February 19

  • Mutant champions save imperiled species from almost-certain extinction: Species facing widespread and rapid environmental changes can sometimes evolve quickly enough to dodge the extinction bullet. Populations of disease-causing bacteria evolve, for example, as doctors flood their “environment,” the human body, with antibiotics. Insects, animals and plants can make evolutionary adaptations in response to pesticides, heavy metals and overfishing. (U. Washington)

January 9

  • Hawaiian Islands are dissolving: Someday, Oahu’s Koolau and Waianae mountains will be reduced to nothing more than a flat, low-lying island like Midway. But erosion isn’t the biggest culprit. Instead, scientists say, the mountains of Oahu are actually dissolving from within. (Brigham Young U.)

December 5

Novembrer 13

  • Increasing Efficiency of Wireless Networks: Two professors at the University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering have developed a new method that doubles the efficiency of wireless networks and could have a large impact on the mobile Internet and wireless industriess. (UC Riverside)

October 28

October 22

  • Changes in Sleep Architecture Increase Hunger, Eating: A new study shows that both length of time and percentage of overall sleep spent in different sleep stages are associated with decreased metabolic rate, increased hunger, and increased intake of calories (specifically from fat and carbohydrates). The findings suggest an explanation for the association between sleep problems and obesity. (APS)

October 15

October 4

September 25

September 19

September 10

  • Salt Seeds Clouds in the Amazon Rainforest: It’s morning, deep in the Amazon jungle. In the still air innumerable leaves glisten with moisture, and fog drifts through the trees. As the sun rises, clouds appear and float across the forest canopy … but where do they come from? Water vapor needs soluble particles to condense on. Airborne particles are the seeds of liquid droplets in fog, mist, and clouds. (LBNL)

September 6

  • Deep-Sea Crabs Grab Grub Using UV Vision: Crabs living half-a-mile down in the ocean, beyond the reach of sunlight, have a sort of color vision combining sensitivity to blue and ultraviolet light. Their detection of shorter wavelengths may give the crabs a way to ensure they grab healthy grub, not poison. (Duke U.)

September 2

  • Electronics Play By a New Set of Rules at the Molecular Scale: In a paper published in Nature Nanontechnology on September 2, 2012, scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and Columbia University’s departments of Chemistry and of Applied Physics explore the laws that govern electronic conductance in molecular scale circuits. (BNL)

August 28

August 6

July 23

  • Sequencing technology helps reveal what plant genomes really encode: Scientists from the James Hutton Institute and the University of Dundee have teamed up with researchers in the USA to use a new technique to sequence the genes of the plant Arabidopsis. This approach, which allows researchers to see exactly where a plant's genes end, could be applied to crops in the hope of boosting efforts to breed new varieties. (BBSRC)

July 19

July 17

July 16

July 10

  • Metamolecules That Switch Handedness at Light-Speed: A multi-institutional team of researchers that included scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has created the first artificial molecules whose chirality can be rapidly switched from a right-handed to a left-handed orientation with a beam of light. (LBNL)

July 6

July 2

June 28

  • Programmable DNA Scissors Found for Bacterial Immune System: Genetic engineers and genomics researchers should welcome the news from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) where an international team of scientists has discovered a new and possibly more effective means of editing genomes. (LBNL)

June 25

  • Unraveling the mysteries of exotic superconductors: In traditional electrical lines, a significant amount of energy is lost while the energy travels from its source to homes and businesses due to resistance. Superconductors, materials that when cooled have zero electric resistance, have the promise of someday increasing the efficiency of power distribution, but more must still be learned about superconductors before they can be widely used for that purpose. (Ames L.)

June 21

  • Planetrise: Alien World Looms Large in its Neighbor's Sky: Few nighttime sights offer more drama than the full Moon rising over the horizon. Now imagine that instead of the Moon, a gas giant planet spanning three times more sky loomed over the molten landscape of a lava world. This alien vista exists in the newly discovered two-planet system of Kepler-36. (CfA)

June 18

  • Carbon is Key for Getting Algae to Pump Out More Oil: Overturning two long-held misconceptions about oil production in algae, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory show that ramping up the microbes’ overall metabolism by feeding them more carbon increases oil production as the organisms continue to grow. (BNL)

June 13

June 12

June 8

  • Armored Caterpillar Could Inspire New Body Armor: Military body armor and vehicle and aircraft frames could be transformed by incorporating the unique structure of the club-like arm of a crustacean that looks like an armored caterpillar, according to findings by a team of researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering and elsewhere published online today (June 8) in the journal Science. (BNL)

May 29

May 24

  • Researchers Demonstrate Possible Primitive Mechanism of Chemical Info Self-Replication: When scientists think about the replication of information in chemistry, they usually have in mind something akin to what happens in living organisms when DNA gets copied: a double-stranded molecule that contains sequence information makes two new copies of the molecule. But researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have now shown that a different mechanism can also be used to copy sequence information. (Caltech)

May 24

  • Nanoparticles Seen as Artificial Atoms: In the growth of crystals, do nanoparticles act as “artificial atoms” forming molecular-type building blocks that can assemble into complex structures? This is the contention of a major but controversial theory to explain nanocrystal growth. (Duke U.)

