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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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Shift in Arabian Sea Plankton May Threaten Fisheries
A growing "dead zone" in the middle of the Arabian Sea has allowed plankton uniquely suited to low- oxygen water to take over the base of the food chain. Their rise to dominance over the last decade could be disastrous for the predator fish that sustain 120 million people living on the sea's edge.

Sharks in acidic waters avoid smell of food
The increasing acidification of ocean waters caused by rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels could rob sharks of their ability to sense the smell of food, a new study suggests.



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.

Penn Medicine bioethicists call for greater first-world response to Ebola outbreak
Amid recent discussion about the Ebola crisis in West Africa, Penn Medicine physicians say that high-income countries like the United States have an obligation to help those affected by the outbreak and to advance research to fight the deadly disease - including in the context of randomized clinical trials of new drugs to combat the virus.

Scientists show that nicotine withdrawal reduces response to rewards across species
Cigarette smoking is a leading cause of preventable death worldwide and is associated with approximately 440,000 deaths in the United States each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population continues to smoke cigarettes.

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.

Scientists discover hazardous waste-eating bacteria
Tiny single-cell organisms discovered living underground could help with the problem of nuclear waste disposal, say researchers involved in a study at The University of Manchester.

NJIT researchers working to safeguard the shoreline
An NJIT research team has estimated the total mass of oil that reached the Gulf of Mexico shore in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout.

LSU Scientists Lead Research on Speciation in the Tropics
In a study that sheds light on the origin of bird species in the biologically rich rainforests of South America, LSU Museum of Natural Science Director and Roy Paul Daniels Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, Robb Brumfield, and an international team of researchers funded by the National Science Foundation, or NSF, published a paper this week challenging the view that speciation - the process by which new species are formed - is directly linked to geological and climatic changes to the landscape.

Penn Engineers Advance Understanding of Graphene's Friction Properties
An interdisciplinary team of engineers from the University of Pennsylvania has made a discovery regarding the surface properties of graphene, the Nobel-prize winning material that consists of an atomically thin sheet of carbon atoms.

New species of electrons can lead to better computing
In a research paper published this week in Science, the collaboration led by MIT's theory professor Leonid Levitov and Manchester's Nobel laureate Sir Andre Geim report a material in which electrons move at a controllable angle to applied fields, similar to sailboats driven diagonally to the wind.

Dendritic cells affect onset and progress of psoriasis
Different types of dendritic cells in human skin have assorted functions in the early and more advanced stages of psoriasis report researchers in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine.

Near-extinct African amphibians 'invisible' under climate change
An international team of researchers has found that the majority of threatened species are 'invisible' when using modern methods to predict species distributions under climate change.

New knowledge of cannabis paves the way for drug development
Revolutionary nanotechnology method could help improve the development of new medicine and reduce costs.

Molecular self-assembly controls graphene-edge configuration
A research team headed by Prof. Patrick Han and Prof. Taro Hitosugi at the Advanced Institute of Materials Research (AIMR), Tohoku University discovered a new bottom-up fabrication method that produces defect-free graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) with periodic zigzag-edge regions.

Combination microRNA therapy shown to suppress non-small-cell lung cancer
Micro RNAs (miRNA) have recently emerged as key therapeutic agents against cancers and are actively being evaluated in pre-clinical models of various cancers as well as in human clinical trials.

NREL Updates Cetane Data Used for Development of Energy Efficient Fuels and Engines
The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released a long-anticipated update to the source-of-record for cetane number data.

New research sheds light on microbes' evolution
Two North­eastern Uni­ver­sity researchers and their inter­na­tional col­leagues have cre­ated an advanced model aimed at exploring the role of neu­tral evo­lu­tion in the bio­geo­graphic dis­tri­b­u­tion of ocean microbes.

No innocent bystander: cartilage contributes to arthritis
Melbourne researchers have discovered that cartilage plays an active role in the destruction and remodelling of joints seen in rheumatoid arthritis, rather than being an 'innocent bystander' as previously thought.

Study finds high protein diets lead to lower blood pressure
Adults who consume a high-protein diet may be at a lower risk for developing high blood pressure (HBP).

Microscopic Diamonds Suggest Cosmic Impact Responsible for Major Period of Climate Change
A new study published in The Journal of Geology provides support for the theory that a cosmic impact event over North America some 13,000 years ago caused a major period of climate change known as the Younger Dryas stadial, or "Big Freeze."

Study maps 15 years of carbon dioxide emissions on Earth
World leaders face multiple barriers in their efforts to reach agreement on greenhouse gas emission policies. And, according to Arizona State University researchers, without globally consistent, independent emissions assessments, climate agreements will remain burdened by errors, self-reporting, and the inability to verify emissions progress.

Chemical signals in the brain help guide risky decisions
A gambler's decision to stay or fold in a game of cards could be influenced by a chemical in the brain, suggests new research from the University of British Columbia.

Stanford-led study assesses the environmental costs and benefits of fracking
A strange thing happened on the way to dealing with climate change: Advances in hydraulic fracturing put trillions of dollars' worth of previously unreachable oil and natural gas within humanity's grasp.

Phosphorus a promising semiconductor
Defects damage the ideal properties of many two-dimensional materials, like carbon-based graphene. Phosphorus just shrugs.

