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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.

Schoolgirl comment points to antibiotics as new cancer treatments

Professor Michael P. Lisanti, Director of the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Unit, led the research. He was inspired to look at the effects of antibiotics on the mitochondria of cancer stem cells by a conversation with his daughter Camilla about his work at the University's Institute of Cancer Sciences.




'Bulletproof' battery: Kevlar membrane for safer, thinner lithium rechargeables

New battery technology from the University of Michigan should be able to prevent the kind of fires that grounded Boeing 787 Dreamliners in 2013.

NREL reports examine economic trade-offs of owning versus leasing a solar photovoltaic system

Two new reports from the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) examine the economic options customers face when deciding how to finance commercial or residential solar energy systems.

Scientists find drug candidates can block cell-death pathway associated with Parkinson's

In a pair of related studies, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have shown their drug candidates can target biological pathways involved in the destruction of brain cells in Parkinson's disease.

Ancient star system reveals Earth-sized planets forming near start of universe

A Sun-like star with orbiting planets, dating back to the dawn of the Galaxy, has been discovered by an international team of astronomers.

Tracking DNA helps scientists trace origins of genetic errors

Scientists have shed light on how naturally occurring mutations can be introduced into our DNA.

Study shows salivary biomarkers predict oral feeding readiness in preterm newborns

Results from a study published online in the Journal of Pediatrics hold the potential to substantially improve clinical decision-making to determine when a premature newborn is ready for oral feeding.

Using 3-D printing, MakerBot and Feinstein Institute repair tracheal damage

Investigators at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have made a medical breakthrough using 3D printing on a MakerBot¨ Replicator¨ 2X Experimental 3D Printer to create cartilage designed for tracheal repair or replacement.

Kepler astronomers discover ancient star with 5 Earth-size planets

Astronomers poring over four years of data from NASA's Kepler spacecraft have discovered a star that's 11.2 billion years old and has at least five Earth-size planets.

Supercomputing the evolution of a model flower

Scientists using supercomputers found genes sensitive to cold and drought in a plant help it survive climate change. These findings increase basic understanding of plant adaptation and can be applied to improve crops.

Scientists in China and US chart latest discoveries of iron-based superconductors

Superconductivity is a remarkable macroscopic quantum phenomenon, discovered just over a century ago.

Financial incentives help pregnant women to quit smoking

Pregnant women are more likely to quit smoking if financial rewards are offered as part of a treatment plan, finds new research published in The BMJ.

Analysis rejects linkage between testosterone therapy and cardiovascular risk

Fears of a link between testosterone replacement therapy and cardiovascular risk are misplaced, according to a review published in this month's Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Neuroscience researchers believe in quitting smoking gradually

Smoking is harmful in almost every respect. Cancer, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases are just a small part of a well-documented portfolio of serious consequences of smoking.

Novel radioguided brain surgery technique could help pinpoint cancerous tissue

A novel radioguided surgery technique could quickly and effectively identify residual cancer cells during brain tumor surgery, with low radiation exposure for both patients and surgeons.

LA BioMed study finds traumatic brain injury treatment is ineffective

More than 1.7 million people in the U.S. alone suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year, often resulting in permanent disabilities or death.

Retreat of multiculturalism 'is a myth'

Perceptions of a decline in multiculturalism as a means of integrating ethnic minorities are unfounded, research led at the University of Strathclyde has found.

NASA spots heavy rainfall in Tropical Cyclone Diamondra

The eighth tropical cyclone of the Southern Indian Ocean season has formed far from land, and the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite saw some heavy rain east of the storm's center.

Blind beetles show extraordinary signs of sight

University of Adelaide researchers have made a surprising discovery in the aquifers beneath the Western Australian desert, which challenges the traditional Darwinian view of evolution.

Nanoscale mirrored cavities amplify, connect quantum memories

The idea of computing systems based on controlling atomic spins just got a boost from new research performed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Sugary drinks linked to earlier onset of menstrual periods

Girls who frequently consume sugary drinks tend to start their menstrual periods earlier than girls who do not, according to new research published online today (Wednesday) in Human Reproduction [1], one of the world's leading reproductive medicine journals.

The world's oldest known snake fossils: Rolling back the clock by nearly 70 million years

Fossilized remains of four ancient snakes have been dated between 140 and 167 million years old - nearly 70 million years older than the previous record of ancient snake fossils - and are changing the way we think about the origins of snakes, and how and when it happened.

Researchers pinpoint 2 genes that trigger severest form of ovarian cancer

In the battle against ovarian cancer, UNC School of Medicine researchers have created the first mouse model of the worst form of the disease and found a potential route to better treatments and much-needed diagnostic screens.

