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Using bacteria to create a water filter that kills bacteria

Engineers have created a bacteria-filtering membrane using graphene oxide and bacterial nanocellulose. It's highly efficient, long-lasting and environmentally friendly -- and could provide clean water for those in need.

Enhanced NMR reveals chemical structures in a fraction of the time

Researchers have developed a way to dramatically enhance the sensitivity of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), a technique used to study the structure and composition of many kinds of molecules, including proteins linked to Alzheimer's and other diseases.

Smart microrobots that can adapt to their surroundings

Scientists have developed tiny elastic robots that can change shape depending on their surroundings. Modeled after bacteria and fully biocompatible, these robots optimize their movements so as to get to hard-to-reach areas of the human body. They stand to revolutionize targeted drug delivery.

Classic double-slit experiment in a new light

An international research group has developed a new X-ray spectroscopy method based on the classical double-slit experiment to gain new insights into the physical properties of solids.

Specific cognitive deficits in individuals with spinal cord injury

A multidisciplinary team of researchers has identified specific cognitive deficits in individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). Their findings support the theory of accelerated aging after SCI, and have important implications for further research.

Green turtle: The success of the reintroduction program in Cayman Islands

The reintroduction program for the green turtle in the Cayman Islands has been crucial in order to recover this species, which are threatened by the effects of human overexploitation, according to the first genetic study of the green turtle's reintroduction program in this area of the Atlantic ocean.

Scientists discover natural fitness watch in fishes that records their activity levels

Scientists have shown for the first time that the energetic cost of living (the metabolic rate) of fish can be measured in structures that grow in their ears. This new tool can be used to show how fish are influenced by and adapt to changes in their environment, including climate change.

Waves in Saturn's rings give precise measurement of planet's rotation rate

Saturn's distinctive rings were observed in unprecedented detail by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, and scientists have now used those observations to probe the interior of the giant planet and obtain the first precise determination of its rotation rate. The length of a day on Saturn, according to their calculations, is 10 hours 33 minutes and 38 seconds.

Does being bilingual make children more focused? Study says no

Bilingual children do not have more advantages than monolingual children when it comes to executive function, which includes remembering instructions, controlling responses, and shifting swiftly between tasks.

Air pollution increases ER visits for breathing problems

As levels of ozone and fine particulate pollution (PM2.5) rise, more patients end up in the ER with breathing problems, according to the largest US study of air pollution and respiratory emergency room visits of patients of all ages.

Placentas adapt when mothers have poor diets or low oxygen during pregnancy

Researchers have discovered the placenta regulates how much oxygen and nutrients it transports to babies during challenging pregnancies in the first study of its kind. The placenta is one of the least understood human organs and it is notoriously difficult to study. This new research focused on analyzing the placental mitochondria and it is hoped the new findings could lead to tests to determine whether a mother's placenta is functioning properly.

Synaptic logic for connections between two brain hemispheres

Researchers have developed a new combination of technologies that allows them to identify the functional properties of individual synapses that link the two hemispheres and determine how they are arranged within a neuron's dendritic field.

'Happiness' exercises can boost mood in those recovering from substance use disorder

Brief, text-based, self-administered exercises can significantly increase in-the-moment happiness for adults recovering from substance use disorders, report researchers.

Fighting deadly drug resistant bacteria in intestines with new antibiotic

Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a potentially deadly infection in the large intestine most common in people who need to take antibiotics for a long period of time, particularly in Australia's ageing population. But when doses of a new antibiotic called Ramizol were given to hamsters infected with a lethal dose of the bacteria, a significant proportion of hamsters survived the infection.

Poor sleep and heart-related death

Elderly men who experience extended episodes of interrupted breathing while asleep have a high risk of heart problems. Research shows for the first time that poor blood oxygenation is a good indicator of the chance of heart-related death, which cannot be attributed to sleep apnoea alone.

