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  • Sahara dust may make you cough, but it's a storm killer
    The bad news: Dust from the Sahara Desert in Africa -- totaling a staggering 2 to 9 trillion pounds worldwide -- has been almost a biblical plague on Texas and much of the Southern United States in recent weeks. The good news: the same dust appears to be a severe storm killer.
  • Scientists reverse aging-associated skin wrinkles and hair loss in a mouse model
    Researchers have reversed wrinkled skin and hair loss, hallmarks of aging, in a mouse model. When a mutation leading to mitochondrial dysfunction is induced, the mouse develops wrinkled skin and extensive, visible hair loss in a matter of weeks. When the mitochondrial function is restored by turning off the gene responsible for mitochondrial dysfunction, the mouse returns to smooth skin and thick fur, indistinguishable from a healthy mouse of the same age.
  • Physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern
    An international team of scientists has discovered a new, exotic form of insulating material with a metallic surface that could enable more efficient electronics or even quantum computing. The researchers developed a new method for analyzing existing chemical compounds that relies on the mathematical properties like symmetry that govern the repeating patterns seen in everyday wallpaper.
  • Rapid cloud clearing phenomenon could provide another piece of climate puzzle
    Researchers have described rapid and dramatic clearing of low cloud cover off the southwest coast of Africa. This newly observed phenomenon could help climatologists understand how clouds affect Earth's heating and cooling.
  • Discovery of kidney cancer driver could lead to new treatment strategy
    Researchers suggest that ZHX2 is a potential new therapeutic target for clear cell renal cell carcinoma, which is the most common type of kidney cancer.
  • Deep-diving scientists say shallow reefs can't rely on twilight zone systems for recovery
    A team of highly trained scientific divers explored Pacific and western Atlantic reefs to test a widely held hypothesis that climate-stressed life from shallow reefs can take refuge at mesophotic depths (100-500 feet beneath the ocean's surface). The results are clear: deep and shallow reefs are different systems with their own species, and deep reefs are just as threatened by climate impacts, storms, and pollution.
  • Complete fly brain imaged at nanoscale resolution
    Scientists have taken detailed pictures of the entire brain of an adult female fruit fly using transmission electron microscopy.
  • From cradle to grave: Factors that shaped evolution
    This study brings us closer to knowing the complex interactions between topography and climate change, and how these factors influence the evolutionary histories and biodiversity of species in natural ecosystems.
  • Paralyzed mice with spinal cord injury made to walk again
    Most people with spinal cord injury are paralyzed from the injury site down, even when the cord isn't completely severed. Why don't the spared portions of the spinal cord keep working? Researchers now provide insight into why these nerve pathways remain quiet. They also show that a small-molecule compound, given systemically, can revive these circuits in paralyzed mice, restoring their ability to walk.
  • Fruit fly species can learn each other's dialects
    Fruit flies from different species can warn each other when parasitic wasps are near. But according to a new study, they are more likely to get the message across if the fly species have previously cohabited and learned each other's dialects.
  • Newly discovered armored dinosaur from Utah reveals intriguing family history
    Fossils of a new genus and species of an ankylosaurid dinosaur -- Akainacephalus johnsoni -- have been unearthed in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah, USA, and are revealing new details about the diversity and evolution of this group of armored dinosaurs. The research indicates that the defining features of Akainacephalus -- the spiky bony armor covering the skull and snout -- align more closely with Asian ankylosaurids than other North American Late Cretaceous ankylosaurid dinosaurs.
  • Mobile phone radiation may affect memory performance in adolescents, study finds
    Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields may have adverse effects on the development of memory performance of specific brain regions exposed during mobile phone use, suggests a recent study involving nearly 700 adolescents in Switzerland.
  • Evidence of Salmonella Paratyphi C found for the first time in medieval northern Europe
    Genome research suggests that enteric fever, a potentially lethal disease more commonly found in hot countries, was present in medieval Europe. Salmonella Paratyphi C causes enteric fever, a life-threatening infection, and has been detected in a 800 year old human skeleton discovered in Trondheim, Norway.
  • Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers
    Scientists show that a quantum computer is less in thrall to the arrow of time than a classical computer.
