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- Earth's rarest minerals catalogued
Scientists categorise the Earth's rarest minerals with some so rare that the total global supply could fit in a thimble.
- US scientists warn on 'dustbowl' risk
US scientists have modelled how a 1930s-like "dustbowl" drought might impact American agriculture today, and found it to be just as damaging.
- Gravitational waves: Numbers don't do them justice
Reflecting on the significance of Thursday’s announcement – and the mind-boggling scale of the black hole merger itself.
- Quake mobile app invites public test
A new app that turns a smartphone into a mobile seismometer is being rolled out by California scientists.
- Polluted air 'causes 5.5m deaths a year'
More than 5.5 million people worldwide are dying prematurely every year as a result of air pollution, according to new research.
- Ground control bids farewell to Philae
The Rosetta mission team says it is time to give up hope of ever hearing again from the comet lander Philae.
- Farmers on alert for livestock virus
Farmers are being warned to expect an outbreak of a highly infectious animal disease called bluetongue this summer.
- 'Health risk' legacy from Neanderthals
Scientists find a wide range of ailments are strongly influenced by our Neanderthal heritage.
- 'Ripples' from black holes detected
For the first time, scientists detect tiny, rhythmic distortions in space and time - gravitational waves - predicted by Einstein 100 years ago.
- Record year for river fish releases
Almost two million captive-bred fish and larvae were released in 2015 to boost populations in England's rivers, says the Environment Agency.
- Toxic chemicals found in beached whales
A pod of whales stranded in Fife in 2012 are found to have had high concentrations of toxic chemicals in their bodies, scientists find.
- Court halts Obama's key climate plan
President Obama's plans to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide from US power plants are stalled by the Supreme Court.
- Climate change 'to make flights longer'
Flights from the UK to the US could take longer due to the changes in the climate, according to a new study.
- Horses recognise human emotions
Horses discriminate between happy and angry human facial expressions, according to research.
- Flashes of light may stop jet lag
Exposure to short flashes of light at night could help travellers adjust to new time zones and avoid jet lag, according to scientists.
- Bears hibernate 'with bacterial help'
A Swedish study suggests that changes in the gut flora of brown bears help them to cope with the weird metabolic demands of hibernation.
- Legal breakthrough for Google car
Google's self-driving technology should be considered a legal driver, the US highways authority says.
- Bacteria 'see' like tiny eyeballs
Biologists discover how bacteria sense light and move towards it: the entire single-cell organism focuses light like a tiny eyeball.
- Water rights 'threaten Spanish wetland'
One of Europe's most important wetland areas is under threat say environmentalists as Spain and Catalonia argue about the future of the Ebro river.
- VIDEO: Spearing giants in 'ocean's Jurassic Park'
Spear-fishing expert Colin Chester explains the appeal of fishing off Ascension Island.
- VIDEO: 'Mind-boggling' breakthrough
Scientists say the discovery of gravitational waves will open the window on the formation of the universe.
- VIDEO: 'Brainwave orchestra' in first performance
Four members of a Paramusical Ensemble, who are unable to talk or move, are using ground-breaking technology to create music with the power of their minds.
- VIDEO: Meet the mysterious deep-sea 'sock'
The mystery of a deep-sea creature that resembles a discarded purple sock has been solved, scientists report.
- VIDEO: WHO warns Zika could infect millions
The World Health Organisation has convened an emergency committee to discuss the spread of the Zika virus, which has been linked to thousands of birth defects in Latin America.
- VIDEO: Copying the brain's origami using gel
Scientists replicate how the human brain folds using a 3D model made out of gel, and computer simulations.
- VIDEO: Bite by bite: Shark eats shark
A female sand tiger shark has slowly eaten a smaller male shark in a Seoul aquarium, bite by bite
- VIDEO: Chris Packham on polecat comeback
Polecats, which were almost wiped out in Britain in the last century, have made a remarkable recovery. Naturalist Chris Packham explains.
- Gravity search was 'a global effort'
The search for gravitational waves was a global effort
- Why did the half-plane, half-helicopter not work?
Why did the half-plane, half-helicopter not work?
