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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.

Tweeting about sexism may improve a woman's wellbeing

This is one of the findings of a study by Dr Mindi Foster, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada that is published today, Friday 30 January 2015, in the British Journal of Social Psychology.




Where did the missing oil go? New FSU study says some is sitting on the Gulf floor

After 200 million gallons of crude oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, the government and BP cleanup crews mysteriously had trouble locating all of it.

Probiotic helps treat diabetes in rats, could lead to human remedy

Science may be one step closer to treating diabetes with a human probiotic pill, according to new Cornell University research.

Support found for peer-mentoring diabetes management program

Managing type 1 diabetes is a never-ending task that requires multiple blood glucose tests, carbohydrate calculations and insulin injections or infusions.

Privacy challenges

In this week's issue of the journal Science, MIT researchers report that just four fairly vague pieces of information -- the dates and locations of four purchases -- are enough to identify 90 percent of the people in a data set recording three months of credit-card transactions by 1.1 million users.

Hot on the trail of the hepatitis-liver cancer connection

Using whole genomic sequencing, scientists from RIKEN in Japan have for the first time demonstrated the profound effect that chronic hepatitis infection and inflammation can have on the genetic mutations found in tumors of the liver, potentially paving the way to a better understanding of the mechanisms through which these chronic infections can lead to cancer.

Structure of world's largest single cell is reflected at the molecular level

Daniel Chitwood, Ph.D., assistant member, and his research group at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center's in St. Louis, in collaboration with the laboratory of Neelima Sinha, Ph.D., at the University of California, Davis, are using the world's largest single-celled organism, an aquatic alga called Caulerpa taxifolia, to study the nature of structure and form in plants.

Why do zebras have stripes?

One of nature's fascinating questions is how zebras got their stripes. A team of life scientists led by UCLA's Brenda Larison has found at least part of the answer: The amount and intensity of striping can be best predicted by the temperature of the environment in which zebras live.

Heat waves becoming more prominent in urban areas, research reveals

The frequency of heat waves has increased dramatically over the past 40 years, and the trend appears to be growing faster in urban areas than in less-populated areas around the world, a new study suggests.

DNA clock helps to get measure of people's lifespans

Scientists have identified a biological clock that provides vital clues about how long a person is likely to live.

Global warming won't mean more stormy weather

A study led by atmospheric physicists at the University of Toronto finds that global warming will not lead to an overall increasingly stormy atmosphere, a topic debated by scientists for decades. Instead, strong storms will become stronger while weak storms become weaker, and the cumulative result of the number of storms will remain unchanged.

Blue mussels not yet the bellwether of NE coastal environment

Ecologists sometimes look to mussel species, a well-studied and foundational genus in estuaries, as model organisms for assessing the condition of coastal habitats, which are crucial for people and well as the broader environment.

A rare glimpse at the elusive saharan cheetah

Research by scientists and conservationists from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Zoological Society of London, and other groups published today in PLOS ONE shows that critically endangered Saharan cheetahs exist at incredibly low densities and require vast areas for their conservation.

Crystal light: New light-converting materials point to cheaper, more efficient solar power

University of Toronto engineers study first single crystal perovskites for new applications Engineers have shone new light on an emerging family of solar-absorbing materials that could clear the way for cheaper and more efficient solar panels and LEDs.

Scientists home in on reasons behind cancer drug trial disappointment

Scientists based at the University of Helsinki, Finland, have discovered a 'hidden' mechanism which could explain why some cancer therapies which aim to block tumour blood vessel growth are failing cancer trials.

Is this the year you join the 1 percent?

Here's some good news for the New Year: According to new research by Washington University in St. Louis and Cornell University, there's a 1 in 9 chance that a typical American will hit the jackpot and join the wealthiest 1 percent for at least one year in her or his working life.

Walking on ice takes more than brains

Walking across an icy parking lot in winter--and remaining upright--takes intense concentration.

Ancient skull proves modern humans colonized Eurasia 60-70,000 years ago

While it is widely accepted that the origins of modern humans date back some 200,000 years to Africa, there has been furious debate as to which model of early Homo sapiens migration most plausibly led to the population of the planet -- and the eventual extinction of Neanderthals.

CAT scan of nearby supernova remnant reveals frothy interior

Cassiopeia A, or Cas A for short, is one of the most well studied supernova remnants in our galaxy. But it still holds major surprises.

Scientists investigate link between skyrocketing sea slug populations and warming seas

The warm ocean temperatures that brought an endangered green sea turtle to San Francisco in September have triggered a population explosion of bright pink, inch-long sea slugs in tide pools along California's central and northern coastline.

New molecular target identified for treating cerebral malaria

A drug already approved for treating other diseases may be useful as a treatment for cerebral malaria, according to researchers at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

Genetically engineered antibody-based molecules show enhanced HIV-fighting abilities

Capitalizing on a new insight into HIV's strategy for evading antibodies--proteins produced by the immune system to identify and wipe out invading objects such as viruses--Caltech researchers have developed antibody-based molecules that are more than 100 times better than our bodies' own defenses at binding to and neutralizing HIV, when tested in vitro.

Study finds texting may be more suitable than apps in treatment of mental illness

Texting may be a more suitable treatment aid for those with mental illness than mobile applications.

Picking up on the smell of evolution

For most of us, switching to a vegetarian diet might be a matter of a New Year's resolution and a fair amount of willpower, but for an entire species, it's a much more involved process -- one that evolutionary biologists have struggled to understand for a long time.