  • Expected sea-level rise following Antarctic ice shelves' collapse
    Scientists have shown how much sea level would rise if Larsen C and George VI, Antarctic ice shelves at risk of collapse, were to break up. While Larsen C has received much attention due to the break-away of a trillion-ton iceberg from it last summer, its collapse would contribute only a few millimeters to sea-level rise. The break-up of the smaller George VI Ice Shelf would have a much larger impact.
  • CT scans may increase risk of brain cancer, study suggests
    A new study suggests that CT scans, commonly used in medical imaging, may increase the risk of brain tumors.
  • Alcohol-related cirrhosis deaths skyrocket in young adults
    Liver disease deaths jumped by 65 percent in the United States, from 1999-2016, disproportionately affecting adults ages 25-34. The increase in deaths among young adults was driven entirely by alcohol-related liver disease, according to a new study.
  • In the ocean's twilight zone, tiny organisms may have giant effect on Earth's carbon cycle
    In a new study that challenges scientists' presuppositions about the carbon cycle, researchers find that tiny organisms may be playing in outside role in the way carbon is circulated throughout the ocean.
  • Ozone pollution in US national parks close to that of largest US cities
    The research matched pollution data to monthly park visitation statistics at 33 heavily visited national parks and found that visitation responds most to ozone during months with poor air quality.
  • Great Barrier Reef not bouncing back as before, but there is hope
    The Great Barrier Reef is losing its ability to recover from disturbances, but effective local management could revive its capacity to bounce back.
  • Glowing bacteria on deep-sea fish shed light on evolution, 'third type' of symbiosis
    For the first time, scientists have sequenced and analyzed the genomes of bacteria that live in anglerfish bulbs. The bacteria were taken from fish specimens collected in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Billion-year-old lake deposit yields clues to Earth's ancient biosphere
    A sample of ancient oxygen, teased out of a 1.4-billion-year-old evaporative lake deposit in Ontario, provides fresh evidence of what the Earth's atmosphere and biosphere were like during the interval leading up to the emergence of animal life.
  • Light-controlled polymers can switch between sturdy and soft
    Researchers have designed a polymer material that can change its structure in response to light, converting from a rigid substance to a softer one that can heal itself when damaged.
  • Atlantic circulation is not collapsing -- but as it shifts gears, warming will reaccelerate
    Data suggest that the recent, rapid slowdown of the Atlantic Ocean circulation is not a sign of imminent collapse, but a shift back toward a more sluggish phase. The slowdown implies that global air temperatures will increase more quickly in the coming decades.
  • Solar corona is more structured, dynamic than previously thought
    Scientists have discovered never-before-detected, fine-grained structures in the Sun's outer atmosphere, or corona. The team imaged this critical region in detail using sophisticated software techniques and longer exposures from the COR-2 camera on board NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory-A (STEREO-A).
  • Neurons can carry more than one signal at a time
    New research shows that neurons in the brain can carry two signals at once, using a strategy similar to multiplexing in telecommunications. The results may explain how the brain processes complex information from the world around us, and may also provide insight into some of our perceptual and cognitive limitations.
  • Global study of world's beaches shows threat to protected areas
    A first-of-its-kind survey of the world's sandy shorelines with satellite data found that they have increased slightly on a global scale over the past three decades but decreased in protected marine areas, where many beaches are eroding.
  • Health of mom's gut a key contributor to autism risk, study suggests
    The mother's microbiome, the collection of microscopic organisms that live inside us, is a key contributor to the risk of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders in her offspring, new research suggests. The work raises the possibility that we could help prevent autism by altering expectant moms' diets.
  • Climate determines shapes of river basins
    Short and squat, or long and thin? An study finds climate determines a river basin's shape.
  • X-ray data may be first evidence of a star devouring a planet
    An analysis of X-ray data suggests the first observations of a star swallowing a planet, and may also explain the star's mysterious dimming.
  • Planck: Final data from the mission lends support to the standard cosmological model
    With its increased reliability and its data on the polarization of relic radiation, the Planck mission corroborates the standard cosmological model with unrivaled precision for these parameters, even if some anomalies still remain.
  • New creepy, crawly search and rescue robot
    A new highly maneuverable search and rescue robot that can creep, crawl and climb over rough terrain and through tight spaces has been developed.
