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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.

Pitt team publishes new findings from mind-controlled robot arm project

In another demonstration that brain-computer interface technology has the potential to improve the function and quality of life of those unable to use their own arms, a woman with quadriplegia shaped the almost human hand of a robot arm with just her thoughts to pick up big and small boxes, a ball, an oddly shaped rock, and fat and skinny tubes.




Back to the future? Past global warming period echoes today's

The rate at which carbon emissions warmed Earth's climate almost 56 million years ago resembles modern, human-caused global warming much more than previously believed, but involved two pulses of carbon to the atmosphere, researchers have found.

NASA Goddard Instrument Makes First Detection of Organic Matter on Mars

The team responsible for the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on NASA's Curiosity rover has made the first definitive detection of organic molecules at Mars.

Future batteries: Lithium-sulfur with a graphene wrapper

What do you get when you wrap a thin sheet of the "wonder material" graphene around a novel multifunctional sulfur electrode that combines an energy storage unit and electron/ion transfer networks?

NREL Compares State Solar Policies to Determine Equation for Solar Market Success

Analysts at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have used statistical analyses and detailed case studies to better understand why solar market policies in certain states are more successful.

Use of alcohol, cigarettes, number of illicit drugs declines among US teens

A national survey of students in U.S. middle schools and high schools shows some important improvements in levels of substance use.

Discovery Aims to Fight Destructive Bee Disease

University of Guelph researchers hope their new discovery will help combat a disease killing honeybee populations around the world.

Microbiome may have shaped early human populations

We humans have an exceptional age structure compared to other animals: Our children remain dependent on their parents for an unusually long period and our elderly live an extremely long time after they have stopped procreating.

The sense of smell uses fast dynamics to encode odors

Neuroscientists from the John B. Pierce Laboratory and Yale School of Medicine have discovered that mice can detect minute differences in the temporal dynamics of the olfactory system, according to research that will be published on December 16 in the open access journal PLOS Biology.

Broad Receptive Field Responsible for Differentiated Neuronal Activity

Some neurons are more active than others, even when they are positioned right next to each other and are one and the same neuron type.

'Microlesions' in epilepsy discovered by novel technique

Using an innovative technique combining genetic analysis and mathematical modeling with some basic sleuthing, researchers have identified previously undescribed microlesions in brain tissue from epileptic patients.

Study reveals that people may inherit 'gut' bacteria that cause Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis

A new study by an international team of researchers shows for the first time that people may inherit some of the intestinal bacteria that cause Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, collectively know as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Medicaid is a very good investment even if it does not lower cholesterol or blood pressure

Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health analyzed the results of the Oregon Health Experiment, where eligible uninsured individuals were randomly assigned Medicaid or to stay with their current care.

The simplest element: Turning hydrogen into 'graphene'

New work from Carnegie's Ivan Naumov and Russell Hemley delves into the chemistry underlying some surprising recent observations about hydrogen, and reveals remarkable parallels between hydrogen and graphene under extreme pressures.

Nationwide project paves way for clinical genetic diagnosis

The first nationwide project to genetically diagnose rare diseases will pave the way for translating advances in genomics into patient care in the NHS.

Mild memory & thinking issues: What works, what doesn't? U-M experts weigh the evidence

For up to one in five Americans over age 65, getting older brings memory and thinking problems- along with the embarrassment of not being as "sharp" as they once were, and the worry that it will get much worse.

Hurricane-forecast satellites will keep close eyes on the tropics

A set of eight hurricane-forecast satellites being developed at the University of Michigan is expected to give deep insights into how and where storms suddenly intensify--a little-understood process that's becoming more crucial to figure out as the climate changes, U-M researchers say.

Top weather conditions that amplify Lake Erie algal blooms revealed

Of the many weather-related factors that contribute to harmful algal blooms (HABs) in Lake Erie, a new study has identified one as most important: the wind.

Damming beavers are slowly changing the world

There are consequences of the successful efforts worldwide to save beavers from extinction. Along with the strong increase in their population over the past 100 years, these furry aquatic rodents have built many more ponds, establishing vital aquatic habitat.

