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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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Wind energy cuts the electricity bill
The promoting of renewable energy is at the heart of the current debate on energy policy.

Study Reveals Immune System is Dazed and Confused During Spaceflight
There is nothing like a head cold to make us feel a little dazed. We get things like colds and the flu because of changes in our immune system.



500 million year reset for the immune system
A single factor can reset the immune system of mice to a state likely similar to what it was 500 million years ago, when the first vertebrates emerged.

Zombie ant fungi manipulate hosts to die on the 'doorstep' of the colony
A parasitic fungus that must kill its ant hosts outside their nest to reproduce and transmit their infection, manipulates its victims to die in the vicinity of the colony, ensuring a constant supply of potential new hosts, according to researchers at Penn State and colleagues at Brazil's Federal University of Vicosa.

Leukemia drug shows promise for skin, breast and other cancers
A leukemia drug called dasatinib shows promise for treating skin, breast and several other cancers, according to researchers at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Why global warming is taking a break
Global warming is currently taking a break: whereas global temperatures rose drastically into the late 1990s, the global average temperature has risen only slightly since 1998 - surprising, considering scientific climate models predicted considerable warming due to rising greenhouse gas emissions.

Recycling old batteries into solar cells
This could be a classic win-win solution: A system proposed by researchers at MIT recycles materials from discarded car batteries - a potential source of lead pollution - into new, long-lasting solar panels that provide emissions-free power.

Zebrafish help to unravel Alzheimer's disease
New fundamental knowledge about the regulation of stem cells in the nerve tissue of zebrafish embryos results in surprising insights into neurodegenerative disease processes in the human brain. A new study by scientists at VIB and KU Leuven identifies the molecules responsible for this process.

The difficult question of Clostridium difficile
The bacterium Clostridium difficile causes antibiotic-related diarrhoea and is a growing problem in the hospital environment and elsewhere in the community.

Global food trade may not meet all future demand, University of Virginia study indicates
As the world population continues to grow, by about 1 billion people every 12 to 14 years since the 1960s, the global food supply may not meet escalating demand - particularly for agriculturally poor countries in arid to semi-arid regions, such as Africa's Sahel, that already depend on imports for much of their food supply.

No sedative necessary: Scientists discover new 'sleep node' in the brain
A sleep-promoting circuit located deep in the primitive brainstem has revealed how we fall into deep sleep.

Climate Change Will Threaten Fish by Drying Out Southwest U.S. Streams, Study Predicts
Fish species native to a major Arizona watershed may lose access to important segments of their habitat by 2050 as surface water flow is reduced by the effects of climate warming, new research suggests.

Scientists study 'talking' turtles in Brazilian Amazon
Turtles are well known for their longevity and protective shells, but it turns out these reptiles use sound to stick together and care for young, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society and other organizations.

Exporting US coal to Asia could drop emissions 21 percent
Under the right scenario, exporting U.S. coal to power plants in South Korea could lead to a 21 percent drop in greenhouse gas emissions compared to burning the fossil fuel at plants in the United States, according to a new Duke University-led study.

Flexible tapes from the nanoworld
Dr. Wilhelm Auwärter and his team are working on a research project to develop tiny flat molecule tapes at the Department of Physics of Technische Universität München (TUM).

No one-size-fits-all approach in a changing climate, changing land
As climate change alters habitats for birds and bees and everything in between, so too does the way humans decide to use land.

Pygmy phenotype developed many times, adaptive to rainforest
The small body size associated with the pygmy phenotype is probably a selective adaptation for rainforest hunter-gatherers, according to an international team of researchers, but all African pygmy phenotypes do not have the same genetic underpinning, suggesting a more recent adaptation than previously thought.

Microphysiological systems will revolutionize experimental biology and medicine
The Annual Thematic issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine that appears in September 2014 is devoted to "The biology and medicine of microphysiological systems" and describes the work of scientists participating in the Microphysiological Systems Program directed by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and funded in part by the NIH Common Fund.

Applying new cholesterol guidelines to a patient population reduces heart attacks, strokes, study finds
A study from UT Southwestern researchers found that recently introduced cholesterol guidelines would significantly reduce new cardiovascular events, when compared to treatment based on previous cholesterol guidelines.

Pitt engineer turns metal into glass
Materials scientists have long sought to form glass from pure, monoatomic metals. Scott X. Mao and colleagues did it.

Researchers inspired by marine life to design camouflage systems
It could be a fun party trick - put your cell phone down on a table and watch it fade into the woodwork - or part of a lifesaving technology used by industry or the military.

Opioid users breathe easier with novel drug to treat respiratory depression
People taking prescription opioids to treat moderate to severe pain may be able to breathe a little easier, literally.

More than just X and Y: A new genetic basis for sex determination
Men and women differ in plenty of obvious ways, and scientists have long known that genetic differences buried deep within our DNA underlie these distinctions.

Old naked mole rats are young at heart, study finds
Cardiovascular disease is the greatest killer of humans the world over, presenting huge financial and quality-of-life issues.

Researchers obtain key insights into how the internal body clock is tuned
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found a new way that internal body clocks are regulated by a type of molecule known as long non-coding RNA.

Trees and shrubs invading critical grasslands, diminish cattle production
Half of the Earth's land mass is made up of rangelands, which include grasslands and savannas, yet they are being transformed at an alarming rate.

