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Science Daily

Mon, 21 Oct 2019 06:03:01 EDT
Artificial skin creates first ticklish devices
A new interface takes touch technology to the next level by providing an artificial skin-like membrane for augmenting interactive devices such as phones, wearables or computers.
New haptic arm places robotics within easy reach
Imagine being able to build and use a robotic device without the need for expensive, specialist kit or skills. That is the vision that researchers have now turned into reality, creating a lightweight, affordable and simple solution for everyday users.
Researchers quantify Cas9-caused off-target mutagenesis in mice
Scientists are finding new ways to improve the use of the CRISPR enzyme Cas9 and reduce the chances of off-target mutations in laboratory mice, according to new results. The findings will help scientists contextualize a common concern related to gene editing and identify new strategies to improve its precision.
Limiting mealtimes may increase your motivation for exercise
Limiting access to food in mice increases levels of the hormone, ghrelin, which may also increase motivation to exercise, according to a new study. The study suggests that a surge in levels of appetite-promoting hormone, ghrelin, after a period of fasting prompted mice to initiate voluntary exercise.
SNAP provides a model for ensuring a right to food
Alleviating food insecurity is often seen as one of the fundamental roles a country should fulfill. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is effective in addressing the right to food in the US, and that the program can serve as an example for countries that struggle to provide food for all citizens.
Land management practices to reduce nitrogen load may be affected by climate changes
Nitrogen from agricultural production is a major cause of pollution in the Mississippi River Basin and contributes to large dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico. Illinois and other Midwestern states have set goals to reduce nitrogen load through strategies that include different land management practices. A new study uses computer modeling to estimate how those practices may be affected by potential changes in the climate, such as increased rainfall.
Atmospheric pressure impacts greenhouse gas emissions from leaky oil and gas wells
Fluctuations in atmospheric pressure can heavily influence how much natural gas leaks from wells below the ground surface at oil and gas sites, according to new research. However, current monitoring strategies do not take this phenomenon into account, and therefore may be under- or over-estimating the true magnitude of gas emissions.
Mars once had salt lakes similar to those on Earth
Mars once had salt lakes that are similar to those on Earth and has gone through wet and dry periods.
Why respiratory infections are more deadly in those with diabetes
Researchers have demonstrated how diabetes contributes to mortality from MERS-CoV infections, and the finding could shed light on why other respiratory illnesses like the flu or pneumonia might strike those with diabetes more severely.
Novel nanoprobes show promise for optical monitoring of neural activity
Researchers have developed ultrasensitive nanoscale optical probes to monitor the bioelectric activity of neurons and other excitable cells. This novel readout technology could enable scientists to study how neural circuits function at an unprecedented scale by monitoring large numbers of individual neurons simultaneously. It could also lead to high-bandwidth brain-machine interfaces with dramatically enhanced precision and functionality.
Young adults with PTSD may have a higher risk of stroke in middle age
Young adults who develop PTSD after a traumatic event (e.g., gun violence, sexual assault, military combat or natural disaster) may be more likely to experience a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or major stroke event by middle age. This nationwide study of more than 1.1 million adults showed that PTSD may be a potent risk factor for developing stroke at a young age.
Wind turbine design and placement can mitigate negative effect on birds
Wind energy is increasingly seen as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, as it contributes to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. However, the rapid expansion of wind farms has raised concerns about the impact of wind turbines on wildlife. A new study provides comprehensive data on how turbines affect bird populations. The study suggests ways to mitigate negative effects through wind turbine design and placement, recommending taller turbines, shorter blades, and placement away from bird habitats.
Creatine powers T cells' fight against cancer
The study, conducted in mice, is the first to show that creatine uptake is critical to the anti-tumor activities of killer T cells, the foot soldiers of the immune system.
