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Working with genetically engineered mice -- and especially their whiskers -- Johns Hopkins researchers report they have identified a group of nerve cells in the skin responsible for what they call 'active touch,' a combination of motion and sensory feeling needed to navigate the external world. The discovery of this basic sensory mechanism, described online April 20 in the journal Neuron, advances the search for better 'smart' prosthetics for people, ones that provide more natural sensory feedback to the brain during use.
Two University of Colorado Boulder scientists have discovered how fat levels in a tiny soil-dwelling roundworm (C. elegans) can tip the balance between whether the worm makes eggs or sperm. Although the researchers discovered this phenomenon in worms, the research could have implications for future studies into human fertility and reproductive development.
Second cancers in children and adolescents and young adults (AYA) are far deadlier than they are in older adults and may partially account for the relatively poor outcomes of cancer patients ages 15-39 overall, a new study by UC Davis researchers has found. Study will be published April 20 in JAMA Oncology.
It was previously thought that bacteria only caused problems such as higher inflammation and higher blood glucose. But this is only half of the story. The researchers discovered that a specific component of bacteria actually lowers blood glucose and allows insulin to work better during obesity.
Yale University researchers have developed new methods for regulating gene activity in a widespread group of microbiome bacteria in the gut of living mice -- a crucial step in understanding microbiome's impact on health and disease.
Researchers have developed a new solution to tracking objects hidden behind scattering media by analyzing the fluctuations in optical 'noise' created by their movement. The approach could help fill in the gaps where LIDAR and other line-of-sight based methods fall short, advancing remote sensing and biomedical applications.
Score one for the brown marmorated stink bug, again. Since the pernicious pest arrived in the United States nearly 20 years ago, it has proven difficult to fend off, attacking crops in the summer and invading homes in the fall and winter. And, as a team of researchers has recently found, one of the leading monitoring methods for the stink bug may only be effective for half of the year.
A Massachusetts General Hospital-led research team has found that -- in addition to their immune system role -- macrophages are also essential to the healthy functioning of the heart, helping conduct the electric signals that coordinate the heartbeat.
In people born with one hand, the brain region that would normally light up with that missing hand's activity lights up instead with the activity of other body parts -- including the arm, foot, and mouth -- that fill in for the hand's lost function. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on April 20 say that the discovery could shake up scientists' fundamental understanding of how the brain is organized.
Two independent studies in mice published in the journal Cell have made it possible to simultaneously visualize multiple bacterial strains in the gut by making them express unique combinations of fluorescent proteins. This approach allowed the researchers to pinpoint the location of the bacteria in the gut based on the rainbow of colors they emitted. Additionally, these tools also allowed precise control of the activity of bacterial genes in real time and in specific locations.
A team of neuroscientists at the University of Pennsylvania has shown for the first time that electrical stimulation delivered when memory is predicted to fail can improve memory function in the human brain. That same stimulation generally becomes disruptive when electrical pulses arrive during periods of effective memory function.
Macrophages have a previously unrecognized role in helping the mammalian heart beat in rhythm. Massachusetts General Hospital researchers discovered that macrophages aggregate around central cardiac cells that regulate electrical impulses within the mouse heart, helping the cells conduct electricity. Mice that were genetically engineered to lack macrophages have irregular heartbeats, hinting that these immune cells may also play a role in heart disease. The findings appear April 20 in the journal Cell.
Osaka University researchers have designed new technology that uses machine learning to model a personal sleep pattern based on the sounds made during sleep. Because the sounds can be recorded at home with no fancy devices, it is expected that doctors using this technology could diagnose patients under normal sleeping conditions, which is expected to lead to better treatment.
Sergey Leshchinskiy, paleontologist, head of TSU's Laboratory of Mesozoic and Cenozoic Continental Ecosystems, has studied the remains of Yakut mammoths collected on one of the largest locations in the world of mammoth fauna, Berelyokh. His study showed that almost half of the bones of these ancient mammals have signs of serious pathologies typical for the human skeletal system.
A necessary part of any animal's sense of direction is a positioning system, allowing it to have an idea of the relation between where it is and where it wants to go; this is known as odometry. A study from the Autonomous University of Madrid shows that tarantulas use their posterior lateral eyes and anterior lateral eyes (they have a total of four pairs of eyes) to establish the distance they have travelled.
A study of the impact and research topics of neuroscience papers from 2006-2015 has shown that the number of neuroscience papers and highly-productive core neuroscience journals has grown, while psychology and behavioral sciences have become more popular research areas. China has emerged as a major neuroscience contributor, with a jump in the list of the most productive countries for neuroscience research from 11th place in 2006 to 2nd place in 2015.
Stem cell transplants can save lives, for example in patients with leukemia. However, these treatments are not free of risks. One complication that may occur is graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), basically donor-derived immune cells attacking the recipient's body. A team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has identified molecular mechanisms that may protect patients against this dangerous response in the future. The key to preventing GVHD is in the gut.
An international research team has presented a global analysis of a set of observables related to one type of rare B decays measured in different experiments: mainly LHCb, Belle and also preliminary results from ATLAS and CMS. The discrepancy between the results and the Standard Model predictions points to possible New Physics. Two possible model candidates include the existence of a new fundamental particle such as a Z' or a leptoquark.
A failure to celebrate conservation successes means we miss vital opportunities to convince the public of 'real and practical solutions' they can engage with. Cambridge conservationists will unite with colleagues across the globe to champion environmental victories and show there is cause for hope -- the decisive component in the fight to save disappearing biodiversity.
A technique that revolutionised scientists' ability to manipulate and study minuscule materials, may have dramatic unintended consequences -- altering their structural identity, new Oxford University research reveals.