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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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Vegetation can help prevent soil erosion due to wind
Dust from soil erosion due to wind can affect human health, traffic, and, on a larger scale, climate.

Penta-graphene, a new structural variant of carbon, discovered
Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and universities in China and Japan have discovered a new structural variant of carbon called "penta-graphene" - a very thin sheet of pure carbon that has a unique structure inspired by a pentagonal pattern of tiles found paving the streets of Cairo.



Tweeting about sexism may improve a woman's wellbeing
This is one of the findings of a study by Dr Mindi Foster, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada that is published today, Friday 30 January 2015, in the British Journal of Social Psychology.

Crowdfunding helps solve rare disease mystery
Rare diseases -- those that affect fewer than one in 200,000 people -- are often identified early in life. Some 30 percent of children afflicted by these "orphan diseases" do not live to see their fifth birthday.

Where did the missing oil go? New FSU study says some is sitting on the Gulf floor
After 200 million gallons of crude oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, the government and BP cleanup crews mysteriously had trouble locating all of it.

Babies can identify complex social situations and react accordingly
In the social world, people constantly gather information through visual cues that are used to evaluate others and interact.

Changes proposed to improve research on health information technology
Studies about the value of health information technology can be improved by broadening the reviews to include both costs and benefits, and lengthening study periods to capture long-term implications, according to a new RAND Corporation analysis.

1 in 5 suicides is associated with unemployment
Unemployment can drive people to suicide. Numerous studies have demonstrated that there is a relationship between unemployment and poor health and that (the threat of) losing a job and prolonged unemployment can constitute a serious situation for those affected as well as their relatives.

Smoking thins vital part of brain
Years ago, children were warned that smoking could stunt their growth, but now a major study by an international team including the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University and the University of Edinburgh shows new evidence that long-term smoking could cause thinning of the brain's cortex.

Probiotic helps treat diabetes in rats, could lead to human remedy
Science may be one step closer to treating diabetes with a human probiotic pill, according to new Cornell University research.

Coral reef symbiosis: Paying rent with sugar and fat
Scientists have revealed how coral-dwelling microalgae harvest nutrients from the surrounding seawater and shuttle them out to their coral hosts, sustaining a fragile ecosystem that is under threat.

Support found for peer-mentoring diabetes management program
Managing type 1 diabetes is a never-ending task that requires multiple blood glucose tests, carbohydrate calculations and insulin injections or infusions.

Plain packaging reduces 'cigarette-seeking' response by almost ten percent, says study
Plain tobacco packaging may reduce the likelihood of smokers seeking to obtain cigarettes by almost 10% compared to branded packs, according to research from the Universities of Exeter and Bristol.

Scientists take first X-ray portraits of living bacteria at the LCLS
Researchers working at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have captured the first X-ray portraits of living bacteria.

New nanoparticle gene therapy strategy effectively treats deadly brain cancer in rats
Despite improvements in the past few decades with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, a predictably curative treatment for glioma does not yet exist.

NSF-funded Antarctic drilling team is first to bore through hundreds of meters of ice to where ice sheet, ocean and land converge
Using a specially designed hot-water drill to cleanly bore through a half mile of ice, a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded team of researchers has become the first ever to reach and sample the "grounding zone," where Antarctic ice, land and sea all converge.

Drug targeting Ebola virus protein VP24 shows promise in monkeys
An experimental medication that targets a protein in Ebola virus called VP24 protected 75% of a group of monkeys that were studied from Ebola virus infection, according to new research conducted by the U.S. Army, in collaboration with Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc.

Small molecule helps get stem cells to sites of disease and damage
Bioengineers from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) with collaborators at the pharmaceutical company Sanofi have identified small molecules that can be used to program stem cells to home in on sites of damage, disease and inflammation.

First trial results show GSK/NIH Ebola candidate vaccine has acceptable safety profile
The first results from a trial of a candidate Ebola vaccine at Oxford University suggest the vaccine has an acceptable safety profile at the doses tested, and is able to generate an immune response.

Beer compound could help fend off Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases
The health-promoting perks of wine have attracted the spotlight recently, leaving beer in the shadows. But scientists are discovering new ways in which the latter could be a more healthful beverage than once thought.

Sea slug has taken genes from algae it eats, allowing it to photosynthesize like a plant
How a brilliant-green sea slug manages to live for months at a time "feeding" on sunlight, like a plant, is clarified in a recent study published in The Biological Bulletin.

Protective brain protein reveals gender implications for autism, Alzheimer's research
For parents of children struggling with autism, the dearth of information is heartbreaking. Medical professionals are hard put to answer the primary questions: Who is autistic? What causes autism? What treatments are available?

Discrimination-related stress affects mental health of Latino teens born in the United States
Latinos are the largest and fastest-growing ethnic minority in the United States, comprising 15 percent of the total U.S. population, one third of whom are under age 18.

Are pornography users more likely to exhibit unsafe sexual behaviors?
Sexual risk behaviors such as casual sex, lack of condom use, and a high number of sexual partners have been linked to poor health outcomes, including an increased incidence of sexually transmitted infections.

Avian malaria also affects wild birds in Austria
In the summers of 2001 and 2004, blackbirds died on a massive scale in Austria. At that time, researchers at the Vetmeduni Vienna analysed more than 600 deceased birds and identified the Usutu virus as the cause of death.

