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Identifying therapeutic drug targets using bidirectional effect genes
Nature Communications, Published online: 13 April 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-21843-8 Prioritising genes as potential drug targets is challenging and often unsuccessful once testing efficacy in humans. Here, the authors propose an approach to identifying drug targets that uses evidence from gain- or loss-of-function mutations associated with bidirectional effects on phenotypes.
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LATEST

The Stuff Beer Cans Are Made From Is Linked to Alzheimer's Disease
There appears to be a troubling link between aluminum in the brain and the early signs of Alzheimer's Disease, according to a new study. Researchers have known for years that aluminum has something to do with Alzheimer's, but now Keele University scientists have discovered that the metal pops up at the same places in the brain as the tangles of tau protein that appear in the early stages of the d
15h
"Countless" Barrels of Toxic Waste Found in Ocean Near Los Angeles
University of California marine scientist David Valentine has made a shocking discovery, 3,000 feet below the ocean's surface just ten miles off the coast of Los Angeles: "countless" barrels of toxic waste, laced with DDT, as CBS reports . DDT is an odorless compound that was originally developed as an insecticide during World War II. In the 1960s, the compound was found to be highly toxic to bot
15h
Russia Is Setting Up First Military Unit With Killer Robot Tanks
The Russian Army is setting up its first armed military unit that features killer robotic tanks, state news agency TASS reports . The remotely piloted tank, called Uran-9, can be and be outfitted with 30mm automatic gun turrets, flamethrowers, and anti-tank missiles — yet another sign we're headed towards a future in which automated weapons systems will be duking it out on the battlefield. And th
17h
Researchers find bubbles speed up energy transfer
Energy flows through a system of atoms or molecules by a series of processes such as transfers, emissions, or decay. You can visualize some of these details like passing a ball (the energy) to someone else (another particle), except the pass happens quicker than the blink of an eye, so fast that the details about the exchange are not well understood. Imagine the same exchange happening in a busy r
14h
Black holes like to eat, but have a variety of table manners
All supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies appear to have periods when they swallow matter from their close surroundings. But that is about as far as the similarities go. That's the conclusion reached by British and Dutch astronomers from their research with ultra-sensitive radio telescopes in a well-studied region of the universe. They publish their findings in two articles in the in
4h
Elon Musk Says He Is Now the "Imperator of Mars"
Imperator of Mars Another week, another preposterous outburst by SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Last month, Musk claimed the title "Technoking of Tesla," a mostly nonsensical distinction. Now, the billionaire has added the phrase "Imperator of Mars" to his Twitter bio. Characteristically, nothing in particular seems to have prompted the move. It's also a bit unclear what he means. Imperator is a
14h
CRISPR Has a Problem: It Mangles DNA It Wasn't Supposed to Touch
The gene-editing technology CRISPR Cas9 may not be the ultra-precise tool that researchers long thought it to be. A growing body of evidence suggests that the tech, which allows researchers to remove, replace, or insert new DNA sequences into a cell's genetic code, tends to also make unintended genetic changes too. The latest study showing these errant on-site edits comes from scientists at the F
17h
Scientists Warn That Blocking Out the Sun Could Have Unintended Consequences
Pressing Pause In a last-ditch effort to try and stave off the worst impacts of climate change, scientists have debated for years over whether it would help to try stratospheric aerosol injection. Basically, the theory goes , they'd try to disperse particles into the atmosphere that would reflect sunlight back away from the Earth. But a pair of new academic reports suggest that it might make sens
16h
Exoskeleton Maker Says Powered Suits Could Soon Be for Sale at Home Depot
Budget Exoskeleton California-based exoskeleton manufacturer SuitX is betting its technology will soon go mainstream — with exoskeletons being sold at every big box store, the BBC reports . "There is no doubt in my mind that these devices will eventually be sold at hardware stores," SuitX founder Homayoon Kazerooni told the broadcaster. "As the prices come down you'll be able to simply buy them a
14h
Mathematician Disproves 80-Year-Old Algebra Conjecture
On February 22, a postdoctoral mathematician named Giles Gardam gave an hourlong online talk about the unit conjecture, a basic but confounding algebra question that had stood open for more than 80 years. He carefully laid out the history of the conjecture and two allied conjectures, and explained their connections to the powerful algebraic machinery called K -theory. Then, in the final minutes o
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Famed Neurobiologist Slams Neuralink's Monkey Demo
Last week, Elon Musk's brain-computer interface (BCI) company Neuralink released a video in which a macaque monkey, a primate commonly used in neuroscience research, appeared to play the classic video game "Pong" with nothing but its thoughts. The video spread across the internet like wildfire — it appeared as though the neurotech company, which has largely dodged media scrutiny outside of its oc
19h
NHS England Covid vaccine website crashes as Moderna rollout begins
Initial glitch as over-45s rush to book jab, while third vaccine offers alternative to AstraZeneca for under-30s Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The NHS England website allowing over-45s to book their coronavirus vaccination initially crashed, moments after it was opened. The website appeared to go down just after slots were made available. Users were met with the me
3h
AstraZeneca blood clotting: what is this rare syndrome and how is it caused?
