Discovery of sophisticated 115,000-year-old bone tools in China
An analysis of 115,000-year-old bone tools discovered in China suggests that the toolmaking techniques mastered by prehistoric humans there were more sophisticated than previously thought.
Newly described human antibody prevents malaria in mice
Scientists have discovered a human antibody that protected mice from infection with the deadliest malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. The research findings provide the basis for future testing in humans to determine if the antibody can provide short-term protection against malaria, and also may aid in vaccine design. Currently, there is no highly effective, long-lasting vaccine to prevent malaria.
Three genes essential for cells to tell time
One family of genes allows cells to adapt to daily changes in environmental conditions by adjusting their internal 'body clock,' the circadian clock responsible for regular sleep-wake cycles. The new discovery reveals for the first time that circadian regulation may be directly connected to cellular stress.
Climate change threatens world's largest seagrass carbon stores
In the summer of 2010-2011 Western Australia experienced an unprecedented marine heat wave that elevated water temperatures 2-4°C above average for more than 2 months. The heat wave resulted in defoliation of the dominant Amphibolis antarctica seagrass species across the iconic Shark Bay World Heritage Site. Researchers alert us of the major carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions resulting from this loss of seagrass meadows at Shark Bay -- one of the largest remaining seagrass ecosystems on Earth.
New osteoarthritis genes discovered
In the largest study of its kind, nine novel genes for osteoarthritis have been discovered. Results could open the door to new targeted therapies for this debilitating disease in the future.
LSD blurs boundaries between the experience of self and other
LSD reduces the borders between the experience of our own self and others, and thereby affects social interactions. Researchers have now found that the serotonin 2A receptor in the human brain is critically involved in these intertwined psychological mechanisms. This knowledge could help develop new therapies for psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia or depression.
Americans prefer economic inequality to playing Robin Hood, study finds
Given the chance to play Robin Hood, most Americans show little interest in taking from the rich and giving to the poor. A new study may explain why it's so hard for voters in modern democracies to erase the economic inequalities that separate most citizens from the nation's super-wealthy elites.
Agriculture initiated by indigenous peoples, not Fertile Crescent migration
Small scale agricultural farming was first initiated by indigenous communities living on Turkey's Anatolian plateau, and not introduced by migrant farmers as previously thought, according to new research.
First evidence of live-traded dogs for Maya ceremonies
Earliest evidence that Mayas raised and traded dogs and other animals -- probably for ceremonies -- from Ceibal, Guatemala.
Intensification of agriculture and social hierarchies evolve together, study finds
Researchers analyzed the evolution of 155 Island South East Asian and Pacific societies to determine that, rather than intensification of agriculture leading to social stratification, the two evolve together. The study illustrates the way social and material factors combine to drive human cultural evolution.
At first blush, you look happy -- or sad, or angry
Our faces broadcast our feelings in living color -- even when we don't move a muscle. That's the conclusion of a groundbreaking study into human expressions of emotion, which found that people are able to correctly identify other people's feelings up to 75 percent of the time -- based solely on subtle shifts in blood flow color around the nose, eyebrows, cheeks or chin.
'New life form' answers question about evolution of cells
Bacteria and Archaea must have evolved from the putative Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA). One hypothesis is that this happened because the cell membrane in LUCA was an unstable mixture of lipids. Now, scientists have created such a life form with a mixed membrane and discovered it is in fact stable, refuting this hypothesis.
Termite queen, king recognition pheromone identified
Forget the bows and curtsies. Worker termites shake in the presence of their queens and kings. New research explains how these workers smell a royal presence.
Shedding light on the mystery of the superconducting dome
Physicists have induced superconductivity in a monolayer of tungsten disulfide. By using an increasing electric field, they were able to show how the material turns from an insulator into a superconductor and then back into a 're-entrant' insulator again. Their results show the typical 'dome-shaped' superconducting phase, and finally provide an explanation for this phenomenon.
Don't blame adolescent social behavior on hormones
Reproductive hormones that develop during puberty are not responsible for changes in social behavior that occur during adolescence, according to the results of a newly published study.
Pregnant women and new moms still hesitant to introduce peanut products
In January 2017 guidelines were released urging parents to begin early introduction of peanut-containing foods to reduce the risk of peanut allergy. A new study shows those who are aware of the guidelines are still hesitant to put them into place and not everyone has heard of them.
So close, yet so far: Making climate impacts feel nearby may not inspire action
An expert says it is possible to make faraway climate impacts feel closer. But that doesn't automatically inspire the American public to express greater support for policies that address it.
Cutting carbon emissions sooner could save 153 million lives
As many as 153 million premature deaths linked to air pollution could be avoided worldwide this century if governments speed up their timetable for reducing fossil fuel emissions, a new study finds.
Research signals arrival of a complete human genome
Research have just published attempts to close huge gaps remain in our genomic reference map. The research uses nanopore long-read sequencing to generate the first complete and accurate linear map of a human Y chromosome centromere. This milestone in human genetics and genomics signals that scientists are finally entering a technological phase when completing the human genome will be a reality.
