الجمعة، 14 أغسطس 2015

ScienceDaily: Top News

ScienceDaily: Top News


Apes may be closer to speaking than many scientists think

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 02:12 PM PDT

Koko the gorilla is best known for a lifelong study to teach her a silent form of communication, American Sign Language. But some of the simple sounds she has learned may change the perception that humans are the only primates with the capacity for speech.

Marks on 3.4-million-year-old bones not due to trampling, analysis confirms

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 02:12 PM PDT

Marks on two 3.4 million-year-old animal bones found at the site of Dikika, Ethiopia, were not caused by trampling, an extensive statistical analysis confirms. The results of the study developed new methods of fieldwork and analysis for researchers exploring the origins of tool making and meat eating in our ancestors.

Can science predict gang killings?

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 02:12 PM PDT

Gang slayings move in a systematic pattern over time, spreading from one vulnerable area to the next like a disease, finds a groundbreaking study by criminologists and public health researchers.

Police more likely to be killed on duty in states with high gun ownership

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 01:23 PM PDT

Across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, homicides of police officers are linked to the statewide level of gun ownership, according to a new study. The study found that police officers serving in states with high private gun ownership are more than three times more likely to be killed on the job than those on the job in states with the lowest gun ownership.

Prehistoric carnivore dubbed 'scarface' discovered in Zambia

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 01:23 PM PDT

Scientists have identified a new species of pre-mammal in what is now Zambia. Thanks to a unique groove on the animal's upper jaw, it was dubbed Ichibengops, which combines the local Bemba word for scar, and the common Greek suffix for face. Put simply: Scarface.

Stomach is the way to a woman's heart, too

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 01:23 PM PDT

Women's brains respond more to romantic cues on a full stomach than an empty one, new research demonstrates. The study explored brain circuitry in hungry versus satiated states among women who were past-dieters and those who had never dieted.

Link confirmed between playing violent video games, aggression

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 01:23 PM PDT

Violent video game play is linked to increased aggression in players but insufficient evidence exists about whether the link extends to criminal violence or delinquency, according to a new report.

Supernovae discovered in 'wrong place at wrong time'

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 12:06 PM PDT

Several exploding stars have been found outside the cozy confines of galaxies, where most stars reside. These wayward supernovae are also weird because they exploded billions of years before their predicted detonations. Using archived observations from several telescopes, astronomers have developed a theory for where these doomed stars come from and how they arrived at their current homes.

Better way to personalize bladder cancer treatments

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 12:06 PM PDT

A new way to personalize treatments for aggressive bladder cancer has been developed by researchers. In early proof-of-concept research, the team took bladder tumors from individual patients, identified actionable mutations and grafted the tumors into mice. From there, the researchers simultaneously tested multiple therapies in the tumor models. Treatments that were effective in the models could then be given to patients.

Unusual discovery in thin film magnetism

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 12:05 PM PDT

An unusual magnetic effect has been discovered in nanolayers of an oxide of lanthanum and manganese (LaMnO3). The research revealed an abrupt magnetic transition brought about by the slightest change in thickness of the layer.  

Helping Siri hear through a cocktail party

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 12:03 PM PDT

People trying to talk to Siri may soon no longer have to look like they're about to eat their iPhones, thanks to a new technology demonstration that solves the 'Cocktail Party' conundrum. The new approach uses metamaterials and compressive sensing to determine the direction of a sound and extract it from the surrounding background noise.

Advance in photodynamic therapy offers new approach to ovarian cancer

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 11:27 AM PDT

Researchers have made a significant advance in the use of photodynamic therapy to combat ovarian cancer in laboratory animals, using a combination of techniques that achieved complete cancer cell elimination with no regrowth of tumors.

