieved through detailed observation by AI-powered image analysis.

06/28/2017 02:59 PM
Socioeconomic status in childhood linked with cardiac structure and function in adulthood
The multicenter trial shows that low socioeconomic status in childhood increases the risk of higher left ventricular mass and poorer diastolic function in adulthood.

06/28/2017 02:59 PM
Ruthenium rules for new fuel cells
Scientists have fabricated a durable catalyst for high-performance fuel cells by attaching single ruthenium atoms to graphene.

06/28/2017 02:59 PM
Tackling iron, zinc deficiencies with 'better' bread
The health effects of zinc and iron deficiencies can be devastating, particularly in developing countries. One strategy for addressing this problem involves fertilizing crops with the micronutrients. But no one has yet figured out whether these added nutrients end up in food products made with the fortified crops. Now researchers report that this type of biofortification can boost micronutrients in bread, but other factors are also important.

06/28/2017 02:59 PM
Artists and architects think differently compared to other people
Architects, painters and sculptors conceive of spaces in different ways from other people and from each other, finds a new study.

06/28/2017 02:59 PM
Remains of early, permanent human settlement in Andes discovered
Examining human remains and other archaeological evidence from a site at nearly 12,500 feet above sea level in Peru, the scientists show that intrepid hunter-gatherers -- men, women and children -- managed to survive at high elevation before the advent of agriculture, in spite of lack of oxygen, frigid temperatures and exposure to elements.

06/28/2017 02:59 PM
Aspirin reduces risk of pre-eclampsia in pregnant women
Taking a low-dose aspirin before bed can reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia, which can cause premature birth and, in extreme cases, maternal and fetal death.

06/28/2017 02:59 PM
At-risk chronic pain patients taper opioids successfully with psychological tools
Psychological support and new coping skills are helping patients at high risk of developing chronic pain and long-term, high-dose opioid use taper their opioids.

06/28/2017 02:59 PM
Serotonin contributions to cocaine's allure
A new study reinforces long-held suspicions that the brain chemical serotonin, a molecule usually associated with mood, appetite and libido, makes a direct contribution to the actions of cocaine. Scientists can now clearly see details of how the brain uses serotonin not just to regulate mood, but also to drive both rapid and long-lasting changes in the brain. They suspect these changes may contribute to the brain modifications that ultimately trap users in an addicted state.

06/28/2017 02:59 PM
New technology aims to provide peace and positive stimulation to dementia patients
To alleviate boredom and increase engagement, elderly patients in long-term care facilities can engage with the Ambient Activity Technology device any time to view family photos, hear their favorite music, and play games.

06/28/2017 02:59 PM
How the cortex assigns credit for causality
New research affirms a key role for neurons in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in the crucial learning task of determining what caused a desired result.

06/28/2017 02:59 PM
Injectable plant-based nanoparticles delay tumor progression
Researchers discovered injecting potato virus particles into melanoma tumor sites activates an anti-tumor immune system response. And simultaneously injecting the nanoscale plant virus particles and a chemotherapy drug--doxorubicin--into tumor sites further helps halt tumor progression in mice.

06/28/2017 02:59 PM
Cheap, energy-efficient and clean reaction to make chemical feedstock
Combining experimental and computer chemistry, scientists find the conditions to break carbon-hydrogen bonds at low temperature with cheap titanium in place of rare metals.

06/28/2017 02:58 PM
Now or later: How taste and sound affect when you buy
New research finds the type of sensory experience an advertisement conjures up in our mind -- taste and touch vs. sight and sound -- has a fascinating effect on when we make purchases. The study finds that advertisements highlighting more distal sensory experiences (sight/sound) lead people to delay purchasing, while highlighting more proximal sensory experiences (touch/taste) lead to earlier purchases.

06/28/2017 02:58 PM
Unique stem cells as a potential asthma treatment
A new therapy developed through stem cell technology holds promise as a treatment for chronic asthma.

06/28/2017 02:58 PM
Long-term sustained effect of biological psoriasis treatment
Biological treatment of psoriasis shows a good efficacy in clinical trials. Since most analyses have focused on short-term outcomes of single biological agents, little has been known about long-term outcomes in clinical practice, where switching between biological agents is common. A study that followed 583 individuals for up to 10 years shows a satisfactory long-term effectiveness of biologic treatments.