May 21

May 18

  • Novel Casting Process Could Transform How Complex Metal Parts Are Made: A Georgia Tech research team has developed a novel technology that could change how industry designs and casts complex, costly metal parts. This new casting method makes possible faster prototype development times, as well as more efficient and cost-effective manufacturing procedures after a part moves to mass production. (GIT)

May 14

  • Questions About Incredible Sea Turtle Migration Answered by Scientists: Immediately after emerging from their underground nests on the lush beaches of eastern Florida, loggerhead sea turtles scramble into the sea and embark alone on a migration that takes them around the entire North Atlantic basin. Survivors of this epic migration eventually return to North America's coastal waters. (NSF)

May 10

  • Unseen planet revealed by its gravity: More than a 150 years ago, before Neptune was ever sighted in the night sky, French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier predicted the planet's existence based on small deviations in the motion of Uranus. In a paper published today in the journal Science online, a group of researchers led by Dr. David Nesvorny of Southwest Research Institute has inferred another unseen planet, this time orbiting a distant star, marking the first success of this technique outside the solar system. (SwRI)

May 5

  • Caltech Researchers Use Stalagmites to Study Past Climate Change: There is an old trick for remembering the difference between stalactites and stalagmites in a cave: Stalactites hold tight to the ceiling while stalagmites might one day grow to reach the ceiling. Now, it seems, stalagmites might also fill a hole in our understanding of Earth's climate system and how that system is likely to respond to the rapid increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide since preindustrial times. (Caltech)

May 1

  • Study Is First to Show Transgenerational Effect of Antibiotics: In a paper published in Nature's open access journal Scientific Reports, researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno, report that male pseudoscorpions treated with the antibiotic tetracycline suffer significantly reduced sperm viability and pass this toxic effect on to their untreated sons. They suggest a similar effect could occur in humans and other species. (NSF)

April 25

  • Using a Foreign Language Helps Decision-Making: If you think that decisions are based only on the evidence presented, think again. In fact, think about the question in a different language, assessing the risks inherent in making decisions. Your reactions may be surprising. (APS)

April 24

  • Mental Stress May Be Harder on Women’s Hearts: Coronary artery disease continues to be a major cause of death in the U.S., killing hundreds of thousands of people per year. However, this disease burden isn’t evenly divided between the sexes; significantly more men than women are diagnosed with coronary artery disease each year. The reasons behind this difference aren’t well defined. (APS)

April 20

April 17

April 13

April 10

April 9

  • Opening the gate to robust quantum computing: Scientists have overcome a major hurdle facing quantum computing: how to protect quantum information from degradation by the environment while simultaneously performing computation in a solid-state quantum system. (Ames L.)

April 2

  • New isotope measurement could alter history of early solar system: The early days of our solar system might look quite different than previously thought, according to research at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory published in Science. The study used more sensitive instruments to find a different half-life for samarium, one of the isotopes used to chart the evolution of the solar system. (ANL)

March 29

March 26

  • Huge Hamsters and Pint-Sized Porcupines: From miniature elephants to monster mice, and even Hobbit-sized humans, size changes in island animals are well-known to science. Biologists have long believed that large animals evolving on islands tend to get smaller, while small animals tend to get bigger, a generalization they call "the island rule." (Duke U.)

March 23

  • New theory on gas-guzzling black holes: Astronomers from the UK and Australia have put forward a new theory about why black holes become so hugely massive – claiming some of them have no ‘table manners’, and tip their ‘food’ directly into their mouths, eating more than one course simultaneously. (STFC)

March 22

March 20

  • Why can’t you sprint a marathon: Researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have discovered a new memory mechanism within the nervous system that helps to avoid exhaustion. (BBSRC)

March 18

  • A Surprising New Kind of Proton Transfer: Berkeley Lab scientists and their colleagues have discovered an unsuspected way that protons can move among molecules – revealing new opportunities for research in biology, environmental science, and green chemistry. (LBNL)

March 13

  • Latest data confirms high failure rates for metal-on-metal hip replacements: Ten days after the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced that patients who have received stemmed metal-on-metal (MOM) hip replacements will need annual check-ups, The Lancet publishes "unequivocal evidence" from the largest database on hip replacements in the world. The new study by the University of Bristol confirms that stemmed MOM implants are failing at much higher rates than other types, particularly those with larger head sizes and those implanted in women, in whom failure rates are up to four-times higher. (Bristol U.)

