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.

10/20/2017 07:38 PM
The skinny on lipid immunology
Scientists reveal new insights into the basis for T cell receptor (TCR) autoreactivity to self-phospholipids, with implications for autoimmune diseases.

10/20/2017 07:38 PM
The end of pneumonia? New vaccine offers hope
A new vaccine under development provoked an immune response to 72 forms of the bacteria that's responsible for pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis. That's up from the 23 forms of bacteria covered by current immunizations. The new vaccine, which represents the 'most comprehensive' coverage of pneumococcal disease to date, could greatly reduce the number of deaths from the disease.

10/20/2017 05:58 PM
Prozac in ocean water a possible threat to sea life
Oregon shore crabs exhibit risky behavior when they're exposed to the antidepressant Prozac, making it easier for predators to catch them, according to a new study.

10/20/2017 05:58 PM
Parents' alcohol use can set the stage for teenage dating violence, study finds
Having a parent with an alcohol use disorder increases the risk for dating violence among teenagers, according to a study.

10/20/2017 05:58 PM
Microfluidics probe 'cholesterol' of the oil industry
Researchers employ microfluidic devices to show how and why dispersants are able to break up deposits of asphaltene that hinder the flow of crude oil in wellheads and pipelines.

10/20/2017 05:57 PM
US ocean observation critical to understanding climate change, but lacks long-term national planning
Ocean observing systems are important as they provide information essential for monitoring and forecasting changes in Earth's climate on timescales ranging from days to centuries. A new report finds that continuity of ocean observations is vital to gain an accurate understanding of the climate, and calls for a decadal, national plan that is adequately resourced and implemented to ensure critical ocean information is available to understand and predict future changes.

10/20/2017 03:53 PM
To vape or not to vape? Probably: Not to vape
E-cigarettes appear to trigger unique immune responses as well as the same ones triggered by regular cigarettes, according to new research.

10/20/2017 03:53 PM
New quantum simulation protocol developed
Researchers are a step closer to understanding quantum mechanics after developing a new quantum simulation protocol.

10/20/2017 03:17 PM
Innovative smart watch and smart ring
Researchers have developed a smart watch that takes the user to another dimension and a smart ring that provides powerful feedback.

10/20/2017 03:17 PM
Researchers use novel imaging to predict spinal degeneration
A main cause for spinal disc degeneration is thought to be a change in the water content in the intervertebral disk. A research team used a novel magnetic resonance imaging technique, called apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps, which directly assessed the movements and dynamics of the water in the intervertebral disk and other spinal structures. The ADC maps provided precise assessments and correlations with degeneration.

10/20/2017 03:16 PM
Gamma rays will reach beyond the limits of light
Researchers have discovered a new way to produce high energy photon beams. The new method makes it possible to produce these gamma rays in a highly efficient way, compared with today's technique. The obtained energy is a billion times higher than the energy of photons in visible light. These high intensity gamma rays significantly exceed all known limits, and pave the way towards new fundamental studies.

10/20/2017 03:16 PM
How obesity promotes breast cancer
Obesity leads to the release of cytokines into the bloodstream which impact the metabolism of breast cancer cells, making them more aggressive as a result. The research team has already been able to halt this mechanism with an antibody treatment.

10/20/2017 03:16 PM
How the smallest bacterial pathogens outwit host immune defenses by stealth mechanisms
Despite their relatively small genome, mycoplasmas can cause persistent and difficult-to-treat infections in humans and animals. A study has shown how mycoplasmas escape the immune response. Mycoplasmas 'mask' themselves: They use their small genome in a clever way and compensate for the loss of an enzyme that is important for this process. This could be shown for the first time in vivo, thus representing a breakthrough in the research of bacterial pathogens.

10/20/2017 03:16 PM
'Antelope perfume' keeps flies away from cows
In Africa, tsetse flies transfer the sleeping sickness also to cattle. The damage is estimated to be about 4.6 billion US dollars each year. Experts have developed an innovative way of preventing the disease. Tsetse flies avoid waterbucks, a widespread antelope species in Africa. The scientists imitated the smell of these antelopes.

10/20/2017 03:16 PM
Chromosomes may be knotted
Little is known about the structures of our genetic material, chromosomes, which consist of long strings that -- according to our experience -- should be likely to become knotted. However, up to now it has not been possible to study this experimentally. Researchers have now found that chromosomes may indeed be knotted.