Evidence is growing of a link between the Covid-19 vaccine and a deadly thrombosis – and theories are emerging as to why Since rare but severe clotting was seen in some people following vaccination with AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine, researchers worldwide have been grappling to understand why the clotting syndrome, known as "thrombosis with thrombocytopenia" (clotting with a low platelet count),
13h
Ignore the pessimism: Covid vaccines are quietly prevailing | Stephen Buranyi
Nightmare scenarios involving deadly new variants are making us all too gloomy – but there's a scientific case for optimism It can be quite easy, reading the press, to believe that the pandemic will never end. Even when good news about vaccines started to arrive in the autumn, this grim narrative managed to harden. In the past month, you could read " five reasons that herd immunity is probably im
18h
DARPA Is Planning to Launch a Nuclear-Powered Spacecraft
Blasting Off DARPA, the Pentagon's research division, has plans to send a spacecraft powered by a nuclear reactor into orbit as soon as 2025. It's an ambitious project, not only because it involves new propulsion technology, New Scientist reports , but because engineers don't actually think the rocket will be powerful enough to escape the Earth's gravitational pull. Instead, the nuclear rocket wo
14h
Armed Criminals Steal Truck Full of Deadly Radioactive Materials
Radioactive Bounty A truck carrying highly radioactive materials has been stolen by armed criminals in central Mexico, The Independent reports . The Mexican government is now warning that anybody who comes in close contact with its deadly payload could be risking their lives. The individuals got away with an industrial inspection equipment truck during an armed heist on Sunday in the town of Teol
18h
Bottom-up is the way forward for nitrogen reduction at institutions
Nitrogen is an element basic for life—plants need it, animals need it, it's in our DNA—but when there's too much nitrogen in the environment, things can go haywire. On Cape Cod, excess nitrogen in estuaries and salt marshes can lead to algal blooms, fish kills, and degradation of the environment.
15h
Plastic planet: Tracking pervasive microplastics across the globe
Really big systems, like ocean currents and weather, work on really big scales. And so too does your plastic waste, according to new research from Janice Brahney from the Department of Watershed Sciences. The plastic straw you discarded in 1980 hasn't disappeared; it has fragmented into pieces too small to see, and is cycling through the atmosphere, infiltrating soil, ocean waters and air. Micropl
15h
Legumes research gets flexitarian pulses racing with farming guidance
Plant more bean-like crops in Europe and consider 'healthy diet transition' to beat climate crisis, say scientists Adding the likes of peas, lentils, beans, and chickpeas to your diet, and farming more of them, could result in more nutritious and effective food production with large environmental benefits, scientists have found. Researchers calculated a "nutritional density" unit for different ty
6h
Researchers engineer probiotic yeast to produce beta-carotene
Researchers have genetically engineered a probiotic yeast to produce beta-carotene in the guts of laboratory mice. The advance demonstrates the utility of work the researchers have done to detail how a suite of genetic engineering tools can be used to modify the yeast.
15h
A novel light-spin interface with europium(III) molecule advances development of quantum computers
Light can be used to operate quantum information processing systems, e.g. quantum computers, quickly and efficiently. Researchers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Chimie ParisTech/CNRS have now significantly advanced the development of molecule-based materials suitable for use as light-addressable fundamental quantum units. As they report in the journal Nature Communications, they ha
17h
Nvidia Unveils 'Grace' Deep-Learning CPU for Supercomputing Applications
Nvidia thinks it's time for traditional CPUs to step aside when it comes to tackling the largest machine learning tasks, especially training huge models that are now upwards of a trillion parameters. Conventional super-computers make use of specialized processors — often GPUs — to do much of the compute-intensive math during training, but GPUs typically can't host nearly the amount of memory need
17h
A multidimensional view of SARS-CoV-2
What exactly happens when the corona virus SARS-CoV-2 infects a cell? In an article published in Nature, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry paints a comprehensive picture of the viral infection process. For the first time, the interaction between the coronavirus and a cell is documented at five distinct proteomics levels during viral i
17h
Ocean bacteria release carbon into the atmosphere
A team led by University of Minnesota researchers has discovered that deep-sea bacteria dissolve carbon-containing rocks, releasing excess carbon into the ocean and atmosphere. The findings will allow scientists to better estimate the amount of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere, a main driver of global warming.
