Latest Science News -- ScienceDaily
Research finds patients face rising costs for epipen allergy drug
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Commercially insured patients who use the life-saving epinephrine autoinjector known as ‘EpiPen’ have experienced skyrocketing out-of-pocket costs since 2007, according to research.
A probiotic stress fix
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
An engineer is working to create a probiotic that would help protect the host from the negative health effects of adrenaline surges. The new probiotic could easily be mixed into yogurt or taken in pill form.
The economic case for wind, solar energy in Africa
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
To meet skyrocketing demand for electricity, African countries may have to triple their energy output by 2030. While hydropower and fossil fuel power plants are favored approaches in some quarters, a new assessment has found that wind and solar can be economically and environmentally competitive options and can contribute significantly to the rising demand.
Mouse in the house tells tale of human settlement
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Long before the advent of agriculture, hunter-gatherers began putting down roots in the Middle East, building more permanent homes and altering the ecological balance in ways that allowed the common house mouse to flourish, new research indicates. Findings suggest the roots of animal domestication go back to human sedentism thousands of years prior to what has long been considered the dawn of agriculture.
Our aging scientific workforce raises concerns
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
The science and engineering workforce in the United States is aging rapidly, according to a new study. And it is only going to get older in coming years. Economists have found that the average age of employed scientists increased from 45.1 to 48.6 between 1993 and 2010, faster than the workforce as a whole.
Basic microbiology research study unexpectedly uncovers practical findings for growers
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Researchers initially set out to describe the microbiology of rye cover crop roots and how they changed over time in a field setting. Among the many microorganisms detected, they found several poorly understood oomycetes, microorganisms often responsible for plant diseases. Because these organisms were also able to cause corn seedling disease, what they unexpectedly discovered was the potential for elevated disease risk in corn following the use of cereal rye as a cover crop.
A little nudge may provide a big boost to flu vaccination rates
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Currently, only 44 percent of adults in the United States receive an annual flu vaccination. But, a new study suggests that a simple behavioral economics technique may be able to help. In the study, researchers programmed electronic health records (EHR) to alert care providers when a patient was eligible, and prompt them to choose to 'accept' or 'decline' a flu vaccination order. Results showed a 37 percent relative increase in vaccinations from the prior year.
For the birds: New prediction method sheds brighter light on flight
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Researchers have found a new way to precisely measure the vortices -- circular patterns of rotating air -- created by birds' wings during flight. The results shed greater light on how these creatures produce enough lift to fly.
Research addresses the threat of Zika virus to the US blood supply
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Certain screening methods that detect the genetic material of Zika virus can be used to ensure that donated blood supplies remain free of the virus, investigators have shown.
Psychologists enlist machine learning to help diagnose depression
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Cognitive neuroscientists are using the Stampede supercomputer to provide accurate predictions of risk for those with depression and anxiety. They have been able to classify individuals with major depressive disorder with roughly 75 percent accuracy using a machine learning approach. Stampede 2 -- which will come online later in 2017 -- will provide the increased computer processing required to incorporate more data and achieve even greater accuracy.
Researchers create artificial materials atom-by-atom
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Researchers have manufactured artificial materials with engineered electronic properties. By moving individual atoms under their microscope, the scientists were able to create atomic lattices with a predetermined electrical response. The possibility to precisely arrange the atoms on a sample bring 'designer quantum materials' one step closer to reality. By arranging atoms in a lattice, it becomes possible to engineer the electronic properties of the material through the atomic structure.
New finding could lead to earlier liver cancer diagnosis
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Researchers have now developed a way to determine, by sequencing DNA of liver cells, whether cells have been exposed to aflatoxin. This profile of mutations could be used to predict whether someone has a high risk of developing liver cancer, potentially many years before tumors actually appear.
Zika virus protein mapped to speed search for cure
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
A team of scientists has mapped a key protein that causes the Zika virus to reproduce and spread. Results of this study advance efforts to find drugs in fight against the disease, say scientists.
Astronomers probe swirling particles in halo of starburst galaxy
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Astronomers have used a radio telescope in outback Western Australia to see the halo of a nearby starburst galaxy in unprecedented detail.
Rebuilding middle class is the key to preserving democracy
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Steps must be taken to preserve middle-class America or the United States will cease to be a democracy, says a law professor in his new book.
