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Science Daily

Sun, 16 Dec 2018 14:43:01 EST
Jiggly Jell-O to make powerful new hydrogen fuel catalyst
A cheap and effective new catalyst can generate hydrogen fuel from water just as efficiently as platinum, currently the best -- but also most expensive -- water-splitting catalyst out there.The catalyst, which is composed of nanometer-thin sheets of metal carbide, is manufactured using a self-assembly process that relies on a surprising ingredient: gelatin, the material that gives Jell-O its jiggle.
Wiring diagram of the brain provides a clearer picture of brain scan data
Neuroscientists have used data from the human brain connectome -- a publicly available 'wiring diagram' of the human brain based on data from thousands of healthy human volunteers -- to reassess the findings from neuroimaging studies of patients with Alzheimer's disease.
Treatment shown to improve the odds against bone marrow cancer
Hope has emerged for patients with a serious type of bone marrow cancer as new research into a therapeutic drug has revealed improved outcomes and survival rates.
A damming trend
Hundreds of dams are being proposed for Mekong River basin in Southeast Asia. The negative social and environmental consequences -- affecting everything from food security to the environment -- greatly outweigh the positive changes of this grand-scale flood control, according to new research.
Geneticists make new discovery about how a baby's sex is determined
Medical researchers have made a new discovery about how a baby's sex is determined: it's not just about the X-Y chromosomes, but involves a 'regulator' that increases or decreases the activity of genes which decide if we become male or female.
For these critically endangered marine turtles, climate change could be a knockout blow
Researchers suggest that projected increases in air temperatures, rainfall inundation and blistering solar radiation could significantly reduce hawksbill hatching success at a selection of major nesting beaches.
Can stem cells help a diseased heart heal itself? Researcher achieves important milestone
Scientists have taken an important step toward the goal of making diseased hearts heal themselves -- a new model that would reduce the need for bypass surgery, heart transplants or artificial pumping devices.
Self-perception and reality seem to line-up when it comes to judging our own personality
When it comes to personality, it turns out your peers probably think the same way about you as you do about yourself.
Early physical therapy can reduce risk, amount of long-term opioid use, study finds
Patients who underwent physical therapy soon after being diagnosed with pain in the shoulder, neck, low back or knee were approximately 7 to 16 percent less likely to use opioids in the subsequent months, according to a new study.
HIV vaccine protects non-human primates from infection
New research shows that an experimental HIV vaccine strategy works in non-human primates. In the study, rhesus macaque monkeys produced neutralizing antibodies against one strain of HIV that resembles the resilient viral form that most commonly infects people, called a Tier 2 virus.
Adhesives for biomedical applications can be detached with light
Pulling off a little plastic bandage may soon get a lot less painful. Researchers have developed a new type of adhesive that can strongly adhere wet materials -- such as hydrogel and living tissue -- and be easily detached with a specific frequency of light. The adhesives could be used to attach and painlessly detach wound dressings, transdermal drug delivery devices, and wearable robotics.
Colorado River Delta report provides restoration road map
Four growing seasons after the engineered spring flood of the Colorado River Delta in March 2014, the delta's birds, plants and groundwater continue to benefit. The diversity and abundance of birds of special conservation concern remains high in the restoration sites, groundwater was recharged and some of the trees are now more than 14 feet (4.2 meters) tall, according to a new article.
Quantum chemical calculations on quantum computers
A new quantum algorithm has been implemented for quantum chemical calculations such as Full-CI on quantum computers without exponential/combinatorial explosion, giving exact solutions of Schroedinger Equations for atoms and molecules, for the first time.
How complexity science can quickly detect climate record anomalies
When making sense of the massive amount of information packed into an ice core, scientists face a forensic challenge: how best to separate the useful information from the corrupt. Tools from information theory, a branch of complexity science, can quickly flag which segments, in over a million data points, require further investigation.
Scientists warn of slow progress towards United Nations biodiversity targets
Researchers praises widespread commitment but call for broader participation to better protect global marine ecosystems.
