Science Update

Subscribe to Science Update feed Science Update
Breaking science news and articles on global warming, extrasolar planets, stem cells, bird flu, autism, nanotechnology, dinosaurs, evolution -- the latest discoveries in astronomy, anthropology, biology, chemistry, climate and environment, computers, engineering, health and medicine, math, physics, psychology, technology, and more -- from the world's leading universities and research organizations.
Updated: 2 hours 12 min ago

Dodo's violent death revealed

Sat, 04/21/2018 - 23:05
The famous Oxford Dodo died after being shot in the back of the head, according to new research. Using revolutionary forensic scanning technology and world-class expertise, researchers have discovered surprising evidence that the Oxford Dodo was shot in the neck and back of the head with a shotgun.

Large Candida auris outbreak linked to multi-use thermometers in UK ICU

Sat, 04/21/2018 - 13:57
Outbreaks of the fungal pathogen Candida auris in healthcare settings, particularly in intensive care units (ICUs), may be linked to multi-use patient equipment, such as thermometers, according to new research.

New infection prevention tool improve transparency and standardization of practice

Sat, 04/21/2018 - 13:57
Researchers developed a new color-coded visual tool called Infection Risk Scan, or IRIS, which is set to make it easier for healthcare workers to measure in which areas a hospital complies with guidelines and where it needs to implement measures to improve infection control and the use antimicrobial therapies, according to new research.

West Nile virus reemerged and spread to new areas in Greece in 2017

Sat, 04/21/2018 - 13:57
West Nile virus (WNV), which is transmitted via mosquito bites, reemerged and spread to new territories of Greece in 2017 following a two-year hiatus in reported human cases, according to new findings. Greece provides the appropriate ecological and climatic conditions for WNV circulation. The virus has been established in Greece and disease transmission may continue in the future.

Scientists discover gene controlling genetic recombination rates

Sat, 04/21/2018 - 13:57
Genetic recombination is vital to natural selection, yet some species display far more crossover than others. Scientists have discovered a gene in fruit flies that is responsible for the evolution of these recombination rates.

Measles serious threat for babies, toddlers, unvaccinated youths

Sat, 04/21/2018 - 13:57
The vast majority of measles cases in Europe were reported in unvaccinated patients, and children younger than two years old were at a higher risk of dying from measles than older patients, according to new research.

E. coli's internal bomb may provide novel target for treatment strategy

Sat, 04/21/2018 - 13:57
Bacteria's internal bomb, the so-called toxin-antitoxin (TA) system that is part of the normal bacterial makeup, may be triggered to make bacteria turn on themselves, providing a valuable target for novel antimicrobial approaches in drug design, according to new research.

How social networking sites may discriminate against women

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 22:06
Using the photo-sharing site Instagram as a test case, researchers demonstrate how two common recommendation algorithms amplify a network effect known as homophily in which similar or like-minded people cluster together. They further show how algorithms turned loose on a network with homophily effectively make women less visible; they found that the women in their dataset, whose photos were slightly less likely to be 'liked' or commented on, became even less popular once recommendation algorithms were introduced.

Tiny microenvironments in the ocean hold clues to global nitrogen cycle

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 22:06
A new study shows that nitrogen-feeding organisms exist all over the deep ocean, and not just in large oxygen-depleted 'dead zones,' changing the way we think about the delicate nitrogen cycle.

Fungus: The good, the bad and their fortuitous differences

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 22:06
Genetic differences between two very similar fungi, one that led to Quorn™, the proprietary meat substitute, and another that ranks among the world's most damaging crop pathogens, have exposed the significant features that dictate the pair's very different lifestyles, features that promise targets for controlling disease.

Blood biomarkers may allow easier detection, confirmation of concussions

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 22:06
Researchers have found that specific small molecules in blood plasma may be useful in determining whether someone has sustained a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), commonly known as a concussion.

Animal study connects fear behavior, rhythmic breathing, brain smell center

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 22:05
There's increasing physiological evidence connecting breathing patterns with the brain regions that control mood and emotion. Now researchers have added neurons associated with the olfactory system to the connection between behavior and breathing. Connecting patterns in these interactions may help explain why practices such as meditation and yoga that rely on rhythmic breathing can help people overcome anxiety-based illnesses.

What's in a name? Researchers track PTSD's many identities during war

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 22:05
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been associated with military activities for as long as wars have been fought -- but this disorder was only named in the 1980s. A new article documents a different kind of war -- a war of words -- that has been fought over the name of the disorder, and may have slowed clinical and scientific progress on the disorder.

Path to a new era of microelectronics

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 22:05
A new microchip technology capable of optically transferring data could solve a severe bottleneck in current devices by speeding data transfer and reducing energy consumption by orders of magnitude, according to a new article.

Students learn Italian playing Assassin's Creed video game

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 18:14
A professor has used video games to teach Italian, allowing his students to master two semesters worth of language acquisition through one intensive class for students new to the Italian language.

Grassland plants react unexpectedly to high levels of carbon dioxide

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 18:14
Plants are responding in unexpected ways to increased carbon dioxide in the air, according to a 20-year study.

When there's an audience, people's performance improves

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 17:29
Often people think performing in front of others will make them mess up, but a new study found the opposite: being watched makes people do better.

Remote-control shoots laser at nano-gold to turn on cancer-killing immune cells

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 17:29
Cancer immune cell therapy has made headlines with astounding successes like saving former US President Jimmy Carter from brain cancer. But immunotherapy has also had many tragic flops. Researchers working to optimize the innovative treatment have implanted a genetic switch that activates T-cells when they are inside of tumors. Remote-control light waves resembling those used in a TV remote combine with gold nanorods to flip the switch.

Rare earth magnet recycling is a grind -- this new process takes a simpler approach

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 17:29
A new recycling process turns discarded hard disk drive magnets into new magnet material in a few steps, and tackles both the economic and environmental issues typically associated with mining e-waste for valuable materials.

Treatment of cancer could become possible with adenovirus

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 17:28
Researchers have shown that adenovirus binds to a specific type of carbohydrate that is overexpressed on certain types of cancer cells. The discovery opens up new opportunities for the development of virus-based cancer therapy.