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Scientists dig into the origin of organics on dwarf planet Ceres
Since NASA's Dawn spacecraft detected localized organic-rich material on Ceres, scientists have been digging into the data to explore different scenarios for its origin. After considering the viability of comet or asteroid delivery, the preponderance of evidence suggests the organics are most likely native to Ceres.
Obesity: Engineered proteins lower body weight in mice, rats and primates
Researchers have created engineered proteins that lowered body weight, bloodstream insulin, and cholesterol levels in obese mice, rats, and primates.
Duplications of noncoding DNA may have affected evolution of human-specific traits
Duplications of large segments of noncoding DNA in the human genome may have contributed to the emergence of differences between humans and nonhuman primates, according to new results. Identifying these duplications, which include regulatory sequences, and their effect on traits and behavior may help scientists explain genetic contributions to human disease.
Online resource enables open data sharing for rare Mendelian diseases
MyGene2, a new open data resource, helps patients with rare genetic conditions, clinicians, and researchers share information, connect with one another, and enable faster gene discovery.
Understanding the coevolving web of life as a network
Coevolution, which occurs when species interact and adapt to each other, is often studied in the context of pair-wise interactions between mutually beneficial symbiotic partners. But many species have mutualistic interactions with multiple partners, leading to complex networks of interacting species.
New material for digital memories of the future
Scientists have developed the first material with conductivity properties that can be switched on and off using ferroelectric polarization.
At tremendous precision, the proton and antiproton still seem identical
Using a novel two-particle measurement method, a group of researchers measured the magnetic moment of the antiproton at a precision 350 times higher than any previous measurement. The result shows that the magnetic moments of the proton and antiproton are tremendously close, meaning that so-called CPT asymmetry -- a key factor in the lack of antimatter -- must be very small if it exists at all.
Nature or nurture£ Innate social behaviors in the mouse brain
The brain circuitry that controls innate, or instinctive, behaviors such as mating and fighting was thought to be genetically hardwired. Not so, neuroscientists now say.
Riddle of matter remains unsolved: Proton and antiproton share fundamental properties
Physicists have been able to measure the magnetic force of antiprotons with almost unbelievable precision.
Inflammation trains the skin to heal faster
Stem cells in the skin remember an injury, helping them close recurring wounds faster, researchers have found. The discovery could advance research and treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory diseases.
Petals produce a 'blue halo' that helps bees find flowers
Latest research has found that several common flower species have nanoscale ridges on the surface of their petals that meddle with light when viewed from certain angles.
Solar eruptions could electrify Martian moons
Powerful solar eruptions could electrically charge areas of the Martian moon Phobos to hundreds of volts, presenting a complex electrical environment that could possibly affect sensitive electronics carried by future robotic explorers, according to a new NASA study. The study also considered electrical charges that could develop as astronauts transit the surface on potential human missions to Phobos.
For $1000, anyone can purchase online ads to track your location and app use
New research finds that for a budget of roughly $1000, it is possible for someone to track your location and app use by purchasing and targeting mobile ads. The team hopes to raise industry awareness about the potential privacy threat.
Illinois sportfish recovery a result of 1972 Clean Water Act, scientists report
Populations of largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish and other sportfish are at the highest levels recorded in more than a century in the Illinois River, according to a new report. Their dramatic recovery, from populations close to zero near Chicago throughout much of the 20th century, began just after implementation of the Clean Water Act, the researchers say.
New findings explain how UV rays trigger skin cancer
Melanoma, a cancer of skin pigment cells called melanocytes, will strike an estimated 87,110 people in the US in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A fraction of those melanomas come from pre-existing moles, but the majority of them come from sources unknown -- until now.
DNA tests on albatross excrement reveal secret diet of top predator
A study that used DNA tests to analyse the scats of one of the world's most numerous albatrosses has revealed surprising results about the top predator's diet. DNA analysis of 1460 scats from breeding sites around the Southern Ocean has shown that the diet of black-browed albatrosses contains a much higher proportion of jellyfish than previously thought.
