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Today's Top Science News

Today's Top Science News

BU researchers use Twitter and AI to see who is hitting the gym
A new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers and published in BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine used machine learning to find and comb through exercise-related tweets from across the United States, unpacking regional and gender differences in exercise types and intensity levels.

Alzheimer's gene may impact cognitive health before adulthood
In the journal Neurobiology of Aging, UC Riverside psychology Chandra Reynolds asserts that those carrying the APOE4 gene score lower on IQ tests during childhood and adolescence. And the effect was stronger in girls than in boys. APOE4 carriers are up to three times more likely to develop late-onset Alzheimer's disease, which occurs in people 65 and older.

Study finds maternal race not a factor for children experiencing a 'language gap'
Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute have discovered that race plays no role in the amount and quality of the words mothers use with their children, or with the language skills their children later develop.

Strong storms also play big role in Antarctic ice shelf collapse
Warming temperatures and changes in ocean circulation and salinity are driving the breakup of ice sheets in Antarctica, but a new study suggests that intense storms may help push the system over the edge.

Researchers confirm the validity of xenographic models for studies of methylation
Researchers at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), published today in Molecular Cancer Research a study where they identify methylation patterns associated with different subtypes of breast cancer, and a subclassification of the group of "triple negatives", a breast cancer type typically associated with poor prognosis. In addition, researchers identified changes in DNA methylation associated with the response to docetaxel, a common therapy. The research was led by Dr. Eva González-Suárez, head of the IDIBELL Transformation and Metastasis research group.

TGen-led study finds link between gene and severe liver damage
Researchers have found that a gene known as AEBP1 may play a central role in the development, severity and potential treatment of liver disease, according to a study by Temple University, the Geisinger Obesity Institute and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), an affiliate of City of Hope. One of the study's major findings is that AEBP1 regulates the expression of a network of at least nine genes related to fibrosis: AKR1B10, CCDC80, DPT, EFEMP1, ITGBL1, LAMC3, MOXD1, SPP1, and STMN2.

Sperm may offer the uterus a 'secret handshake'
Why does it take 200 million sperm to fertilize a single egg? Part of the reason is bombardment by the female immune system, which very few sperm survive. Researchers have discovered a molecular handshake between sperm and uterine cells that may help sperm evade this attack --or may help the immune system target the weakest sperm.

Toward molecular computers: First measurement of single-molecule heat transfer
Heat transfer through a single molecule has been measured for the first time by an international team of researchers led by the University of Michigan.

Simulation explores how insects glean compass direction from skylight
A computational simulation suggests that insects may be capable of using the properties of light from the sky to determine their compass direction with an error of less than two degrees. Evripidis Gkanias of the University of Edinburgh, U.K., and colleagues present their findings in PLOS Computational Biology.

Drinking red wine on the red planet
BIDMC researchers report that a daily moderate dose of resveratrol significantly preserved muscle function and mitigated muscle atrophy in an animal model mimicking Mars' partial gravity. Novel model innovated by BIDMC researchers will help scientists fill in the blanks about the little understood physiological consequences of partial gravity.

Cleaning our water with groundbreaking 'bioinspired' chemistry
Synthetic chemicals, including pesticides, medications and household cleaners, often end up in our waterways. Even in small amounts these substances can affect wildlife, plants and humans, and a number of them have shown resistance to normal water treatment methods. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University blazed the trail for a new field of sustainable chemistry by unveiling powerful, safe and inexpensive oxidation catalysts inspired by biological processes that break down even the most stubborn micropollutants.

Scientists discover group of genes connected to longer life in fruit flies
E(z) longer life: New insights on genes linked to longer life and higher fertility.

NASA's Aqua satellite finds Tropical Storm Danas over Ryuku Islands
NASA's Aqua satellite found Tropical Storm Danas moving over Japan's Ryuku island chain in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can increase men's risk of stroke and heart attack
Aging men with low testosterone levels who take testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) are at a slightly greater risk of experiencing an ischemic stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA), or myocardial infarction, especially during the first two years of use, reports a study appearing in The American Journal of Medicine, published by Elsevier. The findings confirm concerns voiced by many health agencies about the potential risks associated with the treatment.

