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Ancient DNA offers new view on saber-toothed cats' past

Mié, 10/18/2017 - 22:00
Researchers who've analyzed the complete mitochondrial genomes from ancient samples representing two species of saber-toothed cats have a new take on the animals' history over the last 50,000 years. The data suggest that the saber-toothed cats shared a common ancestor with all living cat-like species about 20 million years ago. The two saber-toothed cat species under study diverged from each other about 18 million years ago.

Brain training can improve our understanding of speech in noisy places

Mié, 10/18/2017 - 22:00
For many people with hearing challenges, trying to follow a conversation in a crowded restaurant or other noisy venue is a major struggle, even with hearing aids. Now researchers reporting in Current Biology on Oct. 19 have some good news: time spent playing a specially designed, brain-training audiogame could help.

Teens' views vary on pediatric genetic testing for adult-onset conditions

Mié, 10/18/2017 - 22:00
Adolescents display a complex and nuanced understanding of the issues around pediatric genetic testing for conditions that do not appear until adulthood, according to findings presented at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2017 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla. Researchers qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed essays submitted to ASHG's 2016 DNA Day Essay Contest.

Rapid whole-genome sequencing of neonatal ICU patients is useful and cost-effective

Mié, 10/18/2017 - 22:00
Rapid whole-genome sequencing of acutely ill neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) patients in the first few days of life yields clinically useful diagnoses in many cases, and results in lower aggregate costs than the current standard of care, according to findings presented at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2017 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Survey results: Genetics specialists' views on genome editing

Mié, 10/18/2017 - 22:00
Genetics professionals around the globe hold varying views on genome editing in humans, agreeing with the general public on some aspects and differing in others, according to survey results presented at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2017 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Scientists reveal 'superbug's' artillery

Mié, 10/18/2017 - 22:00
Monash University's Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) researchers have created the first high-resolution structure depicting a crucial part of the 'superbug' Pseudomonas aeruginosa, classified by the WHO as having the highest level threat to human health. The image identifies the 'nanomachine' used by the highly virulent bacteria to secrete toxins, pointing the way for drug design targeting this.

Chaos reigns even in simple electronics

Mié, 10/18/2017 - 22:00
It's really surprising: it turns out that among simple electronic circuits, built of just a few components, many of them behave chaotically, in an extremely complicated, practically unpredictable manner. Physicists from the Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences in Cracow have discovered, examined and described dozens of new, unusual circuits of this type. What is especially interesting is that one of the circuits generates voltage pulses very similar to those produced by neurons, only it does so a thousand times faster.

World first: scientists find where HIV 'hides' to evade detection by the immune system

Mié, 10/18/2017 - 22:00
In a decades-long game of hide and seek, scientists from Sydney's Westmead Institute for Medical Research have confirmed for the very first time the specific immune memory T-cells where infectious HIV 'hides' in the human body to evade detection by the immune system.

A solar flare recorded from Spain in 1886

Mié, 10/18/2017 - 22:00
Satellites have detected powerful solar flares in the last two months, but this phenomenon has been recorded for over a century. On Sept. 10, 1886, at the age of just 17, a young amateur astronomer using a modest telescope observed from Madrid one of these sudden flashes in a sunspot. This is what researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias and the Universidad de Extremadura have recently found.

A surprise new butterflyfish is described from the Philippine 'twilight zone' and exhibit

Mié, 10/18/2017 - 22:00
A new species of striped Philippine butterflyfish -- the charismatic Roa rumsfeldi -- made a fantastic, 7,000-mile journey before surprising scientists with its unknown status. Live specimens collected from a depth of 360 feet escaped special notice until a single black fin spine tipped off aquarium biologists back in San Francisco. Deep-diving researchers from the California Academy of Sciences' Hope for Reefs team -- with genetic sequencing help from a parent-son team -- share their discovery of a fifth species of Roa this week.

What characteristics do school shooters share?

Mié, 10/18/2017 - 22:00
Boys involved in school shootings often struggle to live up to what they perceive as their school's ideals surrounding masculinity. When socially shunned at school, they develop deep-set grudges against their classmates and teachers. The shooters become increasingly angry, depressed, and more violent in their gendered practice. A shooting rampage is their ultimate performance, says Kathryn Farr of Portland State University in the US, in a study published in Springer's journal Gender Issues.

White working-class Americans feel in nation's 'slow lane', new study shows

Mié, 10/18/2017 - 22:00
America's white working-class communities feel they are being kept in the 'slow lane' of social mobility while other groups speed past, according to a year-long study by UK and US researchers into their social and political views. Communities in five cities were interviewed and their thoughts captured during a period spanning part of the 2016 presidential race, which heralded the most dramatic shift in political dynamics in recent US history.

Ice stream retreats under a cold climate

Mié, 10/18/2017 - 22:00
Warmer ocean surface triggered the ice retreat during The Younger Dryas.

Forest fires on the rise as JRC study warns of danger to air quality

Mié, 10/18/2017 - 22:00
The JRC's annual forest fires report confirms a trend towards longer and more intense fire seasons in Europe and neighbouring regions, with wildfires now occurring throughout the year. The report coincides with an international study which finds that global wildfire trends could have significant health implications due to rising harmful emissions.

Mutant gene found to fuel cancer-promoting effects of inflammation

Mié, 10/18/2017 - 22:00
A study by UC San Diego biologists uncovered a new mechanism linking a human gene's function to chronic inflammation. Through large-scale genomic analyses, the researchers discovered that 'mutant p53' amplifies the impact of inflammation, leading to increases in the invasive behavior of cancer. Thus, rather than fighting tumor growth, mutant forms of p53 appear to be tapping into the body's immune response system to fuel pro-inflammatory responses that increase cancer growth.

Mapping migrant communities across Europe to support local integration

Mié, 10/18/2017 - 22:00
The JRC has launched a data challenge to crowdsource policy ideas for integration, inviting researchers to use a new visual dataset mapping migrants in Europe. The maps show residential patterns at high resolution across 8 EU countries.

Want to control your dreams? Here's how you can

Mié, 10/18/2017 - 22:00
New research at the University of Adelaide has found that a specific combination of techniques will increase people's chances of having lucid dreams, in which the dreamer is aware they're dreaming while it's still happening and can control the experience.

Phones keeping students from concentrating during lectures

Mié, 10/18/2017 - 22:00
Daily, people spend over three hours on their phones. While ever-smarter digital devices have made many aspects of our lives more efficient, a growing body of evidence suggests that, by continuously distracting us, they are harming our ability to concentrate. Studies across the world show that students constantly use their phones when they are in class. A strong body of evidence suggests that media use during lectures is associated with lower academic performance.

More teens than ever aren't getting enough sleep

Mié, 10/18/2017 - 22:00
Researchers found that about 40 percent of adolescents in 2015 slept less than 7 hours a night, which is 58 percent more than in 1991 and 17 percent more than in 2009. They further learned that the more time young people reported spending online, the less sleep they got. Teens who spent 5 hours a day online were 50 percent more likely to not sleep enough than their peers who only spent an hour online each day.

Dogs are more expressive when someone is looking

Mié, 10/18/2017 - 22:00
Dogs produce more facial expressions when humans are looking at them, according to new research from the University of Portsmouth.

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