  • Potential for Antarctica to become plastics dumping ground and home for new species
    Antarctica is not as isolated from the rest of the world as scientists have thought, new research reveals, with potential for drifting plastics to create problems in the continent in future and new species to colonise there as the climate warms.
  • Beef jerky and other processed meats associated with manic episodes
    An analysis of more than 1,000 people with and without psychiatric disorders has shown that nitrates -- chemicals used to cure meats such as beef jerky, salami, hot dogs and other processed meat snacks -- may contribute to mania, an abnormal mood state. Mania is characterized by hyperactivity, euphoria and insomnia.
  • Supersharp images from new VLT adaptive optics
    ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) has achieved first light with a new adaptive optics mode called laser tomography -- and has captured remarkably sharp test images of the planet Neptune and other objects. The MUSE instrument working with the GALACSI adaptive optics module, can now use this new technique to correct for turbulence at different altitudes in the atmosphere. It is now possible to capture images from the ground at visible wavelengths that are sharper than those from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
  • Forty percent of people have a fictional first memory
    Researchers have conducted one of the largest surveys of people's first memories, finding that nearly 40 per cent of people had a first memory which is fictional.
  • Omega 3 supplements have little or no heart or vascular health benefit
    Omega 3 supplements have little or no effect on the risk of heart disease, stroke or death -- according to new research. Increased consumption of omega 3 fats is widely promoted globally because of a common belief that that it will protect against heart disease. But a new Cochrane review finds that omega 3 supplements offer little, if any, benefit.
  • Research on British teeth unlocks potential for new insights into ancient diets
    Goofy, yellow and crooked: British smiles have sometimes had a less-than-flattering international image, but a new study has put tartar from our infamously bad teeth to good use. Researchers analysing the teeth of Britons from the Iron Age to the modern day have unlocked the potential for using proteins in tooth tartar to reveal what our ancestors ate.
  • Social isolation: Animals that break away from the pack can influence evolution
    For some animals -- such as beetles, ants, toads, and primates -- short-term social isolation can be just as vital as social interaction to development and long-term evolution. Evolutionary biologists describe approaches for testing how an animal's isolation might impact natural selection and evolution. This framework can help design more effective breeding, reintroduction, and conservation strategies.
  • A dozen new moons of Jupiter discovered, including one 'oddball'
    Twelve new moons orbiting Jupiter have been found -- 11 'normal' outer moons, and one that they're calling an 'oddball.' Astronomers first spotted the moons in the spring of 2017 while they were looking for very distant solar system objects as part of the hunt for a possible massive planet far beyond Pluto.
  • Astronomers find a famous exoplanet's doppelganger
    A new planet has been imaged, and it appears nearly identical to one of the best studied gas-giant planets. But this doppelganger differs in one very important way: Its origin. One object has long been known: the 13-Jupiter-mass planet beta Pictoris b, one of the first planets discovered by direct imaging, back in 2009. The new object, dubbed 2MASS 0249 c, has the same mass, brightness, and spectrum as beta Pictoris b.
  • Protecting tropical forest carbon stocks may not prevent large-scale species loss
    As the world seeks to curb human-induced climate change, will protecting the carbon of tropical forests also ensure the survival of their species? A study suggests the answer to this question is far from straightforward. Forests with the greatest carbon content do not necessarily house the most species, meaning carbon-focused conservation can miss large swathes of tropical forest biodiversity.
  • Electronic stickers to streamline large-scale 'Internet of things'
    Researchers have developed a new fabrication method that makes tiny, thin-film electronic circuits peelable from a surface. The technique not only eliminates several manufacturing steps and the associated costs, but also allows any object to sense its environment or be controlled through the application of a high-tech sticker.
  • Single-celled architects inspire new nanotechnology
    Scientists have designed a range of nanostructures resembling marine diatoms -- tiny unicellular creatures. To achieve this, they borrow techniques used by naturally-occurring diatoms to deposit layers of silica -- the primary constituent in glass -- in order to grow their intricate shells. Using a technique known as DNA origami, the group designed nanoscale platforms of various shapes to which particles of silica, drawn by electrical charge, could stick.