Link found between gut bacteria, successful joint replacement
Having healthy gut flora -- the trillions of bacteria housed in our intestines -- could lower the risk of infection following knee and hip replacement surgeries, while an unhealthy intestinal flora may increase the risk of infection.

Carnegie Mellon research identifies new pathways for sensory learning in the brain
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed an automated, robotic training device that allows mice to learn at their leisure. The technology stands to further neuroscience research by allowing researchers to train animals under more natural conditions and identify mechanisms of circuit rewiring that occur during learning.

Lionfish ear-bones reveal a more mobile invasion
Researchers have little information about how grown lionfish might invade or move to new waters because tracking small marine organisms poses difficulties. One way to investigate their movements, though, is to study stable isotopes in their ear-bones.

CCNY physicists use mathematics to trace neuro transitions
Unique in its application of a mathematical model to understand how the brain transitions from consciousness to unconscious behavior, a study at The City College of New York's Benjamin Levich Institute for Physico-Chemical Hydrodynamics may have just advanced neuroscience appreciably. The findings, surprisingly by physicists, suggest that the subliminal state is the most robust part of the conscious network and appear on the cover of the journal 'Neuroscience.'

Study finds key metabolic changes in patients with chemotherapy-associated cardiotoxicity
Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center embarked on a study to investigate whether early changes in energy-related metabolites in the blood -- measured shortly after chemotherapy -- could be used to identify patients who developed heart toxicity at a later time.

A sharper focus: New computational technique resolves compressed X-ray data
With high-energy X-rays, such as those that will be produced by the upgrade to Argonne's Advanced Photon Source comes a potential hitch -- the more penetrating the X-rays are, the higher a likelihood that researchers could run into problems with the image data. In a new study, researchers at Argonne have found a novel way to combat this image degradation.

U of Guelph researchers learn how low oxygen builds a bigger, stronger alligator heart
University of Guelph researchers are beginning to understand why some alligators develop stronger hearts after enduring low oxygen during early development in the egg.

Greater prevalence of congenital heart defects in high intensity oil and gas areas
Mothers living near more intense oil and gas development activity have a 40-70% higher chance of having children with congenital heart defects (CHDs) compared to those living in areas of less intense activity, according to a new study from researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health.

A dynamic genetic code based on DNA shape
Under physiological conditions, only certain sequences within the genome, called flipons, are capable of dynamically forming either right- or left-handed DNA. When a flipon is left-handed, genes change the transcripts they produce, affecting how cells respond to their environment. The outcomes depend on both the shape and sequence of a gene's DNA, each feature encoding a different subset of genetic information: one dynamic, the other static. Both flipons and codons are subject to natural selection.

Strong family relationships may help with asthma outcomes for children
Positive family relationships might help youth to maintain good asthma management behaviors even in the face of difficult neighborhood conditions, according to a new Northwestern University study.

How mammals' brains evolved to distinguish odors is nothing to sniff at
Neuroscientists from the Salk Institute and UC San Diego have discovered that at least six types of mammals--from mice to cats--distinguish odors in roughly the same way, using circuitry in the brain that's evolutionarily preserved across species.

Biomaterial-delivered chemotherapy leads to long-term survival in brain cancer
A combination of chemotherapy drugs during brain cancer surgery using a biodegradable paste, leads to long-term survival, researchers at the University of Nottingham have discovered.

UMN Medical School researchers explain muscle loss with menopause
New University of Minnesota Medical School research is the first to show that estrogen is essential to maintaining muscle stem cell health.

UCF team discovers, names new frog species
An international team of researchers have identified and described two new frog species and have named one of them after a University of Central Florida professor.

New low-cost thermoelectric material works at room temperature
The widespread adoption of thermoelectric devices that can directly convert electricity into thermal energy for cooling and heating has been hindered, in part, by the lack of materials that are both inexpensive and highly efficient at room temperature. Now researchers from the University of Houston and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have reported the discovery of a new material that works efficiently at room temperature while requiring almost no costly tellurium, a major component of the current state-of-the-art material.

What makes some people more receptive to the idea of being vaccinated against infectious disease?
Fear, trust, and the likelihood of exposure are three leading factors that influence whether people are willing to be vaccinated against a virulent disease, according to a new study in the journal Heliyon, published by Elsevier.