3h
Road salts and other human sources are threatening world's freshwater supplies
When winter storms threaten to make travel dangerous, people often turn to salt to melt snow and ice. Road salt is an important tool for safety, but a new study warns that introducing salt into the environment — for de-icing roads, fertilizing farmland or other purposes — releases toxic chemical cocktails that create a serious and growing global threat to our freshwater supply and human health.
13h
The cost of world peace? It's much less than the price of war
Conflict and violence cost the world more than $14 trillion a year. That's the equivalent of $5 a day for every person on the planet. Research shows that peace brings prosperity, lower inflation and more jobs. Just a 2% reduction in conflict would free up as much money as the global aid budget. Report urges governments to improve peacefulness, especially amid COVID-19. What is the price of peace?
16h
Biologists investigate effects of bisphenols on nerve cells
Bisphenols contained in many everyday objects can impair important brain functions in humans, biologists warn. Their study shows that even small amounts of the plasticizers bisphenol A and bisphenol S disrupt the transmission of signals between nerve cells in the brains of fish. The researchers consider it very likely that similar interference can also occur in the brains of adult humans.
16h
Big Tech's guide to talking about AI ethics
AI researchers often say good machine learning is really more art than science. The same could be said for effective public relations. Selecting the right words to strike a positive tone or reframe the conversation about AI is a delicate task: done well, it can strengthen one's brand image, but done poorly, it can trigger an even greater backlash. The tech giants would know. Over the last few yea
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This family raised millions to get experimental gene therapy for their children
When Gary Landsman prays, he imagines he is in Israel and his sons Benny and Josh are running toward him. They are wearing yarmulkes, and the cotton fringes called tzizit fly out from their waistbands. He opens his arms ready for a tackle. The reality is Benny and Josh both have Canavan disease , a fatal inherited brain disorder. They are buckled into wheelchairs, don't speak, and can't control t
37min
Spit samples uncover genetic risk factors for pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder
Researchers have discovered genetic risk factors for OCD that could help pave the way for earlier diagnosis and improved treatment for children and youth. Saliva samples from 5,000 kids were scanned and compared to responses using the Toronto Obsessive-Compulsive Scale. The team identified that those with a genetic variant in the gene PTPRD had a greater risk for obsessive-compulsive traits.
16h
Gene sequencing bacteria in natural environment sheds new light on antimicrobial resistance
A team of researchers from multiple institutions in the U.K. and the U.S. has learned more about the development of antimicrobial resistance by studying hundreds of samples of bacteria in their natural environments. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes how they conducted genome sequencing on hundreds of bacterial samples collected from a wide variety of nat
19h
The science behind varying performance of different colored LEDs
Researchers from the Low Energy Electronic Systems (LEES) Interdisciplinary Research Group (IRG) at Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), MIT's research enterprise in Singapore, together with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and National University of Singapore (NUS) have found a method to quantify the distribution of compositional fluctuations in the indium galliu
18h
Another way 'good' cholesterol is good: Combatting inflammation
The ability of HDL particles (commonly known as 'good' cholesterol) to reduce inflammation in the cells that line blood vessels may help predict who is more likely to develop a heart attack or other serious heart-related event. Gauging the anti-inflammatory capacity of HDL cholesterol may one day improve standard heart disease risk assessment.
18h
Head-mounted microscope captures brain activity in freely behaving mice
Researchers have developed a head-mounted miniature microscope that can be used to image activity from the entire outer part of the brain, or cortex, in freely behaving mice. When combined with implantable see-through skulls, the new microscope can capture the brain activity of mice for more than 300 days.
17h
The indestructible light beam
For any disordered medium (such as a sugar cube, for example), special light waves can be found which are practically not changed by the medium, only attenuated. These 'scattering invariant light modes' could play a major role in new imaging technologies.
18h
Covid-19: what's going on with the AstraZeneca vaccine? – podcast
After mounting concern over reports of rare but serious blood clots in a small number of recipients of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, last week the UK's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommended that healthy adults under 30 should have an alternative jab if they can. To find out what's behind the change in advice, Nicola Davis speaks to Dr Sue Pavord about what this rare
1h
Keeping livestock: Can we end the cage age?
Between 2018 and 2020, 1,4 million EU citizens signed the petition 'End the Cage Age', with the aim of ending cage housing for farm animals in Europe. In response to this citizens initiative, the European Parliament requested a study on the possibilities to end cage housing.
16h
Why some of us are hungry all the time
New research shows that people who experience big dips in blood sugar levels, several hours after eating, end up feeling hungrier and consuming hundreds more calories during the day than others.
10h
Researchers uncover how cells control the physical state of embryonic tissues
In the earliest stage of life, animals undergo some of their most spectacular physical transformations. Once merely blobs of dividing cells, they begin to rearrange themselves into their more characteristic forms, be they fish, birds or humans. Understanding how cells act together to build tissues has been a fundamental problem in physics and biology.
