December 25

December 23

December 22

  • CAD for RNA. The computer assisted design (CAD) tools that made it possible to fabricate integrated circuits with millions of transistors may soon be coming to the biological sciences. (LBNL)

December 20

  • How Pregnancy Changes a Woman’s Brain. We know a lot about the links between a pregnant mother’s health, behavior, and moods and her baby’s cognitive and psychological development once it is born. But how does pregnancy change a mother’s brain? (APS)

December 19

  • Facebook Helps Researchers See How Friendships Form. New research funded by the National Science Foundation and published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by three Harvard University sociologists examines how we select our friends and the role that friendship plays in transmitting tastes and new ideas. (NSF)

December 14

  • Stress Causes Clogs in Coffee and Coal. Scientists still aren't sure what causes clogs in flowing macroscopic particles, like corn, coffee beans and coal chunks. But new experiments by Duke physicist Robert Behringer and his colleagues suggest that when particles undergo a force called shear strain, they jam sooner than expected. (Duke U.)

December 12

  • Exercising Harder—and Shorter—Can Help Type 2 Diabetes. Regular exercise has proven benefits in preventing and treating type 2 diabetes, but many patients find it tough to meet the American Diabetes Association guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a week. A new study, conducted by researchers at McMaster University, suggests that there could be a better way. (APS)

December 9

December 8

  • Making molecular hydrogen more efficiently. When it comes to the industrial production of chemicals, often the most indispensable element is one that you can't see, smell, or even taste. It's hydrogen, the lightest element of all. (ANL)

December 6

  • Why Aren’t We Smarter Already? Evolutionary Limits on Cognition. We put a lot of energy into improving our memory, intelligence, and attention. There are even drugs that make us sharper, such as Ritalin and caffeine. But maybe smarter isn’t really all that better. A new paper published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, warns that there are limits on how smart humans can get, and any increases in thinking ability are likely to come with problems. (APS)

December 5

  • Sleeping Giants Discovered. Astronomers recently discovered the most massive black holes to date. Found in two separate nearby galaxies roughly 300 million light years away from Earth, each black hole has a mass equivalent to 10 billion suns. (NSF)

December 2

  • X-rays Reveal an Unfinished Self-Portrait by Rembrandt van Rijn. On Friday 2 December 2011 an unknown painting by Rembrandt is being presented in the Rembrandt House. The small panel, Old Man with a Beard was painted by Rembrandt around 1630, at the end of his time in Leiden. The Rembrandt House has the painting on loan from a private collector. (BNL)

November 30

  • At a crossroads. In 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2.3 million automobile crashes occurred at intersections across the United States, resulting in some 7,000 deaths. More than 700 of those fatalities were due to drivers running red lights. But, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, half of the people killed in such accidents are not the drivers who ran the light, but other drivers, passengers and pedestrians. (MIT)

November 29

November 28

November 24

  • How bats ‘hear’ objects in their path. By placing real and virtual objects in the flight paths of bats, scientists at the Universities of Bristol and Munich have shed new light on how echolocation works. (Bristol U.)

November 23

  • Earth’s core deprived of oxygen. The composition of the Earth’s core remains a mystery. Scientists know that the liquid outer core consists mainly of iron, but it is believed that small amounts of some other elements are present as well. Oxygen is the most abundant element in the planet, so it is not unreasonable to expect oxygen might be one of the dominant “light elements” in the core. (Carnegie I.)

November 21

  • Materials scientists watch electrons "melt". When a skier rushes down a ski slope or a skater glides across an ice rink, a very thin melted layer of liquid water forms on the surface of the ice crystals, which allows for a smooth glide instead of a rough skid. In a recent experiment, scientists have discovered that the interface between the surface and bulk electronic structures of certain crystalline materials can act in much the same way. (ANL)

November 14

November 10

November 9

November 8

November 6

  • Osteoarthritis results from inflammatory process, not just wear and tear. In a study published online Nov. 6 in Nature Medicine, investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine have shown that the development of osteoarthritis is in great part driven by low-grade inflammatory processes. This is at odds with the prevailing view attributing the condition to a lifetime of wear and tear on long-suffering joints. (Stanford U.)