  • Magnetized wire could be used to detect cancer in people
    A magnetic wire used to snag scarce and hard-to-capture tumor cells could prove to be a swift and effective tactic for early cancer detection, according to a new study.
  • How foreign kelp surfed to Antarctica
    A research team has found the first proof that Antarctica is not isolated from the rest of the Earth, with the discovery that foreign kelp had drifted 20,000 kilometers before surfing to the continent's icy shores.
  • Study of high-energy neutrinos again proves Einstein right
    A new study demonstrates that Einstein is right again. The most thorough test yet finds no Lorentz violation in high-energy neutrinos.
  • Thawing permafrost microbiomes fuel climate change
    A new study could lead to more accurate predictions or the rate of global warming from greenhouse gas emissions produced by thawing permafrost in the next 100 years. The study of the microorganisms involved in permafrost carbon degradation links changing microbial communities and biogeochemistry to the rise of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Forget joysticks, use your torso to pilot drones
    Your torso is more intuitive -- and more precise -- than joysticks for piloting drones, both simulated and real, according to a recent study. Work is already underway to implement this new body-machine-interface technology for search and rescue with drones.
  • The origins of pottery linked with intensified fishing in the post-glacial period
    A study into some of the earliest known pottery remains has suggested that the rise of ceramic production was closely linked with intensified fishing at the end of the last Ice Age.
  • Archaeologists discover bread that predates agriculture by 4,000 years
    At an archaeological site in northeastern Jordan, researchers have discovered the charred remains of a flatbread baked by hunter-gatherers 14,400 years ago. It is the oldest direct evidence of bread found to date, predating the advent of agriculture by at least 4,000 years. The findings suggest that bread production based on wild cereals may have encouraged hunter-gatherers to cultivate cereals, and thus contributed to the agricultural revolution in the Neolithic period.
  • Bacteria engineered to create fertilizer out of thin air
    Researchers have created a bacteria that uses photosynthesis to create oxygen during the day, and at night, uses nitrogen to create chlorophyll for photosynthesis. This development could lead to plants that do the same, eliminating the use of some -- or possibly all -- human-made fertilizer, which has a high environmental cost.
  • Buried Internet infrastructure at risk as sea levels rise
    Thousands of miles of buried fiber optic cable in densely populated coastal regions of the United States may soon be inundated by rising seas, according to a new study.
  • Plastic chemical linked to smaller prefrontal cortex, reduced cognitive ability in rats
    Adult rats that had been exposed before birth and during nursing to a mixture of chemicals found in a wide range of consumer products have a smaller medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and perform worse on an attention-switching task than rats not exposed to the chemicals early in life. These findings demonstrate a long-term influence of endocrine-disrupting compounds on brain development.
  • Friendlier fish may be quicker to take the bait
    The bluegill on your dinner plate might have been more social than the rest of its group, according to a new study, and its removal from the lake could mean major changes for the remaining population.
  • Sound waves reveal enormous diamond cache deep in Earth's interior
    Sound waves reveal a surprisingly large diamond cache deep in Earth's interior, researchers report.
  • Emotional robot lets you feel how it's 'feeling'
    Researchers have developed a prototype of a robot that can express 'emotions' through changes in its outer surface. The robot's skin covers a grid of texture units whose shapes change based on the robot's feelings.
  • Natural product that could lead to new class of commercial herbicide
    A team of engineers and scientists discovered a new and potentially highly effective type of weed killer. This finding could lead to the first new class of commercial herbicides in more than 30 years, an important outcome as weeds continue to develop resistance to current herbicide regimens.
  • Deep subterranean connection between two Japan volcanoes
    Scientists have confirmed for the first time that radical changes of one volcano in southern Japan was the direct result of an erupting volcano 22 kilometers (13.7 miles) away. The observations from the two volcanos -- Aira caldera and Kirishima -- show that the two were connected through a common subterranean magma source in the months leading up to the 2011 eruption of Kirishima.
  • 84 highly endangered amur leopards remain in China and Russia
    Scientists estimate there are only 84 remaining highly endangered Amur leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis) remaining in the wild across its current range along the southernmost border of Primorskii Province in Russia and Jilin Province of China.
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