ScienceTank

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

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

  • Women benefit from mammography screening beyond age 75
    Women age 75 years and older should continue to get screening mammograms because of the comparatively high incidence of breast cancer found in this age group, according to a new study.
  • Removing toxic mercury from contaminated water
    Water which has been contaminated with mercury and other toxic heavy metals is a major cause of environmental damage and health problems worldwide. Now, researchers present a totally new way to clean contaminated water, through an electrochemical process.
  • Antioxidants may prevent cognitive impairment in diabetes
    Cognitive difficulties in patients with diabetes, caused by repeated episodes of low blood sugar, could be reduced with antioxidants, according to a new study. The study findings suggest that stimulating antioxidant defenses in mice reduces cognitive impairments caused by low blood sugar, which could help to improve the quality of life for diabetic patients.
  • Traffic noise stresses out frogs, but some have adapted
    A new study reveals the negative effects of traffic noise on frogs and how some frogs have adapted. Traffic noise is stressful to frogs and impairs the production of skin peptides that defend against pathogens like chytrid fungus. Frogs from ponds near noisy highways show a dampened stress response and altered immune profile when exposed to noise compared to frogs from quiet ponds, suggesting they have adapted to reduce the negative effects of traffic noise.
  • Parental 'feeding styles' reflect children's genes
    New research challenges the idea that a child's weight largely reflects the way their parents feed them. Instead, parents appear to adopt feeding styles in response to their children's natural body weight, which is largely genetically influenced.
  • Exoplanet stepping stones
    New observations of a young gas giant demonstrate the power of a ground-based method for searching for signatures of life.
  • Fish can detox too -- but not so well, when it comes to mercury
    By examining the tissues at a subcellular level, researchers discovered yelloweye rockfish were able to immobilize several potentially toxic elements within their liver tissues (cadmium, lead, and arsenic) thus preventing them from interacting with sensitive parts of the cell. But mercury was found in concentrations known to be toxic - and most of it was in sensitive sites, such as mitochondria and enzymes, within liver cells.
  • Fish and veggies: Water flow for more efficient aquaponic systems
    In aquaponics, the hydroponic crops use the nutrients from fish waste as fertilizer while the fish benefit from the plants' nutrient uptake capability to improve water quality. The treated water is then recirculated to the plant grow beds and fish culture tanks via a pipe system.
  • A Trojan horse delivery method for miRNA-enriched extracellular vesicles
    A method for large-scale production of extracellular vesicles enriched with specific microRNAs (miRNAs) has been developed, offering a manufacturing standardization process which may have therapeutic applications and clinical impact.
  • To predict the future, the brain uses two clocks
    One type of anticipatory timing relies on memories from past experiences. The other on rhythm. Both are critical to our ability to navigate and enjoy the world, and scientists have found they are handled in two different parts of the brain.
  • Machine learning can help healthcare workers predict whether patients may require emergency hospital admission, new study finds
    Machine learning can be used to analyze electronic health records and predict the risk of emergency hospital admissions, a new study has found.
  • Among birds-of-paradise, good looks are not enough to win a mate
    Male birds-of-paradise are justly world famous for their wildly extravagant feather ornaments, complex calls, and shape-shifting dance moves -- all evolved to attract a mate. New research suggests for the first time that female preferences drive the evolution of physical and behavioral trait combinations that may also be tied to where the male does his courting: on the ground or up in the trees.
  • Australian mammals at greatest risk from cats and foxes
    New research has revealed which Australian mammals are most vulnerable to cats and foxes, and many much-loved potoroos, bandicoots and bettongs, as well as native rodents, are at the top of the list.
  • Hungry ticks work harder to find you
    Biologists say the hungrier ticks are, the harder they try to find you or other hosts. The findings could have implications for the spread of tick-borne disease such as Lyme or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
  • Electrical cable triggers lightweight, fire-resistant cladding discovery
    New research has led the successful development of an organic, non-combustible and lightweight cladding core -- a product that was previously thought to be impossible to create.