17h
Study evaluates emissions from Chinese inland waters over the past 30 years
Inland waters are an important component of the global carbon cycle and function as active reactors, transporting and transforming large quantities of naturally- and anthropogenically-derived carbon. Previous studies suggest that inland waters are major sources for greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere, yet these emissions are poorly constrained.
19h
Vaccine Efficacy Questions
Next up on the vaccine news front are some concerns about efficacy. In a very surprising statement, Gao Fu (the head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention) said at a conference in Chengdu over the weekend that that the protection figures of the Chinese vaccines are "not high". He called for research into extra doses, changes in dosing schedules, mixing of different varieties of
18h
Rescuing street art from vandals' graffiti
From Los Angeles and the Lower East Side of New York City to Paris and Penang, street art by famous and not-so-famous artists adorns highways, roads and alleys. In addition to creating social statements, works of beauty and tourist attractions, street art sometimes attracts vandals who add their unwanted graffiti, which is hard to remove without destroying the underlying painting. Now, researchers
1h
How cells control the physical state of embryonic tissues
In the earliest stage of life, animals undergo some of their most spectacular physical transformations. Once merely blobs of dividing cells, they begin to rearrange themselves into their more characteristic forms, be they fish, birds or humans. Understanding how cells act together to build tissues has been a fundamental problem in physics and biology.
10h
Technique allows mapping of epigenetic information in single cells at scale
Histones are tiny proteins that bind to DNA and hold information that can help turn on or off individual genes. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have developed a technique that makes it possible to examine how different versions of histones bind to the genome in tens of thousands of individual cells at the same time. The technique was applied to the mouse brain and can be used to study epigene
17h
Lighting the way to folding next-level origami
Origami may sound more like art than science, but a complex folding pathway that proteins use to determine their shape has been harnessed by molecular biologists, enabling them to build some of the most complex synthetic protein nanostructures to date.
18h
My most memorable mentors? Plants
Nature, Published online: 13 April 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-00961-9 To nurture a thriving scientific community, look to the natural world for ideas.
9min
Basketball Mathematics scores big at inspiring kids to learn
New study with 756 1st through 5th graders demonstrates that a six-week mashup of hoops and math has a positive effect on their desire to learn more, provides them with an experience of increased self-determination and grows math confidence among youth. The Basketball Mathematics study was conducted at five Danish primary and elementary schools by researchers from the University of Copenhagen's De
26min
Homeroom: How Much Homework Is Too Much?
Editor's Note: Every Tuesday, Abby Freireich and Brian Platzer take questions from readers about their kids' education. Have one? Email them at homeroom@theatlantic.com. Dear Abby and Brian, My son, who is in ninth grade, is a really good student, but I'm worried he's working far too much. He does an average of five or six hours of homework every weeknight, and that's on top of spending most of t
36min
The GOP's War on Trans Kids
Ken Mehlman wanted to apologize. Speaking with The Atlantic 's Marc Ambinder in 2010 , the former Republican National Committee chair came out as gay, and acknowledged that, despite being a party leader, he had not worked against the GOP's strategy of setting up anti-marriage-equality referendums in key states prior to the 2004 election. "Mehlman said at the time that he could not, as an individu
36min
Republicans Are Making Four Key Mistakes
It's not only Georgia. In every state where Republicans control a chamber of the legislature, bills to restrict voting are advancing fast. Arizona and Texas Republicans have acted especially aggressively to choke off unwanted voters in time for 2022. Arizona Republicans propose to reduce the number of days for early voting. They want to purge voter rolls of people who missed the previous election
36min
Why the Our Towns Documentary Is Timely
This evening—April 13, at 9 p.m. ET—HBO will air its new documentary Our Towns . The film will be available for streaming on HBO Max, and you can see a brief trailer for it here . Naturally my wife, Deb Fallows , and I have a special interest in this film. It is based on the book, Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America , that Deb and I wrote, which was published three years a
36min
Biden's Foreign Policy Starts at Home
Soon after President Donald Trump took office, Jake Sullivan and Ben Rhodes were in Myanmar helping an NGO prepare for peace talks between the government and ethnic armed groups. Sullivan had been a senior adviser to Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and had played a key role in Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. Rhodes had served as deputy national security advis
36min
Zoom Court Is Changing How Justice Is Served
This article was published online on April 13, 2021. I n July , Michelle Rick, then a circuit-court judge in two Michigan counties, tweeted cheerily about a divorce she'd recently finalized. The participants had appeared in court via their smartphones. "He was on the road & parked his car to attend; she video-tx'd from her work breakroom," the judge wrote. They were done in 15 minutes—faster than
36min
The End of Hygiene Theater