Innate lymphoid cells elicit T cell responses
In case of an inflammation the body releases substances that increase the immune defense. During chronic inflammation, this immune response gets out of control and can induce organ damage.

Bionic Liquids from Lignin
While the powerful solvents known as ionic liquids show great promise for liberating fermentable sugars from lignocellulose and improving the economics of advanced biofuels, an even more promising candidate is on the horizon - bionic liquids.

Antibodies, together with viral 'inducers,' found to control HIV in mice
Although HIV can now be effectively suppressed using anti-retroviral drugs, it still comes surging back the moment the flow of drugs is stopped. Latent reservoirs of HIV-infected cells, invisible to the body's immune system and unreachable by pharmaceuticals, ensure that the infection will rebound after therapy is terminated.

Most accurate measures of gene expression
RNA-sequencing allows measuring the gene expression of humans or other organisms. The method has recently become very popular in bioscience and medical research, and it is being adopted to clinical applications.

NOAA analysis reveals significant land cover changes in US coastal regions
A new NOAA nationwide analysis shows that between 1996 and 2011, 64,975 square miles in coastal regions--an area larger than the state of Wisconsin--experienced changes in land cover, including a decline in wetlands and forest cover with development a major contributing factor.

Waterloo makes public most complete Antarctic map for climate research
The University of Waterloo has unveiled a new satellite image of Antarctica, and the imagery will help scientists all over the world gain new insight into the effects of climate change.

Happiness in schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is among the most severe forms of mental illness, yet some people with the disease are as happy as those in good physical and mental health according to a study led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

Purdue ag economists: Shale oil 'dividend' could pay for smaller carbon footprint
Unanticipated economic benefits from the shale oil and gas boom could help offset the costs of substantially reducing the U.S.'s carbon footprint, Purdue agricultural economists say.

Are children who play violent video games at greater risk for depression?
While much attention has focused on the link between violent video game playing and aggression among youths, a new study finds significantly increased signs of depression among preteens with high daily exposure to violent video games.

Dress for Success: UC Research Examines Male Influences on 'Looking' Middle Class
They might be called a chip off the old block, but when it comes to upward social mobility, they might call Dad a lesson in what not to wear.

Natural (born) killer cells battle pediatric leukemia
Researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles have shown that a select team of immune-system cells from patients with leukemia can be multiplied in the lab, creating an army of natural killer cells that can be used to destroy the cancer cells.

IU study: Combining epilepsy drug, morphine can result in less pain, lower opioid doses
Adding a common epilepsy drug to a morphine regimen can result in better pain control with fewer side effects. Moreover, the combination can reduce the dosage of the opioid needed to be effective, according to a team of pain researchers at Indiana University.

In one of nature's innovations, a single cell smashes and rebuilds its own genome
Life can be so intricate and novel that even a single cell can pack a few surprises, according to a study led by Princeton University researchers.

Do gut bacteria rule our minds?
It sounds like science fiction, but it seems that bacteria within us - which outnumber our own cells about 100-fold - may very well be affecting both our cravings and moods to get us to eat what they want, and often are driving us toward obesity.

Massachussetts General-developed device monitors key step in development of tumor metastases
A microfluidic device developed at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) may help study key steps in the process by which cancer cells break off from a primary tumor to invade other tissues and form metastases.

New mouse model points to therapy for liver disease
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common affliction, affecting almost 30 percent of Americans, with a significant number suffering from its most severe form, called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH, which can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer.

A new species of endemic treefrog from Madagascar
A new species of the Boophis rappiodes group is described from the hidden streams of Ankarafa Forest, northwest of Madagascar. The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

Rheumatologic diseases like lupus can initially look like neurological disorders
Lupus and other rheumatologic diseases can initially present as neurological disorders such as headaches and seizures, and thus delay diagnosis for many months, according to Loyola University Medical Center neurologists.

Men fare worse than women in China regarding discrimination among obese workers
New research that analyzes economic disparity among obese Chinese adults shows that there is no wage disparity for obese women in China, but there is pay inequality among obese men.

Study at Deepwater Horizon spill site finds key to tracking pollutants
A new study of the ocean circulation patterns at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill reveals the significant role small-scale ocean currents play in the spread of pollutants.

Quasi-Legal Drug Fifteen Times Stronger Than Heroin Hides in Plain Sight
Emergency physicians should expect "an upswing in what on the surface appear to be heroin overdoses," but are actually overdoses tied to acetyl fentanyl, an opiate that is mixed into street drugs marketed as heroin.

Patient's question triggers important study about blood thinners
Physicians around the world now have guidance that can help them determine the best oral blood thinners to use for their patients suffering from blood clots in their veins, thanks to a patient of The Ottawa Hospital who asked his physician a question he couldn't answer.

Bone chemistry reveals royal lifestyle of Richard III
A recent study by the British Geological Survey, in association with researchers at the University of Leicester, has delved into the bone and tooth chemistry of King Richard III and uncovered fascinating new details about the life and diet of Britain's last Plantagenet king.

Environment and health experts commit to actions on climate change
More than 500 delegates to the EcoHealth 2014 conference have issued a call to action to urgently and collaboratively address the impacts of climate change on the health of humans, animals and the global environment in light of the lack of a truly collective response to date.

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