ScienceTank

New Photo Shows Pluto’s ‘Heart’ Actually A Vast, Frozen Wasteland

Here’s How Far Our Music Has Traveled Into Deep Space

  • Social bonding key cause of soccer (football) violence
    As World Cup fever sets in, increased hooliganism and soccer (football) related violence are legitimate international concerns. Previous research has linked sports-related hooliganism to 'social maladjustment' e.g. previous episodes of violence or dysfunctional behavior at home, work or school etc. However, social bonding and a desire to protect and defend other fans may be one of the main motivations not only for football hooliganism, but extremist group behavior in general, according to new research.
  • New research on avian response to wildfires
    New research explores the effects fire has on ecosystems and the wildlife species that inhabit them. Scientists examined the impacts of fires of different severity levels on birds and how that changes as the time since fire increases. Scientists looked across 10 fires after they burned through forests in the Sierra Nevada. A key finding was that wildfire had strong, but varied, effects on the density of many of the bird species that were studied.
  • Repellent research: Navy developing ship coatings to reduce fuel, energy costs
    It can repel water, oil, alcohol and even peanut butter. And it might save the US Navy millions of dollars in ship fuel costs, reduce the amount of energy that vessels consume and improve operational efficiency.
  • Tiny jumping roundworm undergoes unusual sexual development
    Biologists have shown that gonad development varies in other nematodes relative to C. elegans. Specifically, they focused on Steinernema carpocapsae, a nematode used in insect biocontrol applications in lawns and gardens.
  • The photoelectric effect in stereo
    In the photoelectric effect, a photon ejects an electron from a material. Researchers have now used attosecond laser pulses to measure the time evolution of this effect in molecules. From their results they can deduce the exact location of a photoionization event.
  • Challenging our understanding of how platelets are made
    Correlative light-electron microscopy is being used to increase our knowledge of how platelets are made in the body and the results are challenging previously held understandings.
  • Uncovering lost images from the 19th century
    Art curators will be able to recover images on daguerreotypes, the earliest form of photography that used silver plates, after a team of scientists learned how to use light to see through degradation that has occurred over time.
  • Dynamic modeling helps predict the behaviors of gut microbes
    A new study provides a platform for predicting how microbial gut communities work and represents a first step toward understanding how to manipulate the properties of the gut ecosystem. This could allow scientists to, for example, design a probiotic that persists in the gut or tailor a diet to positively influence human health.
  • 'Stealth' material hides hot objects from infrared eyes
    Infrared cameras are the heat-sensing eyes that help drones find their targets even in the dead of night or through heavy fog. Hiding from such detectors could become much easier, thanks to a new cloaking material that renders objects -- and people -- practically invisible.
  • Estimate of 8.5 billion barrels of oil in Texas' Eagle Ford Group
    The Eagle Ford Group of Texas contains estimated means of 8.5 billion barrels of oil, 66 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 1.9 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, according to a new assessment.
  • New therapeutic target for slowing the spread of flu virus
    Influenza A (flu A) hijacks host proteins for viral RNA splicing and blocking these interactions caused replication of the virus to slow, which could point to novel strategies for antiviral therapies.
  • Low-cost plastic sensors could monitor a range of health conditions
    An international team of researchers have developed a low-cost sensor made from semiconducting plastic that can be used to diagnose or monitor a wide range of health conditions, such as surgical complications or neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Scientists discover how antiviral gene works
    It's been known for years that humans and other mammals possess an antiviral gene called RSAD2 that prevents a remarkable range of viruses from multiplying. Now, researchers have discovered the secret to the gene's success: The enzyme it codes for generates a compound that stops viruses from replicating. The newly discovered compound offers a novel approach for attacking many disease-causing viruses.
  • Biorenewable, biodegradable plastic alternative synthesized
    Polymer chemists have taken another step toward a future of high-performance, biorenewable, biodegradable plastics. The team describes chemical synthesis of a polymer called bacterial poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) ­- or P3HB. The compound shows early promise as a substitute for petroleum plastics in major industrial uses.
