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- Tim Peake drives remote robot on Earth
UK astronaut Tim Peake controls a robot vehicle on Earth from the space station, simulating how humans could one day remotely command vehicles on other worlds.
- Lizards share sleep patterns with humans
Scientists say sleep patterns previously thought exclusive to mammals and birds are also found in lizards.
- Weasel shuts down Large Hadron Collider
The Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator in Switzerland is offline after suffering a short circuit - caused by a weasel.
- Kenyan call to stamp out ivory trade
President Kenyatta of Kenya urges action to end Africa's illegal trade in ivory as he prepares to host a summit on saving elephants from extinction.
- 'Sleepless slugs' on rise, say experts
Last year's wet summer, followed by one of the warmest winters on record, has helped to create a generation of sleepless slugs, wildlife experts have warned.
- Japan to abandon space satellite forever
Japan's space agency says it will abandon efforts to restore a multimillion dollar satellite sent to explore black holes, after it spun out of control.
- New EU radar satellite takes first image
The EU's newest Earth observation satellite, Sentinel-1b, has returned its first radar imagery - of Svalbard, the Norwegian archipelago.
- Neonics 'not equally harmful' to bees
The largest field-study so far in to the group of pesticides called "neonicotinoids" has concluded that each acts differently on the brains of the bees.
- Glaciers with a flotilla of 'ice sails'
Scientists describe the processes that drive "ice sails" - a rare and somewhat esoteric feature of debris covered glaciers.
- Gene therapy reverses sight loss
A genetic therapy improves the vision of some patients who would otherwise have gone blind.
- Delayed Russian rocket lifts off
Russia launches the first rocket from its new Vostochny cosmodrome, following a 24-hour delay that drew the ire of President Vladimir Putin.
- Brain's 'atlas' of words revealed
Scientists in the US have mapped out how the brain organises language.
- Mars mission by 2018 says SpaceX
Billionaire Elon Musk plans to send his Dragon spacecraft to Mars as early as 2018.
- 'Secret of youth' in ginger gene
Scientists say they have made a leap in knowing why some people retain their youthful looks while others age badly.
- Volcano implicated in Maya upheaval
Scientists think they can now tie the disruption that hit Maya civilisation in the 6th Century to an eruption of the El Chichon volcano.
- VIDEO: Tim Peake drives remote Mars rover
UK astronaut Tim Peake has performed a challenging remote control experiment on the International Space Station.
- VIDEO: Meet the decoys protecting tiny seabirds
Conservationists have come up with a novel solution, using fake versions of the Little Tern, to try to attract the real ones to find suitable nesting spots.
- VIDEO: Rescued circus lions to fly to South Africa
More than 30 lions which have been rescued from circuses in Peru and Colombia are to be flown to a sanctuary in South Africa.
- VIDEO: 'Fat' gorilla surprises zoo with baby
A gorilla has given birth at Prague Zoo, without keepers noticing she was pregnant.
- VIDEO: Gene therapy could reverse sight loss
A pioneering new treatment is giving is new hope for those with macular degeneration, as Pallab Ghosh reports.
- VIDEO: When will China get to Mars?
China is due to announce more details about a mission to Mars.
- VIDEO: Space station gets inflatable extension
An experimental inflatable module has been attached to the International Space Station remotely by a Nasa ground control team.
- VIDEO: Repaired Solar Impulse flies again
The zero-fuel aircraft Solar Impulse is ready to resume its round-the-world challenge following repairs in Hawaii.
- VIDEO: The world's worst nuclear disaster
The aftermath of the Chernobyl explosion
- What is the most expensive object on Earth?
A new nuclear power station in the UK will be the most expensive thing ever built on the planet. True or false?
- Bloodhound Diary: Planning for the roughest of rides
What's it going to be like to drive at 1,000mph?
- Is world's greenest office also smart?
The building is high tech but are the workers on board?
- In older adults, frailty and depression symptoms are linked and can affect spouses
Researchers examined the effects of frailty and depression on married couples. People married to a frail spouse were likely to become frail themselves, and people married to a depressed spouse were more likely to become depressed, too.