Killer blows? Knockout study of pair of mouse MicroRNA provides cancer insight

Researchers used knockout mouse models created by gene editing to reveal that the miRNA miR-146b, like miR-146a, is involved in the development of cancers, with them having similar but not identical effects. The knockout mice should help in the fight against cancers involving miRNA dysregulation.

How musicians communicate non-verbally during performance

Scientists have discovered a new technique to examine how musicians intuitively coordinate with one another during a performance, silently predicting how each will express the music.

Mangrove patches deserve greater recognition no matter the size

Governments must provide stronger protection for crucial small mangrove patches, experts say.

Short bouts of stairclimbing throughout the day can boost health

It just got harder to avoid exercise. A few minutes of stair climbing, at short intervals throughout the day, can improve cardiovascular health, according to new research.

Exposure to chemicals during pregnancy is not associated with an increase in blood pressure

Exposure to certain chemicals such as phthalates, parabens or Bisphenol A could be associated with a decrease in blood pressure during pregnancy.

New ways to harness wasted methane

The primary component of natural gas, methane, is itself a potent greenhouse gas. A recent study has unveiled a high performance catalyst for methane conversion to formaldehyde.

Hand-knitted molecules

Molecules are usually formed in reaction vessels or laboratory flasks. An Empa research team has now succeeded in producing molecules between two microscopically small, movable gold tips -- in a sense as a 'hand-knitted' unique specimen. The properties of the molecules can be monitored in real time while they are being produced. The research results have just been published in Nature Communications.

New therapeutic avenue in the fight against chronic liver disease

A recent study, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has introduced a novel targeted drug delivery system in the fight against cancer.

Mediterranean freshwater fish species susceptible to climate change

Climate change will strongly affect many European freshwater fish species. This is particularly the case for species in the Mediterranean region.

Potential biotech and health applications with new knowledge on bacteria and viruses

New research to better understand how bacteria and their viruses interact and evolve will enable future studies to exploit the use of bacteria and their viruses for potential biotechnology and health applications.

Plant peptide helps roots to branch out in the right places

How do plants space out their roots? A research team has identified a peptide and its receptor that help lateral roots to grow with the right spacing.

Home-based hypertension program produces 'striking' results

Pilot study finds that an innovative care-delivery program helped 81 percent of participants achieve blood pressure control in seven weeks.

Unraveling of 58-year-old corn gene mystery may have plant-breeding implications

In discovering a mutant gene that 'turns on' another gene responsible for the red pigments sometimes seen in corn, researchers solved an almost six-decades-old mystery with a finding that may have implications for plant breeding in the future.

Violence in PG-13 rated movies not linked to violence in US society

New research suggests that policy makers should remain focused on issues that have been demonstrated to impact criminal behavior, such as family environment, mental health, poverty and education.

Gene therapy promotes nerve regeneration

Researchers have shown that treatment using gene therapy leads to a faster recovery after nerve damage. By combining a surgical repair procedure with gene therapy, the survival of nerve cells and regeneration of nerve fibers over a long distance was stimulated. The discovery is an important step towards the development of a new treatment for people with nerve damage.

Why do Hydra end up with just a single head?

Hydra is able to regenerate any part of its body to rebuild an entire individual. The head organizer performs two opposite activities, one activating, which causes the head to differentiate, and the other inhibiting, which prevents the formation of supernumerary heads. Researchers have discovered the identity of the inhibitor, called Sp5, and deciphered the dialogue between these two antagonistic activities, which helps maintain a single-headed adult body and organize an appropriate regenerative response.

Frailty could make people more susceptible to dementia

New research suggests that frailty makes older adults more susceptible to Alzheimer's dementia, and moderates the effects of dementia-related brain changes on dementia symptoms. The findings suggest that frailty should be considered in clinical care and management of Alzheimer's dementia.

Salad, soda and socioeconomic status: Mapping a social determinant of health in Seattle

Seattle residents who live in waterfront neighborhoods tend to have healthier diets compared to those who live along Interstate-5 and Aurora Avenue, according to new research on social disparities. The study used local data to model food consumption patterns by city block. Weekly servings of salad and soda served as proxies for diet quality.