Historians to climate researchers: Let's talk
Ours is not the first society to be confronted by massive environmental change. Over the course of history, some societies have been destroyed by natural disasters, like Pompeii, while others have learned how to accommodate floods, droughts, volcanic eruptions and other natural hazards. The key is how a society plans for and interacts with the stress from nature.
What happens to a dying cell's corpse? New findings illuminate an old problem
Scientists have discovered a curious way for cells to die. In studying it, they are learning about how remnants of diseased cells are normally chewed up and removed.
Detection, deterrent system will help eagles, wind turbines coexist better
Researchers have taken a key step toward helping wildlife coexist more safely with wind power generation by demonstrating the success of an impact detection system that uses vibration sensors mounted to turbine blades.
Modified biomaterials self-assemble on temperature cues
Biomedical engineers have demonstrated a new approach to making self-assembled biomaterials that relies on protein modifications and temperature. The hybrid approach allows researchers to control self-assembly more precisely, which may prove useful for a variety of biomedical applications, from drug delivery to wound-healing.
Geoengineering polar glaciers to slow sea-level rise
Targeted geoengineering to preserve continental ice sheets deserves serious research and investment, argues an international team of researchers. Without intervention, by 2100 most large coastal cities will face sea levels that are more than three feet higher than they are currently.
Designing diamonds for medical imaging technologies
Researchers have optimized the design of laboratory-grown, synthetic diamonds. This brings the new technology one step closer to enhancing biosensing applications, such as magnetic brain imaging.
What is the cost of interrupting a radiologist?
A first of its kind study shows typical interruptions experienced by on-call radiologists do not reduce diagnostic accuracy but do change what they look at and increase the amount of time spent on a case.
Quintupling inhaler medication may not prevent asthma attacks in children
Children with mild to moderate asthma do not benefit from a common practice of increasing their inhaled steroids at the first signs of an asthma exacerbation, according to clinical trial results. Researchers found short-term increases in inhaled steroids did not prevent attacks in children aged 5 to 11, and may even slow a child's growth.
Human influence on climate change will fuel more extreme heat waves in US
Human-caused climate change will drive more extreme summer heat waves in the western US, including in California and the Southwest as early as 2020, new research shows.
Glacier mass loss: Past the point of no return
Researchers show in a recent study that the further melting of glaciers cannot be prevented in the current century -- even if all emissions were stopped now. However, due to the slow reaction of glaciers to climate change, our behavior has a massive impact beyond the 21st century: In the long run, five hundred meters by car with a mid-range vehicle will cost one kilogram of glacier ice.
Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions
A new theory about how oceans and volcanoes interacted during the early history of Mars supports the idea that liquid water was once abundant and may still exist underground. Geophysicists propose that the oceans originated several hundred million years earlier than thought, as the volcanic province Tharsis formed, and that greenhouse gases enabled the oceans. The theory predicts smaller oceans, more in line with estimates of water underground and at the poles today.
A new kind of quantum bits in two dimensions
Two novel materials, each composed of a single atomic layer and the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope - these are the ingredients to create a novel kind of a so-called 'quantum dot'. These extremely small nanostructures allow delicate control of individual electrons by fine-tuning their energy levels directly. Such devices are key for modern quantum technologies.
Drinking alcohol makes your heart race
The more alcohol you drink, the higher your heart rate gets, according to new research.
Diabetes medicine reduces liver fat in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
In people with type 2 diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is common and can progress to a severe liver disease known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Now a study has found that empagliflozin, a newer treatment for type 2 diabetes, reduces liver fat in patients with NAFLD and diabetes.
New model, new drugs, and a 'remarkable' response in adrenal cancer
Two new studies use new models to identify genetic targets and test promising treatments in adrenal cancer. One patient was treated with the immunotherapy pembrolizumab and now more than a year after starting treatment remains on the drug with 77 percent tumor reduction and no new metastases.
Rheumatoid arthritis meets precision medicine
Scientists are bringing precision medicine to rheumatoid arthritis for the first time by using genetic profiling of joint tissue to see which drugs will work for which patients, reports a new multi-site study. In the near future, patients won't have to waste time and be disappointed with months of ineffective therapy, scientists said. Currently $2.5 billion a year is wasted on therapy that doesn't work.
A future colorfully lit by mystifying physics of paint-on semiconductors
It defies conventional wisdom about semiconductors. It's baffling that it even works. It eludes physics models that try to explain it. This newly tested class of light-emitting semiconductors is so easy to produce from solution that it could be painted onto surfaces to light up our future in myriad colors shining from affordable lasers, LEDs, and even window glass.
Palm trees are spreading northward. How far will they go?
What does it take for palm trees, the unofficial trademark of tropical landscapes, to expand into northern parts of the world that have long been too cold for palm trees to survive? A new study attempts to answer this question. Researchers analyzed a broad dataset to determine global palm tree distribution in relation to temperature.