- HPV infection can be identified in self-collected vaginal swabs
High risk, potentially cancer causing human papillomavirus infections are common among women in Papua New Guinea. But self sampling with vaginal swabs may provide materials that screen as accurately as the more labor-intensive approach using cervical samples obtained by clinicians. This finding is critical to developing same day screening and treatment, which is key to ensuring that women with precancerous lesions are treated in this largely unconnected (electronically) country, and in others like it.
- Light-powered 3-D printer creates terahertz lens
Created from a 3-D printed metamaterial, the new lens could be used for biomedical research and security imaging.
- Benefits of stem cells for treating spinal cord injuries assessed
Stem cell therapy is a rapidly evolving and promising treatment for spinal-cord injuries. According to a new literature review, different types of stem cells vary in their ability to help restore function, and an ideal treatment protocol remains unclear pending further clinical research.
- Salt-inducible kinases may have therapeutic potential for autoimmune diseases
A new research report suggests that specific enzymes, called 'salt-inducible kinases,' may be able to help curb runaway inflammation associated with autoimmune diseases like Crohn's disease, arthritis, and psoriasis.
- Clay nanotube-biopolymer composite scaffolds for tissue engineering
Scientists combined three biopolymers, chitosan and agarose (polysaccharides), and a protein gelatine, as the materials to produce tissue engineering scaffolds and demonstrated the enhancement of mechanical strength (doubled pick load), higher water uptake and thermal properties in chitosan-gelatine-agarose hydrogels doped with halloysite.
- Nanoparticles present sustainable way to grow food crops
Engineers are using nanoparticle technology in an effort to meet the ever-increasing demand for food. Their innovative technique boosts the growth of a protein-rich bean by improving the way it absorbs nutrients, while reducing the need for fertilizer.
- Birds of prey constrained in the beak evolution race
How birds' beaks evolved characteristic shapes to eat different food is a classic example of evolution by natural selection. However, new research found this does not apply to all species, and that raptors in particular have not enjoyed this evolutionary flexibility.
- Detecting minute nano amounts in environmental samples
It is still unclear what the impact is on humans, animals and plants of synthetic nanomaterials released into the environment or used in products. It’s very difficult to detect these nanomaterials in the environment since the concentrations are so low and the particles so small. Now scientists have developed a method that is capable of identifying even minute amounts of nanomaterials in environmental samples.
- A spoonful of sugar? Swapping sugary drinks for water and dairy seems the best medicine
New research may have an impact on the sugar tax debate. The research team observed overall changes in dietary patterns in overweight children, including a decrease in consumption of sugary drinks, when additional water or milk is added to their diet.
- Glucose as a new energy source for pacemakers
Researchers are working on the creation of a bio-battery that uses blood glucose to produce energy. Such a battery would cut down on the number of surgical interventions a pacemaker user must undergo.
- Trauma in a bee: Entomologists shed light on bizarre mating mechanisms of native twisted-winged parasites
Twisted-winged parasites of the species Stylops ovinae reproduce using so-called traumatic insemination. To inseminate the eggs, the males injure the endoparasitic females with their hook-shaped penis and inject the seminal fluid directly into their body cavity.
- Spintronics: Spin currents in topological insulators controlled
Scientists have shown how spin-polarized currents can be initiated in a controlled manner within samples of topological insulator material. In addition, they were able to manipulate the orientation of the spins of these currents.
- Chances are you don’t remember what you just retweeted
Research finds retweeting or otherwise sharing information creates a 'cognitive overload' that interferes with learning and retaining what you've just seen. Worse yet, that overload can spill over and diminish performance in the real world.
- Cooling graphene-based film close to pilot-scale production
Heat dissipation in electronics and optoelectronics is a severe bottleneck in the further development of systems in these fields. To come to grips with this serious issue, researchers have developed an efficient way of cooling electronics by using functionalized graphene nanoflakes.
