Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 17, 2018
Adventures in phase space: Unified map on plastic and elastic glasses
A research team led by Osaka University simulated glassy colloidal solids to understand their mechanical and failure properties.

Higher average potency cannabis may increase risk for first disorder symptom
States do not regulate the potency of recreational cannabis, even though THC levels have increased significantly.

Neuroscience-protein that divides the brain
A recent study published in iScience researchers at Kanazawa University describes the role of a molecule, Netrin, in creating borders inside the brain to compartmentalize the functions of the brain.

Discovery of a novel way synapses can regulate neuronal circuits
A study led by University of Iowa neuroscientist Samuel Young, PhD, shows that contrary to current thinking, it is possible to increase the number of calcium channels at the presynaptic active zone, and that increasing channel numbers increases synaptic strength.

Survivors of childhood Hodgkin lymphoma face high long-term risk of solid cancers
New research refines existing evidence that survivors of childhood Hodgkin lymphoma face an elevated risk of developing various types of solid tumors many years later.

New RNA sequencing strategy provides insight into microbiomes
In a new study published in Nature Communications, a team of scientists from UChicago demonstrated the application of high-throughput transfer RNA sequencing to gut microbiome samples from mice that were fed either a low-fat or high-fat diet.

Medical emergency department visits can indicate increased suicide risk among teens and young adults
A new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine provides detailed insights on the increased risk of self-directed violence that patients aged 15-29 years visiting the emergency department (ED) for medical complaints subsequently experience.

Scientists design new material to harness power of light
Scientists have long known that synthetic materials -- called metamaterials -- can manipulate electromagnetic waves such as visible light to make them behave in ways that cannot be found in nature.

Discovery of novel mechanisms that cause migraines
Researchers at CNRS, Université Côte d'Azur and Inserm have demonstrated a new mechanism related to the onset of migraine.

School-based nutritional programs reduce student obesity
New Haven, Conn. -- In-school nutrition policies and programs that promote healthier eating habits among middle school students limit increases in body mass index (BMI), a new study led by the Yale School of Public Health finds.

Paradigm shift needed for designing tsunami-resistant bridges
Researchers argue in a new study that a paradigm shift is needed for assessing bridges' tsunami risk.

Front and center: Food labels have effects on consumption and product formulation
A new Food-PRICE systematic review and meta-analysis led by researchers at Tufts assessed the effectiveness of food package and menu labeling in interventional studies and found that these approaches can impact consumer and industry behavior for some targets, but not others.

Study suggests promising new Rx target for obesity and diabetes
Research led by Suresh Alahari, Ph.D., Fred Brazda Professor of Biochemistry and Microbiology at LSU Health New Orleans, suggests a novel protein may be a promising therapeutic target to treat or prevent metabolic disorders.

Climate change leading to water shortage in Andes, Himalayas
Climate change could have devastating effects on vulnerable residents in the Andes mountains and the Tibetan plateau, according to researchers at The Ohio State University who have been studying glaciers in those areas for decades.

NASA's Aqua and GPM satellites examine Tropical Cyclone Kenanga
On December 16 and 17, NASA's GPM core observatory satellite and NASA's Aqua satellite, respectively, passed over the Southern Indian Ocean and captured rainfall and temperature data on Tropical Cyclone Kenanga.

'Treasure trove' of dinosaur footprints found in southern England
More than 85 well-preserved dinosaur footprints -- made by at least seven different species -- have been uncovered in East Sussex, representing the most diverse and detailed collection of these trace fossils from the Cretaceous Period found in the UK to date.

The gene helping submerged plants
Climate change threatens plants as the risks of flooding increase.

High negative pressure limits dispersion of airborne contaminants in hospitals and renovation sites
Maintaining a high negative pressure in airborne infection isolation rooms of hospitals (over -10 Pa) and in renovation sites (over -5 Pa) effectively limits the dispersion of airborne contaminants and dust, a new study from the University of Eastern Finland shows.

URI researcher: Oyster aquaculture limits disease in wild oyster populations
A URI fisheries researcher has found that oyster aquaculture operations can limit the spread of disease among wild populations of oysters.

Gently stroking babies before medical procedures may reduce pain processing
Researchers found that gently stroking a baby seems to reduce activity in the infant brain associated with painful experiences.

Defining quality virus data(sets)
While many viruses remain unknown and uncultivated, advances in genome sequencing and analyses have allowed researchers to identify more than 750,000 uncultivated virus genomes from metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data sets.

