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The premier online source for science news since 1996. A service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
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Here's why it's important to support your breastfeeding co-workers

Mar, 07/10/2018 - 22:00
Support from female co-workers may be even more important to new moms who are breastfeeding than getting encouragement from their significant others, close friends and relatives, says a new study.

Cleaning out pollen shells (video)

Mar, 07/10/2018 - 22:00
As allergy season intensifies, many people are cursing pollen -- the powdery substance released by plants for reproduction. However, pollen may serve a purpose beyond making new plants and triggering sneezes. In ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, researchers report a new method for cleaning out the insides of pollen grains so that the non-allergenic shells can be used to carry medicines or vaccines into the human body.

Developmental disabilities reported in HIV-positive children in South Africa

Mar, 07/10/2018 - 22:00
HIV-positive children in South Africa are more likely to have developmental disabilities compared to children who are HIV negative. HIV-positive children ages 4 to 6 had nearly four times the odds of delays in sitting, standing, walking, and speaking, and more than twice the odds of a hearing disability and cognitive delay compared to HIV-negative children.

Researchers identify cost-cutting option in treating nail fungus with nanotechnology

Mar, 07/10/2018 - 22:00
Adam Friedman, M.D., professor of dermatology at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and his team investigated the use of nanotechnology to improve efinaconazole treatment and make it more cost effective.

Dodder genome sequencing sheds light on evolution of plant parasitism

Mar, 07/10/2018 - 22:00
To gain insight into the evolution of dodders, and provide important resources for studying the physiology and ecology of parasitic plants, the laboratory of Dr. WU Jianqiang from the Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, combined PacBio sequencing and Illumina transcriptome sequencing technology to obtain a high-quality genome of the dodder Cuscuta australis.

Discovery of ancient tools in China suggests humans left Africa earlier than previously thought

Mar, 07/10/2018 - 22:00
Ancient tools and bones discovered in China by archaeologists suggest early humans left Africa and arrived in Asia earlier than previously thought.

Eradicate rats to bolster coral reefs

Mar, 07/10/2018 - 22:00
New research has confirmed that invasive rats decimate seabird populations, with previously unrecognized consequences for the extensive coral reefs that encircle and protect these islands. Invasive predators such as rats -- which feed on bird eggs, chicks, and even adults birds -- are estimated to have decimated seabird populations within 90 percent of the world's temperate and tropical island groups, but until now the extent of their impact on surrounding coral reefs wasn't known.

T cell engineering breakthrough sidesteps need for viruses in gene-editing

Mar, 07/10/2018 - 22:00
In an achievement that has significant implications for research, medicine, and industry, UC San Francisco scientists have genetically reprogrammed the human immune cells known as T cells without using viruses to insert DNA. The researchers said they expect their technique -- a rapid, versatile, and economical approach employing CRISPR gene-editing technology -- to be widely adopted in the burgeoning field of cell therapy, accelerating the development of new and safer treatments for cancer, autoimmunity, and other diseases, including rare inherited disorders.

Kidney podocytes, all grown up

Mar, 07/10/2018 - 22:00
Unlike other human stem cells, Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) can be produced directly from adult cells. Now, Wyss researchers have shown that human kidney podocytes produced from iPS cells via a highly efficient, previously described protocol exhibit transcriptomic and protein expression profiles that match those of mature podocytes -- a feat that no other method has so far been able to achieve. This confirmation gives kidney researchers a tool for investigating human kidney development, function, and disease.

Ebola survivors suffer from severe neurological problems

Mar, 07/10/2018 - 22:00
Researchers have shed new light on the psychiatric and neurological problems that Ebola survivors can suffer from, and call for more specialist support for the most severely affected patients.

Humans evolved in partially isolated populations scattered across Africa

Mar, 07/10/2018 - 22:00
The textbook narrative of human evolution casts Homo sapiens as evolving from a single ancestral population in one region of Africa around 300,000 years ago. However, in a commentary published July 11 in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution, an interdisciplinary group of researchers concludes that early humans comprised a subdivided, shifting, pan-African meta-population with physical and cultural diversity. This framework better explains existing genetic, fossil, and cultural patterns and clarifies our shared ancestry.

Our fractured African roots

Mar, 07/10/2018 - 22:00
A scientific consortium led by Dr. Eleanor Scerri, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Oxford and researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, has found that human ancestors were scattered across Africa, and largely kept apart by a combination of diverse habitats and shifting environmental boundaries, such as forests and deserts. Millennia of separation gave rise to a staggering diversity of human forms, whose mixing ultimately shaped our species.

A fish that subtracts its own electric signals to better 'see' through its murky habitat

Mar, 07/10/2018 - 22:00
The elephant-nose fish Gnathonemus petersii relies on electricity to find food and navigate through the obstacles riddling its native murky African rivers. On July 12 in the journal Neuron, Columbia University researchers present evidence that the fish's ability to accurately 'see' an 'electrical image' of its surroundings requires it to filter out its own electrical interference.

New study in electric fish reveals brain mechanisms for distinguishing self from other

Mar, 07/10/2018 - 22:00
The brain's remarkable ability to perceive the outside world relies almost entirely on its capacity to tune out noise generated by the body's own actions, according to a first-of-its-kind study in electric fish led by scientists at Columbia University.

Recognizing others but not yourself: New insights into the evolution of plant mating

Mar, 07/10/2018 - 22:00
Recognition systems have evolved to ensure that a plant mates only with a genetically different plant and not with itself, hence preventing inbreeding. Recognition systems can be found in at least 100 plant families and 40 percent of species but until now, researchers have not known how the astonishing diversity in these systems evolves. Researchers at IST Austria have made steps towards deciphering how new mating types evolve. Their results are published in Genetics.

New study: LDL quality is a novel, modifiable cardiovascular risk marker

Mar, 07/10/2018 - 22:00
The presence of sticky, aggregation-prone LDL in circulation is an independent predictor of cardiovascular death. This novel finding indicates that in addition to LDL-cholesterol levels, the quality of the cholesterol-carrying LDL particles also needs to be considered when estimating the cardiovascular risk of a person, say the researchers from the University of Helsinki and Wihuri Research Institute.

The first endemic Baltic Sea fish species received its name

Mar, 07/10/2018 - 22:00
Researchers at the University of Helsinki discovered and named a new endemic fish species in the Baltic Sea, the 'Baltic flounder,' Platichthys solemdali.

Uncovering the evolutionary history of IBD-associated colorectal cancer

Mar, 07/10/2018 - 22:00
A team of researchers from Queen Mary University of London have reported the genetic events involved in the early development of bowel cancer in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Researchers couple artificial atom to acoustic resonator

Mar, 07/10/2018 - 22:00
Researchers from Russia and Britain have demonstrated an artificial quantum system, in which a quantum bit interacts with an acoustic resonator in the quantum regime. This allows the familiar effects of quantum optics to be studied on acoustic waves and enables an alternative approach to quantum computer design, which is based on acoustics and could make quantum computers more stable and compact.

Enzyme discovery could help in fight against TB

Mar, 07/10/2018 - 22:00
Research by a team led by Dr. Elizabeth Fullam has revealed new findings about an enzyme found in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the bacterium that causes TB.

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