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Chemical News is your source of fresh chemistry data and insights. Chemical news are aggregated from multiple chemistry sources and presented here for convenient consumption.
BBC News - Science & Environment
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  • 'Scary' centipede's genes reveal how life evolved on our planet
    Centipedes, those many-legged creatures that startle us in our homes and gardens, have been genetically sequenced for the first time. An international team of over 100 scientists today reveals how this humble arthropod’s DNA gave them new insight into how life developed on our planet. 
  • Physicists bind single-atom sheets with the same force geckos use to climb walls
    The approach is to design synergistic materials by combining two single-atom thick sheets, for example, that act as a photovoltaic cell as well as a light-emitting diode, converting energy between electricity and radiation.
  • Long-term testosterone therapy does not increase risk of prostate cancer
    Testosterone (T) therapy is routinely used in men with hypogonadism, a condition in which diminished function of the gonads occurs. Although there is no evidence that T therapy increases the risk of prostate cancer (PCa), there are still concerns and a paucity of long-term data. In a new study, investigators examined three parallel, prospective, ongoing, cumulative registry studies of over 1,000 men. Their analysis showed that long-term T therapy in hypogonadal men is safe and does not increase the risk of PCa.
  • Vegetable oil ingredient key to destroying gastric disease bacteria
    The bacterium Helicobacter pylori is strongly associated with gastric ulcers and cancer. To combat the infection, researchers developed LipoLLA, a therapeutic nanoparticle that contains linolenic acid, a component in vegetable oils. In mice, LipoLLA was safe and more effective against H. pylori infection than standard antibiotic treatments.
  • Physicists predict fano resonance in lead-free relaxors: Discovery advances knowledge of poorly understood materials
    Scientists predicts that a phenomenon known in physics as Fano resonance can exist in materials that are used in electronic devices. The discovery advances the fundamental understanding of ferroelectric relaxors, which were discovered in the early 1960s but whose properties are still poorly understood.
  • Mining can damage fish habitats far downstream, study shows
    Anglers across the nation wondering why luck at their favorite fishing spot seems to have dried up may have a surprising culprit: a mine miles away, even in a different state. Scientists have taken a first broad look at the impacts of mines across the country and found that mining can damage fish habitats miles downstream, and even in streams not directly connected to the mines.
  • Athletes' testosterone surges not tied to winning, study finds
    A higher surge of testosterone in competition, the so-called 'winner effect,' is not actually related to winning, suggests a new study of intercollegiate cross country runners.
  • Pathology specialist contributes to debate on breast cancer gene screening
    What are the risks and benefits of screening for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in the general adult population? An expert has published an invited commentary on this issue.
  • E-health records used to search for hidden drug benefits
    With research and development costs for many drugs reaching well into the billions, pharmaceutical companies want more than ever to determine whether their drugs already at market have any hidden therapeutic benefits that could warrant putting additional indications on the label and increase production.
  • Superbug in SE Michigan shows recent decline
    A new study finds a decrease in an emergent strain of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) that is resistant to last line defense antibiotics. Researchers examined the prevalence of vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA) infections in southeastern Michigan, where the majority of these infections have occurred in the US.
  • Trojan horse tactic gives parasites edge over immune systems
    Parasites use Trojan horse subterfuge to suppress the immunity of their victims when causing infection, according to a study. Scientists have shown that parasites are able to secrete tiny sealed packages of genetic material into the cells of their victims, in order to suppress the immune response to infection.
  • Blu-ray disc can be used to improve solar cell performance
    Who knew about Blu-ray discs? One of the best ways to store high-definition movies and television shows because of their high-density data storage, Blu-ray discs also improve the performance of solar cells, according to a new study. Researchers have discovered that the pattern of information written on a Blu-ray disc -- and it doesn't matter if it's Jackie Chan's 'Supercop' or the cartoon 'Family Guy' -- works very well for improving light absorption across the solar spectrum.
  • Vultures evolved an extreme gut to cope with disgusting dietary habits
    How is it that vultures can live on a diet of carrion that would at least lead to severe food-poisoning, and more likely kill most other animals?
  • Patients at emergency departments regarded as 'symptoms,' researcher says
    The healthcare work of providing care at Emergency departments is medicalized and result-driven. As a consequence of this, patients are regarded as “symptoms”, and are shunted around the department as “production units”, new research suggests.
  • A 'hybrid vehicle' that delivers DNA
    A new hybrid vehicle is under development. Its performance isn’t measured by the distance it travels, but rather the delivery of its cargo: vaccines that contain genetically engineered DNA to fight HIV, cancer, influenza and other maladies. The technology is a biomedical advancement that could help unleash the potential of DNA vaccines, which despite two decades of research, have yet to make a significant impact in the treatment of major illnesses.
