Algae have land genes
The genome of the algae species Chara braunii has been decoded. It already contains the first genetic characteristics that enabled the water plants' evolutionary transition to land.
New evidence of two subspecies of American pikas in Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park provides habitat for not one, but two subspecies of the American pika.
Turn exercise into a game and see encouraging results
A team of researchers built a web-based app called MapTrek. When synced with a Fitbit, MapTrek allows users to go on virtual walking tours of locations such as the Grand Canyon or Appalachian trail while competing against other users. A study showed MapTrek and Fitbit users averaged 2,200 more steps per day than a control group that used only Fitbits.
Novel therapy delays muscle atrophy in Lou Gehrig's disease model
Supplementing a single protein found in the spinal cord could help prevent symptoms of Lou Gehrig's disease, according to a new study. Researchers found high levels of the protein -- called mitofusion 2 or Mfn2 -- prevented nerve degeneration, muscle atrophy, and paralysis in a mouse model of the disease. Since Mfn2 is often depleted during Lou Gehrig's, the new study suggests supplementing it could be a novel therapeutic approach for the disease.
Researchers Solve Mystery of 1,800-Year-Old Basel Papyrus
A team of scientists at the University of Basel, Switzerland, has discovered that a 1,800-year-old papyrus from the Basel Papyrus Collection is an ancient medical text from late antiquity and that it was likely written by the famous Roman physician Galen. The University Library in Basel possesses a collection of 65 papyri, mostly in Greek [...]
Astronomers Spot Rare Binary Asteroid: 2017 YE5
New observations by NASA’s Goldstone Solar System Radar in California, Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico and the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia have revealed that the recently-discovered near-Earth asteroid 2017 YE5 is actually two objects — each about 3,000 feet (900 m) in size — orbiting each other. 2017 YE5 is only the fourth [...]
Wearable device can predict older adults' risk of falling
Every year, more than one in three individuals aged 65 and older will experience a fall. Treatment and awareness of falling usually happens after a fall has already occurred. Researchers wanted to see if they could predict an individual's risk of falling so that preventative measures could be taken to reduce this risk.
First machine learning method capable of accurate extrapolation
Understanding how a robot will react under different conditions is essential to guaranteeing its safe operation. But how do you know what will break a robot without actually damaging it? A new machine learning method can use observations made under safe conditions to make accurate predictions for all possible conditions governed by the same physical dynamics.
Astronomers Pinpoint Source of High-Energy Neutrinos for First Time
A large multinational team of astronomers has found the first evidence of a source of super-energetic neutrino particles: a distant blazar — the nucleus of a giant elliptical galaxy that fires off particles in massive jets of elementary particles — about 4 billion light-years from Earth. Neutrinos are uncharged subatomic particles that normally pass by [...]
Our Brains are as Unique as Our Fingerprints, Neuroscientists Say
Every individual has a unique brain anatomy, according to new research from the University of Zurich in Switzerland; and this uniqueness is the result of a combination of genetic factors and individual life experiences. “As no two fingerprints are the same, they have become the go-to method of identity verification for police, immigration authorities and [...]
Southeast Asians Derive Ancestry from Four Ancient Populations
Modern-day Southeast Asian populations are the result of mixing among four ancient populations, including multiple waves of genetic material from more northern East Asian populations, according to researchers who sequenced and analyzed 26 ancient genomes from Southeast Asia and Japan. Southeast Asia is one of the most genetically diverse regions in the world, but for [...]
The more you smoke, the greater your risk of a heart rhythm disorder
The more you smoke, the greater your risk of a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation.
Mystery of the Basel papyrus solved
Since the 16th century, Basel has been home to a mysterious papyrus. With mirror writing on both sides, it has puzzled generations of researchers. A research team has now discovered that it is an unknown medical document from late antiquity. The text was likely written by the famous Roman physician Galen.
Hubble and Gaia team up to fuel cosmic conundrum
Using the power and synergy of two space telescopes, astronomers have made the most precise measurement to date of the universe's expansion rate.
Imaging technique illuminates immune status of monkeys with HIV-like virus
Findings from an animal study suggest that a non-invasive imaging technique could, with further development, become a tool to assess immune system recovery in people receiving treatment for HIV infection. Researchers used single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and a CD4-specific imaging probe to assess immune system changes throughout the bodies of macaques infected with SIV following initiation and interruption of antiretroviral therapy (ART). They evaluated pools of CD4+ T cells in tissues.
New method reveals how well cancer drugs hit their targets
Scientists have developed a method to measure how well cancer drugs reach their targets inside the body. It shows individual cancer cells in a tumor in real time, revealing which cells interact with the drug and which cells the drug fails to reach. The findings could help clinicians decide the best course and delivery of treatment for cancer patients in the future.
Structure and key features of critical immune-surveillance protein in humans
Scientists have defined the structure and key features of a human immune-surveillance protein that guards against cancer and bacterial and viral infections. The identification of two human-specific variations in the protein closes a critical knowledge gap in immunology and cancer biology.
A tiny population of neurons holds a master key to body's clock
Biologists unlocked a cure for jet lag in mice by activating a small subset of the neurons involved in setting daily rhythms.
Turbulence allows clinical-scale platelet production for transfusions
Turbulence is a critical physical factor that promotes the large-scale production of functional platelets from human induced pluripotent stem cells, researchers reportl. Exposure to turbulent energy in a bioreactor stimulated hiPSC-derived bone marrow cells called megakaryocytes to produce 100 billion platelets -- blood cell fragments that help wounds heal and prevent bleeding by forming blood clots.
Solved protein puzzle opens door to new design for cancer drugs
Researchers at have solved a longstanding puzzle concerning the design of molecular motors, paving the way toward new cancer therapies.
Top science news
8 Critically Endangered Black Rhinos Die in Kenya
The Kenyan government said the rhinos, which were transported to a sanctuary southeast of Nairobi, most likely died from drinking water with a high saline level.