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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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Electric patch holds promise for treating PTSD
An average of 30 years had passed since the traumatic events that had left them depressed, anxious, irritable, hypervigilant, unable to sleep well and prone to nightmares.

For breast cancer patients, never too late to quit smoking
Documenting that it's never too late to quit smoking, a large study of breast cancer survivors has found that those who quit smoking after their diagnosis had a 33 percent lower risk of death as a result of breast cancer than those who continued to smoke.



Odds are overwhelming that record heat due to climate change
Record-setting temperatures over the past century and a half are extremely unlikely to have occurred without human-caused climate change, but the odds of that happening are not quite as low as previously reported, according to an international team of meteorologists.

New tool to determine the risk of prostate cancer death
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have identified a new prognostic biomarker: the neuropeptide pro-NPY, which may help determine the risk of dying from prostate cancer.

Optogenetic technology developed at UMMS uses light to trigger immunotherapy
A new optogenetic technology developed by scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Texas A&M Health Science Center Institute of Biosciences & Technology, called optogenetic immunomodulation, is capable of turning on immune cells to attack melanoma tumors in mice.

Brain formation pattern shows why early trauma may leave no clues
Some of the earliest nerve cells to develop in the womb shape brain circuits that process sights and sounds, but then give way to mature networks that convert this sensory information into thoughts.

Targeted axillary dissection of lymph nodes after chemotherapy improves staging accuracy of node-positive breast cancer
A new procedure developed by surgeons at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center improves the accuracy of axillary staging and pathologic evaluation in clinically node-positive breast cancer, and reduces the need for a more invasive procedure with debilitating complications.

Heavy smokers who quit more than 15 years ago still at high risk for lung cancer and should be screened
Expanding lung cancer screening to include people who quit smoking more than 15 years ago could detect more cases and further reduce associated mortality, according to a study by Mayo Clinic researchers published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.

Link between food advertising and child food consumption
New research by University of Liverpool health expert Dr Emma Boyland has confirmed that unhealthy food advertising does increase food intake in children.

Over-hunting threatens Amazonian forest carbon stocks
Over-hunting of large mammals in tropical forests could make climate change worse according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Acid-sensitive molecular changes contribute to the emergence of pandemic influenza
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have identified a molecular property of the hemagglutinin protein that contributed to the emergence of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza virus.

Life expectancy three years longer for children born into smaller families
Children born into smaller families in the world's poorest nations will live an expected three years longer than those born into larger families, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research suggests.

Fred Hutch endorses HPV vaccination for cancer prevention
In response to low national vaccination rates for the human papillomavirus, or HPV, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has joined with the 68 other U.S. National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers in issuing a statement urging for increased vaccination in adolescent girls and boys for the prevention of many types of HPV-related cancers in adulthood.

New mechanism of antitumor action identified
A team of UAB researchers and collaborators from the Catalan biotech company Ability Pharmaceuticals (UAB Research Park), have described a new mechanism of anti-tumour action, identified during the study and development of the new drug ABTL0812.

Losing fat while gaining muscle: Scientists close in on 'holy grail' of diet and exercise
Researchers at McMaster University have uncovered significant new evidence in the quest for the elusive goal of gaining muscle and losing fat, an oft-debated problem for those trying to manage their weight, control their calories and balance their protein consumption.

New theory aids search for universe's origin
In a new study, scientists from The University of Texas at Dallas and their colleagues suggest a novel way for probing the beginning of space and time, potentially revealing secrets about the conditions that gave rise to the universe.

Hacking the programs of cancer stem cells
All tumor cells are the offspring of a single, aberrant cell, but they are not all alike. Only a few retain the capacity of the original cell to create an entire tumor.

Using virtual reality to make experiments more realistic
Avatars are all around us: they represent real people online and colonise new worlds in the movies. In science, their role has been more limited.

Hepatitis virus-like particles as potential cancer treatment
UC Davis researchers have developed a way to use the empty shell of a Hepatitis E virus to carry vaccines or drugs into the body. The technique has been tested in rodents as a way to target breast cancer, and is available for commercial licensing through UC Davis Office of Research.

Newfound strength in regenerative medicine
Researchers in the field of mechanobiology are evolving our understanding of health by revealing new insights into how the body's physical forces and mechanics impact development, physiological health, and prevention and treatment of disease.

Graphene composite may keep wings ice-free
A thin coating of graphene nanoribbons in epoxy developed at Rice University has proven effective at melting ice on a helicopter blade.

Schizophrenia's strongest known genetic risk deconstructed
Versions of a gene linked to schizophrenia may trigger runaway pruning of the teenage brain's still-maturing communications infrastructure, NIH-funded researchers have discovered.

Gene study points towards therapies for common brain disorders
Scientists have pinpointed the cells that are likely to trigger common brain disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Multiple Sclerosis and intellectual disabilities.

Uncovering the financial ties of advocates for cancer drug approval
Speakers who nominally represent cancer patients at advisory meetings on new drugs often have financial ties with the company seeking marketing approval. And those ties aren't always disclosed, according to an analysis appearing in JAMA Internal Medicine.

NIH-funded study suggests potential to predict peanut allergy immunotherapy outcomes
Oral immunotherapy for peanut allergy induces early, distinct changes in immune T-cell populations that potentially may help researchers determine which people will respond well to the therapy and which immune mechanisms are involved in the response, a new study suggests.

