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Science current events and breaking science news on health, climate change, nanotechnology, the environment, stem cells, global warming, current cancer research, physics, biology, computer science, astronomy, endangered species and alternative energy.

Fatty acid increases performance of cellular powerhouse

Mitochondria are essential to all higher forms of life. Every animal and plant depends on these small intracellular structures.




Hepatitis B continues to be a global health problem

Hepatitis B infections are among the most common infectious diseases worldwide.

Researchers provide new details about sea stars' immunity

A study led by a University of Texas at Arlington graduate student examining sea stars dying along the West Coast provides new clues about the starfish's immune response and its ability to protect a diverse coastal ecosystem.

Coffee consumption habits impact the risk of mild cognitive impairment

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is considered a prodromal stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and dementia.

Plant light sensors came from ancient algae

The light-sensing molecules that tell plants whether to germinate, when to flower and which direction to grow were inherited millions of years ago from ancient algae, finds a new study from Duke University.

Movement tracking technology sheds light on different speech disorders in children

Facial motion capture - the same technology used to develop realistic computer graphics in video games and movies - has been used to identify differences between children with childhood apraxia of speech and those with other types of speech disorders, finds a new study by NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

Early evidence suggests hybrid cochlear implants may benefit millions with common form of hearing loss

People with a common form of hearing loss not helped by hearing aids achieved significant and sometimes profound improvements in their hearing and understanding of speech with hybrid cochlear implant devices, according to a new multicenter study led by specialists at NYU Langone Medical Center.

Doctor warns about lead poisoning risk from recycling older electronic equipment

The disposal and recycling of electronic devices has increased exposure to lead and other toxicants and created "an emerging health concern," according to a pediatrician who directs the Environmental Health and Lead Clinic at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

Chill-tolerant hybrid sugarcane also grows at lower temperatures, team finds

U.S. farmers have long hoped to extend sugarcane's growing range northward from the Gulf coast, substantially increasing the land available for sugar and biofuels.

Switching off street lights at night does not increase car crashes and crime

Reduced street lighting in England and Wales is not associated with road traffic collisions or crime, according to research published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies

East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines. Vaccinated mice produced broadly neutralizing antibodies against multiple strains of the MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV), while vaccinated macaques were protected from severe lung damage when later exposed to MERS-CoV.

Link between mood, pain in rheumatoid arthritis patients

Depressive symptoms and mood in the moment may predict momentary pain among rheumatoid arthritis patients, according to Penn State researchers.

Report examines Medicare and Medicaid programs at 50 years and challenges ahead

Although Medicare and Medicaid are playing a role in health care payment and delivery reform innovation, it will be difficult to enact large-scale program changes because of the conflicting priorities of beneficiaries, health practitioners and organizations, and policy makers.

High-fat maternal diet changes newborn heart 'tastebuds'

Baby rats whose mothers were fed a high-fat diet had larger than normal hearts with fewer taste receptors for bitter flavours, according to new UNSW research.

Many dialysis patients are unprepared for natural disasters

Patients on dialysis are very vulnerable during emergencies or disasters due to their dependence on technology and infrastructure such as transportation, electricity and water to sustain their lives. A study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN) shows that many are unprepared for such situations.

Research grasps how the brain plans gripping motion

With the results of a new study, neuroscientists have a firmer grasp on the way the brain formulates commands for the hand to grip an object.

Ewing's sarcoma: A dangerous liaison

Researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have elucidated at the molecular level how an otherwise innocuous inherited mutation that is quite common in European populations interacts with a spontaneous somatic mutation to promote the development of Ewing's sarcoma.

Rates of death, hospitalizations and expenditures decrease for Medicare patients

Among Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries age 65 years or older, all-cause mortality and hospitalization rates, along with inpatient expenditures per beneficiary, decreased from 1999 to 2013.

'Carbon sink' detected underneath world's deserts

The world's deserts may be storing some of the climate-changing carbon dioxide emitted by human activities, a new study suggests. Massive aquifers underneath deserts could hold more carbon than all the plants on land, according to the new research.

An imbalance of cellular bioenergetics in pancreatic beta-cells links to type 2 diabetes

Impaired activation of mitochondrial energy metabolism in the presence of glucose has been demonstrated in pancreatic beta-cells from patients with type 2 diabetes.

Lobster-Eye imager detects soft X-ray emissions

Solar winds are known for powering dangerous space weather events near Earth, which, in turn, endangers space assets.

Washington, DC sinking fast, adding to threat of sea-level rise

New research confirms that the land under the Chesapeake Bay is sinking rapidly and projects that Washington, D.C., could drop by six or more inches in the next century--adding to the problems of sea-level rise.

Stress hormone reduces heroin cravings

Every addiction is characterized by a strong desire for a certain addictive substance, be it nicotine, alcohol or other drug.

Penn Vet study shows immune cells in the skin remember and defend against parasites

Just as the brain forms memories of familiar faces, the immune system remembers pathogens it has encountered in the past. T cells with these memories circulate in the blood stream looking for sites of new infection.

Queen's researchers develop technology to reduce cost of purifying natural gas

Researchers at Queen's University Belfast have developed a cutting-edge method of reducing the carbon dioxide content of natural gas, a process of major economic and environmental importance in the oil and gas industry.