- Did a meteorite kill a man in India?
Did a meteorite kill a man in India?
- Dating dispute over 'oldest Koran'
Carbon dating row over 'oldest Koran'
- Caves reveal Australia wasteland's secret past
Caves reveal a desert's rainforest past
- Winning photos from beautiful gardens
What is the most beautiful garden photo of the year?
- 'Jaws' may help humans grow new teeth, shark study suggests
A new insight into how sharks regenerate their teeth, which may pave the way for the development of therapies to help humans with tooth loss, has been discovered.
- Same gene dictates size of two sensory brain areas
The discovery has implications for understanding how the human brain evolved and how it varies between people
- New method for bio-designing yeast could improve biofuel production
A new strain of yeast that could improve the efficiency of making fuel from cellulosic biomass such as switchgrass has been discovered by researchers. Both the yeast strain and the method of its design could help overcome a significant bottleneck in the biofuels pipeline — namely, that the powerful solvents so good at breaking down biomass also sometimes hinder the next critical step of the process, fermentation.
- Long-term cancer surviors still need guidance about screening, side effects, lifestyle
Researchers have published an article that addresses the needs of cancer survivors who are at least nine years beyond an initial diagnosis. The Q &A article discusses how to better care for long-term survivors.
- Paleontologists discover evidence of new types of dinosaurs in Idaho including Tyrannosaur ancestors
A team of paleontologists has identified several new types of dinosaurs from fossil evidence discovered in eastern Idaho, demonstrating the presence of a much more diverse group of theropods in the area than was previously known.
- Rare beluga data show whales dive to maximize meals
As the Arctic continues to change due to rising temperatures, melting sea ice and human interest in developing oil and shipping routes, it's important to understand belugas' baseline behavior, argue the authors of a new article.
- Poor air quality kills 5.5 million worldwide annually
New research shows that more than 5.5 million people die prematurely every year due to household and outdoor air pollution. More than half of deaths occur in two of the world's fastest growing economies, China and India.
- Software optimized on Mira advances design of mini-proteins for medicines, materials
Scientists are using Mira to virtually design unique, artificial peptides, or short proteins. Peptides have the best properties of two different classes of medical drugs today and could enable future, peptide-based medicines with few side effects. As researchers begin to develop new peptides, they are optimizing their in-house software to test thousands of potential peptide structure designs in tandem, requiring a state-of-the-art supercomputer.
- New nanotechnology detects biomarkers of cancer
Researchers have developed a new technology to detect disease biomarkers in the form of nucleic acids, the building blocks of all living organisms.
- Study finds mechanism by which obesity promotes pancreatic and breast cancer
Investigators may have uncovered a novel mechanism behind the ability of obesity to promote cancer progression. The study focused on the effects of obesity on pancreatic and breast cancer, since more than half of those diagnosed with such tumors are overweight or obese.
- Ants were socializing -- and sparring -- nearly 100 million years ago, study finds
Like people, ants have often fought over food and territory. But ants began fighting long before humans: at least 99 million years ago, according to a fossil insect expert.
- Imaging with an 'optical brush'
A new imaging device has been developed that consists of a loose bundle of optical fibers, with no need for lenses or a protective housing. The fibers are connected to an array of photosensors at one end; the other ends can be left to wave free, so they could pass individually through micrometer-scale gaps in a porous membrane, to image whatever is on the other side.
- When the boss's ethical behavior breaks bad
Is your boss ethical? Does he or she do what's right, as opposed to what's profitable? If so, they may turn downright abusive the next day. New research on leader behavior suggests ethical conduct leads to mental exhaustion and the "moral licensing" to lash out at employees.
- Scientists create ultrathin semiconductor heterostructures for new technologies
Scientists have successfully combined two different ultrathin semiconductors -- each just one layer of atoms thick and roughly 100,000 times thinner than a human hair -- to make a new two-dimensional heterostructure with potential uses in clean energy and optically-active electronics.
- Memory replay prioritizes high-reward memories
Why do we remember some events, places and things, but not others? Our brains prioritize rewarding memories over others, and reinforce them by replaying them when we are at rest, according to new research.
