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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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New Alzheimer's-related memory disorder identified
A multi-institutional study has defined and established criteria for a new neurological disease closely resembling Alzheimer's disease called primary age-related tauopathy (PART).

China's old-growth forests vanishing despite government policies, Dartmouth research shows
China's anti-logging, conservation and ecotourism policies are accelerating the loss of old-growth forests in one of the world's most ecologically fragile places, according to studies led by a Dartmouth College scientist.



How does the brain develop in individuals with autism?
Geneticists at Heidelberg University Hospital's Department of Molecular Human Genetics have used a new mouse model to demonstrate the way a certain genetic mutation is linked to a type of autism in humans and affects brain development and behavior.

Moderate Consumption of Sugary Drinks Has Little Impact on Adolescents' Metabolic Health, MU Study Finds
Sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest source of added sugar in the diets of adolescents in the United States, and young adults ages 15-20 consume more of these drinks than any other age group, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Single molecular switch may contribute to major aging-related diseases
A study led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators has identified what appears to be a molecular switch controlling inflammatory processes involved in conditions ranging from muscle atrophy to Alzheimer's disease.

Cookie Monster teaches self-control
Who would have thought a Sesame Street video starring the Cookie Monster, of all characters, could teach preschoolers self-control?

How private social media use at work affects work performance
New research from the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Bergen (UiB) shows that the use of online social media for personal purposes during working hours can have a negative effect on work performance and the well-being of organisations.

Hope for those with social anxiety disorder: You may already be someone's best friend
Making friends is often extremely difficult for people with social anxiety disorder and to make matters worse, people with this disorder tend to assume that the friendships they do have are not of the highest quality.

Danger of repeat head injuries: Brain's inability to tap energy source
Two or more serious hits to the head within days of each other can interfere with the brain's ability to use sugar - its primary energy source - to repair cells damaged by the injuries, new research suggests.

Brain protein influences how the brain manages stress; suggests new model of depression
The brain's ability to effectively deal with stress or to lack that ability and be more susceptible to depression, depends on a single protein type in each person's brain.

Single-dose, needle-free Ebola vaccine provides long-term protection in macaques
Scientists have demonstrated for the first time that a single-dose, needleless Ebola vaccine given to primates through their noses and lungs protected them against infection for at least 21 weeks.

Killing cancer by protecting normal cells
Although radiation treatments have become much more refined in recent years, it remains a challenge to both sufficiently dose the tumor while sparing the surrounding tissue.

Jackson Laboratory researchers discover lung regeneration mechanism
A research team led by Jackson Laboratory Professors Frank McKeon, Ph.D., and Wa Xian, Ph.D., reports on the role of certain lung stem cells in regenerating lungs damaged by disease.

Cancer-killing virus plus chemotherapy drug might treat recurrent ovarian cancer
In six out of 10 cases, ovarian cancer is diagnosed when the disease is advanced and five-year survival is only 27 percent. A new study suggests that a cancer-killing virus combined with a chemotherapy drug might safely and effectively treat advanced or recurrent forms of the disease.

The backwards brain? Study shows how brain maps develop to help us perceive the world
Driving to work becomes routine--but could you drive the entire way in reverse gear? Humans, like many animals, are accustomed to seeing objects pass behind us as we go forward. Moving backwards feels unnatural.

Climate change puts coastal crabs in survival mode, study finds
Porcelain crabs can adapt to a warming climate but will not have energy for much else beyond basic survival, according to new research published today from San Francisco State University.

IU-led research team identifies genetic variant linked to better memory performance
People with a newly identified genetic variant perform better on certain types of memory tests, a discovery that may point the way to new treatments for the memory impairments caused by Alzheimer's disease or other age-associated conditions.

UC Davis investigational medication used to resolve life-threatening seizures in children
In its first clinical application in pediatric patients, an investigational medication developed and manufactured at UC Davis has been found to effectively treat children with life-threatening and difficult-to-control epileptic seizures without side effects, according to a research report by scientists at UC Davis and Northwestern University.

Virtual reality helps people to comfort and accept themselves
Self-compassion can be learned using avatars in an immersive virtual reality, finds new research led by UCL. This innovative approach reduced self-criticism and increased self-compassion and feelings of contentment in naturally self-critical individuals.

Study predicts likely Ebola cases entering UK and US through airport screening
Researchers at the University of Liverpool's Institute of Infection and Global Health have found that screening for Ebola at airports could be an effective method for preventing the spread of the disease into the UK and US, but due to the long incubation period of the virus, screening won't detect all cases.

New drug targets may lead to effective Ebola treatments
There are no approved treatments or preventatives against Ebola virus disease, but investigators have now designed peptides that mimic the virus' N-trimer, a highly conserved region of a protein that's used to gain entry inside cells.

UCI team develops test to rapidly diagnose bloodstream infection
A new bloodstream infection test created by UC Irvine researchers can speed up diagnosis times with unprecedented accuracy, allowing physicians to treat patients with potentially deadly ailments more promptly and effectively.

Sleep disorders found to be highly prevalent in firefighters
Sleep disorders are independent risk factors for heart attacks and motor vehicle crashes, which are the two leading causes of death for firefighters in the United States.

U of G Scientists Find Way to Reduce Ovarian Cancer Tumours, Chemo Doses
In a potential breakthrough against ovarian cancer, University of Guelph researchers have discovered how to both shrink tumours and improve drug delivery, allowing for lower doses of chemotherapy and reducing side effects.