Engineers put the 'squeeze' on human stem cells
After using optical tweezers to squeeze a tiny bead attached to the outside of a human stem cell, researchers now know how mechanical forces can trigger a key signaling pathway in the cells.

NASA study shows global sea ice diminishing, despite Antarctic gains
Sea ice increases in Antarctica do not make up for the accelerated Arctic sea ice loss of the last decades, a new NASA study finds.

EARTH Magazine: Pentagon report calls for military to prepare for climate change
The U.S. Department of Defense has identified a new foe in the national security battle: climate change.

Elementary teachers' depression symptoms related to students' learning
Teachers experience some of the highest levels of job-related stress, and such stress may leave them more vulnerable to depression.

Study: Listeria pathogen is prevalent, persistent in retail delis
Purdue University research shows that standard cleaning procedures in retail delis may not eradicate Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, which can cause a potentially fatal disease in people with vulnerable immune systems.

Privacy challenges
In this week's issue of the journal Science, MIT researchers report that just four fairly vague pieces of information -- the dates and locations of four purchases -- are enough to identify 90 percent of the people in a data set recording three months of credit-card transactions by 1.1 million users.

Smaller pre-surgery radiation targets reduces long term side effects, not survival rates
Using advanced imaging technology to more precisely target radiation beams to treat soft tissue cancers (sarcomas) in the extremities significantly reduces long term side effects without effecting survival rates, according to research results published online today in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

New reporter system to study bone-related regenerative medicine generated by UMN labs
A new reporter system used to study the bone regeneration potential of human embryonic stem cells has been generated in research led by the University of Minnesota.

Einstein scientists develop novel technique for finding drugs to combat malaria
Each year nearly 600,000 people--mostly children under age five and pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa--die from malaria, caused by single-celled parasites that grow inside red blood cells.

A smart grid self-organized simply
To improve the management of fluctuations in the electricity supplied by solar and wind installations, the electricity network needs to work more intelligently in the future.

Researchers demonstrate optogenetic stimulation of the brain to control pain
A new study by a University of Texas at Arlington physics team in collaboration with bioengineering and psychology researchers shows for the first time how a small area of the brain can be optically stimulated to control pain.

Fossils survive volcanic eruption to tell us about the origin of the Canary Islands
The most recent eruption on the Canary Islands - at El Hierro in 2011 - produced spectacularly enigmatic white "floating rocks" that originated from the layers of oceanic sedimentary rock underneath the island.

Researchers identify key mechanisms underlying HIV-associated cognitive disorders
While antiretroviral therapies have significantly improved and extended the lives of many HIV patients, another insidious and little discussed threat looms for aging sufferers - HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND).

Power efficiency in the violin
Some of the most prized violins in the world were crafted in the Italian workshops of Amati, Stradivari, and Guarneri -- master violinmaking families from the 17th and 18th centuries who produced increasingly powerful instruments in the renaissance and baroque musical eras.

Research pinpoints new technique for producing cheaper solar energy
Pioneering new research could pave the way for solar energy to be converted into household electricity more cheaply than ever before.

Not so obvious: Consumers don't just assume bundled products are a better value
Product bundling is a common marketing strategy. According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, retailers need to draw attention to the value of a package deal since consumers prefer products that are packaged individually.

Napping reverses health effects of poor sleep
A short nap can help relieve stress and bolster the immune systems of men who slept only two hours the previous night, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

Protein linked to longevity and enhanced cognition protects against Alzheimer's symptoms
Scientists from the Gladstone Institutes and the University of California, San Francisco report in the Journal of Neuroscience that raising levels of the life-extending protein klotho can protect against learning and memory deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

Extreme-temperature electronics
Many industries are calling for electronics that can operate reliably in a harsh environment, including extreme temperatures above 200° Celsius. Examples of the high temperature applications include turbine engine control in aerospace and electronics or sensors used for drilling operation in oil and gas industry.

Case Western Reserve scientists identify proteins likely to trigger psoriasis
Case Western Reserve scientists have taken a huge leap toward identifying root causes of psoriasis, an inflammatory skin condition affecting 125 million people around the world.

Invasive species in the Great Lakes by 2063
The Great Lakes have been invaded by more non-native species than any other freshwater ecosystem in the world.

University of Tennessee study: Crocodiles just wanna have fun, too
Turns out we may have more in common with crocodiles than we'd ever dream. According to research by a psychology professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, crocodiles think surfing waves, playing ball and going on piggyback rides are fun, too.

Friends know how long you'll live, study finds
Young lovers walking down the aisle may dream of long and healthy lives together, but close friends in the wedding party may have a better sense of whether those wishes will come true, suggests new research on personality and longevity from Washington University in St. Louis.

Diet and nutrition essential for mental health
Evidence is rapidly growing showing vital relationships between both diet quality and potential nutritional deficiencies and mental health, a new international collaboration led by the University of Melbourne and Deakin University has revealed.

New global 'ratings agency' ranks the 500 institutions with power to end deforestation by 2020
On the heels of a year marked by bold zero deforestation commitments the first ever comprehensive ranking of the powerbrokers that control the global supply chains that drive over half of tropical deforestation finds that only a small minority are equipped to tackle this problem.

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