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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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How a metabolic pathway promotes breast cancer metastasis
A metabolic pathway that is up-regulated in certain breast cancers promotes the disease's progression by activating a cell signaling protein called Arf6, according to a paper published in the Journal of Cell Biology.

Scientists discover C4 photosynthesis boosts growth by altering size and structure of plant leaves and roots
Plants using C4 photosynthesis grow 20-100 per cent quicker than more common C3 plants by altering the shape, size and structure of their leaves and roots, according to a new study.



Solar storm researchers prepare for the 'big one' with new urgency
The specter of a geomagnetic solar storm with the ferocity to disrupt communications satellites, knock out GPS systems, shut down air travel and quench lights, computers and telephones in millions of homes for days, months or even years has yet to grip the public as a panic-inducing possibility.

Earth's soils could play key role in locking away greenhouse gases
The world's soils could store an extra 8 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases, helping to limit the impacts of climate change, research suggests.

So long lithium, hello bacteria batteries?
As renewable energy sources grow, so does the demand for new ways to store the resulting energy at low-cost and in environmentally friendly ways.

Smartphone users are redefining privacy in public spaces
Private v. public, virtual v. real have converged in a world saturated by information technology. It seems impossible to divide the public from the personal. But when and where do we choose to share information about ourselves?

Reducing food waste could help mitigate climate change
About a tenth of overall global greenhouse-gas emissions from agriculture could be traced back to food waste by mid-century, a new study shows. A team from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research for the first time provides comprehensive food loss projections for countries around the world while also calculating the associated emissions.

Supermassive black holes may be lurking everywhere in the universe
A near-record supermassive black hole discovered in a sparse area of the local universe indicates that these monster objects - this one equal to 17 billion suns - may be more common than once thought, according to University of California, Berkeley, astronomers.

Researchers visualize brain's serotonin pump, provide blueprint for new, more effective SSRIs
Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University's Vollum Institute have uncovered remarkably detailed 3-D views of one of the most important transporters in the brain - the serotonin transporter.

UCSB researchers identify specific defects in LED diodes that lead to less efficient solid state lighting
Using state-of-the-art theoretical methods, UCSB researchers have identified a specific type of defect in the atomic structure of a light-emitting diode (LED) that results in less efficient performance.

Geothermal heat contributes to Greenland ice melt
An international team that includes University of Montana researcher Jesse Johnson has learned that the Earth's internal heat enhances rapid ice flow and subglacial melting in Greenland.

Results of world's first study on new treatment for heroin addiction
The results of the ground-breaking SALOME research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Psychiatry, show chronic heroin addiction now has another effective treatment tool - hyrdomorphone, a licensed pain medication.

Behemoth black hole found in an unlikely place
Astronomers have uncovered one of the biggest supermassive black holes, with the mass of 17 billion Suns, in an unlikely place: the centre of a galaxy that lies in a quiet backwater of the Universe.

Oily fish eaten during pregnancy may reduce risk of asthma in offspring
Children born to mothers who eat salmon when pregnant may be less likely to have doctor diagnosed asthma compared to children whose mothers do not eat it, new research has shown.

Higher levels of vitamin D correspond to lower cancer risk, researchers say
Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that higher levels of vitamin D - specifically serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D - are associated with a correspondingly reduced risk of cancer. The findings are published in the April 6, online issue of PLOS ONE.

Crab shell signaling helps control the many faces of cholera, study shows
In humans, cholera is among the world's most deadly diseases, killing as many as 140,000 persons a year, according to World Health Organization statistics.

For parents of autistic children, more social support means better health
About one in 68 children in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Their parents consistently report greater stress levels, caregiving burden and depression than parents of typically developing children.

Mediterranean loggerhead turtles dying in waters off the Middle East and North Africa
Thousands of loggerhead turtles are killed annually in areas of Syria, Libya and Egypt and Tunisia where they travel to find food, a new study led by researchers at the University of Exeter has highlighted.

Fresh fruit associated with lower risk of heart attack and stroke
People who eat fresh fruit on most days are at lower risk of heart attack and stroke than people who rarely eat fresh fruit, according to new research published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Young, unattached Jupiter analog found in solar neighborhood
A team of astronomers from Carnegie and the University of Western Ontario has discovered one of the youngest and brightest free-floating, planet-like objects within relatively close proximity to the Sun.

Are narcissists more likely to post selfies and care about the feedback they receive?
Korean researchers studied how narcissism relates to a person's selfie-posting behavior on Social Networking Sites such as Facebook and interest in the comments they receive back.

Researchers transmit data through animal tissues at HD video rates via ultrasound
Using animal tissue samples--store-bought pork loin and beef liver--researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated the possibility of real-time video-rate data transmission through tissue for in-body ultrasonic communications with implanted medical devices.

Factors associated with good heart health may also protect kidneys
Achieving the American Heart Association's definition of ideal cardiovascular health may also help prevent chronic kidney disease, according to new research in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Texas A&M study shows saturated fats 'jet lag' body clocks, triggering metabolic disorders
It makes sense that people who are trying to slim down would avoid fats. But as anyone who has unsuccessfully tried this approach to dieting knows, it's not quite that simple.

A warming climate puts Europe at risk for seasonal outbreaks of dengue fever
Increasing temperatures will enlarge Europe's seasonal window for the potential spread of mosquito-borne viral disease, expanding the geographic areas at risk for a dengue epidemic to include much of Europe.

