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  • Genes, ozone, and autism
    Exposure to ozone in the environment puts individuals with high levels of genetic variation at an even higher risk for developing autism than would be expected just by adding the two risk factors together, a new analysis shows. The study is the first to look at the combined effects of genome-wide genetic change and environmental risk factors for autism.
  • The mere presence of your smartphone reduces brain power, study shows
    Your cognitive capacity is significantly reduced when your smartphone is within reach — even if it’s off — suggests new research.
  • Lowering health risks of cannabis use with new public health guidelines
    Canada's Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines, released with the endorsement of key medical and public health organizations, provide 10 science-based recommendations to enable cannabis users to reduce their health risks. The guidelines are based on a scientific review by an international team of experts.
  • Tipping points are real: Gradual changes in CO2 levels can induce abrupt climate changes
    During the last glacial period, within only a few decades the influence of atmospheric CO2 on the North Atlantic circulation resulted in temperature increases of up to 10 degrees Celsius in Greenland -- as indicated by new climate calculations.
  • Origins of Sun's swirling spicules discovered
    For the first time, a computer simulation -- so detailed it took a full year to run -- shows how spicules form, helping scientists understand how spicules can break free of the sun's surface and surge upward so quickly.
  • Flexible wearable electronics use body heat for energy
    In a proof-of-concept study, engineers have designed a flexible thermoelectric energy harvester that has the potential to rival the effectiveness of existing power wearable electronic devices using body heat as the only source of energy.
  • A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved
    Researchers have found a way around what was considered a fundamental limitation of physics for over 100 years. They were able to conceive resonant systems that can store electromagnetic waves over a long period of time while maintaining a broad bandwidth. Their study opens up a number of doors, particularly in telecommunications.
  • Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?
    In an arranged marriage of optics and mechanics, physicists have created microscopic structural beams that have a variety of powerful uses when light strikes them.
  • How eggs got their shapes
    The evolution of the amniotic egg -- complete with membrane and shell -- was key to vertebrates leaving the oceans and colonizing the land and air but how bird eggs evolved into so many different shapes and sizes has long been a mystery. Now, an international team of scientists took a quantitative approach to that question and found that adaptations for flight may have been critical drivers of egg-shape variation in birds.
  • Cancer cells may streamline their genomes in order to proliferate more easily
    Cancer cells might streamline their genomes in order to proliferate more easily, new research suggests. The study, conducted in both human and mouse cells, shows that cancer genomes lose copies of repetitive sequences known as ribosomal DNA. While downsizing might enable these cells to replicate faster, it also seems to render them less able to withstand DNA damage.
  • How bacterial organelles assemble
    Scientists are providing the clearest view yet of an intact bacterial microcompartment, revealing at atomic-level resolution the structure and assembly of the organelle's protein shell. This work could benefit research in bioenergy and pathogenesis, and it could lead to new methods of bioengineering bacteria for beneficial purposes.
  • Switchable DNA mini-machines store information
    Biomedical engineers have built simple machines out of DNA, consisting of arrays whose units switch reversibly between two different shapes. The arrays' inventors say they could be harnessed to make nanotech sensors or amplifiers. Potentially, they could be combined to form logic gates, the parts of a molecular computer.
  • Lab grown human colons change study of GI disease
    Scientists used human pluripotent stem cells to generate human embryonic colons in a laboratory that function much like natural human tissues when transplanted into mice, according to new research. The study is believed to be the first time human colon organoids have been successfully tissue engineered in this manner, according to researchers who led the project.
  • Select memories can be erased, leaving others intact
    Different types of memories stored in the same neuron of the marine snail Aplysia can be selectively erased, according to a new study.
  • How pythons regenerate their organs and other secrets of the snake genome
    Snakes exhibit incredible evolutionary adaptations, including the ability to rapidly regenerate their organs and produce venom. Scientists studied these adaptations using genetic sequencing and advanced computing. Supercomputers helped the team identify a number of genes associated with organ growth in Burmese pythons, study secondary contact in related rattlesnake species, and develop tools to recognize evolutionary changes caused by natural selection.