Why modified carbon nanotubes can help the reproducibility problem
Scientists have conducted an in-depth study on how carbon nanotubes with oxygen-containing groups can be used to greatly enhance the performance of perovskite solar cells. The newly discovered self-recrystallization ability of perovskite could lead to improvement of low-cost and efficient perovskite solar cells.
Deep learning method transforms shapes
Called LOGAN, the deep neural network, i.e., a machine of sorts, can learn to transform the shapes of two different objects, for example, a chair and a table, in a natural way, without seeing any paired transforms between the shapes.
A new discovery: How our memories stabilize while we sleep
Scientists have shown that delta waves emitted while we sleep are not generalized periods of silence during which the cortex rests, as has been described for decades in the scientific literature. Instead, they isolate assemblies of neurons that play an essential role in long-term memory formation.
Potato as effective as carbohydrate gels for boosting athletic performance, study finds
Consuming potato puree during prolonged exercise works just as well as a commercial carbohydrate gel in sustaining blood glucose levels and boosting performance in trained athletes, scientists report.
Candidate Ebola vaccine still effective when highly diluted, macaque study finds
A single dose of a highly diluted VSV-Ebola virus (EBOV) vaccine -- approximately one-millionth of what is in the vaccine being used to help control the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo -- remains fully protective against disease in experimentally infected monkeys, according to scientists. The investigators completed the dosage study using cynomolgus macaques and an updated vaccine component to match the EBOV Makona strain that circulated in West Africa from 2014-16.
Cutting-edge neuroethics with ground-breaking neurotechnologies
Scientists are developing powerful new devices and technologies to monitor and regulate brain activity. To ensure NIH keeps pace with rapid technological development and help clinicians and researchers ethically fit these new tools into practice, a new article highlights potential issues around and offers recommendations about clinical research with both invasive and noninvasive neural devices.
Stress in the powerhouse of the cell
Researchers discover a new principle -- how cells protect themselves from mitochondrial defects.
Flexible, wearable supercapacitors based on porous nanocarbon nanocomposites
Evening gowns with interwoven LEDs may look extravagant, but the light sources need a constant power supply from devices that are as well wearable, durable, and lightweight. Chinese scientists have manufactured fibrous electrodes for wearable devices that are flexible and excel by their high energy density. A microfluidic technology was key for the preparation of the electrode material was a microfluidic technology, as shown in the journal Angewandte Chemie.
Genes linked to sex ratio and male fertility in mice
Researchers find genes that help maintain the 50-50 balance between male and female offspring in mice -- and that have major implications for male infertility.
Climate: Uncertainty in scientific predictions can help and harm credibility
The ways climate scientists explain their predictions about the impact of global warming can either promote or limit their persuasiveness.
A new stable form of plutonium discovered
Scientists have found a new compound of plutonium with an unexpected, pentavalent oxidation state. This new phase of plutonium is solid and stable, and may be a transient phase in radioactive waste repositories.
All plastic waste could become new, high-quality plastic through advanced steam cracking
A research group has developed an efficient process for breaking down any plastic waste to a molecular level. The resulting gases can then be transformed back into new plastics - of the same quality as the original. The new process could transform today's plastic factories into recycling refineries, within the framework of their existing infrastructure.
Easy at-home assessment of teeth grinding in sleep
An easy-to-use electrode set can assess sleep bruxism severity as well as a conventional polysomnography, a new study shows.
Lifestyle is a threat to gut bacteria: Ötzi proves it, study shows
The evolution of dietary and hygienic habits in Western countries is associated with a decrease in the bacteria that help in digestion. These very bacteria were also found in the Iceman, who lived 5300 years ago, and are still present in non-Westernized populations in various parts of the world. The depletion of the microbiome may be associated with the increased prevalence, in Western countries, of complex conditions like allergies, autoimmune and gastrointestinal diseases, obesity.
Preventing streptococci infections
Researchers have discovered an enzyme they believe could be key to preventing Group A Streptococcus infections that cause more than 500,000 deaths worldwide each year. The enzyme works through a novel mechanism of action that can also be found in other streptococcal species, increasing the impact and relevance of this finding.
