Science

  • Shocking gaps in basic knowledge of deep sea life
    on August 21, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    Human interference in the deep sea could already be outpacing our basic understanding of how it functions. […]

  • New climate change report likely to be ignored to death
    on August 21, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officially confirmed last week that 2016 was the Earth's hottest year on record, surpassing 2015, which surpassed 2014. The NOAA had reported this unofficially back in January. What made last week's announcement noteworthy is that the NOAA is now part of the administration of President Donald Trump, who has famously called global warming a "hoax." […]

  • GE's Immelt among finalists in Uber CEO search
    on August 21, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    Two people briefed on Uber's search for a new CEO say former General Electric chief executive Jeffrey Immelt is among the finalists under consideration. But they say there's no clear consensus on Uber's board about a front-runner. […]

  • Researchers find an alternative mode of bacterial quorum sensing
    on August 21, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    Whether growing in a puddle of dirty water or inside the human body, large groups of bacteria must coordinate their behavior to perform essential tasks that they would not be able to carry out individually. Bacteria achieve this coordination through a process called quorum sensing in which the microorganisms produce and secrete small molecules called autoinducers that can be detected by neighboring bacterial cells. Only when a large number of bacteria are present can the levels of secreted autoinducer build up to the point where the community can detect them and respond as a coordinated group. […]

  • Clean energy scores a small victory
    on August 21, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    Government scientists worried that their long-in-the-works assessment of climate change would be suppressed. The concern hardly rates as overwrought. Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, says he does not believe that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming. President Donald Trump has called the concept a hoax pushed by the Chinese. (Or maybe he was joking?) […]

  • Hackers hit Malaysian sites over Indonesia flag gaffe
    on August 21, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Indonesian hackers on Monday claimed responsibility for attacking more than 30 Malaysian websites following a gaffe that saw Indonesia's flag printed upside-down in a Southeast Asian Games commemorative magazine. […]

  • Google to serve next version of Android as 'Oreo"
    on August 21, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    An upcoming update to Google's Android software finally has a delectable name. The next version will be known as Oreo, extending Google's tradition of naming each version after a sweet treat. […]

  • Get Started: FBI warns of spreading W-2 email theft scheme
    on August 21, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    The IRS is warning businesses about a sharp increase in email phishing scams involving employees' W-2 forms—scams that can put staffers' Social Security numbers and other critical information in the hands of thieves. […]

  • Virus reprograms ocean plankton
    on August 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    A virus which infects ocean plankton can reprogramme cells and change the way they absorb nutrients - potentially changing how carbon is stored in the ocean, new research shows. […]

  • Dino-killing asteroid could have thrust Earth into 2 years of darkness
    on August 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Tremendous amounts of soot, lofted into the air from global wildfires following a massive asteroid strike 66 million years ago, would have plunged Earth into darkness for nearly two years, new research finds. This would have shut down photosynthesis, drastically cooled the planet, and contributed to the mass extinction that marked the end of the age of dinosaurs. […]

  • Analysis of a 'rusty' lunar rock suggests the moon's interior is dry
    on August 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    The moon is likely very dry in its interior according to a new study from researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, published August 21, 2017 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. […]

  • Polarization for controversial scientific issues increases with more education
    on August 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    A commonly proposed solution to help diffuse the political and religious polarization surrounding controversial scientific issues like evolution or climate change is education. […]

  • Evolutionary arms 'chase'
    on August 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    In nature, plants engage in a never-ending battle to avoid being eaten. Unable to run away, plant species have evolved defenses to deter herbivores; they have spines, produce nasty chemicals, or grow tough leaves that are difficult to chew. For years, scientists have assumed that herbivores and plants are locked into evolutionary competition in which a plant evolves a defense, the herbivore evolves a workaround, and so on. […]

  • Chile rejects iron mine to protect penguins
    on August 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Chile on Monday rejected plans for a $2.5 billion iron-mining project in order to protect thousands of endangered penguins. […]

  • Chemicals from gut bacteria maintain vitality in aging animals
    on August 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    A class of chemicals made by intestinal bacteria, known as indoles, help worms, flies and mice maintain mobility and resilience for more of their lifespans, scientists have discovered. […]

