ScienceDaily: Top News

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ScienceDaily: Top News


Did mosasaurs hunt like killer whales?
An RNA key that unlocks innate immunity
New mechanism for how animal cells stay intact
New catalyst opens door to CO2 capture in conversion of coal to liquid fuels
Simple, cost effective treatment following failed back surgery shows promise
Researchers quickly harvest 2-D materials, bringing them closer to commercialization
Sidestepping the pitfalls of overconfidence with plausible deniability
Smallest ever Tylosaurus fossil sheds light on species
Calm the immune system, halt premature birth
Classifying microbes differently leads to discovery
Quantifying evolutionary impacts of humans on the biosphere is harder than it seems
Insights on the effects of exercise on cognitive performance
Does open heart surgery affect cognitive abilities?
Fat: A new player expands our definition of diabetes
Oscillations provide insights into the brain's navigation system
Cancer stem cells use normal genes in abnormal ways
Goldilocks principle in biology: Fine-tuning the 'just right' signal load
Disrupting crystalline order to restore superfluidity
Tropical moths in the mountains are larger
Building a better battery layer by layer
Irrigating vegetables with wastewater in African cities may spread disease
A new way to create molecules for drug development
Shedding light on gene variants and their connections to health and disease
How the grid cell system of the brain maps mental spaces
World's fastest camera freezes time at 10 trillion frames per second
'Vampire burial' reveals efforts to prevent child's return from grave
Innovative tool allows continental-scale water, energy, and land system modeling
Ketogenic diet appears to prevent cognitive decline in mice, study finds
Clues that suggest people are lying may be deceptive, study shows
Early changes to synapse gene regulation may cause Alzheimer's disease
Why don't we understand statistics? Fixed mindsets may be to blame
Effects of a high-fat diet may be passed on for three generations
Understanding the neurological code behind how flies fly
Widespread errors in 'proofreading' cause inherited blindness
Does climate vary more from century to century when it is warmer?
Caesarean section use has almost doubled globally since 2000
How parenting affects antisocial behaviors in children
Photoactive bacteria bait may help in fight against MRSA infections
Fake or real? New study finds consumers wary of manipulated photos
Cells involved in allergies also play a key role in survival
Human brain cell transplant offers insights into neurological conditions
Breakthrough in self-healing materials
Death of a massive star and birth of compact neutron star binary
Disorder induces topological Anderson insulator
What pneumococcus says to make you sick
Optical illusion spooks raptors
Computational model links family members using genealogical and law-enforcement databases
The metabolome: A way to measure obesity and health beyond BMI
Mouse pups with same-sex parents born in China using stem cells and gene editing
Human retinas grown in a dish explain how color vision develops
New microscope offers 4-D look at embryonic development in living mice
Genetic Achilles heel hurts humans fighting hepatitis C
Do lizards dream like us?


Did mosasaurs hunt like killer whales?



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 12:26 PM PDT


Researchers have examined the youngest-ever specimen of tylosaur ever found. Like orcas, mosasaurs might have used their bony noses to strike prey.


An RNA key that unlocks innate immunity



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 12:16 PM PDT


New research shows that a versatile RNA molecule may be a key player in human cells' frontline defenses against viruses.


New mechanism for how animal cells stay intact



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 12:16 PM PDT


Watching the movement of every cell in an adult animal all at once, researchers discovered ultra-fast cellular contractions. This research suggests a new role for cellular contractions in tissue cohesion, which could be the basis of a new material.


New catalyst opens door to CO2 capture in conversion of coal to liquid fuels



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 11:30 AM PDT


World energy consumption projections expect coal to stay one of the world's main energy sources in the coming decades, and a growing share of it will be used in CTL, the conversion of coal to liquid fuels. Researchers have developed iron-based catalysts that substantially reduce operating costs and open the door to capturing the large amounts of CO2 that are generated by CTL.


Simple, cost effective treatment following failed back surgery shows promise



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 10:53 AM PDT


Failed back surgery (continued low back and leg pain after surgery) is relatively common. With each reoperation, success, as defined by pain reduction, becomes less likely and most patients do not improve. However, preliminary studies using a simple procedure to remove scar tissue or adhesions suggests a new treatment could help those with post-surgical, chronic low back pain.


Researchers quickly harvest 2-D materials, bringing them closer to commercialization



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 10:53 AM PDT


Researchers have developed a technique to harvest 2-inch diameter wafers of 2-D material within just a few minutes. They can then be stacked together to form an electronic device within an hour.


