last updated: Tue, 21 Oct 2014 06:34:47 GMT
Biologists have documented fish playing with a bottom-weighted thermometer and other objects. Play, like much of animals' psychology including emotions, motivations, perceptions and intellect, is part of their evolutionary history and not just random, meaningless behavior.
In a design that mimics a hard-to-duplicate texture of starfish shells, engineers have made rounded crystals that have no facets.
Hydrogen responds to pressure and temperature extremes differently. Under ambient conditions hydrogen is a gaseous two-atom molecule. As confinement pressure increases, the molecules adopt different states of matter -- like when water ice melts to liquid. Scientists have now combined hydrogen with its heavier sibling deuterium and created a novel, disordered, 'Phase IV'-material. The molecules interact differently than have been observed before, which could be valuable for controlling superconducting and thermoelectric properties of new materials.
Ever wondered how people figure out what is fair? Look to the brain for the answer. According to a new brain study, people appreciate fairness in much the same way as they appreciate money for themselves, and also that fairness is not necessarily that everybody gets the same income.
How did life originate? And can scientists create life? These questions not only occupy the minds of scientists interested in the origin of life, but also researchers working with technology of the future. If we can create artificial living systems, we may not only understand the origin of life -- we can also revolutionize the future of technology.
Physicists have built a tractor beam that can repel and attract objects, using a hollow laser beam, bright around the edges and dark in its center. It is the first long-distance optical tractor beam, 100 times larger than previous ones.
The X-29, an American experimental aircraft has inspired quantum computing researchers in a development which will bring the technology out of the lab.
A drug being studied as a fast-acting mood-lifter restored pleasure-seeking behavior independent of -- and ahead of -- its other antidepressant effects. Within 40 minutes after a single infusion of ketamine, treatment-resistant depressed bipolar disorder patients experienced a reversal of a key symptom -- loss of interest in pleasurable activities -- which lasted up to 14 days. Brain scans traced the agent's action to boosted activity in areas at the front and deep in the right hemisphere of the brain.
New research offers the first theoretical model that, based on fluid-related processes, explains the seismic precursors of an underwater earthquake. Using quantitative measurements, this innovative model established a link between observed precursors and the mainshock of an earthquake. The results open a promising avenue of research for guiding future investigations on detecting earthquakes before they strike.
Microscopic particles that bind under low temperatures will melt as temperatures rise to moderate levels, but re-connect under hotter conditions, a team of scientists has found. Their discovery points to new ways to create “smart materials,” cutting-edge materials that adapt to their environment by taking new forms, and to sharpen the detail of 3D printing.
A palaeontologist has revealed how the intimate act of sexual intercourse first evolved in our deep distant ancestors. In one of the biggest discoveries in the evolutionary history of sexual reproduction, scientists have found that internal fertilization and copulation appeared in ancient armored fishes, called placoderms, about 385 million years ago in what is now Scotland.
The longest-lived robot ever sent to Mars came through its latest challenge in good health, reporting home on schedule after sheltering behind Mars from possible comet dust.
NASA's newest orbiter at Mars, MAVEN, took precautions to avoid harm from a dust-spewing comet that flew near Mars Oct. 19 and is studying the flyby's effects on the Red Planet's atmosphere.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has sent home more data about Mars than all other missions combined, is also now providing data about a comet that buzzed The Red Planet Oct. 19.
Scientists have uncovered a surprising way to reduce the brain damage caused by head injuries -- stopping the body's immune system from killing brain cells. A new study showed that in experiments on mice, an immune-based treatment reduced the size of brain lesions. The authors suggest that if the findings apply to humans, this could help prevent brain damage from accidents, and protect players of contact sports like football, rugby and boxing.
Viagra could be used as a safe treatment for heart disease, finds new research. The study reveals that long-term daily treatment of Viagra can provide protection for the heart at different stages of heart disease, with few side effects.
Breaking down complex conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes and obesity into the specific metabolic proteins and processes that underlie them offers a new approach to studying the genetics of these diseases and how they are interrelated, according to research.
Head Start programs may help low-income parents improve their educational status, according to a new study. The study is one of the first to examine whether a child's participation in the federal program benefits mothers and fathers -- in particular parents' educational attainment and employment.
Scientists have developed geochemical tracers to identify hydraulic fracturing flowback fluids that have been spilled or released into the environment. The tracers have been field-tested at two sites and can distinguish fracking fluids from wastewater versus conventional wells or other sources. They give scientists new forensic tools to detect if fracking fluids are escaping into water supplies and what risks, if any, they might pose.
Some anti-inflammatory medicines, such as aspirin, estrogen, and Fluimucil, can improve the efficacy of existing schizophrenia treatments, new research suggests. Research has shown that the immune system is linked to certain psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Research has shown that "antioxidants and anti-inflammatory drugs could not only reduce symptoms associated with the disorders but also prevent the appearance of neurobiological abnormalities and transition to psychosis if given early during brain development," experts say.