New discovery pushes origin of feathers back by 70 million years
An international team of palaeontologists, which includes the University of Bristol, has discovered that the flying reptiles, pterosaurs, actually had four kinds of feathers, and these are shared with dinosaurs -- pushing back the origin of feathers by some 70 million years.

Research suggests path to vaccine or drug for late-onset Alzheimer's
UT Southwestern researchers have succeeded in neutralizing what they believe is a primary factor in late-onset Alzheimer's disease, opening the door to development of a drug that could be administered before age 40, and taken for life, to potentially prevent the disease in 50 to 80 percent of at-risk adults.

Measuring speed of mental replay of movies gives new insight into accessing memories
Researchers have discovered that 'fully detailed' memories are stored in the brain, but people access this information at different speeds and levels of detail, with people accessing memories 'forward' that is recalling older information first.

Strong committed relationships can buffer military suicides
Can being in a strong committed relationship reduce the risk of suicide?

New, rapid and robust method for single cell profiling
Hope for better understanding of the inner works of cancer and other serious diseases.

Scientists revealed how water fleas settled during the Ice Age
A new study shows that the roots used by three close species of microscopic Daphnia crustaceans to settle across the territory of Northern Eurasia differed greatly.

Changes in agriculture could cut sector non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions by up to 50 percent
The agricultural sector is the world's largest source of non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions, and IIASA-led research has found that changing agricultural practices and a shift in diet away from meat and dairy products could reduce the sector's emissions by up to 50 percent by 2050 compared to a situation without mitigation efforts.

A method to monitor indoor crop health no matter what planet you're on
Scientists at the University of Florida Space Plants Lab are using the single-image normalized difference vegetation index (SI-NDVI), a popular metric of plant health and photosynthetic rate originally developed for satellite-based monitoring of plant growth, to monitor crop health in indoor farming conditions.

Pressure tuned magnetism paves the way for novel electronic devices
Using very sensitive magnetic probes, an international team of researchers has found surprising evidence that magnetism which emerges at the interfaces between non-magnetic oxide thin layers can be easily tuned by exerting tiny mechanical forces.

One in 4 parents not prepared for 'parenting hangovers' this holiday season
A quarter of parents of young children who drink alcohol on special occasions do not think about limiting how much they drink or whether they'll be able to take care of their child the next day, according to a new national poll.

NASA catches India landfall of Tropical Depression Phethai
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Northwestern Indian Ocean and captured a visible image of Tropical Depression Phethai after it made landfall in southeastern India.

Lab reveals top 10 coolest science, technology advances from 2018
Chief scientist of the US Army's corporate laboratory handpicks the 'coolest' advances to showcase what Army scientists and engineers are doing to support the Soldier of the future with a 'Top 10' list from 2018.

Patients with heart failure have lower risk of death, hospital admission if seen by physician in first 7 days after emergency department discharge
For patients who receive emergency department care for heart failure, early follow-up by a physician within seven days after emergency department discharge is associated with lower rates of death or admissions to hospital, according to research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Baboon sexes differ in how social status gets 'under the skin'
A growing body of evidence shows that those at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder are more likely to die prematurely than those at the top.

Communication between neural networks
Researchers at the Bernstein Center Freiburg and colleagues are proposing a new model to explain how neural networks in different brain areas communicate with each other.

NASA finds tiny remnants of Tropical Cyclone Owen
Tropical Cyclone Owen crossed over Queensland Australia's Cape York Peninsula over the weekend of Dec.

Study suggests CBD may worsen glaucoma, raise eye pressure
A study from researchers at Indiana University has found that CBD -- a major chemical component in marijuana -- appears to increase pressure inside the eye of mice, suggesting the use of the substance in the treatment of glaucoma may actually worsen the condition.

One-third of Americans consider living abroad
Approximately one-third of all US-born US citizens living in the US are considering leaving to live abroad.

The full story on climate change requires the long view
Researchers offer a new calculation that provides the long view of what nine different world regions have contributed to climate change since 1900.

Study: Children of problem drinkers more likely to marry someone with a drinking problem
Children of parents who have alcohol use disorder are more likely to get married under the age of 25, less likely to get married later in life, and more likely to marry a person who has alcohol use disorder themselves, according to a new study by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and Lund University in Sweden.

