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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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Cover crops may be used to mitigate and adapt to climate change

Dom, 04/16/2017 - 22:00
Cover crops long have been touted for their ability to reduce erosion, fix atmospheric nitrogen, reduce nitrogen leaching and improve soil health, but they also may play an important role in mitigating the effects of climate change on agriculture.

Supermassive black holes found in 2 tiny galaxies

Dom, 04/16/2017 - 22:00
U astronomers and colleagues have found two ultra-compact dwarf galaxies with supermassive black holes, the second and third such galaxies found to harbor the objects. Together, the three examples suggest that black holes lurk at the center of most ultra-compact dwarfs, potentially doubling the number of supermassive black holes known in the universe. The tiny galaxies were likely leftovers of larger galaxies stripped of their outer layers after colliding into other, larger galaxies.

New battery coating could improve smart phones and electric vehicles

Dom, 04/16/2017 - 22:00
High performing lithium-ion batteries are a key component of laptops, smart phones, and electric vehicles. Currently, the anodes, or negative charged side of lithium ion batteries, are generally made with graphite or other carbon-based materials.

New many-toothed clingfish discovered with help of digital scans

Dom, 04/16/2017 - 22:00
Scientists at the University of Washington, Texas A&M University and the Western Australian Museum have discovered and named a new genus and species of clingfish after stumbling upon a specimen preserved in a jar dating back to the 1970s. High-resolution scans and 3-D printing helped the researchers make their discovery.

Vanderbilt-led study shows high-salt diet decreases thirst, increases hunger

Dom, 04/16/2017 - 22:00
The findings, published as a set of two papers in this week's Journal of Clinical Investigation, shed new light on the body's response to high salt intake and could provide an entirely new approach to these three major killer diseases.

Atomic structure reveals how cells translate environmental signals

Dom, 04/16/2017 - 22:00
Researchers at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute have determined the atomic resolution structure of a key molecule that translates signals from a cell's local environment into a language that the cell can understand and use. The determination of the architecture of the Inositol Tris-Phosphate Receptor (IP3R) had long been considered a major goal in biomedical research because of its strategic role inside cells as a molecular train station for transferring signals that control many cell functions.

Aha! Study examines people as they are struck by sudden insight

Dom, 04/16/2017 - 22:00
Everybody loves those rare 'aha moments' where you suddenly and unexpectedly solve a difficult problem or understand something that had previously perplexed you. But until now, researchers had not had a good way to study how people actually experienced what is called 'epiphany learning.' In new research, scientists at The Ohio State University used eye-tracking technology to see what happens as people figured out how to win a strategy game on a computer.

Reading the genetic code depends on context

Dom, 04/16/2017 - 22:00
University of Utah biologists now suggest that connecting amino acids to make proteins in ribosomes, the cell's protein factories, may in fact be influenced by sets of three triplets -- a 'triplet of triplets' that provide crucial context for the ribosome.

Banned industrial solvent sheds new light on methane mystery

Dom, 04/16/2017 - 22:00
Since 2007, scientists have been searching to find the cause of a sudden and unexpected global rise in atmospheric methane, a potent greenhouse gas, following almost a decade in which concentrations had stayed relatively constant.

Synthetic carbohydrates against autoimmune diseases

Dom, 04/16/2017 - 22:00
Researchers are developing an innovative approach for the treatment of a rare autoimmune disease of the peripheral nervous system, using a type of molecular sponge consisting of carbohydrates to remove pathogenic antibodies from the bloodstream. Developed to treat anti-MAG neuropathy, the approach also has potential applications for the treatment of other autoimmune diseases. Scientists from the University of Basel and University Hospital Basel have reported their findings in the scientific journal PNAS.

Electronics to control plant growth

Dom, 04/16/2017 - 22:00
A drug delivery ion pump constructed from organic electronic components also works in plants. Researchers from the Laboratory of Organic Electronics at Linköping University and from the Umeå Plant Science Centre have used such an ion pump to control the root growth of a small flowering plant, the thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana).

Wearable sweat sensor can diagnose cystic fibrosis, Stanford-led study finds

Dom, 04/16/2017 - 22:00
A wristband-type wearable sweat sensor could transform diagnostics and drug evaluation for cystic fibrosis, diabetes and other diseases.

New era of western wildfire demands new ways of protecting people, ecosystems

Dom, 04/16/2017 - 22:00
Current wildfire policy can't adequately protect people, homes and ecosystems from the longer, hotter fire seasons climate change is causing, according to a new paper led by the University of Colorado Boulder.

Imbalances in neural pathways may contribute to repetitive behaviors in autism

Dom, 04/16/2017 - 22:00
Researchers in Guoping Feng's lab at MIT hypothesized that a mutation in the autism risk gene SHANK3 differentially affects synaptic development in two neural pathways that contribute to motor control. Their work, published this week in the JCI, suggests that repetitive behaviors in SHANK3-deficient mice are driven by imbalances between the pathways, revealing a potential mechanism and possible targets to treat some behavioral aspects of autism spectrum disorder.

Scientists engineer human-germ hybrid molecules to attack drug-resistant bacteria

Dom, 04/16/2017 - 22:00
Taking a cue from viruses that infect and kill bacteria, the researchers engineered molecules capable of targeting the bugs in a way the human immune system cannot -- an approach that could be particularly valuable against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Science fiction horror wriggles into reality with discovery of giant sulfur-powered shipworm

Dom, 04/16/2017 - 22:00
Our world seems to grow smaller by the day as biodiversity rapidly dwindles, but an international team of researchers discovered a never before studied giant, black, mud dwelling, worm-like animal.

Fibrosis reversed when 'don't eat me' signal blocked, Stanford study finds

Dom, 04/16/2017 - 22:00
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a pathway that, when mutated, drives fibrosis in many organs of the body.

Mission Control for the body's salt and water supplies

Dom, 04/16/2017 - 22:00
We've all heard it: eating salty foods makes you thirstier. But what sounds like good nutritional advice turns out to be an old-wives' tale. In a study carried out during a simulated mission to Mars, an international group of scientists has found exactly the opposite to be true. 'Cosmonauts' who ate more salt retained more water, weren't as thirsty, and needed more energy.

NASA team explores using LISA Pathfinder as 'comet crumb' detector

Dom, 04/16/2017 - 22:00
NASA scientists hope to take advantage of LISA Pathfinder's record-breaking sensitivity to acceleration to map out the distribution of tiny dust particles shed by asteroids and comets far from Earth.

Dietary supplement may enhance dairy cattle health and reproductive capacity

Dom, 04/16/2017 - 22:00
Dairy cattle diets are often deficient in the essential amino acid methionine; supplements have been shown to increase milk production and protein concentration. A new study shows that rumen-protected methionine supplements can change gene expression in the ovarian follicle, potentially leading to shorter time between ovulation events. Methionine supplements also decrease expression of genes related to inflammation in the cells of the ovarian follicle.

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