November 4

November 2

November 1

  • Understanding emotions without language. Does understanding emotions depend on the language we speak, or is our perception the same regardless of language and culture? According to a new study by researchers from the MPI for Psycholinguistics and the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology, you don't need to have words for emotions to understand them. (MPG)

October 26

October 24

October 21

October 19

  • Propensity for longer life span inherited non-genetically over generations. We know that our environment — what we eat, the toxic compounds we are exposed to — can positively or negatively impact our life span. But could it also affect the longevity of our descendants, who may live under very different conditions? Recent research from the Stanford University School of Medicine suggests this could be the case. (Stanford U.)

October 14

  • Prehistoric speedway. A meat-eating dinosaur that terrorized its plant-eating neighbours in South America was a lot deadlier than first thought, a University of Alberta researcher has found. (U. Alberta)

October 13

October 12

October 11

  • New form of superhard carbon observed. Scientists at Carnegie’s Geophysical Laboratory are part of a team that has discovered a new form of carbon, which is capable of withstanding extreme pressure stresses that were previously observed only in diamond. (Carnegie I.)

October 10

  • Giant Kraken Lair Discovered. Long before whales, the oceans of Earth were roamed by a very different kind of air-breathing leviathan. Snaggle-toothed ichthyosaurs larger than school buses swam at the top of the Triassic Period ocean food chain, or so it seemed before Mount Holyoke College paleontologist Mark McMenamin took a look at some of their remains in Nevada. Now he thinks there was an even larger and more cunning sea monster that preyed on ichthyosaurs: a kraken of such mythological proportions it would have sent Captain Nemo running for dry land. (GSA)

October 5

October 4

September 28

  • Argonne scientist energizes quest for lost Leonardo da Vinci painting. Perhaps one of Leonardo da Vinci's greatest paintings has never been reprinted in books of his art. Known as the "Battle of Anghiari," it was abandoned and then lost—until a determined Italian engineer gave the art world hope that it still existed, and a physicist from Argonne developed a technique that may reveal it to the world once again. (ANL)

September 27

  • What Do Infants Remember When They Forget. Six-month-old babies are severely limited in what they can remember about the objects they see in the world; if you hide several objects from an infant, they will only remember one of those objects with any detail. (APS)

September 26

  • Copper Film Could Lower Touch Screen, LED and Solar Cell Costs. Copper nanowires may be coming to a little screen near you. These new nanostructures have the potential to drive down the costs of displaying information on cell phones, e-readers and iPads, and they could also help engineers build foldable electronics and improved solar cells, according to new research. (Duke U.)

September 23

  • Aboriginal Australians: The first explorers. An international team of researchers, including a UK collaboration led by BBSRC- and MRC-funded researchers at Imperial College London, with colleagues at University College London, and University of Cambridge has for the first time sequenced the genome of a man who was an Aboriginal Australian. (BBSRC)

September 21

  • New energy in search for future wind. Scientists are taking the first steps to improve estimates of long-term wind speed changes for the fast-growing wind energy sector, intended to reduce the risks for generators in a changing climate. (CSIRO)

September 20

  • Smoking in films encourages teenagers to take a drag. Ever since the era of silent films, smoking has played a major part in film symbolism. Think Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s or Robert De Niro in Goodfellas. But iconic scenes such as these could be damaging the health of teenagers, who are more likely to smoke after watching films depicting the habit. (Bristol U.)

