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Tiny New Zealand bird delivers a lesson in birdsong evolution

Scientists are rethinking the evolution of vocal learning in birds. New Zealand's smallest bird, the rifleman or titipounamu, may have a rudimentary version of the talent possessed by parrots, hummingbirds and songbirds.
Fri, 14 Jun 2024 14:18:47 EDT

Sharks have depleted functional diversity compared to the last 66 million years

New research has found that sharks retained high levels of functional diversity for most of the last 66 million years, before steadily declining over the last 10 million years to its lowest value in the present day.
Fri, 14 Jun 2024 14:18:24 EDT

Infectious H5N1 influenza virus in raw milk rapidly declines with heat treatment

The amount of infectious H5N1 influenza viruses in raw milk rapidly declined with heat treatment in laboratory research. However, small, detectable amounts of infectious virus remained in raw milk samples with high virus levels when treated at 72 degrees Celsius (161.6 degrees Fahrenheit) for 15 seconds -- one of the standard pasteurization methods used by the dairy industry. The authors of the study stress, however, that their findings reflect experimental conditions in a laboratory setting and are not identical to large-scale industrial pasteurization processes for raw milk.
Fri, 14 Jun 2024 14:18:22 EDT

Pair plasmas found in deep space can now be generated in the lab

Researchers have experimentally generated high-density relativistic electron-positron pair-plasma beams by producing two to three orders of magnitude more pairs than previously reported.
Thu, 13 Jun 2024 16:11:55 EDT

Scientists preserve DNA in an amber-like polymer

With their 'T-REX' method, researchers developed a glassy, amber-like polymer that can be used for long-term storage of DNA, such as entire human genomes or digital files such as photos.
Thu, 13 Jun 2024 16:11:53 EDT

Are mixed emotions real? New research says yes

Neuroscientists found that brains display distinct neural activity when experiencing emotions such as bitter-sweetness. The advance could help solve a longstanding scientific debate: whether 'mixed emotions' arise from unique activity in the brain, or if we're just flip-flopping back and forth between positive and negative feelings.
Thu, 13 Jun 2024 16:11:50 EDT

The rotation of Earth's inner core has slowed, new study confirms

The new study provides unambiguous evidence that the inner core began to decrease its speed around 2010, moving slower than the Earth's surface.
Thu, 13 Jun 2024 16:11:47 EDT

Paleontology: New fossil fish genus discovered

Paleontologists have identified a new genus of fossil goby, revealing evolutionary secrets of a lineage that stretches back millions of years.
Thu, 13 Jun 2024 14:09:15 EDT

Studies uncover the critical role of sleep in the formation of memories

A lack of sleep can make it extraordinarily difficult to retain information. Two new studies uncover why this is and what is happening inside the brain during sleep and sleep deprivation to help or harm the formation of memories.
Thu, 13 Jun 2024 14:09:06 EDT

6,000 years ago, men and women had equal access to resources

Using isotope geochemistry, scientists have uncovered new information about the Barmaz necropolis in Valais (Switzerland): 14% of the people buried 6,000 years ago at this site were not locals. What's more, the study suggests that this Middle Neolithic agropastoral society -- one of the oldest known in the western part of Switzerland -- was relatively egalitarian. The isotope ratios of carbon, nitrogen and sulphur contained in the bones reveal that all members of the community, including people from elsewhere, had access to the same food resources.
Thu, 13 Jun 2024 14:07:56 EDT

Ancient ocean slowdown warns of future climate chaos

When it comes to the ocean's response to global warming, we're not in entirely uncharted waters. A new study shows that episodes of extreme heat in Earth's past caused the exchange of waters from the surface to the deep ocean to decline.
Thu, 13 Jun 2024 14:07:48 EDT

Nanosized blocks spontaneously assemble in water to create tiny floating checkerboards

Researchers have engineered nanosized cubes that spontaneously form a two-dimensional checkerboard pattern when dropped on the surface of water. The work presents a simple approach to create complex nanostructures through a technique called self-assembly.
Thu, 13 Jun 2024 14:03:20 EDT

Dolphins with elevated mercury levels in Florida and Georgia

Scientists found elevated mercury levels in dolphins in the U.S. Southeast. The highest levels were found in dolphins in Florida's St. Joseph and Choctawhatchee Bays. Researchers study dolphins because they are considered a sentinel species for oceans and human health. Like us, they are high up in the food chain, live long lives, and share certain physiological traits. Some of their diet is most vulnerable to mercury pollution and is also eaten by people.
Thu, 13 Jun 2024 14:01:33 EDT

Pacific coast gray whales have gotten 13% shorter in the past 20-30 years, Oregon State study finds

Gray whales that spend their summers feeding in the shallow waters off the Pacific Northwest coast have undergone a significant decline in body length since around the year 2000, a new study found.
Wed, 12 Jun 2024 17:31:27 EDT