Women report skipping scientific conferences because of child care
Many women find themselves skipping scientific conferences because of family obligations, a new study finds. Women were less likely than men to attend scientific meetings, although both genders noted that conferences were important to career advancement.

Study: Even in competitive markets, shareholders bear burden of corruption
While the US traditionally ranks low on worldwide corruption indices, domestic political corruption still imposes substantial costs on US shareholders, according to new research co-written by Gies College of Business accounting professor Nerissa Brown.

Tornadoes, windstorms pave way for lasting plant invasions
When tornadoes touch down, we brace for news of property damage, injuries, and loss of life, but the high-speed wind storms wreak environmental havoc, too. They can cut through massive swaths of forest, destroying trees and wildlife habitat, and opening up opportunities for invasive species to gain ground.

Depressed by Facebook and the like
Great holiday, fantastic party, adorable children, incredible food: everyone shows their life in the best light on social networks. Those who take a look around on such sites can find that their self-esteem takes a hit as it seems as though everyone is better than them. Users who use social networks passively, i.e. do not post themselves, and tend to compare themselves with others are in danger of developing depressive symptoms.

The top five strangest poisons that can kill you (video)
There are some crazy poisons in this world of ours, and they're often found in things you'd least expect. In this week's episode of Reactions, we break down our top 5.

The unpopular truth about biases toward people with disabilities
Needing to ride in a wheelchair can put the brakes on myriad opportunities -- some less obvious than one might think. New research from Michigan State University sheds light on the bias people have toward people with disabilities, known as 'ableism,' and how it shifts over time.

Adding a polymer stabilizes collapsing metal-organic frameworks
Porous metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have many applications like carbon capture and water-cleaning. However, MOFs with large pores tend to collapse. Chemists and chemical engineers at EPFL have now solved the problem by adding small amounts of a polymer into the MOF pores, an act that impedes pore collapse.

Diversity on teams leads to positive outcomes, but not for all
Individuals on teams of diverse people working together can have better outcomes than those on teams with similar individuals, research as shown.

Diabetes medications masking surgical complication
A new class of diabetes medications is masking the potentially dangerous condition of ketoacidosis at the time of surgery. Testing for acid load in the blood of diabetes sufferers who are taking gliflozin medications is needed in order to avoid complications associated with ketoacidosis - a potentially lethal build-up of acid in the blood.

A better avenue for neurosurgery to improve outcomes
Changing the route of entry for minimally invasive neurosurgery provides better outcomes for a wide range of interventions, and is preferred by patients.

Deciphering brain somatic mutations associated with Alzheimer's disease
KAIST researchers have identified somatic mutations in the brain that could contribute to the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Algae-killing viruses spur nutrient recycling in oceans
Scientists have confirmed that viruses can kill marine algae called diatoms and that diatom die-offs near the ocean surface may provide nutrients and organic matter for recycling by other algae, according to a Rutgers-led study.

Biochemistry: Versatile recycling in the cell
Ribosomes need regenerating. This process is important for the quality of the proteins produced and thus for the whole cell homeostasis as well as for developmental and biological processes. Biochemists from Goethe University Frankfurt together with biophysicists at LMU Munich have now watched one of the most important enzymes for ribosome recycling at work -- ABCE1 -- and shown that it is unexpectedly versatile in terms of structure.

Scientists discover how and when a subterranean ocean emerged
An international scientific team led by Russian geochemists have established that the huge reserves of water present in the Earth's mantle, which exceed the weight of the World Ocean, emerged over 3.3 billion years ago due to the immersion of seawater-rich oceanic crust into the depth of the Earth's interior. The results were published in Nature.

Genetic differences between strains of Epstein-Barr virus can alter its activity
Researchers at the University of Sussex have identified how differences in the genetic sequence of the two main strains of the cancer-associated Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) can alter the way the virus behaves when it infects white blood cells.

Waking up sleeping bacteria to fight infections
Researchers in the group of Jan Michiels (VIB-KU Leuven Center for Microbiology) identified a mechanism of how sleepy bacteria wake up. This finding is important, as sleepy cells are often responsible for the stubbornness of chronic infections. Findings published in Molecular Cell reveal new perspectives on how to treat chronic infections, for example by forcing bacteria to wake up.