September 15

September 14

  • Being In the “No”: Questions Influence What We Remember. Imagine that you are sitting in the park, deeply engaged in a conversation with your loved one. A group of teenagers pass by in front of you. The next day you learn that the police are looking for someone to identify them as these teenagers are suspected of a serious mugging. You would most probably not be able to make a positive identification. Do you really have absolutely no memory for their faces? (APS)

September 12

September 9

September 7

September 6

September 1

  • Einstein's dream surpassed. A constant stabilization experiment of a quantum state has been successfully carried out for the first time by a team from the Laboratoire Kastler Brossel (CNRS/ENS/Collčge de France/UPMC-Université Pierre et Marie Curie) headed by Serge Haroche. The researchers succeeded in maintaining a constant number of photons in a high-quality microwave cavity. (CNRS)

August 29

  • Scientists develop new technologies for understanding bacterial infections. Understanding how bacteria infect cells is crucial to preventing countless human diseases. In a recent breakthrough, scientists from the University of Bristol have discovered a new approach for studying molecules within their natural environment, opening the door to understanding the complexity of how bacteria infect people. (Bristol U.)

August 25

August 23

August 22

August 19

  • Mother’s BMI linked to fatter babies. Babies of mothers with a higher pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) are fatter and have more fat in their liver, a study published in September’s issue of the journal Pediatric Research has found. The researchers from Imperial College London say that the effect of a mother’s BMI on her child’s development in the womb might put them on a trajectory towards lifelong metabolic health problems. (ICL)

August 17

August 15

August 12

August 8

  • Store CO2 Underground and Extract Electricity? A Berkeley Lab-led Team is Working on it. About a year from now, two nondescript shipping containers will be installed in a field in Cranfield, Mississippi. They’ll house turbines designed to generate electricity in a way that’s never been done before. If initial tests go well, the technology could lead to a new source of clean, domestic energy and a new way to fight climate change. (LBNL)

August 5

August 4

  • Caltech-Led Engineers Solve Longstanding Problem in Photonic Chip Technology. Stretching for thousands of miles beneath oceans, optical fibers now connect every continent except for Antarctica. With less data loss and higher bandwidth, optical-fiber technology allows information to zip around the world, bringing pictures, video, and other data from every corner of the globe to your computer in a split second. But although optical fibers are increasingly replacing copper wires, carrying information via photons instead of electrons, today's computer technology still relies on electronic chips. (Caltech)

August 1

July 29

  • The Dark Side of Oxytocin. For a hormone, oxytocin is pretty famous. It’s the “cuddle chemical”—the hormone that helps mothers bond with their babies. Salespeople can buy oxytocin spray on the internet, to make their clients trust them. It’s known for promoting positive feelings, but more recent research has found that oxytocin can promote negative emotions, too. (APS)
  • Study of golf swings pinpoints biomechanical differences between pros and amateurs. When it comes to hitting a golf ball hard, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified several biomechanical factors that appear to separate the duffers from the pros. (Stanford U.)

July 28

  • Dissecting Dyslexia: Linking Reading to Voice Recognition. When people recognize voices, part of what helps make voice recognition accurate is noticing how people pronounce words differently. But individuals with dyslexia don't experience this familiar language advantage, say researchers. (NSF)

July 27

July 26

July 22

  • Engineers Develop Material That Could Speed Telecommunications. Researchers at Columbia Engineering School have demonstrated that light can travel on an artificial material without leaving a trace under certain conditions, technology that would have many applications from the military to telecommunications. (Columbia U.)

July 19

  • Bristol physicists break 150-year-old law. A violation of one of the oldest empirical laws of physics has been observed by scientists at the University of Bristol. Their experiments on purple bronze, a metal with unique one-dimensional electronic properties, indicate that it breaks the Wiedemann-Franz Law. (Bristol U.)

July 18

  • Study of Earthquake Soil Effects Could Improve Building Design. Japan's March 11 Tohoku Earthquake is among the strongest ever recorded, and because it struck one of the world's most heavily instrumented seismic zones, this natural disaster is providing scientists with a treasure trove of data on rare magnitude 9 earthquakes. Among the new information is what is believed to be the first study of how a shock this powerful affects the rock and soil beneath the surface. (GIT)

July 14

July 13

  • Our Brains Have Multiple Mechanisms For Learning. One of the most important things humans do is learning this kind of pattern: when A happens, B follows. A new study, which will be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, examines how people learn, and finds that they use different mental processes in different situations. (APS)

July 12

  • Brainy Lizards Pass Tests for Birds. Tropical lizards may be slow. But they aren't dumb. They can do problem-solving tasks just as well as birds and mammals, a new study shows. (Duke U.)

