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.

02/23/2018 09:40 PM
Financial structure of early childhood education requires overhaul to make it accessible and affordable, report says
High-quality early care and education (ECE) is critical to positive child development and has the potential to generate economic returns, but the current financing structure of ECE leaves many children without access to high-quality services and does little to strengthen the ECE workforce, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

02/23/2018 09:40 PM
Short-term use of IV devices is common -- and risky -- study shows
Many hospital patients get medicine or nutrition delivered straight into their bloodstream through a tiny device called a PICC. In just a decade, it's become the go-to device for intravenous care. But a new study finds that one in every four times a PICC gets inserted, the patient didn't need it long enough to justify the risks it can pose. And nearly one in ten of those patients suffered a complication linked to the device.

02/23/2018 08:19 PM
Young children use physics, not previous rewards, to learn about tools
Children as young as seven apply basic laws of physics to problem-solving, rather than learning from what has previously been rewarded, suggests new research.

02/23/2018 08:19 PM
Metalens combined with an artificial muscle
Inspired by the human eye, researchers have developed an adaptive metalens that is essentially a flat, electronically controlled artificial eye. The adaptive metalens simultaneously controls for three of the major contributors to blurry images: focus, astigmatism, and image shift.

02/23/2018 08:19 PM
Charging ahead to higher energy batteries
Researchers have developed a new way to improve lithium ion battery efficiency. Through the growth of a cubic crystal layer, the scientists have created a thin and dense connecting layer between the electrodes of the battery.

02/23/2018 08:18 PM
Molecular Trojan horse delivers chemotherapeutic drug to cancer cells
Researchers have discovered a way for chemotherapy drug paclitaxel to target migrating, or circulating, cancer cells, which are responsible for the development of tumor metastases. Until now, paclitaxel has only been used to target rapidly dividing cancer cells. The team was successful in getting the drug to piggyback on 123B9, an agent they devised to target an oncogene called EphA2.

02/23/2018 08:18 PM
Ice chips only? Study questions restrictions on oral intake for women in labor
At most US maternity units, women in labor are put on nil per os (NPO) status -- they're not allowed to eat or drink anything, except ice chips. But new nursing research questions that policy, showing no increase in risks for women who are allowed to eat and drink during labor.

02/23/2018 08:18 PM
Link between surface-water salinity and climate change examined
New research explores the impact of de-icing salt from roads and highways on a local watershed. The findings offer hope for the watershed's future surface-water chloride concentrations.

02/23/2018 08:18 PM
Crop-saving soil tests now at farmers' fingertips
Soil pathogen testing -- critical to farming, but painstakingly slow and expensive -- will soon be done accurately, quickly, inexpensively and onsite, thanks to new research.

02/23/2018 08:18 PM
Why are there so many types of lizards?
Researchers have sequenced the complete genetic code -- the genome -- of several vertebrate species from Panama. They found that changes in genes involved in the interbrain (the site of the pineal gland and other endocrine glands), for color vision, hormones and the colorful dewlap that males bob to attract females, may contribute to the formation of boundaries between species. Genes regulating limb development also evolved especially quickly.

02/23/2018 06:20 PM
Prevention is better than cure: Targeted vaccination to halt epidemics
Scientists simulated real-world social networks to assess the best strategies for halting epidemics.

02/23/2018 06:19 PM
NASA's SDO Reveals How Magnetic Cage on the Sun Stopped Solar Eruption
A dramatic magnetic power struggle at the Sun's surface lies at the heart of solar eruptions, new research shows.

02/23/2018 06:19 PM
China's two-child policy may exacerbate gender inequality
Since China ended its one-child policy allowing all families to have up to two children, an additional 90 million women have become eligible to have a second child. But new sociology research suggests the new universal two-child policy could be negatively affecting women's status and gender equality.

02/23/2018 05:24 PM
Children's learning is not affected by repeated sick days with fever and infections
Whereas severe infections with long-term hospitalizations can make it more difficult for a child to pass the 9th grade exam, recurring less serious severe infections do not affect children's learning.

02/23/2018 05:23 PM
Model based on hydrothermal sources evaluate possibility of life on Jupiter's icy moon
Scientists compare primitive Earth scenario with satellite Europa's conditions; the Jupiterian moon could host microorganisms at the bottom of a huge warm ocean located underneath its frozen crust.

