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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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Vulnerable grassland birds abandon mating sites near wind turbines
Shifting to renewable energy sources has been widely touted as one of the best ways to fight climate change, but even renewable energy can have a downside, as in the case of wind turbines' effects on bird populations.

Shifting winds: An early warning for reduced energy
The Rocky Mountains certainly aren't known for their mild winters. But in contrast to the upper Midwest, which seems to exist in a perpetually frozen state from November through March, the plains just east of the Rockies do get an occasional reprieve from the bitter cold: the Chinook winds.



Biodiversity promotes multitasking in ecosystems
A new study of the complex interplay between organisms and their environment shows that biodiversity--the variety of organisms living on Earth--is even more important to the healthy functioning of ecosystems than previously thought.

A practical gel that simply 'clicks' for biomedical applications
If you opt to wear soft contact lenses, chances are you are using hydrogels on a daily basis. Made up of polymer chains that are able to absorb water, hydrogels used in contacts are flexible and allow oxygen to pass through the lenses, keeping eyes healthy.

Gravity data show that Antarctic ice sheet is melting increasingly faster
During the past decade, Antarctica's massive ice sheet lost twice the amount of ice in its western portion compared with what it accumulated in the east, according to Princeton University researchers who came to one overall conclusion -- the southern continent's ice cap is melting ever faster.

New gene editing tools force renewed debate over therapeutic germline alteration
Recent evidence demonstrating the feasibility of using novel CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology to make targeted changes in the DNA of human embryos is forcing researchers, clinicians, and ethicists to revisit the highly controversial issue of altering the inherited human genome.

Role of telomeres in plant stem cells discovered
The role played by telomeres in mammalian cells has been known for several years. It is also known that these non-coding DNA sequences, which are found at the ends of the chromosomes, protect them and are necessary to ensure correct cell division.

Substantial benefits for health and environment through realistic changes to UK diets
Making a series of relatively minor and realistic changes to UK diets would not only reduce UK diet-related greenhouse gas emissions by nearly a fifth, but could also extend average life expectancy by eight months, according to new research led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Fossils inform marine conservation
The fossil record helps to predict which kinds of animals are more likely to go extinct. When combined with information about hotspots of human impacts and climate-change predictions, Smithsonian scientists and colleagues pinpoint animal groups and geographic areas of highest concern for marine conservation in the May 1 issue of Science magazine.

How some beetles produce a scalding defensive spray
Bombardier beetles, which exist on every continent except Antarctica, have a pretty easy life. Virtually no other animals prey on them, because of one particularly effective defense mechanism: When disturbed or attacked, the beetles produce an internal chemical explosion in their abdomen and then expel a jet of boiling, irritating liquid toward their attackers.

Telomere changes predict cancer
A distinct pattern in the changing length of blood telomeres, the protective end caps on our DNA strands, can predict cancer many years before actual diagnosis, according to a new study from Northwestern Medicine in collaboration with Harvard University.

NOAA, Tulane identify second possible specimen of 'pocket shark' ever found
A very small and rare species of shark is swimming its way through scientific literature. But don't worry, the chances of this inches-long vertebrate biting through your swimsuit is extremely slim, because if you ever spotted one you'd be the third person to ever do so.

International team discovers elusive new bird in China
A Michigan State University professor was part of an international team of scientists that has discovered a new bird in China.

Engineering a better solar cell: UW research pinpoints defects in popular perovskites
One of the fastest-growing areas of solar energy research is with materials called perovskites.

Quantum mechanical helium trio
In 1970, Vitaly Efimov analysed a three-body quantum system in which the attraction between two bodies reduced such that they become unbound.

Beyond genes: Are centrioles carriers of biological information?
Centrioles are barrel-shaped structures inside cells, made up of multiple proteins.

Meet the beetle that packs a machine gun
If you thought that a beetle with a machine gun built into its rear end was something that only exists in sci-fi movies, you should talk to Wendy Moore at the University of Arizona.

The appeal of being anti-GMO
A team of Belgian philosophers and plant biotechnologists have turned to cognitive science to explain why opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has become so widespread, despite positive contributions GM crops have made to sustainable agriculture.

Study finds guidance improves food safety practices at school, community gardens
School and community gardens have become increasingly popular in recent years, but the people managing and working in these gardens are often unfamiliar with food safety practices that reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

Sustainability progress should precede seafood market access, researchers urge
Demand for seafood from wild fisheries and aquaculture around the world has nearly doubled over the past four decades.

Study shows replacing 1 serving of sugary drink per day by water or unsweetened tea or coffee cuts risk of type 2 diabetes
New research published today in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) indicates that for each 5% increase of a person's total energy intake provided by sweet drinks including soft drinks, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes may increase by 18%.

New stem cell may overcome hurdles for regenerative medicine
Scientists at the Salk Institute have discovered a novel type of pluripotent stem cell--cells capable of developing into any type of tissue--whose identity is tied to their location in a developing embryo.

Holy agility! Keen sense of touch guides nimble bat flight
Bats fly with breathtaking precision because their wings are equipped with highly sensitive touch sensors, cells that respond to even slight changes in airflow, researchers have demonstrated for the first time.

Systematic interaction network filtering in biobanks
While seeking targets to attack Huntington's disease, an incurable inherited neurodegenerative disorder, neurobiologists of the research group led by Professor Erich Wanker of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association found what they were looking for.