Scientists hope genetic research will lead to new breakthroughs in weed control
An article featured in the journal Weed Science sheds important new light on the genetics and potential control of Palmer amaranth and waterhemp - two troublesome Amaranthus species weeds that are resistant to multiple herbicides.

China's plans to solve the mysteries of the moon
China, in collaboration with several countries, is now at the forefront of lunar exploration. In an article published on July 18 in Science, researchers laid out what the China Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP) has accomplished since their launch in 2007 and their plans into the next three decades.

Improving the signal-to-noise ratio in quantum chromodynamics simulations
A study by Marco Ce, a physicist based at the Helmholtz-Institut Mainz in Germany, and recently published in EPJ Plus describes a new technique for simulating particle ensembles that are 'large' (at least by the standards of particle physics). The technique improves the signal-to-noise ratio and thus the precision of the simulation; crucially, it can also be used to model ensembles of baryons: a category of elementary particles that includes the protons and neutrons that make up atomic nuclei.

New e-skin innovation by NUS researchers gives robots and prosthetics an exceptional sense of touch
NUS researchers have developed an ultra responsive and robust artificial nervous system for e-skins.

The art of sensing within the skin
The art of tattooing may have found a diagnostic twist. A team of scientists in Germany have developed permanent dermal sensors that can be applied as artistic tattoos. As detailed in the journal Angewandte Chemie, a colorimetric analytic formulation was injected into the skin instead of tattoo ink. The pigmented skin areas varied their color when blood pH or other health indicators changed.

Identification of autophagy gene regulation mechanism related to dementia and Lou Gehrig's disease
An international Research Team led by Dr. Jeong Yoon-ha at Korea Brain Research Institute has published the results of its research in 'Autophagy'. Expected to develop the treatment for neurodegenerative disease utilizing TDP-43 protein.

Group calls on international community to prevent dementia by preventing stroke
The risk factors for stroke and dementia are the same, and a growing body of evidence demonstrates that preventing stroke can also prevent some dementias. Now, a group of experts led by Western University Professor, Dr. Vladimir Hachinski and international collaborators Matthias Endres, Martin Dichgans and Zaven Khachaturian are calling on the global community to come together to take action on preventing dementia by preventing stroke. "The evidence for doing so is incontestable; the time to act is now," the authors write.

Simulations fix the cracks in magnetic mirrors
In a study published in EPJ D, physicists led by Wen-Shan Duan at Northwest Normal University, and Lei Yang at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, show that 'magnetic mirrors' plasma leaks can be minimised if specific conditions are met. The insights gathered by Duan and Yang's team could solve a decades-old problem of low plasma confinement times and high loss rates in magnetic mirrors.

Spread-changing orders and deletions affect stock prices
In a new study published in EPJ B, Stephan Grimm and Thomas Guhr from Duisburg-Essen University in Germany compare the influences that three price-changing events have on these spread changes. Their work sheds new light on the intricate inner workings of the stock market.

Lancet series, co-authored by NYU's Benzian, calls for 'radical reform' of oral healthcare
A special Lancet Series on Oral Health, published today in The Lancet, presents an 'urgent need for radical reform' of oral healthcare to prioritize prevention and integrate dentistry into primary care. The series is comprised of two papers, both co-authored by Habib Benzian, D.D.S., MScD.P.H., Ph.D., the associate director of global health and policy for NYU College of Dentistry's World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Quality-improvement, Evidence-based Dentistry -- the only WHO Collaborating Center on oral health in the Americas.

Some pharmacists missing mark on therapeutic guidelines: QUT study
A study by researchers at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, Australia, of more than 200 pharmacies has raised concerns that some are not adhering to therapeutic guidelines when distributing pharmaceuticals.

Survival of the zebrafish: Mate, or flee?
*Researchers have found that when making decisions that are important to the species' survival, zebrafish choose to mate rather than to flee from a threat.*The researchers identified specific brain regions associated with such decisions.*Understanding this basic biology is important when using zebrafish as a lab model for psychiatric diseases.