Up to half of patients who suffer from major depression do not respond to treatment with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. Now a group of researchers has carried out a study that shows that increasing fatty fish intake appears to increase the response rate in patients who do not respond to antidepressants.
Fear of bright daylight is associated with panic disorder, according to new research. Panic disorder is where a person has recurring and regular panic attacks. It appears to be about twice as common in women as it is in men. Previous studies have shown that there is a strong seasonal component in panic disorder, but this is the first study to look specifically at panic disorder patients' reactions to light.
Group B streptococcus, a major cause of serious infectious diseases including sepsis, meningitis, and pneumonia, has increased by about 60% among infants younger than 3 months in the Netherlands over the past 25 years despite the widespread use of prevention strategies, new research has found.
The key to making future generations healthier could lie before the mother becomes pregnant, researchers believe. In a new article, they say that a greater understanding is needed of the role of maternal nutrition in preconception and its impact on the child, adding that while the evidence published to date provides useful ways to improve the health of children, it also raises many questions.
Artificial light increases foraging time in blackbirds. Birds in city centers are active not just considerably earlier, but also for longer than their relatives in darker parts of the city. The study showed that artificial light has a considerable influence on the activity times of blackbirds in the city and therefore on their natural cycles.
Diatoms play an important role in water quality and in the global climate. They generate about one fourth of the oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere and perform around one-quarter of the global carbon dioxide assimilation, i.e. they convert carbon dioxide into organic substances. Their light receptors are a crucial factor in this process. Researchers have now discovered that blue and red light sensing photoreceptors control the carbon flow in these algae.
Infants fed on fresh rather than UHT cow’s milk are less prone to infection, new research suggests. The authors recommend the use of alternative processing methods to preserve the protectants found in the natural product.
A new molecule that can join together chains of amino acids – the building blocks of protein – has been discovered by researchers. Only three other known molecules have been discovered to be able to perform this function, which is an important process in the development of new drugs. The new molecule is able to do the same process 10,000 times faster than the other three and “cleanly” without leaving any residue behind, scientists report.
Roman gladiators ate a mostly vegetarian diet and drank ashes after training as a tonic. These are the findings of anthropological investigations carried out on bones of warriors found during excavations in the ancient city of Ephesos.
A previously unknown molecular-level mechanism that may partly explain the increased growth of cancer cells has been discovered by researchers. The study showed that high levels of miRNA-378a-5p molecule cause cell division anomalies. This renders the number of chromosomes in cancer cells abnormal, which is known to promote growth and the spread of cancer.
Ankylosing spondylitis is a systemic disease that causes inflammation in the spinal joints and was thought to have affected members of the ancient Egyptian royal families. Now a new study refutes that claim, finding instead a degenerative spinal condition called diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) in royal Egyptian mummies from the 18th to early 20th Dynasties.
A new study shows how often adults make mistakes when giving medication to children. The study found that medication errors occur in a child every eight minutes in the United States, on average, and the numbers are increasing.
A genetic variant common in Latina women protects against breast cancer, an international research collaboration has found. The variant, a difference in just one of the three billion "letters" in the human genome known as a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), originates from indigenous Americans and confers significant protection from breast cancer, particularly the more aggressive estrogen receptor-negative forms of the disease, which generally have a worse prognosis.
One of the few studies to examine gender differences among patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has found that males with the condition experience more interpersonal difficulties than do females with the condition. “Our findings underscore the significance of studying gender-based differences in how people experience the same disease or condition,” says one expert.
A new study shows that CEOs with extensive social connections initiate mergers and acquisitions more frequently, and these deals result in greater financial losses for both the acquiring firm and the combined entity.
A fast and inexpensive way to make facial prostheses for eye cancer patients has been developed using facial scanning software and 3-D printing, according to researchers. Their novel process can create more affordable prosthetics for any patients who have hollow sockets resulting from eye surgery following cancer or congenital deformities.
Using a tablet screening app could prove to be an effective method to aid in the effort to reduce the incidence of avoidable blindness in populations at high-risk for glaucoma with limited access to health care, according to a study. In this study, researchers used a free peripheral vision assessment app to screen approximately 200 patients in Nepal for glaucoma using an iPad®. The results show promise for screening populations that have limited or no access to traditional eye care.
Physicists report that they've used a new imaging technique, electrostatic force microscopy, to resolve the biological debate with evidence from physics, showing that electric charges do indeed propagate along microbial nanowires just as they do in carbon nanotubes, a highly conductive human-made material.
For the last 20 years, scientists have tried to design large DNA crystals with precisely prescribed depth and complex features -- a design quest just fulfilled by scientists. The team built 32 DNA crystals with precisely-defined depth and an assortment of sophisticated three-dimensional features.
Researchers have successfully transplanted 'organoids' of functioning human intestinal tissue grown from pluripotent stem cells in a lab dish into mice -- creating an unprecedented model for studying diseases of the intestine. Scientists said that, through additional translational research, the findings could eventually lead to bioengineering personalized human intestinal tissue to treat gastrointestinal diseases.
Expanding access to household electricity services accounts for only a small portion of total emission growth, shows a new study, shedding light on an ongoing debate on potential conflicts between climate and development.