Scientists discovered mechanisms behind neonatal diabetes
Researchers at the University of Helsinki, Finland, have described mechanisms linking chronic cellular stress to the poor development of the insulin-producing cells.

Tiny implantable device short-circuits hunger pangs, aids weight loss
New battery-free, easily implantable weight-loss devices developed by engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison could offer a promising new weapon for battling the bulge.

Nature's sweets
Synthetic chemists, like overzealous nutritionists, usually avoid sugars. Nature, an expert chemist, can shift the sweets from one molecule to another with enviable finesse.

Study finds increasing use, and misuse, of benzodiazepines
More than one in eight US adults (12.6 percent) used benzodiazepines in the past year, up from previous reports.

Using light to stop itch
Itch is easily one of the most annoying sensations. For chronic skin diseases like eczema, it's a major symptom.

Study affirms geographic discrimination in allocating lungs for transplant
Results of a medical records study of more than 7,000 patients awaiting a lung transplant in the United States affirm the basis of a court filing in 2017 that called the organ allocation system geographically 'rigged' in some regions of the nation.

New strains of hepatitis C found in Africa
The largest population study of hepatitis C in Africa has found three new strains of the virus circulating in the general population in sub-Saharan Africa.

Are migraines associated with type 2 diabetes risk in women?
A study of French women suggests a lower risk of type 2 diabetes was observed among women who reported current migraines compared with women with no history of the painful headaches.

Study reveals best tools for measuring severity of delirium
A study published today in JAMA Internal Medicine reveals the best assessment tools available to establish the severity of diagnosed delirium in hospitalized patients.

Treatment for underdiagnosed cause of debilitating chest pain
Researchers find an effective way to treat an underdiagnosed condition that can cause heart attack and heart-attack-like symptoms.

Physicists studied the influence of magnetic field on thin film structures
A team of scientists from Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University together with their colleagues from Russia, Japan, and Australia studied the influence of inhomogeneity of magnetic field applied during the fabrication process of thin-film structures made from nickel-iron and iridium-manganese alloys, on their properties.

Switch-in-a-cell electrifies life
Rice University scientists develop protein switches that can be used to control the flow of electrons within cells.

New study will track how trade wars affect the Midwest
A team of researchers is studying the effect a global trade war could have on Midwestern farming, land-use, water and energy.

India's right to information act provides lessons on government transparency
Journalists are often assumed to be the biggest utilizers of freedom-of-information legislation, but new UA-led research found that collaborations between journalists, social activists and civil-society organizations were essential to the success of creating a right-to-information agenda in India.

Early postpartum opioids linked with persistent usage
Vanderbilt researchers have published findings indicating that regardless of whether a woman delivers a child by cesarean section or by vaginal birth, if they fill prescriptions for opioid pain medications early in the postpartum period, they are at increased risk of developing persistent opioid use.

A fire-breathing dragon helps fight ember attacks on thatched-roof buildings
A NIST researcher and his Japanese colleague conducted a special fire test to learn how to protect steep thatched-roof farmhouses that emerged more than 250 years ago to ruggedly withstand Central Japan's heavy winter snowfalls.

Warning over deep-sea 'gold rush'
A 'gold rush' of seabed mining could lead to unprecedented damage to fragile deep-sea ecosystems, researchers have warned.

Green leafy vegetables may prevent liver steatosis
A larger portion of green leafy vegetables in the diet may reduce the risk of developing liver steatosis, or fatty liver.

Narrowing the universe in the search for life
In the search for life on other planets, scientists traditionally have looked for a world with water.

Researchers observe charge-stripe crystal phase in an insulating cuprate
Heating the surface of a cuprate high-temperature superconductor allowed a team of researchers from Boston College and Brookhaven National Laboratory to modify the material into an insulating state, where they found an exotic liquid crystal phase, the team reports in the journal Nature Materials.

New data show barbershop blood pressure checks remain highly effective
New 12-month data from the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai backs up an earlier study proving that a pharmacist-led, barbershop-based medical intervention can successfully lower blood pressure in high-risk African-American men.

One year later, barbershop intervention continues to lower blood pressure
In a 12-month follow-up study, reductions in systolic blood pressure observed at six months were sustained at one year.

Study analyzes report card release dates, calls to child abuse hotline
This study used a complex method to analyze report card release dates and cases of child physical abuse called into a hotline and verified by Florida's child welfare agency for elementary school children during an academic year.