Protein involved in nematode stress response identified
When humans experience stress, their inner turmoil may not be apparent to an outside observer. But many animals deal with stressful circumstances -- overcrowded conditions, not enough food -- by completely remodeling their bodies. These stress-induced forms, whether they offer a protective covering or more camouflaged coloration, can better withstand the challenge and help the animal survive until conditions improve.
Study shows magnesium optimizes vitamin D status
A randomized trial indicates that magnesium optimizes vitamin D status, raising it in people with deficient levels and lowering it in people with high levels.
Prostate cancer: New computer model enables researchers to predict course of disease
How does a normal cell turn into a deadly cancer? Seeking an answer to this Question researchers examined the tumor genomes of nearly 300 prostate cancer patients. Their findings describe the ways in which changes in the prostate cells' genetic information pave the way for cancer development. Using a newly developed computer model, it is now possible to predict the course of the disease in individual patients.
A role for microRNAs in social behavior
Researchers have uncovered a microRNA cluster that regulates synaptic strength and is involved in the control of social behavior in mammals. The researchers presume that their discovery may point to new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of social deficits in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder or schizophrenia.
A young star caught forming like a planet
Astronomers have captured one of the most detailed views of a young star taken to date, and revealed an unexpected companion in orbit around it.
A co-worker's rudeness can affect your sleep -- and your partner's
A new study found workplace incivilities has the potential to not only negatively affect an employee's sleep but their partner's as well.
Mammalian keratin genes and adaptation to living on land or sea
Scientists have performed one of the largest comparative genomic studies to help determine the key molecular and evolutionary origins of mammalian adaptations seen in skin proteins.
Foxes in the city: Citizen science helps researchers to study urban wildlife
A team of researchers led by wildlife ecologists analyzed over 1,100 fox sightings made by the public as part of the citizen science project StadtWildTiere. The joint team of researchers has now shown that foxes prefer specific city areas and environments. The study also revealed that reports of fox sightings correlated with the educational level of the population.
Ebola-fighting protein discovered in human cells
Researchers have discovered a human protein that helps fight the Ebola virus and could one day lead to an effective therapy against the deadly disease, according to a new study. The newly discovered ability of the human protein RBBP6 to interfere with Ebola virus replication suggests new ways to fight the infection.
Atmospheric aerosol formation from biogenic vapors is strongly affected by air pollutants
According to a recent study, air pollution not only affects air quality, but it also changes the pathways along which new particles are formed in the atmosphere.
Mars InSight lander seen in first images from space
On Nov. 26, NASA's InSight mission knew the spacecraft touched down within an 81-mile-long (130-kilometer-long) landing ellipse on Mars. Now, the team has pinpointed InSight's exact location using images from HiRISE, a powerful camera onboard another NASA spacecraft, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).
Asian glaciers slowed by ice loss, NASA finds
Asia's high mountain glaciers are flowing more slowly in response to widespread ice loss, affecting freshwater availability downstream in India, Pakistan and China, a new study finds.
Fitness instructors' comments shape women's body satisfaction
A new study found that while exercise -- in this case, a 16-minute conditioning class -- generally improved women's mood and body satisfaction, women felt even better if the instructor made motivational comments that focused on strength and health instead of on losing weight or changing the appearance of one's body.
Mass spectrometry sheds new light on thallium poisoning cold case
In 1994, Chinese university student Zhu Ling began experiencing stomach pain, hair loss and partial paralysis. By the time doctors diagnosed Ling with thallium poisoning about four months later, she was in a coma. Two decades after the poisoning, mass spectrometry has been used to analyze several of Ling's hairs collected in 1994 and 1995 and established a timeline of her poisoning.
Genetic marker, predictor of early relapse in pediatric ALL uncovered
Researchers recently discovered that by testing the level of NER (nucleotide excision repair) gene expression, pediatric oncologists can determine the likelihood of early relapse (less than three years) in their acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients.