From the room next door to the next planet over
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
The new Albert Chadwick Research Room inside the Roberts Proton Therapy Center is no ordinary laboratory space. In fact, there’s nothing else quite like it anywhere else in the United States, and whether it’s treating patients with cancer or helping NASA with its plans to send astronauts to Mars, the discoveries that could propel scientists forward will happen right here.
Microrna treatment restores nerve insulation, limb function in mice with MS
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Scientists partially re-insulated ravaged nerves in mouse models of multiple sclerosis (MS) and restored limb mobility by treating the animals with a small non-coding RNA called a microRNA. In a new article, researchers report that treatment with a microRNA called miR-219 restarted production of a substance called myelin that is critical to normal function of the central nervous system.
Can artificial intelligence detect fake news?
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
An artificial intelligence course has been launched that includes two projects focused on using AI to detect and combat fake news articles.
Minority colorectal cancer patients report higher burden of poor quality-of-life than whites
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
A study of racial disparities in health-related quality of life of colorectal cancer patients revealed among several findings, that Hispanics and blacks had a higher burden of poor health-related quality-of-life (HR-QoL) than white patients and that poor HR-QoL resulted in shorter median survival. Yet Hispanics had an average survival time of 85.4 months as compared to blacks at 47.8 months and whites at 43.2 months.
The power of one: Single crystals provide clarity
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
When it comes to creating new materials, single crystals play an important role in presenting a clearer picture of a material’s intrinsic properties. A typical material will be comprised of lots of smaller crystals and the grain boundaries between these crystals can act as impediments, affecting properties such as electrical or thermal resistance.
New genetic disorder named for Children's Hospital of Philadelphia team
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Three scientists at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia who identified and studied a genetic disease have been recognized by having their names attached to the disorder. An authoritative reference site for genetic diseases, Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) now designates this condition as Mulchandani-Bhoj-Conlin syndrome (MBCS), characterized by failure to thrive, severe short stature and profound feeding difficulties, caused by an abnormality of chromosome 20.
Scientists discover new class of anti-diabetes compounds that reduce liver glucose production
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
A team of scientists has identified a new class of compounds that reduce production of glucose in the liver, which is linked to type 2 diabetes, the form of diabetes considered responsible for close to 95 percent of cases in the United States.
Timing a space laser with a NASA-style stopwatch
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
To time how long it takes a pulse of laser light to travel from space to Earth and back, you need a really good stopwatch -- one that can measure within a fraction of a billionth of a second. That kind of timer is exactly what engineers have built at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, for the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2.
The electric sands of Titan
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Experiments suggest the particles that cover the surface of Saturn's moon, Titan, are 'electrically charged.' When the wind blows hard enough, Titan's non-silicate granules get kicked up and start to hop in a motion. As they collide, they become frictionally charged, like a balloon rubbing against your hair, and clump together in a way not observed for sand dune grains on Earth -- they become resistant to further motion.
Emotion: An important link to HIV prevention in black adolescents with mental illnesses
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Could unique psychological factors that hamper emotional regulation help explain differences in HIV/STI risk-related sexual behaviors among heterosexually active black youth with mental illnesses?
More than 100 years of flooding and erosion in one event
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Researchers have developed an integrated sediment, wood, and organic carbon budget for North St. Vrain Creek in the semi-arid Colorado Front Range following an extreme flooding event in September of 2013. Erosion of more than 500,000 cubic meters, or up to ~115-years-worth of weathering products, occurred through landsliding and channel erosion during this event.
How do some opioids cause severe itching?
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Opioids have long been an important tool in the world of pain management, but the side effects of these drugs -- from addiction and respiratory failure to severe itching and dizziness, can be overwhelming. Scientists have been trying to understand how these side effects happen so they can create better, less problematic pain relievers.
Implementing large-scale teleretinal diabetic retinopathy screening program
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Can a large-scale, primary care-based teleretinal diabetic retinopathy screening (TDRS) program reduce wait times for screening and improve the timeliness of care in the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, the largest publicly operated county safety net health care system in the United States?
Friction shapes zebrafish embryos
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
The biochemical signals that give an embryo its shape have been studied extensively. The role of mechanical forces on the other hand is the subject of a new study. Here the researchers show that friction between moving tissues generates force. This force shapes the nervous system of the zebrafish embryo.