Inflate cells to observe their inner life
Cells are made up of organelles. Being able to observe these structures represents an enormous challenge.

Injection improves vision in a form of childhood blindness
A new treatment for patients with a form of congenital retinal blindness has shown success in improving vision, according to results published today in Nature Medicine led by researchers at the Scheie Eye Institute in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

New study finds that surgeons under stress make more mistakes in the operating room
A new study reveals that during stressful moments in the operating room, surgeons make up to 66 percent more mistakes on patients.

When a fish becomes fluid
Zebrafish aren't just surrounded by liquid, but turn liquid -- in part -- during their development.

Alien imposters: Planets with oxygen don't necessarily have life
Lab simulations nix the common wisdom that atmospheric oxygen and organic compounds are good evidence that a planet harbors life.

New epigenetic cervical cancer test has 100 per cent detection rate
A new test for cervical cancer was found to detect all of the cancers in a trial of 15,744 women, outperforming both the current Pap smear and human papillomavirus (HPV) test at a reduced cost, according to a study by Queen Mary University of London.

Radicals aren't good at knowing when they're wrong
People who hold radical political views -- at either end of the political spectrum -- aren't as good as moderates at knowing when they're wrong, even about something unrelated to politics, finds a new UCL study.

Warmer winters threaten UK blackcurrant farming
Warmer winters may not provide sufficient chilling for blackcurrants in the UK, delaying the start of the growing season and resulting in reduced yields and lower fruit quality, researchers have found.

Building a better weapon against harmful algal blooms
This week at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) fall meeting in Washington, D.C, a team of scientists from The Ohio State University shared early results from a trio of studies that aim to improve models designed to guide agricultural practices for reducing the risk of nitrogen and phosphorous farm runoff.

Sutimlimab shows promise for hard-to-treat, rare blood disorder
In a first-in-human clinical trial reported today in Blood, the investigational drug sutimlimab appeared to be effective in treating cold agglutinin disease, a rare chronic blood disorder for which there are currently no approved treatments.

Data storage using individual molecules
Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled.

Researchers develop first ever model for patient-specific treatment of appendix cancer
Scientists at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine have recently developed a process that may change the way cancer of the appendix is treated in the future.

Teens using vaping devices in record numbers
America's teens report a dramatic increase in their use of vaping devices in just a single year, with 37.3 percent of 12th graders reporting 'any vaping' in the past 12 months, compared to just 27.8 percent in 2017.

Drones can detect protected nightjar nests
Thermal-sensing cameras mounted on drones may offer a safer and more cost-effective way to locate nests of the elusive European nightjar in forestry work and construction areas, according to new research presented at the British Ecological Society's annual meeting in Birmingham today.

Boston Harbor cleanup was economically justifiable, finds new study
A first-of-its-kind retrospective study finds that environmental cleanup projects are economically viable.

Growing a brain
Scientists identified two distinct control mechanisms in the developmental transition of undifferentiated stem cells into healthy brain cells.

Depression, anxiety may take same toll on health as smoking and obesity
An annual physical typically involves a weight check and questions about unhealthy habits like smoking, but a new study from UC San Francisco suggests health care providers may be overlooking a critical question: Are you depressed or anxious?

Monitoring lung function at home in teens with Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Heart and lung complications are responsible for much of the morbidity and mortality associated with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

Passive exposure alone can enhance the learning of foreign speech sounds
Ability to understand and subsequently speak a new language requires the ability to accurately discriminate speech sounds of a given language.

The impacts of whale shark mass tourism on the coral reefs in the Philippines
The collaborative research among The University of Hong Kong (HKU), the University of Guam (UoG), and the Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines (LAMAVE) shows that whale shark tourism in Tan-awan, Oslob, Philippines has led to degradation of the local coral reef ecosystem.

Unrelated events are linked in memory when they happen close together
When two events occur within a brief window of time they become linked in memory, such that calling forth memory of one helps retrieve memory for the other event, according to research published in Psychological Science.

Boys with good motor skills excel at problem-solving, too
Boys with good motor skills are better problem-solvers than their less skillful peers, a new study from Finland shows.

Species at the extremes of the food chain evolve faster, study says
Reef fish species at the extremes of the food chain -- those that are strict herbivores or strict fish predators -- evolve faster than fish species in the middle of the food chain with a more varied diet, according to a new study published in Nature Ecology and Evolution.