06/28/2017 02:58 PM
Genomic copy number variants contribute to cognitive impairment in the UK
Genetic alterations of rare deletions or duplications of small DNA segments, called copy number variants (CNVs), have been known to increase risk of neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, and intellectual disability. Now, a new study reports that even in the absence of a disorder, people carrying a CNV associated with these disorders may have impaired cognition.

06/28/2017 02:58 PM
'Matrix' inside tissues and tumors
Scientists have developed a groundbreaking method to reveal the structure of tissues and tumors with unprecedented detail, by completely dissolving away cells and leaving the delicate extracellular matrix intact.

06/28/2017 02:58 PM
Male infertility could be linked to noisy bedrooms
Long-term exposure to a noisy environment, particularly at night, is linked to infertility in men. The researchers found that exposure above the WHO night noise level (55 dB -- equivalent to the noise of a suburban street) is linked to a significant increase in infertility.

06/28/2017 02:58 PM
Remote sensing technologies key to the future of the oil palm industry
Remote sensing technologies, using satellite and aerial data, could revolutionize the management of the oil palm industry, bringing both business and environmental benefits, say environmental experts.

06/28/2017 02:58 PM
New plant species discovered in new national park in Australia
A new species of bush tomato discovered in a recently established national park in Australia provides a compelling argument for the importance of federal investment in science and conservation.

06/28/2017 02:58 PM
Cystic fibrosis alters the structure of mucus in airways
Cystic fibrosis (CF) alters the structure of mucus produced in airway passages. In pigs affected by CF, mucus strands (made of MUC5B protein) are more tangled than normal, and the sheets of mucus (made of MUC5AC protein) that cover the strands are denser. These structural abnormalities may help explain why people with CF have difficulty clearing mucus from their lungs.

06/28/2017 02:58 PM
Mouse's view of the world, seen through its whiskers
Neuroscientists have thoroughly mapped the touch, visual and auditory regions of the brain's cortex, but how does this sensory information get processed into our perception of the world? Researchers have for the first time reconstructed the spatial map a mouse creates with its whiskers, and found evidence that layers 2 and 3 of the somatosensory cortex integrate the discret inputs from each whisker to create a smooth map of the surrounding world.

06/28/2017 02:58 PM
The trouble with being a handsome bird
Male birds often use brightly colored plumage to be attractive to females. However, such eye-catching trimmings may also attract unwanted attention from predators. Now, a new study has found that showy males indeed perceive themselves to be at a greater risk of predation.

06/28/2017 02:58 PM
Predicting eruptions using satellites and math
Volcanologists are beginning to use satellite measurements and mathematical methods to forecast eruptions and to better understand how volcanoes work, shows a new article.

06/28/2017 02:58 PM
Hacking the human brain: Lab-made synapses for artificial intelligence
One of the greatest challenges facing artificial intelligence development is understanding the human brain and figuring out how to mimic it. Now, one group reports that they have developed an artificial synapse capable of simulating a fundamental function of our nervous system -- the release of inhibitory and stimulatory signals from the same 'pre-synaptic' terminal.

06/28/2017 02:58 PM
Indoor air in schools could add to children's exposure to PCBs
The US banned PCBs nearly four decades ago, but they persist in the environment and have been found in animals and humans since then. Now researchers report that concentrations of airborne PCBs inside schools could result in some students inhaling the compounds at higher levels than they would consume through their diets. Exposure through both are lower than set limits, but cumulative amounts, researchers caution, could be concerning.

06/27/2017 09:43 PM
Genetic tests help identify relative risk of 25 cancer-associated mutations
Researchers assigned levels of risk to 25 mutations associated with breast and ovarian cancer in a large, Stanford-led study. The results may be helpful in guiding treatment and screening recommendations.

06/27/2017 09:43 PM
Protein associated with Parkinson's disease linked to human upper GI tract infections
Acute and chronic infections in a person's upper gastrointestinal tract appear to be linked to Parkinson's disease, say scientists.