Rising CO2, climate change projected to reduce availability of nutrients worldwide
The most comprehensive synthesis of climate change impacts on the global availability of nutrients to date finds that, over the next 30 years, climate change and higher CO2 could significantly reduce the availability of critical nutrients, representing another challenge to global development and the fight to end undernutrition.

Emotion-detection applications built on outdated science, report warns
Software that purportedly reads emotions in faces is being deployed or tested for a variety of purposes, including surveillance, hiring, clinical diagnosis, and market research. But a new scientific report finds that facial movements are an inexact gauge of a person's feelings, behaviors or intentions.

Over-claiming knowledge predicts anti-establishment voting
People who think they know more than they actually do are more likely to vote against the establishment, shows new research out of the Netherlands.

Hypertension poorly managed in low- and middle-income countries
A study of 1 million people living in 44 low- and middle-income countries found that less than half of those affected with high blood pressure (hypertension) are aware of their condition.

Radical reform needed to address dental decay worldwide
Tooth decay, gum disease and oral cancers are a major health burden worldwide, but are largely ignored by the global health community, according to a series on oral health in The Lancet that publishes July 20, 2019. In a commentary accompanying the series, Cristin Kearns and Lisa Bero express growing concern that the dental profession will not make meaningful progress in combating the oral health epidemic until it addresses the sugar industry's influence on dental research.

Discovery shows how difficult-to-treat prostate cancer evades immune system
Researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have discovered how an aggressive form of prostate cancer called double-negative prostate cancer (DNPC) metastasizes by evading the the immune system. The investigators also reported on the pre-clinical development of a new therapy, which, when given in combination with existing immunotherapies, appears to stop and even reverse metastasis in mouse models.

Canada's high school curricula not giving students full picture of climate change
Canada's high school students may not be getting enough information on the negative impacts of climate change, scientific consensus behind human-caused warming or climate solutions, according to new research from the University of British Columbia and Lund University.

Access to contraception not 'silver bullet' to stem population growth in Africa
The population of sub-Saharan Africa is set to double by 2050, yet a new study challenges a common misconception that this is caused solely by inadequate family planning.

Diabetes increases the risk of heart failure; more so in women than men
A global study of 12 million people has found diabetes increases the risk of heart failure and this increase is greater for women than men.

Low doses of radiation promote cancer-capable cells
Low doses of radiation equivalent to three CT scans, which are considered safe, give cancer-capable cells a competitive advantage over normal cells. Researchers studied the effects of low doses of radiation in mice and found it increases the number of cells with mutations in p53, a well-known genetic change associated with cancer. However, giving the mice an antioxidant before radiation promoted the growth of healthy cells, which outcompeted and replaced the p53 mutant cells.

Species on the move
A total of 55 animal species in the UK have been displaced from their natural ranges or enabled to arrive for the first time on UK shores because of climate change over the last 10 years (2008-2018) -- as revealed in a new study published today by scientists at international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London).

'Crystal clocks' used to time magma storage before volcanic eruptions
The molten rock that feeds volcanoes can be stored in the Earth's crust for as long as a thousand years, a result which may help with volcanic hazard management and better forecasting of when eruptions might occur.

Diabetes increases the risk of heart failure more in women than men
Diabetes confers a greater excess risk of heart failure in women than men, according to new research in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes). Type 1 diabetes is associated with a 47% excess risk of heart failure in women compared to men, whilst type 2 diabetes has a 9% excess risk of heart failure for women than men.

The Lancet: Big Sugar and neglect by global health community fuel oral health crisis
Oral health has been isolated from traditional healthcare and health policy for too long, despite the major global public health burden of oral diseases, according to a Lancet Series on Oral Health, published today in The Lancet. Failure of the global health community to prioritise the global burden of oral health has led to calls from Lancet Series authors for the radical reform of dental care, tightened regulation of the sugar industry, and greater transparency around conflict of interests in dental research.

Salt regulations linked to 9,900 cases of cardiovascular disease and 1,500 cancer cases
A relaxation of UK industry regulation of salt content in food has been linked with 9,900 additional cases of cardiovascular disease, and 1,500 cases of stomach cancer.