  • Broken shuttle may interfere with learning in major brain disorders
    A broken shuttle protein may hinder learning in people with intellectual disability, schizophrenia, or autism.
  • What causes the sound of a dripping tap -- and how do you stop it?
    Scientists have solved the riddle behind one of the most recognizable, and annoying, household sounds: the dripping tap. And crucially, they have also identified a simple solution to stop it, which most of us already have in our kitchens.
  • Drug compound stops cancer cells from spreading in mice
    New research shows that it may be possible to freeze cancer cells and kill them where they stand.
  • Miniature testing of drug pairs on tumor biopsies
    Combinations of cancer drugs can be quickly and cheaply tested on tumour cells using a novel device developed by scientists. The research marks the latest advancement in the field of personalized medicine.
  • Mosquito-borne diseases in Europe: Containment strategy depends on when the alarm sets off
    New research based on the Italian experience with outbreaks of Chikungunya, a disease borne by the tiger mosquito, in 2007 and 2017, shows that different vector control strategies are needed, depending on the time when the first cases are notified, 'thus providing useful indications supporting urgent decision-making of public health authorities in response to emerging mosquito-borne epidemics', one of the researchers says.
  • Important step towards a computer model that predicts the outcome of eye diseases
    Understanding how the retina transforms images into signals that the brain can interpret would not only result in insights into brain computations, but could also be useful for medicine. As machine learning and artificial intelligence develop, eye diseases will soon be described in terms of the perturbations of computations performed by the retina. A newly developed model of the retina can predict with high precision the outcome of a defined perturbation.
  • People with schizophrenia account for more than one in 10 suicide cases
    A new study shows that people with schizophrenia account for more than one in 10 cases of suicide in Ontario, and that young people are disproportionately affected. People with schizophrenia also had more contact with the health care system, pointing to an opportunity to intervene. The researchers emphasize the need for early suicide risk assessments to reduce risks.
  • Starving fungi could save millions of lives each year
    Researchers have identified a potentially new approach to treating lethal fungal infections that claim more than 1.6 million lives each year: starving the fungi of key nutrients, preventing their growth and spread.
  • Wolf reintroduction: Yellowstone's 'landscape of fear' not so scary after all
    After wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the mid-1990s, some scientists thought the large predator reestablished a 'landscape of fear' that caused elk, the wolf's main prey, to avoid risky places where wolves killed them. But according to recent findings, Yellowstone's 'landscape of fear' is not as scary as first thought.
  • Normalization of 'plus-size' risks hidden danger of obesity
    New research warns that the normalization of 'plus-size' body shapes may be leading to an increasing number of people underestimating their weight - undermining efforts to tackle England's ever-growing obesity problem. Analysis of data from almost 23,460 people who are overweight or obese revealed that weight misperception has increased in England. Men and individuals with lower levels of education and income are more likely to underestimate their weight status and consequently less likely to try to lose weight.
  • Accurate measurements of sodium intake confirm relationship with mortality
    Eating foods high in salt is known to contribute to high blood pressure, but does that linear relationship extend to increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death? Recent cohort studies have contested that relationship, but a new study using multiple measurements confirms it.
  • Chemists teach an enzyme a new trick, with potential for building new molecules
    Chemists have found a way to make a naturally occurring enzyme take on a new, artificial role, which has significant implications for modern chemistry, including pharmaceutical production.
  • Crisis can force re-evaluation and derail efforts to reach goals
    Setbacks are to be expected when pursuing a goal, whether you are trying to lose weight or save money. The challenge is getting back on track and not giving up after a difficulty or crisis, says a marketing professor working on practical ways to help people stick to health-related goals.
  • Writing away the body image blues
    Body dissatisfaction among women is widespread and can lead to a number of worrisome outcomes, including eating disorders, depression and anxiety. While researchers know a lot about what makes women's body image worse, they are still short on empirically supported interventions for improving women's body image. A psychology professor tested the effect of three specific writing exercises on college women's body satisfaction.