July 11

July 6

  • Fossil jaws shed new light on early vertebrate feeding ecology. With the evolution of jaws some 420 million years ago, jawed animals diversified rapidly into a range of niches that remained stable for the following 80 million years, despite extinctions, habitat loss and competition. (Bristol U.)
  • Researchers develop lens-free, pinhead-size camera. It's like a Brownie camera for the digital age: The microscopic device fits on the head of a pin, contains no lenses or moving parts, costs pennies to make -- and this Cornell-developed camera could revolutionize an array of science from surgery to robotics. (Cornell U.)

July 5

June 28

June 24

June 23

June 21

  • Self Cleaning Electrode Allows Fuel Cells to Operate on Coal Gas. Using barium oxide nanoparticles, researchers have developed a self-cleaning technique that could allow solid oxide fuel cells to be powered directly by coal gas at operating temperatures as low as 750 degrees Celsius. The technique could provide a cleaner and more efficient alternative to conventional power plants for generating electricity from the nation's vast coal reserves. (GIT)

June 20

  • Battery research gets extra juice with research center. Despite the rapid proliferation of lithium-ion batteries throughout the communication, computing and transportation industries, thirty years ago the world's greatest scientific minds considered them far from a sure success. (ANL)

June 16

  • Searching for the “perfect glass”. Glasses differ from crystals. Crystals are organized in repeating patterns that extend in every direction. Glasses lack this strict organization, but do sometimes demonstrate order among neighboring atoms. New research from Carnegie’s Geophysical Laboratory reveals the possibility of creating a metallic glass that is organized on a larger scale. (Carnegie I.)

June 15

  • Testing Improves Memory. Psychologists have proven in a myriad of experiments that “retrieval practice”—correctly producing a studied item—increases the likelihood that you’ll get it right the next time. (APS)

June 13

June 11

  • Birdsong independent of brain size . The brains of all vertebrates display gender-related differences. In songbirds, for example, the size of the brain areas that control their singing behaviour could be linked to the size of their song repertoires. (MPG)

June 9

June 8

  • Methane gas from cows – the proof is in the pats. Scientists could have a revolutionary new way of measuring how much of the potent greenhouse gas methane is produced by cows and other ruminants, thanks to a surprising discovery in their excrement. (U. Bristol)

June 6

  • Taking Email Etiquette to the Next Level. When working with others in the office, most know it is better to approach a colleague who is relaxed and drinking a cup of coffee versus a frazzled co-worker buried under a pile of paperwork. Unfortunately, email doesn’t offer users the same social cues – until now. (GIT)

June 1

May 26

  • Chemotherapy resistance: a new lead? UA62784: that is the name of a molecule capable of preventing the proliferation of cancerous cells in vitro, and thus causing their cellular death. Its effects appear to amplify that of other anticancer agents currently used clinically. (CNRS.)

May 24

  • Toadfish makes complex sounds, similar to mammals. Nonlinear sounds that may be described as dissonant or jarring are acoustically complex and have been observed in the reproductive, territorial and distress calls of mammals, amphibians and birds, but new Cornell research for the first time finds such nonlinear calls in a fish species. (Cornell U.)

May 23

May 22

  • New device could reduce surgical scarring. Researchers at Stanford University have developed a special wound dressing that they report was able to significantly reduce scar tissue caused by incisions. (Stanford U.)

May 18

  • Common Jupiters? Astronomers have discovered a new population of Jupiter-size planets floating alone in the dark of space, away from the light of a star. According to the scientists, these lone worlds were probably ejected from developing planetary systems. (NSF)

May 16

  • How tarantulas hold tight. A Newcastle University scientist working with undergraduates has revealed how tarantulas, which unlike other spiders struggle with vertical surfaces, shoot silk safety threads from their feet to stay secure. (Newcastle U.)