New rice strain could help farmers predetermine harvest time
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
A new strain of rice that flowers within a certain period of time after being sprayed with commercial chemicals commonly used to protect rice from fungal diseases is now available, say scientists. This new strain could one day allow rice farmers to dictate the timing of their harvest regardless of weather, temperature and other conditions that currently affect cultivation.
Why are primates big-brained? Researchers' answer is food for thought
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Brain size in primates is predicted by diet, an analysis by a team of anthropologists indicates. These results call into question “the social brain hypothesis,” which has posited that humans and other primates are big-brained due to factors pertaining to sociality.
Stars born in winds from supermassive black holes
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Observations using ESO's Very Large Telescope have revealed stars forming within powerful outflows of material blasted out from supermassive black holes at the cores of galaxies. These are the first confirmed observations of stars forming in this kind of extreme environment. The discovery has many consequences for understanding galaxy properties and evolution.
Planetary waves, first found on Earth, are discovered on sun
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
The same kind of large-scale planetary waves that meander through the atmosphere high above Earth's surface may also exist on the sun, according to a new study.
Largest ever brain cancer study reveals new secrets to inherited risk
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Scientists have uncovered a treasure trove of information about the genetic causes of brain cancer in the largest ever study of the disease.
New genetic risk factors identify two distinct glioma subtypes
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
An international consortium of researchers has conducted the largest study to date of malignant brain tumors looking for genetic markers of glioma, a highly aggressive form of brain cancer.
Drug development: Subtle steric differences reveal a model for Ni cross-coupling success
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Researchers have developed a predictive model may enable challenging metal-catalyzed cross couplings reactions that are indispensable to drug development.
Improving memory with magnets
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
The ability to remember sounds, and manipulate them in our minds, is incredibly important to our daily lives -- without it we would not be able to understand a sentence, or do simple arithmetic. New research is shedding light on how sound memory works, and is even demonstrating a means to improve it.
Language learning: 'Say it fast, fluent and flawless'
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
A researcher explores the different functions of prefabricated phrases in young learners' oral language production. These phrases provided learners with an instrument to overcome their lack of knowledge, to improve their fluency, and to enjoy some language play.
Cancer therapy: Tracking real-time proton induced radiation chemistry in water
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Proton therapy is a promising form of radiation treatment used to kill cancerous cells and effectively halt their rapid reproduction, and the fundamental understanding for it is contained in the radiation induced water chemistry that occurs immediately after the interaction. The ensuing processes are therefore a subject of considerable scientific interest.
Farming becoming riskier under climate change
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Climate change is predicted to impact agriculture, but a new study puts these changes in terms that are directly applicable to farmers. For Illinois, the corn planting window will be split in two to avoid wet conditions in April and May. Each planting window carries increased risk -- the early planting window could be thwarted by frost or heavy precipitation, and the late window cut short by intense late-summer drought.
Ant-plant symbioses: Adapting to changes in partner abundance
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Many ant species live in often highly specific symbiotic relationships with plants from which both partners benefit. Researchers now reveal that such selective interactions can break down over the course of evolution.
Cell biology: The quickest route to the tip for protein transport
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
According to a new theoretical model, in cell protrusions and cargo-transporting motor proteins often get in each other's way. The upshot is that freely diffusing proteins reach the leading edge faster.
NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
NASA's Van Allen Probes uncover new phenomena in our near-Earth environment with their unique double orbit. Recently, the spacecraft were in just the right place, at just the right time, to catch an event caused by the fallout of a geomagnetic storm as it happened.
Scientists discover mechanism that causes cancer cells to self-destruct
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
A new study reveals the role of three proteins in killing fast-duplicating cancer cells while they're dividing. The research finds that these proteins can be specifically modified to unleash an inherent 'death mechanism' that self-eradicates duplicating cancer cells.
Obese people have lower pain threshold, new research shows
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
An extra layer of fat won’t provide a cushion against pain – in fact, obese people are more sensitive to pressure pain than those who are not overweight, and they are equally susceptible to extremes of hot and cold.
Vitamins could help treat cystic fibrosis, research finds
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Researchers have discovered why antibiotics for treating people with cystic fibrosis are becoming less effective and how fat soluble vitamins might offer a viable solution.