  • Targeted forest regeneration: A blueprint for conserving tropical biological diversity?
    on August 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Tropical forests contain more than one-half of all plant and animal species on Earth. Unfortunately, they are disappearing at the highest rate of any forests worldwide. Furthermore, many of the most threatened tropical species are restricted to 20 or so biodiversity hotspots, which are sites that have lost more than 70 percent of their original habitat. […]

  • Walmart expands grocery service with Uber to 2 more markets
    on August 21, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    Walmart is expanding its grocery delivery service with ride-hailing service Uber to two more markets—Dallas and Orlando, Florida. […]

  • Historic eclipse turns day into night across the US (Update)
    on August 21, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Millions of Americans gazed in wonder through telescopes, cameras and disposable protective glasses Monday as the moon blotted out the sun in the first full-blown solar eclipse to sweep the U.S. from coast to coast in nearly a century. […]

  • Mars weather: 'Cloudy, chance of nighttime snowstorm'
    on August 21, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Mars is buffeted by turbulent snowstorms that occur only at night, according to a study released Monday that revises our understanding of Red Planet weather. […]

  • People favor highly reviewed products, even when they shouldn't
    on August 21, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    When we're trying to decide which cell phone case to buy or which hotel room to book, we often rely on the ratings and reviews of others to help us choose. But new research suggests that we tend to use this information in ways that can actually work to our disadvantage. […]

  • Biofuels from bacteria
    on August 21, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    You might not cook with this sugar, but from a biofuels standpoint, it's pretty sweet. A Bay Area company has patented a group of three single-celled, algae-like organisms that, when grown together, can produce high quantities of sugar just right for making biofuels. Sandia National Laboratories is helping HelioBioSys Inc. learn whether farming them on a large scale would be successful. […]

  • A good read: AI evaluates quality of short stories
    on August 21, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    The idea that artificial intelligence will someday be able to understand and even generate narratives has inspired and motivated researchers for years. A question inextricably bound to both lines of research remains unresolved, however: Can AI recognize a good story if it sees one? […]

  • Plants under heat stress must act surprisingly quickly to survive
    on August 21, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    In new results reported in The Plant Cell, molecular biologist Elizabeth Vierling at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and colleagues in India and China report finding a crucial mechanism that plants need to recover from heat stress. […]

  • Warmer waters from climate change will leave fish shrinking, gasping for air
    on August 21, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Fish are expected to shrink in size by 20 to 30 per cent if ocean temperatures continue to climb due to climate change. […]

  • Understanding brittle crack behaviors to design stronger materials
    on August 21, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    In a paper published in Nature Physics, Northeastern University Department of Physics Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor Alain Karma, in collaboration with his postdoctoral research associate Chih-Hung Chen and Professor Eran Bouchbinder of the Weizmann Institute of Science's Chemical Physics Department, discovered the mechanism that causes cracks to behave strangely when they spread very rapidly in brittle materials. The results of this study will help researchers better understand how fragile materials, such as glass, ceramic, polymers, and bone break—often catastrophically—and how to better design materials to avoid failure. […]

  • aCar—the electric 'all-rounder'
    on August 21, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    An electric car for Africa, custom-designed for the needs of the population there, that strengthens rural structures and helps drive the economy: Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and partners have been working intensively towards this goal for four years. They will present their new prototype to the public at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt from September 12 to 15, 2017. The aCar is designed for passenger and cargo transportation and is also interesting for the European automotive market. […]

  • Satellite watches remnants of Tropical Storm Harvey near Honduras
    on August 21, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    NOAA's GOES-East satellite has been watching the remnants for former Tropical Storm Harvey as it tracks west across the Caribbean Sea. Early on Aug. 21 the remnants were just off the coast of eastern Honduras. […]

  • NASA sees major Hurricane Kenneth in Eastern Pacific
    on August 21, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Former Tropical Depression 13E has strengthened into a Major Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. NASA's Terra satellite passed over Kenneth and captured an image that showed a well-developed storm with a visible eye. […]

