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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.

A new virus in liver cancer

More than a cause of a simple infection, viruses are often involved in the development of serious diseases. Such is the case with liver cancer, which often develops in an organ that has been weakened by hepatitis B or C virus.




OU astrophysicist and collaborators find supermassive black holes in quasar nearest Earth

A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist and his Chinese collaborator have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth, using observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

One in four hepatitis C patients denied initial approval for drug treatment

Nearly one in four patients with chronic hepatitis C (HCV) are denied initial approval for a drug therapy that treats the most common strain of the infection, according to a Yale School of Medicine study.

21-gene recurrence score and receipt of chemotherapy in patients with breast cancer

Use of the 21-gene recurrence test score was associated with lower chemotherapy use in high-risk patients and greater use of chemotherapy in low-risk patients compared with not using the test among a large group of Medicare beneficiaries, according to an article published online by JAMA Oncology.

Survey finds many physicians overestimate their ability to assess patients' risk of Ebola

While most primary care physicians responding to a survey taken in late 2014 and early 2015 expressed confidence in their ability to identify potential cases of Ebola and communicate Ebola risks to their patients, only 50 to 70 percent of them gave answers that fit with CDC guidelines when asked how they would care for hypothetical patients who might have been exposed to Ebola.

Parkinson's disease brain cells at risk of burnout, like an overheating motor

The death of brain cells in Parkinson's disease may be caused by a form of cellular energy crisis in neurons that require unusually high quantities of energy to carry out their job of regulating movement, researchers at the University of Montreal reported today.

New theory leads to radiationless revolution

Physicists have found a radical new way confine electromagnetic energy without it leaking away, akin to throwing a pebble into a pond with no splash.

Antibiotic use linked to type 2 diabetes diagnosis

People who developed Type 2 diabetes tended to take more antibiotics in the years leading up to the diagnosis than people who did not have the condition, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The DNA damage response goes viral: A way in for new cancer treatments

Every organism--from a seedling to a president--must protect its DNA at all costs, but precisely how a cell distinguishes between damage to its own DNA and the foreign DNA of an invading virus has remained a mystery.

Research identifies a protein that helps determine the fate of RNA

After it is transcribed from DNA, RNA can go on to many fates. While the most familiar path may lead directly to the production of protein, RNA molecules themselves can also become capable of altering the expression of genes.

HIV particles do not cause AIDS, our own immune cells do

Researchers from the Gladstone Institutes have revealed that HIV does not cause AIDS by the virus's direct effect on the host's immune cells, but rather through the cells' lethal influence on one another.

'Brainbow' reveals surprising data about visual connections in brain

Neuroscientists know that some connections in the brain are pruned through neural development. Function gives rise to structure, according to the textbooks. But scientists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have discovered that the textbooks might be wrong.

Fish oil-diet benefits may be mediated by gut microbes

Diets rich in fish oil versus diets rich in lard (e.g., bacon) produce very different bacteria in the guts of mice, reports a study published August 27 in Cell Metabolism.

Interrupting sitting with walking breaks improves children's blood sugar

Taking 3-minute breaks to walk in the middle of a TV marathon or other sedentary activity can improve children's blood sugar compared to continuously sitting, according to a new National Institutes of Health (NIH) study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

Evidence suggests subatomic particles could defy the standard model

The Standard Model of particle physics, which explains most of the known behaviors and interactions of fundamental subatomic particles, has held up remarkably well over several decades.

Short bouts of activity may offset lack of sustained exercise in kids

Brief intervals of exercise during otherwise sedentary periods may offset the lack of more sustained exercise and could protect children against diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, according to a small study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health.

Surprised? Cholinergic neurons send broadcasts enabling us to learn from the unexpected

When a large combat unit, widely dispersed in dense jungle, goes to battle, no single soldier knows precisely how his actions are affecting the unit's success or failure.

Soaking up carbon dioxide and turning it into valuable products

A molecular system that holds great promise for the capture and storage of carbon dioxide has been modified so that it now also holds great promise as a catalyst for converting captured carbon dioxide into valuable chemical products.

In diabetic eye disease, peripheral lesions in the retina point to risks of progression

For decades, clinicians have detected and monitored diabetic eye disease with standard retinal photographs that cover about a third of the retina. In recent years, an emerging class of ultrawide field (UWF) cameras has given a substantially larger view of the retina, providing new insight on the presentation and natural history of retinal disease.

Physics meets biology to defeat aging

The scientific team of a new biotech company Gero in collaboration with one of the leading academics in the field of aging Prof. Robert J. Shmookler Reis (current world record holder in life extension for model animals - 10 fold for nematodes) has recently brought new insights into biology of aging and age-related diseases, primarily, around the stability and stress resistance of certain gene regulatory networks.

Researchers use brain scans to predict response to antipsychotic medications

Investigators at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have discovered that brain scans can be used to predict patients' response to antipsychotic drug treatment. The findings are published online in the latest issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry.

Glial cells use lipids to direct neuron organization in the spinal cord

Healing spinal cord damage is an incredibly difficult problem because neurons have to be reconnected in a precise fashion, and there are still many mysteries surrounding how this occurs.

Circadian genes go to sleep every day at the periphery of the nucleus

Mobility between different physical environments in the cell nucleus regulates the daily oscillations in the activity of genes that are controlled by the internal biological clock, according to a study that is published in the journal Molecular Cell. Eventually, these findings may lead to novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of diseases linked with disrupted circadian rhythm.