10/20/2017 03:16 PM
Carbon coating gives biochar its garden-greening power
New research has demonstrated how composting of biochar creates a very thin organic coating that significantly improves the biochar's fertilizing capabilities.

10/20/2017 02:30 PM
Can an aspirin a day keep liver cancer away?
A new study found that daily aspirin therapy was significantly associated with a reduced risk in hepatitis B related liver cancer.

10/20/2017 02:22 PM
Logged tropical rainforests still support biodiversity even when the heat is on
Tropical rainforests continue to buffer wildlife from extreme temperatures even after logging, a new study has revealed.

10/20/2017 02:22 PM
Physical inactivity and restless sleep exacerbate genetic risk of obesity
Low levels of physical activity and inefficient sleep patterns intensify the effects of genetic risk factors for obesity, according to new results.

10/20/2017 02:22 PM
Novel 'converter' heralds breakthrough in ultra-fast data processing at nanoscale
Scientists have recently invented a novel 'converter' that can harness the speed and small size of plasmons for high frequency data processing and transmission in nanoelectronics.

10/20/2017 02:22 PM
Insight into a hidden order seen with high field magnet
A specific uranium compound has puzzled researchers for thirty years. Although the crystal structure is simple, no one understands exactly what is happening once it is cooled below a certain temperature. Apparently, a 'hidden order' emerges, whose nature is completely unknown. Now physicists have characterized this hidden order state more precisely and studied it on a microscopic scale. To accomplish this, they utilized a high-field magnet that permits neutron experiments to be conducted under conditions of extremely high magnetic fields.

10/20/2017 02:22 PM
'Y' a protein unicorn might matter in glaucoma
A protein shaped like a 'Y' makes scientists do a double-take and may change the way they think about a protein sometimes implicated in glaucoma. The Y is a centerpiece in myocilin, binding four other components nicknamed propellers together like balloons on strings.

10/20/2017 02:22 PM
Waterside lighting drastically disrupts wildlife in the surrounding ecosystem
Streetlights near waterways attract flying insects from the water and change the predator community living in the grass beneath the lights, new research has found. The findings show that artificial night-time lighting could have implications for the surrounding ecosystem and biodiversity, which should be considered when designing new lighting concepts.

10/20/2017 02:22 PM
Life goes on for marine ecosystems after cataclysmic mass extinction
One of the largest global mass extinctions did not fundamentally change marine ecosystems, scientists have found.

10/20/2017 02:22 PM
Delayed word processing could predict patients' potential to develop Alzheimer's disease
A delayed neurological response to processing the written word could be an indicator that a patient with mild memory problems is at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, research has discovered.

10/20/2017 02:22 PM
'Selfish brain' wins out when competing with muscle power, study finds
New research on our internal trade-off when physical and mental performance are put in direct competition has found that cognition takes less of a hit, suggesting more energy is diverted to the brain than body muscle. Researchers say the findings support the 'selfish brain' theory of human evolution.

10/20/2017 02:22 PM
Cool roofs have water saving benefits too
The energy and climate benefits of cool roofs have been well established: By reflecting rather than absorbing the sun's energy, light-colored roofs keep buildings, cities, and even the entire planet cooler. Now a new study has found that cool roofs can also save water by reducing how much is needed for urban irrigation.

10/20/2017 02:22 PM
Experts recommend fewer lab tests for hospitalized patients
Experts have compiled published evidence and crafted an experience-based quality improvement blueprint to reduce repetitive lab testing for hospitalized patients.

10/20/2017 02:22 PM
New function in gene-regulatory protein discovered
Researchers show how the protein CBP affects the expression of genes through its interaction with the basal machinery that reads the instructions in our DNA.

10/19/2017 11:18 PM
NASA's MAVEN mission finds Mars has a twisted magnetic tail
Mars has an invisible magnetic 'tail' that is twisted by interaction with the solar wind, according to new research using data from NASA's MAVEN spacecraft.

10/19/2017 11:18 PM
New NASA study improves search for habitable worlds
New NASA research is helping to refine our understanding of candidate planets beyond our solar system that might support life.

10/19/2017 11:18 PM
Maternal diet may program child for disease risk, but better nutrition later can change that
A mother's diet during pregnancy, particularly one that is high-fat, may program her baby for future risk of certain diseases such as diabetes, new research shows. The new study shows that switching the offspring to a new diet -- a low-fat diet, in this case -- can reverse that programming.