Citizen science helps predict risk of emerging infectious disease
Crowdsourced science helped predict the path of a deadly plant disease over a six-year period, demonstrating the contributions that trained citizen scientists can make in large-scale geographic tracking projects.

Spinal cord axon injury location determines neuron's regenerative fate
Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report a previously unappreciated phenomenon in which the location of injury to a neuron's communication wire in the spinal cord -- the axon -- determines whether the neuron simply stabilizes or attempts to regenerate.

Buyers with a trade-in get a raw deal
If you're in the market for a new car, and especially if you have a trade-in, the latest research from the USC Marshall School of Business marketing department suggests you aren't getting the deal you think you are getting.

Mammals not the only animals to feed embryo during gestation
How and when does mom feed her embryo? We humans, like most mammals, experience pregnancy where a mother supplies nutrition directly to the embryo as it develops. But we're in the minority.

Integrative medicine has positive impact on patient activation, chronic pain, depression
The use of integrative medicine interventions leads to significant improvements in patient activation and patient-reported outcomes in the treatment of chronic pain, depression, and stress, according to a new report released by The Bravewell Collaborative.

Earth Day: Disease spread among species is predictable
On Earth Day, a study of disease dynamics in a California grassland has revealed fundamental principles underlying the spread of pathogens, or disease-causing microbes, among species.

Viruses: You've heard the bad -- here's the good
In sharp contrast to the gastrointestinal distress it causes in humans, the murine (mouse infecting) norovirus plays a role in development of the mouse intestine and its immune system, and can actually replace the beneficial effects of certain gut bacteria when these have been decimated by antibiotics.

Tropical marine ecosystems most at threat from human impact
An international team of scientists has used the fossil record during the past 23 million years to predict which marine animals and ecosystems are at greatest risk of extinction from human impact.

New origin theory for cells that gave rise to vertebrates
The vivid pigmentation of zebras, the massive jaws of sharks, the fight or flight instinct and the diverse beaks of Darwin's finches.

Discovery of a protein capable of regulating DNA repair during sperm formation
Researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) Department of Cellular Biology, Physiology and Immunology, and the UAB Institute of Biotechnology and Biomedicine, led by Dr Ignasi Roig, discovered that the signalling route - a cascade activation of several molecules - triggered by the ATM protein regulates DNA repair during the production of spermatocytes by meiosis, the cell division process which yields spermatozoa.

Chapman University research on the yoga market from 1980 to the present
Researchers in Chapman University's Argyros School of Business and Economics and their collaborators have just published a study on the evolution of yoga in the marketplace.

Souped-up remote control switches behaviors on-and-off in mice
Neuroscientists have perfected a chemical-genetic remote control for brain circuitry and behavior. This evolving technology can now sequentially switch the same neurons - and the behaviors they mediate - on-and-off in mice, say researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Fat finding
A study by researchers in Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore (Duke-NUS) has shown a new way that brown fat, a potential obesity-fighting target, is regulated in the body. This finding gives researchers and weight-loss companies a possible therapeutic target for obesity.

Generating broadband terahertz radiation from a microplasma in air
Researchers at the University of Rochester's Institute of Optics have shown that a laser-generated microplasma in air can be used as a source of broadband terahertz radiation.

Use wipes in the kitchen to reduce risk of food poisoning by 99 percent
Consumers can reduce the risk of Campylobacter food poisoning by up to 99.2% by using disinfectant wipes in the kitchen after preparing poultry.

England set for 'substantial increase' in record-breaking warm years
The likelihood of record-breaking warm years in England is set to substantially increase as a result of the human influence on the climate, new research suggests.

NASA contributes to first global review of Arctic marine mammals
Many human communities want answers about the current status and future of Arctic marine mammals, including scientists who dedicate their lives to study them and indigenous people whose traditional ways of subsistence are intertwined with the fate of species such as ice seals, narwhals, walruses and polar bears.

Vital step in stem cell growth revealed
Stem cells, which have the potential to turn into any kind of cell, offer the tantalizing possibility of generating new tissues for organ replacements, stroke victims and patients of many other diseases.

Regenerative Medicine highlights the immunological challenges that lie ahead for RegenMed
The journal Regenerative Medicine has published a special focus issue on methods to avoid immune rejection in regenerative medicine.

New research into health benefits of coffee
New research has brought us closer to being able to understand the health benefits of coffee.

Pulsar with widest orbit ever detected
A team of highly determined high school students discovered a never-before-seen pulsar by painstakingly analyzing data from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT).

Did dinosaur-killing asteroid trigger largest lava flows on Earth?
The asteroid that slammed into the ocean off Mexico 66 million years ago and killed off the dinosaurs probably rang the Earth like a bell, triggering volcanic eruptions around the globe that may have contributed to the devastation, according to a team of University of California, Berkeley, geophysicists.

Touch sensors on bat wings guide flight
Bats are masters of flight in the night sky, capable of steep nosedives and sharp turns that put our best aircraft to shame.

ORNL reports method that takes quantum sensing to new level
Thermal imaging, microscopy and ultra-trace sensing could take a quantum leap with a technique developed by researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Study questions quality of US health data
A new study by Johns Hopkins researchers concludes that most U.S. clinical registries that collect data on patient outcomes are substandard and lack critical features necessary to render the information they collect useful for patients, physicians and policy makers.

See flower cells in 3-D -- no electron microscopy required
Scientists require high-resolution imaging of plant cells to study everything from fungal infections to reproduction in maize.

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