02/23/2018 05:23 PM
Private browsing gets more private
A new system uses JavaScript decryption algorithms embedded in web pages and code obfuscation to patch security holes left open by web browsers' private-browsing functions.

02/23/2018 05:23 PM
Attosecond physics: A keen sense for molecules
Laser physicists have developed an extremely powerful broadband infrared light source. This light source opens up a whole new range of opportunities in medicine, life science, and material analysis.

02/23/2018 05:23 PM
The way streets and buildings are arranged makes a big difference in how heat builds up
A new study shows a way to dial down the urban heat island effects that can pump up city temperatures, through different city planning based on classical physics formulas.

02/23/2018 05:23 PM
Looking for an off switch for celiac disease
New research identifies an enzyme that turns off transglutaminase 2, potentially paving the way for new treatments for celiac disease.

02/23/2018 05:23 PM
Ice chips only? Study questions restrictions on oral intake for women in labor
At most US maternity units, women in labor are put on nil per os (NPO) status -- they're not allowed to eat or drink anything, except ice chips. But new nursing research questions that policy, showing no increase in risks for women who are allowed to eat and drink during labor.

02/23/2018 05:23 PM
New device for low-cost single-cell analysis identifies fibroblast subtypes in rheumatoid arthritis patients
Researchers have taken steps to facilitate broad access to single-cell sequencing by developing a 3-D-printed, portable and low-cost microfluidic controller. To demonstrate the utility of the instrument in clinical environments, the researchers deployed the device to study synovial tissue from patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

02/23/2018 05:23 PM
On second thought, the Moon's water may be widespread and immobile
A new analysis of data from two lunar missions finds evidence that the Moon's water is widely distributed across the surface and is not confined to a particular region or type of terrain.

02/23/2018 04:38 PM
Scientists take step toward safer batteries by trimming lithium branches
Researchers have found a new way to curb some of the potential dangers posed by lithium ion batteries. Repeated lithium deposition/dissolution during charge/discharge can cause serious accidents due to the deposition of lithium dendrites that penetrate the separator and induce internal short-circuiting. The researchers hope to solve the issues with a plating technology and eventually achieve a compact and high-capacity battery.

02/23/2018 04:15 PM
Portable ultrasound: Post-prison follow up could improve care of patients with kidney disease
How using portable ultrasound can help better detect fluid in the lungs of people with end-stage renal disease and a proposed better way to help inmates with ESRD navigate the free world.

02/23/2018 04:15 PM
Domestic goat dating back to the Neolithic Corded Ware period identified in Finland
Goat hairs have been found in a grave structure that was discovered in the 1930s in Kauhava, western Finland. These are the oldest animal hairs found in Finland. From the perspective of Finnish prehistory, the finding supports the evidence of animal husbandry practised during the Corded Ware period, while also revealing details of burial rituals.

02/23/2018 04:15 PM
Stem cell study may result in stronger muscles in old age
As we grow older, our muscular function declines. A new study shows how an unexpectedly high number of mutations in the stem cells of muscles impair cell regeneration. This discovery may result in new medication to build stronger muscles even when in old age.

02/23/2018 04:15 PM
Complex inhalers could prevent some patients from taking medicine, study suggests
Respiratory disease patients with arthritis could struggle to manage their conditions because their inhalers are too fiddly for them to use, new research has found.

02/23/2018 03:06 PM
New approach to improve nitrogen use, enhance yield, and promote flowering in rice
Using nitrogen fertilizer increases crop yields, but excess runoff causes environmental pollution. Moreover, in grains such as rice, large amounts of nitrogen fertilizer can delay flowering, leaving the crop vulnerable to late-season cold weather. A recent study has identified a rice nitrate transporter that can be overexpressed to increase grain yield and accelerate flowering. This approach has the potential to improve grain yields while avoiding the downside of late maturation.

02/23/2018 02:24 PM
New link between gut bacteria and obesity
Researchers have discovered a new link between gut bacteria and obesity. They found that certain amino acids in our blood can be connected to both obesity and the composition of the gut microbiome.

02/23/2018 02:21 PM
Almost all adolescents in an economically disadvantaged urban population exposed to tobacco smoke
Ninety-four percent of adolescents ages 13 to 19 in an economically disadvantaged, largely minority population in San Francisco had measurable levels of a biomarker specific for exposure to tobacco smoke (NNAL).