  • Pain and itch in a dish: Scientists convert human skin cells into sensory neurons
    Scientists have found a simple method to convert human skin cells into the specialized neurons that detect pain, itch, touch and other bodily sensations. These neurons are also affected by spinal cord injury and involved in Friedreich's ataxia, a devastating and currently incurable neurodegenerative disease that largely strikes children.
  • Incomes fall as stressed economy struggles
    Australian average incomes are falling with the country's population growth 'masking underlying economic weakness', according to an economist.
  • Feeling -- not being -- wealthy drives opposition to wealth redistribution
    People's views on income inequality and wealth distribution may have little to do with how much money they have in the bank and a lot to do with how wealthy they feel in comparison to their friends and neighbors, according to new findings.
  • Study maps how city neighborhoods affect diabetes risk
    Public health researchers in Philadelphia looked at how neighborhood and community-level factors -- not just individual factors like diet, exercise and education -- influence people's diabetes risk. Their new study adds insight into the role of the physical and social environment on diabetes risk, zip code by zip code throughout the city.
  • Barriers to public health data-sharing; life-saving solutions
    Barriers to the sharing of public health data hamper decision-making efforts on local, national and global levels, and stymie attempts to contain emerging global health threats, an international team of researchers has announced.
  • Few operations for epilepsy despite safety, efficacy
    Epilepsy surgery is a safe, effective and low-risk procedure, research shows. Nevertheless, few Swedes have the operation, and those who are interested may have to wait a long time for presurgical counseling.
  • Body size requires hormones under control
    The proper regulation of body size is of fundamental importance, but the mechanisms that stop growth are still unclear. Scientists have shed new light on how animals regulate body size. The researchers uncovered important clues about the molecular mechanisms triggered by environmental conditions that ultimately affect final body size. They show that the timing of synthesis of a steroid hormone called ecdysone is sensitive to nutrition in the fruit fly and describe the key proteins involved in this regulatory mechanism. This study explains what causes hormones to become environmentally-sensitive and provides important clues on body size regulation.
  • Missing gene linked to autism
    Researchers have shed light on a gene mutation linked to autistic traits. The team already knew that some people with autism were deficient in a gene called neurexin-II. To investigate whether the gene was associated with autism symptoms, the Leeds team studied mice with the same defect. They found behavioral features that were similar to autism symptoms, including a lack of sociability or interest in other mice.
  • New plastic that disappears when you want it to
    Plastic populates our world through everything from electronics to packaging and vehicles. Once discarded, it resides almost permanently in landfills and oceans. A new discovery holds scientific promise that could lead to a new type of plastic that can be broken down when exposed to a specific type of light and is reduced back to molecules, which could then be used to create new plastic.
  • Gene linked to tamoxifen-resistant breast cancers
    After mining the genetic records of thousands of breast cancer patients, researchers have identified a gene whose presence may explain why some breast cancers are resistant to tamoxifen, a widely used hormone treatment generally used after surgery, radiation and other chemotherapy.
  • Alzheimer's in a dish model converts skin cells to induced neurons expressing amyloid-beta and tau
    The search for a living laboratory model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) — the so-called “Alzheimer’s in a dish” —has a new candidate. Researchers report success in creating induced neurons that model Alzheimer’s by starting with fibroblasts taken from skin biopsies.
  • Circumstances are right for weed invasion to escalate, researchers say
    What some farmers grow as pasture plants others view as weeds. But with the need to cheaply feed food animals rising, circumstances are right for the weed invasion to escalate.
  • How environment contributes to several human diseases
    Using a new imaging technique, researchers have found that the biological machinery that builds DNA can insert molecules into the DNA strand that are damaged as a result of environmental exposures. These damaged molecules trigger cell death that produces some human diseases, according to the researchers. The work provides a possible explanation for how one type of DNA damage may lead to cancer, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular and lung disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Scientists completed the first orchid whole genome sequencing
    As one of the most diverse plant family, orchid now has its first genome sequenced. All around the world, orchids are highly endangered species because of illegal collection and habitat loss. The complete genome sequence of P. equestris will provide an important resource to explore orchid diversity and evolution at the genome level.
  • Breakthrough in flexible electronics enabled by inorganic-based laser lift-off
    Engineers have developed an easier methodology to make high performance flexible electronics by using the Inorganic-based Laser Lift-off (ILLO), which enables nanoscale processes for high density flexible devices and high temperature processes that were previously difficult to achieve on plastic substrates.
  • One-two punch of drugs better than either alone against colorectal cancer
    Experimental anti-cancer agents PF-04691502 and PD-0325901 excel in lab tests against colorectal cancer models and enter phase 1 trial, scientists report. "This study demonstrates strong potential for this combination in treating laboratory models of colorectal cancer. We hope that if we can discover biomarkers that predict which tumors respond and which don't respond to the combination that we can optimize its use," one researcher says.
