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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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Matched 'hybrid' systems may hold key to wider use of renewable energy
The use of renewable energy in the United States could take a significant leap forward with improved storage technologies or more efforts to "match" different forms of alternative energy systems that provide an overall more steady flow of electricity, researchers say in a new report.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide used for energy storage products
Chemists and engineers at Oregon State University have discovered a fascinating new way to take some of the atmospheric carbon dioxide that's causing the greenhouse effect and use it to make an advanced, high-value material for use in energy storage products.



Wind Farms Do Not Affect Property Values, Study Finds
Wind turbine developments have no effect on property values of nearby homes and farms, according to new research from the University of Guelph.

News Release Limiting Internet Congestion A Key Factor in Net Neutrality Debate
Too many vehicles on the highway inevitably slow down traffic. On the Internet information highway, consumers value high-speed Internet service, but there is little reason to think broadband traffic congestion will improve if the Federal Communications Commission abandons net neutrality, according to economic research.

New bird species confirmed 15 years after first observation
A team led by researchers from Princeton University, Michigan State University and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences have confirmed the discovery of a new bird species more than 15 years after the elusive animal was first seen on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

How early trauma influences behaviour
Traumatic and stressful events during childhood increase the risk to develop psychiatric disorders, but to a certain extent, they can also help better deal with difficult situations later in life.

'Good fat' could help manage type 2 diabetes
A special type of fat found in some people could be used to manage type 2 diabetes.

Selenium compounds boost immune system to fight against cancer
Cancer types such as melanoma, prostate cancer and certain types of leukaemia weaken the body by over-activating the natural immune system. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have now demonstrated that selenium - naturally found in, e.g., garlic and broccoli - slows down the immune over-response.

Babies remember nothin' but a good time, study says
Parents who spend their time playing with and talking to their five-month-old baby may wonder whether their child remembers any of it a day later.

Understanding the Brain's 'Suffocation Alarm'
Panic disorder is a severe form of anxiety in which the affected individual feels an abrupt onset of fear, often accompanied by profound physical symptoms of discomfort. Scientists have known from studying twins that genes contribute to the risk of panic disorder, but very little is known about which specific genes are involved.

Contact lens discomfort linked to changes in lipid layer of tear film
Changes in the lipid layer of the eyes' natural tear film may contribute to the common problem of contact lens discomfort, reports a study in the December issue of Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry.

Cell's skeleton is never still
New computer models that show how microtubules age are the first to match experimental results and help explain the dynamic processes behind an essential component of every living cell, according to Rice University scientists.

Drugs to block angiogenesis could provide new treatment for TB
The body responds to tuberculosis infection by locking the bacterial offenders into tiny clusters of immune cells called granulomas, which are a hallmark of the disease.

Using science to open way to 'blue economy'
Today, scientists at the Natural Capital Project share new science and open source software that can calculate risk to coastal and marine ecosystems.

Problem gambling, personality disorders often go hand in hand
The treatment of people who cannot keep their gambling habits in check is often complicated because they also tend to suffer from personality disorders.

Diverting a river from ecological disaster in northwestern China could provide new sustainable model
For tens of thousands of years, modern humans have used the waterways to spread out across the surface of the planet.

New study reveals why some people may be immune to HIV-1
Doctors have long been mystified as to why HIV-1 rapidly sickens some individuals, while in others the virus has difficulties gaining a foothold.

Re-thinking Southern California earthquake scenarios in Coachella Valley, San Andreas Fault
New three-dimensional (3D) numerical modeling that captures far more geometric complexity of an active fault segment in southern California than any other, suggests that the overall earthquake hazard for towns on the west side of the Coachella Valley such as Palm Springs and Palm Desert may be slightly lower than previously believed.

Mosquitoes and malaria: Scientists pinpoint how biting cousins have grown apart
Certain species of mosquitoes are genetically better at transmitting malaria than even some of their close cousins, according to a multi-institutional team of researchers including Virginia Tech scientists.

Study: Doubling saturated fat in the diet does not increase saturated fat in blood
Doubling or even nearly tripling saturated fat in the diet does not drive up total levels of saturated fat in the blood, according to a controlled diet study.

How to estimate the magnetic field of an exoplanet?
located outside the Solar system and orbits a different star.

The first X-ray diffraction measurements on Mars
In 2012 the Mars Science Laboratory landed in the fascinating Gale crater. The Gale crater is of such great interest because of the 5.5 km high mountain of layered materials in the middle. This material tells an intricate story of the history of Mars, perhaps spanning much of the existence of this mysterious planet.

Masking HIV target cells prevents viral transmission in animal model
Cloaking immune cells with antibodies that block T cell trafficking to the gut can substantially reduce the risk of viral transmission in a non-human primate model of HIV infection, scientists report.

Obese children burdened by more than weight
High blood pressure and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are two emerging health problems related to the epidemic of childhood obesity.

Social media data contain pitfalls for understanding human behavior
A growing number of academic researchers are mining social media data to learn about both online and offline human behavior. In recent years, studies have claimed the ability to predict everything from summer blockbusters to fluctuations in the stock market.

Starting treatment soon after HIV infection improves immune health, study finds
In many countries outside the United States, decisions on when to start treatment for HIV infection are based on the level of certain white blood cells called CD4+ T cells, which are commonly measured to determine immune health.