Scientists discover what controls waking up and going to sleep

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 11:27 AM PDT

Neuroscientists have discovered how an animal's biological clock wakes it up in the morning and puts it to sleep at night. In studies of fruit flies and mice and the brain circadian neurons governing the daily sleep-wake cycle's timing, the researchers found that high sodium channel activity in these neurons during the day turn the cells on and ultimately awaken an animal, and high potassium channel activity at night turn them off, allowing the animal to sleep.

Sex development disorders affect mind as well as body

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 11:27 AM PDT

While it may not shock you to learn that children born with disorders of sex development face challenges, researchers have confirmed that these go far beyond the physical. Researchers examine the potential effects that these disorders can have on children's and adolescents' peer relationships.

Heat release from stagnant deep sea helped end last Ice Age

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 11:27 AM PDT

The build-up and subsequent release of warm, stagnant water from the deep Arctic Ocean and Nordic Seas played a role in ending the last Ice Age within the Arctic region, according to new research.

New optical chip lights up the race for quantum computer

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 11:27 AM PDT

The microprocessor inside a computer is a single multipurpose chip that has revolutionized people's life, allowing them to use one machine to surf the web, check emails and keep track of finances. Now, researchers have pulled off the same feat for light in the quantum world by developing an optical chip that can process photons in an infinite number of ways.

Future electronics: Black phosphorus surges ahead of graphene

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 11:25 AM PDT

Scientists reported a tunable band gap in BP, effectively modifying the semiconducting material into a unique state of matter with anisotropic dispersion. This research outcome potentially allows for great flexibility in the design and optimization of electronic and optoelectronic devices like solar panels and telecommunication lasers.

Genetically engineered yeast produces opioids

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 11:25 AM PDT

It typically takes a year to produce hydrocodone from plants, but scientistst have now genetically modified yeast to make it in just a few days. The technique could improve access to medicines in impoverished nations, and later be used to develop treatments for other diseases.

Astronomers discover 'young Jupiter' exoplanet

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 11:25 AM PDT

One of the best ways to learn how our solar system evolved is to look to younger star systems in the early stages of development. Now, a team of astronomers has discovered a Jupiter-like planet within a young system that could serve as a decoder ring for understanding how planets formed around our sun. The first planet detected by the Gemini Planet Imager is 100 light-years away but shares many of the characteristics of an early Jupiter.

When fruit flies get sick, their offspring become more diverse

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 11:25 AM PDT

When fruit flies are attacked by parasites or bacteria they respond by producing offspring with greater genetic variability, new research shows. This extra genetic variability may give the offspring an increased chance of survival when faced with the same pathogens. These findings demonstrate that parents may purposefully alter the genotypes of their offspring.

Study establishes genomic data set on Lassa virus

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 10:02 AM PDT

An international team of researchers has developed the largest genomic data set in the world on Lassa virus (LASV). The genomic catalog contains nearly 200 viral genomes collected from patient and field samples from the major host of Lassa virus--the multimammate rat. The study suggests that these four LASV strains originated from a common ancestral virus more than 1,000 years ago and spread across West Africa within the last several hundred years.

New technology could reduce wind energy costs

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 10:02 AM PDT

When a bearing inside a wind turbine is subject to a load, its thickness is reduced by a very small amount due to elastic deformation, and the speed of sound is affected by the stress level in the material. Both these effects change the time of flight of an ultrasound wave through a bearing. A novel technique has been developed to predict when bearings inside wind turbines will fail which could make wind energy cheaper.

New research helps explain why a deadly blood cancer often affects children with malaria

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 10:02 AM PDT

Children in equatorial Africa who suffer from malaria are at high risk of developing Burkitt's lymphoma, a highly aggressive blood cancer. A new study sheds light on the long-standing mystery of how the two diseases are connected.

Better way to engineer therapeutic proteins into antibodies

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 10:02 AM PDT

Some proteins exist so fleetingly in the bloodstream they can't be given effectively as therapies. However, building them into larger proteins, such as antibodies, can make them persist long enough to be useful. Now a team of scientists has devised an improved method for accomplishing this protein-engineering feat.