First detection of lithium from an exploding star

The chemical element lithium has been found for the first time in material ejected by a nova. Observations of Nova Centauri 2013 made using telescopes at ESO's La Silla Observatory, and near Santiago in Chile, help to explain the mystery of why many young stars seem to have more of this chemical element than expected.

ASU researchers demonstrate the world's first white lasers

While lasers were invented in 1960 and are commonly used in many applications, one characteristic of the technology has proven unattainable. No one has been able to create a laser that beams white light.

Origins of life: New model may explain emergence of self-replication on early Earth

When life on Earth began nearly 4 billion years ago, long before humans, dinosaurs or even the earliest single-celled forms of life roamed, it may have started as a hiccup rather than a roar: small, simple molecular building blocks known as "monomers" coming together into longer "polymer" chains and falling apart in the warm pools of primordial ooze over and over again.

McMaster scientists show a link between intestinal bacteria and depression

Scientists from the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute at McMaster University have discovered that intestinal bacteria play an important role in inducing anxiety and depression.

A single hair shows researchers what a bear has been eating

U.S. and Canadian researchers have found they can get a good idea of a grizzly bear's diet over several months by looking at a single hair.

Short wavelength plasmons observed in nanotubes

The term "plasmons" might sound like something from the soon-to-be-released new Star Wars movie, but the effects of plasmons have been known about for centuries.

Identifying ever-growing disturbances leading to freak waves

Physicists like to study unusual kinds of waves, like freak waves found in the sea. Such wave movements can be studied using models designed to describe the dynamics of disturbances.

Pharmacy expenditures for children with serious chronic illness

In an analysis of expenditures for outpatient pharmacy products used by publicly insured children with serious chronic illness in California, treating hemophilia accounted for about 40 percent of expenditures but included just 0.4 percent of the group studied, suggesting a need to improve pricing for this and other effective yet high-cost medications.

Probiotics improve behavioral symptoms of chronic inflammatory diseases in mice

Probiotics may improve the behavioral symptoms of chronic inflammatory diseases by altering communication between the immune system and the brain, according to an animal study published July 29 in the Journal of Neuroscience.

National study of deep brain stimulation for depression fails to demonstrate efficacy

Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide, and treatment-resistant symptoms of depression have a terrible personal and societal cost.

Endangered icebreakers: The future of Arctic research, exploration and rescue at risk

The United States' Icebreaker Fleet - operated by the U.S. Coast Guard - consists of just two ships that are used for everything from search and rescue to national security operations to scientific research.

World's first bilateral hand transplant on child at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Surgeons at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) joined with colleagues from Penn Medicine recently to complete the world's first bilateral hand transplant on a child.

Stressed out plants send animal-like signals

University of Adelaide research has shown for the first time that, despite not having a nervous system, plants use signals normally associated with animals when they encounter stress.

Cystic fibrosis microorganisms survive on little to no oxygen

Microbes contributing to cystic fibrosis (CF) are able to survive in saliva and mucus that is chemically heterogeneous, including significant portions that are largely devoid of oxygen, according to a study published this week in mBio¨, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

A new litmus test for chaos?

Does the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas? This intriguing question -- the title of a talk given by MIT meteorologist Edward Lorenz at a 1972 meeting -- has come to embody the popular conception of a chaotic system, one in which a small difference in initial conditions will cascade toward a vastly different outcome in the future.

Neurology researchers evaluate evidence base for tests for clinical cognitive assessment

Recommendations for improving clinical cognitive testing were reported by the American Academy of Neurology's (AAN) Behavioral Neurology Section (BNS) Group, led by Kirk R. Daffner, MD, of Boston, Mass.

Where memory is encoded and retrieved: New findings in a long-standing debate

Are the same regions and even the same cells of the brain area called hippocampus involved in encoding and retrieving memories or are different areas of this structure engaged?

New study data show reduced intracranial pressure

Results from a European clinical trial comparing therapeutic hypothermia to standard treatment for patients with elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) as a result of severe traumatic brain injury demonstrate a significant mean decrease in ICP with body cooling to 32-35oC, which did not occur in the absence of therapeutic hypothermia.

Parents' health literacy affects child weight-loss tactics, study finds

Parents who have low health literacy are less likely to choose government-recommended weight-loss strategies, such as increasing physical activity or serving more fruits and vegetables, to help their children control their weight than parents who are better able to understand basic health-related information, a new study suggests.

Improvement in the quality of VMMC made possible through the continuous quality improvement approach

The continuous quality improvement (CQI) approach was introduced on a pilot basis to 30 sites across Uganda.

Illuminating mechanisms of repetitive thinking

The ability to engage in mental time travel -- to delve back into past events or imagine future outcomes -- is a unique and central part of the human experience. And yet this very ability can have detrimental consequences for both physical and mental well-being when it becomes repetitive and uncontrolled.

New therapy delivers long-term relief for chronic back, leg pain, study finds

Chronic back and leg pain sufferers in search of better pain relief options may have a new choice. According to a study published in the Online First edition of Anesthesiology, the official medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists¨ (ASA¨), patients who received a novel high frequency form of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) therapy experienced significantly greater, long-term relief for both chronic back and leg pain, when compared to a traditional low frequency form of SCS therapy.

Cellphones can steal data from 'air-gapped computers' according to Ben Gurion University researchers

Researchers at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) Cyber Security Research Center have discovered that virtually any cellphone infected with a malicious code can use GSM phone frequencies to steal critical information from infected "air-gapped" computers.

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