Why cancer cells grow despite a lack of oxygen
Healthy cells reduce their growth when there is a lack of oxygen (hypoxia). This makes it even more surprising that hypoxia is a characteristic feature of malignant tumours.

Discovery by NUS researchers contributes towards future treatment of multiple sclerosis
A multi-disciplinary research team from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has made a breakthrough discovery of a new type of immune cells that may help in the development of a future treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS).

Research suggests ability of HIV to cause AIDS is slowing
The rapid evolution of HIV, which has allowed the virus to develop resistance to patients' natural immunity, is at the same time slowing the virus's ability to cause AIDS, according to new research funded by the Wellcome Trust.

NASA's Swift Mission Probes an Exotic Object: 'Kicked' Black Hole or Mega Star?
An international team of researchers analyzing decades of observations from many facilities, including NASA's Swift satellite, has discovered an unusual source of light in a galaxy some 90 million light-years away.

Lionfish analysis reveals most vulnerable prey as invasion continues
If you live in lionfish territory in the Atlantic Ocean, the last thing you want to be is a small fish with a long, skinny body, resting by yourself at night, near the bottom of the seafloor.

NIH Scientists Determine How Environment Contributes to Several Human Diseases
Using a new imaging technique, National Institutes of Health researchers have found that the biological machinery that builds DNA can insert molecules into the DNA strand that are damaged as a result of environmental exposures.

Excessive contact between cellular organelles disrupts metabolism in obesity
Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) have found a novel mechanism causing type 2 diabetes that could be targeted to prevent or treat the disease.

El Niño stunts children's growth in Peru
Extreme weather events, such as El Niño, can have long-lasting effects on health, according to research published in the open access journal Climate Change Responses.

Researchers pioneer new approach to treating HPV-related cervical cancer
A drug that is already well established as a treatment for infection of the retina in people with AIDS has been shown, for the first time, to sensitise cervical cancer to chemotherapy and radiotherapy without an increase in toxic side-effects.

Decoding Fat Cells: Discovery May Explain Why We Gain Weight
University of Rochester researchers believe they're on track to solve the mystery of weight gain - and it has nothing to do with indulging in holiday eggnog.

New device may ease mammography discomfort
Researchers have developed a new device that may result in more comfortable mammography for women. According to a study being presented next week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), standardizing the pressure applied in mammography would reduce pain associated with breast compression without sacrificing image quality.

Delaying ART in patients with HIV reduces likelihood of restoring CD4 counts
A larger percentage of patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) achieved normalization of CD4+ T-cell counts when they started antiretroviral therapy (ART) within 12 months of the estimated dates of seroconversion (EDS) rather than later, according to a report published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Deep-Earth Carbon Offers Clues About Origin of Life on Earth
New findings by a Johns Hopkins University-led team reveal long unknown details about carbon deep beneath the Earth's surface and suggest ways this subterranean carbon might have influenced the history of life on the planet.

CT scans of coral skeletons reveal ocean acidity increases reef erosion
Coral reefs persist in a balance between reef construction and reef breakdown. As corals grow, they construct the complex calcium carbonate framework that provides habitat for fish and other reef organisms.

Grasshoppers signal slow recovery of post-agricultural woodlands, study finds
Sixty years ago, the plows ended their reign and the fields were allowed to return to nature -- allowed to become the woodland forests they once were.

Study shows mental health impact of breast size differences in teens
Differences in breast size have a significant mental health impact in adolescent girls, affecting self-esteem, emotional well-being, and social functioning.

Scientists solve reptile mysteries with landmark study on the evolution of turtles
A team of scientists, including researchers from the California Academy of Sciences, has reconstructed a detailed "tree of life" for turtles.

For docs, more biology info means less empathy for mental health patients
Give therapists and psychiatrists information about the biology of a mental disorder, and they have less -- not more -- empathy for the patient, a new Yale study shows.

Does 'brain training' work?
Computer based 'brain training' can boost memory and thinking skills in older adults, but many programs promoted by the $1 billion brain training industry are ineffective, reveals new research by the University of Sydney.

Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Patients Should Undergo Genetic Screening
Most patients with triple-negative breast cancer should undergo genetic testing for mutations in known breast cancer predisposition genes, including BRCA1 and BRCA2, a Mayo Clinic-led study has found.

New volume documents the science at the legendary snowmastodon fossil site in Colorado
Four years ago, a bulldozer operator turned over some bones during construction at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado.

Were Neanderthals a sub-species of modern humans? New research says no
In an extensive, multi-institution study led by SUNY Downstate Medical Center, researchers have identified new evidence supporting the growing belief that Neanderthals were a distinct species separate from modern humans (Homo sapiens), and not a subspecies of modern humans.

Genetically low vitamin D associated with increased mortality
Observational studies have suggested that lower levels of vitamin D are associated with increased mortality, but whether low vitamin D concentrations are a cause of increased mortality or simply a consequence of poor health is thus unclear.

Biology trumps chemistry in open ocean
Single-cell phytoplankton in the ocean are responsible for roughly half of global oxygen production, despite vast tracts of the open ocean that are devoid of life-sustaining nutrients.

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