May 13

  • Cancer on the Breath? The Nose Knows. A breath test for "sniffing out" cancer in a person's breath is a step closer to reality, according to a study recently published in the British Journal of Cancer. (ATS)

May 11

  • Argonne researchers find new isotope for climatological dating. Radioactive dating is used to determine everything from the age of dinosaur fossils to Native American arrowheads. A new technique recently developed at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory may give researchers another tool for radioactive dating that could be of particular use in studying the history of climate change. (ANL)

May 9

  • Study gives clues to how obesity spreads socially. Obesity is socially contagious, according to research published in the past few years. How it is “caught” from others remains a murky area. But findings from Arizona State University researchers published online May 5 in the American Journal of Public Health shed light on the transmission of obesity among friends and family. (ASU)

May 6

  • Columbia Engineers Patch A Heart. Researchers at Columbia Engineering have established a new method to patch a damaged heart using a tissue-engineering platform that enables heart tissue to repair itself. (Columbia U.)

May 4

  • Combining gas and diesel engines could yield best of both worlds. It may be hard to believe, but the beloved gasoline engine that powers more than 200 million cars across America every day didn't get its status because it's the most efficient engine. Diesel engines can be more than twice as efficient, but they spew soot and pollutants into the air. (ANL)

May 3

  • The sea dragons bounce back. The evolution of ichthyosaurs, important marine predators of the age of dinosaurs, was hit hard by a mass extinction event 200 million years ago, according to a new study from the University of Bristol. (Bristol U.)

May 2

April 29

April 27

  • Research outlines evolution of one of Earth’s first animals. They can be both a blessing and a curse, and have been around since the dawn of life. Thousands of species are found from mountain tops to smoking volcanic vents on the ocean floor. They play a key role in soil biology and help to support much of the plant and animal life on Earth. (Oregon SU)

April 26

  • False memories lack sensory and other details. To "tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth" is the maxim guiding legal testimony. But what if the witness recalls something that didn't really happen? Memory is notoriously fickle and can be influenced by many factors, including how questions are asked. We often remember general impressions but not exact details of an event and draw on that impression to fill in the gaps, sometimes creating memories we never experienced. (Cornell U.)
  • How Fire Ants Build Waterproof Rafts. It’s a naturally occurring phenomenon that has puzzled biologists for decades: Place a single fire ant in water and it will struggle. But a group of fire ants will bind together and float effortlessly for days. (GIT)

April 19

April 18

April 14

  • Researchers explain why bicycles balance themselves. The 1949 movie "Jour de Fete" shows a postman frantically chasing his bicycle, which rides away on its own. It could happen. Many bicycles, even without a rider, naturally resist tipping over if they are going fast enough. (Cornell U.)

April 13

  • Blood vessel simulation probes secrets of brain. Zoom down to one artery in your body, and the commotion is constant: blood cells hurtle down the passage with hundreds of their kin, bumping against other cells and the walls as they go. The many variables—and the sheer immensity of the human circulatory system—have kept scientists from closely documenting the rough-and-tumble life inside blood vessels. (ANL)

April 12

April 11

  • Researchers Resurrect Ancient Enzymes to Reveal Conditions of Early Life on Earth. Scientists from Columbia University, Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Granada have for the first time reconstructed active enzymes from four-billion-year-old extinct organisms. By measuring the properties of these enzymes, they can examine the conditions in which the extinct organisms lived. The results shed new light on how life has adapted to changes in the environment from ancient to modern Earth. (Columbia U.)

