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- Names and symbols of four newly discovered elements announced
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry has approved the name and symbols for four elements: nihonium (Nh), moscovium (Mc), tennessine (Ts), and oganesson (Og), respectively for element 113, 115, 117, and 118. The exploration of new elements continues, and scientists are searching for elements beyond the seventh row of the periodic table.
- Link found between antidepressant use and congenital anomalies or stillbirths
Pregnant women who take a specific type of antidepressant in early pregnancy have a small but significantly greater risk of having babies with major congenital anomalies (sometimes referred to as birth defects) or stillbirths compared with those who did not take these antidepressants, suggests a dose-response analysis.
- High-precision magnetic field sensing
Researchers have succeeded in measuring tiny changes in strong magnetic fields with unprecedented precision. In their experiments, the scientists magnetized a water droplet inside a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner, a device that is used for medical imaging. The researchers were able to detect even the tiniest variations of the magnetic field strength within the droplet. These changes were up to a trillion times smaller than the seven tesla field strength of the MRI scanner used in the experiment.
- Portions of the brain fall asleep and wake back up all the time
When we are in a deep slumber our brain's activity ebbs and flows in big, obvious waves, like watching a tide of human bodies rise up and sit down around a sports stadium. It's hard to miss. Now, researchers have found, those same cycles exist in wake as in sleep, but with only small sections sitting and standing in unison rather than the entire stadium. It's as if tiny portions of the brain are independently falling asleep and waking back up all the time.
- New minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses
A new device that could revolutionize the delivery of medicine to treat cancer as well as a host of other diseases and ailments has been outlined in a new report.
- Adrenaline rush: Delaying epinephrine shots after cardiac arrest cuts survival rates
Hospitals in which the administration of epinephrine to patients whose hearts have stopped is delayed beyond five minutes have significantly lower survival rates of those patients, a new study.
- Radiation-free approach to imaging molecules in the brain
Scientists hoping to get a glimpse of molecules that control brain activity have devised a new probe that allows them to image these molecules without using any chemical or radioactive labels.
- Flower forms in the primrose: Biologists unlock 51.7-million-year-old genetic secret to landmark Darwin theory
Scientists have identified the cluster of genes responsible for reproductive traits in the common primrose flower (Primula vulgaris), first noted as important by Charles Darwin more than 150 years ago. Darwin hypothesized that some plant species with two distinct forms of flower, where male and female reproductive organs were of differing lengths, had evolved that way to promote out-crossing by insect pollinators.
- Phantom movements in augmented reality helps patients with chronic intractable phantom limb pain
A novel method of treating phantom limb pain has been developed using machine learning and augmented reality. This approach has been tested on over a dozen of amputees with chronic phantom limb pain who found no relief by other clinically available methods before. The new treatment reduced their pain by approximately 50 per cent, reports a clinical study.
- Phase I trial shows that a drug that inhibits the Notch signalling process is active in a range of advanced cancers
A new anti-cancer drug that inhibits a key cell signalling process involved in many different cancers has shown that it is capable of stopping the progression of cancer and shrinking tumors. Importantly, it has been able to do this in rare cancers that are less well-studied such as adenoid cystic carcinoma.
- Advanced soft tissue sarcomas respond to a combination of a new and an existing anti-cancer drug
Researchers working to find effective treatments for soft tissue sarcomas have discovered that combining a new anti-cancer drug with an existing one kills cancer cells not only in the laboratory but also in the first two patients treated with it, leading to unusually long-lasting periods without the disease progressing.
- Climate change will drive stronger, smaller storms in U.S., new modeling approach forecasts
The effects of climate change will likely cause smaller but stronger storms in the United States, according to a new framework for modeling storm behavior. Though storm intensity is expected to increase over today’s levels, the predicted reduction in storm size may alleviate some fears of widespread severe flooding in the future.
- Large-scale changes in insect species inhabiting streams and rivers
The frequencies of occurrence of hundreds of insect species inhabiting streams have been altered relative to the conditions that existed prior to wide spread pollution and habitat alteration, American scientists have discovered. Results were similar for the two study regions (the Mid-Atlantic Highlands and North Carolina), where frequencies of occurrence for more than 70 percent of species have shifted.
- What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?
Machine learning is a powerful tool used for a variety of tasks in modern life, from fraud detection and sorting spam in Google, to making movie recommendations on Netflix. Now a team of researchers has developed a novel approach in using it to determine whether planetary systems are stable or not.