Mothers' 'baby talk' is less clear than their adult speech

People tend to have a distinctive way of talking to babies and small children: We speak more slowly, using a sing-song voice, and tend to use cutesy words like "tummy".

Things smell good for a reason

Antioxidants are natural food ingredients that protect cells from harmful influences. Their main task is to neutralize so-called "free radicals" which are produced in the process of oxidation and which are responsible for cell degeneration.

Carbon nanoballs can greatly contribute to sustainable energy supply

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have discovered that the insulation plastic used in high-voltage cables can withstand a 26 per cent higher voltage if nanometer-sized carbon balls are added.

The origin of life: Labyrinths as crucibles of life

Water-filled micropores in hot rock may have acted as the nurseries in which life on Earth began. A team at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich has now shown that temperature gradients in pore systems promote the cyclical replication and emergence of nucleic acids.

Prostate cancer: Androgen receptor activates different genes when bound to antiandrogens

The androgen receptor in prostate cancer cells can activate different sets of genes depending on whether it binds with an androgen hormone or an antiandrogen drug.

New pathway to valleytronics

A potential avenue to quantum computing currently generating quite the buzz in the high-tech industry is "valleytronics," in which information is coded based on the wavelike motion of electrons moving through certain two-dimensional (2D) semiconductors.

Beneficial effects of surgery for epilepsy are sustained for more than 15 years

Brain surgery for otherwise hard-to-treat epilepsy is effective for up to 15 years, according to a new survey by Henry Ford Hospital physicians.

Dog disease in lions spread by multiple species

Canine distemper, a viral disease that's been infecting the famed lions of Tanzania's Serengeti National Park, appears to be spread by multiple animal species, according to a study published by a transcontinental team of scientists.

From Tar Sands to Ring of Fire -- forewarning changes to Canada's watersheds

The Tar Sands in Alberta, potential development in the Ring of Fire in northern Ontario, declining timber harvest and farming - human activity is transforming Canada's landscape, yet many of the country's aquatic resources remain unprotected, according to research by ecologists at the University of Toronto.

Cell mechanism discovered that may cause pancreatic cancer

Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah have found that defects in how cells are squeezed out of overcrowded tissue to die, a process called extrusion, may be a mechanism by which pancreatic cancer begins.

Into the dark: Two new encrusting anemones found in coral reef caves

Research primarily conducted in Okinawa, Japan, by graduate student Yuka Irei and associate professor James Davis Reimer from the University of the Ryukyus, along with Dr. Frederic Sinniger from JAMSTEC, has found two new species of encrusting anemones, or colonial zoantharians, in unexpected locations.

Some older cancer patients can avoid radiotherapy, study finds

Some older women with breast cancer could safely avoid radiotherapy, without harming their chances of survival, a study has shown.

To prevent new environmental disasters, China needs national conservation horizon scanning

Globe Conservation Horizon Scanning, which involves collaboration of the worldwide conservation community, focuses on identifying potential environmental problems across the planet that have not yet been noticed by society as a whole.

Sexual offending treatment programs in prisons and hospitals are ineffective

Sexual offending treatment programmes do not rehabilitate criminals before they are released from prison, warns an expert in The BMJ.

Women diagnosed with PCOS twice as likely to be hospitalized

Washington, DC--Women diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome - the most common hormone disorder in women of reproductive age - face a heightened risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, mental health conditions, reproductive disorders and cancer of the lining of the uterus than healthy women.

Achieving a world without AIDS: Scale must give way to focus, details

The global AIDS community has its sights set on three new goals, known as the "90-90-90" targets. That is, by 2020, 90 percent of people living with HIV should know their HIV status, 90 percent of those who test positive for HIV should begin antiretroviral therapy (ART), and of those who begin ART, 90 percent should achieve virologic suppression, meaning their virus levels are not detectable using standard tests.

Crude conspiracy theories could be right

Researchers have for the first time provided strong evidence for what conspiracy theorists have long thought - oil is often the reason for interfering in another country's war.

Lung cancer clues found in downstream pathway

Despite the promise of the gene KRAS as a target for treating lung cancer, finding effective therapies has been challenging. Now researchers are traveling down the pathway to find what makes KRAS cancerous.

Smoking may increase risks for patients being treated for prostate cancer

Among patients with prostate cancer, those who smoke have increased risks of experiencing side effects from treatment and of developing future cancer recurrences, or even dying from prostate cancer.

Nanoparticles that deliver oligonucleotide drugs into cells described in Nucleic Acid Therapeutics

Therapeutic oligonucleotide analogs represent a new and promising family of drugs that act on nucleic acid targets such as RNA or DNA; however, their effectiveness has been limited due to difficulty crossing the cell membrane.

