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This is your brain detecting patterns
Detecting patterns is an important part of how humans learn and make decisions. Now, researchers have seen what is happening in people's brains as they first find patterns in information they are presented. (2018-05-31)

First peoples: Study finds two ancient ancestries 'reconverged' with settling of South America
New research using ancient DNA finds that a population split after people first arrived in North America was maintained for millennia before mixing again before or during the expansion of humans into the southern continent. (2018-05-31)

The making of a human population uncovered through ancient Icelandic genomes
In a study published today, scientists at deCODE Genetics report new findings about the founding of the Icelandic population, and its subsequent evolution, based on ancient DNA. The study appears today in the online edition of Science. (2018-05-31)

Two genetic stories of human migration into Iceland and the Americas
Two separate studies -- both benefiting from ancient DNA -- paint detailed pictures of the founding, migration, and evolution of human populations in Iceland and the Americas, respectively. (2018-05-31)

Study finds two ancient populations that diverged later 'reconverged' in the Americas
A new genetic study of ancient individuals in the Americas and their contemporary descendants finds that two populations that diverged from one another 18,000 to 15,000 years ago remained apart for millennia before mixing again. This historic ;reconvergence; occurred before or during their expansion to the southern continent. (2018-05-31)

The genes from Icelanda's first settlers reveal the origin of their population in detail
In just over 1,000 years, Icelanders have gone through numerous changes in their gene pool, to the extent that Icelanda's first settlers, who came to the island from Norway and the British and Irish isles between the years 870 and 930, are much more similar to the inhabitants of their original home countries than to Iceland's present-day inhabitants. (2018-05-31)

Mixing science and politicsĀ 
The inaugural March for Science, held last year in Washington, D.C., and other cities across the world, celebrated science and its role in our everyday lives. In addition, many participants expressed frustration with U.S. President Donald J. Trump's apparent disregard for evidence-based policy-making. An article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly news magazine of the American Chemical Society, reports that these concerns galvanized some scientists to run for political office. (2018-05-30)

NASA finds Subtropical Depression Alberto's center over Indiana
NASA's Terra satellite provided infrared data on Subtropical Depression Alberto when it was centered over Indiana and as it moved through the Ohio Valley. (2018-05-30)

Mars rocks may harbor signs of life from four billion years ago
Iron-rich rocks near ancient lake sites on Mars could hold vital clues that show life once existed there, research suggests. (2018-05-25)

Bursts of brain activity linked to memory reactivation
Leading theories propose sleep presents an opportune time for important, new memories to become stabilized. And it's long been known which brain waves are produced during sleep. In a new study, researchers set out to better understand the brain mechanisms that secure memory storage. The team from Northwestern and Princeton universities set out to find more direct and precisely timed evidence for the involvement of one particular sleep wave -- known as the 'sleep spindle.' (2018-05-24)

Dusty rainfall records reveal new understanding of Earth's long-term climate
Ancient rainfall records stretching 550,000 years into the past may upend scientists' understanding of what controls the Asian summer monsoon and other aspects of the Earth's long-term climate. Milankovitch theory says solar heating of the northernmost part of the globe drives the world's climate swings between ice ages and warmer periods. The new work turns Milankovitch in its head by suggesting climate is driven by differential heating of the Earth's tropical and subtropical regions. (2018-05-24)

Embryonic gene regulation through mechanical forces
During embryonic development genetic cascades control gene activity and cell differentiation. In a new publication of the journal PNAS, the team of Ulrich Technau of the Department of Molecular Evolution and Development at the University of Vienna reported that besides the genetic program, also mechanical cues can contribute to the regulation of gene expression during development. Comparisons with other animals suggests that this regulatory principle is ancient. (2018-05-22)

Subtle hearing loss while young changes brain function, study finds
New research from The Ohio State University has found that young people with subtle hearing loss -- the kind they aren't even aware of -- are putting demands on their brains that typically wouldn't be seen until later in life. (2018-05-22)