Mammary gland is shaped by adaptive immune system during development

In experiments with mouse tissue, UC San Francisco researchers have discovered that the adaptive immune system, generally associated with fighting bacterial and viral infections, plays an active role in guiding the normal development of mammary glands, the only organs--in female humans as well as mice--that develop predominately after birth, beginning at puberty.

CWRU researchers efficiently charge a lithium-ion battery with solar cell

Consumers aren't embracing electric cars and trucks, partly due to the dearth of charging stations required to keep them moving.

Intensity of desert storms may affect ocean phytoplankton

Each spring, powerful dust storms in the deserts of Mongolia and northern China send thick clouds of particles into the atmosphere.

To get girls more interested in computer science, make classrooms less 'geeky'

Women lag behind men in the lucrative computer science and technology industries, and one of the possible contributors to this disparity is that they're less likely to enroll in introductory computer science courses.

New technique could enable design of hybrid glasses and revolutionize gas storage

A new method of manufacturing glass could lead to the production of 'designer glasses' with applications in advanced photonics, whilst also facilitating industrial scale carbon capture and storage.

Health workers wasting expensive malaria drugs in Nigeria

Health providers trained to perform malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) are still prescribing valuable malaria medicines to patients who do not have malaria, according to new research published in PLOS ONE.

In very ill, probiotics don't prevent 'superbugs' from colonizing intestinal tract

Compared with routine medical care, probiotics administered to critically ill patients in intensive care units showed no benefit in preventing the colonization of drug-resistant microbes in the intestinal tract, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Imaging techniques set new standard for super-resolution in live cells

Scientists can now watch dynamic biological processes with unprecedented clarity in living cells using new imaging techniques developed by researchers at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Research Campus.

Humus depletion induced by climate change?

The yields of many important crops in Europe have been stagnating since the 1990s. As a result, the input of organic matter into the soil - the crucial source for humus formation - is decreasing.

Successful boron-doping of graphene nanoribbon

Physicists at the University of Basel succeed in synthesizing boron-doped graphene nanoribbons and characterizing their structural, electronic and chemical properties.

Study links air pollution to children's low GPAs

A University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) study on children's health has found that fourth and fifth graders who are exposed to toxic air pollutants at home are more likely to have lower GPAs.

Study aims to reproduce 100 published journal papers

Following one of the largest-scale scientific reproducibility investigations to date, a group of psychology researchers has reported results from an effort to replicate 100 recently published psychology studies; though they were able to successfully repeat the original experiments in most all cases, they were able to reproduce the original results in less than half, they report.

How the mind sharpens the senses

A study conducted with experienced scholars of Zen-Meditation shows that mental focussing can induce learning mechanisms, similar to physical training. Researchers at the Ruhr-University Bochum and the Ludwig-Maximilians-University M√ľnchen discovered this phenomenon during a scientifically monitored meditation retreat.

Caltech chemists solve major piece of cellular mystery

Not just anything is allowed to enter the nucleus, the heart of eukaryotic cells where, among other things, genetic information is stored.

Exploding the drug deadlock: Repurposing nitroglycerin for anti-cancer treatments

For over a century, nitroglycerin has been used medically - particularly in the treatment of angina, or chest pain.

Cervical pessary doesn't reduce rate of preterm birth or neonatal complications in twin gestatations

Having twins accounts for only 1.5% of all births but 25% of preterm births, the leading cause of infant mortality worldwide.

Researcher develops cheaper, better LED technology

A Florida State University engineering professor has developed a new highly efficient and low cost light emitting diode that could help spur more widespread adoption of the technology.

Covert and overt forms of sexism are equally damaging to working women

Frequent sexist wisecracks, comments and office cultures where women are ignored are just as damaging to women as single instances of sexual coercion and unwanted sexual attention, according to a new study out today in The Psychology of Women Quarterly (a SAGE Journal).

Getting a picture of the molecules in a cell in just minutes

Understanding exactly what is taking place inside a single cell is no easy task. For DNA, amplification techniques are available to make the task possible, but for other substances such as proteins and small molecules, scientists generally have to rely on statistics generated from many different cells measured together.

Dry eyes -- researchers report progress in diagnosis and treatment

Do you have problems with dry eyes? If so, you're not alone--it's one of the most common reasons for patient visits to eye care professionals.

15 percent of cigarettes sold in NYC have illegal tax stamps, study finds

Licensed tobacco retailers throughout New York City are selling a substantial number of cigarette packs carrying either counterfeit or out-of-state tax stamps, finds an investigation by NYU public health researchers.

Probiotics show no impact preventing gastrointestinal colonization with drug-resistant bugs

Probiotics show no benefit for preventing or eliminating gastrointestinal colonization with drug-resistant organisms in patients in the intensive care unit compared to standard care, according to new research published online today in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

Pitt team identifies cause of resilience to tinnitus, potential drug therapy

Researchers have identified in an animal model the molecular mechanisms behind resilience to noise-induced tinnitus and a possible drug therapy that could reduce susceptibility to this chronic and sometimes debilitating condition.

Four-day school week can improve academic performance, study finds

Shortening the school week to four days has a positive impact on elementary school students' academic performance in mathematics, according to researchers at Georgia State University and Montana State University.

Humans may be harmed by endocrine disrupting chemicals released during natural gas mining

More than 15 million Americans live within one mile of unconventional oil and gas (UOG) operations that combine directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" to release natural gas from underground rock. Scientific studies still are inconclusive on the potential long-term effects on human development.

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