- More than just eyes and skin: Vitamin A affects the heart
Vitamin A is important for heart development in embryos, but whether it has a role in maintaining heart health is unclear. A new study finds that the heart is able to respond to vitamin A and the amount of vitamin A present has an effect. However, whether the effects are beneficial or harmful is still a mystery.
- Exploring phosphorene, a promising new material
Researchers have developed a new method to quickly and accurately determine the orientation of phosphorene, a promising material with potential application as a material for semiconducting transistors in ever faster and more powerful computers.
- A cell senses its own curves
Septin proteins in human and fungal cells can sense micron-scaled curves in the cell membrane, scientists discover.
- New gene testing technology finds cancer risks 'hiding in plain sight'
A new method for identifying mutations and prioritizing variants in breast and ovarian cancer genes, which will not only reduce the number of possible variants for doctors to investigate, but also increase the number of patients that are properly diagnosed.
- Personal cooling units on the horizon
Firefighters entering burning buildings, athletes competing in the broiling sun and workers in foundries may eventually be able to carry their own, lightweight cooling units with them, thanks to a nanowire array that cools, according to materials researchers.
- Genetic risk factors of disparate diseases share similar biological underpinnings
The discovery of shared biological properties among independent variants of DNA sequences offers the opportunity to broaden understanding of the biological basis of disease and identify new therapeutic targets, report scientists.
- Building on shells: Study starts unraveling mysteries of Calusa kingdom
Centuries before modern countries such as Dubai and China started building islands, native peoples in southwest Florida known as the Calusa were piling shells into massive heaps to construct their own water-bound towns.
- Gene therapy halts pulmonary hypertension progression in large animal pre-clinical study
Scientists have used a novel gene therapy to halt the progression of pulmonary hypertension, a form of high blood pressure in the lung blood vessels that is linked to heart failure.
- Origin of Earth's oldest crystals
New research suggests that the very oldest pieces of rock on Earth -- zircon crystals -- are likely to have formed in the craters left by violent asteroid impacts that peppered our nascent planet, rather than via plate tectonics as was previously believed.
- HPV vaccination expected to reduce cancer in all races, may not eliminate all disparities
Human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cancers occur more frequently among Hispanics, blacks, American-Indians, and Alaska Natives than among whites. A new study finds that HPV vaccination is expected to reduce the cancer burden across all racial/ethnic groups. However, some disparities in cancer burden may persist and widen in the years to come if their causes, such as lack of access to diagnoses and treatment, aren't addressed.
- Risk factors associated with injurious falls in the elderly
Falls are one of the leading causes of injury-related death among elderly people. So finding the risk factors that endanger them is becoming increasingly important, particularly with the projected increase in the elderly population with the baby boomers, warn investigators.
- Extreme heat, precipitation linked to more severe asthma requiring hospitalization
Extreme heat and heavy rainfall are related to increased risk of hospitalization for asthma in Maryland, according to a study. Based on over a decade of asthma hospitalization data (115,923 cases from 2000-2012), Researchers observed a 23 percent increase in risk of asthma hospitalizations when there was an extreme heat event during summer months. This risk was higher among 5-17 year olds.
- Mental health evaluations improved
A new assessment tool has been developed to gauge the risk that someone with a mental illness will commit a crime. It could also speed up long-delayed competency evaluations for people awaiting trial.
- Not just climate change: Human activity is a major factor driving wildfires
A new study examining wildfires in California found that human activity explains as much about their frequency and location as climate influences.
- Researchers discover potential treatment for sepsis and other responses to infection
Ebola and other dangerous microbes often produce these inflammatory responses. Researchers say that tiny doses of a cancer drug may stop the raging, uncontrollable immune response to infection that leads to sepsis and kills up to 500,000 people a year in the US. The new drug treatment may also benefit millions of people worldwide who are affected by infections and pandemics.
- Junk-food junkies go healthy when rewarded
According to new research, the most effective strategy for influencing such healthy food choices is not calorie counts and reduced prices, but rather more subtle incentives that reward healthy eating behavior.