Sidestepping the pitfalls of overconfidence with plausible deniability



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 10:53 AM PDT


Although confidence can serve as both a blessing and a curse, new research shows how people can reap the rewards without risking the social penalties for overconfidence.


Smallest ever Tylosaurus fossil sheds light on species



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 08:50 AM PDT


The smallest Tylosaurus mosasaur fossil ever found has been revealed in a new study, and surprisingly it lacks a trademark feature of the species.


Calm the immune system, halt premature birth



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 08:50 AM PDT


Cytokines, small proteins that alert the body to infection and cause inflammation, have been found in the amniotic fluid of many women who gave birth prematurely. Now, researchers are looking into whether halting the immune response will stop preterm births.


Classifying microbes differently leads to discovery



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 08:50 AM PDT


Changing the way microbes are classified can reveal similarities among mammals' gut microbiomes, according to a new study that proposes an alternative method for classifying microbes to provide insight into human and environmental health.


Quantifying evolutionary impacts of humans on the biosphere is harder than it seems



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 08:02 AM PDT


Are human disturbances to the environment driving evolutionary changes in animals and plants? A new study finds that, on average, human disturbances don't appear to accelerate the process of natural selection. While the finding may seem reassuring, this unexpected pattern could reflect the limited number of species for which data were available.


Insights on the effects of exercise on cognitive performance



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 08:02 AM PDT


A new study has looked at the details behind how cognitive performance may improve during aerobic exercise.


Does open heart surgery affect cognitive abilities?



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 08:02 AM PDT


Understanding how heart valve surgery may affect your cognition is important for older adults. To learn more, researchers reviewed studies to see how patients' cognition changed before and after heart valve surgery. They also looked at whether surgeries on two types of heart valves, the mitral or the aortic, were associated with better or worse outcomes.


Fat: A new player expands our definition of diabetes



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 08:02 AM PDT


Type 2 diabetes is reaching epidemic proportions around the world. The World Health Organization reports that more than 422 million people suffer from the disease, including over 1.2 million in Australia alone. The consequences of diabetes can be dire (cancer, kidney failure, and heart attacks) and its prevalence is rising fast. There is an urgent need to better understand how diabetes progresses -- and how it might be stopped.


Oscillations provide insights into the brain's navigation system



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 08:02 AM PDT


The brain creates a map of our environment, which enables reliable spatial navigation. The Nobel Prize was awarded in 2014 for research into how this navigation system works at the cellular level. Researchers have now shown that the characteristics of this navigation system are also present in brain oscillations that can be measured using depth electrodes in the human brain. The possibility of testing the neuronal navigation system in this way may open up new approaches for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.


Cancer stem cells use normal genes in abnormal ways



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 08:01 AM PDT


An new study shows that CDK1 directly interacts with Sox2 to keep cancer cells 'stemmy.'


Goldilocks principle in biology: Fine-tuning the 'just right' signal load



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 08:01 AM PDT


In 'Goldilock and the Three Bears', Goldilock finds that only one bowl of porridge has the ''just right'' temperature, and in the same way within biology, you can find the 'just right' conditions -- called the Goldilocks principle. This a research team has done by demonstrating that in order to get the 'just right' amount of signalling for symbiosis in the roots of legumes, a specific enzyme called chitinase (CHIT5) must be present.


Disrupting crystalline order to restore superfluidity



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 08:01 AM PDT


What if you could disrupt the crystalline order of quantum matter so that the superfluid could flow freely even at temperatures and pressures where it usually does not? This is indeed the idea that was demonstrated by a team of scientists led by Ludwig Mathey and Andreas Hemmerich from the University of Hamburg.


Tropical moths in the mountains are larger



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 08:01 AM PDT


Researchers have measured more than 19,000 tropical moths from 1,100 species to find out whether their size varies with elevation. The researchers found clear patterns: moths increase in size significantly at higher elevations.


Building a better battery layer by layer



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 07:22 AM PDT


Scientists are now closer to a thin, high-capacity lithium-ion battery that could open the gates to better energy storage systems for electric vehicles.


Irrigating vegetables with wastewater in African cities may spread disease



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 07:22 AM PDT


Urban farmers growing vegetables to feed millions of people in Africa's ever-growing cities could unwittingly be helping to spread disease by irrigating crops with wastewater, a new study reveals.


