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The top science news articles and science news articles and current events, scientific discoveries, studies and research from the past week.
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Wind energy provides 8 percent of Europe's electricity
EU's grid connected cumulative capacity in 2014 reached 129 GW, meeting 8% of European electricity demand, equivalent to the combined annual consumption of Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece and Ireland.

Low-nicotine cigarettes fail to sway smokers
Smokers who successfully lowered their nicotine intake when they were switched to low-nicotine cigarettes were unable to curb their smoking habits in the long term, according to a study by researchers at UCSF and San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.



New studies show that 2 classes of inexpensive generic drugs can reduce breast cancer deaths
Two new studies, both published in The Lancet, suggest that two different classes of drugs, aromatase inhibitors (AIs) and bisphosphonates, can each improve survival prospects for postmenopausal women with early breast cancer.

Opening the door to the cause of myeloid leukemia: Finding the targets of common mutation
Researchers at the University of Birmingham have made a breakthrough in understanding how mutated genes in leukaemia reprogram blood stem cells and send them spiralling out of control.

Mammoths killed by abrupt climate change
New research has revealed abrupt warming, that closely resembles the rapid man-made warming occurring today, has repeatedly played a key role in mass extinction events of large animals, the megafauna, in Earth's past.

Study finds abrupt climate change may have rocked the cradle of civilization
New research reveals that some of the earliest civilizations in the Middle East and the Fertile Crescent may have been affected by abrupt climate change.

Continued domestic abuse facilitated by post-separation contact -- new Trinity research
Contact between children and fathers following parental separation facilitates the continued abuse of women and children, according to new research focusing on the experiences of families with a prior history of domestic abuse conducted by social work experts at Trinity College Dublin.

Parasitic flatworms flout global biodiversity patterns
The odds of being attacked and castrated by a variety of parasitic flatworms increases for marine horn snails the farther they are found from the tropics.

Space-eye-view could help stop global wildlife decline
Conservation scientists need to collaborate with space agencies, such as NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), to identify measures which help track biodiversity declines around the world.

Marine plankton brighten clouds over Southern Ocean
New research using NASA satellite data and ocean biology models suggests tiny organisms in vast stretches of the Southern Ocean play a significant role in generating brighter clouds overhead.

Gene therapy may improve survival of patients with recurrent ovarian cancer
Use of gene therapy to deliver a protein that suppresses the development of female reproductive organs may improve the survival of patients with ovarian cancer that has recurred after chemotherapy, which happens 70 percent of the time and is invariably fatal.

Rice disease-resistance discovery closes the loop for scientific integrity
When disease-resistant rice is invaded by disease-causing bacteria, a small protein produced by the bacteria betrays the invader.

Building confidence helps people with MS have fuller lives, reports CWRU researcher
The physical symptoms of weakness and fatigue from multiple sclerosis (MS) can rock a person's confidence and ability to engage in what he or she feels is important, from being a good parent and friend to taking up a hobby, according to Matthew Plow, assistant professor from Case Western Reserve University's Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.

Expert panel sets nutrition guidelines to manage GI symptoms in autism
A new guideline for the nutrition of management gastrointestinal symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) provides a framework for clinicians to navigate frequently seen issues such as food selectivity, alternative diets and nutritional deficits.

Why West Nile virus is more dangerous in the elderly
West Nile virus (WNV) is particularly dangerous in older people, who account for a large number of severe cases and deaths caused by the virus.

Pesticides found in most pollen collected from foraging bees in Massachusetts
More than 70% of pollen and honey samples collected from foraging bees in Massachusetts contain at least one neonicotinoid, a class of pesticide that has been implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), in which adult bees abandon their hives during winter, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Overeating caused by a hormone deficiency in brain?
If you find yourself downing that extra piece of chocolate fudge cake even though you're not hungry, it might be the absence of a hormone in your brain that's causing you to overeat purely for pleasure.

Spintronics: Molecules stabilizing magnetism
Organic molecules allow producing printable electronics and solar cells with extraordinary properties. In spintronics, too, molecules open up the unexpected possibility of controlling the magnetism of materials and, thus, the spin of the flowing electrons.

Fighting mosquito resistance to insecticides
Controlling mosquitoes that carry human diseases is a global health challenge as their ability to resist insecticides now threatens efforts to prevent epidemics.

BIDMC research shows endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm is safe
Each year, nearly 40,000 Americans undergo elective surgery to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm with the goal of preventing a life-threatening rupture of this potentially dangerous cardiovascular condition.

Dartmouth-NASA collaboration reveals new X-ray actions
Potentially destructive high-energy electrons streak into Earth's atmosphere from space, not as Shakespeare's "gentle rain from heaven," but at velocities approaching the speed of light.

The mystery of the instant noodle chromosomes
A group of researchers from the Lomonosov Moscow State University tried to address one of the least understood issues in the modern molecular biology, namely, how do strands of DNA pack themselves into the cell nucleus.

'Successful aging' linked to harmful drinking among over 50s
The over 50s who are 'successful agers'--healthy, active, sociable, and well off--are more at risk of harmful drinking than their less successful peers, concludes research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Female stink bugs 'select' the color of their eggs
Stink bug mothers will lay darker or lighter eggs depending on how much light is reflecting off of a surface.

Stanford researchers find prawn solution to spread of deadly disease
A Stanford-led study in Senegal, West Africa, finds that freshwater prawns can serve as an effective natural solution in the battle against schistosomiasis, a potentially deadly parasitic disease that infects about 230 million people.