April 10

  • Experimental Drug Achieves Unprecedented Weight Loss. An investigational combination of drugs already approved to treat obesity, migraine, and epilepsy produced up to a 10 percent weight loss in obese individuals participating in a one-year clinical trial, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center. (Caltech)

April 6

  • New Caltech Research Suggests Strong Indian Crust Thrust Beneath the Tibetan Plateau. For many years, most scientists studying Tibet have thought that a very hot and very weak lower and middle crust underlies its plateau, flowing like a fluid. Now, a team of researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is questioning this long-held belief and proposing that an entirely different mechanism is at play. (Caltech)

April 4

  • Study Examines Potential Positive Effects of Video Games. Video game enthusiasts can become deeply involved in their game play, sometimes to the point where they block out the external environment and momentarily feel that their play space is as vivid and important as the so-called “real world” outside the game. Researchers at Colorado State University now say that such absorptive experiences can in the right circumstances actually be positive ones, providing important mental health benefits. (Colorado SU)

March 31

  • Watch Your Language! Of Course–But How Do We Actually Do That? Nothing seems more automatic than speech. We produce an estimated 150 words a minute, and make a mistake only about once every 1,000 words. We stay on track, saying what we intend to, even when other words distract us—from the radio, say, or a road sign we pass while driving. (APS)

March 30

March 28

March 27

  • Will We Hear the Light? University of Utah scientists used invisible infrared light to make rat heart cells contract and toadfish inner-ear cells send signals to the brain. The discovery someday might improve cochlear implants for deafness and lead to devices to restore vision, maintain balance and treat movement disorders like Parkinson's. (U. Utah)

March 23

  • Identifying the origin of the fly. Some may think that the mosquito and the house fly are worlds apart when it comes to common ancestry but new research published this week by an international team of scientists puts them much closer together in evolutionary history. (CSIRO)

March 21

March 20

  • Scientists Discover Major Clue in Long-Term Memory Making. Scientists believe that long-term potentiation (LTP) -- the long-lasting increase of signals across a connection between brain cells -- underlies our ability to remember over time and to learn, but how that happens is a central question in neuroscience. (NSF)

March 16

  • Viscous Cycle: Quartz is Key to Plate Tectonics. More than 40 years ago, pioneering tectonic geophysicist J. Tuzo Wilson published a paper in the journal Nature describing how ocean basins opened and closed along North America's eastern seaboard. (NSF)
  • Does Your Name Dictate Your Life Choices? What’s in a name? Letters. And psychologists have posited that the letters—particularly the first letter of our names—can influence decisions, including whom we marry and where we move. The effect is called “implicit egotism.” (APS)

March 14

  • Bilinguals get the blues. Learning a foreign language literally changes the way we see the world, according to new research. (Newcastle U.)

March 13

  • Miniature 'Wearable' PET Scanner Ready for Use. Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, Stony Brook University, and collaborators have demonstrated the efficacy of a “wearable,” portable PET scanner they’ve developed for rats. The device will give neuroscientists a new tool for simultaneously studying brain function and behavior in fully awake, moving animals. (BNL)

March 9

March 8

  • For lizard research, size matters. For a species whose name suggests otherwise, Gila monsters are actually quite shy. Their size and bite are the only monstrous things about these animals, which are the second-largest and one of only two venomous lizards native to North America. (ASU)

March 7

  • Teaching Robots to Move Like Humans. When people communicate, the way they move has as much to do with what they’re saying as the words that come out of their mouths. But what about when robots communicate with people? (GIT)

March 2

March 1

February 28

  • Silver-Diamond Composite Offers Cooling Capabilities for Electronics. Researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) are developing a solid composite material to help cool small, powerful microelectronics used in defense systems. The material, composed of silver and diamond, promises an exceptional degree of thermal conductivity compared to materials currently used for this application. (Conservation I.)