Risk of secondary cancers after CAR-T cell therapy low, according to large study

In April, the FDA warned of risk of secondary cancers in people receiving CAR-T cell therapy. A large study now finds the risk is low and not related to the CAR-T cells.
Wed, 12 Jun 2024 17:31:22 EDT

Western agricultural communities need water conservation strategies to adapt to future shortages

The Western U.S. is heavily reliant on mountain snowpacks and their gradual melt for water storage and supply, and climate change is expected to upend the reliability of this natural process. Many agricultural communities in this part of the country are examining ways to adapt to a future with less water, and new research shows that a focus on supplementing water supply by expanding reservoir capacity won't be enough to avert future water crises.
Wed, 12 Jun 2024 17:31:19 EDT

NASA's Roman mission gets cosmic 'sneak peek' from supercomputers

Researchers used supercomputers to create nearly 4 million simulated images depicting the cosmos.
Wed, 12 Jun 2024 17:31:07 EDT

Swimming microrobots deliver cancer-fighting drugs to metastatic lung tumors in mice

Engineers have developed microscopic robots, known as microrobots, capable of swimming through the lungs to deliver cancer-fighting medication directly to metastatic tumors. This approach has shown promise in mice, where it inhibited the growth and spread of tumors that had metastasized to the lungs, thereby boosting survival rates compared to control treatments.
Wed, 12 Jun 2024 17:31:04 EDT

Soaring birds use their lungs to modify mechanics of flight

An air-filled sac within the birds' lungs is believed to increase the force the birds use to power flight muscles while soaring.
Wed, 12 Jun 2024 14:09:13 EDT

What the geologic record reveals about how oceans were oxygenated 2.3 billion years ago

Geochemists used thallium isotopes to track the rise and fall of free oxygen on Earth between 2.5 and 2.2 billion years ago, the process that enabled life as we know it.
Wed, 12 Jun 2024 14:09:03 EDT

'Synthetic' cell shown to follow chemical directions and change shape, a vital biological function

In a feat aimed at understanding how cells move and creating new ways to shuttle drugs through the body, scientists say they have built a minimal synthetic cell that follows an external chemical cue and demonstrates a governing principle of biology called 'symmetry breaking.'
Wed, 12 Jun 2024 14:08:21 EDT

To heal skin, scientists invent living bioelectronics

Engineers have created a patch that combines sensors and bacteria to interact with the body.
Wed, 12 Jun 2024 14:08:15 EDT

Towards a new era in flexible piezoelectric sensors for both humans and robots

Flexible piezoelectric sensors are essential to monitor the motions of both humans and humanoid robots. However, existing designs are either are costly or have limited sensitivity. In a recent study, researchers tackled these issues by developing a novel piezoelectric composite material made from electrospun polyvinylidene fluoride nanofibers combined with dopamine. Sensors made from this material showed significant performance and stability improvements at a low cost, promising advancements in medicine, healthcare, and robotics.
Wed, 12 Jun 2024 11:33:43 EDT

No bones about it: 100-million-year-old bones reveal new species of pterosaur

New research has identified 100-million-year-old fossilized bones discovered in western Queensland as belonging to a newly identified species of pterosaur, which was a formidable flying reptile that lived among the dinosaurs.
Wed, 12 Jun 2024 11:33:21 EDT

Are plants intelligent? It depends on the definition

Goldenrod can perceive other plants nearby without ever touching them, by sensing far-red light ratios reflected off leaves. When goldenrod is eaten by herbivores, it adapts its response based on whether or not another plant is nearby. Is this kind of flexible, real-time, adaptive response a sign of intelligence in plants?
Wed, 12 Jun 2024 11:33:14 EDT

An AI-powered wearable system tracks the 3D movement of smart pills in the gut

Scientists have developed an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered system to track tiny devices that monitor markers of disease in the gut. Devices using the novel system may help at-risk individuals monitor their gastrointestinal (GI) tract health at home, without the need for invasive tests in hospital settings.
Wed, 12 Jun 2024 11:33:07 EDT

AI-powered simulation training improves human performance in robotic exoskeletons

Researchers have demonstrated a new method that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and computer simulations to train robotic exoskeletons to autonomously help users save energy while walking, running and climbing stairs.
Wed, 12 Jun 2024 11:33:02 EDT

New technique reveals earliest signs of genetic mutations

Mutations are changes in the molecular 'letters' that make up the DNA code, the blueprint for all living cells. Some of these changes can have little effect, but others can lead to diseases, including cancer. Now, a new study introduces an original technique, called HiDEF-seq, that can accurately detect the early molecular changes in DNA code that precede mutations.
Wed, 12 Jun 2024 11:33:00 EDT

Ritual sacrifice at Chichén Itzá

Rising to power in the wake of the Classic Maya collapse, Chichen Itz was among the largest and most influential cities of the ancient Maya, but much about its political connections and ritual life remain poorly understood. Close kin relationships, including two pairs of identical twins, suggests a connection to the Maya origin myths of the Popol Vuh.
Wed, 12 Jun 2024 11:32:49 EDT