Origin and chemical makeup of Saturn's Moon Titan's dunes
Astronomers exposed acetylene ice -- a chemical that is used on Earth in welding torches and exists at Titan's equatorial regions -- at low temperatures to proxies of high-energy galactic cosmic rays.
Researchers call for responsible development of synthetic biology
Engineering biology is transforming technology and science. Researchers outline the technological advances needed to secure a safe, responsible future.
A higher resolution image of human lung development
Researchers provide clearer picture of how lungs develop and discover novel markers to differentiate populations of lung cells implicated in lung diseases of premature babies.
Paving a way to achieve unexplored semiconductor nanostructures
A research team paved a way to achieve unexplored III-V semiconductor nanostructures. They grew branched GaAs nanowires with a nontoxic Bi element employing characteristic structural modifications correlated with metallic droplets, as well as crystalline defects and orientations. The finding provides a rational design concept for the creation of semiconductor nanostructures with the concentration of constituents beyond the fundamental limit, making it potentially applicable to novel efficient near-infrared devices and quantum electronics.
A compound effective to chemotherapy-resistant cancer cells identified
A compound effective in killing chemotherapy-resistant glioblastoma-initiating cells (GICs) has been identified, raising hopes of producing drugs capable of eradicating refractory tumors with low toxicity.
Croissant making inspires renewable energy solution
The art of croissant making has inspired researchers to find a solution to a sustainable energy problem.
Increase health benefits of exercise by working out before breakfast
Exercising before eating breakfast burns more fat, improves how the body responds to insulin and lowers people's risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Whole genome sequencing could help save pumas from inbreeding
The first complete genetic sequences of individual mountain lions point the way to better conservation strategies for saving threatened populations of the wild animals.
New diagnostic method finds aggressive tumors
Researchers have developed a new cheap method that can identify highly heterogeneous tumors that tend to be very aggressive, and therefore need to be treated more aggressively.
'Flamenco dancing' molecule could lead to better-protecting sunscreen
A molecule that protects plants from overexposure to harmful sunlight thanks to its flamenco-style twist could form the basis for a new longer-lasting sunscreen, chemists have found.
Newly discovered virus infects bald eagles across America
Researchers have discovered a previously unknown virus infecting nearly a third of America's bald eagle population. Scientists found the virus while searching for the cause of Wisconsin River Eagle Syndrome, an enigmatic disease endemic to bald eagles near the Lower Wisconsin River. The newly identified bald eagle hepacivirus, or BeHV, may contribute to the fatal disease, which causes eagles to stumble and have seizures.
Energy flow in the nano range
It is crucial for photovoltaics and other technical applications, how efficiently energy spreads in a small volume. With new methods, the path of energy in the nanometer range can now be followed precisely.
New clinical research offers possibility of future rehabilitation for patients in minimally conscious or vegetative state
Non-invasive brain stimulation is to be trialled for the first time alongside advanced brain imaging techniques in patients who are minimally conscious or in a vegetative state.
Big data technique reveals previously unknown capabilities of common materials
Researchers have found a new way to optimize nickel by unlocking properties that could enable numerous applications, from biosensors to quantum computing.
Region, age, and sex decide who gets arthritis-linked 'fabella' knee bone
The once-rare 'fabella' bone has made a dramatic resurgence in human knees, but who's likely to have a fabella or two -- and why?
Scientists recalculate the optimum binding energy for heterogeneous catalysis
In a discovery that could lead to the development of novel catalysts that do not rely on expensive rare metals, scientists have shown that the optimal binding energy can deviate from traditional calculations, which are based on equilibrium thermodynamics, at high reaction rates. This means that reconsidering the design of catalysts using the new calculations may be necessary to achieve the best rates.