  • Sialic acid shields human cells from attack by immune system
    Biochemists have identified molecular structures that allow the immune system to tell friend from foe. The researchers identified and crystallized a complex that forms the contact point between the healthy human cell and the complement system. Using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and X-ray structure analysis, they were able to solve the molecular structure of the complex. It is composed of a glycan containing sialic acid and two domains of the complement system regulator, factor H.
  • Researchers find way to turn sawdust into gasoline
    Researchers have successfully converted sawdust into building blocks for gasoline. Using a new chemical process, they were able to convert the cellulose in sawdust into hydrocarbon chains. These hydrocarbons can be used as an additive in gasoline, or as a component in plastics.
  • Does a yogurt a day keep diabetes away?
    A high intake of yogurt has been found to be associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to research. This highlights the importance of having yogurt as part of a healthy diet.
  • El Niño stunts children's growth in Peru
    Extreme weather events, such as El Niño, can have long-lasting effects on health, according to research. The study, in coastal Peru, shows that children born during and after the 1997-98 El Niño have a lower height-for-age than others born before the event.
  • P2X3 inhibitor shows 75 percent reduction in chronic cough frequency
    Results from a Phase 2 clinical trial have been published, demonstrating that a drug candidate -- AF-219 -- reduced daytime cough frequency by 75 percent compared to placebo in patients with treatment-refractory chronic cough. AF-219 is a selective, non-narcotic, orally administered P2X3 receptor antagonist targeting the mechanism by which certain nerve fibers become hyper-sensitized.
  • Scientists could save thousands with student's DIY microscope
    Expensive tests for measuring everything from sperm motility to cancer diagnosis have just been made hundreds of thousands of dollars cheaper by a Ph.D. student from England who hacked his own microscope.
  • Why cancer cells grow despite a lack of oxygen
    Healthy cells reduce their growth when there is a lack of oxygen (hypoxia). This makes it even more surprising that hypoxia is a characteristic feature of malignant tumors. In two publications, researchers report on how cancer cells succeed at circumventing the genetic program of growth inhibition.
  • Asymptomatic atherosclerosis linked to cognitive impairment
    In a study of nearly 2,000 adults, researchers found that a buildup of plaque in the body's major arteries was associated with mild cognitive impairment. Atherosclerosis is a condition in which fat, cholesterol and other substances collect in the arteries, forming a substance called plaque that can build up, limiting blood flow. It can occur in any artery of the body, including the carotid, which supplies blood to the brain, coronary arteries and the aorta, which carries oxygenated blood from the heart through the abdomen to the rest of body.
  • New device may ease mammography discomfort
    A new device that may result in more comfortable mammography for women has been created by researchers. According to a new study, standardizing the pressure applied in mammography would reduce pain associated with breast compression without sacrificing image quality.
  • Homosexuality may help us bond, experts say
    Homosexual behavior may have evolved to promote social bonding in humans, according to new research. Researchers found that heterosexual women who have higher levels of progesterone are more likely to be open to the idea of engaging in sexual behaviour with other women. Similarly, when heterosexual men are subtly reminded of the importance of having male friends and allies, they report more positive attitudes toward engaging in sexual behaviour with other men. This pattern is particularly dramatic in men who have high levels of progesterone.
  • Gene discovered that reduces risk of stroke
    A gene that protects people against one of the major causes of stroke in young and middle-aged adults has been discovered, and researchers say that it could hold the key to new treatments.
  • Problem gambling, personality disorders often go hand in hand
    The treatment of people who cannot keep their gambling habits in check is often complicated because they also tend to suffer from personality disorders. Problem gambling creates a multitude of intrapersonal, interpersonal and social difficulties for the roughly 2.3 percent of the population internationally that suffers from this behavior.
  • Bitcoin, virtual money: User's identity can be revealed much easier than thought
    Bitcoin is the new money: minted and exchanged on the Internet. Faster and cheaper than a bank, the service is attracting attention from all over the world. But a big question remains: are the transactions really anonymous? Several research groups worldwide have shown that it is possible to find out which transactions belong together, even if the client uses different pseudonyms. However it was not clear if it is also possible to reveal the IP address behind each transaction. This has changed: researchers have now demonstrated how this is feasible with only a few computers and about €1500.
  • New ways to drain cancer's 'fuel tank' discovered
    A potential weakness in cancer’s ability to return or become resistant to treatment has been discovered, targeting the ‘fuel’ part of stem cells which allows tumors to grow. By observing cancer stem cells in a lab setting, researchers discovered that mitochondria are especially important for the proliferative expansion and survival of cancer stem cells, also known as 'tumor initiating cells', which would then promote treatment resistance.
  • Better assessment of decision-making capacity
    Physicians often find it hard to tell if a patient suffering from dementia or depression is capable of making sound judgements. Through a new study, researchers now aim to shed more light on this issue, developing a better way to assess a patient's decision-making capacity.