Looking on bright side may reduce anxiety, especially when money is tight
Trying to find something good in a bad situation appears to be particularly effective in reducing anxiety the less money a person makes, possibly because people with low incomes have less control over their environment, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

Texas A&M scientists find Mexican endemic fish never identified in US
Conway, Perkin and team from Texas A&M identified the Conchos shiner in U.S. waters of the Rio Grande.

Old mines cast a long shadow on their surroundings
Local stakeholders need more information than is currently available to them on the impacts of former mining activities on ground water and surface water, potential soil contamination, and the safety of natural products, a new study from Finland shows.

Study makes significant findings related to traumatic brain injury
Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is often referred to as the 'invisible injury' -- while on the surface everything seems normal with brain structure, symptoms may present themselves in the behavior of the injured and cannot be explained.

End-of-life care quality remains a problem -- nurses may be a solution
A new study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing's Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research (CHOPR) describes the quality of end of life care in nearly 500 US hospitals, utilizing nearly 13,000 bedside nurses as informants of quality.

Tuning arousal to boost information transmission in the brain
Columbia neural engineers discover a mechanism by which the locus coeruleus modulates information processing in the thalamus; their findings of how sensory information is encoded in the healthy brain may lead to new treatments of neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, epilepsy, and depression.

School nutrition policy implementation slows weight gain in middle school students
New study from researchers at the UConn Rudd Center and Yale School of Public Health finds that middle school students who receive nutrition policy interventions experience an increase in body mass of less than 1 percent, while students who do not receive these interventions experience an increase in body mass of 3-4 percent.

Digital wood produced with 3D printing
Researchers at Columbia University used a technique with voxel printing to create digital wood -- a highly complex material for 3DP printing because of its combination of internal grains and external color textures.

Biodegradable, edible film kills pathogens on seafood
A biodegradable, edible film made with plant starch and antimicrobial compounds may control the growth of foodborne pathogens on seafood, according to a group of international researchers.

NASA research reveals Saturn is losing its rings at 'worst-case-scenario' rate
New NASA research confirms that Saturn is losing its iconic rings at the maximum rate estimated from Voyager 1 and 2 observations made decades ago.

Lifespan extension at low temperatures is genetically controlled, study suggests
A new study from the Marine Biological Laboratory indicates that lifespan extension at lower temperatures is not just a matter of turning down the thermostat.

Drivers who can 'bid' for parking spaces may improve parking options around the world
Tel Aviv University researchers have developed a parking algorithm that allows drivers to 'bid' for a curbside spot in urban areas.

New type of low-energy nanolaser that shines in all directions
Researchers in Eindhoven have developed a new type of low-energy, nanoscale laser that shines in all directions.

Plain packaging sparked tobacco price rises, new study finds
The introduction of plain tobacco packaging led to an increase in the price of leading products, according to new research from the University of Stirling.

Neurons with good housekeeping are protected from Alzheimer's
A new study finds that some brain cells protect themselves from Alzheimer's with a cellular cleaning system that sweeps away toxic proteins associated with the disease.

New property revealed in graphene could lead to better performing solar panels
An international research team, co-led by a UC Riverside physicist, has discovered a new mechanism for ultra-efficient charge and energy flow in graphene, opening up opportunities for developing new types of light-harvesting devices.

UCF researchers develop method to hide images and information in plain sight
What is real is not always as it appears. University of Central Florida researchers have found a way to hide information on materials and only make it visible to a person using the right tech.

Malnutrition in children with Crohn's Disease increases risk for post-operative complication
Results of a medical records study of children with Crohn's disease by Johns Hopkins researchers have added substantial evidence for a strong and direct link between malnutrition and increased risk of surgical complications and poor outcomes.

10-year follow-up after negative colonoscopies linked to lower colorectal cancer risk
Ten years after a negative colonoscopy, Kaiser Permanente members had 46 percent lower risk of being diagnosed with and were 88 percent less likely to die from colorectal cancer compared with those who did not undergo colorectal cancer screening, according to a study published today in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Protein police keep the immune system in check
Researchers learn how a key transcription factor helps regulate the immune system and could be critical to understanding autoimmune disease and cancer immunosuppression.

Scientists report CRISPR restores effectiveness of lung cancer treatment
The CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system may be able to restore the effectiveness of first-line chemotherapies used to treat lung cancer by deleting or 'knocking out' a gene in cancer tumors that helps the tumors develop resistance to the drugs.