Variation in transplant centers' use of less-than-ideal organs
In 2010-2016, many US transplant centers commonly accepted deceased donor kidneys with less desirable characteristics. The use of these organs varied widely across transplant centers, however, and differences were not fully explained by the size of waitlists or the availability of donor organs.
Health care intervention: Treating high-need, high-cost patients
Patients with complex needs -- serious mental and physical health problems and substance use disorders -- flock to emergency rooms costing the health care system billions every year. A new study suggests a nontraditional approach to these patients can significantly improve their daily functioning and health outcomes.
First report of cotton blue disease in the United States
Reported from six counties in coastal Alabama in 2017, cotton blue disease affected approximately 25% of the state's cotton crop and caused a 4% yield loss. The disease was reported again in 2018, affecting 3-100% of cotton fields in Alabama but causing only a 1% yield loss. Symptoms, which include slowed plant growth, loss of chlorophyll, and dwarfing of infected leaves, usually do not appear until last August after full bloom. To date, there are no recommended strategies for management of this disease.
New study uncovers 'magnetic' memory of European glass eels
A new study has found that European glass eels use their magnetic sense to 'imprint' a memory of the direction of water currents in the estuary where they become juveniles.
When added to gene therapy, plant-based compound may enable faster, more effective treatments
Today's standard process for administering gene therapy is expensive and time-consuming -- a result of the many steps required to deliver the healthy genes into the patients' blood stem cells to correct a genetic problem. Scientists believe they have found a way to sidestep some of the current difficulties, resulting in a more efficient gene delivery method that would save money and improve treatment outcomes.
Easy-to-use technique to measure the hydrophobicity of micro- and nanoparticle
The technique may have a far-reaching implication for many scientific and industrial applications and disciplines that involve particulate matter.
A simpler way to make some medicines
Organic chemists have figured out how to synthesize the most common molecule arrangement in medicine, a scientific discovery that could change the way a number of drugs -- including one most commonly used to treat ovarian cancer -- are produced. Their discovery, published today in the journal Chem, gives drug makers a crucial building block for creating medicines that, so far, are made with complex processes that result in a lot of waste.
Research gauges neurodegeneration tied to FXTAS by measuring motor behavior
Researchers used a grip-force test to analyze sensorimotor function in people with the FMR1 premutation, with the aim of determining FXTAS risk and severity.
Male and female mice have different brain cells
Scientists discover that a brain region known to control sex and violence contains rare cell types that differ in male versus female mice.
Mapping global biodiversity change
A new study which focuses on mapping biodiversity change in marine and land ecosystems shows that loss of biodiversity is most prevalent in the tropic, with changes in marine ecosystems outpacing those on land.
Stranded whales detected from space
A new technique for analysing satellite images may help scientists detect and count stranded whales from space. Researchers tested a new detection method using Very High Resolution (VHR) satellite images of the biggest mass stranding of baleen whales yet recorded. It is hoped that in the future the technique will lead to real-time information as stranding events happen.
Fundamental insight into how memory changes with age
New research could help explain why memory in old age is much less flexible than in young adulthood. Through experiments in mice the researchers discovered that there were dramatic differences in how memories were stored in old age, compared to young adulthood.
Blanket of light may give better quantum computers
Researchers describe how -- by simple means -- they have created a 'carpet' of thousands of quantum-mechanically entangled light pulses. The discovery has the potential to pave the way for more powerful quantum computers.
Analysis of recent Ridgecrest, California earthquake sequence reveals complex, damaging fault systems
Geophysicists complete their analysis of a well-documented seismic event that held many surprises.
Targeted therapy to help children with deadly nerve cancer
Researchers have identified a targeted therapy for adolescent patients with neuroblastoma, a deadly pediatric nerve cancer, who would otherwise have no treatment options, according to a new study.
Phylogenetic analysis forces rethink of termite evolution
Despite their important ecological role as decomposers, termites are often overlooked in research. Evolutionary biologists have constructed a new family tree for this unassuming insect brood, shedding unexpected light on its evolutionary history.