02/23/2018 02:21 PM
Evolutionary transition to destructive cancer
In a new study, researchers explore how evolutionary processes guide the pathways of cells. Their results point to influences leading some cells to remain stable over time while driving others to become cancerous and expand without limit.

02/23/2018 02:21 PM
Playing both ends: Amphibian adapted to varied evolutionary pressures
Caecilian, Siphonops annulatus, a limbless amphibian found throughout Brazil, has a concentration of enlarged mucous glands in its head region and a concentration of enlarged poison glands in its posterior region. These concentration appear to have evolved from different selective pressures: the ability to tunnel into the ground and to defend oneself from predators.

02/23/2018 02:21 PM
The 'loudness' of our thoughts affects how we judge external sounds
The 'loudness' of our thoughts -- or how we imagine saying something -- influences how we judge the loudness of real, external sounds.

02/23/2018 02:21 PM
Transforming patient health care and well-being through lighting
The world of health care is changing rapidly and there is increased interest in the role that light and lighting can play in improving health outcomes for patients and providing healthy work environments for staff, according to many researchers.

02/23/2018 02:21 PM
Fear and hoping: Adding hope to health messages may motivate better behaviors
While fear about health concerns may grip people, adding a little hope to a message might make people more willing to take preventative actions, according to researchers.

02/23/2018 04:06 AM
Younger age at diabetes diagnosis is linked to higher risk of death from heart disease and stroke, yet lower risk of cancer death
New research shows that the earlier a person is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the higher their risk of death from heart disease and stroke, but, unusually, the lower their risk of death from cancer.

02/22/2018 10:14 PM
Analysis finds lower IQ in children with chronic kidney disease
An analysis of published studies indicates that children with chronic kidney disease may have lower intellectual functioning compared than children in the general population. Compared with children with mild-to-moderate stage kidney disease and with kidney transplants, children on dialysis had the lowest IQ scores. Deficits were evident for attention, memory, and executive function domains.

02/22/2018 10:14 PM
Mutation explains why some people are more vulnerable to viral brain infection
Scientists identified mutations in a single gene that impair immunity to viruses in a region of the brain called the brain stem.

02/22/2018 09:21 PM
With cost removed, women choose more effective contraceptive methods
Researchers evaluated women's contraception choices if cost is not a factor.

02/22/2018 09:21 PM
Opioid abuse leads to heroin use and a hepatitis C epidemic, researcher says
Heroin is worse than other drugs because people inject it much sooner, potentially resulting in increased risk of injection-related epidemics such as hepatitis C and HIV, a new study shows. As more people use opioids, many switch to heroin because it's more potent and cheaper -- a trend that complicates disease prevention as health officials crack down on opioids.

02/22/2018 09:21 PM
Sweet, bitter, fat: Genetics play a role in kids' snacking patterns
The types of snacks a child chooses could be linked to genetics, a new study found. The study investigated whether genetic variants in taste receptors related to sweet, fat and bitter tastes influence the snacks preschoolers choose and found nearly 80 per cent carried at least one of these genotypes that could predispose them to poor snacking habits. These findings could help parents tailor their kids' diets based on their genetics of taste.

02/22/2018 09:21 PM
Few Chicagoland wetlands left without non-native species, study finds
The wetlands in and around Chicago are overwhelmingly invaded by non-native plants, according to a new study. The study, which pulls together species occurrence data from over 2,000 wetlands in the urban region, is the first to describe wetland invasion patterns on such a large scale in the Chicagoland area.

02/22/2018 09:21 PM
Scientists isolate cancer stem cells using novel method
Researchers have devised a new technique to isolate aggressive cells thought to form the root of many hard-to-treat metastasized cancers -- a significant step toward developing new drugs that might target these cells.

02/22/2018 09:21 PM
The global footprint of fisheries
The global fishing fleet is so big it can be seen from space. Really.

02/22/2018 09:21 PM
Infants are able to learn abstract rules visually
Three-month-old babies cannot sit up or roll over, yet they are already capable of learning patterns from simply looking at the world around them, according to a recent study. For the first time, the researchers show that 3- and 4-month-old infants can successfully detect visual patterns and generalize them to new sequences.

02/22/2018 09:21 PM
Beetroot juice supplements may help certain heart failure patients
Beetroot juice supplements may help enhance exercise capacity in patients with heart failure, according to a new proof-of-concept study. Exercise capacity is a key factor linked to these patients' quality of life and even survival.