  • Ultra-thin camera creates images without lenses
    Engineers have built a camera that does not need lenses to focus light. It can switch from a fish-eye to a telephoto lens instantaneously.
  • Moth eyes inspire new screen coating, making reading in sunlight a lot easier
    Screens on even the newest phones and tablets can be hard to read outside in bright sunlight. Inspired by the nanostructures found on moth eyes, researchers have developed a new antireflection film that could keep people from having to run to the shade to look at their mobile devices.
  • Video games can change your brain
    Scientists have collected and summarized studies looking at how video games can shape our brains and behavior. Research to date suggests that playing video games can change the brain regions responsible for attention and visuospatial skills and make them more efficient. The researchers also looked at studies exploring brain regions associated with the reward system, and how these are related to video game addiction.
  • Frequent sexual activity can boost brain power in older adults
    More frequent sexual activity has been linked to improved brain function in older adults, according to a new study.
  • Fossil holds new insights into how fish evolved onto land
    The fossil of an early snake-like animal -- called Lethiscus stocki -- has kept its evolutionary secrets for the last 340-million years. Now, an international team of researchers has revealed new insights into the ancient Scottish fossil that dramatically challenge our understanding of the early evolution of tetrapods, or four-limbed animals with backbones.
  • New measures of aging may show 70 is the new 60
    A new study uses new measures of aging to scientifically illustrate that one’s actual age is not necessarily the best measure of human aging itself, particularly in relation to population aging.
  • Massive dead disk galaxy challenges theories of galaxy evolution
    By combining the power of a 'natural lens' in space with the capability of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers made a surprising discovery -- the first example of a compact yet massive, fast-spinning, disk-shaped galaxy that stopped making stars only a few billion years after the big bang.
  • Reconstruction of ancient chromosomes offers insight into mammalian evolution
    Researchers have gone back in time, at least virtually, computationally recreating the chromosomes of the first eutherian mammal, the long-extinct, shrewlike ancestor of all placental mammals.
  • Role aerosols play in climate change unlocked by spectacular Icelandic volcanic eruption
    A spectacular six-month Icelandic lava field eruption could provide the crucial key for scientists to unlock the role aerosols play in climate change, through their interactions with clouds.
  • New mechanism for genome regulation discovered
    The mechanisms that separate mixtures of oil and water may also help the organization of a part of our DNA called heterochromatin, according to a new study. Researchers found that liquid-liquid phase separation helps heterochromatin organize large parts of the genome into specific regions of the nucleus. The work addresses a long-standing question about how DNA functions are organized in space and time, including how genes are silenced or expressed.
  • Parkinson's is partly an autoimmune disease, study finds
    Researchers have found the first direct evidence that autoimmunity plays a role in Parkinson's disease, suggesting that immunosuppressants might play a role in treatment.
  • When lovers touch, their breathing, heartbeat syncs, pain wanes, study shows
    When an empathetic partner holds a lover's hand, their heart rates and breathing rates sync and her pain subsides, new research shows. Authors say such 'interpersonal synchronization' could play a role in the analgesic impacts of touch.
  • Flooding risk: America's most vulnerable communities
    Floods are the natural disaster that kill the most people. They are also the most common natural disaster. As the threat of flooding increases worldwide, a group of scientists have gathered valuable information on flood hazard, exposure and vulnerability in counties throughout the US.
  • New inhibitor drug shows promise in relapsed leukemia
    A new drug shows promise in its ability to target one of the most common and sinister mutations of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), according to researchers. In a first-in-human study, researchers treated relapsed patients with gilteritinib, an FLT3 inhibitor, and found it was a well-tolerated drug that led to frequent and more-sustained-than-expected clinical responses, almost exclusively in patients with this mutation.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil preserves memory, protects brain against Alzheimer's
    The Mediterranean diet is associated with a variety of health benefits, including a lower incidence of dementia. Now, researchers have identified a specific ingredient that protects against cognitive decline: extra-virgin olive oil. In a new study, the researchers show that consumption of extra-virgin olive oil protects memory and learning ability and reduces the formation of amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain -- classic markers of Alzheimer's disease.