Bee surveys in newest US national park could aid pollinator studies elsewhere

Declines in native bee populations are widely reported, but can existing data really analyze these trends? Entomologists report findings about pollinator biodiversity in California's Pinnacle National Park derived from three separate surveys spanning 17 years and say similar studies in other areas are needed.

Bioethicists call for oversight of consumer 'neurotechnologies' with unproven benefits

The marketing of consumer 'neurotechnologies' can be enticing: apps that diagnose a mental state, and brain devices that improve cognition or 'read' one's emotional state. However, many of these increasingly popular products aren't fully supported by science and have little to no regulatory oversight, which poses potential health risks to the public. Two bioethicists suggest the creation of a working group that would further study, monitor, and provide guidance for this growing industry -- which is expected to top $3 billion by 2020.

Scientists create a renewable source of cancer-fighting T cells

A study by UCLA researchers is the first to demonstrate a technique for coaxing pluripotent stem cells -- which can give rise to every cell type in the body and which can be grown indefinitely in the lab -- into becoming mature T cells capable of killing tumor cells.

Orchards in natural habitats draw bee diversity, improve apple production

Apple orchards surrounded by agricultural lands are visited by a less diverse collection of bee species than orchards surrounded by natural habitats.

Telling stories using rhythmic gesture helps children improve their oral skills

For the first time it has been shown that a brief training session with rhythmic gestures has immediate benefits for narrative discourse in children of 5 and 6 years of age.

Psychological distress is a risk factor for dementia

A new study suggests that vital exhaustion -- which can be perceived as an indicator of psychological distress -- is a risk factor for future risk of dementia.

Combination therapy treats leishmaniasis, HIV patients

Coinfection with visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has been observed in at least 35 countries on four continents and requires special case management. Currently, the World Health Organization recommends AmBisome monotherapy for treatment. Now, researchers have showed that a combination therapy of AmBisome and miltefosine is more effective.

Saturn hasn't always had rings

In its last days, the Cassini spacecraft looped between Saturn and its rings so that Earth-based radio telescopes could track the gravitational tug of each. Scientists have now used these measurements to determine the mass of the rings and estimate its age, which is young: 10-100 million years. This supports the hypothesis that the rings are rubble from a comet or Kuiper Belt object captured late in Saturn's history.

Artificially produced cells communicate with each other

Researchers have for the first time created artificial cell assemblies that can communicate with each other. The cells, separated by fatty membranes, exchange small chemical signaling molecules to trigger more complex reactions, such as the production of RNA and other proteins.

New thermoelectric material delivers record performance

Taking advantage of recent advances in using theoretical calculations to predict the properties of new materials, researchers have discovered a new class of half-Heusler thermoelectric compounds, including one with a record high figure of merit -- a metric used to determine how efficiently a thermoelectric material can convert heat to electricity.

New findings reveal surprising role of the cerebellum in reward and social behaviors

A study in rodents found that the brain's cerebellum -- known to play a role in motor coordination -- also helps control the brain's reward circuitry. Researchers found a direct neural connection from the cerebellum to the ventral tegmental area (a brain area long known to be involved in reward processing and encoding). The findings shed light on the brain circuits critical to the affective and social dysfunction seen across multiple psychiatric disorders.

Gene therapy blocks peripheral nerve damage in mice

Scientists have developed a gene therapy that blocks axonal degeneration, preventing axon destruction in mice and suggesting a therapeutic strategy that could help prevent the loss of peripheral nerves in multiple conditions.

Size matters: To livebearer fish, big fins are a big deal

Biologists studied the evolution of 40 molly and Limia species, and concluded dorsal fin displays arose first for males to compete with other males, only later being used in courtship displays to females. These changes in fin function went hand in hand with enlargement of the male dorsal fin. The fins reached extreme sizes in a few species and appear to be associated with rapid evolution, especially in mollies.

Wired for obesity

Researchers have discovered a set of genes that help to establish brain connections governing body weight.