Breaking the brain's garbage disposal: Study shows even a small problem causes big effects
You wouldn't think that two Turkish children, some yeast and a bunch of Hungarian fruit flies could teach scientists much.

Vanderbilt study shows brain function differs in obese children
The brains of children who are obese function differently from those of children of healthy weight, and exhibit an "imbalance" between food-seeking and food-avoiding behaviors, researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center have found.

Simplifying solar cells with a new mix of materials
An international research team has simplified the steps to create highly efficient silicon solar cells by applying a new mix of materials to a standard design. Arrays of solar cells are used in solar panels to convert sunlight to electricity.

Whooping cough booster vouchers don't boost immunization rates of caregivers
Cases of pertussis (whooping cough) have increased dramatically over the past five years, putting infants at risk of serious illness or death.

New research uncovers hidden bias in college admissions tests
A little over two years after the College Board released research rebutting findings by an Indiana University Kelley School of Business professor concerning the board's testing methods, the professor and his colleagues have raised new questions in a paper about test bias, based on the testing service's own data.

Drinking coffee may reduce the risk of liver cirrhosis
Regular consumption of coffee was linked with a reduced risk of liver cirrhosis in a review of relevant studies published before July 2015.

Potential therapeutic targets identified for multiple sclerosis
Treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) and other inflammatory diseases may benefit by new findings from a study that identified potential therapeutic targets for a devastating disease striking some 2.3 million people worldwide.

Increasing oil's performance with crumpled graphene balls
When an automobile's engine is improperly lubricated, it can be a major hit to the pocketbook and the environment.

DNA imprinting defects associated with childhood osteosarcoma development and progression
Children diagnosed with osteosarcoma may be impacted by a DNA imprinting defect also found in parents, according to new research from the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota.

Bed bugs have developed resistance to neonicotinoids
A new study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology is the first to report that bed bugs have developed resistance to a class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids, or neonics, the shortened name.

A master switch that plays a key role in energy metabolism and human brain evolution
Scientists have long used comparative animal studies to better understand the nuances of human evolution, from making diverse body plans to the emergence of entirely powerful and unique features structures, including the human brain.

The connection between excess iron and Parkinson's disease
It's long been known that excess iron is found in the brains of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), an incurable neurodegenerative condition that affects motor function. The mechanism by which the iron wreaks damage on neurons involved in PD has not been clear.

Sedentary lifestyle spells more menopause misery
Sedentary middle-aged Hispanic women in Latin America have significantly worse menopause symptoms than their active counterparts, shows a study of more than 6,000 women across Latin America, which was published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

Researchers mine the epigenome to identify likely origins of childhood brain tumor subtype
Researchers have identified the cells that likely give rise to the brain tumor subtype Group 4 medulloblastoma.

Experts offer new approach to prioritizing research on the environmental impacts of pharmaceuticals
Researchers have developed a new way to prioritize investigations on the environmental impacts of the estimated 1500 active pharmaceutical ingredients currently in use.

Helmet-wearing increases risk-taking and sensation-seeking
Wearing a helmet in an effort to stay safe is likely to increase sensation seeking and could conversely make us less safe and more inclined to take risks, according to a significant new study from researchers at the University of Bath.

Climate change: Ocean warming underestimated
To date, research on the effects of climate change has underestimated the contribution of seawater expansion to sea level rise due to warming of the oceans. A team of researchers at the University of Bonn has now investigated, using satellite data, that this effect was almost twice as large over the past twelve years than previously assumed.

Descendants of Black Death confirmed as source of repeated European plague outbreaks
An international team of researchers has uncovered new information about the Black Death in Europe and its descendants, suggesting it persisted on the continent over four centuries, re-emerging to kill hundreds of thousands in Europe in separate, devastating waves.

Spin dynamics in an atomically thin semi-conductor
Researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Yale-NUS College have established the mechanisms for spin motion in molybdenum disulfide, an emerging two-dimensional (2D) material.

Ongoing HIV replication replenishes viral reservoirs during therapy
In HIV-infected patients undergoing antiretroviral therapy (ART), ongoing HIV replication in lymphoid tissues such as the lymph nodes helps maintain stores, or reservoirs, of the virus, a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health suggests.

Study finds toxic pollutants in fish across the world's oceans
A new global analysis of seafood found that fish populations throughout the world's oceans are contaminated with industrial and agricultural pollutants, collectively known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

US fisheries management clears high bar for sustainability
Today, NOAA Fisheries announced the publication of a peer-reviewed self-assessment that shows the standards of the United States fishery management system under the Magnuson-Stevens Act more than meet the criteria of the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization's ecolabelling guidelines.

Study finds significant cognitive impairment in adult survivors of childhood brain tumors
Cancer survivors of childhood brain tumors show significant deficits in intelligence, educational achievement and employment, even decades after treatment, an unprecedented study at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has found. The researchers said their findings will help guide efforts to prevent and alleviate such problems.

Anonymous browsing hinders online dating signals
Big data and the growing popularity of online dating sites may be reshaping a fundamental human activity: finding a mate, or at least a date. Yet a new study in Management Science finds that certain longstanding social norms persist, even online.

A better way to image metastatic prostate cancer
Conventional imaging methods have limited sensitivity for detecting metastatic prostate cancer. With appropriate, timely treatment vital to survival and quality of life, better imaging has been an ongoing goal.

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