  • Engineers predict how flowing fluid will bend tiny hairs that line blood vessels and intestines
    on August 21, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Our bodies are lined on the inside with soft, microscopic carpets of hair, from the grassy extensions on our tastebuds, to fuzzy beds of microvilli in our stomachs, to superfine protein strands throughout our blood vessels. These hairy projections, anchored to soft surfaces, bend and twist with the currents of the fluids they're immersed in. […]

  • Scientists create 'diamond rain' that forms in the interior of icy giant planets
    on August 21, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    In an experiment designed to mimic the conditions deep inside the icy giant planets of our solar system, scientists were able to observe "diamond rain" for the first time as it formed in high-pressure conditions. Extremely high pressure squeezes hydrogen and carbon found in the interior of these planets to form solid diamonds that sink slowly down further into the interior. […]

  • Study sheds light on why some breast cancers have limited response to immunotherapy
    on August 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

    In the Journal of Clinical Investigation, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers report on their study that explored a perplexing question: Why were drugs designed to unleash the immune system against cancer ineffective in a type of triple negative breast cancer with a heavy presence of immune cells? Their findings could lead to a strategy to improve immunotherapy responses in the 'claudin-low' subtype of breast cancer. […]

  • Research reveals potential target for alcohol liver disease
    on August 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

    Drinking too much alcohol can damage the liver, but investigators have discovered a protective response in the organ that might be targeted to help treat alcoholic liver disease. The team -- led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania -- also found that the same protective response may be involved in aversion to alcohol and could therefore help in the treatment of alcoholism. […]

  • Researchers identify key compounds to resolve abnormal vascular growth in AMD
    on August 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

    A compound of specific bioactive products from a major family of enzymes reduced the severity of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in a preclinical model, according to a new study led by Massachusetts Eye and Ear researchers. […]

  • Remarkable artistry hidden in ancient Roman painting revealed
    on August 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

    Molten lava, volcanic ash, modern grime, salt, humidity. The ancient painting of a Roman woman has been through it all, and it looks like it. Scientists now report that a new type of high-resolution X-ray technology is helping them discover just how stunning the original portrait once was, element-by-element, which could help them restore the painting. The researchers are presenting their results at the 254th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society. […]

  • Afternoon slump in reward response
    on August 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

    Activation of a reward-processing brain region peaks in the morning and evening and dips at 2 p.m., finds a study of healthy young men published in The Journal of Neuroscience. This finding may parallel the drop in alertness people tend to feel in mid-afternoon. […]

  • Claim lines with diagnoses of anaphylactic food reactions climbed 377 percent from 2007 to 2016
    on August 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

    Private insurance claim lines with diagnoses of anaphylactic food reactions rose 377 percent from 2007 to 2016, according to data from FAIR Health, a national, independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing transparency to healthcare costs and health insurance information. Consulting its database of over 23 billion privately billed healthcare procedures, FAIR Health investigated food allergies and anaphylaxis, a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction that certain foods, as well as other substances, can induce in susceptible individuals. […]

  • Immune cells contribute to treatment resistance in aggressive breast cancers
    on August 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

    Although early detection and targeted therapies have improved patient survival, breast cancer remains a leading cause of cancer-related death for women in the United States. This week in the JCI, researchers in Jon Serody's lab at UNC Chapel Hill's Lineberger Cancer Center observed that a certain subtype of aggressive breast cancer contained high amounts of immunosuppressive cells and determined that these cells can reduce the efficacy of immune-targeting treatment strategies. […]

  • Zebrafish larvae could be used as 'avatars' to optimize personalized treatment of cancer
    on August 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

    Every cancer is unique; so is every cancer patient. How, then, is it possible to choose the most efficient chemotherapy in each case? Two Portuguese scientists decided to test the idea of using zebrafish larvae to simulate in vivo the responses of human tumors to cancer drugs, literally transforming these larvae into 'avatar' of the patients. Their first results are very promising. […]

  • Searching for the 'signature' causes of BRCAness in breast cancer
    on August 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

    Breast cancer cells with defects in the DNA damage repair-genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 have a mutational signature known in cancer genomics as 'Signature 3.' But not all breast tumor cells exhibiting Signature 3 have BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. Therefore, some consider Signature 3 a biomarker for 'BRCAness,' a sign of a breakdown in BRCA-related DNA repair in general and not BRCA damage in particular. […]

