Latest Science News -- ScienceDaily

02/23/2024 10:39 AM
Barriers against Antarctic ice melt disappearing at the double
Undersea anchors of ice that help prevent Antarctica's land ice from slipping into the ocean are shrinking at more than twice the rate compared with 50 years ago, research shows. More than a third of these frozen moorings, known as pinning points, have decreased in size since the turn of the century, experts say. Further deterioration of pinning points, which hold in place the floating ice sheets that fortify Antarctica's land ice, would accelerate the continent's contribution to rising sea levels, scientists warn.
02/23/2024 10:38 AM
Wetlands, parks and even botanical gardens among the best ways to cool cities during heatwaves
Botanical gardens are not just beautiful -- they can cool the city air by 5 C during heatwaves, according to the most comprehensive review of its kind. Parks and wetlands have a similar effect.
02/22/2024 09:41 PM
Killer instinct drove evolution of mammals' predatory ancestors
The evolutionary success of the first large predators on land was driven by their need to improve as killers, researchers suggest.
02/22/2024 09:41 PM
Climate change linked to rise in mental distress among teens, according to Drexel study
Worsening human-induced climate change may have effects beyond the widely reported rising sea levels, higher temperatures, and impacts on food supply and migration -- and may also extend to influencing mental distress among high schoolers in the United States.
02/22/2024 09:41 PM
Similarities and differences in human and insect vision formation
Researchers have discovered profound similarities and surprising differences between humans and insects in the production of the critical light-absorbing molecule of the retina, 11-cis-retinal, also known as the 'visual chromophore.' The findings deepen understanding of how mutations in the RPE65 enzyme cause retinal diseases, especially Leber congenital amaurosis, a devastating childhood blinding disease.
02/22/2024 09:40 PM
Compound vital for all life likely played a role in life's origin
A chemical compound essential to all living things has been synthesized in a lab in conditions that could have occurred on early Earth, suggesting it played a role at the outset of life.
02/22/2024 09:40 PM
New insights into immune system role in lung cancer risk
Recent developments in cancer research have highlighted the vital role of the immune system, particularly in the notable successes of cancer immunotherapy. Now, a paradigm-shifting study sheds light on how variations in immune genetics influence lung cancer risk, potentially paving the way for enhanced prevention strategies and screening.
02/22/2024 09:40 PM
Snakes do it faster, better: How a group of scaly, legless lizards hit the evolutionary jackpot
More than 100 million years ago, the ancestors of the first snakes were small lizards that lived alongside other small, nondescript lizards in the shadow of the dinosaurs.
02/22/2024 09:40 PM
Chemists synthesize unique anticancer molecules using novel approach
Nearly 30 years ago, scientists discovered a unique class of anticancer molecules in a family of bryozoans, a phylum of marine invertebrates found in tropical waters. The chemical structures of these molecules, which consist of a dense, highly complex knot of oxidized rings and nitrogen atoms, has attracted the interest of organic chemists worldwide, who aimed to recreate these structures from scratch in the laboratory. However, despite considerable effort, it has remained an elusive task. Until now, that is. A team of chemists has succeeded in synthesizing eight of the compounds for the first time using an approach that combines inventive chemical strategy with the latest technology in small molecule structure determination.
02/22/2024 09:40 PM
Copies of antibiotic resistance genes greatly elevated in humans and livestock
Researchers have uncovered a key link between the spread of antibiotic resistance genes and the evolution of resistance to new drugs in certain pathogens. Bacteria exposed to higher levels of antibiotics often harbor multiple identical copies of protective antibiotic resistance genes which are linked to 'jumping genes' that can move from strain to strain. Duplicate genes provide a mechanism for resistance to spread and enable evolving resistance to new drugs.
02/22/2024 09:40 PM
Cooler, wetter parts of Pacific Northwest likely to see more fires, new simulations predict
Forests in the coolest, wettest parts of the western Pacific Northwest are likely to see the biggest increases in burn probability, fire size and number of blazes as the climate continues to get warmer and drier.