Meeting face-to-face with El Capitan (Yosemite National Park, USA)
Granitic rocks make up much of Earth's continental crust and many of the planet's most iconic landscapes.

New treatment options for a fatal leukemia
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) frequently develops between the age of two and three. This leukemia has various forms, which differ through certain changes in the genetic material of the leukemia cells.

Benefits of strip-till surface after five-year study
How does style of tilling make a difference in crop success? The blades on a till don't simply chop up soil and move it around. They blend dead plant material left from harvest into the soil. They also expose wetter soil to the air and loosen it.

Scientists identify schizophrenia's 'Rosetta Stone' gene
Scientists have identified a critical function of what they believe to be schizophrenia's "Rosetta Stone" gene that could hold the key to decoding the function of all genes involved in the disease.

Attention-control video game curbs combat vets' PTSD symptoms
A computerized attention-control training program significantly reduced combat veterans' preoccupation with - or avoidance of -- threat and attendant PTSD symptoms.

Stem cell transplantation for children with rare form of leukemia improves outcomes
Researchers in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Blood & Marrow Transplantation at Children's Hospital Los Angeles have shown greatly improved outcomes in using stem cell transplantation to treat patients with a serious but very rare form of chronic blood cancer called juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML).

An innovative algorithm is helping scientists decipher how drugs work inside the body
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have developed a computer algorithm that is helping scientists see how drugs produce pharmacological effects inside the body.

Ultra-thin hollow nanocages could reduce platinum use in fuel cell electrodes
A new fabrication technique that produces platinum hollow nanocages with ultra-thin walls could dramatically reduce the amount of the costly metal needed to provide catalytic activity in such applications as fuel cells.

Sleep makes our memories more accessible, study shows
Sleeping not only protects memories from being forgotten, it also makes them easier to access, according to new research from the University of Exeter and the Basque Centre for Cognition, Brain and Language.

More efficient process to produce graphene developed by Ben-Gurion University researchers
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and University of Western Australia researchers have developed a new process to develop few-layer graphene for use in energy storage and other material applications that is faster, potentially scalable and surmounts some of the current graphene production limitations.

Young scientist discovers magnetic material unnecessary to create spin current
It doesn't happen often that a young scientist makes a significant and unexpected discovery, but postdoctoral researcher Stephen Wu of the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory just did exactly that.

UT Dallas nanotechnology research leads to super-elastic conducting fibers
An international research team based at The University of Texas at Dallas has made electrically conducting fibers that can be reversibly stretched to over 14 times their initial length and whose electrical conductivity increases 200-fold when stretched.

Simple flip of genetic switch determines aging or longevity in animals
When does aging really begin? Two Northwestern University scientists now have a molecular clue. In a study of the transparent roundworm C. elegans, they found that adult cells abruptly begin their downhill slide when an animal reaches reproductive maturity.

Researchers: Body fat can send signals to brain, affecting stress response
The brain's effect on other parts of the body has been well established. Now, a group that includes two University of Florida Health researchers has found that it's a two-way street: Body fat can send a signal that affects the way the brain deals with stress and metabolism.

WSU Researchers Find US breast milk is glyphosate free
Washington State University scientists have found that glyphosate, the main ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, does not accumulate in mother's breast milk.

Unlocking the rice immune system
A bacterial signal that when recognized by rice plants enables the plants to resist a devastating blight disease has been identified by a multi-national team of researchers led by scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) and the University of California (UC) Davis.

Chemotherapy and quality of life at the end of life
Chemotherapy for patients with end-stage cancer was associated with worse quality of life near death for patients with a good ability to still perform many life functions, according to an article published online by JAMA Oncology.

Virus-like particle vaccine protects mice from many flu strains
A vaccine that protects against a wide variety of influenza viruses (a so-called universal flu vaccine) is a critical public health goal given the significant rates of illness and death caused by seasonal influenza and the potentially devastating effects of a pandemic influenza strain.

Small oxygen jump helped enable early animals take first breaths
If oxygen was a driver of the early evolution of animals, only a slight bump in oxygen levels facilitated it, according to a multi-institutional research team that includes a Virginia Tech geoscientist.

Researchers discover new role for protein in cell division
Pharmaceutical sciences researchers at Washington State University have discovered a protein's previously unknown role in cell division.

Examination of use of diabetes drug pioglitazone and risk of bladder cancer
Although some previous studies have suggested an increased risk of bladder cancer with use of the diabetes drug pioglitazone, analyses that included nearly 200,000 patients found no statistically significant increased risk, however a small increased risk could not be excluded.

Stadium lighting affects bat behavior and may threaten biodiversity
A new Animal Conservation study shows that sports stadium lighting can alter patterns of bat species activity and feeding, which may in turn have cascading effects on other organisms and the ecosystem as a whole.

Research investigates whether solar events could trigger birth defects on Earth
Studies find airplane crews at high altitude are exposed to potentially harmful levels of radiation from cosmic rays.

How effective is total knee replacement in patients with rheumatoid arthritis?
Studies that have assessed the effects of total knee replacement on quality of life are scarce and have been almost exclusively limited to patients with osteoarthritis, even though rheumatoid arthritis is the most common inflammatory arthritis for which the surgery is indicated.

Cell phone notifications may be driving you to distraction
Whether you are alerted to an incoming phone call or text by a trendy ringtone, an alarm bell or a quiet vibration, just receiving a notification on your cell phone can cause enough of a distraction to impair your ability to focus on a given task, according to a new Florida State University study.

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