A major breakthrough could lead to more effective methods for detoxifying dangerous pollutants like PCBs and dioxins, scientists say. The result is a culmination of 15 years of research. It details how certain organisms manage to lower the toxicity of pollutants.
The first tear duct implant developed to treat inflammation and pain following cataract surgery has been shown to be a reliable alternative to medicated eye drops, which are the current standard of care, according to a study. The device, known as a punctum plug, automatically delivers the correct amount of postoperative medication in patients, potentially solving the issue of poor compliance with self-administering eye drops.
At least 2 percent of people over age 40 and 5 percent of people over 70 have mutations linked to leukemia and lymphoma in their blood cells, according to new research. Mutations in the body's cells randomly accumulate as part of the aging process, and most are harmless. For some people, genetic changes in blood cells can develop in genes that play roles in initiating leukemia and lymphoma even though such people don't have the blood cancers, scientists report.
While megakaryocytes are best known for producing platelets that heal wounds, these “mega” cells found in bone marrow also play a critical role in regulating stem cells according to new research. In fact, hematopoietic stem cells differentiate to generate megakaryocytes in bone marrow. The study is the first to show that hematopoietic stem cells (the parent cells) can be directly controlled by their own progeny (megakaryocytes).
The results of the largest retrospective study of multiple sclerosis (MS) in uveitis patients has revealed that nearly 60 percent of patients with both diseases were diagnosed with each within a five-year span. While it has long been known that there is an association between the eye condition and MS, this is the first study to provide a detailed description of the relative onset of uveitis and MS and to calculate the likelihood of an MS diagnosis among uveitis patients.
Human geneticists have discovered that a region of the genome associated with autism contains genetic variation that evolved in the last 250,000 years, after the divergence of humans from ancient hominids, and likely plays an important role in disease.
Patients with depression are nearly 6 times more likely to die within 6 months after a heart attack than those without depression. The increased risk of death in patients with depression persists up to 18 months after the heart attack. But despite the fact that post-heart-attack depression is common and burdensome, the condition remains under-recognized and under-treated, scientists say.
Scientists studying birth defects in humans and purebred dogs have identified an association between cleft lip and cleft palate -- conditions that occur when the lip and mouth fail to form properly during pregnancy -- and a mutation in the ADAMTS20 gene.
A child's genetic makeup may contribute to his or her mother's risk of rheumatoid arthritis, possibly explaining why women are at higher risk of developing the disease than men, experts say.
What’s in a name? Doctors have found that the name of the drug you are prescribed significantly influences how the patient sees the treatment. Now in a significant shift, the world’s major psychiatry organizations are proposing to completely change the terminology of the drugs used in mental disorders shifting it from symptom based (e.g. antidepressant, antipsychotic etc.) to pharmacologically based (e.g. focusing on pharmacological target (serotonin, dopamine etc.) and the relevant mode of action). This will mean that patient will no longer have the confusion of being prescribed a drug for what appears to be an unrelated condition, but also means that drug names will be more understandable to doctors.
Naturally occurring asbestos minerals may be more widespread than previously thought, with newly discovered sources now identified within the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The asbestos-rich areas are in locations not previously considered to be at risk, according to a new report. “These minerals were found where one wouldn’t expect or think to look,” said a co-researcher of the study. The naturally occurring asbestos was found in Boulder City, Nevada, in the path of a construction zone to build a multi-million dollar highway.
New research shows that the season you are born has a significant impact on your risk of developing mood disorders. People born at certain times of year may have a greater chance of developing certain types of affective temperaments, which in turn can lead to mood disorders.
New research shows that both aging and depression are associated with a biochemical change in a gene on chromosome 6, the FKBP5 gene. This means that we may have found one reason for why risk for aging-related diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases and neuropsychiatric disorders, are worse in chronically stressed and depressed individuals.
All humans have a natural opioid system in the brain. Now new research has found that the opioid system of pathological gamblers responds differently to those of normal healthy volunteers.
Patients with vitamin D deficiency were more likely to have a poor neurological outcome or die after sudden cardiac arrest than those who were not deficient. Nearly one-third of the patients who were deficient in vitamin D had died 6 months after their cardiac arrest, whereas all patients with sufficient vitamin D levels were still alive.
In a sample of patients with undiagnosed, suspected genetic conditions, a certain type of exome sequencing method was associated with a higher molecular diagnostic yield than traditional molecular diagnostic methods, according to a study.
Approximately one-fourth of the 3,386 patients whose DNA was submitted for clinical whole exome testing received a diagnosis related to a known genetic disease, often ending a long search for answers for them and their parents, report researchers. A large percentage of these diagnoses made were patients who inherited a new mutation (in the egg or sperm) that was not previously seen in their parents, they add.
A smartphone-based tool may be an effective alternative to traditional ophthalmic imaging equipment in evaluating and grading severity of a diabetic eye disease, according to a study. The results of the research indicate the lower-cost method could be useful for bringing the service to patients in isolated or underserved communities.