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News (ScienceDaily Headlines)

  • 'Virtual safe space' to help bumblebees

    The many threats facing bumblebees can be tested using a 'virtual safe space.'
  • Cheap, small carbon nanotubes

    Carbon nanotubes are supermaterials that can be stronger than steel and more conductive than copper, but they're rare because, until now, they've been incredibly expensive.
  • A promising target in the quest for a 1-million-year-old Antarctic ice core

    The oldest ice core so far provides 800,000 years of our planet's climate history. A field survey in Antarctica has pinpointed a location where an entire million years of undisturbed ice might be preserved intact.
  • Microplastics may be abundant in the surface sediments of Baynes Sound and Lambert Channel

    Microplastics were found at all 16 sites studied in Baynes Sound and Lambert Channel, British Columbia, and were most abundant in the sediments of Henry Bay and Metcalfe Bay, according to a new study.
  • In the beginning was the phase separation

    The question of the origin of life remains one of the oldest unanswered scientific questions. A team has now shown for the first time that phase separation is an extremely efficient way of controlling the selection of chemical building blocks and providing advantages to certain molecules.
  • Early-life obesity impacts children's learning and memory, study suggests

    A new study found that children on the threshold of obesity or overweight in the first two years of life had lower perceptual reasoning and working memory scores than lean children when tested at ages five and eight. The study also indicated that IQ scores may be lower for higher-weight children.
  • 'Uniquely human' muscles have been discovered in apes

    Muscles believed to be unique to humans have been discovered in several ape species, challenging long-held anthropocentric theories on the origin and evolution of human soft tissues. This questions the view that certain muscles evolved to provide special adaptations for human traits, such as walking on two legs, tool use, and sophisticated vocal communication and facial expressions. The findings highlight that thorough knowledge of ape anatomy is necessary for a better understanding of human evolution.
  • Streams may emit more carbon dioxide in a warmer climate

    Streams and rivers could pump carbon dioxide into the air at increasing rates if they continue to warm, potentially compounding the effects of global warming, a new worldwide analysis has shown.
  • Fleet of autonomous boats could service cities to reduce road traffic

    Researchers have designed a fleet of autonomous boats that offer high maneuverability and precise control. The boats can also be rapidly 3-D printed using a low-cost printer, making mass manufacturing more feasible.
  • A first look at the earliest decisions that shape a human embryo

    For the first time, scientists have shown that a small cluster of cells in the human embryo dictates the fate of other embryonic cells. The discovery of this developmental 'organizer' could advance research into any human diseases, and it suggests we have more in common with birds than meets the eye.
  • How a cell knows when to divide

    We know that hundreds of genes contribute to a wave of activity linked to cell division, but to generate that wave new research shows that cells must first grow large enough to produce four key proteins in adequate amounts, according to new research.
  • Controlled nano-assembly

    DNA, the carrier of genetic information, has become established as a highly useful building material in nanotechnology. One requirement in many applications is the controlled, switchable assembly of nanostructures. Scientists have now introduced a new strategy for control through altering pH value. It is based on ethylenediamine, which only supports the assembly of DNA components in a neutral to acidic environment -- independent of the base sequences and without metal ions.
  • Making massive leaps in electronics at nano-scale

    By chemically attaching nano-particles of the rare earth element, gadolinium, to carbon nanotubes, the researchers have found that the electrical conductivity in the nanotubes can be increased by incorporating the spin properties of the gadolinium which arises from its magnetic nature.
  • Chimpanzee calls differ according to context

    An important question in the evolution of language is what caused animal calls to diversify and to encode different information. A team of scientists has found that chimpanzees use the quiet 'hoo' call in three different behavioral contexts -- alert, travel and rest. The need to stay together in low visibility habitat may have facilitated the evolution of call subtypes.
  • Unprecedented detail in pulsar 6,500 light-years from Earth