February 23

  • 75% of World's Coral Reefs Currently Under Threat. A new comprehensive analysis finds that 75 percent of the world's coral reefs are currently threatened by local and global pressures. For the first time, the analysis includes threats from climate change, including warming seas and rising ocean acidification. The report shows that local pressures — such as overfishing, coastal development and pollution — pose the most immediate and direct risks, threatening more than 60 percent of coral reefs today. (Conservation I.)
  • Hyperactive Nerve Cells May Contribute to Depression. Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, have identified hyperactive cells in a tiny brain structure that may play an important role in depression. (BNL)

February 22

  • Are We More—or Less—Moral Than We Think? If asked whether we’d steal, most of us would say no. Would we try to save a drowning person? That depends—perhaps on our fear of big waves. Much research has explored the ways we make moral decisions. But in the clinch, when the opportunity arises to do good or bad, how well do our predictions match up with the actions we actually take? (APS)

February 16

February 15

  • Bat immunity key to controlling deadly viruses. CSIRO research into how bats can host some of the world’s deadliest viruses without suffering any ill-effects themselves will lead to improved strategies for controlling the spread of bat-borne diseases. (CSIRO)

February 14

  • Researchers Work Toward Automating Sedation in Intensive Care Units. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Northeast Georgia Medical Center are one step closer to their goal of automating the management of sedation in hospital intensive care units (ICUs). They have developed control algorithms that use clinical data to accurately determine a patient's level of sedation and can notify medical staff if there is a change in the level. (GIT)

February 11

February 9

  • Skin cells help to develop possible heart defect treatment in first-of-its-kind study. Using skin cells from young patients who have a severe genetic heart defect, Stanford University School of Medicine scientists have generated beating heart cells that carry the same genetic mutation. The newly created human heart cells — cardiomyocytes — allowed the researchers for the first time to examine and characterize the disorder at the cellular level. (Stanford U.)

February 8

  • Conceptualizing cancer cells as ancient 'toolkit'. Despite decades of research and billions of dollars, cancer remains a major killer, with an uncanny ability to evade both the body’s defenses and medical intervention. Now an Arizona State University scientist believes he has an explanation. (Arizona SU)

February 7

February 4

February 2

January 29

  • Disruptions in Calcium Flow Linked to Heart Failure. Excessive release of calcium inside cardiac muscle can cause sudden cardiac death in heart failure patients. New research has revealed how this could happen, opening up new possibilities for combating heart disease. (Bristol U.)

January 27

January 26

  • Hunt for Dark Matter Closes in at Large Hadron Collider. Physicists are closer than ever to finding the source of the Universe's mysterious dark matter, following a better than expected year of research at the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) particle detector, part of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Geneva. (ICL)

January 24

January 23

January 21

  • Evolution by Mistake. A major driving force of evolution comes from mistakes made by cells and how organisms cope with the consequences, UA biologists have found. Their discoveries offer lessons for creating innovation in economics and society. (U. Arizona)
  • Finding Footprints: How Ancient People Affect Modern Landscapes. There’s a common misconception that prior to European contact in the 15th century, the Americas were a pristine, untouched wilderness, inhabited by people who lived in complete harmony with their environment. In reality, humans have been affecting and influencing their surroundings as long as we’ve existed. (ASU)

January 20

  • Putting Up a Struggle Against Cancer. MIT scientists have discovered that cells lining the blood vessels secrete molecules that suppress tumor growth and keep cancer cells from invading other tissues, a finding that could lead to a new way to treat cancer. (MIT)

January 19

  • Like Humans, Amoebae Pack a Lunch Before They Travel. In results of a study reported today in the journal Nature, evolutionary biologists Joan Strassmann and David Queller of Rice University show that long-studied social amoebae Dictyostellum discoideum (commonly known as slime molds) increase their odds of survival through a rudimentary form of agriculture. (NSF)

January 18

January 13

  • Atmosphere Cleans Itself More Efficiently than Previously Thought. The earth's atmosphere is less sensitive to pollutants than some researchers previously thought. An international team of researchers, including scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, has found that the concentration of hydroxyl radicals in the atmosphere has changed little in recent years. Hydroxyl radicals clean the air by breaking down organic substances such as climate-damaging methane. Because this self-cleaning capacity has scarcely varied over the past few years, the researchers believe that it is only marginally affected by environmental changes. These findings refute the view held by other scientists who believed that the atmosphere is very sensitive to air pollutants. (MPG)

January 12

  • Cosmic Magnifying Lenses Distort View of Distant Galaxies. Looking deep into space, and literally peering back in time, is like experiencing the universe in a house of mirrors where everything is distorted through a phenomenon called gravitational lensing. Gravitational lensing occurs when light from a distant object is distorted by a massive object that is in the foreground. (Arizona S.U.)