Protein involved in nematode stress response identified
When humans experience stress, their inner turmoil may not be apparent to an outside observer. But many animals deal with stressful circumstances -- overcrowded conditions, not enough food -- by completely remodeling their bodies. These stress-induced forms, whether they offer a protective covering or more camouflaged coloration, can better withstand the challenge and help the animal survive until conditions improve.
To repair DNA damage, plants need good contractors
Researchers report which genes are turned on or off, and in which order, to orchestrate the cellular processes required to protect and repair the genome in response to DNA damage. The research reveals the genetic framework controlling a complex biological process that has broad implications for understanding how plants in particular, and organisms in general, cope with DNA damage to ensure long-term health and fitness.
In older people, type 2 diabetes is associated with a decline in brain function over 5 years, study shows
New research shows that in older people living in the community, type 2 diabetes is associated with a decline in verbal memory and fluency over five years.
Cannabis-based drug in combination with other anti-spasticity
Oral spray containing two compounds derived from the cannabis plant reduced spasticity compared with placebo in patients already taking anti-spasticity drugs.
Computer chip vulnerabilities discovered
A research team has uncovered significant and previously unknown vulnerabilities in high-performance computer chips that could lead to failures in modern electronics.
Sewage bacteria lurking in Hudson river sediments, study finds
A new study shows that fecal bacteria from sewage are living in far greater quantities in near-shore sediments of the Hudson River than in the water itself. The river's pollution levels are generally monitored based on samples of clear water, not sediments, so the findings suggest that people stirring up the bottom while wading, swimming or kayaking may face previously unrecognized health risks.
Unpredictable food sources drive some bats to cooperatively search for food
With the help of novel miniature sensors, biologists have found that bat species foraged socially if their food sources were in unpredictable locations, such as insect swarms or fish schools. In contrast, bats with food sources at fixed locations foraged on their own and did not communicate with one another while foraging or eating.
Plants' defense against insects is a bouquet
Researchers have revealed how the mixture of chemical weapons deployed by plants keeps marauding insects off base better than a one-note defense. This insight goes beyond the ecological convention of studying a single chemical compound a plant is packing and offers new ways to approach agricultural pest management.
Genetically modified pigs resist infection with the classical swine fever virus
Researchers have developed genetically modified pigs that are protected from classical swine fever virus (CSFV), according to a new study.
Collagen nanofibrils in mammalian tissues get stronger with exercise
A recent experimental study on nanoscale collagen fibrils sheds light on reasons why collagen is such a resilient material.
Peeling off slimy biofilms like old stickers
Slimy, hard-to-clean bacterial mats called biofilms cause problems ranging from medical infections to clogged drains and fouled industrial equipment. Now, researchers have found a way to cleanly and completely peel off these notorious sludges.
Origins of Pain
Research in mice identifies a set of neurons responsible for sustained pain and resulting pain-coping behaviors Findings point to the existence of separate neural pathways that regulate threat avoidance versus injury mitigation Study can inform new ways to gauge the efficacy of candidate pain therapies by assessing behaviors stemming from different pathways.
Biologists turn eavesdropping viruses into bacterial assassins
Researchers have found a bacteria-killing virus that can listen in on bacterial conversations -- and then they made it attack diseases including salmonella, E. coli and cholera.
How the brain tells you to scratch that itch
It's a maddening cycle that has affected us all: it starts with an itch that triggers scratching, but scratching only makes the itchiness worse. Now, researchers have revealed the brain mechanism driving this uncontrollable itch-scratching feedback loop. Researchers showed that the activity of a small subset of neurons, located in a deep brain region called the periaqueductal gray, tracks itch-evoked scratching behavior in mice.
Exercise-induced hormone irisin triggers bone remodeling in mice
Exercise has been touted to build bone mass, but exactly how it actually accomplishes this is a matter of debate. Now, researchers show that an exercise-induced hormone activates cells that are critical for bone remodeling in mice. A study identifies a receptor for irisin, an exercise hormone, and shows that irisin impacts sclerostin in mice, a major cellular regulator of bone structure in humans.