March 12

  • Genetic analysis of ancient ‘Iceman’ mummy traces ancestry from Alps to Mediterranean isle: The Iceman mummy, also known as Otzi, is about 5,300 years old. Scientists studying his body since his discovery in the Italian Alps in 1991 have learned many things, including the cause of his death (an arrow to the back) and his last meal (ibex meat). An analysis of the corpse’s chemical composition suggested that he was born and lived his entire life in the Tyrol area where his body was found. Now they’re delving deeper to unearth more clues in the mummy’s DNA. (Stanford U.)

March 7

  • Oxygen-Deprived Baby Rats Fare Worse If Kept Warm: Premature infants’ immature lungs and frequent dips in blood pressure make them especially vulnerable to a condition called hypoxia in which their tissues don’t receive enough oxygen, sometimes leading to permanent brain damage. (APS)

March 5

  • Berkeley Lab Quantifies Effect of Soot on Snow and Ice, Supporting Previous Climate Findings: A new study from scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), published in Nature Climate Change, has quantitatively demonstrated that black carbon—also known as soot, a pollutant emitted from power plants, diesel engines and residential cooking and heating, as well as forest fires—reduces the reflectance of snow and ice, an effect that increases the rate of global climate change. (LBNL)

February 27

  • New Studies Determine Which Social Class More Likely to Behave Unethically: A series of studies conducted by psychologists at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Toronto in Canada reveal something the well off may not want to hear. Individuals who are relatively high in social class are more likely to engage in a variety of unethical behaviors. (NSF)

February 24

February 23

  • Higgs Boson Gets New Mass Limit: New, more precise measurements of a particle called the W boson are again suggesting that physicists' prized Higgs boson is lighter than previously predicted. (Duke U.)

February 21

February 20

  • Big, bad bacterium is an "iron pirate": Life inside the human body sometimes looks like life on the high seas in the 1600s, when pirates hijacked foreign vessels in search of precious metals. (ANL)

February 16

February 14

February 13

February 9

  • Hydrogen from Acidic Water: A technique for creating a new molecule that structurally and chemically replicates the active part of the widely used industrial catalyst molybdenite has been developed by researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). (LBNL)

February 6

  • Copper + Love Chemical = Big Sulfur Stink. When Hiroaki Matsunami, PhD, associate professor at Duke University, set out to study a chemical in male mouse urine called MTMT that attracts female mice, he didn't think he would stumble into a new field of study. (DUMC)

February 3

  • Right Hand or Left. When you see a picture of a hand, how do you know whether it’s a right or left hand? This “hand laterality” problem may seem obscure, but it reveals a lot about how the brain sorts out confusing perceptions. (APS)

February 2

  • A battle of the vampires, 20 million years ago. They are tiny, ugly, disease-carrying little blood-suckers that most people have never seen or heard of, but a new discovery in a one-of-a-kind fossil shows that “bat flies” have been doing their noxious business with bats for at least 20 million years. (OSU)

February 1

  • Why the brain is more reluctant to function as we age. New findings, led by neuroscientists at the University of Bristol and published this week in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, reveal a novel mechanism through which the brain may become more reluctant to function as we grow older. (Bristol U.)

January 27

  • Disappearing gold a boon for nanolattices. When gold vanishes from a very important location, it usually means trouble. At the nanoscale, however, it could provide more knowledge about certain types of material. (ANL.)

January 26

January 23

January 20

January 17

  • Breeding better grasses for food and fuel. Researchers from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Sustainable Bioenergy Centre (BSBEC) have discovered a family of genes that could help us breed grasses with improved properties for diet and bioenergy. (BBSRC)

January 16

January 13

  • Study Offers Insight into Delicate Biochemical Balance Required for Plant Growth. In an ongoing effort to understand how modifying plant cell walls might affect the production of biomass and its breakdown for use in biofuels, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have uncovered a delicate biochemical balance essential for sustainable plant growth and reproduction. (BNL)

January 12

  • Clearest Picture Yet of Dark Matter Points the Way to Better Understanding of Dark Energy. Two teams of physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermilab and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have independently made the largest direct measurements of the invisible scaffolding of the universe, building maps of dark matter using new methods that, in turn, will remove key hurdles for understanding dark energy with ground-based telescopes. (LBNL)

January 10

January 6

January 4

  • Cold waters give up their hottest secret. A seven-armed sea-star and a new species of yeti crab have been found living on previously undiscovered hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the Southern Ocean. (Newcastle U.)

January 3

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