How beneficial bacteria protect intestinal cells

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 10:02 AM PDT

A helpful subset of the intestinal microbiome, lactobacilli, stimulates the cytoprotective Nrf2 pathway in both flies and mice. The findings could potentially lead to advances in the use of bacteria to treat intestinal diseases or mitigate the effects of radiation therapy for cancer.

Researchers track neural circuits driving a fly's choice of a mate

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 10:02 AM PDT

A new study explains how taste and smell signals travel from a male fruit fly's sense organs into his higher brain as he assesses a potential mate. The research may provide important clues about how our brains integrate different sense perceptions to make decisions.

Epstein-Barr virus vaccine elicits potent neutralizing antibodies in animals

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 10:02 AM PDT

Researchers have developed an experimental, nanoparticle-based vaccine against Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) that can induce potent neutralizing antibodies in vaccinated mice and nonhuman primates. Microscopic particles, known as nanoparticles, are being investigated as potential delivery vehicles for vaccines. The scientists' findings suggest that using a structure-based vaccine design and self-assembling nanoparticles to deliver a viral protein that prompts an immune response could be a promising approach for developing an EBV vaccine for humans.

Corrected protein structure reveals drug targets for cancer, neurodegenerative diseases

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 10:00 AM PDT

Protein Kinase C is a family of enzymes that controls the activity of other proteins in a cell by attaching chemical tags. That simple act helps determine cell survival or death. When it goes awry, a number of diseases may result. In a study, researchers reveal a more accurate structure of PKC, providing new targets for fine-tuning the enzyme's activity as needed to improve human health.

Newly discovered cells regenerate liver tissue without forming tumors

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 10:00 AM PDT

The mechanisms that allow the liver to repair and regenerate itself have long been a matter of debate. Now researchers have discovered a population of liver cells that are better at regenerating liver tissue than ordinary liver cells, or hepatocytes. The study is the first to identify these so-called 'hybrid hepatocytes,' and show that they are able to regenerate liver tissue without giving rise to cancer.

Exercise-induced hormone irisin is not a 'myth'

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 10:00 AM PDT

Irisin, a hormone linked to the positive benefits of exercise, was recently questioned to exist in humans. Two recent studies pointed to possible flaws in the methods used to identify irisin, with commercially available antibodies. The scientists who discovered irisin address this contentious issue by showing that human irisin circulates in the blood at nanogram levels and increases during exercise.

When a 'UFO' flies by, does it bother bears?

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 10:00 AM PDT

If an unidentified flying object suddenly appeared in the sky, it's likely your heart would beat faster. Now, researchers have found that the same is true for bears.

When it comes to body odor, ants are connoisseurs

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 10:00 AM PDT

For any complex society to function properly, individuals must reliably recognize their friends and family with whom they live and work and readily distinguish those allies from strangers. Ants and other social insects manage this feat of recognition based on chemical pheromones, which are detected via sensors in their antennae. Now researchers have discovered that when it comes to assessing body odors, ants really don't miss a thing.

The pressure is on: New technology to squeeze materials with a million times the pressure of Earth's atmosphere

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 09:37 AM PDT

Researchers have developed technology to squeeze materials with a million times the pressure of Earth's atmosphere while studying them with neutrons. When they bombard these materials with neutrons, the materials provide an unprecedented picture of the changing nature of matter under extreme pressure.

What gets said should be what's heard; what gets heard should be what's meant

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 09:34 AM PDT

Unique insights into end-of-shift handoffs have been provided in two new studies. Authors conclude that in spite of a trend toward computerized checklists, face to face communication, including the opportunity to spontaneously ask and answer questions, plays an important role in improving the safety of patient handoffs.

Eleven security flaws found in popular internet browsers

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 09:34 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a new cyber security analysis method that discovered 11 previously unknown Internet browser security flaws.

Heavy smokers, smokers who are obese gain more weight after quitting

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 09:34 AM PDT

For smokers, the number of cigarettes smoked per day and current body mass index are predictive of changes in weight after quitting smoking, according to researchers.