02/22/2024 09:40 PM
Webb finds evidence for neutron star at heart of young supernova remnant
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has found the best evidence yet for emission from a neutron star at the site of a recently observed supernova. The supernova, known as SN 1987A, was a core-collapse supernova, meaning the compacted remains at its core formed either a neutron star or a black hole. Evidence for such a compact object has long been sought, and while indirect evidence for the presence of a neutron star has previously been found, this is the first time that the effects of high-energy emission from the probable young neutron star have been detected.
02/22/2024 01:22 PM
Metabolic diseases may be driven by gut microbiome, loss of ovarian hormones
Mice that received fecal implants from donors that had their ovaries removed gained more fat mass and had greater expression of liver genes associated with inflammation, Type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease and atherosclerosis. The findings may shed light on the greater incidence of metabolic dysfunction in postmenopausal women.
02/22/2024 01:22 PM
Combination of group competition and repeated interactions promotes cooperation
How did cooperative behavior prevail in human evolution? Researchers have challenged two prevailing explanations -- repeated interactions on the one hand or group competition on the other. Instead, both mechanisms synergistically contribute to fostering cooperation effectively.
02/22/2024 12:24 PM
A new beginning: The search for more temperate Tatooines
Luke Skywalker's childhood might have been slightly less harsh if he'd grown up on a more temperate Tatooine -- like the ones identified in a new study. According to the study's authors, there are more climate-friendly planets in binary star systems -- in other words, those with two suns -- than previously known. And, they say, it may be a sign that, at least in some ways, the universe leans in the direction of orderly alignment rather than chaotic misalignment.
02/22/2024 12:24 PM
Photon upconversion: Steering light with supercritical coupling
Researchers have unveiled a novel concept termed 'supercritical coupling' that enables several folds increase in photon upconversion efficiency. This discovery not only challenges existing paradigms, but also opens a new direction in the control of light emission.
02/22/2024 12:24 PM
Cracking the code of neurodegeneration: New model identifies potential therapeutic target
Scientists have developed an innovative neural cell culture model, shedding light on the intricate mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration. Their research pinpointed a misbehaving protein as a promising therapeutic target in the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD).
02/22/2024 12:23 PM
Air pollution hides increases in rainfall
In a new study, researchers broke down how human-induced greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions influence rainfall in the United States. Greenhouse gas emissions increase rainfall, while aerosols have a long-term drying effect as well as short-term impacts that vary with the seasons. As aerosols decrease, their long-term drying effect will likely diminish, causing rainfall averages and extremes to rapidly increase.
02/22/2024 12:23 PM
Damage to cell membranes causes cell aging
Researchers have discovered that damage to the cell membrane promotes cellular senescence, or cell aging.
02/22/2024 12:23 PM
Treating newly-diagnosed Crohn's patients with advanced therapy leads to dramatic improvements in outcomes
A large-scale clinical trial of treatment strategies for Crohn's disease has shown that offering early advanced therapy to all patients straight after diagnosis can drastically improve outcomes, including by reducing the number of people requiring urgent abdominal surgery for treatment of their disease by ten-fold.
02/22/2024 12:23 PM
Uncovering anxiety: Scientists identify causative pathway and potential cures
Quick-acting targeted therapies with minimal side effects are an urgent need for the treatment of anxiety-related disorders. While delta opioid receptor (DOP) agonists have shown 'anxiolytic' or anxiety-reducing effects, their mechanism of action is not well-understood. A new study highlights the role of specific neuronal circuits in the brain involved in the development of anxiety, and distinct mechanisms of action of the therapeutic DOP agonist -- KNT-127.
02/22/2024 12:23 PM
Brightest and fastest-growing: Astronomers identify record-breaking quasar
Astronomers have characterized a bright quasar, finding it to be not only the brightest of its kind, but also the most luminous object ever observed. Quasars are the bright cores of distant galaxies and they are powered by supermassive black holes. The black hole in this record-breaking quasar is growing in mass by the equivalent of one Sun per day, making it the fastest-growing black hole to date.
02/22/2024 12:23 PM
Real-time wearable human emotion recognition technology developed
A research team has unveiled a groundbreaking technology that can recognize human emotions in real time.
