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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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What is the global prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder?

Dom, 08/20/2017 - 22:00
An article published by JAMA Pediatrics estimates the global prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) among children and youth.

What hours are worked by women, men in dual-physician couples with kids?

Dom, 08/20/2017 - 22:00
In dual-physician couples, women with children worked fewer hours than women without children but similar differences in hours worked were not seen among men, according to a new research letter published by JAMA Internal Medicine.

New tool identifies diabetes patients at risk for low blood sugar emergencies

Dom, 08/20/2017 - 22:00
A team led by Kaiser Permanente researchers has developed and validated a practical tool for identifying diabetes patients who are at the highest risk for being admitted to an emergency department or hospital due to severe hypoglycemia, or very low blood sugar. Their results are published today in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Research reveals 'exquisite selectivity' of neuronal wiring in the cerebral cortex

Dom, 08/20/2017 - 22:00
In a study appearing today in Nature Neuroscience, a team from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory uses advanced technologies to illuminate the connectivity pattern of chandelier cells, a distinctive kind of inhibitory cell type in the mammalian brain. They reveal for the first time how this candelabra-shaped cell interacts in a highly selective way with hundreds of excitatory cells in its neighborhood, receiving information from some, imparting information to others.

Scientists create 'diamond rain' that forms in the interior of icy giant planets

Dom, 08/20/2017 - 22:00
In an experiment designed to mimic the conditions deep inside the icy giant planets of our solar system, scientists were able to observe 'diamond rain' for the first time as it formed in high-pressure conditions. Extremely high pressure squeezes hydrogen and carbon found in the interior of these planets to form solid diamonds that sink slowly down further into the interior.

Antarctic salt-loving microbes provide insights into evolution of viruses

Dom, 08/20/2017 - 22:00
UNSW Sydney scientists studying microbes from some of the saltiest lakes in Antarctica have discovered a new way the microbes can share DNA that could help them grow and survive.The research, based on 18 months of water sampling in remote Antarctic locations, could throw light on the evolutionary history of viruses. The team discovered some of the microbes contained small molecules of DNA called plasmids.

FANTOM5 releases first integrated atlas of microRNA expression in human primary cells

Dom, 08/20/2017 - 22:00
FANTOM, an international scientific consortium led by RIKEN, has created the first extensive atlas of microRNA expression in human primary cells. Leveraging the collection of RNA samples established as part of the fifth edition of FANTOM, the team has sequenced microRNA libraries of hundreds of human samples, including many cell types for which the microRNA presence had never been investigated before.

Comprehensive genomic analysis offers insights into causes of Wilms tumor development

Dom, 08/20/2017 - 22:00
Mutations involving a large number of genes converge on two pathways during early kidney development that lead to Wilms tumor.

A holodeck for flies, fish and mice

Dom, 08/20/2017 - 22:00
Inspired by Star Trek, biologists are enabling new experiments in virtual reality.

Zika virus stifles pregnant women's weakened immune system to harm baby, USC study finds

Dom, 08/20/2017 - 22:00
The Zika virus suppresses a pregnant woman's immune system, enabling the virus to spread and increasing the chances an unborn baby will be harmed, study finds. The study is the first to report that the Zika virus targets specific white blood cells, handicapping a pregnant woman's immune system in a way that almost resembles HIV. Pregnant women are more prone to immune suppression. Zika exploits that weakness to infect and replicate.

Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells

Dom, 08/20/2017 - 22:00
New research has discovered a potential means to trigger damaged heart cells to self-heal. The discovery could lead to groundbreaking forms of treatment for heart diseases. For the first time, researchers have identified a long non-coding ribonucleic acid (ncRNA) that regulates genes controlling the ability of heart cells to undergo repair or regeneration. This novel RNA, called 'Singheart,' may be targeted for treating heart failure in the future.

Back-to-school worries for parents? 1 in 3 very concerned bullying, cyberbullying

Dom, 08/20/2017 - 22:00
What parents are most worried about as their children prepare to head back to school.

Into the wild for plant genetics

Dom, 08/20/2017 - 22:00
A new paper by scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew reveals the opportunities for portable, real-time DNA sequencing in plant identification and naming. Using a handheld DNA sequencing device they conducted the first genomic plant sequencing in the field at a fraction of the speed of traditional methods, offering exciting possibilities to conservationists and scientists the world over.

Have flowers devised the ultimate weapon of distraction?

Dom, 08/20/2017 - 22:00
Nectar, the high-energy 'honey' produced by flowers, might be a brilliant distraction technique to help protect a flower's reproductive parts, according to new research.Rather than merely providing a 'come-on' to bees and other insects to attract them to pollinate the flower, nectar could be playing a much more subtle and entrancing role.

Smart label could one day let you know when to toss food and cosmetics (video)

Dom, 08/20/2017 - 22:00
Detecting food and cosmetic spoilage and contamination. Identifying new medicinal plants in a remote jungle. Authenticating tea and wine. Scientists have developed a low-cost, portable, paper-based sensor that can potentially carry out all of these functions with easy-to-read results. The researchers are presenting their results today at the 254th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

Clay-based antimicrobial packaging keeps food fresh

Dom, 08/20/2017 - 22:00
Sometimes it seems as if fresh food goes bad in the blink of an eye. Consumers are left feeling frustrated, turning to cheaper, processed foods. Now scientists report that they developed a packaging film coated with clay nanotubes containing an antibacterial essential oil. The film prevents over ripening and microbial growth, improving the shelf life of perishables. The researchers are presenting their results today at the 254th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

New vaccine could someday fight the effects of opioid combinations

Dom, 08/20/2017 - 22:00
Substance abuse is a continuing problem in the US, to the point of being an 'epidemic.' Treatments exist, but far too often patients relapse with devastating impacts on themselves and those around them. Now, scientists report that they have made progress toward a vaccine against the effects of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, in combination with heroin. The researchers are presenting their research at the 254th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

Sopping up sunblock from oceans to save coral reefs (video)

Dom, 08/20/2017 - 22:00
Coral reefs can't seem to catch a break. Not only are rising temperatures wreaking havoc with their environment, but emerging evidence suggests that a certain sunblock component is a coral killer. Now, researchers have developed a biodegradable bead that can soak up the sunblock ingredient, oxybenzone, like a thirsty sea sponge. The researchers are presenting their results at the 254th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

Remarkable artistry hidden in ancient Roman painting revealed

Dom, 08/20/2017 - 22:00
Molten lava, volcanic ash, modern grime, salt, humidity. The ancient painting of a Roman woman has been through it all, and it looks like it. Scientists now report that a new type of high-resolution X-ray technology is helping them discover just how stunning the original portrait once was, element-by-element, which could help them restore the painting. The researchers are presenting their results at the 254th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

Avocado seed husks could be a gold mine of medicinal and industrial compounds

Dom, 08/20/2017 - 22:00
In a first-of-its-kind study, scientists report that avocado seed husks, which are usually discarded along with the seed, contain a plethora of useful chemical compounds. They say these compounds could eventually be used to treat a host of debilitating diseases, as well as to enhance the allure of cosmetics, perfumes and other consumer goods. The researchers are presenting their results at the 254th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

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