    A team of astronomers has performed one of the highest resolution observations in astronomical history by observing two intense regions of radiation, 20 kilometers apart, around a star 6,500 light-years away. The observation is equivalent to using a telescope on Earth to see a flea on the surface of Pluto.
  • Researchers squeeze light into nanoscale devices and circuits

    Investigators have made a major breakthrough in nanophotonics research, with their invention of a novel 'home-built' cryogenic near-field optical microscope that has enabled them to directly image, for the first time, the propagation and dynamics of graphene plasmons at variable temperatures down to negative 250 degrees Celsius. If researchers can harness this nanolight, they will be able to improve sensing, subwavelength waveguiding, and optical transmission of signals.
  • Utah fossil reveals global exodus of mammals' near relatives to major continents

    A nearly 130-million-year-old fossilized skull found in Utah is an Earth-shattering discovery in one respect. The small fossil is evidence that the super-continental split likely occurred more recently than scientists previously thought and that a group of reptile-like mammals that bridge the reptile and mammal transition experienced an unsuspected burst of evolution across several continents.
  • Most comprehensive tree of life for malaria parasites

    A new study puts forth the most comprehensive tree of life for malaria parasites to date. Among the researchers' findings is that the diverse malaria parasite genus Plasmodium (which includes those species that infect humans) is composed of several distantly related evolutionary lineages, and, from a taxonomic standpoint, many species should be renamed.
  • Changes to specific MicroRNA involved in development of Lou Gehrig's disease

    A new study identifies a previously unknown mechanism involved in the development of Lou Gehrig's disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The findings could serve as the foundation for the treatment of ALS in the future.
  • Surgery involving ultrasound energy found to treat high blood pressure

    An operation that targets the nerves connected to the kidney has been found to significantly reduce blood pressure in patients with hypertension, according to a clinical trial.
  • Valves for tiny particles

    Newly-developed nanovalves allow the flow of individual nanoparticles in liquids to be controlled in tiny channels. This is of interest for lab-on-a-chip applications such as in materials science and biomedicine.
  • Recombinant E. Coli As a biofactory for the biosynthesis of diverse nanomaterials

    A metabolic research group has developed a recombinant E. coli strain that biosynthesizes 60 different nanomaterials covering 35 elements on the periodic table. Among the elements, the team could biosynthesize 33 novel nanomaterials for the first time, advancing the forward design of nanomaterials through the biosynthesis of various single and multi-elements.
  • Research reveals concerning childbirth trends

    New research has raised concern about the number of Australian women suffering potentially dangerous levels of blood loss after childbirth.
  • Atomic-scale manufacturing now a reality

    Scientists have applied a machine learning technique using artificial intelligence to perfect and automate atomic-scale manufacturing, something which has never been done before. The vastly greener, faster, smaller technology enabled by this development greatly reduces impact on the climate while still satisfying the insatiable demands of the information age.
  • New advances in understanding and treating intellectual disorder

    Researchers have investigated an intellectual disorder (ATR-X) syndrome to reveal its cause, mechanism and a potential therapeutic strategy to decrease associated cognitive impairment.
  • Strain directs spin waves

    Scientists have revealed the relationship between the strain in a magnetic insulator thin film and spin waves. The relationship between magnetoelastic anisotropy and propagation properties of forward volume spin waves in single-crystalline yttrium iron garnet films grown on three garnet substrates was experimentally demonstrated. This facilitates the design of spin wave integrated circuits.
  • Beyond the limits of conventional electronics: Stable organic molecular nanowires

    Scientists have created the first thermally stable organic molecular nanowire devices using a single 4.5-nm-long molecule placed inside electroless gold-plated nanogap electrodes.
  • Men take shortcuts, while women follow well-known routes

    When navigating in a known environment, men prefer to take shortcuts to reach their destination more quickly, while women tend to use routes they know. This is according to a new study that investigated the different ways in which men and women navigate.
  • Tuberculosis: Pharmacists develop new substance to counteract antimicrobial resistance