10/19/2017 10:16 PM
The birth of a new protein
A yeast protein that evolved from scratch can fold into a compact three-dimensional shape -- contrary to the general understanding of young proteins. Recent evidence suggests new genes can arise from the non-coding sections, or 'junk,' DNA and that those new genes could code for brand-new proteins. Scientists thought such newly evolved proteins were works-in-progress that could not fold into complex shapes the way more ancient proteins do.

10/19/2017 10:16 PM
Be concerned about how apps collect, share health data, expert says
Americans should be concerned about how health and wellness apps collect, save and share their personal health data, a medical media expert says.

10/19/2017 10:16 PM
Eye-catching labels stigmatize many healthy foods
Labels such as organic, fair-trade and cage free may be eye-catching but are often free of any scientific basis and stigmatize many healthy foods, a new study found.

10/19/2017 10:16 PM
Two-dimensional materials gets a new theory for control of properties
Desirable properties including increased electrical conductivity, improved mechanical properties, or magnetism for memory storage or information processing may be possible because of a theoretical method to control grain boundaries in two-dimensional materials, according to materials scientists.

10/19/2017 10:16 PM
Climate shifts shorten marine food chain off California
Environmental disturbances such as El NiƱo shake up the marine food web off Southern California, new research shows, countering conventional thinking that the hierarchy of who-eats-who in the ocean remains largely constant over time.

10/19/2017 10:16 PM
The microbial anatomy of an organ
The first 3-D spatial visualization tool has been developed for mapping 'omics' data onto whole organs. The tool helps researchers and clinicians understand the effects of chemicals, such as microbial metabolites and medications, on a diseased organ in the context of microbes that also inhabit the region. The work could advance targeted drug delivery for cystic fibrosis and other conditions where medications are unable to penetrate.

10/19/2017 09:43 PM
Research yields test to predict bitter pit disorder in Honeycrisp apples
A test to determine whether bitter pit -- a disorder that blindsides apple growers by showing up weeks or months after picking -- will develop in stored Honeycrisp apples was developed by a team of researchers, promising to potentially save millions of dollars annually in wasted fruit.

10/19/2017 09:42 PM
Three million Americans carry loaded handguns daily, study finds
An estimated 3 million adult American handgun owners carry a firearm loaded and on their person on a daily basis, and 9 million do so on a monthly basis, new research indicates. The vast majority cited protection as their primary reason for carrying a firearm. It is the first research in more than 20 years to scrutinize why, how often, and in what manner US adults carry loaded handguns.

10/19/2017 09:42 PM
TBI laws effective at reducing rate of recurrent concussions, new study shows
A recent study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital done in conjunction with researchers from Colorado School of Public Health at the University at Colorado and Temple University used data from a large, national sports injury surveillance system to determine the effect of state-level TBI laws on trends of new and recurrent concussions among US high school athletes.

10/19/2017 09:42 PM
More permissive concealed-carry laws linked to higher homicide rates
Easier access to concealed firearms is associated with significantly higher rates of handgun-related homicide, according to a new study.

10/19/2017 09:42 PM
Field trips of the future?
A biologist examines the benefits and drawbacks of virtual and augmented reality in teaching environmental science.

10/19/2017 09:42 PM
Newly discovered viral marker could help predict flu severity in infected patients
Flu viruses contain defective genetic material that may activate the immune system in infected patients, and new research published in PLOS Pathogens suggests that lower levels of these molecules could increase flu severity.

10/19/2017 09:41 PM
DNA damage found in veterans with Gulf War illness
Researchers say they have found the 'first direct biological evidence' of damage in veterans with Gulf War illness to DNA within cellular structures that produce energy in the body.

10/19/2017 08:05 PM
The blob that ate the tokamak: Physicists gain understanding of bubbles at edge of plasmas
Scientists have completed new simulations that could provide insight into how blobs at the plasma edge behave. The simulations performed kinetic simulations of two different regions of the plasma edge simultaneously.

10/19/2017 08:05 PM
Using optical chaos to control the momentum of light
Controlling and moving light poses serious challenges. One major hurdle is that light travels at different speeds and in different phases in different components of an integrated circuit. For light to couple between optical components, it needs to be moving at the same momentum. Now, a team of researchers has demonstrated a new way to control the momentum of broadband light in a widely-used optical component known as a whispering gallery microcavity (WGM).

