Latest Science News -- ScienceDaily


12/07/2022 04:30 PM
Ancient stone tools from China provide earliest evidence of rice harvesting
A new study analyzing stone tools from southern China provides the earliest evidence of rice harvesting, dating to as early as 10,000 years ago. The researchers identified two methods of harvesting rice, which helped initiate rice domestication.
12/07/2022 04:30 PM
Using light to manipulate neuron excitability
Researchers have devised a way to achieve long-term changes in neuron activity. With their new strategy, they can use light exposure to change the electrical capacitance of the neurons' membranes, which alters their excitability (how strongly or weakly they respond to electrical signals).
12/07/2022 04:30 PM
Soft robot detects damage, heals itself
Engineers have created a soft robot capable of detecting when and where it was damaged -- and then healing itself on the spot.
12/07/2022 04:30 PM
Cholesterol-lowering drugs linked to lower risk of bleeding stroke
People who take cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins may have a lower risk of having a type of stroke called an intracerebral hemorrhage, according to a new study. An intracerebral hemorrhage is caused by bleeding in the brain.
12/07/2022 02:24 PM
Reading the room: Humans struggle to identify aggression in dogs, other humans
Researchers showed participants videos of human, dog, and macaque pairs to determine how well humans assess social interactions.
12/07/2022 02:24 PM
A wearable dataset for predicting in-class exam performance
Researchers performed an experiment, in which a set of students' physiological data was gathered over the course of three exams. They used a smartwatch-like wearable device and collected multimodal physiological data. The use of the smartwatch-like wearable device was to provide a seamless data collection experience for the students participating in the experiment.
12/07/2022 02:24 PM
New biomarkers for coffee consumption
In search of new biomarkers for nutrition and health studies, a research team has identified and structurally characterized three metabolites that could be considered as specific markers for individual coffee consumption. These are degradation products of a group of substances that are formed in large quantities during coffee roasting but are otherwise rarely found in other foods. This and the fact that the potential biomarkers can be detected in very small amounts of urine make them interesting for future human studies.
12/07/2022 02:24 PM
How do worms develop their gut?
How do nematodes distantly related to the best-studied one, Caenorhabditis elegans, make their gut, given that the genes responsible for specifying the gut in C. elegans are absent in other nematodes?
12/07/2022 02:24 PM
The secret to STEM diversity may lie in peer mentorship
A new paper shows that when first-year female STEM students are mentored by student peers, the positive ripple effect lasts throughout their undergraduate years and into their postgraduate lives, enhancing the mentee's subjective experience as well as objective academic outcomes.
12/07/2022 02:24 PM
Germicidal UV lamps: A trade-off between disinfection and air quality, study finds
When winter chill strikes, people stay indoors more often, giving airborne pathogens -- such as SARS-CoV-2 and influenza -- prime opportunities to spread. Germicidal ultraviolet (GUV) lamps can help disinfect circulating air, but their UVC wavelengths could also transform airborne compounds into potentially harmful substances. Now, researchers have modeled the reactions initiated by UVC sanitizing light and find that there's a trade-off between removing viruses and producing air pollutants.
12/07/2022 02:24 PM
Antiviral defense regulates intestinal function and overall gut health
New function of a known defense mechanism discovered: RNA interference not only fights viruses, it also regulates the protein balance of intestinal cells.
12/07/2022 02:24 PM
Climate archives under the magnifying glass
How is the weather changing as a consequence of global warming? Climate archives provide valuable glimpses into past climate changes, especially into the processes that drive our planet from one climate setting to the next. For humans and ecosystems, however, time spans of just weeks to years, which are the scope of weather events, are often most important. Using an newly developed and tested analytical method these two aspects have now been merged, and the impacts of the most recent global warming on seasonal temperature fluctuations have been described.