Surgeons refine procedure for life-threatening congenital heart defect

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 09:34 AM PDT

For children born with life-threating hypoplastic left heart syndrome, reconstructive surgeries can restore blood circulation. While the most common corrective approach is the three-stage Norwood procedure, an alternative strategy, hybrid palliation, allows deferral of more complex reconstructions to when the child is somewhat older and better able to successfully recover from major surgery. A report evaluates whether an arterial shunt in the hybrid palliation may be a better source for the pulmonary blood supply than the more frequently used venous shunt.

Gestational diabetes: A diabetes predictor in fathers

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 09:34 AM PDT

Gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy, affects between three and 20 percent of pregnant women. Those who develop gestational diabetes are seven times as likely to eventually develop type 2 diabetes in the years following pregnancy. Now, in a large study analyzing 20 years of data from Quebec, a team of scientists has demonstrated that gestational diabetes signals future diabetes risk not only in mothers, but also in fathers.

COPD patients with psychological conditions have higher rate of early hospital readmission

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 09:30 AM PDT

People with a psychological condition such as depression, anxiety, psychosis, or alcohol/drug abuse are more likely to be readmitted early into a hospital for complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, research shows.

High participation in small church groups has its downside, research shows

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 09:30 AM PDT

Parishioners who participate in small groups within a religious congregation are generally more likely to be civically engaged than their fellow worshipers unless a church has high overall small-group participation, according to research.

Biochemist studies oilseed plants for biofuel, industrial development

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 09:30 AM PDT

A biochemist is studying Camelina sativa -- a nonfood oilseed crop -- to see how it can be used for biofuel or even industrial and food-related applications.

Humans responsible for demise of gigantic ancient mammals

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 07:43 AM PDT

Scientists claim their research settles a prolonged debate over whether mankind or climate change was the dominant cause of the demise of massive creatures in the time of the sabretooth tiger, the woolly mammoth, the woolly rhino and the giant armadillo.

Tetris can block cravings, new study reveals

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 07:15 AM PDT

Playing Tetris on a smarthphone for as little as three minutes can weaken cravings for drugs, food and activities by as much as one-fifth, new research shows. In the first test of its kind to study people in natural settings outside of a laboratory, participants were monitored for levels of craving and prompted to play the block-shifting puzzle game at random intervals during the day.

Smoking ban linked to drop in stillbirths, newborn deaths

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 07:15 AM PDT

Stillbirths have dropped by almost 8 percent in England since the smoking ban was introduced, research shows. The number of babies dying shortly after birth has also dropped by almost eight per cent, the study estimates.

Toxic blue-green algae pose increasing threat to nation;s drinking, recreational water

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 06:28 AM PDT

Blooms of toxic cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, are a poorly monitored and underappreciated risk to recreational and drinking water quality in the United States, and may increasingly pose a global health threat, scientists warn.

How do continents break up? Classical theory of mantle plume is put in question

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 06:28 AM PDT

When the western part of the super-continent Gondwana broke up around 130 Million years ago, today's Africa and South-America started to separate and the South Atlantic was born. It is commonly assumed that enormous masses of magma ascended from the deep mantle up to higher levels, and that this hot mantle plume (the Tristan mantle plume) weakened the continental lithosphere, eventually causing the break-up of the continental plate of Gondwana.

Grammar: Eventually the brain opts for the easy route

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 06:28 AM PDT

Languages are constantly evolving -- and grammar is no exception. The way in which the brain processes language triggers adjustments. If the brain has to exert itself too much to cope with difficult case constructions, it usually simplifies them over time, as linguists demonstrate in a study on languages all over the world.

As days warm, emergency visits, deaths could rise

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 06:28 AM PDT

In Rhode Island heat-related emergency department visits and deaths increase notably among people of all ages as temperatures rise above 75 degrees. The study projects that if the population were living with the warmer temperatures forecast for the end of the century, emergency department visits and deaths would be measurably higher.