  • Reducing the impact forces of water entry
    As professional divers complete what's known as a rip dive, their hands remove water in front of the body, creating a cavity that reduces the initial impact force. The rest of the body is aligned to shoot through the same cavity created by the hands. Using the hands to create cavities in the water's surface is similar to the concept behind the fluid-structure studies that researchers are conducting using spheres.
  • Aquatic animals that jump out of water inspire leaping robots
    Ever watch aquatic animals jump out of the water and wonder how they manage to do it in such a streamlined and graceful way? Researchers who specialize in water entry and exit in nature had the same question.
  • The Trojan horse of Staphylococcus aureus
    A weapons of Staphylococcus aureus is ?-toxin, which destroys host cells by forming pores in their membranes. Researchers at UNIGE have identified the mechanism that allows these pores to be harmful. They uncover how proteins of human cells assemble into a complex to which pores are docked. They also demonstrate that blocking the assembly of the complex by removing one of its elements allows pores to be removed from the membrane and cells to survive.
  • A Mexican cavefish with a scarred heart
    Scientists are studying a guppy-sized, blind, translucent fish that lives in the cave systems of northern Mexico to figure out why some animals can regenerate their hearts, while others just scar.
  • Scientists develop 'contact lens' patch to treat eye diseases
    Scientists have developed a 'contact lens' patch with microneedles that could be a painless and efficient alternative to current methods of treating eye diseases such as glaucoma. Patients are unable to keep up with the prescribed regime of current localized treatment methods like eye drops, which are hindered by the eye's natural defenses, blinking and tears. Eye injections can be painful and carry an infection risk and eye damage.
  • Frogs breed young to beat virus
    Frogs from groups exposed to a deadly virus are breeding at younger ages, new research suggests.
  • Responses of waterbirds to climate change is linked to their preferred wintering habitats
    A new scientific article shows that 25 European waterbird species can change their wintering areas depending on winter weather. Warm winters allow them to shift their wintering areas northeastwards, whereas cold spells push birds southwestwards.
  • When storing memories, brain prioritizes those experiences that are most rewarding
    A new study finds that overnight the brain automatically preserves memories for important events and filters out the rest, revealing new insights into the processes that guide decision making and behavior.
  • How your moving brain sees the world
    What we see is not only determined by what is really there, but also depends on whether we are paying attention, whether we are moving, excited or interested. In a new study, scientists uncover that the processing of visual information in the brain is indeed modulated by our own behavior.
  • Hyena population recovered slowly from a disease epidemic
    Infectious diseases can substantially reduce the size of wildlife populations, thereby affecting both the dynamics of ecosystems and biodiversity. Predicting the long-term consequences of epidemics is thus essential for conservation. Researchers have now developed a mathematical model to determine the impact of a major epidemic of canine distemper virus (CDV) on the population of spotted hyenas in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.
  • Tropical fish adapt to cold temperatures in coordination with their microbiome
    Scientists have discovered that tropical fish can control their gut microbes to better survive extremes of temperature.
  • The taming of the dog, cow, horse, pig and rabbit
    Research into one of the 'genetic orchestra conductors', microRNAs, sheds light on our selectively guided evolution of domestic pets and farmyard animals such as dogs and cows.
  • Model of quantum artificial life on quantum computer
    Researchers have developed a quantum biomimetic protocol that reproduces the characteristic process of Darwinian evolution adapted to the language of quantum algorithms and quantum computing. The researchers anticipate a future in which machine learning, artificial intelligence and artificial life itself will be combined on a quantum scale.
  • Smart car technologies save drivers $6.2 billion on fuel costs each year
    In the first study to assess the energy impact of smart technology in cars, researchers have put a number on the potential fuel-cost savings alone: $6.2 billion.
  • Could yesterday's Earth contain clues for making tomorrow's medicines?
    Researchers described initial steps toward achieving chemistries that encode information in a variety of conditions that might mimic the environment of prehistoric Earth.
