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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
Latest Science News -- ScienceDaily
  • 'Hedgehog' robots hop, tumble in microgravity
    Hopping, tumbling and flipping over are not typical maneuvers you would expect from a spacecraft exploring other worlds. Traditional Mars rovers, for example, roll around on wheels, and they can't operate upside-down. But on a small body, such as an asteroid or a comet, the low-gravity conditions and rough surfaces make traditional driving all the more hazardous. Enter Hedgehog: a new concept for a robot that is specifically designed to overcome the challenges of traversing small bodies.
  • Huddling rats behave as a 'super-organism'
    Rodents huddle together when it is cold, they separate when it is warm, and at moderate temperatures they cycle between the warm center and the cold edges of the group.
  • Growing up on a farm provides protection against asthma and allergies
    Researchers have successfully established a causal relationship between exposure to so-called farm dust and protection against asthma and allergies. This breakthrough discovery is a major step forward towards the development of an asthma vaccine.
  • Ecologists wondering where the lions, and other top predators, are
    Ecologists have discovered a pattern that is consistent across a range of ecosystems. They found that, in a very systematic way, in crowded settings, prey reproduced less than they do in settings where their numbers are smaller. Some scientists are already suggesting that it may well be the discovery of a new law of nature.
  • Fighting explosives pollution with mutant plants
    Biologists have taken an important step in making it possible to clean millions of hectares of land contaminated by explosives. Biologists have unraveled the mechanism of TNT toxicity in plants raising the possibility of a new approach to explosives remediation technology. TNT has become an extensive global pollutant over the last 100 years and there are mounting concerns over its toxicity to biological systems.
  • Cassini's final breathtaking close views of dione
    A pockmarked, icy landscape looms beneath NASA's Cassini spacecraft in new images of Saturn's moon Dione taken during the mission's last close approach to the small, icy world. Two of the new images show the surface of Dione at the best resolution ever.
  • Dawn sends sharper scenes from Ceres
    The closest-yet views of Ceres, delivered by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, show the small world's features in unprecedented detail, including Ceres' tall, conical mountain; crater formation features and narrow, braided fractures.
  • The fingerprints of sea level rise
    According to the 23-year record of satellite data from NASA and its partners, the sea level is rising a few millimeters a year -- a fraction of an inch. If you live on the U.S. East Coast, though, your sea level is rising two or three times faster than average. If you live in Scandinavia, it's falling. Residents of China's Yellow River delta are swamped by sea level rise of more than nine inches (25 centimeters) a year. These regional differences in sea level change will become even more apparent in the future, as ice sheets melt.
  • Warming seas and melting ice sheets
    For thousands of years, sea level has remained relatively stable and human communities have settled along the planet's coastlines. But now Earth's seas are rising. Globally, sea level has risen about eight inches (20 centimeters) since the beginning of the 20th century and more than two inches (5 centimeters) in the last 20 years alone. All signs suggest that this rise is accelerating.
  • NASA zeroes in on ocean rise: How much? How soon?
    Seas around the world have risen an average of nearly 3 inches (8 centimeters) since 1992, with some locations rising more than 9 inches (25 centimeters) due to natural variation, according to the latest satellite measurements from NASA and its partners. An intensive research effort now underway, aided by NASA observations and analysis, points to an unavoidable rise of several feet in the future.
  • Smallest 3-D camera offers brain surgery innovation
    To operate on the brain, doctors need to see fine details on a small scale. A tiny camera that could produce 3-D images from inside the brain would help surgeons see more intricacies of the tissue they are handling and lead to faster, safer procedures.
  • NASA's summer research on sea level rise in Greenland
    On Greenland's ice sheet, a vast icy landscape crisscrossed by turquoise rivers and dotted with meltwater lakes, a small cluster of orange camping tents popped up in late July. The camp, home for a week to a team of researchers, sat by a large, fast-flowing river. Just half a mile (a kilometer) downstream, the river dropped into a seemingly bottomless moulin, or sinkhole in the ice. The low rumble of the waters, the shouted instructions from scientists taking measurements, and the chop of the blades of a helicopter delivering personnel and gear were all that was heard in the frozen landscape.
  • Hubble survey unlocks clues to star birth in neighboring galaxy
    In an intensive citizen-science-aided survey of Hubble telescope images of 2,753 young, blue star clusters in the neighboring Andromeda galaxy (M31), astronomers have found that M31 and our own galaxy have a similar percentage of newborn stars based on mass. By nailing down what percentage of stars have a particular mass within a cluster (the Initial Mass Function), scientists can better interpret the light from distant galaxies and understand the formation history of stars in our universe.
