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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.

221 new species described by the California Academy of Sciences in 2014

In 2014, researchers at the California Academy of Sciences added a whopping 221 new plant and animal species to our family tree, enriching our understanding of Earth's complex web of life and strengthening our ability to make informed conservation decisions.




A vegetarian carnivorous plant

Carnivorous plants catch and digest tiny animals in order and derive benefits for their nutrition. Interestingly the trend towards vegetarianism seems to overcome carnivorous plants as well.

Variety is the spice of humble moth's sex life

A small brown moth has one of the most complex sex lives in the insect world, new research has found.

Making a good thing better

The lithium-ion batteries that mobilize our electronic devices need to be improved if they are to power electric vehicles or store electrical energy for the grid. Berkeley Lab researchers looking for a better understanding of liquid electrolyte may have found a pathway forward.

IMF lending undermined healthcare provision in Ebola-stricken West Africa

Writing today in the journal Lancet Global Health, researchers from Cambridge University's Department of Sociology examine the links between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Study reveals major websites could be doing more to promote improved password security

Online giants including Amazon and LinkedIn could be doing far more to raise awareness of the need for better password practices among their users.

Trade winds ventilate the tropical oceans

The changes can be measured, but their reasons were unknown. For several decades, scientists have carefully observed that the oxygen minimum zones (OMZ) in the tropical oceans are expanding.

New challenges for ocean acidification research

Over the past decade, ocean acidification has received growing recognition not only in the scientific area. Decision-makers, stakeholders, and the general public are becoming increasingly aware of "the other carbon dioxide problem".

High blood sugar in young children with type 1 diabetes linked to changes in brain growth

Investigators have found that young children with type 1 diabetes (T1D) have slower brain growth compared to children without diabetes.

A polymorphism and the bacteria inside of us help dictate inflammation, antitumor activity

A common polymorphism - a variation in a person's DNA sequence that is found with regularity in the general population - can lead to a chain of events that dictates how a tumor will progress in certain types of cancer, including a form of breast cancer as well as ovarian cancer.

Alaska fish adjust to climate change by following the food

Not all species may suffer from climate change. A new analysis shows that Dolly Varden, a species of char common in southeast Alaska, adjust their migrations so they can keep feasting on a key food source - salmon eggs - even as shifts in climate altered the timing of salmon spawning.

Scientists uncover new, fundamental mechanism for how resveratrol provides health benefits

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found that resveratrol, the red-wine ingredient once touted as an elixir of youth, powerfully activates an evolutionarily ancient stress response in human cells.

Microplastics in the ocean: Biologists study effects on marine animals

ngestion of microplastic particles does not mechanically affect marine isopods. This was the result of a study by biologists at the North Sea Office of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) that was published recently in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

Early exposure to antidepressants affects adult anxiety and serotonin transmission

About 15 percent of women in the United States suffer from anxiety disorders and depression during their pregnancies, and many are prescribed antidepressants.

One in every three people with type 1 diabetes produces insulin years post-diagnosis

About one-third of people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) produce insulin, as measured by C-peptide, a byproduct of insulin production, even upward of forty years from initial diagnosis, according to a first-of-its-kind, large-scale study conducted by researchers from T1D Exchange.

Ninety-eight new beetle species discovered in Indonesia

Ninety-eight new species of the beetle genus Trigonopterus have been described from Java, Bali and other Indonesian islands.

Steroid-based treatment may answer needs of pediatric EoE patients

A new formulation of oral budesonide suspension, a steroid-based treatment, is safe and effective in treating pediatric patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), according to a new study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association.

Atom-thick CCD could capture images

An atomically thin material developed at Rice University may lead to the thinnest-ever imaging platform.

Methane is leaking from permafrost offshore Siberia

Yamal Peninsula in Siberia has recently become world famous. Spectacular sinkholes, appeared as out of nowhere in the permafrost of the area, sparking the speculations of significant release of greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere.

Suppressing a protein reduces cancer spread in mice

Scientists have found that decreasing the levels of or blocking a specific protein commonly found in humans and many other animals allowed them to slow the spread of two different kinds of cancer to the lungs of mice.

Concerns raised about variable performance of some UK personal use breathalyzers

The ability of some breathalyzers widely sold to the UK public to detect potentially unsafe levels of breath alcohol for driving, varies considerably, reveals research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Hermit creepy crawlies: Two new taxa of wood-feeding cockroach from China

Scientists from the Southwest University, Chongqing, China have found a new species and a new subspecies of cockroach.

New technique reveals immune cell motion

Neutrophils, a type of white blood cell, are the immune system's all-terrain vehicles. The cells are recruited to fight infections or injury in any tissue or organ in the body despite differences in the cellular and biochemical composition.

Researchers discover new genetic anomalies in lung cancer

Developing effective treatments for lung cancer has been challenging, in part because so many genetic mutations play a role in the disease.

Fast-food consumption linked to lower test score gains in 8th graders

The amount of fast food children eat may be linked to how well they do in school, a new nationwide study suggests.

New technology makes tissues, someday maybe organs

A new instrument could someday build replacement human organs the way electronics are assembled today: with precise picking and placing of parts.

Coral reveals long-term link between Pacific winds, global climate

New research indicates that shifts in Pacific trade winds played a key role in twentieth century climate variation, a sign that they may again be influencing global temperatures.

Quantum world without queues could lead to better solar cells

In a recent study from Lund University in Sweden, researchers have used new technology to study extremely fast processes in solar cells. The research results form a concrete step towards more efficient solar cells.

Helping parents understand infant sleep patterns

Most parents are not surprised by the irregularity of a newborn infant's sleep patterns, but by six months or so many parents wonder if something is wrong with their baby or their sleeping arrangements if the baby is not sleeping through the night.