  • Mmore effective hydrogel for healing wounds
    Researchers have created an easy-to-make, low-cost injectable hydrogel that could help wounds heal faster, especially for patients with compromised health issues.
  • When it comes to love: Personality matters
    Throughout history, competitive advantages have helped men and women achieve increased success in their occupation, sport, artistic endeavors, their ability to acquire and secure resources, and ultimately, their survival. Now a study shows the same can be said for sex and procreation.
  • Being fair: The benefits of early childhood education
    Getting a jump on a low-income child's education can have a positive effect on social behavior even 40 years later, researchers find.
  • Mars moon got its grooves from rolling stones
    Computer models shine a light on the origin of the Mars moon Phobos' distinctive grooves.
  • Is Antarctica becoming more like Greenland?
    Antarctica is high and dry and mostly bitterly cold, and it's easy to think of its ice and snow as locked away in a freezer, protected from melt except around its low-lying coasts and floating ice shelves. But that view may be wrong.
  • The shape of things to come: Flexible, foldable supercapacitors for energy storage
    Scientists have discovered a way of making paper supercapacitors for electricity storage.
  • Eyes of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease patients show evidence of prions
    By the time symptoms of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) are typically discovered, death is looming and inevitable. In a new study, researchers report finding tell-tale evidence of the condition's infectious agent in the eyes of deceased sCJD patients, making the eye a potential source for both early CJD detection and prevention of disease transmission.
  • How to melt gold at room temperature
    When the tension rises, unexpected things can happen -- not least when it comes to gold atoms. Researchers have now managed, for the first time, to make the surface of a gold object melt at room temperature.
  • Dogs know when they don't know
    Researchers have shown that dogs possess some 'metacognitive' abilities -- specifically, they are aware of when they do not have enough information to solve a problem and will actively seek more information. The researchers created a test in which dogs had to find a reward behind one of two fences. They found that the dogs looked for additional information significantly more often when they had not seen where the reward was hidden.
  • Language influences how consumers trust a brand
    Consumers make assumptions based on the language used by a brand or advertiser, and politeness does matter, say researchers.
  • Explaining the plummeting cost of solar power
    The dramatic drop in the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, which has fallen by 99 percent over the last four decades, is often touted as a major success story for renewable energy technology. But one question has never been fully addressed: What exactly accounts for that stunning drop? A new analysis has pinpointed what caused the savings, including the policies and technology changes that mattered most.
  • Volcanoes and glaciers combine as powerful methane producers
    Large amounts of the potent greenhouse gas methane are being released from an Icelandic glacier, scientists have discovered. A study of Sólheimajökull glacier, which flows from the active, ice-covered volcano Katla, shows that up to 41 tons of methane is being released through meltwaters every day during the summer months.
  • Healthcare providers -- not hackers -- leak more of your data
    New research found that more than half of the recent personal health information, or PHI, data breaches were because of internal issues with medical providers -- not because of hackers or external parties.
  • How female hyaenas came to dominate males
    In most animal societies, members of one sex dominate those of the other. Is this, as widely believed, an inevitable consequence of a disparity in strength and ferocity between males and females? Not necessarily. A new study on wild spotted hyaenas shows that in this social carnivore, females dominate males because they can rely on greater social support than males, not because they are stronger or more competitive in any other individual attribute.
  • 4,000-year-old termite mounds found in Brazil are visible from space
    Researchers have found that a vast array of regularly spaced, still-inhabited termite mounds in northeastern Brazil--covering an area the size of Great Britain -- are up to about 4,000 years old.
  • Scientists discover new 'pinwheel' star system
    An international team of scientists has discovered a new, massive star system -- one that also challenges existing theories of how large stars eventually die.   
  • Major natural carbon sink may soon become carbon source
    Peatlands in some parts of the world, including Canada, Siberia and Southeast Asia, have already turned into significant carbon sources. The same fate may be coming soon for the Peruvian peatlands.