Vanderbilt researchers identify potent antibodies against HIV
It's been known for some time that the immune system can produce antibodies capable of "neutralizing" HIV, and stopping the AIDS-causing virus dead in its tracks.

Respirator mask reduces effects of pollution on the heart
The use of a respiratory filter mask, a common practice in China and Japan, among other countries, helps minimize the impact of pollution on people with heart failure during rush-hour traffic in cities such as São Paulo, Brazil.

Nanopillars on drone fly larvae allow them to avoid bacterial contamination
The immature stage of the drone fly (Eristalis tenax) is known as a "rat-tailed maggot" because it resembles a hairless baby rodent with a "tail" that is actually used as a breathing tube.

Proof that ancient supernovae zapped Earth sparks hunt for after effects
Two new papers appearing in the journal Nature this week are "slam-dunk" evidence that energies from supernovae have buffeted our planet, according to astrophysicist Adrian Melott of the University of Kansas.

Advance may make quantum computing more practical
Quantum computers are largely hypothetical devices that could perform some calculations much more rapidly than conventional computers can.

Large variations in precipitation over the past millennium
According to a new study in Nature, the Northern Hemisphere has experienced considerably larger variations in precipitation during the past twelve centuries than in the twentieth century.

Children's interactions more complex than predicted
While sharing toys and fighting with each other, kindergarten children helped researchers understand the patterns and qualities of interactions in social groups. The results were much more complex than the scientists originally predicted.

Invasive species not best conservation tool: Study
Harnessing an invasive fish species sounded like a promising conservation tool to help reverse the destruction wreaked by zebra mussels on endangered native mollusks in the Great Lakes - except that it won't work, says a University of Guelph ecologist.

Sacubitril/valsartan in chronic heart failure: Indication of considerable added benefit
The fixed-dose combination of sacubitril and valsartan (trade name: Entresto) has been approved since November 2015 for adults with symptomatic chronic heart failure with reduced pump function (ejection fraction).

Duke study uncovers genetic elements that drive regeneration
If you trace our evolutionary tree way back to its roots -- long before the shedding of gills or the development of opposable thumbs -- you will likely find a common ancestor with the amazing ability to regenerate lost body parts.

SMFM releases statement on use of antenatal corticosteroids in late preterm birth period
The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine released a statement on the use of antenatal corticosteroids during the late preterm birth period for women at risk of preterm birth.

How deep does life go? MBL study describes microbial neighborhood beneath ocean floor
One of the startling discoveries about life on Earth in the past 25 years is that it can - and does - flourish beneath the ocean floor, in the planet's dark, dense, rocky crust.

How bioceramics could help fight gum disease
Severe gum disease known as periodontitis can lead to tooth loss, and treating it remains a challenge. But new approaches involving silicon nitride, a ceramic material used in spinal implants, could be on the way.

Understanding the scent of death
Well-trained cadaver dogs can be remarkably adept at discerning the smell of human remains from those of animals.

Magnetic delivery of therapeutic enzymes paves the way for targeted thrombosis treatment
Researchers from ITMO University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje have fabricated a new magnetically controlled material composed of enzymes entrapped directly within magnetite particles.

Older men who purchase sex do so more frequently as they age
Older American male customers of sex workers pay for more sex as they age. These findings are reported in a study which surveyed older American men who frequent sex work websites and discussion boards.

Public understanding of genetics can reduce stereotypes
The public's understanding of genetics, particularly as a cause of sexual orientation, can influence the level of stereotypical behavior, according to a new study by two University of Kansas researchers.

Existing state laws collectively require a 50 percent increase in US renewable electricity
State renewables portfolio standards, known as RPS policies, have contributed to more than half of all renewable electricity growth in the United States since 2000. Most state RPS requirements will continue to rise through at least 2020, if not beyond, and collectively these policies will require substantial further growth in U.S. renewable electricity supplies.

Scientists ID genes connected to wellbeing, depression and neuroticism
An international group of more than 190 scientists who analyzed the genomes of 298,420 individuals have found genetic variants that may influence our sense of wellbeing, depression and neuroticism.

New computer program can help uncover hidden genomic alterations that drive cancers
Cancer is rarely the result of a single mutation in a single gene.

Lowered birth rates one reason why women outlive men
Using unique demographic records on 140,600 reproducing individuals from the Utah Population Database, a research team led from Uppsala University has come to the conclusion that lowered birth rates are one reason why women outlive men in today's societies. The study is published in Scientific Reports.

Could global warming's top culprit help crops?
Many scientists fear that global warming will hit staple food crops hard, with heat stress, extreme weather events and water shortages.

Phosphorus 'tax' could be huge if tropical farming intensifies
One way to feed the globe's growing population is to ramp up intensive farming in tropical regions, but doing so will require a lot of fertilizer -- particularly phosphorus.

Trees' internal water pipes predict which species survive drought
Massive tree die-offs due to drought have ravaged forests across the American West and left ecologists struggling to predict how and when tree deaths will happen, and how rising temperatures due to climate change might affect the health of forests.

AACR: Results from clinical trial of personalized cellular therapy in brain tumors
Immune cells engineered to seek out and attack a type of deadly brain cancer known as glioblastoma (GBM) were found to have an acceptable safety profile and successfully migrate to and infiltrate tumors, researchers from Penn Medicine and Harvard University reported at the AACR Annual Meeting 2016 (Abstract LB-083).

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