- White deaths exceeded births in one-third of states
More whites died than were born in a record high 17 states in 2014 compared to just four in 2004, according to new research. Some 121 million people representing 38 percent of the U.S. population reside in these states: California, Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Mississippi, Arkansas, Delaware, Nevada, Maine, Alabama, Connecticut, New Mexico, West Virginia and Rhode Island.
- Embryonic cluster galaxy immersed in giant cloud of cold gas
Astronomers studying a cluster of still-forming protogalaxies seen as they were more than 10 billion years ago have found that a giant galaxy in the center of the cluster is forming from a surprisingly-dense soup of molecular gas.
- A watershed moment in understanding how water conducts electricity
Scientists have taken spectroscopic snapshots of nature's most mysterious relay race: the passage of extra protons from one water molecule to another during conductivity. The finding represents a major benchmark in our knowledge of how water conducts a positive electrical charge.
- Climate cycles may explain how running water carved Mars' surface features
Dramatic climate cycles on early Mars, triggered by buildup of greenhouse gases, may be the key to understanding how liquid water left its mark on the planet's surface, according to a team of planetary scientists.
- Increasing tornado outbreaks: Is climate change responsible?
In a new study, researchers looked at increasing trends in the severity of tornado outbreaks where they measured severity by the number of tornadoes per outbreak. They found that these trends are increasing fastest for the most extreme outbreaks. While they saw changes in meteorological quantities that are consistent with these upward trends, the meteorological trends were not the ones expected under climate change.
- Gut microbes promote motor deficits in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease
Gut microbes may play a critical role in the development of Parkinson's-like movement disorders in genetically predisposed mice, researchers report. Antibiotic treatment reduced motor deficits and molecular hallmarks of Parkinson's disease in a mouse model, whereas transplantation of gut microbes from patients with Parkinson's disease exacerbated symptoms in these mice. The findings could lead to new treatment strategies for the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the United States.
- How Zika infects the growing brain
The fast-spreading Zika virus can take multiple routes into developing human nerve cells, research demonstrates. Around the world, hundreds of women infected with the Zika virus have given birth to children suffering from microcephaly or other brain defects, as the virus attacks key cells responsible for generating neurons and building the brain as the embryo develops.
- Diabetes advance: Cells produce insulin upon artemisinin treatment
FDA-approved artemisinins, which have been used for decades to treat malaria, transform glucagon-producing alpha cells in the pancreas into insulin producing cells, researchers report.
- New role for Hippo pathway in suppressing cancer immunity
Previous studies identified the Hippo pathway kinases LATS1/2 as a tumor suppressor, but new research reveals a surprising role for these enzymes in subduing cancer immunity. The findings could have a clinical role in improving efficiency of immunotherapy drugs.
- Autism spectrum disorders: New genetic cause of identified
Autism spectrum disorders affect around one percent of the world's population and are characterized by a range of difficulties in social interaction and communication. In a new study, a research team has identified a new genetic cause of ASD.
- Detailed images of NMDA receptors help explain how zinc and a drug affect their function
The difference between mental health and mental illness can turn on changes in brain cells and their connections that are almost incomprehensibly tiny, at least in physical terms. This irony is brought to light by X-ray crystallography, a method that enables neuroscientists to map the structure of brain proteins atom by atom, using high-energy X-rays.
- First structural map of cystic fibrosis protein sheds light on how mutations cause disease
Scientists have created the first three-dimensional map of the protein responsible for cystic fibrosis, an inherited disease for which there is no cure. This achievement offers the kinds of insights essential to better understanding and treating this often-fatal disease, which clogs the lungs with sticky mucus, leading to breathing problems or respiratory infections.
- Restaurants not good at explaining risks of undercooked meat to customers
Front-line staff, such as servers in restaurants, are often trusted with providing customers with food safety information regarding their meals. A challenge to the food-service industry is that these positions have high turnover, relatively low wages and servers are focused primarily on providing patrons with a positive experience. And new research shows that this poses a problem.
- Novel compound to alleviate pain and itch discovered
A possible drug candidate that suppresses pain and itch in animal models has been discovered by researchers. Their new approach also reduces the potential for drug abuse and avoids the most common side effects--sedation and anxiety--of drugs designed to target the nervous system's kappa opioid receptors (KORs).