Last week, the CDC acknowledged what many of us have been saying for almost nine months about cleaning surfaces to prevent transmission by touch of the coronavirus: It's pure hygiene theater. "Based on available epidemiological data and studies of environmental transmission factors," the CDC concluded, "surface transmission is not the main route by which SARS-CoV-2 spreads, and the risk is consid
56min
Exciton-acoustic phonon coupling revealed by resonant excitation of single perovskite nanocrystals
Nature Communications, Published online: 13 April 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-22486-5 In order to develop perovskite nanocrystals as a single-photon source, there is a need to understand the complex exciton photo-physics. Here, the authors employ resonant and near-resonant excitation technique to study single CsPbI3 nanocrystal that allows them to probe the continuous and size-quantised acoustic
1h
Prospects and challenges for computer simulations of monolayer-protected metal clusters
Nature Communications, Published online: 13 April 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-22545-x Precise knowledge of chemical composition and atomic structure of functional nanosized systems, such as metal clusters stabilized by an organic molecular layer, allows for detailed computational work to investigate structure-property relations. Here, we discuss selected recent examples of computational work tha
1h
EpCAM promotes endosomal modulation of the cortical RhoA zone for epithelial organization
Nature Communications, Published online: 13 April 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-22482-9 The organization and force-generating property of actomyosin dictate the plasticity and behaviour of cells but the spatio-temporal regulation of this network is unclear. Here, the authors show that coupling between EpCAM/RhoA co-trafficking and actomyosin rearrangement is pivotal during cell spreading and polar
1h
Computationally-guided exchange of substrate selectivity motifs in a modular polyketide synthase acyltransferase
Nature Communications, Published online: 13 April 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-22497-2 Engineering efforts have focused on acyltransferase (AT) domains of modular polyketide synthases (PKSs) to site-selectively modify the resulting polyketides, but critical AT residues involved in substrate selection have not been fully elucidated. Here, the authors use molecular dynamics to pinpoint mutations th
1h
Marginal ice zone fraction benchmarks sea ice and climate model skill
Nature Communications, Published online: 13 April 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-22004-7 Climate models struggle to track the response of Arctic sea ice to warming, leading to efforts to improve sea-ice models. Here the author shows standard model metrics are poor judges of the impact of model improvements, but a new one, marginal ice zone fraction, is optimally suited to this task.
1h
Moss enables high sensitivity single-nucleotide variant calling from multiple bulk DNA tumor samples
Nature Communications, Published online: 13 April 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-22466-9 The study of tumour heterogeneity can be improved by sequencing multiple samples, but currently available variant callers have not been tailored to integrate them. Here the authors present Moss, a tool that can leverage multiple samples to improve somatic variant calling in different cancers.
1h
Resolving atomic SAPO-34/18 intergrowth architectures for methanol conversion by identifying light atoms and bonds
Nature Communications, Published online: 13 April 2021; doi:10.1038/s41467-021-22438-z The micro-structures of zeolite catalysts affect their macroarchitectures and catalytic performances. Here, the different SAPO-34/18 intergrowth catalysts are atomically resolved, and the correlation between synthesis conditions and zeolite structures is revealed to further enhance their performances in methano
1h
Habitual snoring linked to significant brain changes in children
Children who regularly snore have structural changes in their brain that may account for the behavioral problems associated with the condition including lack of focus, hyperactivity, and learning difficulties at school. That is the finding of a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), which was published today in the journal Nature Communications
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Study links structural brain changes to behavioral problems in children who snore
A large study of children has uncovered evidence that behavioral problems in children who snore may be associated with changes in the structure of their brain's frontal lobe. The findings support early evaluation of children with habitual snoring (snoring three or more nights a week). The research, published in "Nature Communications," was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) a
1h
Kæmpemølle lægger pres på teknologien
PLUS. TEMA: Logistik, underleverandører og kundernes behov er med til at sætte grænsen for havvindmøller hos Siemens Gamesa, som til efteråret sætter en 14 MW mølle op på Østerild testcenter.
1h
Ancient ammonoids' shell designs may have aided buoyancy control
Ammonoids, ancestors of today's octopus, squid and cuttlefish, bobbed and jetted their way through the oceans for around 340 million years beginning long before the age of the dinosaurs. If you look at the fossil shells of ammonoids over the course of that 340 million years, you'll notice something striking—as time goes on, the wavy lines inside the shell become more and more complex, eventually b
1h
In China, a Telescope Offers Cosmic Data Amid Earthly Tensions
For the first time, China's single-dish radio telescope, the largest in the world, is open to international astronomers. If the researchers' ideas pass muster, they will get approximately 10 percent of the telescope's time. But scientific tensions and suspicions currently run high between the U.S. and China.