Satellite data exposes looting
Globally archaeological heritage is under threat by looting. The destruction of archaeological sites obliterates the basis for our understanding of ancient cultures and we lose our shared human past.

Discovered: The most-distant solar system object ever observed
A team of astronomers has discovered the most-distant body ever observed in our solar system.

Advancing the description of 'mysterious' water to improve drug design
Interactions with water dominate how drug molecules bind to targets, but it's tricky to model these interactions, limiting the accuracy of drug design.

Toward brain-like computing: New memristor better mimics synapses
A new electronic device can developed at the University of Michigan can directly model the behaviors of a synapse, which is a connection between two neurons.

Willow tits survive best with support from a flock
Nearly three decades of observations in central Norway confirm that flock status is crucial for small birds struggling to survive the winter.

How a personality trait puts you at risk for cybercrime
Impulse online shopping, downloading music and compulsive email use are all signs of a certain personality trait that make you a target for malware attacks.

How marijuana may damage teenage brains in study using genetically vulnerable mice
In a study of adolescent mice with a version of a gene linked to serious human mental illnesses, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have uncovered a possible explanation for how marijuana may damage the brains of some human teens.

How much are we learning? Natural selection is science's best critic
Even as they've struggled to highlight parts of the human genome worth investigating, scientists have wondered how much they're actually learning through the methods they use.

Plant biologists identify mechanism behind transition from insect to wind pollination
Research by University of Toronto scientists offers novel insights into why and how wind-pollinated plants have evolved from insect-pollinated ancestors, and what it might mean for a potential pollination crisis.

Do you know the carbon footprint of your food choices?
Consumers greatly underestimate the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions associated with their food choices, but they'll favor items with a lower carbon footprint if they're given clear information on the label, according to new research from the University of Technology Sydney and Duke University.

Progress in super-resolution microscopy
Does expansion microscopy deliver true-to-life images of cellular structures? That was not sure yet.

Hen harriers and red grouse: Finding common ground in a persistent conflict
A conflict between those working to conserve numbers of hen harriers and those maintaining commercial shooting of red grouse in the English uplands has existed for decades with little sign of progress.

Vaccine using microneedle patch with RSV virus, immune-stimulating compound is effective against RSV
Skin vaccination using a microneedle patch that contains the inactivated respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and a compound that stimulates immune responses to the virus has been found to enhance protection against this serious disease and reduce inflammation in the body after exposure to the virus, according to a study led by Georgia State University.

Scientists found molecular 'switch' for allergic asthma treatment
A team of Russian scientists identified the role of the interleukin-6 molecule in the development of allergic asthma.

Microtube with built-in pump
Driven by natural or artificial sunlight, a novel 'microtube pump' transports water droplets over long distances.

Understanding food's carbon footprint
Researchers asked more than 1,000 participants in a nationally-representative sample to rate the energy used -- and the greenhouse gas emitted -- by the production of one serving of 19 different kinds of food, and by using one of 18 different appliances for one hour.

One type of brain cell may invite Alzheimer's
Researchers found that excitatory neurons -- those that are more likely to trigger an action (as opposed to inhibitory neurons, which are less likely to prompt neural activity) -- are more vulnerable to accumulations of abnormal tau protein, which is increasingly being implicated in Alzheimer's disease.

Birds can mistake some caterpillars for snakes; can robots help? 
Researchers witnessed a hummingbird defending its nest from what it interpreted to be a snake, but was actually a caterpillar of the moth Oxytenis modestia. The encounter is described in a new paper published in the Ecological Society of America's journal Ecology. 

Sphinx molecule to rescue African farmers from witchweed
An interdisciplinary team led by researchers at Nagoya University has discovered a highly potent and selective molecule, SPL7, that can lead seeds of the noxious parasitic weed Striga to suicide germination.

New approach will help geneticists identify genes responsible for complex traits
Researchers at the University of Illinois and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications have advanced the use of genome wide association studies (GWAS) to identify multiple interacting markers for a given trait.

Fossil from the Big Bang discovered with W. M. Keck Observatory
A relic cloud of gas, orphaned after the Big Bang, has been discovered in the distant universe by astronomers using the world's most powerful optical telescope, the W.

Space telescope detects water in a number of asteroids
Using the infrared satellite AKARI, a Japanese research team has detected the existence of water in the form of hydrated minerals in a number of asteroids for the first time. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to