A new way to create molecules for drug development



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 07:22 AM PDT


Chemists have developed a new and improved way to generate molecules that can enable the design of new types of synthetic drugs.


Shedding light on gene variants and their connections to health and disease



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 07:22 AM PDT


NIH's Clinical Genome Resource (ClinGen) and ClinVar programs are addressing a major barrier to incorporating genomic medicine into healthcare, which is a lack of evidence about the relationship between gene variants and diseases. A special issue of Human Mutation highlights the broad array of advances made through these programs, which work in concert to advance knowledge connecting human genomic variation to human health.


How the grid cell system of the brain maps mental spaces



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 07:22 AM PDT


How exactly the grid cell system works in the human brain, and in particular with which temporal dynamics, has until now been speculation. A much-discussed possibility is that the signals from these cells create maps of 'cognitive spaces' in which humans mentally organize and store the complexities of their internal and external environments. A team of scientists has now been able to demonstrate, with electrophysiological evidence, the existence of grid-like activity in the human brain.


World's fastest camera freezes time at 10 trillion frames per second



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 06:30 AM PDT


Researchers have developed what they call T-CUP: the world's fastest camera, capable of capturing ten trillion frames per second. This new camera literally makes it possible to freeze time to see phenomena -- and even light! -- in extremely slow motion.


'Vampire burial' reveals efforts to prevent child's return from grave



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 06:30 AM PDT


Archaeologists found the remains of a 10-year-old child with a stone inserted into his or her mouth at a fifth-century Italian cemetery. They think the stone was meant to keep the child from rising from the dead and spreading malaria to the living.


Innovative tool allows continental-scale water, energy, and land system modeling



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 06:29 AM PDT


A new large-scale hydroeconomic model will allow researchers to study water systems across whole continents, looking at sustainability of supply and the impacts of water management on the energy and agricultural sectors.


Ketogenic diet appears to prevent cognitive decline in mice, study finds



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 06:29 AM PDT


The Ketogenic Diet, simple caloric restriction, or the pharmaceutical rapamycin appear to improve neurovascular function and prevent cognitive decline in animal models.


Clues that suggest people are lying may be deceptive, study shows



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 06:29 AM PDT


The verbal and physical signs of lying are harder to detect than people believe, a study suggests.


Early changes to synapse gene regulation may cause Alzheimer's disease



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 06:29 AM PDT


New research has revealed a role for splicing proteins in the pathology of Alzheimer's disease. Increased phosphorylation of the SRRM2 protein, seen in AD mouse models and human patients, was found to block its transport to the nucleus. This reduced levels of the PQBP1 protein, causing abnormal changes to the splicing of synapse genes and cognitive decline. These phenotypes were reversed by restoring PQBP1 function, suggesting a possible future treatment for AD.


Why don't we understand statistics? Fixed mindsets may be to blame



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 05:27 AM PDT


The first study of why people struggle to solve statistical problems reveals a preference for complicated rather than simpler, more intuitive solutions -- which often leads to failure in solving the problem altogether. The researchers suggest this is due to unfavorable methods of teaching statistics in schools and universities, and highlight the serious consequences when applied to professional settings like court cases.


Effects of a high-fat diet may be passed on for three generations



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 05:27 AM PDT


A high-fat diet in female mice affects their offspring's obesity, insulin resistance and addictive-like behaviors for three generations, according to a new study.


Understanding the neurological code behind how flies fly



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 05:27 AM PDT


Discoveries about the neurological processes by which flies stay steady in flight could help humans build more responsive drones or better-balanced robots.


Widespread errors in 'proofreading' cause inherited blindness



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 05:27 AM PDT


Research has shown that mistakes in 'proofreading' the genetic code of retinal cells is the cause of a form of inherited blindness, retinitis pigmentosa (RP) with splicing factor defects, which affects up to 2.5 million people worldwide.


Does climate vary more from century to century when it is warmer?



Posted: 12 Oct 2018 05:26 AM PDT


Century-scale climate variability was enhanced when the Earth was warmer during the Last Interglacial period (129,000-116,000 years ago) compared to the current interglacial (the last 11,700 years), according to a new study.


Caesarean section use has almost doubled globally since 2000



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 04:06 PM PDT


Globally, the number of babies born through caesarean section (C-section) almost doubled between 2000 and 2015 -- from 12% to 21% of all births. While the life-saving surgery is still unavailable for many women and children in low-income countries and regions, the procedure is overused in many middle- and high-income settings.