  • Proton pump inhibitors decrease diversity in gut microbiome, increase risk for complications
    People who regularly take proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have less diversity among their gut bacteria, putting them at increased risk for infections like clostridium difficile and pneumonia, in addition to vitamin deficiencies and bone fractures, a new study has shown.
  • Schistosomas: Tropical parasite uses swim stroke not shared by any other creature
    For many bacteria and parasites looking to get a load of the fresh nutritional bounty inside your body, the skin is the first and most important gatekeeper. Schistosomas, however, and burrow right on through. These waterborne blood flukes, responsible for 200 million total worldwide cases of Schistosomiasis, are driven by the powerful thrusts of their unique forked tails and chewing enzymes. The parasite's swimming patterns are crucial for its human-seeking chemotactic activity - and are the focus of researchers who ultimately seek to break the chain of infection.
  • Fluid dynamics explain what happens when dogs drink water
    If you've ever watched a dog drink water, you know that it can be a sloshy, spilly, splashy affair -- in other words, adorable. Behind all of the happy, wet messes, however, lies the mechanical logic of carnivorous compensation -- dogs splash when they drink because they have the cheeks of a predatory quadruped. By studying the drinking habits of various dog breeds and sizes, researchers have recently identified and modeled the fluid dynamics at play when dogs drink water.
  • Espresso in space: You knew it was only a matter of time before espresso made its way to the International Space Station, right?
    Espresso-loving astronauts, rejoice! You may soon be able to enjoy your beloved beverage in space, thanks to a new cup designed specifically to defy the low-gravity environments encountered aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
  • Small modifications to tractor-trailers could save billions of gallons of gasoline each year
    Each year, the more than 2 million tractor-trailer trucks that cruise America's highways consume about 36 billion gallons of diesel fuel, representing more than 10 percent of the nation's entire petroleum use. That fuel consumption could be reduced by billions of gallons a year through the use of drag-reducing devices on trucks, according to new studies.
  • Climate control in termite mounds
    Researchers have found that fluctuations in outside temperature create convection currents within termite mounds to ventilate the living space.
  • Conserving soil, water in world's driest wheat region
    In the world's driest rainfed wheat region, researchers have identified summer fallow management practices that can make all the difference for farmers, water and soil conservation, and air quality. Wheat growers in the Horse Heaven Hills of south-central Washington farm with an average of 6-8 inches of rain a year. Wind erosion has caused blowing dust that exceeded federal air quality standards 20 times in the past 10 years.
  • CT scans of coral skeletons reveal ocean acidity increases reef erosion
    For coral reefs to persist, rates of reef construction must exceed reef breakdown. Prior research has largely focused on the negative impacts of ocean acidification on reef growth, but new research demonstrates that lower ocean pH also enhances reef breakdown: a double-whammy for coral reefs in a changing climate.
  • Boy moms more social in chimpanzees: Watching adult males in action may help youngsters prepare
    Four decades of chimpanzee observations reveals the mothers of sons are 25 percent more social than the mothers of daughters, spending about two hours more per day with other chimpanzees than the girl moms did. Researchers believe mothers are giving young males the opportunity to observe males in social situations to help them develop the social skills they'll need to thrive in adult male competition.
  • 'Dramatic' early phase 1 results for AG-120 in IDH1 mutated AML
    A new study shows "extremely promising” early phase 1 clinical trial results for the investigational drug AG-120 against the subset of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) harboring mutations in the gene IDH.
  • How does the brain react to virtual reality? Completely different pattern of activity in brain
    Neurophysicists studying a key brain region where Alzheimer's disease begins have discovered how the brain processes virtual reality. 'The pattern of activity in a brain region involved in spatial learning in the virtual world is completely different than in the real world,' said the professor of physics, neurology, and neurobiology.
  • Basic vs. advanced life support outcomes after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest
    Patients who had cardiac arrest at home or elsewhere outside of a hospital had greater survival to hospital discharge and to 90 days beyond if they received basic life support vs. advanced life support from ambulance personnel, according to a report.
  • Delaying ART in patients with HIV reduces likelihood of restoring CD4 counts
    A larger percentage of patients with human immunodeficiency virus achieved normalization of CD4+ T-cell counts when they started antiretroviral therapy within 12 months of the estimated dates of seroconversion rather than later, according to a report.
  • Two studies, 2 editorials put focus on school breakfasts, lunches
    Schools offering Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC) had higher participation in the national school breakfast program and attendance, but math and reading achievement did not differ between schools with or without BIC, according to a study.
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  • Animals have begun hunting harbor porpoises and may set their sights on humans

  • Leaders of three UK geoengineering projects share results

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  • Study hints that diversity of the body’s bacteria may play a role in obesity

  • Government moving to reduce confusion
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