Spider electro-combs its sticky nano-filaments

A spider commonly found in garden centres in Britain is giving fresh insights into how to spin incredibly long and strong fibres just a few nanometres thick.

MRIs link impaired brain activity to inability to regulate emotions in autism

Tantrums, irritability, self-injury, depression, anxiety. These symptoms are associated with autism, but they're not considered core symptoms of the disorder. Researchers from the UNC School of Medicine are challenging this assertion.

Is the medical match fair?

When medical-school graduates apply for their residencies, they use a centralized clearinghouse that matches applicants with jobs.

New search engine lets users look for relevant results faster

Researchers at the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT have developed a new search engine that outperforms current ones, and helps people to do searches more efficiently.

Researchers finds hormone that increases the sex drive of mice

Swedish studies show that mice that receive a supplement of the "appetite hormone" ghrelin increase their sexual activity.

Respiratory chain: Protein complex structure revealed

Mitochondria produce ATP, the energy currency of the body. The driver for this process is an electrochemical membrane potential, which is created by a series of proton pumps.

Negative patient-doctor communication could worsen symptoms

Doctors who unintentionally communicate to patients that they do not believe or understand them could actually make their symptoms worse, a new study suggests.

Intracranial stimulation proved efficient in the recovery of learning and memory in rats

The research, published in Behavioural Brain Research, was conducted by Pilar Segura and Ignacio Morgado (coordinators), Laura Aldavert and Marc Ramoneda, psychobiologists of the Institute of Neurosciences and the Department of Psychobiology and Health Sciences Methodology of the UAB and by Elisabet Kadar and Gemma Huguet, molecular biologists of the University of Girona, to explore the power of Deep Brain Stimulation treatments in the hypothalamus to recover the ability to learn and remember after a severe lesion of the amygdala.

The laser pulse that gets shorter all by itself

In a marathon, everyone starts at roughly the same place at roughly the same time. But the faster runners will gradually increase their lead, and in the end, the distribution of runners on the street will be very broad.

Researchers find potential anti-cancer use for anti-epilepsy drug

Scientists at the University of York have discovered that a drug used widely to combat epilepsy has the potential to reduce the growth and spread of breast cancer.

Association between parental time pressure and mental health problems among children

A doctor's thesis at Sahlgrenska Academy has found that children whose parents experience time pressure are more likely to have mental health problems.

Low sodium levels increases liver transplant survival benefit in the sickest patients

Researchers report that low levels of sodium in the blood, known as hyponatremia, increase the risk of dying for patients on the liver transplant waiting list.

How creative are you? Depends where you're from

With the "creative class" on the rise, many businesses are trying to capitalize on imagination and innovation.

Web surfing to weigh up bariatric surgery options

Obese people considering weight-reducing bariatric surgery are only topped by pregnant women when it comes to how often they turn to the Internet for health advice.

To everything there is a season: UAlberta researcher finds leg cramps are seasonal

Nighttime leg cramps commonly affect adults over the age of 50, but are also known to occur in younger adults and children. While their cause is unknown, a study from the University of Alberta's Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry is shedding new light on the painful condition.

Stellar astronomers answer question posed by citizen scientists: 'What are yellowballs?'

Some four years ago, a citizen scientist helping the Milky Way Project study Spitzer Space Telescope images for the tell-tale bubble patterns of star formation noticed something else.

Stomach acid-powered micromotors get their first test in a living animal

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have shown that a micromotor fueled by stomach acid can take a bubble-powered ride inside a mouse.

Infant failure to thrive linked to lysosome dysfunction

Neonatal intestinal disorders that prevent infants from getting the nutrients they need may be caused by defects in the lysosomal system that occur before weaning, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study.

Drug combo suppresses growth of late-stage prostate cancer tumors

Low doses of metformin, a widely used diabetes medication, and a gene inhibitor known as BI2536 can successfully halt the growth of late-stage prostate cancer tumors, a Purdue University study finds.

Man trumps dog: Earlier assumption about BPA exposure confirmed

Coating the mouth with BPA-containing food, like soup, does not lead to higher than expected levels of BPA in blood, a new study in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology shows.

Researchers advance the science behind treating patients with corneal blindness

Researchers in the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute have devised a novel way to generate transplantable corneal stem cells that may eventually benefit patients suffering from life-altering forms of blindness.

'Healthy' fat tissue could be key to reversing type 2 diabetes

Preventing inflammation in obese fat tissue may hold the key to preventing or even reversing type 2 diabetes, new research has found.

Researchers use sound to slow down, speed up, and block light

How do you make an optical fiber transmit light only one way?