National study provides insights into childhood head injuries
This week's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine features an article that highlights an unprecedented analysis of the nation's childhood head injuries.

Switching on a dime: How plants function in shade and light
Photosynthesis is the process by which plants convert energy from the sunlight into chemical energy in the form of sugars. These sugars are used by plants to grow and function, as well as food for animals and humans that eat them.

UT Arlington team says non-genetic changes can help parents or offspring, not both
A new study from The University of Texas at Arlington biologists examining non-genetic changes in water flea development suggests something human parents have known for years - ensuring a future generations' success often means sacrifice.

Moving cameras talk to each other to identify, track pedestrians
It's not uncommon to see cameras mounted on store ceilings, propped up in public places or placed inside subways, buses and even on the dashboards of cars.

A beetle and its longtime fungal associate go rogue
Scientists with the U.S. Forest Service and Colorado State University examined a fungus native to North America, the native beetle that carries it, and their host tree and found something surprising: Geosmithia morbida and the walnut twig beetle co-evolved and, while the beetle/fungus complex was once the equivalent of a hang nail for a black walnut tree, it has become lethal.

Plants have little wiggle room to survive drought, UCLA life scientists report
Plants all over the world are more sensitive to drought than many experts realized, according to a new study by scientists at UCLA and China's Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden.

Premature infants exposed to unsafe levels of chemical in medical products
Hospitalized premature infants are exposed to unsafe levels of a chemical found in numerous medical products used to treat them, raising questions about whether critically ill newborns may be adversely affected by equipment designed to help save their lives.

Live longer? Save the planet? Better diet could nail both
As cities and incomes increase around the world, so does consumption of refined sugars, refined fats, oils and resource- and land-intense agricultural products such as beef.

Mental health providers not well prepared to care for military veterans, study finds
Most community-based mental health providers are not well prepared to take care of the special needs of military veterans and their families, according to a new study by the RAND Corporation that was commissioned by United Health Foundation in collaboration with the Military Officers Association of America.

Novel cancer vaccine approach for brain tumors
Glioblastoma is the most common aggressive primary brain tumor, and despite advances in standard treatment, the median survival is about 15 months (compared to 4 months without treatment).

NIDA researchers confirm important brain reward pathway
Details of the role of glutamate, the brain's excitatory chemical, in a drug reward pathway have been identified for the first time.

'Smart' drugs won't make smart people smarter
It is claimed one in five students have taken the 'smart' drug Modafinil to boost their ability to study and improve their chances of exam success. But new research into the effects of Modafinil has shown that healthy students could find their performance impaired by the drug.

Study: Fungus behind deadly disease in walnut trees mutates easily, complicating control
Researchers from Purdue and Colorado State universities have discovered that the fungus responsible for thousand cankers disease, a lethal affliction of walnut trees and related species, has a rich genetic diversity that may make the disease more difficult to control.

Quarter of patients have subsequent surgery after breast conservation surgery
Nearly a quarter of all patients who underwent initial breast conservation surgery (BCS) for breast cancer had a subsequent surgical intervention, according to a report published online by JAMA Surgery.

Symbiotic plants are more diverse, finds new study
Some plants form into new species with a little help from their friends, according to Cornell University research published Oct. 27 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Study at SLAC explains atomic action in high-temperature superconductors
A study at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory suggests for the first time how scientists might deliberately engineer superconductors that work at higher temperatures.

Study offers new clue into how anesthesia works
Anesthesia, long considered a blessing to patients and surgeons, has been a mystery for much of its 160-plus-year history in the operating room.

Cats and Athletes Teach Robots to Fall
A cat always lands on its feet. At least, that's how the adage goes. Karen Liu hopes that in the future, this will be true of robots as well.

Trinity scientists make breakthrough in understanding Parkinson's disease
Scientists at Trinity College Dublin have made an important breakthrough in our understanding of Parkin - a protein that regulates the repair and replacement of nerve cells within the brain.

'Topological insulators' promising for spintronics, quantum computers
Researchers have uncovered "smoking-gun" evidence to confirm the workings of an emerging class of materials that could make possible "spintronic" devices and practical quantum computers far more powerful than today's technologies.

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.

Best supporting actors in your ears? Research points to potential way to restore hearing
There's a cast of characters deep inside your ears -- many kinds of tiny cells working together to allow you to hear. The lead actors, called hair cells, play the crucial role in carrying sound signals to the brain.

Common cholesterol-fighting drug may prevent hysterectomies in women with uterine fibroids
Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, in collaboration with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), Baylor College of Medicine and the Georgia Regents University, report for the first time that the cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin inhibits the growth of human uterine fibroid tumors.

Smartphones team-up with QR codes for secure 3-D displays
Quick Response (QR) codes -- the box-shaped symbols that appear on signs, posters, and even business cards -- are a convenient and efficient way of accessing specific web pages with a smartphone or other mobile device. However, new research published today in The Optical Society's (OSA) new high-impact journal Optica, explains how QR codes can do much more.

New Process Isolates Promising Material
After graphene was first produced in the lab in 2004, thousands of laboratories began developing graphene products worldwide. Researchers were amazed by its lightweight and ultra-strong properties.

Research reveals the real cause of death for some starburst galaxies
Like hedonistic rock stars that live by the "better to burn out than to fade away" credo, certain galaxies flame out in a blaze of glory. Astronomers have struggled to grasp why these young "starburst" galaxies - ones that are very rapidly forming new stars from cold molecular hydrogen gas up to 100 times faster than our own Milky Way - would shut down their prodigious star formation to join a category scientists call "red and dead."

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