  • Coining less expensive currency: Bringing down the cost of making nickels
    Cashing in on materials science, makes a new nickel for use in the U.S. Mint. The work might be useful for building durable high-tech devices like smartphones, too.
  • Scientists discover how brain signals travel to drive language performance
    Using transcranial magnetic stimulation and network control theory, researchers have taken a novel approach to understanding how signals travel across the brain's highways and how stimulation can lead to better cognitive function.
  • 'Antifreeze' molecules may stop and reverse damage from brain injuries
    The key to better treatments for brain injuries and disease may lie in the molecules charged with preventing the clumping of specific proteins associated with cognitive decline and other neurological problems, researchers report.
  • Deep data dive helps predict cerebral palsy
    A pioneering technique developed to analyze genetic activity of Antarctic worms is helping to predict cerebral palsy. The technique uses next-generation genetic sequencing data to measure how cells control the way genes are turned on or off, and can also be used in other human health care research.
  • Ketamine acts fast to treat depression and its effects last -- but how?
    Researchers describe the molecular mechanisms behind ketamine's ability to squash depression and keep it at bay.
  • Our intestinal microbiome influences metabolism -- through the immune system
    The innate immune system, our first line of defense against bacterial infection, has a side job that's equally important: fine-tuning our metabolism.
  • Template to create superatoms could make for better batteries
    Researchers have discovered a novel strategy for creating superatoms -- combinations of atoms that can mimic the properties of more than one group of elements of the periodic table. These superatoms could be used to create new materials, including more efficient batteries and better semiconductors; a core component of microchips, transistors and most computerized devices.
  • Scientists solve the case of the missing subplate, with wide implications for brain science
    A new study shows that a group of neurons, previously thought to die in the course of development, in fact become incorporated into the brain's cortex. This research has implications for understanding -- and possibly treating --several brain disorders.
  • US oil & gas methane emissions 60 percent higher than estimated
    The US oil and gas industry emits 13 million metric tons of the potent greenhouse gas methane from its operations each year, 60 percent more than estimated by the US Environmental Protection Agency, according to a new study.
  • New clues to improving chemotherapies
    The work has important implications for understanding how human cancer cells develop resistance to natural product-based chemotherapies.
  • Researchers create matchmaking service, for peptides and antibiotics
    Researchers have matched small proteins, called peptides, with antibiotics so they can work together to combat hard-to-treat infections that don't respond well to drugs on their own.
  • How snowshoe hares evolved to stay seasonally camouflaged
    Many animals have evolved fur or feather colors to blend in with the environment and hide from predators. But how do animals stay camouflaged when their environment changes with each new season? For snowshoe hares, hybridization plays an important role in their ability to match their environment, new research shows.
  • Antarctic ice sheet is melting, but rising bedrock below could slow it down
    An international team of researchers has found that the bedrock below the remote West Antarctic Ice Sheet is rising much more rapidly than previously thought, in response to ongoing ice melt.
  • Unprecedented control of polymer grids achieved
    The first examples of covalent organic frameworks (COFs) were discovered in 2005, but quality has been poor and preparation methods uncontrolled. Now researchers have produced high-quality versions of these materials, demonstrate their superior properties and control their growth. The team's two-step process produces organic polymers with crystalline, two-dimensional structures. The precision of the material's structure and the empty space its hexagonal pores provide will allow scientists to design new materials with desirable properties.
  • Brain's response to opioids: New research provides expanded insights
    Opioids are powerful painkillers that act on the brain, but they have a range of harmful side effects including addiction. Researchers have developed a tool that gives deeper insights into the brain's response to opioids.
  • Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View
    A zebrafish view of the world has been forensically analyzed by researchers to reveal that how they see their surroundings changes hugely depending on what direction they are looking.
  • Majority of US adults prescribed epinephrine report not using it in an emergency
    A new study shows in an emergency, 52 percent of adults with potentially life-threatening allergies didn't use the epinephrine auto-injectors (EAI) they were prescribed.