Political Extremists May Be Less Susceptible to Common Cognitive Bias

People who occupy the extreme ends of the political spectrum, whether liberal or conservative, may be less influenced by outside information on a simple estimation task than political moderates, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Amount of mitochondrial DNA predicts frailty and mortality

New research from The Johns Hopkins University suggests that the amount of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) found in peoples' blood directly relates to how frail they are medically.

Personality outsmarts intelligence at school

Recent research at Griffith University has found that personality is more important than intelligence when it comes to success in education.

Introverts could shape extroverted co-workers' career success, OSU study shows

Introverted employees are more likely to give low evaluations of job performance to extroverted co-workers, giving introverts a powerful role in workplaces that rely on peer-to-peer evaluation tools for awarding raises, bonuses or promotions, new research shows.

Big-data analysis reveals gene sharing in mice

Rice University scientists have detected at least three instances of cross-species mating that likely influenced the evolutionary paths of "old world" mice, two in recent times and one in the distant past.

Carbon-trapping 'sponges' can cut greenhouse gases

In the fight against global warming, carbon capture - chemically trapping carbon dioxide before it releases into the atmosphere - is gaining momentum, but standard methods are plagued by toxicity, corrosiveness and inefficiency.

Virus causing mass duck die-offs on Cape Cod identified

Since 1998, hundreds and sometimes thousands of dead eider ducks have been washing up every year on Cape Cod's beaches in late summer or early fall, but the reasons behind these cyclic die-offs have remained a mystery.

When pursuing goals, people give more weight to progress than setbacks

New Year's resolution-makers should beware of skewed perceptions. People tend to believe good behaviors are more beneficial in reaching goals than bad behaviors are in obstructing goals, according to a University of Colorado Boulder-led study.

Single genetic abnormality accelerates, removes the brakes on Ewing sarcoma tumor growth

The genetic abnormality that drives the bone cancer Ewing sarcoma operates through two distinct processes - both activating genes that stimulate tumor growth and suppressing those that should keep cancer from developing.

Bacterial 'bunches' linked to some colorectal cancers

Researchers from Johns Hopkins have found that dense mats of interacting bacteria, called biofilms, were present in the majority of cancers and polyps, particularly those on the right side of the colon.

Study recommends GPs should be more open when referring patients for cancer investigations

GPs should consider a more overt discussion with patients when referring them for further investigation of symptoms which may indicate cancer, according to a paper published in the British Journal of General Practice.

Teen prescription opioid abuse, cigarette, and alcohol use trends down

Use of cigarettes, alcohol, and abuse of prescription pain relievers among teens has declined since 2013 while marijuana use rates were stable, according to the 2014 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey, released today by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Cracking the code of brain development

With a unique, multi-faceted approach, researchers at the Lieber Institute for Brain Development (LIBD) have quantified the effect of previously unidentified anomalies in genetic expression that determine how the human brain develops from its earliest stages.

New tracers can identify coal ash contamination in water

Duke University scientists have developed new forensic tracers to identify coal ash contamination in water and distinguish it from contamination coming from other sources.

Asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs may have nearly knocked off mammals, too

The extinction of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago is thought to have paved the way for mammals to dominate, but a new study shows that many mammals died off alongside the dinosaurs.

Hugs help protect against stress and infection, say Carnegie Mellon researchers

Instead of an apple, could a hug-a-day keep the doctor away? According to new research from Carnegie Mellon University, that may not be that far-fetched of an idea.

How the brain can distinguish good from bad smells

Whether an odor is pleasant or disgusting to an organism is not just a matter of taste. Often, an organism's survival depends on its ability to make just such a discrimination, because odors can provide important information about food sources, oviposition sites or suitable mates.

New technology advances eye tracking as biomarker for brain function and brain injury

Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center have developed new technology that can assess the location and impact of a brain injury merely by tracking the eye movements of patients as they watch music videos for less than four minutes, according to a study published Friday on-line in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

Study reveals abundance of microplastics in the world's deep seas

The deep sea is becoming a collecting ground for plastic waste, according to research led by scientists from Plymouth University and Natural History Museum.

