New inflammation inhibitor discovered
A multidisciplinary team of researchers have developed an anti-inflammatory drug molecule with a new mechanism of action. By inhibiting a certain protein, the researchers were able to reduce the signals that trigger an inflammation.
First-ever views of elusive energy explosion
Researchers have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving 'magnetic reconnection' -- the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion -- in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Solar panels for yeast cell biofactories
Scientists presents a highly adaptable solution to creating yeast biohybrids with enhanced metabolism driven by light energy.
Nanofiber carpet could lead to new sticky or insulating surfaces
Inspired by the extraordinary characteristics of polar bear fur, lotus leaves and gecko feet, engineering researchers have developed a new way to make arrays of nanofibers that could bring us coatings that are sticky, repellent, insulating or light emitting, among other possibilities.
Warning: Chemical weapons risk during a period of very rapid scientific change
Alarming examples of the dangers from chemical weapons have been seen recently in the use of industrial chemicals and the nerve agent sarin against civilians in Syria, and in the targeted assassination operations using VX nerve agent in Malaysia and novichok nerve agent in the UK.
Trans-galactic streamers feeding most luminous galaxy in the universe
ALMA data show the most luminous galaxy in the universe has been caught in the act of stripping away nearly half the mass from at least three of its smaller neighbors.
Songbirds set long-distance migration record
Researchers have studied flight routes to determine how far willow warblers migrate in the autumn. The results show that the willow warbler holds a long-distance migration record in the 10-gram weight category -- with the small birds flying around 13,000 kilometers or longer to reach their destination.
No link between 'hypoallergenic' dogs and lower risk of childhood asthma
Growing up with dogs is linked to a lower risk of asthma, especially if the dogs are female, a new study shows. However, the researchers found no relation between 'allergy friendly' breeds and a lower risk of asthma.
What did birds and insects do during the 2017 solar eclipse?
In August of 2017, millions peered through protective eyewear at the solar eclipse -- the first total eclipse visible in the continental United States in nearly 40 years. During the event, researchers watched radar to observe the behavior of birds and insects.
Should you eat a low-gluten diet?
When healthy people eat a low-gluten and fiber-rich diet compared with a high-gluten diet they experience less intestinal discomfort including less bloating which researchers show are due to changes of the composition and function of gut bacteria. The new study also shows a modest weight loss following low-gluten dieting. The researchers attribute the impact of diet on healthy adults more to change in composition of dietary fibers than gluten itself.
Population of rare Stone's sheep 20% smaller than previously thought
The already-rare Stone's sheep of the Yukon is 20 per cent less common than previously thought, according to new research by biologists. The study examined 123 different DNA markers in approximately 2,800 thinhorn sheep in British Columbia and the Yukon, with the goal of mapping population boundaries. Results show significant overestimation of certain subspecies of thinhorn sheep, like Stone's sheep, due to misclassification.
NASA learns more about interstellar visitor 'Oumuamua
The first known interstellar object to visit our solar system -- named 'Oumuamua -- was detected in October 2017 by Hawaii's Pan-STARRS 1 telescope. But it was too faint for NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to detect when it looked more than two months after the object's closest approach to Earth in early September. That 'non-detection' puts a new limit on how large the strange object can be, astronomers now report.
Climate change likely caused migration, demise of ancient Indus Valley civilization
A new study found evidence that climate change likely drove the Harappans to resettle far away from the floodplains of the Indus.
Drug combination makes cancer disappear in mice with neuroblastoma
Researchers investigating new treatments for neuroblastoma -- one of the most common childhood cancers -- have found that a combination of two drugs made tumors disappear in mice, making it more effective than any other drugs tested in these animals.
Breakthrough in treatment of restless legs syndrome
New research presents a breakthrough in the treatment of Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).
A world without brick-and-mortar stores? Even avid online shoppers say, 'no, thanks'
The majority of consumers, even those who prefer online shopping, think the extinction of brick-and-mortar stores would be bad for society, according to a new study that explores consumers' perceptions of today's transforming retail environment.
Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal
While making smart glue, a team of engineers discovered a handy byproduct: hydrogen peroxide. In microgel form, it reduces bacteria and virus ability to infect by at least 99.9 percent.
Natural solutions can reduce global warming
A new study found that 21 percentof the United States' greenhouse gas pollution (1.2 Pg CO2e year) could be removed through enhanced management of forest, grassland, agricultural, and coastal areas. An offset at this level would be the equivalent to pollution from every single US car and truck on the road.
Massive impact crater from a kilometer-wide iron meteorite discovered in Greenland
An international team has discovered a 31-km wide meteorite impact crater buried beneath the ice-sheet in the northern Greenland. This is the first time that a crater of any size has been found under one of Earth's continental ice sheets.
Late Miocene ape maxilla (upper jaw) discovered in western India
An ape maxilla (upper jaw) from the Late Miocene found in the Kutch basin, in western India, significantly extends the southern range of ancient apes in the Indian Peninsula, according to a new study.
How we use music as a possible sleep aid
Many individuals use music in the hope that it fights sleep difficulties, according to a new study.
Parents shouldn't worry if their infant doesn't sleep through the night by a year old
The authors of a study found that a large percentage of healthy babies don't start sleeping through the night even at a year old. The research team also examined whether infants who didn't sleep for six or eight consecutive hours were more likely to have problems with psychomotor and mental development, and found no association. The researchers also found no correlation between infants waking up at night and their mothers' postnatal mood.
Symbiosis a driver of truffle diversity
Truffles are the fruiting bodies of the ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal symbionts residing on host plant roots. In many Ascomycota and Basidiomycota lineages, truffle-forming species have evolved independently in nearly every major group. This suggests that symbiosis drives evolution of truffle diversity and selects for specific traits.
For arid, Mars-like Peruvian desert, rain brings death
When rains fell on the arid Atacama Desert, it was reasonable to expect floral blooms to follow. Instead, the water brought death. Planetary astrobiologists has found that after encountering never-before-seen rainfall three years ago at the arid core of Peru's Atacama Desert, the heavy precipitation wiped out most of the microbes that had lived there.
Deep-time evolution of animal life on islands
A new article describes two new fossil relatives of marsupials that shed light on how a unique island ecosystem evolved some 43 million years ago during the Eocene.
First tally of US-Russia polar bears finds a healthy population
The first scientific assessment of polar bears that live in the Chukchi Sea region that spans the US and Russia finds the population is healthy and does not yet appear to be suffering from declining sea ice.
Competition for shrinking groundwater
Groundwater, which has been used to irrigate crops, satiate livestock and quench thirst in general for thousands of years, continues to be a vital resource around the world.
Alcohol ads with pro-drinking comments on Facebook boost desire to drink, study finds
Alcohol advertisements on social media sites such as Facebook can increase young adults' desire to drink if the ads contain pro-drinking comments from users, according to new research.
Cold Super-Earth found orbiting closest single star to Sun
The nearest single star to the Sun hosts an exoplanet at least 3.2 times as massive as Earth -- a so-called super-Earth. One of the largest observing campaigns to date using data from a world-wide array of telescopes has revealed this frozen, dimly lit world. The newly discovered planet is the second-closest known exoplanet to the Earth. Barnard's star is the fastest moving star in the night sky.
Researchers discover novel 'to divide or to differentiate' switch in plants
Scientists have uncovered a novel mechanism in plants that controls an important decision step in stomatal lineage to divide asymmetrically or to differentiate. This is a decisive step for the formation of stomata, tiny pores on the plant surface, produced by asymmetric cell division.
Tropical trees in the Andes are moving up -- toward extinction
In the most comprehensive study of its kind, biologists have found that tropical and subtropical forests across South America's Andes Mountains are responding to warming temperatures by migrating to higher, cooler elevations, but probably not quickly enough to avoid the loss of their biodiversity, functional collapse, or even extinction.