Can a critic-turned-believer sway others? The case of genetically modified foods

When an advocate for one side of an issue announces that he or she now believes the opposite, can that message affect others' views? Research shows that such a conversion message can influence public attitudes. Using video of environmentalist Mark Lynas speaking about his change from an opponent of genetically modified crops to an advocate, researchers found that message had a greater impact than his direct advocacy message.

Blocking hormone uptake burns more fat

A newly discovered regulatory mechanism helps the body control the rate of fat metabolism, according to a new study. The finding may lead to new drugs to help burn stored fat and reduce weight.

Scientists accidentally engineer mice with unusually short and long tails

Researchers from two groups studying mouse development have accidentally created mice with unusually long and unusually short tails. Their findings offer new insight into some of the key aspects controlling the development of tails in mice and have implications for understanding what happens when developmental pathways go awry.

How to rapidly image entire brains at nanoscale resolution

A powerful new technique combines expansion microscopy with lattice light-sheet microscopy for nanoscale imaging of fly and mouse neuronal circuits and their molecular constituents that's roughly 1,000 times faster than other methods.

Scientists learn how common virus reactivates after transplantation

A new study challenges long-held theories of why a common virus -- cytomegalovirus, or CMV -- can reactivate and become a life-threatening infection in people with a compromised immune system, including blood cancer patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation.

Brain cells that make pain unpleasant

If you step on a tack, neurons in your brain will register two things: that there's a piercing physical sensation in your foot, and that it's not pleasant. Now, a team of scientists has identified a bundle of brain cells in mice responsible for the latter -- that is, the negative emotions of pain.

How our cellular antennas are formed

Most of our cells contain an immobile primary cilium. The 'skeleton' of the cilium consists of microtubule doublets, which are 'pairs' of proteins essential for their formation and function. Scientists have developed an in vitro system capable of forming microtubule doublets, and have uncovered the mechanism and dynamics of their assembly. Their study reveals the crucial role of tubulin, a real building block, in preventing the uncontrolled formation of ciliary structures.

Individual lichens can have up to three fungi

Individual lichens may contain up to three different fungi, according to new research from an international team of researchers. This evidence provides new insight into another recent discovery that showed lichen are made up of more than a single fungus and alga, overturning the prevailing theory of more than 150 years.

Stress fracture? Your foot hitting pavement wasn't the main problem

It starts as a persistent and irritating pain in the foot or lower leg, then it gets more intense, maybe with swelling, and soon a runner knows she's being sidelined by one of the most common running injuries: a stress fracture. These tiny cracks in the bone can halt training for months or even end a sports season. A segment of the multibillion-dollar wearables industry aims to save potential victims from this fate, but an engineering professor found a major problem: the devices are measuring the wrong thing.

New hope for stem cell approach to treating diabetes

Researchers have tweaked the recipe for coaxing human stem cells into insulin-secreting beta cells and shown that the resulting cells are more responsive to fluctuating glucose levels in the blood.

Scientists find increase in asteroid impacts on ancient Earth by studying the Moon

A team of scientists has determined the number of asteroid impacts on the Moon and Earth increased by two to three times starting around 290 million years ago. Previous theories held that there were fewer craters on both objects dating back to before that time because they had disappeared due to erosion. The new findings claim that there were simply fewer asteroid impacts during that earlier period.

Reinforcement learning expedites 'tuning' of robotic prosthetics

Researchers have developed an intelligent system for 'tuning' powered prosthetic knees, allowing patients to walk comfortably with the prosthetic device in minutes, rather than the hours necessary if the device is tuned by a trained clinical practitioner. The system is the first to rely solely on reinforcement learning to tune the robotic prosthesis.

Body-painting protects against bloodsucking insects

A study by researchers from Sweden and Hungary shows that white, painted stripes on the body protect skin from insect bites. It is the first time researchers have successfully shown that body-painting has this effect. Among indigenous peoples who wear body-paint, the markings thus provide a certain protection against insect-borne diseases.



 
 

 

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