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The top science news articles and science news articles and current events, scientific discoveries, studies and research from the past month
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China looks to science and technology to fuel its economy
Maintaining stability in the face of rapid change and growth, and proactively partaking in cooperative global ties in science and technology fields will be key in helping China become an innovation-based economy, according to Denis Simon, vice provost for International Strategic Initiatives at Arizona State University.

Mode of action of new multiple sclerosis drug discovered
Just a few short weeks ago, dimethyl fumarate was approved in Europe as a basic therapy for multiple sclerosis.



Moth study suggests hidden climate change impacts
A 32-year study of subarctic forest moths in Finnish Lapland suggests that scientists may be underestimating the impacts of climate change on animals and plants because much of the harm is hidden from view.

Managing renewables intelligently
Although more and more of our electrical energy is coming from sources where supply is variable - whether from wind turbines, solar parks or biomass facilities - grid structures, industry and private households alike are not yet prepared to deal with the inevitable fluctuations.

Americans using more energy according to Lawrence Livermore analysis
Americans used more renewable, fossil and even nuclear energy in 2013, according to the most recent energy flow charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Wind farms can provide society a surplus of reliable clean energy, Stanford study finds
The worldwide demand for solar and wind power continues to skyrocket. Since 2009, global solar photovoltaic installations have increased about 40 percent a year on average, and the installed capacity of wind turbines has doubled.

Surprising new way to kill cancer cells
Northwestern Medicine scientists have demonstrated that cancer cells - and not normal cells - can be killed by eliminating either the FAS receptor, also known as CD95, or its binding component, CD95 ligand.

ATHENA desktop human 'body' could reduce need for animal drug tests
Creating surrogate human organs, coupled with insights from highly sensitive mass spectrometry technologies, a new project is on the brink of revolutionizing the way we screen new drugs and toxic agents.

Energy breakthrough uses sun to create solar energy materials
In a recent advance in solar energy, researchers have discovered a way to tap the sun not only as a source of power, but also to directly produce the solar energy materials that make this possible.

Parental addictions associated with adult children's arthritis
The adult offspring of parents who were addicted to drugs or alcohol are more likely to have arthritis, according to a new study by University of Toronto researchers.

Inflammation mobilizes tumor cells
LMU researchers have discovered a novel feedback mechanism that provides a mechanistic link between chronic inflammation and carcinogenesis.

Measuring circulating tumor cells may help better predict prostate cancer survival
New research by USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center scientists demonstrates that measuring circulating tumor cells (CTCs) - the cells that spread cancer through the body - may be a better predictor of patient survival than the prostate specific antigen (PSA).

Hummingbird evolution soared after they invaded South America 22 million years ago
A newly constructed family tree of the hummingbirds, published today in the journal Current Biology, tells a story of a unique group of birds that originated in Europe, passed through Asia and North America, and ultimately found its Garden of Eden in South America 22 million years ago.

Renewable energy market share climbs despite 2013 dip in investments
Renewable energy's share of world electricity generation continued its steady climb last year despite a 14 per cent drop in investments to US$214.4 billion, according to a new report released today.

Gene expression signature reveals new way to classify gum disease
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have devised a new system for classifying periodontal disease based on the genetic signature of affected tissue, rather than on clinical signs and symptoms.

Study reveals a major mechanism driving kidney cancer progression
The shortage of oxygen, or hypoxia, created when rapidly multiplying kidney cancer cells outgrow their local blood supply can accelerate tumor growth by causing a nuclear protein called SPOP-which normally suppresses tumor growth-to move out of the nucleus to the cytoplasm, where it has the opposite effect, promoting rapid proliferation.

Combining cell replication blocker with common cancer drug kills resistant tumor cells
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), a partner with UPMC CancerCenter, have found that an agent that inhibits mitochondrial division can overcome tumor cell resistance to a commonly used cancer drug, and that the combination of the two induces rapid and synergistic cell death.

Lessons offered by emerging carbon trading markets
Although markets for trading carbon emission credits to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have stalled in United States federal policy-making, carbon markets are emerging at the state level within the U.S. and around the world, teaching us more about what does and doesn't work.

Use of mood-stabilizing drug linked with reduced risk of developing head and neck cancer
A new study indicates that a commonly used mood stabilizing drug may help prevent head and neck cancer. The study is published early online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

Pulmonary Hypertension Deaths Have Increased According to CDC Report in the Journal CHEST
Deaths from pulmonary hypertension have increased over the past decade, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

La Brea Tar Pit fossil research shows climate change drove evolution of Ice Age predators
Concerns about climate change and its impact on the world around us are growing daily.

Genetic factor contributes to forgetfulness
Misplaced your keys? Can't remember someone's name? Didn't notice the stop sign? Those who frequently experience such cognitive lapses now have an explanation.

Significant variations between NHS hospitals in adverse outcomes for treatment of DCIS
Analysis of data from the UK NHS Breast Screening Programme has shown significant variations in the outcomes of treatment for women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) between UK hospitals.

Cancer researchers find key protein link
A new understanding of proteins at the nexus of a cell's decision to survive or die has implications for researchers who study cancer and age-related diseases, according to biophysicists at the Rice University-based Center for Theoretical Biological Physics (CTBP).

Common breast cancer subtype may benefit from personalized treatment approach
The second-most common type of breast cancer is a very different disease than the most common and appears to be a good candidate for a personalized approach to treatment.

Plant-derived anti-cancer compounds explained at national conference
Compounds derived from plant-based sources - including garlic, broccoli and medicine plants - confer protective effects against breast cancer, explain researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), partner with the UPMC CancerCenter.