- Catastrophic failure of South American Ice Age dam changed Pacific Ocean circulation and climate
The catastrophic release of fresh water from a vast south American lake at the end of the last Ice Age was significant enough to change circulation in the Pacific Ocean according to new research. The study reveals that the lake, which was about one third the size of Wales, drained several times between 13,000 and 8,000 years ago, with devastating consequences.
- Sleep apnea takes a toll on brain function
People with sleep apnea show significant changes in the levels of two important brain chemicals, which could be a reason that many have symptoms that impact their day-to-day lives, new research concludes.
- Genome studies can help identify lifestyle risks for diseases
A type of study commonly used to pinpoint genetic variants associated with diseases can also be used to identify the lifestyle predictors that increase the risk of a disease -- something that is often overlooked in genetic studies.
- Gene switch may repair DNA and prevent cancer
New discoveries are bringing scientists closer to understanding how DNA repairs itself with a chemical modification which, when absent, can lead to tumor formation.
- Giant flightless bird wandered the Arctic 50 million years ago
New research confirms there really was a giant, flightless bird with a head the size of a horse's wandering about in the winter twilight of the high Arctic some 53 million years ago.
- Gene signature could lead to a new way of diagnosing Lyme Disease
Researchers may have found a new way to diagnose Lyme disease, based on a distinctive gene “signature” they discovered in white blood cells of patients infected with the tick-borne bacteria.
- New lens ready for its close-up
Researchers have always thought that flat, ultrathin optical lenses for cameras or other devices were impossible because of the way all the colors of light must bend through them. But researchers have developed a new method of creating optics that are flat and thin yet can still perform the function of bending light to a single point, the basic step in producing an image.
- Gene previously observed only in brain is important driver of metastatic breast cancer
One gene that was once thought only to be found in the brain is also expressed in breast cancer and helps promote the growth and spread of the disease, research shows. Additionally, the scientists showed how a version of the gene with edited RNA prevents metastasis.
- Winter feast: Camera trap offers a candid look at Idaho's scavengers
A research wildlife biologists have created a series of motion-sensitive camera traps to monitor golden eagle migration and distribution in southwest Idaho.
- Diabetics who use verapamil have lower glucose levels, data show
While causal relationship cannot be inferred, findings of a new study are “absolutely encouraging," says the lead author of a new report. The study shows for the first time that there is an association of verapamil use and lower fasting glucose levels in humans with diabetes
- Important role of nucleocytoplasmic transport in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are two devastating adult-onset neurodegenerative disorders. No cure exists for these diseases. Ten percent of ALS patients suffer from a familial form of the disease, while FTD is caused in 40% of patients by a genetic defect. In 2011, the most important genetic cause of ALS and FTD was discovered. The causative mutation was a repetition of a piece of non-coding DNA, a so called tandem repeat, in a gene with an unknown function, named C9orf72. A team of scientists has now discovered that proteins translated from this tandem repeat interfere with the nucleocytoplasmic transport which they found is essential for causing ALS and FTD.
- Supportive shoes a confusing term, runner attitude study finds
New running shoes to burn off Christmas excess are a popular purchase in the New Year, but the terms associated with supportive footwear and alternative styles of running can be confusing, a new study has found.
- Expert opinion on how to address the skyrocketing prices of cancer drugs
Many patients with cancer find themselves in great financial distress, in part because the costs of cancer-fighting drugs are skyrocketing. Is it possible to create public policy that will rein in these prices and cut patients' out-of-pocket costs? Not without significant tradeoffs, that could reduce patients' access to some cancer medications, says a physician, cancer researcher and health economist.
- New study confirms different generics have equal efficacy when treating epilepsy
A new study tested two generic lamotrigine (prescription antiepileptic) products and found no detectable difference in clinical effects among patients in the trial.
- Asthma linked to an increased time to pregnancy
Asthma has been associated with a prolonged time to pregnancy and a decreased birth rate in a new clinical observation study. The current study investigated 245 women with unexplained fertility problems aged between 23 and 45 years. They underwent asthma and allergy testing and questionnaires during their fertility treatment. 96 women in the study had either an existing doctor's diagnosis of asthma or were diagnosed with asthma when they entered the study.