02/22/2024 12:23 PM
Three years later, search for life on Mars continues
Scientists suspect Mars once had long-lived rivers, lakes and streams. Today, water on Mars is found in ice at the poles and trapped below the Martian surface. Researchers now reveal that Mars also may have had hydrothermal systems based on the hydrated magnesium sulfate the rover identified in the volcanic rocks.
02/22/2024 12:23 PM
Scientists can tell where a mouse is looking and located based on its neural activity
Researchers have paired a deep learning model with experimental data to 'decode' mouse neural activity. Using the method, they can accurately determine where a mouse is located within an open environment and which direction it is facing, just by looking at its neural firing patterns. Being able to decode neural activity could provide insight into the function and behavior of individual neurons or even entire brain regions.
02/21/2024 09:39 PM
Method identified to double computer processing speeds
Scientists introduce what they call 'simultaneous and heterogeneous multithreading' or SHMT. This system doubles computer processing speeds with existing hardware by simultaneously using graphics processing units (GPUs), hardware accelerators for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), or digital signal processing units to process information.
02/21/2024 09:38 PM
Physicists discover a quantum state with a new type of emergent particles: Six-flux composite fermions
Physicists have reported a new fractional quantum Hall state that is very different from all other known fractional states and will invoke the existence of a new type of emergent particle, which they are calling six-flux composite fermions.
02/21/2024 09:38 PM
Climate change could push bowhead whales to cross paths with shipping traffic
The population of bowhead whales that migrates between the Bering and Beaufort Seas each year is a conservation success story, with today's population nearing -- if not exceeding -- pre-commercial whaling numbers. But climate change is shifting the whales' feeding grounds and migration patterns, potentially pushing them to spend more time in the paths of oncoming ships, according to a new study.
02/21/2024 09:38 PM
Air pollution linked to more signs of Alzheimer's in brain
People with higher exposure to traffic-related air pollution were more likely to have high amounts of amyloid plaques in their brains associated with Alzheimer's disease after death, according to a new study. Researchers looked at fine particulate matter, PM2.5, which consists of pollutant particles of less than 2.5 microns in diameter suspended in air.
02/21/2024 09:38 PM
Does Russia stand to benefit from climate change?
There exists a narrative about climate change that says there are winners and losers -- with Russia being one of the countries that stand to benefit from its effects. In a new study, researchers found that Russia is suffering from a variety of climate change impacts and is ill-prepared to mitigate or adapt to those climate impacts. And, as the rest of the world transitions to renewable energy sources, Russia's fossil-fuel-dependent government is not willing or ready to make alternative plans for the country, changes that could potentially benefit the whole of their society.
02/21/2024 09:38 PM
Little groundwater recharge in ancient Mars aquifer, according to new models
Mars was once a wet world. The geological record of the Red Planet shows evidence for water flowing on the surface -- from river deltas to valleys carved by massive flash floods. But a new study shows that no matter how much rainfall fell on the surface of ancient Mars, very little of it seeped into an aquifer in the planet's southern highlands.
02/21/2024 04:05 PM
Blood test could determine diabetes risks
A blood test could potentially be used to assess a patient's risk of type 2 diabetes, a new study has found.
02/21/2024 04:05 PM
Sleep improves ability to recall complex events
Sleep helps consolidate our memory of complex associations, thus supporting the ability to complete memories of whole events.
02/21/2024 04:05 PM
Butterfly and moth genomes mostly unchanged despite 250 million years of evolution
Comparison of over 200 high-quality butterfly and moth genomes reveals key insights into their biology, evolution and diversification over the last 250 million years, as well as clues for conservation.
02/21/2024 04:04 PM
An awkward family reunion: Sea monsters are our cousins
The sea lamprey, a 500-million-year-old animal with a sharp-toothed suction cup for a mouth, is the thing of nightmares. A new study discovered that the hindbrain -- the part of the brain controlling vital functions like blood pressure and heart rate -- of both sea lampreys and humans is built using an extraordinarily similar molecular and genetic toolkit.