Climate simulations project wetter, windier hurricanes
New supercomputer simulations by climate scientists have shown that climate change intensified the amount of rainfall in recent hurricanes such as Katrina, Irma, and Maria by 5 to 10 percent. They further found that if those hurricanes were to occur in a future world that is warmer than present, those storms would have even more rainfall and stronger winds.
Large areas of the Brazilian rainforest at risk of losing protection
Up to 15 million hectares of the Brazilian Amazon is at risk of losing its legal protection, according to a new study.
Seismic study reveals huge amount of water dragged into Earth's interior
Slow-motion collisions of tectonic plates under the ocean drag about three times more water down into the deep Earth than previously estimated, according to a first-of-its-kind seismic study that spans the Mariana Trench.
Recommending plants to benefit and attract pollinators
Pollinating insects are integral to the health of all terrestrial ecosystems and agriculture worldwide. As homeowners attempt to conserve pollinators through horticulture practices, they often seek the advice and guidance of horticulture retail employees regarding what plants they can successfully include on their properties to maximize their intended benefit to pollinators as well as to their home ecosystems.
A new approach to detecting cancer earlier from blood tests
Cancer scientists have combined 'liquid biopsy,' epigenetic alterations and machine learning to develop a blood test to detect and classify cancer at its earliest stages.
Houston's urban sprawl increased rainfall, flooding during Hurricane Harvey
Researchers found that Houston's urban landscape directly contributed to the torrential rainfall and deadly flooding of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Houston's risk for extreme flooding was 21 times greater due to urbanization. The results highlight the human role in extreme weather events and the need to consider urban and suburban development when calculating hurricane risk.
Putting food-safety detection in the hands of consumers
Researchers have developed a wireless system that leverages the cheap RFID tags already on hundreds of billions of products to sense potential food contamination -- with no hardware modifications needed. With the simple, scalable system, the researchers hope to bring food-safety detection to the general public.
Mothers infected by dengue may have babies with higher risk of severe Zika, and vice versa
Two new studies provide evidence that previous Dengue infection in pregnant mothers may lead to increased severity of Zika in babies, and that previous Zika infection in mice mothers may increase severity of Dengue infection in their pups. The research supports that maternally acquired antibodies for one virus can assist infection by the other by a process unique to flaviviruses.
Bias-based bullying does more harm, is harder to protect against
A new study finds that bias-based bullying does more harm to students than generalized bullying, particularly for students who are targeted because of multiple identities, such as race and gender. What's more, the study finds that efforts to mitigate these harms are less effective against bias-based bullying.
Climate control of Earth's critical zone
New research by geoscientists shines a light on this hidden world from ridgetops to valley floors and shows how rainfall shapes the part of our planet that is just beyond where we can see.
How exercise could help fight drug addiction
The siren call of addictive drugs can be hard to resist, and returning to the environment where drugs were previously taken can make resistance that much harder. However, addicts who exercise appear to be less vulnerable to the impact of these environmental cues. Now, research with mice suggests that exercise might strengthen a drug user's resolve by altering the production of peptides in the brain.
Rainforest vine compound starves pancreatic cancer cells
Pancreatic cancer cells are known for their ability to thrive under extreme conditions of low nutrients and oxygen, a trait known in the cancer field as 'austerity.' The cells' remarkable resistance to starvation is one reason why pancreatic cancer is so deadly. Now researchers have identified a compound from a Congolese plant that has strong ''antiausterity'' potential, making pancreatic cancer cells susceptible to nutrient starvation.
Older adults' abstract reasoning ability predicts depressive symptoms over time
Age-related declines in abstract reasoning ability predict increasing depressive symptoms in subsequent years, according to data from a longitudinal study of older adults in Scotland.
Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump
Researchers combine epoxy with a tough graphene foam and carbon nanotube scaffold to build a resilient composite that's tougher and as conductive as other compounds but as light as pure epoxy.