10/19/2017 07:30 PM
New tyrannosaur fossil is most complete found in Southwestern US
A fossilized skeleton of a tyrannosaur discovered in Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was airlifted by helicopter Oct 15, and delivered to the Natural History Museum of Utah where it will be uncovered, prepared, and studied. The fossil is approximately 76 million years old and is likely an individual of the species Teratophoneus curriei.

10/19/2017 07:30 PM
Studying insect behavior? Make yourself an ethoscope!
Fruit flies have surprising similarities to humans. The mysteries of a broad range of human conditions can be studied in detail in these organisms, however this often requires the use of expensive custom equipment. team of scientists now present the ethoscope -- a cheap, easy-to-use and self-made customizable piece of equipment of their invention that can be used to study flies' behavior.

10/19/2017 07:30 PM
Researchers drill down into gene behind frontotemporal lobar degeneration
Mutations in the TMEM106B gene significantly increases a person's risk of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), the second most common cause of dementia in those under 65, researchers have demonstrated. While the data confirmed the gene's clinical relevance, it didn't tell researchers how it caused the disease -- which is vital to developing new therapeutics.

10/19/2017 07:30 PM
Flu simulations suggest pandemics more likely in spring, early summer
New statistical simulations suggest that Northern Hemisphere flu pandemics are most likely to emerge in late spring or early summer at the tail end of the normal flu season, according to a new study.

10/19/2017 07:30 PM
Brain training can improve our understanding of speech in noisy places
For many people with hearing challenges, trying to follow a conversation in a crowded restaurant or other noisy venue is a major struggle, even with hearing aids. Now researchers have some good news: time spent playing a specially designed, brain-training audiogame could help.

10/19/2017 07:30 PM
Ancient DNA offers new view on saber-toothed cats' past
Researchers who've analyzed the complete mitochondrial genomes from ancient samples representing two species of saber-toothed cats have a new take on the animals' history over the last 50,000 years. The data suggest that the saber-toothed cats shared a common ancestor with all living cat-like species about 20 million years ago. The two saber-toothed cat species under study diverged from each other about 18 million years ago.

10/19/2017 07:30 PM
Gut bacteria from wild mice boost health in lab mice
Laboratory mice that are given the gut bacteria of wild mice can survive a deadly flu virus infection and fight colorectal cancer dramatically better than laboratory mice with their own gut bacteria, researchers report.

10/19/2017 07:30 PM
Evolution in your back garden: Great tits may be adapting their beaks to birdfeeders
A British enthusiasm for feeding birds may have caused UK great tits to have evolved longer beaks than their European counterparts, according to new research. The findings identify for the first time the genetic differences between UK and Dutch great tits which researchers were then able to link to longer beaks in UK birds.

10/19/2017 07:30 PM
H7N9 influenza is both lethal and transmissible in animal model for flu
In 2013, an influenza virus began circulating among poultry in China. It caused several waves of human infection and as of late July 2017, nearly 1,600 people had tested positive for avian H7N9. Nearly 40 percent of those infected had died. In 2017, a medical researcher received a sample of H7N9 virus isolated from a patient in China who had died of the flu. He and his research team subsequently began work to characterize and understand it.

10/19/2017 07:30 PM
Liquid metal discovery ushers in new wave of chemistry and electronics
Researchers use liquid metal to create atom-thick 2-D never before seen in nature. The research could transform how we do chemistry and could also be applied to enhance data storage and make faster electronics.

10/19/2017 07:30 PM
Study shows how nerves drive prostate cancer
Certain nerves sustain prostate cancer growth by triggering a switch that causes tumor vessels to proliferate, show researchers. Their earlier research -- which first implicated nerves in fueling prostate cancer -- has prompted a pilot study testing whether beta blockers (commonly used for treating hypertension) can kill cancer cells in tumors of men diagnosed with prostate cancer.

10/19/2017 07:29 PM
Brain takes seconds to switch modes during tasks
The brain rapidly switches between operational modes in response to tasks and what is replayed can predict how well a task will be completed, according to a new study in rats.

10/19/2017 07:29 PM
Tracing cell death pathway points to drug targets for brain damage, kidney injury, asthma
Scientists are unlocking the complexities of a recently discovered cell death process that plays a key role in health and disease, and new findings link their discovery to asthma, kidney injury and brain trauma. The results are the early steps toward drug development that could transform emergency and critical care treatment.