- Gut microbe movements regulate host circadian rhythms
Even gut microbes have a routine. Like clockwork, they start their day in one part of the intestinal lining, move a few micrometers to the left, maybe the right, and then return to their original position. New research in mice now reveals that the regular timing of these small movements can influence a host animal's circadian rhythms by exposing gut tissue to different microbes and their metabolites as the day goes by. Disruption of this dance can affect the host.
- Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
Ribosomes -- macromolecular machines consisting of RNA and proteins that twist, fold and turn -- are responsible for making all of the protein within a cell and could hold the key to deciphering a range of diseases. Despite the intricacies of ribosomes, cells are able to churn out 100,000 of them every hour. But because they assemble so speedily, researchers haven't been able to figure out how they come together.
- Computer learns to recognize sounds by watching video
In recent years, computers have gotten remarkably good at recognizing speech and images: Think of the dictation software on most cellphones, or the algorithms that automatically identify people in photos posted to Facebook. But recognition of natural sounds has lagged behind. That's because most automated recognition systems, whether they process audio or visual information, are the result of machine learning, in which computers search for patterns in huge compendia of training data, say investigators.
- Significant progress against HIV epidemic in Africa
HIV 90-90-90 goals are in reach in Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Zambia, say researchers, adding that new infections are falling. The percent of the population infected with HIV is stabilizing, and over half of all people living with HIV are virally suppressed, the investigators have found.
- With promising results from emerging therapies, research yields hope for amyloidosis
Two new treatments are showing promise and overall survival is on the rise for AL amyloidosis, according to a series of studies. Immunoglobulin light-chain amyloidosis (AL) is a rare, life-threatening disease that occurs when toxic proteins build up in organs, which alters their normal function.
- 'Bickering' flies make evolutionary point
When a male fruit fly gets aggressive, he rears up on his back four legs and batters his foe with his front pair. Neither fly seems particularly damaged by the encounter, but their subsequent actions are telling about the ways of social evolution, according to an evolutionary biologist.
- Tangled threads weave through cosmic oddity
New observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have revealed the intricate structure of the galaxy NGC 4696 in greater detail than ever before. The elliptical galaxy is a beautiful cosmic oddity with a bright core wrapped in system of dark, swirling, thread-like filaments.
- Changes in cooperation around natural resources more disruptive than declines in resource availability
A new study combines social and physical science in new ways, seeking to understand how changes in Arctic resource-sharing behaviors could affect highly cooperative communities and the households within.
- 'Ghost imaging' with atoms demonstrated
A team of physicists in Australia has used a technique known as 'ghost imaging' to create an image of an object from atoms that never interact with it. This is the first time that ghost imaging has been achieved using atoms, although it has previously been demonstrated with light, leading to applications being developed for imaging and remote sensing through turbulent environments.
- Astronomers watch star clusters spewing out dust
Galaxies are often thought of as sparkling with stars, but they also contain gas and dust. Now, a team of astronomers has used new data to show that stars are responsible for producing dust on galactic scales, a finding consistent with long-standing theory. Dust is important because it is a key component of rocky planets such as Earth.
- The coldest decade of the millennium?
While searching through historical archives to find out more about the 15th-century climate of what is now Belgium, northern France, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, a researcher noticed something odd. Compared with other decades of the last millennium, many of the 1430s' winters and some springs were extremely cold in the Low Countries, as well as in other parts of Europe.
- Sniffing like a dog can improve trace detection of explosives
Scientists have developed an artificial dog nose that mimics the 'active sniffing' of dogs and can increase vapor detection up to 16-fold.
- Alcohol intake associated with increased risk of melanoma
Alcohol intake was associated with higher rates of invasive melanoma among white men and women, according to a study. White wine carried the most significant association, and the increased risk was greater for parts of the body that receive less sun exposure, the study showed.
- Study of thousands of operations suggests that overlapping surgeries are safe
A common way of scheduling surgeries to expand patient access to care and improve hospital efficiency, known as “overlapping surgeries,” is as safe and provides the same outcomes for patients as non-overlapping surgeries, a study has found.
- New process produces hydrogen at much lower temperature
Researchers have developed a new method for producing hydrogen, which is fast, irreversible, and takes place at much lower temperature using less energy. This innovation is expected to contribute to the spread of fuel cell systems for automobiles and homes.
- Attempted suicide rates, risk groups essentially unchanged, new study shows
Researchers have analyzed over 3 million suicide attempt-related emergency department visits between 2006 and 2013, and have concluded that attempted suicides and risk groups basically did not change over that time.