Vessel research offers new direction to study how cancer spreads

Researchers have understood very little about how blood and lymphatic vessels form in the mammalian gut - until now.

Teen contraband smokers more likely to use illicit drugs: Study

A University of Alberta economics professor has discovered a link between contraband cigarette use and illicit drug use among Canadian teens.

The hot blue stars of Messier 47

Messier 47 is located approximately 1600 light-years from Earth, in the constellation of Puppis (the poop deck of the mythological ship Argo). It was first noticed some time before 1654 by Italian astronomer Giovanni Battista Hodierna and was later independently discovered by Charles Messier himself, who apparently had no knowledge of Hodierna's earlier observation.

Main reason for lifespan variability between races not cause of death

Eliminating health disparities between races is a goal of many groups and organizations, but a team of sociologists suggests that finding the reasons for the differences in the timing of black and white deaths may be trickier than once thought.

Scientists trace nanoparticles from plants to caterpillars

In one of the most comprehensive laboratory studies of its kind, Rice University scientists traced the uptake and accumulation of quantum dot nanoparticles from water to plant roots, plant leaves and leaf-eating caterpillars.

More than half of all children in the US will likely live with an unmarried mother

More than half of all American children will likely live with an unmarried mother at some point before they reach age 18, according to a report issued by Princeton University and Harvard University.

Growing shortage of stroke specialists seen

Although stroke is the No. 4 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States, there's an increasing shortage of neurologists who specialize in stroke care.

Regulation of maternal miRNAs in early embryos revealed

The Center for RNA Research at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) has succeeded in revealing, for the first time, the mechanism of how miRNAs, which control gene expression, are regulated in the early embryonic stage.

DNA sheds light on why largest lemurs disappeared

Ancient DNA extracted from the bones and teeth of giant lemurs that lived thousands of years ago in Madagascar may help explain why the giant lemurs went extinct.

Ocean acidification a culprit in commercial shellfish hatcheries' failures

The mortality of larval Pacific oysters in Northwest hatcheries has been linked to ocean acidification. Yet the rate of increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the decrease of pH in near-shore waters have been questioned as being severe enough to cause the die-offs.

Combining social media and behavioral psychology could lead to more HIV testing

Social media such as Twitter and Facebook can be valuable in the fight against HIV in the United States, where research has demonstrated they can prompt high-risk populations to request at-home testing kits for the virus that causes AIDS, suggesting a way to potentially boost testing rates.

Cocaine, amphetamine users more likely to take their own lives

Stimulants use such as cocaine and amphetamine is associated with a nearly two-fold greater likelihood of suicidal behaviour amongst people who inject drugs.

Meth users face substantially higher risk for getting Parkinson's disease

In addition to incurring serious dental problems, memory loss and other physical and mental issues, methamphetamine users are three times more at risk for getting Parkinson's disease than non-illicit drug users, new research from the University of Utah and Intermountain Healthcare shows.

Combining images and genetic data proves gene loss behind aggressive ovarian cancers

Cancer Research UK scientists have shown that loss of a gene called PTEN triggers some cases of an aggressive form of ovarian cancer, called high-grade serous ovarian cancer.

First real-world trial of impact of patient-controlled access to electronic medical records

In the first real-world trial of the impact of patient-controlled access to electronic medical records, almost half of the patients who participated withheld clinically sensitive information in their medical record from some or all of their health care providers.

Kent State Physics Professor Publishes Exact Solution to Model Big Bang and Quark Gluon Plasma

Unlike in mathematics, it is rare to have exact solutions to physics problems.

Glacier beds can get slipperier at higher sliding speeds

As a glacier's sliding speed increases, the bed beneath the glacier can grow slipperier, according to laboratory experiments conducted by Iowa State University glaciologists.

Study Hints that Ancient Earth Made Its Own Water-Geologically

A new study is helping to answer a longstanding question that has recently moved to the forefront of earth science: Did our planet make its own water through geologic processes, or did water come to us via icy comets from the far reaches of the solar system?

Do caffeine's effects differ with or without sugar?

Consuming caffeinated or sugary drinks can affect the body's metabolism, causing changes in heart and respiratory rate and weight gain.