1h
Covid-19: what's going on with the AstraZeneca vaccine?
After mounting concern over reports of rare but serious blood clots in a small number of recipients of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, last week the UK's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommended that healthy adults under 30 should have an alternative jab if they can. To find out what's behind the change in advice, Nicola Davis speaks to Dr Sue Pavord about what this rare
1h
Past Global Changes Horizons – a new paleoscience magazine for teenagers and young adults
Past Global Changes Horizons highlights science of the past, written in an easy to understand, visual format, for those interested in, and wanting to learn more about, environmental issues and global climate change. The objective is to make readers aware that looking to the past, through the science of the past, can help us better understand the current environmental crisis, and what can be done t
2h
Researchers use satellite imagery to track interactions between cows and elk at the interface of wildland and rangeland
Cows don't seem to have a whole lot going on most of the time. They're raised to spend their days grazing in the field, raised for the purpose of providing milk or meat, or producing more cows. So when students in UC Santa Barbara ecologist Doug McCauley's lab found themselves staring intently at satellite image upon image of bovine herds at Point Reyes National Seashore, it was funny, in a "Far S
3h
Yuri Gagarin: Sixty years since the first human went into space – video
Sixty years ago, an air force pilot named Yuri Gagarin became the first human being in space, taking the Soviet Union's own giant leap for mankind and spurring a humiliated United States to race for the moon. Gagarin's 108-minute mission marked a historic achievement for the Soviet Union, which beat the US in a tight race to launch the first human into space. Continue reading…
4h
ETRI develops a haptic film activated by LEDs
A Korean research team succeeded in developing a technology generating various vibration using LED light signals. The technology allows various tactile sensations by area and reduction in size by considerably lowering the cost of light source, and these are expected to be applied to many industries including automobile and electronics.
6h
Study reveals the 3D structure of human uterine endometrium and adenomyosis tissue
Recent advances in tissue-clearing-based 3D imaging have permitted researchers to establish a new baseline 3D structure of the endometrial glands, including the formation of a rhizome network in the stratum basalis that expands horizontally along the muscular layer. These findings have implications in understanding the mechanisms underlying normal endometrial tissue processes such as menstruation
6h
Five research-backed steps to a pro-vaccination social media campaign
What can vaccine proponents, clinicians and public health communicators learn from "anti-vaxxers?" A lot, according to new guidance for pro-vaccination social media events written by University of Pittsburgh health scientists. The five-part guidelines, published today in the journal Vaccine, arose from an analysis of a grassroots pro-vaccination campaign, #DoctorsSpeakUp, organized last year. Unex
6h
Crop rotations with beans and peas offer more sustainable and nutritious food production
Growing more legumes, like beans and lentils, is potentially a more sustainable and nutritious approach to European agriculture, shows a new study in Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems. This study presents some of the first holistic evidence that adding legumes to traditional crop rotations (typically including barley, wheat and rapeseed) offers significant environmental benefits as well as inc
6h
Spotting cows from space
Cows don't seem to have a whole lot going on most of the time. They're raised to spend their days grazing in the field, raised for the purpose of providing milk or meat, or producing more cows. So when students in UC Santa Barbara ecologist Doug McCauley's lab found themselves staring intently at satellite image upon image of bovine herds at Point Reyes National Seashore, it was funny, in a "Far S
14h
Soundtrap by Spotify Lets You Record, Edit, and Collaborate From Anywhere in the World
Say what you will about the state of the world, but there's never been a better time for creating music or podcasts and getting them out in front of an audience. And with Soundtrap by Spotify , the process is easier and more convenient than ever, since it functions as a virtual "everywhere studio" that allows you to record, edit, and collaborate from anywhere in the world. Soundtrap by Spotify wa
14h
New mechanism identified behind blindness in older adults
Using laboratory-grown roundworms as well as human and mouse eye tissue, University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) researchers have identified a new potential mechanism for age-related macular degeneration–the leading cause of blindness among older adults. The UMSOM researchers say that the findings suggest a new and distinct cause that is different from the previous model of a problemati
15h
Gut epithelium muscles up against infection
To maximise absorption of nutrients from the diet, the intestinal mucous membrane has a large surface area. However, this also makes it vulnerable to attack from aggressive gut microbes. A new study by Uppsala University researchers now shows that the surface layer of the mucosa, known as the epithelium, can rapidly contract when it recognises a bacterial attack. The results are published in the j
15h
What will life look like after most people get the vaccine?