Neanderthal genes give clues to human brain evolution
A distinctive feature of modern humans is our round (globular) skulls and brains. Researchers report that present-day humans who carry particular Neanderthal DNA fragments have heads that are slightly less rounded, revealing genetic clues to the evolution of modern brain shape and function.
Whether a urinary tract infection recurs may depend on the bacterial strain
Genetically diverse bacterial strains that cause urinary tract infections differ in their ability to trigger protective immune responses in mice, potentially explaining why these infections frequently recur in many patients, according to a new study.
Scientific basis for EPA's Endangerment Finding is stronger than ever
The evidence used to support the EPA's 2009 Endangerment Finding on greenhouse gases is even stronger and more conclusive now. This finding comes three months after a senior Republican senator said that the Trump Administration might still try to repeal the landmark decision.
Shrinking objects to the nanoscale
Researchers have invented a new way to fabricate nanoscale 3D objects of nearly any shape. They can also pattern the objects with a variety of useful materials, including metals, semiconducting quantum dots, and DNA.
New interactions between Ebola virus and human proteins discovered
Several new connections have been discovered between the proteins of the Ebola virus and human host cells, a finding that provides insight on ways to prevent the deadly Ebola virus from reproducing and could lead to novel ways to fight these lethal viral infections, according to a new study.
Novel mechanisms of dengue and Zika virus infections and link to microcephaly
New insights into how dengue and Zika viruses cause disease reveal strategies the viruses use to successfully infect their host and a link to microcephaly.
In the developing brain, scientists find roots of neuropsychiatric diseases
The most comprehensive genomic analysis of the human brain ever undertaken has revealed new insights into the changes it undergoes through development, how it varies among individuals, and the roots of neuropsychiatric illnesses such as autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia.
CRISPR joins battle of the bulge, fights obesity without edits to genome
A weighty new study shows that CRISPR therapies can cut fat without cutting DNA. Researchers describe how a modified version of CRISPR was used to ramp up the activity of certain genes and prevent severe obesity in mice with genetic mutations that predispose them to extreme weight gain. Importantly, the researchers achieved long-lasting weight control without making a single edit to the genome.
Noncoding mutations contribute to autism risk
A whole-genome sequencing study of nearly 2,000 families has implicated mutations in 'promoter regions' of the genome -- regions that precede the start of a gene -- in autism. The study is the first genome-wide analysis to uncover a role for mutations in the noncoding portion of the genome in any human condition.
Scientists create genomic resource to explore biological underpinnings of brain disorders
Scientists have developed a model of unprecedented sophistication that relates variations in DNA and gene activity to the risk of brain disorders.
Researchers uncover molecular mechanisms linked to autism and schizophrenia
Studies have linked DNA changes to their molecular effects in the brain, uncovering new mechanisms for psychiatric diseases. The findings provide a roadmap for developing a new generation of therapies for conditions like autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
The immune system's supercell -- how it matures
NK cells, or natural killer cells, play an important role in the body's defences against cancer and various infections. Now scientists have mapped how the different steps of the maturation process of these supercells from blood producing stem cells in the bone marrow are regulated: knowledge which is crucial for the development of new immunotherapies against cancer.
Scientists maximize the effectiveness of platinum in fuel cells
Scientists have identified a new catalyst that uses only about a quarter as much platinum as current technology by maximizing the effectiveness of the available platinum.
Age-related immunity loss
Research in mouse cells identifies defective metabolic pathway in aging immune T cells. The pathway is critical for switching T cells from dormancy into illness-fighting mode. In experiments, researchers restored lagging T-cell function by adding small-molecule compounds. Findings suggest possible mechanism behind weakened immunity common in the elderly.
New drug seeks receptors in sarcoma cells, attacks tumors in animal trials
A new compound that targets a receptor within sarcoma cancer cells shrank tumors and hampered their ability to spread in mice and pigs, a study reports. The researchers conducted a multi-year, cross-disciplinary study that went from screening potential drug candidates to identifying and synthesizing one compound, to packaging it into nanoparticles for delivery in cells, to testing it in cell cultures and finally in mice and pigs with sarcoma tumors.