Scientists discover potential way to make graphene superconducting
Scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have discovered a potential way to make graphene - a single layer of carbon atoms with great promise for future electronics - superconducting, a state in which it would carry electricity with 100 percent efficiency.

TGen-led study discovers genetic cause of rare type of ovarian cancer
The cause of a rare type of ovarian cancer that most often strikes girls and young women has been uncovered by an international research team led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), according to a study published online today by the renowned scientific journal, Nature Genetics.

Swedish researchers show impact of long-term vitamin D insufficiency on fracture risk
A study presented today at the World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases shows that long-term low levels of vitamin D intake are associated with higher 10-year fracture risk in elderly women.

Study finds forest corridors help isolated plants disperse their seeds
A forest in South Carolina, a supercomputer in Ohio and some glow-in-the-dark yarn have helped a team of field ecologists conclude that woodland corridors connecting patches of endangered plants not only increase dispersal of seeds from one patch to another, but also create wind conditions that can spread the seeds for much longer distances.

Box-shaped pressure vessel for LNG developed by KAIST research team
Earlier today, Korean researchers successfully showcased the installation and operation of a box-shaped, high-pressure tank for the storage of liquefied natural gas in Pohang, Republic of Korea.

Ancient volcanic explosions shed light on Mercury's origins
Mercury was long thought to be lacking volatile compounds that cause explosive volcanism. That view started to change when the MESSENGER spacecraft returned pictures of pyroclastic deposits - the telltale signature of volcanic explosions.

Mice give ticks a free lunch
People living in northern and central parts of the U.S. are more likely to contract Lyme disease and other tick-borne ailments when white-footed mice are abundant. Mice are effective at transferring disease-causing pathogens to feeding ticks.

Gene Implicated in Progression and Relapse of Deadly Breast Cancer
Scientists from Weill Cornell Medical College and Houston Methodist have found that a gene previously unassociated with breast cancer plays a pivotal role in the growth and progression of the triple negative form of the disease, a particularly deadly strain that often has few treatment options. Their research, published in this week's Nature, suggests that targeting the gene may be a new approach to treating the disease.

Inherited mutated gene raises lung cancer risk for women, those who never smoked
People who have an inherited mutation of a certain gene have a high chance of getting lung cancer - higher, even, than heavy smokers with or without the inherited mutation, according to new findings by cancer researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Lifestyle interventions can prevent major depression in adults with mild symptoms
Discussions with a dietary coach to learn about healthy eating were as effective as meeting with a counselor for problem-solving or "talk" therapy in preventing major depression among older black and white adults with mild symptoms of the mood disorder.

GW Researcher Invents 'Mini Heart' to Help Return Venous Blood
George Washington University (GW) researcher Narine Sarvazyan, Ph.D., has invented a new organ to help return blood flow from veins lacking functional valves.

Increased risk of developing lung cancer after radiotherapy for breast cancer
Women who have radiotherapy for breast cancer have a small but significantly increased risk of subsequently developing a primary lung tumour, and now research has shown that this risk increases with the amount of radiation absorbed by the tissue.

Mayo Clinic Researchers Find Genetic Clue to Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) caused by genetics, diet, past trauma, anxiety? All are thought to play a role, but now, for the first time, researchers have reported a defined genetic defect that causes a subset of IBS. The research was published in the journal Gastroenterology.

UTMB researchers discover a way to potentially slow down Alzheimer's
Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have discovered a way to potentially halt the progression of dementia caused by accumulation of a protein known as tau.

Immune cell 'defenders' could beat invading bacteria
An international team of scientists has identified the precise biochemical key that wakes up the body's immune cells and sends them into action against invading bacteria and fungi.

One-third of kids with obesity 'metabolically healthy,' study shows
Digits on a scale can help determine a child's weight, but their overall health status can be influenced by other factors such as physical activity, diet and screen time, according to new research from the University of Alberta and Alberta Health Services.

Gene may predict if further cancer treatments are needed
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers are developing a new predictive tool that could help patients with breast cancer and certain lung cancers decide whether follow-up treatments are likely to help.

Gout Isn't Always Easy to Prove: CT Scans Help Catch Cases Traditional Test Misses
Gout is on the rise among U.S. men and women, and this piercingly painful and most common form of inflammatory arthritis is turning out to be more complicated than had been thought.

Jamming a protein signal forces cancer cells to devour themselves
Under stress from chemotherapy or radiation, some cancer cells dodge death by consuming a bit of themselves, allowing them to essentially sleep through treatment and later awaken as tougher, resistant disease.

Shrink wrap used to enhance detection of infectious disease biomarkers
Detecting HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other deadly infectious diseases as early as possible helps to prevent their rapid spread and allows for more effective treatments.

Famous paintings help study the Earth's past atmosphere
A team of Greek and German researchers has shown that the colours of sunsets painted by famous artists can be used to estimate pollution levels in the Earth's past atmosphere.

New model shows moderate resource use & reduced economic inequality keys to sustainability
A new analytical tool adds human factors to a widely-used biological model of how animal populations interact, suggesting that human societies can reach a steady state that is sustainable when they do not over-deplete natural resources and avoid extreme economic inequality.

Cognitive function and oral perception in independently-living octogenarians
Today, at the 43rd Annual Meeting & Exhibition of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR), held in conjunction with the 38th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research, Kazunori Ikebe, from Osaka University, Japan, will present a research study titled "Cognitive Function and Oral Perception in Independently-living Octogenarians."

The gene family linked to brain evolution is implicated in severity of autism symptoms
The same gene family that may have helped the human brain become larger and more complex than in any other animal also is linked to the severity of autism, according to new research from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

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