- Graphene leans on glass to advance electronics
Scientists have developed a simple and powerful method for creating resilient, customized, and high-performing graphene: layering it on top of common glass. This scalable and inexpensive process helps pave the way for a new class of microelectronic and optoelectronic devices -- everything from efficient solar cells to touch screens.
- Fossil record disappears at different rates
Considerably more of the fossil record of creatures such as mammoths, mastodons, camels, horses and ground sloths has been lost in what is now the continental United States and South America than in Alaska and areas near the Bering Strait. New statistical analysis shows wide variation in the rates at which the bones of ancient animals in the Americas have been lost.
- Decade of rising seas slowed by land soaking up extra water
New measurements from a NASA satellite have allowed researchers to identify and quantify, for the first time, how climate-driven increases of liquid water storage on land have affected the rate of sea level rise. A new study shows that while ice sheets and glaciers continue to melt, changes in weather and climate over the past decade have caused Earth's continents to soak up and store an extra 3.2 trillion tons of water in soils, lakes and underground aquifers, temporarily slowing the rate of sea level rise by about 20 percent.
- What are my hiccups telling me?
Most of us can remember the Grey's Anatomy episode where Meredith's step-mom checks into the hospital for a case of hiccups that won't go away. The diagnosis wasn't pretty and it may have caused viewers to panic about their health every time they hiccupped.
- Gastric bypass surgery can reduce risk of death even for advanced ages
New research challenges the assumption that people can be too old for surgery. Surprisingly, even obese people well into their 70s can experience significant life-sustaining benefits by opting for the surgery, according to the study.
- Feeling older increases risk of hospitalization, study says
People who feel older than their peers are more likely to be hospitalized as they age, regardless of their actual age or other demographic factors, according to research.
- Male biology students consistently underestimate female peers, study finds
New research shows consistent gender bias among male biology undergraduate students, suggesting that they could be undermining the confidence of female students as they embark on studies in STEM disciplines.
- Carbon dioxide stored underground can find multiple ways to escape
When carbon dioxide is stored underground in a process known as geological sequestration, it can find multiple escape pathways due to chemical reactions between carbon dioxide, water, rocks and cement from abandoned wells, according to researchers.
- Fish larvae are better off in groups, study finds
A recent study provides new evidence that larvae swim faster, straighter and more consistently in a common direction when together in a group. The research is the first to observe group orientation behaviors of larval fish.
- Freezing nerves prior to knee replacement improves outcomes, study finds
Freezing nerves before knee replacement surgery combined with traditional pain management approaches significantly improves patient outcomes, the first study of its kind has found.
- A metal that behaves like water
Researchers have made a breakthrough in our understanding of graphene's basic properties, observing for the first time electrons in a metal behaving like a fluid. This research could lead to novel thermoelectric devices as well as provide a model system to explore exotic phenomena like black holes and high-energy plasmas.
- Mommy and me: Study shows how affectionate mothering can combat the effects of maternal depression
Certain parenting strategies can combat the negative impacts of maternal depression on an infant, suggests the first study of its kind. The work sought to investigate how a depressed mother's neuroendocrine response to stress can program the infant's hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, a set of signals and relationships between the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland and the adrenals. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is responsible for creating cortisol, a hormone released in response to stress.
- For a rare prairie orchid, science is making climate change local
A dynamic model that focuses on site scale conservation has been developed to give conservation decision-makers the capacity to assess multiple interacting stressors at the local scale, identify the most important stressors, and evaluate the efficacy of management strategies in light of their cumulative impacts.
- Giving support to others, not just receiving it, has beneficial effects
Social support has well-known benefits for physical and mental health. But giving support -- rather than receiving it -- may have unique positive effects on key brain areas involved in stress and reward responses, suggests a new study.
- Want to be a doctor, but have a disability? Many medical schools look unwelcoming
They may dream of becoming doctors, and helping people like themselves. But for young people with disabilities, that dream may die when they check the admissions standards of most medical schools, according to a new study.
- DNA breaks in nerve cells' ancestors cluster in specific genes
A new avenue for thinking about brain development, brain tumors and neurodevelopmental/psychiatric diseases has been revealed by a new study.