Competing forces: How molecules maintain their structure
A double helix twisted around itself: this is the distinctive structure of DNA, which is made up of large molecules. Using synthetically produced molecules, chemists and physicists have investigated the forces which are at work inside the molecule to give it its three-dimensional structure.
Ancient, lost, mountains in the Karoo reveals the secrets of massive extinction event
A researcher studied the fossil-rich sediments present in the Karoo, deposited during the tectonic events that created the Gondwanides, and found that the vertebrate animals in the area started to either go extinct or become less common much earlier than what was previously thought.
Hardy corals make their moves to build new reefs from scratch
Resilient species of coral can move to inhospitable areas and lay the foundations for new reefs, a study shows.
Dutch courage: Alcohol improves foreign language skills
A new study shows that bilingual speakers' ability to speak a second language is improved after they have consumed a low dose of alcohol.
Death by a thousand cuts£ Not for small populations
New research provides a look at how certain species survive by evolving a greater ability to weed out harmful mutations -- a new concept called 'drift robustness'.
One step closer toward a treatment for Alzheimer's disease£
Scientists have characterized a new class of drugs as potential therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease and discovered a piece in the puzzle of how they would work.
New clues to treat Alagille Syndrome from zebrafish
A new study identifies potential new therapeutic avenues for patients with Alagille syndrome, a rare genetic disorder caused by mutations primarily in the JAGGED1 gene.
Stiff fibers spun from slime
Nanoparticles from the secretion of velvet worms form recyclable polymer fibers.
Turning brain cells into skin cells
A new study reveals that it is possible to repurpose the function of different mature cells across the body and harvest new tissue and organs from these cells.
Nanoelectronics breakthrough could lead to more efficient quantum devices
Researchers have made a breakthrough that could help your electronic devices get even smarter. Their findings examine electron behavior within nanoelectronics, as outlined in a new article.
Mass killings happen randomly, yet rate has remained steady, study finds
Mass killings may have increasing news coverage, but the events themselves have happened at a steady rate for more than a decade, according to a new study. Furthermore, some types of mass-killing events seem to occur randomly over time, making prediction difficult and response crucial.
Life in the city: Living near a forest keeps your amygdala healthier
A new study examined the relationship between the availability of nature near city dwellers' homes and their brain health. Its findings are relevant for urban planners among others.
Cocaine use during adolescence is even more harmful than during adulthood
Scientists found that addicts who began using cocaine before and after the age of 18 showed differences in sustained attention and working memory, among other brain functions. The research, made under controlled drug abstinence condition, measured cocaine's impact on more than a hundred drug users' cognition, and recommended multidisciplinary treatment for patients with an accentuated cognitive deficit.
Customizing catalysts to boost product yields, decrease separation costs
For some crystalline catalysts, what you see on the surface is not always what you get in the bulk. Investigators discovered that treating a complex oxide crystal with either heat or chemicals caused different atoms to segregate on the surface, i.e., surface reconstruction. Those differences created catalysts with dissimilar behaviors, which encouraged different reaction pathways and ultimately yielded distinct products.
Reducing power plants' freshwater consumption with new silica filter
Power plants draw more freshwater than any other consumer in the United States, accounting for more than 50 percent of the nation's freshwater use at about 500 billion gallons daily. To help save this water, researchers have developed a new silica filter for power plant cooling waters that decreases the amount of freshwater power plants consume by increasing the number of times cooling tower water can be reused and recycled.
A mission to Mars could make its own oxygen thanks to plasma technology
Plasma technology could hold the key to creating a sustainable oxygen supply on Mars, a new study has found. It suggests that Mars, with its 96 per cent carbon dioxide atmosphere, has nearly ideal conditions for creating oxygen from CO2 through a process known as decomposition.