  • Memory for stimulus sequences distinguishes humans from other animals
    Humans possess many cognitive abilities not seen in other animals, such as a full-blown language capacity as well as reasoning and planning abilities. Despite these differences, however, it has been difficult to identify specific mental capacities that distinguish humans from other animals. Researchers have now discovered that humans have a much better memory to recognize and remember sequential information.
  • Star's birth may have triggered another star birth, astronomers say
    Radio images give new evidence that a jet of material from one young star may have triggered the gas collapse that started another young star.
  • Thousands of genes influence most diseases, researchers report
    In a provocative new perspective piece, researchers say that disease genes are spread uniformly across the genome, not clustered in specific molecular pathways, as has been thought.
  • Ten near-Earth size planets in habitable zone of their star
    NASA's Kepler space telescope team has released a mission catalog of planet candidates that introduces 219 new planet candidates, 10 of which are near-Earth size and orbiting in their star's habitable zone, which is the range of distance from a star where liquid water could pool on the surface of a rocky planet.
  • Older dads have 'geekier' sons
    Sons of older fathers are more intelligent, more focused on their interests and less concerned about fitting in, all characteristics typically seen in 'geeks,' suggests new British research.
  • Ancient skulls shed light on migration in the Roman empire
    Skeletal evidence shows that, hundreds of years after the Roman Republic conquered most of the Mediterranean world, coastal communities in what is now south and central Italy still bore distinct physical differences to one another -- though the same could not be said of the area around Rome itself.
  • The story of music is the story of humans
    How did music begin? Did our early ancestors first start by beating things together to create rhythm, or use their voices to sing? What types of instruments did they use? Has music always been important in human society, and if so, why? These are some of the questions explored in a new article. The answers reveal that the story of music is, in many ways, the story of humans.
  • A wooden toe: Swiss Egyptologists study 3000-year-old prosthesis
    It is likely to be one of the oldest prosthetic devices in human history: Together with other experts, Egyptologists have reexamined an artificial wooden big toe. The find is almost 3000 years old and was discovered in a female burial from the necropolis of Sheikh ´Abd el-Qurna close to Luxor. This area is currently being studied using state-of-the-art methods.
  • How viewing cute animals can help rekindle marital spark
    One of the well-known challenges of marriage is keeping the passion alive after years of partnership, as passions tend to cool even in very happy relationships. Psychological scientists have now developed an unconventional intervention for helping a marriage maintain its spark: pictures of puppies and bunnies.
  • Sustainable ethanol from carbon dioxide? A possible path
    A recent discovery could lead to a new, more sustainable way to make ethanol without corn or other crops. This promising technology has three basic components: water, carbon dioxide and electricity delivered through a copper catalyst.
  • Fighting global warming and climate change requires a broad energy portfolio
    Can the continental United States make a rapid, reliable and low-cost transition to an energy system that relies almost exclusively on wind, solar and hydroelectric power? While there is growing excitement for this vision, a new study describes a more complicated reality. Researchers argue that achieving net-zero carbon emissions requires the incorporation of a much broader suite of energy sources and approaches.
  • Tiny fossils reveal backstory of the most mysterious amphibian alive
    The fossils of an extinct species from the Triassic Period are the long-missing link that connects Kermit the Frog's amphibian brethren to wormlike creatures with a backbone and two rows of sharp teeth, new research shows. Named Chinlestegophis jenkinsi, the newfound fossil is the oldest relative of the most mysterious group of amphibians: caecilians. Today, these limbless, colorful serpentine carnivores live underground and range in size from 6 inches to 5 feet.
  • Volcanic eruptions triggered dawn of the dinosaurs
    Huge pulses of volcanic activity are likely to have played a key role in triggering the end Triassic mass extinction, which set the scene for the rise and age of the dinosaurs, new research has found.