Since the COVID-19 virus was discovered, the world has waited for a vaccine that would help our lives return to some level of normalcy. Now that vaccine distribution has begun, what will this "new normal" look like? Here, University of Chicago experts explore what the vaccine rollout has revealed about our cities, and how it will impact our lives within them—from our health care systems and busin
15h
Antidepressant use in pregnancy tied to affective disorders in offspring; no causal link
Study shows that while there is a link between maternal antidepressant use during pregnancy and affective disorders in the child later in life, the link also exists between paternal antidepressant use during pregnancy and child mental health; data suggests the observed link is most likely due to the underlying mental illness of the parents rather than an intrauterine effect.
15h
Team pinpoints when the modern human brain evolved
The human brain as we know it evolved about 1.7 million years ago when the culture of stone tools in Africa became increasingly complex, researchers report. A short time later, the new Homo populations spread to Southeast Asia, researchers have now shown using computed tomography analyses of fossilized skulls. Modern humans are fundamentally different from our closest living relatives, the great
15h
Blood test for depression could personalize treatment
New research sheds light on the biological basis of mood disorders and offers a promising blood test for depression aimed at a precision-medicine approach to treatment. Worldwide, 1 in 4 people will suffer from a depressive episode in their lifetime, but current diagnosis and treatment approaches are largely trial and error. The work builds on previous research into blood biomarkers that track su
16h
Gar fish reveal true age of our eye-brain connection
The sophisticated network of nerves connecting our eyes to our brains evolved much earlier than previously thought, research finds, thanks to an unexpected source: the gar fish. The new research shows that this connection scheme was already present in ancient fish at least 450 million years ago. That makes it about 100 million years older than previously believed. "It's the first time for me that
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Researchers identify surface protein as a new osteosarcoma therapeutic target for antibody-drug conjugates
A preclinical study shows an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) targeting surface protein MT1-MMP can act as a guided missile in eradicating osteosarcoma tumor cells without damaging normal tissues. This technology, using precision therapy targeting of cell-surface proteins through a Bicycle toxin conjugate (BTC), shows encouraging results for the treatment of osteosarcoma.
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Daily briefing: Vaccine passports could worsen inequality
Nature, Published online: 12 April 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-00976-2 Restrictive travel policies could further privilege global-health professionals from high-income countries. Plus: Joe Biden's plans to increase science funding, and why our brains favour adding over subtraction.
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COVID stress, boredom led some people to smoke more
Stress, more free time, and feeling bored may have contributed to an increase in daily cigarette use among some Pennsylvania smokers in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new survey shows. Understanding risk factors and developing new strategies for smoking cessation and harm reduction may help public health officials address concerning trends in tobacco use that may have developed as a
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The evolution of modern rainforests began with the dinosaur-killing asteroid
One especially mysterious thing about the asteroid impact, which killed the dinosaurs, is how it transformed Earth's tropical rainforests. A recent study analyzed ancient fossils collected in modern-day Colombia to determine how tropical rainforests changed after the bolide impact. The results highlight how nature is able to recover from cataclysmic events, though it may take millions of years. A
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Breakthrough in plant protection: RNAi pesticides affect only one pest species
The harmfulness of pesticides to beneficial organisms is one of the most serious concerns in agriculture. Therefore scientists are eagerly looking for new, more environmentally friendly and species-specific solutions. Researchers at the Estonian University of Life Sciences, Ghent and the University of Maastricht took a long step forward in this regard.
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THC and CBD content on labels of medicinal cannabis products may not be accurate
Some medical cannabis producers claim that their products contain THC, the metabolite that causes a "high." Other products are advertised as only containing CBD, which does not cause intoxication. This new study finds that producers' claims are sometimes inaccurate, leaving patients at risk of ingesting THC without meaning to, of getting no CBD at all from CBD-labeled products, or of getting no TH
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Having employees overseas helps companies reap US tax benefits
A recent study finds U.S. companies that have a substantial number of employees in foreign jurisdictions with lower tax rates are more likely than their peers to "artificially" locate earnings in those jurisdictions—and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is less likely to challenge these complex tax-planning activities.
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New study determines how many mothers have lost a child by country
A first-of-its-kind study examines the number of mothers who have lost a child around the world. The number is related to infant mortality rates in a country but is not identical to it. The lack of information on the topic leaves a lot of room for future research. Among the best indicators of societal progress over the last few decades has been the remarkable decline in infant and child mortality
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Bioactive implant coatings resistant to most bacterial strains are obtained in Russia
Young scientists from NUST MISIS have presented multilayer antibacterial coatings with a prolonged effect and a universal spectrum of action. The coating is based on modified titanium oxide and several antiseptic components. The coatings can be used in modern implantology as a protective layer for the prevention of concomitant complications – inflammation or implant rejection. The results of the w
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Living foams
In the earliest stage of life, animals undergo some of their most spectacular physical transformations. Once merely blobs of dividing cells, they begin to rearrange themselves into their more characteristic forms, be they fish, birds or humans. Understanding how cells act together to build tissues has been a fundamental problem in physics and biology.