- How cancer cells escape from tumors, spread
Metastasis. The very word evokes fear. Defined as the spread of cancer cells from one part of the body to another, metastasis is the cause of approximately 90 percent of deaths among cancer patients. How does metastasis come about? And can we stop it?
- Do bearded dragons dream? Reptiles share sleep patterns with mammals and birds
Brain sleep appeared early in vertebrate evolution. Researchers describe the existence of REM and slow-wave sleep in the Australian dragon, with many common features with mammalian sleep: a phase characterized by low frequency/high amplitude average brain activity and rare and bursty neuronal firing (slow-wave sleep); another characterized by awake-like brain activity and rapid eye movements.
- Hunting wolves near Denali, Yellowstone cuts wolf sightings in half
Visitors to Denali National Park and Preserve and Yellowstone National Park were twice as likely to see a wolf when hunting wasn't permitted adjacent to the parks, a new study finds.
- RNA splicing mutations play major role in genetic variation and disease
RNA splicing is a major underlying factor that links mutations to complex traits and diseases, according to an exhaustive analysis of gene expression in whole genome and cell line data. Researchers analyzed how thousands of mutations affect gene regulation in traits such as height, and diseases such as multiple sclerosis. The findings enable accurate functional interpretations of genome-wide association study results.
- Vitamin stops the aging process of organs
By administering nicotinamide riboside to elderly mice, researchers restored their organs' ability to regenerate and prolonged their lives. This method has potential for treating a number of degenerative diseases.
- Scientists turn skin cells into heart cells and brain cells using drugs
In a major breakthrough, scientists have transformed skin cells into heart cells and brain cells using a combination of chemicals. All previous work on cellular reprogramming required adding external genes to the cells, making this accomplishment an unprecedented feat. The research lays the groundwork for one day being able to regenerate lost or damaged cells with pharmaceutical drugs.
- Lifestyle has a strong impact on intestinal bacteria, which has a strong impact on health
Everything you eat or drink affects your intestinal bacteria, and is likely to have an impact on your health. That is the finding of a large-scale study into the effect of food and medicine on the bacterial diversity in the human gut.
- Rare disease gene has a key role in chronic hepatitis C infection
Hepatitis C virus hijacks the host's fat metabolism for its own survival, growth, and transport in the human body. A study identifies a host gene involved in the formation of HCV virus particles and helps explain why humans with a rare mutation in the gene have problems with their fat metabolism.
- BPA determined to have adverse effects on couples seeking in vitro fertilization
Exposure to Bisphenol-A (BPA) may lead to reduced quality of embryos during reproduction. A new study has shown that BPA could be the cause for decreases in the frequency of implantation, pregnancy and live birth rates in couples seeking in vitro fertilization.
- Analyzing the psyche of risky drivers
Road crashes are the world's leading cause of preventable death and injury in people under 35, accounting for around 5 million casualties every year. Repeat offenders make a disproportionate contribution to these statistics -- and are known for their poor response to education and prevention efforts. But a better understanding of the subconscious and emotional processes of high-risk drivers could make a difference, according to new research.
- Consumers' trust in online user ratings misplaced, says study
The belief that online user ratings are good indicators of product quality is largely an illusion, according to a new study. The analyses show a very low correspondence between average user ratings of products on Amazon.com and product ratings, based on objective tests, found in consumer reports.
- Shape of tumor may affect whether cells can metastasize
Only a few cells in a cancerous tumor are able to break away and spread to other parts of the body, but the curve along the edge of the tumor may play a large role in activating these tumor-seeding cells, according to a new study.
- Scientists predict cell changes that affect breast cancer growth
Using a broad spectrum of analytical tools, scientists have shown how sometimes small, often practically imperceptible, structural changes in a key breast cancer receptor are directly linked to regulating molecules and can produce predictable effects in curbing or accelerating cancer growth.
- TJP1 protein may identify multiple myeloma patients most likely to benefit from proteasome inhibitors
A gene known as TJP1 (tight junction protein 1) could help determine which multiple myeloma patients would best benefit from proteasome inhibitors such as bortezomib, as well as combination approaches to enhance proteasome inhibitor sensitivity, according to a study.