Study: Ancient mound builders carefully timed their occupation of coastal Louisiana site
A new study of ancient mound builders who lived hundreds of years ago on the Mississippi River Delta near present-day New Orleans offers new insights into how Native peoples selected the landforms that supported their villages and earthen mounds -- and why these sites were later abandoned. (Includes link to video.) (2018-05-22)

US poison control centers receive 29 calls per day about children exposed to ADHD medications
The study found that there were more than 156,000 calls to US Poison Control Centers regarding exposures to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications among children and adolescents 19 years of age and younger from January 2000 through December 2014, averaging 200 calls each week or 29 calls per day. (2018-05-21)

Age-related racial disparity in childhood suicide
Age-related racial disparity exists in suicide rates among US youths. (2018-05-21)

Study finds no evidence of natural gas from fracking in Ohio drinking water
A study of drinking water in Appalachian Ohio found no evidence of natural gas contamination from recent oil and gas drilling. Geologists with the University of Cincinnati examined drinking water in northeast Ohio where many residents rely on water from private underground wells. The time-series study was the first of its kind in Ohio. (2018-05-18)

Feeding habits of ancient elephants uncovered from grass fragments stuck in their teeth
A new study, led by scientists at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing, China, including University of Bristol Ph.D. student Zhang Hanwen, examined the feeding habits of ancient elephant relatives that inhabited Central Asia some 17 million years ago. (2018-05-17)

Buyer beware: Some water-filter pitchers much better at toxin removal
Scientists from The Ohio State University compared three popular pitcher brands' ability to clear dangerous microcystins from tap water. They found that while one did an excellent job, other pitchers allowed the toxins -- which appear during harmful algal blooms (HABs) -- to escape the filter and drop into the drinking water. (2018-05-17)

How milk becomes cheese (video)
Making cheese is an ancient exercise in preserving the nutritional value of milk. And it's also pretty tasty. With help from the St. James Cheese Company in New Orleans, Reactions explains how milk becomes cheese, why microbes make it taste better, and why cheese is yellow: (2018-05-17)

Scientists analyze first ancient human DNA from Southeast Asia
Harvard Medical School researchers lead the first whole-genome analysis of ancient human DNA from Southeast Asia Study identifies at least three major waves of human migration into the region over the last 50,000 years, each shaping the genetics of Southeast Asia (2018-05-17)

When farmers migrated to southeast Asia, according to the DNA
By analyzing genome-wide DNA from the remains of ancient Southeast Asian individuals, scientists have shed new light on the past 4,000 years of genetic history from the region. (2018-05-17)

Early evidence of use of a bit on domestic donkeys found in the Near East
Donkeys may have worn bits as early as the third millennium BCE, long before the introduction of horses in the ancient Near East, according to a study published May 16, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Haskel Greenfield from University of Manitoba, Canada, Aren Maeir from Bar-Ilan University, and colleagues. (2018-05-16)

Monitoring the tremble -- and potential fall -- of natural rock arches
Scientists monitoring the vibrations of natural rock arches have found that the resonant frequencies of arches undergo dynamic changes from day to day, according to research presented at the 2018 SSA Annual Meeting. (2018-05-15)

Researchers uncover genomic info linking extinct giant ground sloth to modern species
Researchers have uncovered important genomic data from the remains of an ancient giant ground sloth, or Mylodon darwinii, the emblematic creature named after Charles Darwin, whose discovery of fossilized remains in South America is considered to be one of his significant scientific achievements. (2018-05-15)

New pig virus found to be a potential threat to humans
A recently identified pig virus can readily find its way into laboratory-cultured cells of people and other species, a discovery that raises concerns about the potential for outbreaks that threaten human and animal health. (2018-05-14)

Stone Age hepatitis B virus decoded
An international team of scientists led by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and the University of Kiel has successfully reconstructed genomes from Stone Age and Medieval European strains of the hepatitis B virus. This unprecedented recovery of ancient virus DNA indicates that hepatitis B was circulating in Europe at least 7,000 years ago. (2018-05-10)