Ocean acidification changes balance of biofouling communities

A new study of marine organisms that make up the 'biofouling community' - tiny creatures that attach themselves to ships' hulls and rocks in the ocean around the world - shows how they adapt to changing ocean acidification.

Dutch babies trump US peers in laughing, smiling, cuddling

Dutch babies laugh, smile and like to cuddle more than their American counterparts.

Ballooning offers platform for performing research in a space-like environment

New discoveries are being made on an annual basis by researchers flying their instruments on a high-altitude balloon platform.

A new instrument to study the extreme universe -- the X-Ray polarimeter X-Calibur

What are the high-energy processes in the Universe that occur in the immediate vicinity of a black hole? To study a question like this one cannot simply utilize a high-resolution telescope.

Chinese and American scientists review early evolution of eukaryotic multicellularity

The ascent of multi-celled life or multicellularity is a major evolutionary transition. Multicellularity evolved independently at least 25 times among eukaryotes, and complex multicellularity (characterized by intercellular communication and tissue differentiation controlled by regulatory gene networks) occurs in a handful of eukaryotic groups including animals.

Both weight loss and weight gain linked with increased fracture risk

Both weight gain and weight loss in older (postmenopausal) women are associated with increased incidence of fracture, but at different anatomical sites, finds a study published in The BMJ this week.

What do medical journalists think about cancer research?

A new study published in ecancermedicalscience examines the intersection of medical journalism and cancer research.

Keeping the Kraken asleep

Despite enormous progress in cancer therapy, many patients still relapse because their treatment addresses the symptoms of the disease rather than the cause, the so-called stem cells.

Age concern in largest ever study of heroin user deaths

In the largest study of opioids users ever undertaken, the researchers used records of 198,247 people in England who had been involved in drug treatment or the criminal justice system between 2005 and 2009.

Carbon accumulation by Southeastern forests may slow

Carbon accumulation levels in the Southeastern U.S. may be slowing due to forest dynamics and land use changes, according to findings of U.S. Forest Service researchers published in the journal Scientific Reports, Friday.

Fish catch break on world stage at global conference

Inland fishing - the powerful yet quieter sister to the large, salty marine aquaculture powerhouse - has gained what experts say is a much-needed visibility boost this as the first partnership between Michigan State University (MSU) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations goes on in Rome.

Lawrence Livermore research finds early Mesoamericans affected by climate change

Scientists have reconstructed the past climate for the region around Cantona, a large fortified city in highland Mexico, and found the population drastically declined in the past, at least in part because of climate change.

ORNL researchers tune friction in ionic solids at the nanoscale

Friction impacts motion, hence the need to control friction forces.

Low-frequency deep brain stimulation improves difficult-to-treat Parkinson's symptoms

Parkinson's disease patients treated with low-frequency deep brain stimulation show significant improvements in swallowing dysfunction and freezing of gait over typical high-frequency treatment.

Low influenza vaccination rates among nursing home employees put residents at risk, study finds

Influenza is associated with as many as 7,300 deaths annually in nursing home residents, but the vaccination rate for nursing home staff is only 54 percent, according to a study in the February issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

Urban sprawl promotes worm exchange across species

New research has shed light on the complex exchange of parasitic worms between wildlife, rats and humans.

Communication is key to Emergency Department success, new study says

The high-risk, rapidly changing nature of hospital Emergency Departments creates an environment where stress levels and staff burnout rates are high, but researchers at St. Michael's Hospital have identified the secret sauce that helps many emergency clinicians flourish - communication.

Seeing selves as overweight may be self-fulfilling prophecy for some teens

Teens who mistakenly perceive themselves as overweight are actually at greater risk of obesity as adults, according to research findings forthcoming in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

New method for identifying most aggressive childhood cancers

A research group at Lund University in Sweden has found a new way to identify the most malignant tumours in children.

Using stem cells to grow new hair

In a new study from Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham), researchers have used human pluripotent stem cells to generate new hair.

Easter Island mystery

Long before the Europeans arrived on Easter Island in 1722, the native Polynesian culture known as Rapa Nui showed signs of demographic decline.

Researchers identify natural plant compounds that work against insects

Each year millions of deaths result from diseases transmitted by insects. Insects are also responsible for major economic losses, worth billions of dollars annually, by damaging crops and stored agricultural products.

Children feel most positively about mothers who respect their autonomy

Research shows that the quality of mother-child relationships greatly influences children's development socially, emotionally and academically.

Satellite study identifies water bodies important for biodiversity conservation

Using satellite images to study changing patterns of surface water is a powerful tool for identifying conservationally important "stepping stone" water bodies that could help aquatic species survive in a drying climate, a UNSW Australia-led study shows.

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