- Predation on pollinating insects shaped the evolution of the orchid mantis
Female orchid mantis adults mimic the appearance of flowers due to their ancestors' association with flowers to capitalize on an easy source of food, pollinating insects, researchers have discovered.
- Making graphene using laser-induced phase separation
All our smart phones have shiny flat AMOLED displays. Behind each single pixel of these displays hide at least two silicon transistors which were mass-manufactured using laser annealing technologies. While the traditional methods to make them uses temperatures above 1,000°C, the laser technique reaches the same results at low temperatures even on plastic substrates (melting temperature below 300°C). Interestingly, a similar procedure can be used to generate crystals of graphene.
- New computational model provides a tool for improving the production of valuable drugs
An extensive study involving partners from five continents has resulted in a model describing the metabolism of Chinese hamster ovary cells (CHO). This model can be used to improve and accelerate the production of biotherapeutics, cancer drugs, and vaccines.
- Protective barrier inside chromosomes helps to keep cells healthy
Fresh insights into the structures that contain our genetic material could explain how the body's cells stay healthy. A protective barrier formed inside each of our chromosomes helps to prevent errors occurring when cells divide, researchers say. The study sheds light on the precise interplay between key factors inside chromosomes that leads to the formation of the barrier.
- Can creativity beat death? New study suggests creatives worry less about dying
Creative people, such as newly-announced Nobel Prize for Literature winner Bob Dylan, are often thought to be motivated by the desire to leave an enduring cultural legacy. Through their creative work, creatives such as Leonard Cohen and David Bowie continue to live on in our culture even after passing away.
- Multiple sclerosis: Newly discovered signal mechanism causes T cells to turn pathogenic
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks the patient's own cells. In this case, modified T cells destroy the myelin sheath surrounding nerve cells. Myelin protects the neural pathways and is thus essential to the ability of nerve cells to transmit information. A recent study has demonstrated that a substance known as interleukin 6 (IL-6) plays an important role in instructing T cells to cause damage to myelin sheaths in the central nervous system.
- Use your words: Written prisoner interactions predict whether they’ll clean up their acts
The evolution of how prisoners in substance-abuse programs communicate is a good indicator of whether they’ll return to crime, new research has found.
- Pathogen's motility triggers immune response
Until now, a pathogen’s ability to move through the body has been overlooked as a possible trigger of immune response, but new research has found that motility will indeed alarm the host and activate an immune response.
- Star of Bethlehem may not be a star after all
Studying historical, astronomical and biblical records, Grant Mathews, University of Notre Dame professor, believes the event that led the Magi was an extremely rare planetary alignment occurring in 6 B.C., and the likes of which may never be seen again.
- Vitamin D status in newborns and risk of MS in later life
Babies born with low levels of vitamin D may be more likely to develop multiple sclerosis (MS) later in life than babies with higher levels of vitamin D, according to a study.
- Black phosphorus doesn't mind water (if it is de-aerated)
Researchers have disproved the idea that water degrades black phosphorus and find the material is actually hydrophobic, outlines a new report.
- Can research methods from different disciplines work together?
A new article exploring how to make research methods from different disciplines work together has been published by experts. The article's recommendations are based on the experience of organizing an enormous multidisciplinary project. With an emphasis on multidisciplinary research growing in the academy and social policy alike, this new article offers valuable insight to researchers and teams involved in collaborations between different specialisms.
- Fires set by Ice Age hunters destroyed forests throughout Europe
Large-scale forest fires started by prehistoric hunter-gatherers are probably the reason why Europe is not more densely forested, researchers report.
- New study describes 200 million years of geological evolution
200 million years of geological evolution of a fault in Earth’s crust has recently been dated. These new findings may be used to shed light on poorly understood pathways for methane release from the heart of our planet.
- World first MRI study sheds light on heart damage during kidney dialysis
Experts in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and kidney disease have carried out the first ever scans to study the heart function of kidney patients while they are having dialysis treatment.
- Metabolite that promotes cancer cell transformation and colorectal cancer spread identified
The metabolite D-2-hydroxyglurate (D-2HG) promotes epithelial–mesenchymal transition of colorectal cancer cells, leading them to develop features of lower adherence to neighboring cells, increased invasiveness, and greater likelihood of metastatic spread. This finding highlights the value of targeting D-2HG to establish new therapeutic approaches against colorectal cancer.