NASA's SDO captures images of 2 mid-level flares

The sun emitted a mid-level flare on Dec. 18, 2014, at 4:58 p.m. EST. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event.

First successful vaccination against 'mad cow'-like wasting disease in deer

Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center and elsewhere say that a vaccination they have developed to fight a brain-based, wasting syndrome among deer and other animals may hold promise on two additional fronts: Protecting U.S. livestock from contracting the disease, and preventing similar brain infections in humans.

Radiologist recommendations for chest CT have high clinical yield

A substantial percentage of patients who receive radiologist recommendations for chest computed tomography (CT) to evaluate abnormal findings on outpatient chest X-rays have clinically relevant findings, including cancer, according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology.

Consumer purchases of cakes, cookies and pies have decreased by 24 percent

Ready-to-eat grain-based desserts (RTE GBDs) are pre-packaged consumer baked goods such as cakes, cookies, pies, doughnuts, and pastries.

Study: An alternative for pain control after knee replacement surgery

It's estimated that more than half of adults in the United States diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis will undergo knee replacement surgery.

The VuePod: Powerful enough for a gamer, made for an engineer

It's like a scene from a gamer's wildest dreams: 12 high-definition, 55-inch 3D televisions all connected to a computer capable of supporting high-end, graphics-intensive gaming.

Russian scientists 'map' water vapor in Martian atmosphere

Russian scientists from the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), together with their French and American colleagues, have created a 'map' of the distribution of water vapour in Mars' atmosphere.

The psychology of gift-giving and receiving

Gift exchanges can reveal how people think about others, what they value and enjoy, and how they build and maintain relationships.

Reducing emergency surgery cuts health care costs

As hospitals and health systems increasingly focus on addressing the rising cost of health care in the United States, and with the expense of surgical care playing a major role, physician researchers and others across the healthcare industry are working to identify innovative ways to reduce surgical costs.

Lost memories might be able to be restored, new UCLA study indicates

New UCLA research indicates that lost memories can be restored. The findings offer some hope for patients in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.

Piezoelectricity in a 2-D semiconductor

A door has been opened to low-power off/on switches in micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and nanoelectronic devices, as well as ultrasensitive bio-sensors, with the first observation of piezoelectricity in a free standing two-dimensional semiconductor by a team of researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

Epithelial tube contraction

Researchers at the Mechanobiology Institute (MBI), National University of Singapore (NUS) have identified a novel mechanosensitive regulation of epithelial tube contraction.

Scientists reveal breakthrough in optical fiber communications

Researchers from the University of Southampton have revealed a breakthrough in optical fibre communications.

Televised medical talk shows: Health education or entertainment?

For millions of people around the world, televised medical talk shows have become a daily viewing ritual. Programs such as The Dr. Oz Show and The Doctors have attracted massive followings as charismatic hosts discuss new medical research and therapies while offering viewers their own recommendations for better health.

Yellowstone's thermal springs -- their colors unveiled

Researchers at Montana State University and Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany have created a simple mathematical model based on optical measurements that explains the stunning colors of Yellowstone National Park's hot springs and can visually recreate how they appeared years ago, before decades of tourists contaminated the pools with make-a-wish coins and other detritus.

Technophobia may keep seniors from using apps to manage diabetes

Despite showing interest in web or mobile apps to help manage their Type 2 diabetes, only a small number of older adults actually use them, says a new study from the University of Waterloo.

Bone loss drugs may help prevent endometrial cancer

A new analysis suggests that women who use bisphosphonates--medications commonly used to treat osteoporosis and other bone conditions--have about half the risk of developing endometrial cancer as women who do not use the drugs.

Disadvantaged men more likely to do 'women's work' reveals new study

New research has revealed that men who are disabled and from an ethnic minority are significantly more likely to do jobs traditionally associated with women.

Ecosystems need maths not random nature to survive

A previously unknown mathematical property has been found to be behind one of nature's greatest mysteries - how ecosystems survive.

Blocking excessive division of cell powerhouses reduces liver cell death in cholestasis

A study in The Journal of Biological Chemistry links the unusual shape of the cell powerhouses, or mitochondria, that occurs in cholestasis to their rapid fragmentation from exposure to the bile salt glycochenodeoxycholate.

Limit imaging scans for headache? Neurosurgeons raise concerns

Recent guidelines seeking to reduce the use of neuroimaging tests for patients with headaches run the risk of missing or delaying the diagnosis of brain tumors, according to a special article in the January issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Diverse autism mutations lead to different disease outcomes

People with autism have a wide range of symptoms, with no two people sharing the exact type and severity of behaviors.

Study links suicide risk with insomnia, alcohol use

A new study is the first to show that insomnia symptoms mediate the relationship between alcohol use and suicide risk, and that this mediation is moderated by gender.

Study: Industrial clusters fuel economies

Experts have long theorized that having a cluster of firms within a given industry helps a region's economy grow.

Family criticizing your weight? You might add more pounds

Women whose loved ones are critical of their weight tend to put on even more pounds, says a new study on the way people's comments affect our health.

Average temperature in Finland has risen by more than two degrees

According to a recent University of Eastern Finland and Finnish Meteorological Institute study, the rise in the temperature has been especially fast over the past 40 years, with the temperature rising by more than 0.2 degrees per decade.

Using light to understand the brain

UCL researchers have developed an innovative way to understand how the brain works by using flashes of light, allowing them to both 'read' and 'write' brain signals.

Universality of charge order in cuprate superconductors

The discovery of superconductivity in cuprates, a class of ceramic materials, in 1986 has boosted an impressive effort of research all around the world.

New cell marking technique to help understand how our brain works

Scientists from the University of Southampton have developed a new technique to mark individual brain cells to help improve our understanding of how the brain works.

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