Chinese cave 'graffiti' tells a 500-year story of climate change and impact on society

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 06:28 AM PDT

Unique inscriptions found in a cave in China, combined with chemical analysis of cave formations, show how droughts affected the local population over the past five centuries, and underline the importance of implementing strategies to deal with climate change in the coming years.

Remote sensing, satellite imagery, surveys use to estimate population of Mogadishu

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 06:28 AM PDT

The results of the first population survey of Mogadishu, Somalia, conducted in a quarter century were just completed.

Statistical advances help unlock mysteries of the human microbiome

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 06:28 AM PDT

Advances in the field of statistics are helping to unlock the mysteries of the human microbiome -- the vast collection of microorganisms living in and on the bodies of humans.

Big data and the social character of genes

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 05:40 AM PDT

Researchers have managed to narrow down 900 million possibilities requiring examination of the connection between genetic markers and genetic expression to just 340,000, in the process identifying "social" genes that play a cooperative role

Large percentage of youth with HIV may lack immunity to measles, mumps, rubella

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 05:38 AM PDT

Between one-third and one-half of individuals in the United States who were infected with HIV around the time of birth may not have sufficient immunity to ward off measles, mumps, and rubella -- even though they may have been vaccinated against these diseases. This estimate is based on a study of more than 600 children and youth exposed to HIV in the womb.

One in two dies in hospital in Germany

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 04:47 AM PDT

At home on the sofa, in a hospital bed, or in a care home: where a death takes place is always recorded on the death certificate. Until now, however, this information has never been collated and evaluated in Germany. For the first time, the place of death records for Germany have now been analyzed; findings suggest that every second person died in a hospital; only one in four died at home.

Cesarean section on request: Risks outweigh the benefits

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 04:47 AM PDT

More and more mothers facing childbirth are asking for a cesarean. There are many reasons for this, ranging from the social and cultural to the personal, such as fear about the birth. A review article by two gynecologists considers the risks and benefits of cesarean delivery on maternal request.

Progress toward the perfect pea

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 04:47 AM PDT

Pea and other legume seeds contain several proteins that stop nutrients being absorbed fully in the intestines. Now a research group has developed peas that will help animals absorb more protein from their diet.

New fluorescent polymer makes deformation visible

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 04:47 AM PDT

A new type of polymer can show that it has changed shape. After exposure to UV light, the chain-like molecules emit a different color of light. This opens a new pathway for research into how viruses function in a cell and how minor damage in rubbers and plastics can accumulate and lead to rupture.

Role of B cells in enhancement of pollen allergy: Reaction to non-allergenic compounds

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 04:47 AM PDT

A new mechanism has been discovered that explains how non-allergenic pollen mediators can enhance allergic reactions. They note that the so-called B cells play a critical role in this process. The results might lead to new approaches for therapies, they say.

Collective intelligence helps to improve breast cancer diagnosis

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 04:45 AM PDT

Breast cancer is the most frequent type of cancer in women and currently accounts for 29% of all new cancer cases in the U.S. Wide-ranging mammography screening programs have been set up for early diagnosis. However, even if two physicians assess the x-rays, which is the usual procedure in Europe, this often leads to wrong decisions: about 20% of patients with cancer are diagnosed as being cancer-free, whereas about 20% of cancer-free patients are diagnosed with cancer. A new study shows that swarm intelligence can help to considerably improve cancer diagnosis.

Diversity provides stability among animals in the wild

Posted: 13 Aug 2015 04:45 AM PDT

Why some species of plants and animals vary more in number than others is a central issue in ecology. Now researchers have found an important finding to answer this question: Individual differences have a positive and stabilizing effect on the number of moths. Species with varying color drawing are generally more numerous and fluctuate less in number from year to year. This could help to explain why some insect species in some years are very abundant pests and cause substantial damage in agriculture and forestry.