Biomarker found that could help predict the onset of Type 1 diabetes
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
A significant finding has been made that has the potential to contribute to the identification of biological markers that predict the development of Type 1 diabetes, a chronic autoimmune disease.
Hydrogen production: This is how green algae assemble their enzymes
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Researchers have analyzed how green algae manufacture complex components of a hydrogen-producing enzyme. The enzyme, known as the hydrogenase, may be relevant for the biotechnological production of hydrogen.
'Australia's Jurassic Park' the world's most diverse
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
An unprecedented 21 different types of dinosaur tracks have been identified on a 25-kilometer stretch of the Dampier Peninsula coastline dubbed 'Australia's Jurassic Park.' A team of paleontologists has unveiled the most diverse assemblage of dinosaur tracks in the world in 127 to 140 million-year-old rocks in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia.
Rare genetic forms of obesity more numerous, diverse than previously thought
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
In their search of seven databases and analysis of 161 papers, researchers found that 79 obesity syndromes have been previously reported. Of the 79 syndromes, 19 have been genetically solved, to the point where a lab test could confirm a doctor's suspicions. Another 11 have been partially clarified, and 27 have been mapped to a chromosomal region. For the remaining 22 syndromes, neither the gene(s) nor the chromosomal location(s) have yet been identified.
Researchers warn of hazards of smoking and need for wider use of varenicline to quit
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
More than 35 million Americans are trying to quit smoking. Researchers reassure clinicians and their patients that varenicline, whose brand name is Chantix, is a safe and effective way to achieve smoking cessation and that failure to use this drug has caused preventable heart attacks and deaths from cardiovascular disease. Just a few months ago, the FDA removed the black box warning from varenicline.
Scientists overcome inaccessibility of caves through molecular genetic approach
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
An international group of scientists has used a novel highly sensitive method for detection of environmental DNA in groundwater to extend the poorly known range of the rare subterranean amphibian from the Dinaric Karst. With this highly sensitive non-invasive method they discovered 12 new localities of the olm (Proteus anguinus).
Genetics reveal mysteries of hard-to-treat bacterial infection in cystic fibrosis
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
New research on bacteria that cause major problems for those with cystic fibrosis reveals clues as to how it proliferates for so long in the lungs and offers new ideas for treatments to explore.
Transport of molecular motors into cilia
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Molecular motors produce the force that powers the beat of sperm cell tails to generate movement toward the egg cell for fertilization. New research now shows how the molecular motors that power the movement of sperm cells are recognized and specifically transported into the tail region of the cell. This knowledge can pave the way for a better understanding of disease causing mutations causing sterility.
Nitrogen foraging ability of plants relies on mobile shoot-root hormone signal
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Researchers have discovered the molecular mechanisms underlying the shoot-to-root stage of nitrogen-demand signaling in plants. The team found that genes encoding CEPD polypeptides are switched on in the shoots in response to nitrogen starvation in the roots. These polypeptides then descend into the roots, and activate a nitrate transporter gene only if sufficient nitrate is available in the surrounding soil. These findings have implications for maximizing plant nutrient acquisition and improving agricultural productivity.
Transgenic plants against malaria
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Scientists have discovered a gene that allows to double the production of artemisinin in the Artemisia annua plant. The artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) is the standard treatment for malaria worldwide. The new article presents an important step towards reducing artemisinin production costs.
No 'weekend admission effect' for the elderly sustaining broken hips in the NHS
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
NHS patients admitted to hospital at the weekend with a hip fracture are at no greater risk of death compared to weekdays, new research has found.
New international banking rules would not prevent another financial crisis
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
The Basel III regulatory framework, as planned, will not reduce systemic risk in the financial sector, according to new research. Instead, regulations should aim to increase the resilience of financial networks.
Color change test to help cancer research advance
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
A simple color changing test to help scientists investigate potential cancer drugs has been developed, allowing research to progress at a much greater speed than has been possible until now.
Wall lizard becomes accustomed to humans and stops hiding
March 27th, 2017, 10:18 PM
Habituating to predators or fleeing and hiding are tactics that vary between species. Scientists have observed that adult male common wall lizards sharing their living spaces with humans become accustomed to them and hide less when humans approach them. Yellow lizards were the most 'daring.'