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USC Stem Cell study reveals neural stem cells age rapidly
Researchers at Keck School of Medicine of USC conduct first-ever study of Abl1 gene's role in neural stem cell (NSC) biology and the implications for cognitive decline. After a drug blocked the activity of the gene Abl1, the NSCs began to divide more and proliferate in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory.
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Girls may get a science education boost when they learn outside
In a new study, researchers found a link between an outdoor science program and higher average science grades, as well as an increase in a measure of science knowledge for a group of fifth grade girls in North Carolina. The findings in the International Journal of Science Education indicate outdoor education could be a promising tool to help close gender gaps in science. "The outdoors is a space
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"Look before you leap:" Cardiologists warn about the risks of vaping
Two cardiovascular specialists review the latest scientific studies on the cardiovascular effects of cigarette smoking versus electronic cigarettes in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, published by Elsevier. They conclude that young non-smokers should be discouraged from vaping, flavors targeted towards adolescents should be banned, and laws and regulations restricting their availability to our
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Predator fish pose a bigger threat to young coral than we thought
Young corals are more vulnerable to predators like pufferfish and parrotfish than previously believed, a new study shows. The finding holds true whether a coral colony finds itself alone on the reef or surrounded by others of its kind. You might not think an animal made out of stone would have much to worry about in the way of predators, and that's largely what scientists had thought about coral.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has been linked with six unhealthy eating behaviors
A new probe into the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic revealed correlations to six unhealthy eating behaviors, according to a study by the University of Minnesota Medical School and School of Public Health. Researchers say the most concerning finding indicates a slight increase or the re-emergence of eating disorders, which kill roughly 10,200 people every year — about one person every
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Brain damage caused by plasticisers
Bisphenols contained in many everyday objects can impair important brain functions in humans. Biologists from the University of Bayreuth warn of this danger in an article in Communications Biology. Their study shows that even small amounts of the plasticisers bisphenol A and bisphenol S disrupt the transmission of signals between nerve cells in the brains of fish. The researchers consider it very
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World's first study to evaluate greenhouse gas emissions from Chinese inland waters
As a primary greenhouse gas that drives global climate change, carbon dioxide emissions from inland waters play a key role in assessing the global carbon cycle. Researchers at the University of Hong Kong, together with global collaborators, have for the first-time, quantified CO2 emissions from streams, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs in China over the last three decades and compared two time period
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Is a calorie a calorie? Not always, when it comes to almonds
Researchers at the University of Toronto have found that a calorie labelled is not the same as a calorie digested and absorbed, when the food source is almonds. The findings should help alleviate concerns that almonds contribute to weight gain, which persist despite the widely recognized benefits of nuts as a plant-based source of protein, vitamins and minerals.
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Study showing how the brain retrieves facts and may help people with memory problems
A shared set of systems in the brain may play an important role in controlling the retrieval of facts and personal memories utilised in everyday life, new research shows.Scientists from the University of York say their findings may have relevance to memory disorders, including dementia, where problems remembering relevant information can impact on the daily life of patients.
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Global warming could lead to the melting of more than a third of Antarctic ice shelves
A new study conducted jointly by the ULiège Climatology Laboratory and the University of Reading (England) suggests that 34% of the Antarctic ice shelves could disappear by the end of the century if the planet warms up by 4°C compared with pre-industrial temperatures. This melting could lead to a significant rise in sea levels. This study is published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
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Drug testing approach uncovers effective combination for treating small cell lung cancer
NIH researchers have identified and tested a drug combination that exploits a weakness in small cell lung cancer, an aggressive cancer. They targeted a vulnerability in cancer cell reproduction, increasing replication stress ¬¬– a hallmark of out-of-control cell growth in many cancers that damages DNA and forces cancer cells to constantly repair themselves. In a small trial, the drug duo shrank t
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Artificial photosynthesis device gets better with use
Researchers have discovered why a water-splitting device made with cheap and abundant materials unexpectedly becomes more efficient during use. The finding could help make artificial photosynthesis a practical method for producing hydrogen fuel. "Our discovery is a real game-changer. I've never seen such stability." The new understanding of this mechanism could radically accelerate the commercial
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Blodet är fåglarnas värmeelement
Fåglarnas blod producerar mer värme på vintern än på hösten då det inte är lika kallt. Den inre energiapparaten jobbar då för högtryck, men lägger kraften på att producera värme snarare än energi. Hemligheten finns i cellernas energifabrik, mitokondrierna. Däggdjur har inga mitokondrier i sina röda blodkroppar, något som fåglar har och som enligt forskarlaget från Lund och Glasgow gör att blodet
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