- Study links residential radon exposure to hematologic cancers in women
A new report finds a statistically-significant, positive association between high levels of residential radon and the risk of hematologic (blood) cancer in women. Radon is a naturally occurring byproduct of the decay of radium, and is a known human lung carcinogen, the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
- Fiber optic biosensor-integrated microfluidic chip to detect glucose levels
A team of researchers report integrating fiber optic glucose sensors into a microfluidic chip to create portable, high-performance, low-cost devices for measuring glucose levels.
- Four new genetic diseases defined within schizophrenia
Changes in key genes define four previously unknown conditions within schizophrenia, according to a study. Unlike "big data" genetic studies, which have loosely linked hundreds of genetic changes to schizophrenia but cannot explain varying symptoms, the new study revealed distinct disease versions that may affect large slices of patients and enable precision treatment design, say the authors.
- Ocean views linked to better mental health
Here's another reason to start saving for that beach house: new research suggests that residents with a view of the water are less stressed.
- Seeing the benefits of failure shapes kids' beliefs about intelligence
Parents' beliefs about whether failure is a good or a bad thing guide how their children think about their own intelligence, according to new research. The research indicates that it's parents' responses to failure, and not their beliefs about intelligence, that are ultimately absorbed by their kids.
- Canadian waters getting safer, but research gaps limit full understanding of shipping risks
The risks of commercial marine shipping accidents across Canada's regions have been outlined in a new report, including information for different cargo types. The report highlights gaps in understanding and areas for further research.
- Genes that influence dizygotic twinning and fertility
Medical researchers have obtained a breakthrough in identifying genes that increase the chance for mothers to have dizygotic twins. Researchers believe the findings represent a significant advance in the identification of key mechanisms controlling ovarian function and provide a greater understanding of female fertility and infertility.
- Costs for orally administered cancer drugs skyrocket
New cancer drugs, taken in pill form, have become dramatically more expensive in their first year on the market compared with drugs launched 15 years ago, calling into question the sustainability of a system that sets high prices at market entry in addition to rapidly increasing those prices over time.
- Study identifies a key to bone formation, vertebrate evolution
Researchers have identified a key action of a watershed gene critical to bone formation and the evolution of vertebrates. The Sp7 or Osterix gene more than likely emerged from an ancestral gene family about 400 million years ago, expanding the diversity of life and programming the development of bone-secreting osteoblast cells. The closest living relatives to vertebrates, including sea squirts and lampreys, lack bone and an Sp7 gene.
- Cell transplant treats Parkinson's in mice under control of designer drug
A neuroscientist has inserted a genetic switch into nerve cells so a patient can alter their activity by taking designer drugs that would not affect any other cell. The cells in question are neurons and make the neurotransmitter dopamine, whose deficiency is the culprit in the widespread movement disorder Parkinson's disease.
- Speedy bridge repair
Normally, it takes weeks to repair the cracking or spalling of columns on just one bridge damaged in an earthquake. Now a team of researchers has developed a new process of fixing damaged bridge columns that takes as little as a few days.
- Study pinpoints mechanism that allows cells with faulty DNA to reproduce
Researchers have figured out how some cells do an end-run on replication quality control -- opening the door to developing new cancer-quashing treatments.
- Stem cell study finds mechanism that controls skin and hair color
A pair of molecular signals controls skin and hair color in mice and humans -- and could be targeted by new drugs to treat skin pigment disorders like vitiligo, according to a new report.
- Infant attention span suffers when parents' eyes wander during playtime
Caregivers whose eyes wander during playtime -- due to distractions such as smartphones or other technology, for example -- may raise children with shorter attention spans, according to a new study.
- Age-dependent changes in pancreatic function related to diabetes identified
Age-dependent changes in pancreatic function related to diabetes have been identified by researchers. The research collaboration to procure and analyze human pancreatic tissue from deceased donors illustrates how the organ’s function changes as we age, and could point the way toward new diabetes treatments, say investigators.
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