  • Ecstacy makes people cooperative, but not gullible
    New research has found that MDMA, the main ingredient in ecstasy, causes people to cooperate better -- but only with trustworthy people. In the first study to look in detail at how MDMA impacts cooperative behavior the researchers also identified changes to activity in brain regions linked to social processing.
  • Digital offense: Anonymity dulls our moral outrage
    A recent study digs deeper into exactly why people react less strongly to insults online, and offers a glimpse at what might help people be more civil to each other.
  • Move over Rover: There's a new sniffing powerhouse in the neighborhood
    Scientists are now homing in on the secrets behind animals' super sniffers to develop an artificial chemical sensor that could be used for a variety of tasks, from food safety to national security.
  • The 'Swiss Army knife of prehistoric tools' found in Asia, suggests homegrown technology
    A study by an international team of researchers have determines that carved stone tools, also known as Levallois cores, were used in Asia 80,000 to 170,000 years ago. With the find -- and absent human fossils linking the tools to migrating populations -- researchers believe people in Asia developed the technology independently, evidence of similar sets of skills evolving throughout different parts of the ancient world.
  • Using Skype to beat the blues
    Researchers compared four different types of online communication technologies -- video chat, email, social networks and instant messaging -- used by people 60 and older and then gauged their symptoms of depression based on survey responses two years later. The study found that people who used video chat functions such as Skype and FaceTime had almost half the estimated probability of depressive symptoms compared with older adults who did not use any communication technologies.
  • Jumping genes shed light on how advanced life may have emerged
    A previously unappreciated interaction in the genome turns out to have possibly been one of the driving forces in the emergence of advanced life. This discovery began with a curiosity for retrotransposons, known as ''jumping genes,'' which are DNA sequences that copy and paste themselves within the genome, multiplying rapidly. Researchers inserted a retrotransposon into bacteria, and the results could give depth to the history of how advanced life may have emerged billions of years ago.
  • Powerful new map depicts environmental degradation across Earth
    Geographers have created a new world map showing dramatic changes in land use over the last quarter century. Researchers turned high-resolution satellite images from the European Space Agency into one of the most detailed looks so far at how people are reshaping the planet.
  • Kindergarten difficulties may predict academic achievement across primary grades
    Identifying factors that predict academic difficulties during elementary school should help inform efforts to help children who may be at risk. New research suggests that children's executive functions may be a particularly important risk factor for such difficulties.
  • As climate and land-use change accelerate, so must efforts to preserve California's plants
    A team developed a computer model that identifies the high-priority areas in California for preservation in order to save the state's native plants in the face of rapid climate change and habitat destruction. The model is based on three measures of biodiversity: genetic uniqueness (divergence), historic speciation rate (diversification) and independent evolutionary history (survival), but also includes assessments of how badly the area is degraded and thus whether it is worth the effort.
  • 'True polar wander' may have caused ice age
    Earth's latest ice age may have been caused by changes deep inside the planet. Based on evidence from the Pacific Ocean, including the position of the Hawaiian Islands.
  • Freeze-frame microscopy captures molecule's 'lock-and-load' on DNA
    One of the body's largest macromolecules is the machinery that gloms onto DNA and transcribes it into mRNA, the blueprint for proteins. But the molecule, TFIID, is complex with lots of floppy appendages, which makes it hard to obtain a clear picture of its structure. Using state-of-the-art cryo-electron microscopy detectors and computer analysis, scientists have captured unprecedented detail of how TFIID's structure changes as it binds to DNA and recruits other proteins.
  • Bending light around tight corners without backscattering losses
    Researchers demonstrate a new optical waveguide capable of bending photons around tight corners on a smaller scale than previously possible. The technology is made possible by through photonic crystals using the concept of topological insulators.
  • Human images from world's first total-body scanner unveiled
    EXPLORER, the world's first medical imaging scanner that can capture a 3D picture of the whole human body at once, has produced its first scans.
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