Nations with strong women's rights likely to have better population health and faster growth
Nations with strong women's rights are more likely to have better health and faster growth than those who don't promote and protect these values, finds research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Music may offer alternative to preoperative drug routinely used to calm nerves
Music may offer an alternative to the use of a drug routinely used to calm the nerves before the use of regional anaesthesia (peripheral nerve block), suggest the results of a clinical trial, published online in the journal Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine.

Voluntary pact with food industry to curb salt content in England linked to thousands of extra heart
Since the introduction of the voluntary pact the UK government made with the food industry in 2011 to curb the salt content of food, the reduction in dietary salt intake in England has slowed significantly, reveals the first study of its kind, published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Metal oxide-infused membranes could offer low-energy alternative for chemical separations
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are working on membranes that could separate chemicals without using energy-intensive distillation processes.

Stanford team stimulates neurons to induce particular perceptions in mice's minds
Hallucinations are spooky and, fortunately, fairly rare. But, a new study suggests, the real question isn't so much why some people occasionally experience them. It's why all of us aren't hallucinating all the time.

Coaching scientists to play well together
When scientists from different disciplines collaborate -- as is increasingly necessary to confront the complexity of challenging research problems -- interpersonal tussles often arise. One scientist may accuse another of stealing her ideas. Or, a researcher may feel he is not getting credit for his work or doesn't have access to important data. A free, online training tool developed by Northwestern, teamscience.net, has been proven to develop skills to work with other scientists outside their own discipline.

Many of the deadliest cancers receive the least amount of research funding
Many of the deadliest or most common cancers get the least amount of nonprofit research funding, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study. 'Embarrassing' or stigmatized cancers, like lung and liver, are underfunded. Colon, endometrial, liver and bile duct, cervical, ovarian, pancreatic and lung cancers were all poorly funded compared to how common they are and how many deaths they cause, the study found. In contrast, breast cancer, leukemia, lymphoma and pediatric cancers were all well-funded, respective to their impact on society.

'Trojan horse' anticancer drug disguises itself as fat
A stealthy new drug-delivery system disguises chemotherapeutics as fat in order to outsmart, penetrate and destroy tumors. Thinking the drugs are tasty fats, tumors invite the drug inside. Once there, the targeted drug activates, immediately suppressing tumor growth.

Scientists discover how mosquito brains integrate diverse sensory cues to find a host
A team, led by researchers at the University of Washington, has discovered how the female mosquito brain integrates visual and olfactory signals to identify, track and hone in on a potential host for her next blood meal. They discovered that, after the mosquito's olfactory system detects certain chemical cues, the mosquito uses her visual system to scan her surroundings for certain shapes and fly toward them, presumably associating those shapes with potential hosts.

Stimulating life-like perceptual experiences in brains of mice
Using a new and improved optogenetic technique, researchers report the ability to control -- and even create -- novel visual experiences in the brains of living mice, even in the absence of natural sensory input, according to a new study.

How sex affects gene expression in mammals
Researchers report the discovery of genome-wide variations in gene expression between mammalian females and males and offer new insights into the molecular origins and evolution of sexual dimorphism in mammal species, according to a new study.

Early mammal fossil reveals the evolutionary origins of having a loose tongue
Our highly mobile mammalian tongues, which allow us to swallow chewed food and suckle milk as babies, may have evolutionary origins in some of our most early mammalioform ancestors, according to a new study, which finds remarkably complex and modern mammal-like hyoid bones in a newly discovered 165-million-year-old mammaliaform species.

Special issue: 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing
Fifty years ago, in July 1969, the Apollo 11 lunar module landed on the Moon and humans left their first mark on the surface of another world. In this special issue of Science, a Review, Policy Forum, Feature from Science's news department and an Editorial by Science Editor-In-Chief, Jeremy Berg, celebrate the semicentennial anniversary of the landing, its scientific impact and explore the potential future of lunar exploration.

Jumbo squid mystery solved
Stanford-led research identifies a perfect storm of warming waters and reduced food to blame in the collapse of the once lucrative jumbo squid fishery off Baja California.