12/07/2022 02:24 PM
Hearing is believing: Sounds can alter our visual perception
Audio cues can not only help us to recognize objects more quickly but can even alter our visual perception. That is, pair birdsong with a bird and we see a bird -- but replace that birdsong with a squirrel's chatter, and we're not quite so sure what we're looking at.
12/07/2022 02:24 PM
Researchers develop new 'raspberry-shaped' nanoparticle for precision drug delivery
A newly discovered technique offers a low-cost way to enhance the effectiveness of existing drugs.
12/07/2022 02:24 PM
New method reveals marine microbes' outsized role in carbon cycle
A new study suggests that a small fraction of marine microorganisms are responsible for most of the consumption of oxygen and release of carbon dioxide in the ocean. This surprising discovery came from a new method that provides unprecedented insight into these organisms that help govern complex carbon dioxide exchange between the atmosphere and ocean.
12/07/2022 02:23 PM
Discovery of world's oldest DNA breaks record by one million years
Two-million-year-old DNA has been identified -- opening a 'game-changing' new chapter in the history of evolution. Microscopic fragments of environmental DNA were found in Ice Age sediment in northern Greenland. Using cutting-edge technology, researchers discovered the fragments are one million years older than the previous record for DNA sampled from a Siberian mammoth bone. The ancient DNA has been used to map a two-million-year-old ecosystem which weathered extreme climate change.
12/07/2022 02:23 PM
Flipping the switch: Scientists shed new light on genetic changes that turn 'on' cancer genes
Researchers have zeroed in on specific mechanisms that activate oncogenes, which are altered genes that can cause normal cells to become cancer cells. This work advances the ability to predict and interpret which genetic mutations found in cancer genomes are causing the disease.
12/07/2022 02:23 PM
New branch on tree of life includes 'lions of the microbial world'
There's a new branch on the tree of life and it's made up of predators that nibble their prey to death. These microbial predators fall into two groups, one of which researchers have dubbed 'nibblerids' because they, well, nibble chunks off their prey using tooth-like structures. The other group, nebulids, eat their prey whole. And both comprise a new ancient branch on the tree of life called 'Provora,' according to a new article.
12/07/2022 02:23 PM
Evidence of autoimmunity's origins uncovered via new approach
A study supports the idea that some T cells that react to microbes also may react to normal human proteins, causing autoimmune disease. The findings promise to accelerate efforts to improve diagnostic tools and treatments for autoimmune diseases.
12/07/2022 02:23 PM
In the tropics, nitrogen-fixing trees take a hit from herbivores
The ability of tropical forests to grow and store carbon is limited, in part, by herbivory. Insects and other animals prefer to feed on nitrogen-fixing trees, reducing the success of fixers and the nitrogen they provide. Experts now recommend accounting for herbivory constraints on nitrogen-fixing trees in climate models and projections of the tropical forest carbon sink.
12/07/2022 02:23 PM
Flameproofing lithium-ion batteries with salt
A polymer-based electrolyte makes for batteries that keep working -- and don't catch fire -- when heated to over 140 degrees F.
12/07/2022 02:23 PM
NASA missions probe game-changing cosmic explosion
On Dec. 11, 2021, astronomers detected a blast of high-energy light from the outskirts of a galaxy around 1 billion light-years away. The event has rattled scientists' understanding of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), the most powerful events in the universe.
12/07/2022 02:23 PM
Rust-coated irrigation pipes hint at lack of nitrate in groundwater
Researchers have found that rust-coated irrigation pivots could signal an absence of nitrate in nearby groundwater -- and position them as a guidepost when monitoring for the contaminant, which has been linked with birth defects and cancers.
12/07/2022 02:22 PM
Some forms of childhood malnutrition, stunting may be preventable with vaccines
Researchers have discovered that vaccinating mice against a toxin produced by diarrhea-causing bacteria can prevent intestinal damage, a finding that suggests new ways to prevent malnutrition and stunting in children.