- New imaging technique shows how DNA is protected at chromosomes' ends
A new imaging technique has allowed researchers to see how DNA loops around a protein that aids in the formation of a special structure in telomeres. Telomeres are essentially caps on the ends of linear chromosomes, which are the structures inside our cells that contain DNA with our genetic information. In terms of function, telomeres are like the plastic coating (aglet) on the ends of shoelaces that prevents the laces from unraveling.
- Scientists learn how young brains form lifelong memories by studying worms' food choices
When young C. elegans worms taste poisonous food, they remember that experience for the rest of their life, neuroscientists have found. Their work is teasing apart the biological mechanisms that drive different types of learning.
- By switching 'bait,' biologists trick plants' bacterial defense into attacking virus
Scientists have modified a plant gene that normally fights bacterial infection to confer resistance to a virus. The method is the first time a plant's innate defense system has been altered to deliver resistance to a new disease.
- Iron in the blood could cause cell damage, say researchers
Concentrations of iron similar to those delivered through standard treatments can trigger DNA damage within 10 minutes, when given to cells in the laboratory. This is the finding of scientists who suggest that researchers need to look carefully at the amount of iron given in standard treatments, such as tablets and infusions, and the effects this could be having on the body.
- First nationwide survey of climate change education
How is climate change being taught in American schools? Is it being taught at all? And how are teachers addressing climate change denial in their classrooms, schools, and school districts? Until today's release of NCSE's comprehensive nationwide survey, no one knew.
- Common antimalarial drug could be used to treat major injury
A common anti-malarial drug Artesunate could be used to reduce organ failure following injury, according to an early study in rats. The repurposing of the affordable and safe drug could help save the lives of major trauma patients, and the promising results have already led to human clinical trials being planned for this year.
- Younger T cells may improve immunotherapy for children's cancer
Pediatric oncologists have investigated techniques to improve and broaden a novel personalized cell therapy to treat children with cancer. The researchers say a patient's outcome may be improved if clinicians select specific subtypes of T cells to attack diseases like acute lymphoblastic leukemia and lymphoma.
- Surprise role for dopamine in social interplay
The chemical signal dopamine plays an unexpected role in social interactions, new research shows. In mice, nerve cells in the brain that release dopamine became particularly active in animals kept on their own for a short time.
- Mobile communication keeps couples who live close to one another even closer
Texting can make the heart grow fonder. That is just one of the findings of recent research that shows that even couples who live close to one another rely heavily on mobile media to manage their dating relationships. And that can be a good thing, one expert says.
- Lifelong physical activity increases bone density in men
Men have many reasons to add high-impact and resistance training to their exercise regimens; these reasons include building muscle and shedding fat. Now a researcher has determined another significant benefit to these activities: building bone mass. The study found that individuals who continuously participated in high-impact activities, such as jogging and tennis, during adolescence and young adulthood, had greater hip and lumbar spine bone mineral density than those who did not.
- Window to reduce carbon emissions is small, scientists say
At the rate humans are emitting carbon into the atmosphere, Earth may suffer irreparable damage that could last tens of thousands of years, according to a new analysis published this week.
- Unraveling the enigma of salty taste detection
Scientists from the Monell Center have further characterized the identity and functionality of salt-responding taste cells on the tongue. The knowledge may lead to novel approaches to develop salt replacers or enhancers that can help reduce the sodium content of food while retaining desirable salty taste.
- Herpes outbreak, other marine viruses linked to coral bleaching event
Significant outbreaks of viruses may be associated with coral bleaching events, especially as a result of multiple environmental stresses, a study has concluded. One such event was documented even as it happened in a three-day period. It showed how an explosion of three viral groups, including a herpes-like virus, occurred just as corals were bleaching in one part of the Great Barrier Reef off the east coast of Australia.
- What 'tainted' engagement rings reveal about consumer expectations
We're told diamonds -- and their value -- are forever. But new research into the re-sale of diamond engagement rings shows a diamond's value is affected by the story people attach to it and whether it fits with their ideas about what a good ring needs to be.
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