Mice and men share a diabetes gene
A joint work by EPFL, ETH Zürich and the CHUV has identified a pathological process that takes place in both mice and humans towards one of the most common diseases that people face in the industrialized world: type 2 diabetes.

Facebook posts reveal personality traits, but changes complicate interpretation
A study from the University of Kansas finds that people can accurately detect the personality traits of strangers through Facebook activity; however, changes to the social media site in the past three years could be making it harder to do so.

Study solves the bluetongue disease 'overwintering' mystery
The bluetongue virus, which causes a serious disease that costs the cattle and sheep industries in the United States an estimated $125 million annually, manages to survive the winter by reproducing in the insect that transmits it, report veterinary scientists at the University of California, Davis.

Researchers discover a key to making new muscles
Researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) have developed a novel technique to promote tissue repair in damaged muscles.

Targeted immune booster removes toxic proteins in mouse model of Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease experts at NYU Langone Medical Center and elsewhere are reporting success in specifically harnessing a mouse's immune system to attack and remove the buildup of toxic proteins in the brain that are markers of the deadly neurodegenerative disease.

New study: Emerging research indicates mangos may lower blood sugar in obese adults
Research published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolic Insights found that regular consumption of mango by obese adults may lower blood sugar levels and does not negatively impact body weight.

Volunteer 'eyes on the skies' track peregrine falcon recovery in California
In recovery from the deadly legacy of DDT, American peregrine falcons (Falco peregrines anatum) faced new uncertainty in 1992, when biologists proposed to stop rearing young birds in captivity and placing them in wild nests.

Ebola paper demonstrates disease transmission rate
New research from Arizona State University and the University of Tokyo that analyzes transmission rates of Ebola in West African countries shows how rapidly the disease is spreading.

Novel cancer drug proves safe for leukemia patients
Results of a Phase I clinical trial showed that a new drug targeting mitochondrial function in human cancer cells was safe and showed some efficacy. The findings, reported by doctors at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, are published in the current online edition of the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

Study sheds light on how stem cells can be used to treat lung disease
A new study has revealed how stem cells work to improve lung function in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Ticks that vector Lyme disease move west into North Dakota
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, there are more than 300,000 cases of Lyme disease in the U.S. each year. Last year, most Lyme disease cases reported to the CDC were concentrated heavily in the Northeast and upper Midwest, with 96 percent of cases in 13 states.

Meditation may mitigate migraine misery
Meditation might be a path to migraine relief, according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

First evidence for water ice clouds found outside solar system
A team of scientists led by Carnegie's Jacqueline Faherty has discovered the first evidence of water ice clouds on an object outside of our own Solar System.

CNIO successfully completes its fisrt clinical trial on HER-2-negative breast cancer with nintedanib
The experimental drug nintedanib, combined with standard chemotherapy with paclitaxel, causes a total remission of tumours in 50% of patients suffering from early HER-2- negative breast cancer, the most common type of breast cancer.

How salt causes buildings to crumble
Salt crystals are often responsible when buildings start to show signs of ageing. Researchers from the Institute for Building Materials have studied salt damage in greater depth and can now predict weathering processes more accurately.

Study sheds new light on why batteries go bad
A comprehensive look at how tiny particles in a lithium ion battery electrode behave shows that rapid-charging the battery and using it to do high-power, rapidly draining work may not be as damaging as researchers had thought - and that the benefits of slow draining and charging may have been overestimated.

Researchers make scientific history with new cellular connection
Researchers led by Dr. Helen McNeill at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute have revealed an exciting and unusual biochemical connection. Their discovery has implications for diseases linked to mitochondria, which are the primary sources of energy production within our cells.

'Disease in a dish' approach could aid Huntington's disease discovery efforts
Creating induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells allows researchers to establish "disease in a dish" models of conditions ranging from Alzheimer's disease to diabetes.

Penn team finds ovarian cancer oncogene in 'junk DNA'
Over the years researchers have made tremendous strides in the understanding and treatment of cancer by searching genomes for links between genetic alterations and disease.

Growth factors found in breast milk may protect against necrotizing enterocolitis
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a devastating gastrointestinal illness affecting up to 10% of premature infants, with a 30% mortality rate, and formula feeding has been identified as a risk factor for NEC.

Brain inflammation dramatically disrupts memory retrieval networks, UCI study finds
Brain inflammation can rapidly disrupt our ability to retrieve complex memories of similar but distinct experiences, according to UC Irvine neuroscientists Jennifer Czerniawski and John Guzowski.

Food Craving Is Stronger, but Controllable, for Kids
Children show stronger food craving than adolescents and adults, but they are also able to use a cognitive strategy that reduces craving, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Researchers find new targets for treating pulmonary hypertension
Two new potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension, a deadly disease marked by high blood pressure in the lungs, have been identified by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

'Electronic skin' could improve early breast cancer detection
For detecting cancer, manual breast exams seem low-tech compared to other methods such as MRI. But scientists are now developing an "electronic skin" that "feels" and images small lumps that fingers can miss.

Proactive monitoring of inflammatory bowel disease therapy could prolong effectiveness
Proactive monitoring and dose adjustment of infliximab, a medication commonly used to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), could improve a patient's chances of having a long-term successful response to therapy, a pilot observational study at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center concludes.

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