NASA'S OSIRIS-REx spacecraft slingshots past Earth

22 Sep 2017, 8:25 pm
NASA's asteroid sample return spacecraft successfully used Earth's gravity on Friday to slingshot itself on a path toward the asteroid Bennu, for a rendezvous next August.

Mechanism that underlies age-associated bone loss

22 Sep 2017, 7:05 pm
A major health problem in older people is age-associated osteoporosis -- the thinning of bone and the loss of bone density that increases the risk of fractures. Researchers have now detailed an underlying mechanism leading to that osteoporosis. When this mechanism malfunctions, progenitor cells stop creating bone-producing cells, and instead create fat cells. Knowledge of this mechanism can provide targets in the search for novel bone-loss.

Two Group A Streptococcus genes linked to 'flesh-eating' bacterial infections

22 Sep 2017, 7:05 pm
Group A Streptococcus bacteria cause illnesses ranging from mild nuisances like strep throat to life-threatening conditions such as flesh-eating disease, also known as necrotizing fasciitis. Life-threatening infections occur when the bacteria spread underneath the surface of the skin or throat and invade the underlying soft tissue. Researchers have found two group A Streptococcus genes involved in invasive infections, which may be potential targets for therapeutics.

Enhancing the sensing capabilities of diamonds with quantum properties

22 Sep 2017, 4:29 pm
When a nitrogen atom is next to the space vacated by a carbon atom, it forms what is called a nitrogen-vacancy center. Now, researchers have shown how they can create more NV centers, which makes sensing magnetic fields easier, using a relatively simple method that can be done in many labs.

700 years old saint myth has been proven (almost) true

22 Sep 2017, 3:17 pm
Scientists confirm that the age and content of an old sack is in accordance with a medieval myth about Saint Francis of Assisi.

Our weight tells how we assess food

22 Sep 2017, 3:17 pm
A new study demonstrated that people of normal weight tend to associate natural foods such as apples with their sensory characteristics. On the other hand, processed foods such as pizzas are generally associated with their function or the context in which they are eaten. But that's not all. The research also highlighted the ways in which underweight people pay greater attention to natural foods and overweight people to processed foods.

Residents: Frontline defenders against antibiotic resistance?

22 Sep 2017, 3:17 pm
Residents often decide which antibiotics to start a patient on so they could become the first line of defense against antibiotic resistance.

Strategy might prevent infections in patients with spinal cord injuries

22 Sep 2017, 3:17 pm
A new study sheds light on how to reduce the number of infections in patients with spinal cord injuries without using antibiotics.

Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance

22 Sep 2017, 3:17 pm
Scientists have recently restored hearing and balance in a mouse model of Usher syndrome type 1G characterized by profound congenital deafness and vestibular disorders caused by severe dysmorphogenesis of the mechanoelectrical transduction apparatus of the inner ear's sensory cells. These findings open up new possibilities for the development of gene therapy treatments for hereditary forms of deafness.

A sustainable future powered by sea

22 Sep 2017, 1:40 pm
Researchers develop turbines to convert the power of ocean waves into clean, renewable energy.

Assembly of nanoparticles proceeds like a zipper

22 Sep 2017, 1:40 pm
It has always been the Holy Grail of materials science to describe and control the material's structure-function relationship. Nanoparticles are an attractive class of components to be used in functional materials because they exhibit size-dependent properties, such as superparamagnetism and plasmonic absorption of light. Furthermore, controlling the arrangement of nanoparticles can result in unforeseen properties, but such studies are hard to carry out due to limited efficient approaches to produce well-defined three-dimensional nanostructures.

Stimuli fading away en route to consciousness

22 Sep 2017, 1:40 pm
Whether or not we consciously perceive the stimuli projected onto our retina is decided in our brain. A recent study shows how some signals dissipate along the processing path to conscious perception. This process begins at rather late stages of signal processing. By contrast, in earlier stages there is hardly any difference in the reaction of neurons to conscious and unconscious stimuli.

Ancient textiles reveal differences in Mediterranean fabrics in the 1st millennium BC

22 Sep 2017, 1:40 pm
Analysis of Iron Age textiles indicates that during c. 1000-400 BC Italy shared the textile culture of Central Europe, while Greece was largely influenced by the traditions of ancient Near East.

Crowning the 'king of the crops': Sequencing the white guinea yam genome

22 Sep 2017, 1:40 pm
Scientists have, for the first time, provided a genome sequence for the white Guinea yam, a staple crop with huge economic and cultural significance on the African continent and a lifeline for millions of people.

Winter cold extremes linked to high-altitude polar vortex weakening

22 Sep 2017, 1:40 pm
When the strong winds that circle the Arctic slacken, cold polar air can escape and cause extreme winter chills in parts of the Northern hemisphere. A new study finds that these weak states have become more persistent over the past four decades and can be linked to cold winters in Russia and Europe.

Flint's water crisis led to fewer babies and higher fetal death rates, researchers find

22 Sep 2017, 1:16 pm
An estimated 275 fewer children were born in Flint, Michigan, while the city was using lead-contaminated water from the Flint River, according to new research findings.

Breathing dirty air may harm kidneys

22 Sep 2017, 1:16 pm
Outdoor air pollution may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease and contribute to kidney failure, say researchers. Scientists culled national VA databases to evaluate the effects of air pollution and kidney disease on nearly 2.5 million people over a period of 8.5 years, beginning in 2004. The scientists compared VA data on kidney function to air-quality levels collected by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Effective help is available for migraine sufferers

22 Sep 2017, 1:15 pm
Although it’s the third most prevalent illness in the world, migraine is widely misunderstood and frequently undiagnosed. Until quite recently a common “remedy” for migraine was to lie in a dark room and wait for the pain to pass. But today there are treatments that work – and new medications formulated specifically for migraine are in the pipeline.

Rainbow colors reveal cell history

22 Sep 2017, 1:14 pm
A system called "Beta-bow", which allows the history of beta-cells to be traced by genetic bar-coding and multicolor imaging, has been developed by researchers.

New genetic syndrome predisposes the body to cancer

22 Sep 2017, 1:14 pm
A new syndrome caused by biallelic mutations -- those produced in both gene copies inherited from the mother and father -- in the FANCM gene predisposes the body to the appearance of tumors and causes rejection to chemotherapy treatments. Contrary to what scientists believed, the gene does not cause Fanconi anemia. Researchers recommend modifying the clinical monitoring of patients with these mutations.