    Antimicrobial resistance is on the rise worldwide. This is becoming a problem for infectious diseases like tuberculosis as there are only a few active substances available to combat such diseases. Pharmacists have now found a way to increase the efficacy of a common tuberculosis agent while, at the same time, reducing resistance to it.
  • Why we fail to understand our smartphone use

    Checking your phone dozens of times a day indicates unconscious behavior, which is 'extremely repetitive' say psychologists. Existing research is yet to conclude whether people really are 'addicted' to their smartphones due to over reliance on people's own estimates or beliefs. But new research into smartphone behavior has revealed that while people underestimate time spent on their smartphones, their behavior is remarkably consistent.
  • Are pain tolerance levels similar among groups of friends?

    Are your friends very pain tolerant? Then it is likely that you are as well, provided you are a male. A recent study shows that there is a positive correlation between the pain tolerance of individuals and that of their friends.
  • Lightening up dark galaxies

    Astronomers have identified at least six candidates for dark galaxies -- galaxies that have a few (if any) stars in them and are, for that reason, notoriously difficult to detect with current instruments.
  • Skin responsible for greater exposure to carcinogens in barbecue smoke than lungs

    With summer coming, it's only a matter of time before the smells and tastes of barbecued foods dominate the neighborhood. But there's a downside to grilling that can literally get under your skin. Scientists report that skin is a more important pathway for uptake of cancer-causing compounds produced during barbecuing than inhalation. They also found that clothing cannot fully protect individuals from this exposure.
  • Spike in severe black lung disease among former US coal miners

    The number of cases of progressive massive fibrosis, the most severe form of black lung disease, has been increasing dramatically among coal workers and especially younger workers in central Appalachia.
  • Long-term study reveals one invasive insect can change a forest bird community

    Eastern hemlock forests have been declining due to a non-native insect pest. A new study presents some of the best data showing how the decline of a single tree species leads to the disappearance of birds specialized to them. The data also indicate birds associated with non-hemlock habitat features are spreading into former hemlock forests. A single insect species has led to a less diverse bird community across this landscape.
  • Birds play the waiting game in tough environmental conditions

    If resources are limited and tough to find, reproductive efforts may fail. In these situations, it may be in an animal's best interests to not defend a territory or to breed at all, but rather focus its efforts on surviving to the next breeding season. A new study presents some of the best evidence on how changes in environmental conditions, specifically droughts, impact the social and reproductive behavior of birds.
  • Floridians could far far more frequent, intense Heatwaves

    By the late 21st century, if atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations reach worst-case projections, Floridians could experience summer heatwaves three times more frequently, and each heatwave could last six times longer and be much hotter than at present, according to new research.
  • Global healthcare access and quality improved from 2000-2016

    Healthcare access and quality improved globally from 2000-2016 due in part to large gains seen in many low and middle-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, according to the latest data.
  • Leg exercise is critical to brain and nervous system health

    New research shows that using the legs, particularly in weight-bearing exercise, sends signals to the brain that are vital for the production of healthy neural cells. The groundbreaking study fundamentally alters brain and nervous system medicine -- giving doctors new clues as to why patients with motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal muscular atrophy and other neurological diseases often rapidly decline when their movement becomes limited.
  • Top 10 new species for 2018

    The large and small, beautiful and bizarre are among the newly discovered animals, plants and microbes announced as the Top 10 New Species for 2018.
  • Evening use of light-emitting tablets may disrupt healthy sleep

    A new study reveals that evening use of light-emitting tablets can induce delays in desired bedtimes, suppress secretion of melatonin (the hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness), and impair next-morning alertness.
  • Space-like gravity weakens biochemical signals in muscle formation

    Microgravity conditions affect DNA methylation of muscle cells, slowing their differentiation.
  • Can weekend sleep make up for the detriments of sleep deprivation during the week?