January 11

  • Researchers Find Specific Bacteria May Lead to Heart Disease and Stroke. Emil Kozarov and a team of researchers at the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine have identified specific bacteria that may have a key role in atherosclerosis, or what is commonly referred to as “hardening of the arteries,” caused by plaque build-up, which can lead to heart attack and stroke. (Columbia U.)

January 10

  • Climate Change to Continue to the Year 3000 in Best Case Scenarios. New research indicates the impact of rising CO2 levels in the Earth’s atmosphere will cause unstoppable effects to the climate for at least the next 1000 years, causing researchers to estimate a collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet by the year 3000, and an eventual rise in the global sea level of at least four metres. (U. Calgary)
  • Eat Your Greens to Improve Your Looks. Getting your five a day will do more for your looks than a sun tan according to scientists who have found that our appearances really do prove that you are what you eat. (Bristol U.)

January 7

  • Study Finds Energy Limits Global Economic Growth. A study that relates global energy use to economic growth, published in the January issue of BioScience, finds strong correlations between these two measures both among countries and within countries over time. The research leads the study's authors to infer that energy use limits economic activity directly. They conclude that an "enormous" increase in energy supply will be required to meet the demands of projected world population growth and lift the developing world out of poverty without jeopardizing standards of living in most developed countries. (AIBS)

January 6

  • Expitaxial Graphene Shows Promise for Replacing Silicon in Electronics. Move over silicon. There's a new electronic material in town, and it goes fast.
    That material, the focus of the 2010 Nobel Prize in physics, is graphene -- a fancy name for extremely thin layers of ordinary carbon atoms arranged in a "chicken-wire" lattice. These layers, sometimes just a single atom thick, conduct electricity with virtually no resistance, very little heat generation -- and less power consumption than silicon. (GIT)

January 5

  • Earth is Twice as Dusty as in 19th Century. If the house seems dustier than it used to be, it may not be a reflection on your housekeeping skills. The amount of dust in the Earth's atmosphere has doubled over the last century, according to a new study; and the dramatic increase is influencing climate and ecology around the world. (Cornell U.)

January 4

  • New Solar Cell Self-repairs Like Natural Plant Systems. Researchers are creating a new type of solar cell designed to self-repair like natural photosynthetic systems in plants by using carbon nanotubes and DNA, an approach aimed at increasing service life and reducing cost. (Purdue U.)
  • From Dusty Punch Cards, New Insights Into Link Between Cholesterol and Heart Disease. A stack of punch cards from a landmark study published in 1966, and the legwork to track down the study’s participants years later, has yielded the longest analysis of the effects of lipoproteins on coronary heart disease. (LBNL)
  • Trust Your Gut…but Only Sometimes. When faced with decisions, we often follow our intuition—our self-described “gut feelings”—without understanding why. Our ability to make hunch decisions varies considerably: Intuition can either be a useful ally or it can lead to costly and dangerous mistakes. A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that the trustworthiness of our intuition is really influenced by what is happening physically in our bodies. (APS)

January 3

  • From Sunlight to Synfuels. Turning fossil fuel into energy is easy: You just burn it. And live with the carbon dioxide byproduct. (U. Minnesota)
  • Understanding the Anesthetized Brain. Since 1846, when a Boston dentist named William Morton gave the first public demonstration of general anesthesia using ether, scientists and doctors have tried to figure out what happens to the brain during general anesthesia. (MIT)
  • Mathematical Model Shows How Groups Split into Factions. The school dance committee is split; one group wants an "Alice in Wonderland" theme; the other insists on "Vampire Jamboree." Mathematics could have predicted it. (Cornell U.)

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