Global calcium consumption appears low, especially in Asia
A new systematic review of global daily calcium consumption suggests substantial regional differences -- it's lowest in East Asia and highest in Northern Europe.
Electrode materials from the microwave oven
Power on the go is in demand: The higher the battery capacity, the larger the range of electric cars and the longer the operating time of cell phones and laptops. Researchers have now developed a process that allows a fast, simple, and cost-effective production of the promising cathode material lithium cobalt phosphate in high quality.
Potential human habitat located on the moon
A new study confirms the existence of a large open lava tube in the Marius Hills region of the moon, which could be used to protect astronauts from hazardous conditions on the surface.
Force field analysis provides clues to protein-ion interaction
The importance of proteins and metal ion interactions is well understood, but the mechanistic interactions between the two are still far from a complete picture. Researchers are working to quantitatively describe protein-ion interactions using what is called an atomic multipole optimized energetics for biomolecular applications force field.
Water droplet physics: The drop that's good to the very end
Two researchers, using laser-flash photography of microscopic droplet-particle collisions, have discovered that water droplets still have liquid tricks to reveal. Previous research has primarily examined droplet collisions with flat surfaces, such as a wall, but this research team examined the less studied case of a droplet having a head-on collision with a solid, spherical particle.
Active sieving could improve dialysis and water purification filters
Physicists have proven theoretically that active sieving, as opposed to its passive counterpart, can improve the separation abilities of filtration systems. Active sieving also has the potential to filter molecules based on movement dynamics, opening up a whole new avenue in the field of membrane science based on the ability to tune osmotic pressure.
Origami lattice paves the way for new noise-dampening barriers on the road
Researchers have brought a new method into the sound-dampening fold, demonstrating an origami lattice prototype that can potentially reduce acoustic noise on roadways. The technique allows researchers to selectively dampen noise at various frequencies by adjusting the distance between noise-diffusing elements.
The puzzle to plugging the worst natural gas release in history
By the time scientists visited the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility in December 2015, the SS-25 well blowout had been leaking natural gas into the air for more than six weeks. The notoriously strong winds at Aliso Canyon carried the natural gas and its added odorant to the nearby Porter Ranch neighborhood, leading to thousands of families evacuating their homes.
Workers may 'choke' under pressure of non-monetary incentives
Competition for non-monetary awards can have adverse effects on performance and may cause employees to “choke” under pressure, according to a new study.
Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
Many tumors possess mechanisms to avoid destruction by the immune system. For instance, they misuse the natural “brakes” in the immune defense mechanism, which normally prevent an excessive immune response. Researchers have now been able to take off one of these brakes. The study could pave the way for more effective cancer therapies, they say.
Ancient preen oil: Researchers discover 48-million-year-old lipids in a fossil bird
As a rule, soft parts do not withstand the ravages of time; hence, the majority of vertebrate fossils consist only of bones. Under these circumstances, a new discovery from the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Messel Pit” near Darmstadt in Germany comes as an even bigger surprise: a 48-million-year old skin gland from a bird, containing lipids of the same age. The oldest lipids ever recorded in a fossil vertebrate were used by the bird to preen its plumage.
Gene therapy can cure lameness in horses, research finds
Injecting DNA into injured horse tendons and ligaments can cure lameness, new research has found.
Space greens beat the blues
Where people will go in the cosmos, plants will go, say researchers in a new report. Plants may also play a key role in maintaining the psychological well-being of space crews. The next frontier of space plant experimentation is to examine the psychological impact of plant life on astronauts.
High risk of injury in young elite athletes
Every week, an average of three in every ten adolescent elite athletes suffer an injury. Worst affected are young women, and the risk of injury increases with low self-esteem, especially in combination with less sleep and higher training volume and intensity, research from in Sweden shows.
Mouse studies shed light on how protein controls heart failure
A new study on two specially bred strains of mice has illuminated how abnormal addition of the chemical phosphate to a specific heart muscle protein may sabotage the way the protein behaves in a cell, and may damage the way the heart pumps blood around the body.