Scientists caution that a rare childhood liver cancer can spread to the brain
A new report details three cases of secondary brain tumors in people with fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma. The researchers say imaging tests could improve treatment for patients whose cancer spreads to the brain from the liver.
Stem cells treat macular degeneration
Researchers have developed a specially engineered retinal patch to treat people with sudden, severe sight loss.
Programming DNA to deliver cancer drugs
A research team has developed technology to program strands of DNA into switches that turn proteins on and off. This technology could lead to the development of new cancer therapies and other drugs.
Amazon deforestation is close to tipping point
Scientists considered climate change and indiscriminate use of fire to calculate that deforestation rates ranging from 20 percent to 25 percent could turn Amazon's hydrological cycle unable to support its ecosystem.
Fighting illegal fishing
Researchers explore an alternative pathway to fast-tracking the global recovery of fisheries.
Fish accounted for surprisingly large part of the Stone Age diet
New research can now show what Stone Age people actually ate in southern Scandinavia 10 000 years ago. The importance of fish in the diet has proven to be greater than expected. So, if you want to follow a Paleo diet -- you should quite simply eat a lot of fish.
Molecular doorstop could be key to new tuberculosis drugs
In discovering how an antibiotic kills the bacteria that cause tuberculosis, scientists open the door to new treatments for the disease -- and possibly others, as well.
Better understanding of ALS by looking at how cells change
Eight years in the making, a discovery by neuroscientists highlights the value of long-term, fundamental research and provides important information for future drug targets.
Genetic analysis uncovers the evolutionary origin of vertebrate limbs
Fish, mice and likely all modern-day vertebrates share genetic elements first used to develop the unpaired dorsal fin in ancient fish. They later copied these elements to produce paired appendages, like pelvic and pectoral fins, arms and legs.
Molecular cuisine for gut bacteria
Scientific recipes have been developed to successfully grow and study gut bacteria in the lab Researchers report on the nutritional preferences and growth characteristics of 96 diverse gut bacterial strains. Their results will help scientists worldwide advance our understanding of the gut microbiome.
New genetic test detects manatees' recent presence in fresh or saltwater
Scientists have developed the first laboratory test that picks up traces of manatees' genetic material in waterways. The environmental DNA test shows whether one or more of the elusive marine mammals has been in the area in the past month.
In children with obesity, impulsivity may be linked with greater weight loss when treated
Children with obesity may be more impulsive than those with normal weight, but during family-based behavioral treatment (FBT), the more impulsive of children with obesity may lose more weight, a new study suggests.
Suicide risk for youth sharply higher in the months after self-harm
A recent study revealed that young Americans had a sharply higher risk of suicide in the months after surviving a deliberate self-harm attempt. The authors say the findings underscore the need to direct clinical interventions toward youth who survive such attempts during this critical period.
New method manages and stores data from millions of nerve cells -- in real time
Recent developments in neuroscience set high requirements for sophisticated data management, not least when implantable Brain Machine Interfaces are used to establish electronic communication between the brain's nerve cells and computers. A new method makes it possible to recode neural signals into a format that computer processors can use instantly.
Cosmologists create largest simulation of galaxy formation, break their own record
Cosmology researchers are releasing initial findings from IllustrisTNG, their follow-up to the 2015 record-breaking Illustris simulation -- the largest-ever hydrological simulation of galaxy formation.
Scientists create microscopic 'swimmers' controlled by a magnetic field
Microscopic, magnetic 'swimmers' may someday be used to carry cargoes in fluids, such as drugs that need precise placement to treat disease.
Helium plays a 'nanny' role in forming chemical compounds under pressure
Helium, a noble gas, was long believed to be 'too aloof' to react with the other elements on the periodic table. Now, however, scientists have provided a theoretical explanation of how helium may be capable of forming stable compounds.
Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of living zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases.
Environmentally friendly cattle production (really)
When cattle congregate, they're often cast as the poster animals for overgrazing, water pollution and an unsustainable industry. While some of the criticism is warranted, cattle production -- even allowing herds to roam through grasslands and orchards -- can be beneficial to the environment as well as sustainable.
Deeper insight into viral infections
Researchers have developed a new analysis technique that sheds more light on viral infections. They used the new method to demonstrate that virus-infected cells produce far more infection-related proteins and peptides than previously thought.
Interstellar asteroid, 'Oumuamua, likely came from a binary star system
New research finds that 'Oumuamua, the rocky object identified as the first confirmed interstellar asteroid, very likely came from a binary star system.
New research into letter-spacing could help improve children's reading
Increased letter spacing helps individuals read faster, but not due to visual processing, according to new research.
Visual recognition: Seeing the world through the eyes of rodents
Man or woman, happy or sad. The visual process that allows us to recognize someone's gender or emotional state is very sophisticated. Until recently, only primates were deemed able to perform such complex operations as object recognition. A new study shows that rodents also use advanced and diversified recognition strategies, confirming the validity of this animal model for studying object vision and offering new opportunities for the development of artificial vision systems and diagnostic approaches.