  • Greenland campaign takes flight to measure ice sheet
    Earlier this month, a NASA instrument nestled in the belly of a small plane flew over Greenland's ice sheet and the Arctic Ocean's icy waters. Flying above creviced glaciers, chunks of ice floating in melt ponds, and the slushy edges of the ice sheets, the instrument used a rapidly firing laser to measure the elevation of the surface below.
  • 'Littlest' quark-gluon plasma produced: State of matter thought to have existed at birth of the universe
    Researchers have produced quark-gluon plasma -- a state of matter thought to have existed right at the birth of the universe -- with fewer particles than previously thought possible.
  • Ice sheets may be more resilient than thought, say scientists
    Today's ice sheets may be more resilient to increased carbon dioxide levels than previously thought, a new study suggests. This work explored these very old conditions and found that sea level might not have risen as much as previously thought -- and thus may not rise as fast as predicted now.
  • One step closer to cheaper antivenom
    Researchers involved in an international collaboration across six institutions have successfully identified the exact composition of sea snake venom, which makes the future development of synthetic antivenoms more realistic. Currently, sea snake anitvenom costs nearly USD 2,000, yet these new findings could result in a future production of synthetic antivenoms for as little as USD 10-100.
  • Laughter, then love: Study explores why humor is important in romantic attraction
    Research has found the when two strangers meet, the more times a man tries to be funny and the more a woman laughs at those attempts, the more likely the woman is interested in the man. When both laugh together, it's an even better indication of a romantic connection. The findings were among the discoveries made as part of a study looking for a connection between humor and intelligence.
  • Acupuncture reduces hot flashes in breast cancer survivors
    Acupuncture may be a viable treatment for women experiencing hot flashes as a result of estrogen-targeting therapies to treat breast cancer, according to a new study. Hot flashes are particularly severe and frequent in breast cancer survivors, but current FDA-approved remedies for these unpleasant episodes, such as hormone replacement therapies are off-limits to breast cancer survivors because they include estrogen.
  • Targeting newly discovered pathway sensitizes tumors to radiation and chemotherapy
    In some patients, aggressive cancers can become resistant to chemotherapy and radiation treatments. In a new paper, researchers identified a pathway that causes the resistance and a new therapeutic drug that targets this pathway.
  • Clues from ancient Maya reveal lasting impact on environment
    Evidence from the tropical lowlands of Central America reveals how Maya activity more than 2,000 years ago not only contributed to the decline of their environment but continues to influence today's environmental conditions, according to researchers.
  • Babies benefit from parenting classes even before birth
    A brief series of classes to help first-time parents better support each other through the often stressful transition to parenthood has a positive effect on birth outcomes as well, according to health researchers.
  • Microscopic animals inspire innovative glass research
    When researchers set about to explain unusual peaks in what should have been featureless optical data, they thought there was a problem in their calculations. In fact, what they were seeing was real. The peaks were an indication of molecular order in a material thought to be entirely amorphous and random: their experiments had produced a new kind of glass.
  • Customizing 3-D printing
    Researchers have designed a new system that automatically turns CAD files into visual models that users can modify in real time, simply by moving virtual sliders on a Web page. Once the design meets the user's specifications, he or she hits the print button to send it to a 3-D printer.
  • Image-tracking technology helps scientists study nature v. nurture in neural stem cells
    One of the longstanding debates in science, that has, perhaps unsurprisingly, permeated into the field of stem cell research, is the question of nature versus nurture influencing development. Science on stem cells thus far, has suggested that, as one side of the existential debate holds: their fate is not predestined. But new research suggests that the cells' tabula might not be as rasa as we have been led to believe.
  • Switch for health heart muscle
    Researchers have discovered a protein, called Mel18, that regulates the development of heart muscle. Faults in the production of Mel18 in early cardiac cells may play a role in heart defects. The findings could help grow cardiac cells in the laboratory from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS).
  • Aspirin could hold key to supercharged cancer immunotherapy
    Giving cancer patients aspirin at the same time as immunotherapy could dramatically boost the effectiveness of the treatment, according to new research. Aspirin is part of a group of molecules called COX inhibitors, which stop the production of PGE2 and help reawaken the immune system. Combining immunotherapy with aspirin or other COX inhibitors substantially slowed bowel and melanoma skin cancer growth in mice, compared to immunotherapy alone, authors say.
  • Study finds increased risk of MGUS in Vietnam Vets exposed to Agent Orange
    A study that used stored blood samples from US Air Force personnel who conducted aerial herbicide spray missions of Agent Orange during the Vietnam war found a more than two-fold increased risk of the precursor to multiple myeloma known as monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), according to an article.