Ultra-soft, liquid magnetic droplets could vault technology forward
Most magnets are rigid but have made great contributions to society and to modern industry, says Thomas Russell of UMass Amherst. But this award-winning innovator dreamed of more -- what if magnets could be soft and flowable as liquid to conform to a limited space? In Science this week, he and Xubo Liu from Beijing University of Chemical Technology, others at Berkeley National Lab and UC Berkeley, report on a simple way to transform paramagnetic ferrofluids -- plain metal particles in suspension -- into a magnetic state.

New species of flying squirrel from Southwest China added to the rarest and 'most wanted'
Described in 1981, the genus Biswamoyopterus is regarded as the most mysterious and rarest amongst all flying squirrels. It comprises two species, each known from a single specimen. Recent research by Chinese and Australian scientists described a third species found to inhabit low-altitude forests in Yunnan Province, China. By publishing their discovery in the open-access journal ZooKeys, the research team aims to promote further study and conservation of these squirrels.

Diabetes increases the risk of heart failure; more so in women than men
A global study of 12 million people has found diabetes increases the risk of heart failure and this increase is greater for women than men.

New laws of attraction: Scientists print magnetic liquid droplets
Scientists at Berkeley Lab have made a new material that is both liquid and magnetic, opening the door to a new area of science in magnetic soft matter. The new material could lead to a revolutionary class of printable liquid devices for a variety of applications from artificial cells that deliver targeted cancer therapies to flexible liquid robots that can change their shape to adapt to their surroundings.

Jurassic fossil shows how early mammals could swallow like their modern descendants
The 165-million-year-old fossil of Microdocodon gracilis, a tiny, shrew-like animal, shows the earliest example of modern hyoid bones in mammal evolution.

Brown neuroscientists discover neuron type that acts as brain's metronome
By measuring the fast electrical spikes of individual neurons in the touch region of the brain, Brown University neuroscientists have discovered a new type of cell that keeps time so regularly that it may serve as the brain's long-hypothesized clock or metronome.

Women now seen as equally as or more competent than men
Women have come a long way in the United States over the last 70 years, to the point where they are now seen as being as competent as men, if not more so, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

Red wine's resveratrol could help Mars explorers stay strong, says Harvard study
Mars is about 9 months from Earth with today's tech, NASA reckons. As the new space race hurtles forward, Harvard researchers are asking: how do we make sure the winners can still stand when they reach the finish line? Published in Frontiers in Physiology, their study shows that resveratrol substantially preserves muscle mass and strength in rats exposed to the wasting effects of simulated Mars gravity.

Study examines differences over time in home dialysis initiation by race and ethnicity
Among US patients who started dialysis in 2005 to 2013, racial/ethnic differences in initiating home dialysis decreased over time, although in the most recent era, Blacks were still less likely to use home dialysis as the initial modality than other groups. Racial/ethnic differences in transfer from home dialysis to hemodialysis performed in dialysis facilities did not change over time. Minority patients continued to have lower mortality and kidney transplantation rates than White patients.

Higher kidney function at dialysis start linked with greater risk of death in children
In an analysis of information on children with kidney failure who began dialysis in the United States between 1995 and 2015, the risk of death was 1.36 times higher among children with higher kidney function at dialysis initiation. The risk of death was even greater for children with higher kidney function who initiated treatment with hemodialysis rather than peritoneal dialysis. In more recent years, children have been started on dialysis with higher kidney function.

New research identifies gene that hides cancer cells from immunotherapy
A team at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has identified a gene that could make immunotherapy treatments, specifically checkpoint inhibitors, work for a wider variety of cancer patients. The study, published today in Developmental Cell, found that when the DUX4 gene is expressed in cancer cells, it can prevent the cancer from being recognized and destroyed by the immune system.

Researchers compare visceral leishmaniasis diagnostic tests
Accurate and timely diagnosis of the tropic disease visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is one of the pillars for reducing VL deaths. Currently available serological tests for diagnosing VL vary widely in their performance and may, as a whole, be inadequate for VL diagnosis, researchers report in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Women no longer regarded as less competent than men but still seen as less ambitious
Good news for women -- they are no longer regarded as less competent than men on average, according to a nationally representative study of gender stereotypes in the United States. Less positive, however, is that women's gains in perceived competence have not propelled them to the top of hierarchies.

 

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