02/22/2018 09:21 PM
Turning light upside down
Researchers have developed a 'hyperbolic metasurface' on which light propagates with completely reshaped wavefronts. The achievement towards a more precise control and monitoring of light is particularly relevant to the technological challenges of miniaturizing optical devices for sensing and signal processing.

02/22/2018 09:21 PM
New crystal structures reveal mysterious mechanism of gene regulation by the 'magic spot'
Using an innovative crystallization technique for studying 3D structures of gene transcription machinery, researchers revealed new insights into the long debated action of the 'magic spot' -- a molecule that controls gene expression in E. coli and many other bacteria when the bacteria are stressed. The study contributes to fundamental understanding of how bacteria adapt and survive under adverse conditions and provides clues about key processes that could be targeted in the search for new antibiotics.

02/22/2018 09:21 PM
Researchers adapt HIV test in developing rapid diagnostic test for Zika virus
Researchers are developing a novel test for Zika virus that uses saliva to identify diagnostic markers of the virus in a fraction of the time of current commercial tests.

02/22/2018 09:20 PM
Improved Hubble yardstick gives fresh evidence for new physics in the universe
Astronomers have used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to make the most precise measurements of the expansion rate of the universe since it was first calculated nearly a century ago. Intriguingly, the results are forcing astronomers to consider that they may be seeing evidence of something unexpected at work in the universe.

02/22/2018 09:19 PM
As pediatric use of iNO increased, mortality rates dropped
Scientists have analyzed data from pediatric patient visits over a 10-year period at 47 children's hospitals and found as inhaled nitric oxide use and costs increased mortality rates dropped modestly.

02/22/2018 08:02 PM
Monkey Vocabulary Decoded
From short 'tsiks' and 'ekks' to drawn-out 'phees' -- all the sounds produced by marmoset monkeys are made up of individual syllables of fixed length, according to a new study. The smallest units of vocalization and their rhythmic production in the brain of our relatives could also have been a prerequisite of human speech.

02/22/2018 07:51 PM
Surprising new study redraws family tree of domesticated and 'wild' horses
New research overturns a long-held assumption that Przewalski's horses, native to the Eurasian steppes, are the last wild horse species on Earth.

02/22/2018 07:51 PM
DNA gets away: Scientists catch the rogue molecule that can trigger autoimmunity
A research team has discovered the process -- and filmed the actual moment -- that can change the body's response to a dying cell. Importantly, what they call the 'Great Escape' moment may one day prove to be the crucial trigger for autoimmune diseases like arthritis.

02/22/2018 07:51 PM
Newly designed molecule binds nitrogen
Chemists have developed a boron-based molecule capable of binding nitrogen without assistance from a transition metal. This might be the first step towards the energy-saving production of fertilizers.

02/22/2018 07:51 PM
Personalized stem cell treatment may offer relief for multiple sclerosis
Scientists have shown in mice that skin cells re-programmed into brain stem cells, transplanted into the central nervous system, help reduce inflammation and may be able to help repair damage caused by multiple sclerosis (MS).

02/22/2018 07:51 PM
Evolutionary change in protein function respects biophysical principles
Some molecular biologists who study the proteins that regulate cell operations do not confine their research to understanding the molecules' current roles. They also look deep into the proteins' evolutionary past to explore what structures have allowed proteins with new functions to develop in response to new needs.

02/22/2018 07:50 PM
Understanding the wetting of micro-textured surfaces can help give them new functionalities
The wetting and adhesion characteristics of solid surfaces critically depend on their fine structures. However, until now, our understanding of exactly how the sliding behavior of liquid droplets depends on surface microstructures has been limited. Now, physicists have conducted experimental and theoretical studies on the friction of liquid droplets on micro-structured surfaces.

02/22/2018 07:50 PM
Developing reliable quantum computers
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can't manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to ensure it is working reliably? Depending on the algorithmic task, this could be an easy or a very difficult certification problem. An international team of researchers has taken an important step towards solving a difficult variation of this problem, using a statistical approach.

02/22/2018 07:50 PM
Quantum recurrence: Everything goes back to the way it was
When a complex system is left alone, it will return to its initial state with almost perfect precision. Gas particles in a container, for example, will return almost exactly to their starting positions after some time. For decades, scientists have investigated how this 'Poincaré Recurrence Theorem' can be applied to the world of quantum physics. Now, researchers have successfully demonstrated a kind of 'Poincaré recurrence' in a multi-particle quantum system.