Invasive species in the Great Lakes by 2063

The Great Lakes have been invaded by more non-native species than any other freshwater ecosystem in the world.

Common pesticide may increase risk of ADHD

A commonly used pesticide may alter the development of the brain's dopamine system -- responsible for emotional expression and cognitive function - and increase the risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children, according to a new Rutgers study.

Crucial protective role observed for farnesoid-X receptor in cholestatic liver injury

The farnesoid-X receptor (FXR), also known as the chief regulator of bile acid metabolism, is thought to play a role in some hepatobiliary and gastrointestinal disorders.

Scientists trial system to improve safety at sea

A space scientist at the University of Leicester, in collaboration with the New Zealand Defence Technology Agency and DMC International Imaging, has been trialling a concept for using satellite imagery to significantly improve the chances of locating ships and planes, such as the missing Malaysian flight MH370, lost at sea.

Can Lean Management improve hospitals?

Waiting times in hospital emergency departments could be cut with the introduction of Lean Management and Six Sigma techniques according to new research.

Study: Blame men for political gridlock

During the political gridlock that led to the 2013 federal government shutdown, the leading voices for compromise were the handful of female U.S. senators -- only 20 percent of the overall legislative body.

Transgender kids show consistent gender identity across measures

A study with 32 transgender children, ages 5 to 12, indicates that the gender identity of these children is deeply held and is not the result of confusion about gender identity or pretense.

Scientists reveal global patterns of specialized feeding in insect herbivores

Insects are picky eaters, and not the voracious eat-everything-in-sight bingers that devour all the plants in your garden.

Bird watchers help federal agencies pinpoint conservation priorities

Migratory birds are a little like college students moving from home to school and back over the year.

Home is a safe haven for female deer

To female black-tailed deer, their home turf provides a safe haven and a refuge against possible predation by pumas.

First-ever view of protein structure may lead to better anxiety drugs

When new medicines are invented, the drug may hit the intended target and nullify the symptoms, but nailing a bull's eye - one that produces zero side effects - can be quite elusive.

LSU Health New Orleans makes discovery key to preventing blindness and stroke devastation

Research led by Nicolas Bazan, MD, PhD, Boyd Professor, Ernest C. and Yvette C. Villere Chair of Retinal Degeneration Research, and Director of the Neuroscience Center of Excellence at LSU Health New Orleans, has discovered gene interactions that determine whether cells live or die in such conditions as age-related macular degeneration and ischemic stroke.

Testing for EGFR mutations and ALK rearrangements is cost-effective in NSCLC

Multiplexed genetic screening for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene rearrangements and subsequent biomarker-guided treatment is cost-effective compared with standard chemotherapy treatment without any molecular testing in the metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) setting in the United States.

Shared symptoms of Chikungunya virus, rheumatoid arthritis may cloud diagnosis

A mosquito-borne virus that has spread to the Caribbean and Central and South America and has caused isolated infections in Florida often causes joint pain and swelling similar to that seen in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Researchers provide insights for reducing drug overdoses through community education

Results from a new study show that participants in drug overdose education programs tend to be parents (mostly mothers) who provide financial support for their son/daughter, have daily contact with their loved one, have applied for court-mandated treatment and have witnessed an overdose.

Canceled flights: For monarch butterflies, loss of migration means more disease

Human activities are disrupting the migration patterns of many species, including monarch butterflies. Some monarchs have stopped migrating to their traditional overwintering sites in Mexico, remaining in the southern U.S. to breed during the winter.

'Feeding and fasting' hormone adropin can improve insulin action

In a study published in Molecular Metabolism, a SLU researcher has found that adropin, a hormone that regulates whether the body burns fat or sugar during feeding and fasting cycles, can improve insulin action in obese, diabetic mice, suggesting that it may work as a therapy for type 2 diabetes.

In a role reversal, RNAs proofread themselves

Building a protein is a lot like a game of telephone: information is passed along from one messenger to another, creating the potential for errors every step of the way.

Altered dopamine signaling a clue to autism

Newly discovered genetic variations linked to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) disrupt the function of the dopamine transporter, suggesting that altered dopamine signaling contributes to this common developmental condition, according to a Vanderbilt University-led research team.

Los Alamos develops new technique for growing high-efficiency perovskite solar cells

This week in the journal Science, Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers reveal a new solution-based hot-casting technique that allows growth of highly efficient and reproducible solar cells from large-area perovskite crystals.

Complex environments push 'brain' evolution

Little animations trying to master a computer game are teaching neuroscience researchers how the brain evolves when faced with difficult tasks.

Landmark study to track 'pioneer' generation of transgender children

Marlo Mack's son was 3 years old when he told her very adamantly that he was not a boy, but a girl.

Building trustworthy big data algorithms

Much of our reams of data sit in large databases of unstructured text. Finding insights among emails, text documents, and websites is extremely difficult unless we can search, characterize, and classify their text data in a meaningful way.

Erectile dysfunction drugs could protect liver from sepsis-induced damage, says Pitt team

Drugs that are on the market to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) could have another use--they might be able to protect the liver from damage caused by sepsis, a systemic inflammatory response to infection, say researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

NASA measured nor'easter's powerful winds from space

When blizzard warnings were in effect in New England, NASA's ISS-RapidScat instrument provided forecasters with wind speed data on the nor'easter that had hurricane-force wind gusts.

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