Middle Eastern desert dust on the Tibetan plateau could affect the Indian summer monsoon
Large quantities dust from the deserts of the Middle East can settle on the Tibetan Plateau, darkening the region's snowpack and accelerating snow melt. A new atmospheric modeling study suggests that, in some years, heavy springtime dust deposition can set off a series of feedbacks that intensify the Indian summer monsoon. The findings could explain a correlation between Tibetan snowpack and the Indian monsoon first observed by British meteorologist Henry Blanford in 1884.
Soil's history: A solution to soluble phosphorus?
New research suggests that, over time, less phosphorus fertilizer may be necessary on agricultural fields.
Gravitational waves from a merged hyper-massive neutron star
For the first time astronomers have detected gravitational waves from a merged, hyper-massive neutron star.
Quantum science turns social
Researchers developed a versatile remote gaming interface that allowed experts as well as hundreds of citizen scientists all over the world through multiplayer collaboration and in real time to optimize a quantum gas experiment in a lab. Both teams quickly used the interface to dramatically improve upon the previous best solutions, that scientists had established after months of careful optimization. The experiment aims to unravel how humans solve complex, natural science problems.
Salmon are shrinking and it shows in their genes
Male salmon are maturing earlier and becoming smaller, and it shows in their genes. This was the discovery of a study that examined scale samples from salmon over a 40-year period, and looked at the population genetic profile of a gene that determines salmon's age of maturity and size. The results show that the 'big salmon gene version' has become rarer in the population over time, and has been replaced by the 'small salmon gene version'.
Diabetic foot ulcers heal quickly with nitric oxide technology
Around the world, 425 million people live with diabetes and upwards of 15 percent develop foot ulcers, which increases their risk of death 2.5 times. A new nitric oxide-releasing technology has the potential to cut down the healing time of diabetic foot ulcers from 120 days to 21 days.
Next step on the path towards an efficient biofuel cell
Fuel cells that work with the enzyme hydrogenase are, in principle, just as efficient as those that contain the expensive precious metal platinum as a catalyst. However, the enzymes need an aqueous environment, which makes it difficult for the starting material for the reaction -- hydrogen -- to reach the enzyme-loaded electrode. Researchers solved this problem by combining previously developed concepts for packaging the enzymes with gas diffusion electrode technology.
Earth's magnetic field measured using artificial stars at 90 kilometers altitude
In 2011, researchers proposed that artificial guide stars could be used to measure the Earth's magnetic field in the mesosphere. An international group of scientists has recently managed to do this with a high degree of precision. The technique may also help to identify magnetic structures in the solid Earth's lithosphere, to monitor space weather, and to measure electrical currents in the part of the atmosphere called ionosphere.
When electric fields make spins swirl
Scientists have reported the discovery of small and ferroelectrically tunable skyrmions. Published in Nature Materials, this work introduces new compelling advantages that bring skyrmion research a step closer to application.
Nanotubes built from protein crystals: Breakthrough in biomolecular engineering
Researchers at Tokyo Tech have succeeded in constructing protein nanotubes from tiny scaffolds made by cross-linking of engineered protein crystals. The achievement could accelerate the development of artificial enzymes, nano-sized carriers and delivery systems for a host of biomedical and biotechnological applications.
Checking very preterm babies' head size can help identify long-term IQ problems
Regular early head circumference assessments add valuable information when screening for long-term neurocognitive risk - according to new research.
Scientists engineer a functional optical lens out of 2D materials
Scientists have constructed functional metalenses that are one-tenth to one-half the thickness of the wavelengths of light that they focus. Their metalenses, which were constructed out of layered 2D materials, were as thin as 190 nanometers -- less than 1/100,000ths of an inch thick.
Venom shape untangles scorpion family tree
Scientists have made a fresh attempt to untangle the scorpion family tree using not the shape and structure of the arachnids' bodies, but the shape of their venom.
Colder, darker climates increase alcohol consumption and liver disease
People living in colder regions with less sunlight consume more alcohol and experience more alcoholic liver disease.
So, you think you're good at remembering faces, but terrible with names?
The cringe-worthy experience of not being able to remember an acquaintance's name leads many of us to believe we are terrible with names. However, new research has revealed this intuition is misleading; we are actually better at remembering names than faces.