    In a recent study, short, but not long, weekend sleep was associated with an increased risk of early death in individuals under 65 years of age.
  • Centenarians' end-of-life thoughts: is their social network informed?

    People in centenarians' close social networks are often not aware of their thoughts on end-of-life issues, a new study reveals.
  • Early life trauma in men associated with reduced levels of sperm microRNAs

    Exposure to early life trauma can elevate risk for poor physical and mental health in individuals and their children. A new epigenetics study in both men and mice posits that some of the vulnerability in children may derive from stress-associated reductions in microRNAs in their father's sperm.
  • Prescription costs increase for low-value treatments despite reduction in numbers

    Despite a fall in prescription numbers for low-value treatments, the overall cost of prescribing these items in English primary care has risen, according to new research.
  • Early physical therapy benefits low-back pain patients

    Patients with low-back pain are better off seeing a physical therapist first, according to a study of 150,000 insurance claims.
  • Study casts doubt on traditional view of pterosaur flight

    A new study of how ligaments restrict joint movement suggests that pterosaurs and 'four-winged' dinosaurs couldn't have flown in the same way that bats do.
  • How high-latitude corals cope with the cold

    Corals growing in high-latitude reefs in Western Australia can regulate their internal chemistry to promote growth under cooler temperatures, according to new research.
  • New treatment for severe asthma

    Researchers have developed a new method to treat severe asthma. In a study of over 200 participants with severe asthma, the new treatment was shown to have improved asthma symptoms and lung function, while reducing the need for corticosteroids by up to 70%.
  • Training compassion 'muscle' may boost brain's resilience to others' suffering

    A new study suggests that as little as two weeks of compassion meditation training -- intentionally cultivating positive wishes to understand and relieve the suffering of others -- may reduce the distress a person feels when witnessing another's suffering. The findings may have implications for professions in which people routinely work with others who are suffering, like doctors, law enforcement officers and first responders.
  • Putting the optical microscope under the microscope to achieve atomic accuracy

    New work enables optical microscopes to measure these nanometer-scale details with a new level of accuracy.
  • Amazonian 'lookout' birds help other species live in dangerous neighborhoods

    Usually, birds of a feather flock together -- but in the Amazon, some flocks feature dozens of species of all shapes and colors. A new study singles out one reason why these unusually diverse flocks exist: lookout species that call in alarm when they spot dangerous predators.
  • How order first appears in liquid crystals

    Chemists have shown a technique that can identify regions in a liquid crystal system where molecular order begins to emerge just before the system fully transitions from disordered to ordered states.
  • Posttraumatic stress affects academics

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by traumatic military experiences is associated with feelings of anxiety, anger, sadness and/or guilt. New research is evaluating how PTSD symptoms increase risks for academic difficulties as well.
  • Guns in Chicago just '2.5 handshakes' away, study finds

    In one of the first studies to try to map a gun market using network science, researchers used the novel scientific approach to understand how close offenders are to guns in the city of Chicago. Recreating Chicago's co-offending network of approximately 188,000 people, the researchers used data on firearms recovered by the Chicago Police Department to locate who in the network possessed those guns.
  • Gauging language proficiency through eye movement

    A new study indicates eye movement can reveal the proficiency of people reading English as a second language.
  • Fluid dynamics may play key role in evolution of cooperation

    In a new study, physicists examined how the mechanical properties of an environment may shape the social evolution of microbial populations.
  • Science in the palm of your hand: How citizen science transforms passive learners

    Citizen science projects can engage even children who previously were not interested in science. This article provides guidance on building these lessons.
  • Malaria-causing parasite manipulates liver cells to survive

    Before invading the bloodstream, the malaria-causing Plasmodium parasite rapidly reproduces inside its host's liver cells. Researchers show that liver-stage Plasmodium relies on a host protein called aquaporin-3 to survive and copy itself. Inhibiting the function of aquaporin-3 may provide a new way to keep Plasmodium from proliferating and prevent malaria before symptoms start.