  • Psychiatric disorders share an underlying genetic basis
    Researchers explored the genetic connections between brain disorders at a scale far eclipsing previous work on the subject. The team determined that psychiatric disorders share many genetic variants, while neurological disorders (such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's) appear more distinct. The results indicate that psychiatric disorders likely have important similarities at a molecular level, which current diagnostic categories do not reflect.
  • Fish's use of electricity might shed light on human illnesses
    African weakly electric fish, commonly called baby whales, use incredibly brief electrical pulses to sense the world around them and communicate with other members of their species. Part of that electrical mechanism exists in humans -- and by studying these fish, scientists may unlock clues about conditions like epilepsy.
  • Mice not only experience regret, but also learn to avoid it in the future
    New research has discovered that mice are capable of learning to plan ahead in order to avoid regret down the road even if there is no additional gain in rewards.
  • Water can be very dead, electrically speaking
    Water is one of the most fascinating substances on Earth and at the heart of its many unusual properties is high polarizability, a strong response to an applied electric field. Now researchers have found that on a microscopic scale water behaves very differently and its thin layers lose any polarizability, becoming electrically dead.
  • First ancient syphilis genomes decoded
    An international research team has recovered the first historic genomes from the bacterium Treponema pallidum, which causes syphilis. It was previously not thought possible to recover DNA of this bacterium from ancient samples. In the study, the researchers were able to distinguish genetically between the subspecies of the disease that cause syphilis and that cause yaws, which are not readily distinguishable in skeletal remains.
  • Einstein proved right in another galaxy
    Astronomers have made the most precise test of gravity outside our own solar system. By combining data taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope, the researchers show that gravity in this galaxy behaves as predicted by Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, confirming the theory's validity on galactic scales.
  • Waking up is hard to do: Prefrontal cortex implicated in consciousness
    Researchers discover that stimulating the prefrontal cortex can induce wake-like behavior in anesthetized rats.
  • Not junk: 'Jumping gene' is critical for early embryo
    A so-called 'jumping gene' that researchers long considered either genetic junk or a pernicious parasite is actually a critical regulator of the first stages of embryonic development, according to a new study.
  • A mechanism behind choosing alcohol over healthy rewards is found
    Changes in a brain signalling system contribute to the development of alcohol addiction-like behaviors in rats, according to a new study. The findings indicate a similar mechanism in humans.
  • Fundamental rule of brain plasticity
    A series of complex experiments in the visual cortex of mice has yielded a simple rule about plasticity: When a synapse strengthens, others immediately nearby weaken.
  • California Aedes mosquitoes capable of spreading Zika
    Over the last five years, Zika virus has emerged as a significant global human health threat following outbreaks in South and Central America. Now, researchers have shown that invasive mosquitoes in California -- where cases of Zika in travelers have been a regular occurrence in recent years -- are capable of transmitting Zika.
  • Cross-species prion adaptation depends on prion replication environment
    A hamster prion that replicated under conditions of low RNA levels in mouse brain material resulted in altered disease features when readapted and transmitted back to hamsters, according to new research.
  • How competition and cooperation between bacteria shape antibiotic resistance
    New computational simulations suggest that the effects of antibiotics on a bacterial community depend on whether neighboring species have competitive or cooperative relationships, as well as their spatial arrangement.
  • Six new species of goblin spiders named after famous goblins and brownies
    A remarkably high diversity of goblin spiders is reported from the Sri Lankan forests. Nine new species are described in a recent paper, where six are named after goblins and brownies from Enid Blyton's children's books. There are now 45 goblin spider species belonging to 13 genera known to inhabit the island country.
  • Caffeine from four cups of coffee protects the heart with the help of mitochondria
    A new study shows that a caffeine concentration equivalent to four cups of coffee promotes the movement of a regulatory protein into mitochondria, enhancing their function and protecting cardiovascular cells from damage.
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