UTMB study finds that most patients do not use inhalers and epinephrine autoinjectors correctly

For people with asthma or severe allergies, medical devices like inhalers and epinephrine autoinjectors, such as EpiPen, can be lifesaving.

Bugs life: The nerve cells that make locusts 'gang up'

A team of biologists has identified a set of nerve cells in desert locusts that bring about 'gang-like' gregarious behaviour when they are forced into a crowd.

Better focus at the micro world: A low-budget focus stacking system for mass digitization

A team of Belgian researchers constructed a focus stacking set-up made of consumer grade products with better end results than high-end solutions and this at only a tenth of the prize of current existing systems.

Mayo Clinic physicians say high-definition scopes accurately assess polyps

It may not be necessary for experienced gastroenterologists to send polyps they remove from a patient's colon to a pathologist for examination.

Predicting antibiotic resistance

Treating bacterial infections with antibiotics is becoming increasingly difficult as bacteria develop resistance not only to the antibiotics being used against them, but also to ones they have never encountered before.

Composite plane life cycle assessment shows lighter planes are the future

A global fleet of composite planes could reduce carbon emissions by up to 15 percent, but the lighter planes alone will not enable the aviation industry to meet its emissions targets, according to new research.

New research unlocks a mystery of albinism

A team led by Brown University biologists has discovered the way in which a specific genetic mutation appears to lead to the lack of melanin production underlying a form of albinism.

Extra vitamin E protected older mice from getting common type of pneumonia

Extra vitamin E protected older mice from a bacterial infection that commonly causes pneumonia. Microbiologists and nutrition researchers from Tufts University report that the extra vitamin E helped regulate the mice's immune system.

Low glycemic diet does not improve risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes

Nutrition experts are continually debating the nutritional value of carbohydrate-containing foods and whether some are healthier than others.

Population Council reports positive acceptability for investigational contraceptive ring

The Population Council published new research in the November issue of the journal Contraception demonstrating that an investigational one-year contraceptive vaginal ring containing Nestorone® and ethinyl estradiol was found to be highly acceptable among women enrolled in a Phase 3 clinical trial.

Previously removed immigrants more likely to be rearrested later, study finds

Unauthorized immigrants who previously have been removed from the United States are more than 2.5 times more likely to be rearrested after leaving jail, and are likely to be rearrested much more frequently than those who have never been removed, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

Real-time radiation monitor can reduce radiation exposure for medical workers

It's a sound that saves. A "real-time" radiation monitor that alerts by beeping in response to radiation exposure during cardiac-catheterization procedures significantly reduces the amount of exposure that medical workers receive, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers found.

Hospital-based exercise program improves quality of life for adults with arthritis

It may seem counterintuitive, but exercise can be beneficial for people suffering from arthritis and other muscle and joint conditions.

Are transgender veterans at greater risk of suicide?

Veterans of the U.S. armed forces who have received a diagnosis consistent with transgender status are more likely to have serious suicidal thoughts and plans and to attempt suicide.

NTU invents smart window that tints and powers itself

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) scientists have developed a smart window which can darken or brighten without the need for an external power source.

Certain parenting tactics could lead to materialistic attitudes in adulthood

With the holiday season in full swing and presents piling up under the tree, many parents may be tempted to give children all the toys and gadgets they ask for or use the expectation of gifts to manage children's behavior.

Probing bacterial resistance to a class of natural antibiotics

Antimicrobial peptides are a distinctive class of potent, broad-spectrum antibiotics produced by the body's innate immune system-the first line of defense against disease-causing microbes.

People Trust Typical-Looking Faces Most

Being "average" is often considered a bad thing, but new research suggests that averageness wins when people assess the trustworthiness of a face.

Naming people and objects in baby's first year may offer learning benefits years later

In a follow-up to her earlier studies of learning in infancy, developmental psychologist Lisa Scott and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are reporting that talking to babies in their first year, in particular naming things in their world, can help them make connections between what they see and hear, and these learning benefits can be seen as much as five years later.

Depression in dementia more common in community care, study finds

Researchers studied 414 people with severe dementia along with their carers in England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.

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