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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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Sweeping lasers snap together nanoscale geometric grids
Down at the nanoscale, where objects span just billionths of a meter, the size and shape of a material can often have surprising and powerful electronic and optical effects.

Stanford research sheds light on how neurons control muscle movement
Stanford University researchers studying how the brain controls movement in people with paralysis, related to their diagnosis of Lou Gehrig's disease, have found that groups of neurons work together, firing in complex rhythms to signal muscles about when and where to move.



Heart patients can stop blood thinners when undergoing elective surgery
Patients with atrial fibrillation who stopped taking blood thinners before they had elective surgery had no higher risk of developing blood clots and less risk of major bleeding compared to patients who were given a "bridge" therapy, according to research led by Duke Medicine.

Statins show promise to reduce major complications following lung surgery
The results of a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial of patients undergoing elective pulmonary resection was designed to evaluate the effects of statin therapy.

EBV co-infection may boost malaria mortality in childhood
Many people who live in sub-Saharan Africa develop a natural immunity to malaria, through repeated exposure to Plasmodium parasites.

Blood to feeling: McMaster scientists turn blood into neural cells
Scientists at McMaster University have discovered how to make adult sensory neurons from human patients simply by having them roll up their sleeve and providing a blood sample.

Study adds to evidence that increasing dietary fiber reduces the risk of developing diabetes
New research published today in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) indicates that consuming greater quantities of dietary fibre reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Clinical trial reduces stress of cancer caregivers
Stem cell transplant is essential in the care of many blood cancers, but leaves patients requiring in-home care for months after.

Human stem cell model reveals molecular cues critical to neurovascular unit formation
Crucial bodily functions we depend on but don't consciously think about -- things like heart rate, blood flow, breathing and digestion -- are regulated by the neurovascular unit.

Severe ozone depletion avoided
We are already reaping the rewards of the Montreal Protocol, with the ozone layer in much better shape than it would have been without the UN treaty, according to a new study in Nature Communications.

Dartmouth researchers create first smartphone app that predicts GPA
If you're a college student wondering how your study and party habits will affect your GPA, wonder no longer.

Babies can think before they can speak
Two pennies can be considered the same -- both are pennies, just as two elephants can be considered the same, as both are elephants.

Breakthrough measures Parkinson's progression in the brain
University of Florida researchers have identified a biomarker that shows the progression of Parkinson's disease in the brain, opening the door to better diagnosis and treatment of the degenerative disease.

The safe use of flavorings in e-cigarettes
The first practical guide to ensure the safe use of flavourings in e-cigarettes has been published (Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology DOI: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2015.05.018).

Changing diagnosis codes will challenge emergency medicine
Emergency medicine faces special challenges during this fall's changeover in how medical diagnoses are coded. Nearly a quarter of all ER clinical encounters could pose difficulties.

Cocaine addiction, craving and relapse
One of the major challenges of cocaine addiction is the high rate of relapse after periods of withdrawal and abstinence.

Gun violence restraining orders: A promising strategy to reduce gun violence in the US
Gun violence restraining orders (GVROs) are a promising strategy for reducing firearm homicide and suicide in the United States, and should be considered by states seeking to address gun violence, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of California, Davis, argue in a new report.

How supercooled water is prevented from turning into ice
Water behaves in mysterious ways. Especially below zero, where it is dubbed supercooled water, before it turns into ice.

Study identifies Ebola virus's Achilles' heel
An international team including scientists from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) has identified the molecular "lock" that the deadly Ebola virus must pick to gain entry to cells.

Estuaries protect Dungeness crabs from deadly parasites
Parasitic worms can pose a serious threat to the Dungeness crab, a commercially important fishery species found along the west coast of North America.

New urine test could reduce need for blood samples
If you've been to the doctor, you probably know what to do when you're handed a plastic cup and shown to the bathroom.

Fine particulate air pollution associated with increased risk of childhood autism
Exposure to fine particulate air pollution during pregnancy through the first two years of a child's life may be associated with an increased risk of the child developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a condition that affects one in 68 children, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health investigation of children in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Endoscopic removal of spinal tumor with the patient awake at Rhode Island Hospital
The spinal tumor grew back. Even though the 16-year old patient endured surgery a year earlier to remove and diagnose the lesion, it was back and its cause unknown.

New technique speeds nanoMRI imaging
NanoMRI is a scanning technique that produces nondestructive, high-resolution 3-D images of nanoscale objects, and it promises to become a powerful tool for researchers and companies exploring the shape and function of biological materials such as viruses and cells in much the same way as clinical MRI today enables investigation of whole tissues in the human body.

Supercomputer unlocks secrets of plant cells to pave the way for more resilient crops
Scientists from IBM Research and the Universities of Melbourne and Queensland have moved a step closer to identifying the nanostructure of cellulose -- the basic structural component of plant cell walls.