A European origin for leprosy?
New research by an international team has revealed that there was much more diversity in the leprosy strains circulating in Medieval Europe than previously thought. This finding, based on the sequencing of 10 new ancient genomes from the leprosy-causing bacterium Mycobacterium leprae, complicates prior assumptions about the origin and spread of the disease, and also includes the oldest M. leprae genome sequenced to date, from about 400 AD in the United Kingdom. (2018-05-10)

A new genetic 'map' of ancient human migration across Asia
The analysis of dozens of ancient genomes extracted from across the vast expanse between Europe and East Asia is shedding light on historical human migration patterns, as well as the spread of Indo-European languages and horse domestication. (2018-05-10)

Fossil find solves questions around baleen whale evolution
A University of Otago palaeontologist's discovery of an ancient fossil whale that swam the Antarctica seas 34 million years ago has paved the way for new knowledge about the evolution of baleen whales. (2018-05-10)

Troubling stats for kids with intellectual disabilities
By federal law passed in 1975, children with intellectual disabilities are supposed to spend as much time as possible in general education classrooms. But a new study suggests that progress toward that goal has stalled. (2018-05-08)

ONC201 kills breast cancer cells in vitro by targeting mitochondria
'Our work identifies a novel mechanism of ONC201 cytotoxicity that is based on the disruption of mitochondrial function, leading to ATP depletion and cell death in cancer cells that are dependent on mitochondrial respiration. Our study also suggests that cancer cells that are dependent on glycolysis will be resistant to ONC201' Dr. Stanley Lipkowitz, Chief, Women's Malignancies Branch, NCI. (2018-05-08)

Ediacara Biota flourished in bacterially rich marine habitats
In a paper published Friday, May 4, in Nature Communications, researchers at the University of California, Riverside, used biomarkers in ancient rocks to learn more about the environmental conditions and food sources that sustained the Ediacara Biota. (2018-05-04)

Plant relationships breakdown when they meet new 'fungi'
Gijsbert Werner, Postdoctoral Fellow and Stuart West, Professor of Evolutionary Biology, both in the Oxford University Department of Zoology, explain the process of plant cooperation, in relation to their new study published in PNAS, which has shed light on why cooperative relationships breakdown. (2018-05-03)

Bacterial toxins wreak havoc by crippling cellular infrastructure
Bacterial toxins can wreak mass havoc within cells by shutting down multiple essential functions at once, a new study has found. The discovery could one day open the door to exploring better ways to fight life-threatening infections. (2018-05-03)

Microbes living in a toxic volcanic lake could hold clues to life on Mars
Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have discovered microbes living in one of the harshest environments on Earth. Their findings could guide scientists looking for signs of ancient life on Mars. (2018-05-02)

Recent work challenges view of early Mars, picturing a warm desert with occasional rain
The climate of early Mars is a subject of debate. A recent study by Ramses Ramirez from the Earth-Life Science Institute (Tokyo Institute of Technology) and Robert Craddock from the National Air and Space Museum's Center for Earth and Planetary Studies (Smithsonian Institution) suggests that the early martian surface may not have been dominated by ice, but instead it may have been modestly warm and prone to rain, with only small patches of ice. (2018-05-02)

Study links 'good' brown fat and exercise
The power of exercise to boost metabolism could arise from a fat molecule with an unexpected source. In a new study, a lipid released from fat, or lipokine, produced by brown fat was shown to surge in the bloodstream after exercise. (2018-05-01)

DNA adds twist to ancient story of a Native American group
The American Journal of Human Genetics published the findings, which draw from the first population-level nuclear DNA analysis of a Native American group from ancient to modern times. (2018-04-30)

Respect Indigenous ancestors: Scholars urge community engagement before research
A new article in the journal Science provides guidance for those intending to study ancient human remains in the Americas. The paper, written by Indigenous scholars and scientists and those who collaborate with Indigenous communities on studies of ancient DNA, offers a clear directive to others contemplating such research: First, do no harm. (2018-04-26)

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