  • FANTOM5 releases first integrated atlas of microRNA expression in human primary cells
    on August 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

    FANTOM, an international scientific consortium led by RIKEN, has created the first extensive atlas of microRNA expression in human primary cells. Leveraging the collection of RNA samples established as part of the fifth edition of FANTOM, the team has sequenced microRNA libraries of hundreds of human samples, including many cell types for which the microRNA presence had never been investigated before. […]

  • Are there racial differences in cognitive outcomes based on BP targets?
    on August 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

    A new article published by JAMA Neurology investigates how various blood pressure targets for older patients treated for hypertension were associated with cognitive function and if racial differences existed in long-term cognitive outcomes. […]

  • Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease
    on August 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

    Duke scientists found a gene variant that affects cholesterol levels also could increase the risk of contracting typhoid fever. A common cholesterol-lowering drug could protect animal models against Salmonella Typhi, the culprit behind the potentially deadly infection. The findings give insight into the mechanisms that govern human susceptibility to infectious disease and point to possible avenues to protect against pathogens -- like Salmonella or Ebola -- whose entry into host cells is regulated by cholesterol. […]

  • Collaborative effort aims to replace rabbit test for personal lubricant products
    on August 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

    A first-of-its kind collaborative project is underway to find a non-animal test method to replace the rabbit vaginal irritation test for personal lubricants. The US Food and Drug Administration gave the project a green light as part of the agency's program aimed at modernizing the tests used to develop and evaluate medical devices. […]

  • Sopping up sunblock from oceans to save coral reefs (video)
    on August 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

    Coral reefs can't seem to catch a break. Not only are rising temperatures wreaking havoc with their environment, but emerging evidence suggests that a certain sunblock component is a coral killer. Now, researchers have developed a biodegradable bead that can soak up the sunblock ingredient, oxybenzone, like a thirsty sea sponge. The researchers are presenting their results at the 254th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society. […]

  • Research reveals 'exquisite selectivity' of neuronal wiring in the cerebral cortex
    on August 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

    In a study appearing today in Nature Neuroscience, a team from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory uses advanced technologies to illuminate the connectivity pattern of chandelier cells, a distinctive kind of inhibitory cell type in the mammalian brain. They reveal for the first time how this candelabra-shaped cell interacts in a highly selective way with hundreds of excitatory cells in its neighborhood, receiving information from some, imparting information to others. […]

  • Polarization for controversial scientific issues increases with more education
    on August 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

    A commonly proposed solution to help diffuse the political and religious polarization surrounding controversial scientific issues like evolution or climate change is education.However, Carnegie Mellon University researchers found that the opposite is true: people's beliefs about scientific topics that are associated with their political or religious identities actually become increasingly polarized with education, as measured by years in school, science classes, and science literacy. […]

  • McLean researchers uncover security issues with health apps for dementia patients
    on August 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

    In a recent paper, a team of McLean Hospital researchers reported that many health apps designed to assist dementia patients and their caregivers have inadequate security policies or lack security policies altogether. […]

  • Have flowers devised the ultimate weapon of distraction?
    on August 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

    Nectar, the high-energy 'honey' produced by flowers, might be a brilliant distraction technique to help protect a flower's reproductive parts, according to new research.Rather than merely providing a 'come-on' to bees and other insects to attract them to pollinate the flower, nectar could be playing a much more subtle and entrancing role. […]

  • Antarctic salt-loving microbes provide insights into evolution of viruses
    on August 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

    UNSW Sydney scientists studying microbes from some of the saltiest lakes in Antarctica have discovered a new way the microbes can share DNA that could help them grow and survive.The research, based on 18 months of water sampling in remote Antarctic locations, could throw light on the evolutionary history of viruses. The team discovered some of the microbes contained small molecules of DNA called plasmids. […]

  • Targeted forest regeneration: A blueprint for conserving tropical biological diversity?
    on August 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

    A new University of Utah-led study shows that targeted forest regeneration among the largest and closest forest fragments in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania and the Atlantic Forest of Brazil can dramatically reduce extinction rates of bird species over time. […]