How parenting affects antisocial behaviors in children



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 02:31 PM PDT


In a recent study of the parental caregiving environment, researchers found that within identical twin pairs, the child who experienced harsher behavior and less parental warmth was at a greater risk for developing antisocial behaviors.


Photoactive bacteria bait may help in fight against MRSA infections



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 02:31 PM PDT


Researchers are testing whether a light-active version of heme, the molecule responsible for transporting oxygen in blood circulation, may help people infected with MRSA. Photodynamic therapy, or PDT, involves a compound known as a photosensitizer, which can be activated by visible light to kill diseased cells or bacteria. PDT is a clinically proven method for fighting cancer but has not yet been developed for treating MRSA infections.


Fake or real? New study finds consumers wary of manipulated photos



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 02:31 PM PDT


In the age of fake news and doctored photos, wary consumers are not nearly as gullible as one might presume. But the source of the images does not matter much as people evaluate what is fake and what is real, a study suggests.


Cells involved in allergies also play a key role in survival



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 11:31 AM PDT


Mast cells, an important group of immune cells typically associated with allergies, actually enable the body to survive fasting or intense exercise, new research shows.


Human brain cell transplant offers insights into neurological conditions



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 11:31 AM PDT


Scientists have created a 'window' into the brain, which enables researchers to watch in incredible detail how human brain cells develop and connect to each other in real time.


Breakthrough in self-healing materials



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 11:31 AM PDT


Researchers have given self-healing qualities to polymers that are used in relatively inexpensive commodities, such as paints, plastics and coatings.


Death of a massive star and birth of compact neutron star binary



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 11:31 AM PDT


The unexpectedly gentle death of a massive star suggests that it was being robbed by a dense companion lurking out of sight.


Disorder induces topological Anderson insulator



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 11:31 AM PDT


In experiments with ultracold atoms trapped and driven by lasers, researchers have created a new disorder-induced topological state previously predicted to occur in electronic materials.


What pneumococcus says to make you sick



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 11:31 AM PDT


Researchers have identified a molecule that plays a key role in bacterial communication and infection. Their findings add a new word to pneumococcus' molecular dictionary and may lead to novel ways to manipulate the bacteria and prevent infection.


Optical illusion spooks raptors



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 11:31 AM PDT


Researchers have designed a visual pattern that elicits long-term avoidance of high-risk areas by raptors. The scientists' work clears the way for further investigation into the visual cognition of these birds, and it has applications for conservation, because raptors are among the most common victims of collisions with planes and wind turbines.


Computational model links family members using genealogical and law-enforcement databases



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 11:31 AM PDT


Researchers are reporting ways in which using genetic ancestry databases to solve crimes could potentially be expanded.


The metabolome: A way to measure obesity and health beyond BMI



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 11:31 AM PDT


The current standard for determining obesity is body mass index (BMI), a simple mathematical formula that uses weight and height. A new study looks at both the metabolome and the genome, and their relationship to BMI.


Mouse pups with same-sex parents born in China using stem cells and gene editing



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 11:31 AM PDT


Researchers were able to produce healthy mice with two mothers that went on to have normal offspring of their own. Mice from two dads were also born but only survived for a couple of days. The work looks at what makes it so challenging for animals of the same sex to produce offspring and suggests that some of these barriers can be overcome using stem cells and targeted gene editing.


Human retinas grown in a dish explain how color vision develops



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 11:31 AM PDT


Biologists grew human retina tissue from scratch to determine how cells that allow people to see in color are made.


New microscope offers 4-D look at embryonic development in living mice



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 11:31 AM PDT


With the development of an adaptive, multi-view light sheet microscope and a suite of computational tools, researchers have captured the first view of early organ development inside the mouse embryo.


Genetic Achilles heel hurts humans fighting hepatitis C



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 11:31 AM PDT


An antimicrobial signaling molecule called interferon lambda 4 has lower activity against the hepatitis C virus in the vast majority of humans compared with chimpanzees and African hunter-gatherer Pygmies, according to a new study.


Do lizards dream like us?



Posted: 11 Oct 2018 11:30 AM PDT


Researchers have confirmed that lizards exhibit two sleep states, just like humans, other mammals, and birds. They corroborated the conclusions of a 2016 study on the bearded dragon and conducted the same sleep investigation on another lizard, the Argentine tegu. Their findings nevertheless point out differences between species, which raises new questions about the origin of sleep states.
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