  • Chemistry of sea spray particles linked for first time to formation process
    For the first time, researchers have identified what drives the observed differences in the chemical make-up of sea spray particles ejected from the ocean by breaking waves.
  • X-ray eyes in the sky: Drones and WiFi for 3-D through-wall imaging
    Researchers have given the first demonstration of 3-D imaging of objects through walls using ordinary wireless signal. The technique, which involves two drones working in tandem, could have a variety of applications, such as emergency search-and-rescue, archaeological discovery and structural monitoring.
  • Mapping how words leap from brain to tongue
    How the brain narrows down a smorgasbord of related concepts to the one word you're truly seeking is a complicated and poorly understood cognitive task. Looking at epilepsy patients who had a grid of electrodes directly atop their brains, researchers delved into this question and found that wide, overlapping swaths of the brain work in parallel to retrieve the correct word from memory.
  • Ancient DNA reveals role of Near East and Egypt in cat domestication
    DNA found at archaeological sites reveals that the origins of our domestic cat are in the Near East and ancient Egypt. Cats were domesticated by the first farmers some 10,000 years ago. They later spread across Europe and other parts of the world via trade hub Egypt. The DNA analysis also revealed that most of these ancient cats had stripes: spotted cats were uncommon until the Middle Ages.
  • Sound waves direct particles to self-assemble, self-heal
    Scientists have demonstrated how floating particles will assemble and synchronize in response to acoustic waves. Their simple experiment provides a new framework for studying how seemingly lifelike behaviors emerge in response to external forces. The work could help address fundamental questions about energy dissipation and non-equilibrium thermodynamics.
  • Cells that make blood vessels can also make tumors and enable their spread
    While it's widely held that tumors can produce blood vessels to support their growth, scientists now have evidence that cells key to blood vessel formation can also produce tumors and enable their spread.
  • New branch in family tree of exoplanets discovered
    Researchers have classified exoplanets in much the same way that biologists identify new animal species.
  • Why the 'peculiar' stands out in our memory
    Memories that stick with us for a lifetime are those that fit in with a lot of other things we remember -- but have a slightly weird twist. It's this notion of 'peculiarity' that can help us understand what makes lasting memories.
  • MAVEN's top 10 discoveries at Mars
    Since its launch in November 2013 and its orbit insertion in September 2014, MAVEN has been exploring the upper atmosphere of Mars. MAVEN is bringing insight to how the sun stripped Mars of most of its atmosphere, turning a planet once possibly habitable to microbial life into a barren desert world.
  • Why is one twin smaller than the other? Answer could lie in the placenta
    When a baby is born small, it's often attributed to genetic factors or maternal risk factors like poor nutrition or smoking. But a twin study now finds that slower transport of oxygen from mother to baby across the placenta predicts slower fetal growth, as well as a smaller brain and liver.
  • Volcanic crystals give a new view of magma
    Volcanologists are gaining a new understanding of what's going on inside the magma reservoir that lies below an active volcano and they're finding a colder, more solid place than previously thought, according to new research.
  • Ring, Ring: 'Earth? It's space calling, on the quantum line'
    Scientists report the successful transmission of entangled photons between suborbital space and Earth.
  • Early stress confers lifelong vulnerability causing alterations in a specific brain region
    A new study establishes mechanism by which an early window of exposure defines the response to stress in adulthood.
  • 19-year-olds as sedentary as 60-year-olds, study suggests
    Physical activity among children and teens is lower than previously thought, and, in another surprise finding, young adults after the age of 20 show the only increases in activity over the lifespan.
  • Technology which makes electricity from urine also kills pathogens, researchers find
    A scientific breakthrough has taken an emerging biotechnology a step closer to being used to treat wastewater in the Developing World.
  • Orion blazing bright in radio light
    Astronomers have created the largest image ever of the dense band of star-forming gas that weaves its way through the northern portion of the Orion Nebula.
  • New map highlights sinking Louisiana coast
    A subsidence map of coastal Louisiana has now been created, putting the rate at which this region is sinking at just over one third of an inch per year.

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