  • Team decodes structure of protein complex active in DNA repair
    The multifunctional ubiquitin tweaks the activity of newly made proteins, which can influence DNA damage repair via BRCA1 and anti-inflammatory responses, scientists report. One enzyme in particular, BRCC36, removes a specific type of ubiquitin central to DNA damage repair and inflammation. But BRCC36 doesn't act on its own. It's part of a complex with KIAA0157. How these two work together is finally coming into focus.
  • Health risks of saturated fats aggravated by immune response
    High levels of saturated fat in the blood could make an individual more prone to inflammation and tissue damage, a new study suggests. The new research shows that the presence of saturated fats resulted in monocytes - a type of white blood cell - migrating into the tissues of vital organs.
  • Could more intensive farming practices benefit tropical birds?
    Does it help when farms share the land with birds and other animals? The short answer is 'no,' based on the diversity of bird species. If the goal is to preserve more bird species, representing a greater span of evolutionary history, then it's better to farm more intensively in some areas while leaving more blocks of land entirely alone. In other words, land-sparing wins out over land-sharing, experts say.
  • NASA to study Arctic climate change ecosystem impacts
    As part of a broad effort to study the environmental and societal effects of climate change, NASA has begun a multi-year field campaign to investigate ecological impacts of the rapidly changing climate in Alaska and northwestern Canada, such as the thawing of permafrost, wildfires and changes to wildlife habitats.
  • Moths: Stunning winged wonders of Madidi
    Biologists have created a stunning gallery of images of some of the moths uncovered by the Bolivian scientific expedition, Identidad Madidi.
  • Genetic testing all women for breast cancer might not be worth the cost
    Women who are carriers of mutated BRCA genes are known to have a significantly higher risk for developing breast and ovarian cancers than those who don’t have the mutations. But a new study questions the value of screening for the genetic mutations in the general population—including those who do not have cancer or have no family history of the disease— because of the high cost.
  • Emotional behavior altered after multiple exposures to anesthesia during infancy
    Repeated exposure to anesthesia early in life causes alterations in emotional behavior that may persist long-term, according to a study.
  • Variations in cell programs control cancer and normal stem cells
    In the breast, cancer stem cells and normal stem cells can arise from different cell types and tap into distinct yet related stem cell programs, according to researchers. The differences between these stem cell programs may be significant enough to be exploited by future therapeutics.
  • Still more blind can be cured
    A number of illnesses causing blindness can be cured from transplanting cells from the oral cavity. New findings make the treatment accessible to the places where the condition strikes the most frequently: in developing countries.
  • How to curb emissions: Put a price on carbon
    Literally putting a price on carbon pollution and other greenhouse gasses is the best approach for nurturing the rapid growth of renewable energy and reducing emissions. While prospects for a comprehensive carbon price are dim, especially in the US, many other policy approaches can spur the renewables revolution, according to a new policy article.
  • Study shows how investments reflected shift in environmental views
    A new study is the first to use financial investors' actions, rather than self-reported opinions, to investigate the trans-Atlantic difference in public opinion on climate change and the environment.
  • New, ultrathin optical devices shape light in exotic ways
    Researchers have developed innovative flat, optical lenses that are capable of manipulating light in ways that are difficult or impossible to achieve with conventional optical devices. The new lenses are not made of glass. Instead, silicon nanopillars are precisely arranged into a honeycomb pattern to create a "metasurface" that can control the paths and properties of passing light waves.
  • Comet hitchhiker would take tour of small bodies
    Catching a ride from one solar system body to another isn't easy. You have to figure out how to land your spacecraft safely and then get it on its way to the next destination. The landing part is especially tricky for asteroids and comets, which have low gravitational pull. A concept called Comet Hitchhiker, developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, puts forth a new way to get into orbit and land on comets and asteroids, using the kinetic energy -- the energy of motion -- of these small bodies
  • What happened to early Mars' atmosphere? New study eliminates one theory
    Scientists may be closer to solving the mystery of how Mars changed from a world with surface water billions of years ago to the arid Red Planet of today. A new analysis of the largest known deposit of carbonate minerals on Mars suggests that the original Martian atmosphere may have already lost most of its carbon dioxide by the era of valley network formation.
  • At Saturn, one of these rings is not like the others
    When the sun set on Saturn's rings in August 2009, scientists on NASA's Cassini mission were watching closely. It was the equinox -- one of two times in the Saturnian year when the sun illuminates the planet's enormous ring system edge-on. The event provided an extraordinary opportunity for the orbiting Cassini spacecraft to observe short-lived changes in the rings that reveal details about their nature.