Requiem for an ancient tongue worm
Researchers have discovered the 425-million-year-old fossil remains of a new species of parasite, still attached to the host animal it invaded long ago.

Eating a Mediterranean diet could cut womb cancer risk
Women who eat a Mediterranean diet could cut their risk of womb cancer by more than half (57 per cent), according to a study published today (Wednesday) in the British Journal of Cancer.

Infusions of donor bone marrow cells help children with inherited skin blistering
Promising results from a trial of a new stem-cell based therapy for a rare and debilitating skin condition have been published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Time is muscle in acute heart failure
Urgent diagnosis and treatment in acute heart failure has been emphasised for the first time in joint recommendations published today in European Heart Journal.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans linked to lower death rates in population in southeast US
Adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) is linked to lower death rates in a low-income population in southeastern US.

Moderate drinking in later years may damage heart
Drinking two or more alcoholic beverages daily may damage the heart of elderly people, according to research in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging.

Study identifies possible role for carbon monoxide in treating hemorrhagic stroke
Carbon monoxide is known by many as a poisonous gas that causes brain injury and other neurological symptoms, including memory loss and confusion.

Soy supplements don't improve asthma
Despite previous findings suggesting a link between soy intake and decreased asthma severity, a new study from Northwestern Medicine and the American Lung Association Asthma Clinical Research Network shows soy supplements do not improve lung function for patients with asthma.

Scientists identify origins of process that is key to diabetes
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientists have pinpointed a cell that begins the process of scarring in fatty tissue.

For spider monkeys, social grooming comes with a cost
Social grooming, or helping others to stay clean and free of lice and other ecto-parasites, has long been associated with hygiene and good health in wild primates.

Monitoring magnetospheres
Queen's University PhD student Matt Shultz is researching magnetic, massive stars, and his research has uncovered questions concerning the behaviour of plasma within their magnetospheres.

Study connects credit default swaps to mortgage delinquencies
Researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas recently published the first empirical investigation connecting credit default swaps to mortgage defaults that helped lead to the 2007-2008 financial crisis.

Seeing the action
Cells are biological wonders. Throughout billions of years of existence on Earth, these tiny units of life have evolved to collaborate at the smallest levels in promoting, preserving and protecting the organism they comprise.

Atmospheric oxygen levels may have influenced past climate
Variations in the percentage of atmospheric oxygen may have influenced climate in the past 500 million years, according to new calculations by Christopher Poulsen and colleagues.

Supernovas help 'clean' galaxies
Supernovas just might be the maid service of the universe. It seems these explosions that mark the end of a star's life work hand-in-hand with supermassive black holes to sweep out gas and shut down galaxies' star-forming factories.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals in baby teethers
In laboratory tests, two out of ten teethers, plastic toys used to sooth babies' teething ache, release endocrine disrupting chemicals. One product contains parabens, which are normally used as preservatives in cosmetics, while the second contains six so-far unidentified endocrine disruptors.

Switching off brain circuit renders mice 'out of touch' with environment
The sense of touch is important but often taken for granted in daily life because it seems simple and automatic. New research suggests that the apparent simplicity of tactile sensation comes from a clever two-stage brain circuit.

Researchers identify new target for Ebola drugs
A new study has demonstrated that a protein called Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) is critical for the Ebola virus to infect a host.

Linking superconductivity and structure
Superconductivity is a rare physical state in which matter is able to conduct electricity--maintain a flow of electrons--without any resistance.

Bacterial communities of female genital tract have impact on inflammation, HIV risk
A team led by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard has found that the most common bacterial community in the genital tract among healthy South Africa women not only is significantly different from that of women in developed countries but also leads to elevated levels of inflammatory proteins.

Clinical trial shows intuitive control of robotic arm using thought
Paralyzed from the neck down after suffering a gunshot wound when he was 21, Erik G. Sorto now can move a robotic arm just by thinking about it and using his imagination.

Subclinical hyperthyroidism associated with an increased risk of hip and other fractures
In an analysis that included more than 70,000 participants from 13 studies, subclinical hyperthyroidism was associated with an increased risk for hip and other fractures including spine.

Hospice use linked to fewer depressive symptoms for surviving spouses
Spouses of patients receiving hospice for three or more days more frequently reported reduced depression symptoms, compared to surviving spouses of patients who did not receive hospice.

Squeezed quantum cats
Quantum physics is full of fascinating phenomena. Take, for instance, the cat from the famous thought experiment by the physicist Erwin Schrodinger.

What happens inside a membrane
A new SISSA study has achieved two important results with a single effort: to devise an innovative method to analyse the structure of biological proteins immersed in their physiological context, and to closely observe a major ion channel, discovering as yet unseen details about its opening/closing mechanism.

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