Yeast spotlights genetic variation's link to drug resistance
Researchers have shown that genetic diversity plays a key role in enabling drug resistance to evolve. Scientists show that high genetic diversity can prime new mutations that cause drug resistance. The study has implications for our understanding of the evolution of resistance to antimicrobial and anticancer drugs.
Bridging the terahertz gap
Researchers are exploring the possibility of using an infrared frequency comb to generate elusive terahertz frequencies. These frequencies -- which lie in the electromagnetic spectrum between radio waves and infrared light -- have long promised to transform communications and sensing but are very challenging to source. By harnessing a recently discovered laser state, researchers have discovered an infrared frequency comb in a quantum cascade laser that offers a new way to generate terahertz frequencies.
Art advancing science at the nanoscale
Could studying molecular biology ever be as fun as watching a Star Wars movie£ Two scientists decided to create their own science film to entertain viewers, and ended up making new scientific discoveries in the process. The researchers-turned-filmmakers used a novel combination of computer animation and simulation softwares to create a scientific model that is accurate down to the atomic scale, and hope that their success inspires more scientists to approach their work like artists.
MRI may predict neurological outcomes for cardiac arrest survivors
MRI-based measurements of the functional connections in the brain can help predict long-term recovery in patients who suffer neurological disability after cardiac arrest, according to new research.
Newborns with trisomy 13 or 18 benefit from heart surgery, study finds
Heart surgery significantly decreases in-hospital mortality among infants with either of two genetic disorders that cause severe physical and intellectual disabilities, according to a new study.
Battling flames increases firefighters' exposure to carcinogens
The threat of getting burned by roaring flames is an obvious danger of firefighting, but other health risks are more subtle. For example, firefighters have been found to develop cancer at higher rates than the general population. Now researchers have measured how much firefighters' exposure to carcinogens and other harmful compounds increases when fighting fires. Their study also points to one possible way to reduce that exposure.
Arsenic in domestic well water could affect 2 million people in the US
Clean drinking water can be easy to take for granted if your home taps into treated water sources. But more than 44 million people in the U.S. get their water from private domestic wells, which are largely unregulated. Of those, a new report estimates that about 2 million people could be exposed to high levels of naturally occurring arsenic in their water.
New Amazon threat£ Deforestation from mining
Sprawling mining operations in Brazil have caused roughly 10 percent of all Amazon rainforest deforestation between 2005 and 2015 -- much higher than previous estimates -- says the first comprehensive study of mining deforestation in the iconic tropical rainforest. Surprisingly, the majority of mining deforestation (a full 90%) occurred outside the mining leases granted by Brazil's government, the new study finds.
Anxiety and depression linked to migraines
In a study of 588 patients who attended an outpatient headache clinic, more frequent migraines were experienced by participants with symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Healthy coral populations produce a surprising number of offspring
Healthy coral populations can produce up to 200 times more juvenile corals than degraded coral populations nearby, according to a new study.
Gentle touch soothes the pain of social rejection
The gentle touch of another individual soothes the effects of social exclusion, one of the most emotionally painful human experiences, according to new research.
New membrane makes separating methane and carbon dioxide more efficient
To make natural gas and biogas suitable for use, the methane has to be separated from the carbon dioxide. This involves the use of membranes: filters that stop the methane and let the CO2 pass through. Researchers in Belgium have developed a new membrane that makes the separation process much more effective.
New simple method determines rate at which we burn calories walking up, down, flat
A new way to predict the energy a person expends walking will help predict and monitor the physiological status of walkers, including foot soldiers. Researchers have developed the Army-funded method, which significantly improves on two existing standards, and relies on three readily available variables. Accurate prediction is important because the rate at which people burn calories walking can vary tenfold depending on speed, carried load and whether uphill, at-grade or downhill.
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