  • NASA soil moisture radar ends operations, mission science continues
    Mission managers for NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory have determined that its radar, one of the satellite's two science instruments, can no longer return data. However, the mission, which was launched in January to map global soil moisture and detect whether soils are frozen or thawed, continues to produce high-quality science measurements supporting SMAP's objectives with its radiometer instrument.
  • Not on my watch: Chimp swats film crew’s drone
    Cool. Calm. And oh, so calculated. That's how a chimpanzee living in the Royal Burgers' Zoo in the Netherlands set out to swat an aerial drone that was filming her group. Biologists explain it as yet another example of chimpanzees' make-do attitude to using whatever is on hand as tools.
  • Elucidation of the molecular mechanisms involved in remyelination
    Researchers have revealed the molecular mechanism involved in the process of repair to damage of the myelin sheath.This achievement shows that it is possible to encourage the regeneration of the myelin sheath by inhibiting the action of PTPRZ in endogenous oligodendrocyte precursor cells, indicating a new potential treatment for demyelinating diseases.
  • Childhood celiac disease discovery opens door for potential treatments
    Childhood celiac disease mirrors the condition in adults, increasing the possibility a celiac disease therapy that could enable patients to eat gluten again will work in children, a new study has revealed.
  • Novel genes found in inflammatory bowel disease under age five
    Researchers analyzing the complicated genetic influences in inflammatory bowel disease have discovered new gene variants associated with an often-severe type of the disease that affects children under age five. The genes play important roles in immune function, and that knowledge helps guide more precise, individualized treatments for very young patients.
  • Metallic gels produce tunable light emission
    New tunable luminescent gels could find use in chemical, biological detectors.
  • Crop rotation boosts soil microbes, benefits plant growth
    In the first study of its kind, new research shows that crop rotations, in isolation from other management factors, can increase the functions performed by soil microbial communities that benefit plant growth.
  • Cod: Historical data hold secrets of one of UK's favorite fish
    UK fisheries survey logbooks from the 1930s to 1950s have been digitized for the first time, revealing how cod responded to changing temperatures in the last century.
  • X-rays reveal fossil secrets
    A sophisticated imaging technique has allowed scientists to virtually peer inside a 10-million-year-old sea urchin, uncovering a treasure trove of hidden fossils.
  • Pollution dispersion in cities improved by trees
    Trees in cities throughout the UK could be significantly improving the quality of the air we breathe by decreasing pollution levels for pedestrians, researchers have revealed.
  • Do antipsychotic medications affect cortical thinning?
    People diagnosed with schizophrenia critically rely upon treatment with antipsychotic medications to manage their symptoms and help them function at home and in the workplace. But despite their benefits, antipsychotic medications might also have some negative effects on brain structure or function when taken for long periods of time.
  • Greedy kestrel provides first proof of bird breeding in ancient Egypt
    3D imaging of a mummified kestrel that died due to forced overeating provides evidence that the ancient Egyptians bred birds of prey as offerings for the gods, according to a new study. The digital CT imaging revealed that the kestrel was force-fed its last meal - a mouse - suggesting it was kept in captivity. This is the first evidence to point to mass breeding of raptors as offerings to gods.
  • Magnetic 'wormhole' connecting two regions of space created for the first time
    "Wormholes" are cosmic tunnels that can connect two distant regions of the universe, and have been popularized by the dissemination of theoretical physics and by works of science fiction like Stargate, Star Trek or, more recently, Interstellar. Using present-day technology it would be impossible to create a gravitational wormhole, as the field would have to be manipulated with huge amounts of gravitational energy, which no one yet knows how to generate. In electromagnetism, however, advances in metamaterials and invisibility have allowed researchers to put forward several designs to achieve this.
  • Standing on their own four feet: Why cats are more independent than dogs
    Domestic cats do not generally see their owners as a focus of safety and security in the same way that dogs do, according to new research.
  • Pulses for better posture
    In an effort to find a better treatment for spinal curvature in children and young people, the EU’s “StimulAIS” project is focused on electrostimulation of muscles. Scientists worked with partners from industry and research to develop a prototype implant that would do the job.
  • Gas sensors sound the smoldering fire alarm
    Smoke detectors are everywhere, but still thousands of people die in fires annually. Fire gas detectors, which detect carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide, identify fires at an early stage. Thanks to a new measurement principle, these costly sensors will soon be inexpensive and ready for the mass market.
  • Wastewater to irrigate, fertilize and generate energy
    To meet the requirements of Asian cities, researchers are adapting an idea they have already applied in Germany for comprehensive water management: developing a concept for reducing water use, treating wastewater and extracting fertilizer for a strip of coastline in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang.
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