12/07/2022 02:22 PM
Researchers reveal how trauma changes the brain
Researchers are learning more about how traumatic events may physically change our brains. Neurologists have revealed changes to a brain mechanism used for learning and survival may play a role in how someone responds to a threat following a traumatic experience. Another study found that another mechanism responsible for emotion and memory is impacted and may make it difficult for someone with PTSD to discriminate between safety, danger, or reward. It overgeneralizes towards danger. These findings could significantly advance future treatments.
12/07/2022 02:22 PM
Coupled computer modeling can help more accurately predict coastal flooding, study demonstrates
Researchers used a unique coupled computer modeling approach to accurately recreate the coastal flooding that occurred during Hurricane Florence, demonstrating that it is more accurate than traditional modeling approaches.
12/07/2022 02:22 PM
Researchers identify elusive carbon dioxide sensor in plants that controls water loss
Using a mix of tools and research approaches, scientists recently identified a long-sought carbon dioxide sensor in plants, key for controlling water evaporation, photosynthesis and plant growth. The discovery revealed that two proteins work together to form the sensor, carrying implications for trees, crops and wildfires.
12/07/2022 02:22 PM
For 400 years, Indigenous tribes buffered climate's impact on wildfires in the American Southwest
Devastating megafires are becoming more common, in part, because the planet is warming. But a new study suggests bringing 'good fire' back to the U.S. and other wildfire fire-prone areas, as Native Americans once did, could potentially blunt the role of climate in triggering today's wildfires.
12/07/2022 02:18 PM
The three dimensions of a flower
Biologists published a study demonstrating that photogrammetry allows rapid and precise three-dimensional reconstruction of flowers from two-dimensional images.
12/07/2022 02:17 PM
Soil in midwestern US is eroding 10 to 1,000 times faster than it forms, study finds
In a discovery that has repercussions for everything from domestic agricultural policy to global food security and the plans to mitigate climate change, researchers recently announced that the rate of soil erosion in the Midwestern US is 10 to 1,000 times greater than pre-agricultural erosion rates. These newly discovered pre-agricultural rates, which reflect the rate at which soils form, are orders of magnitude lower than the upper allowable limit of erosion set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
12/07/2022 10:42 AM
New virus discovered in Swiss ticks
The Alongshan virus was discovered in China only five years ago. Now researchers have found the novel virus for the first time in Swiss ticks. It appears to be at least as widespread as the tickborne encephalitis virus and causes similar symptoms. The team is working on a diagnostic test to assess the epidemiological situation.
12/07/2022 10:42 AM
A novel, space-time coding antenna promotes 6G and secure wireless communications
Scientists have developed a novel antenna that allows manipulation of the direction, frequency and amplitude of the radiated beam, and is expected to play an important role in the integration of sensing and communications (ISAC) for 6th-generation (6G) wireless communications.
12/07/2022 10:10 AM
New battery technology has potential to significantly reduce energy storage costs
Researchers are hoping that a new, low-cost battery which holds four times the energy capacity of lithium-ion batteries and is far cheaper to produce will significantly reduce the cost of transitioning to a decarbonized economy.
12/07/2022 10:10 AM
Can plasma instability in fact be the savior for magnetic nozzle plasma thrusters
Magnetic nozzle plasma thrusters are thought of as the future of space travel. But one problem has hampered their development -- plasma detachment. A recent study has shown that spontaneously excited plasma waves help magnetic nozzles overcome the plasma detachment problem, a rare instance of plasma instabilities having a positive effect on engineering.
12/07/2022 10:10 AM
Countries bet on forests and soils to reach net-zero
New research highlights the risks of countries relying on nature-based solutions to achieve net-zero. National climate strategies set out how countries plan to reduce emissions, for example by phasing out fossil-fuel use, to get to net-zero in 2050. The study found, once the bulk of emissions have been reduced, countries plan to 'cancel out' the left-over difficult to decarbonise emissions, such as those from agriculture, by using forests and soils to remove carbon from the atmosphere.