Just thinking about a location activates mental maps in the brain

Researchers found that mental representations known as cognitive maps, located in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex, are activated when the brain performs mental simulations of a navigational route.
Wed, 12 Jun 2024 11:32:44 EDT

Inherited genetic factors may predict the pattern of X chromosome loss in older women

Researchers have identified inherited genetic variants that may predict the loss of one copy of a woman's two X chromosomes as she ages, a phenomenon known as mosaic loss of chromosome X, or mLOX. These genetic variants may play a role in promoting abnormal blood cells (that have only a single copy of chromosome X) to multiply, which may lead to several health conditions, including cancer.
Wed, 12 Jun 2024 11:32:32 EDT

Wind from black holes may influence development of surrounding galaxies

Clouds of gas in a distant galaxy are being pushed faster and faster -- at more than 10,000 miles per second -- out among neighboring stars by blasts of radiation from the supermassive black hole at the galaxy's center. It's a discovery that helps illuminate the way active black holes can continuously shape their galaxies by spurring on or snuffing out the development of new stars.
Tue, 11 Jun 2024 17:15:16 EDT

How do supermassive black holes get super massive?

By combining forefront X-ray observations with state-of-the-art supercomputer simulations of the buildup of galaxies over cosmic history, researchers have provided the best modeling to date of the growth of the supermassive black holes found in the centers of galaxies.
Tue, 11 Jun 2024 17:15:13 EDT

From seashells to cement, nature inspires tougher building material

Inspired by the material that makes up oyster and abalone shells, engineers have created a new cement composite that is 17 times more crack-resistant than standard cement and 19 times more able to stretch and deform without breaking. The findings could eventually help increase the crack resistance of a wide range of brittle ceramic materials from concrete to porcelain.
Tue, 11 Jun 2024 17:15:02 EDT

3D-printed mini-actuators can move small soft robots, lock them into new shapes

Researchers have demonstrated miniature soft hydraulic actuators that can be used to control the deformation and motion of soft robots that are less than a millimeter thick. The researchers have also demonstrated that this technique works with shape memory materials, allowing users to repeatedly lock the soft robots into a desired shape and return to the original shape as needed.
Tue, 11 Jun 2024 17:14:59 EDT

Scientists spot more Milky Way-like galaxies in early universe

Scientists are peering into the past and uncovering new clues about the early universe. Since light takes a long time to travel through space, they are now able to see how galaxies looked billions of years ago. The astronomers have discovered that spiral galaxies were more common in the early universe than previously thought. The scientists found that nearly 30% of galaxies have a spiral structure about 2 billion years after the universe formed. The discovery provides a significant update to the universe's origin story as previously told using data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
Tue, 11 Jun 2024 17:14:23 EDT

Origins of fast radio bursts come into focus through polarized light

What scientists previously thought about where Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) come from is just the tip of the iceberg. A new study details the properties of polarized light from 128 non-repeating FRBs and reveals mysterious cosmic explosions that originated in far-away galaxies, similar to our own Milky Way.
Tue, 11 Jun 2024 13:04:35 EDT

Algae offer real potential as a renewable electricity source

The need to transition away from fossil fuels to more sustainable energy production is critical. That's why a team of researchers is looking at a potential power source that not only produces no carbon emissions but removes carbon as it works: algae.
Tue, 11 Jun 2024 13:04:27 EDT

Would astronauts' kidneys survive a roundtrip to Mars?

The structure and function of the kidneys is altered by space flight, with galactic radiation causing permanent damage that would jeopardise any mission to Mars, according to a new study led by researchers from UCL.
Tue, 11 Jun 2024 13:04:13 EDT

Trash-sorting robot mimics complex human sense of touch

Researchers are breaking through the difficulties of robotic recognition of various common, yet complex, items. Their layered sensor is equipped with material detection at the surface and pressure sensitivity at the bottom, with a porous middle layer sensitive to thermal changes. An efficient cascade classification algorithm rules out object types in order, from easy to hard, starting with simple categories like empty cartons before moving on to orange peels or scraps of cloth.
Tue, 11 Jun 2024 13:04:06 EDT

Detecting early linguistic signs of dementia by studying the natural speech of seniors

A study led by linguists has found that early linguistic signs of dementia can be detected through the study of the natural speech of senior Singaporeans. The novel study revealed that participants with memory-related mild cognitive impairment spoke less and used fewer, but more abstract, nouns that is consistent with the speech pattern of Alzheimer's patients.
Tue, 11 Jun 2024 13:03:50 EDT

How did a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way come to be?

Crater 2, located approximately 380,000 light years from Earth, is one of the largest satellite galaxies of the Milky Way. Extremely cold and with slow-moving stars, Crater 2 has low surface brightness. How this galaxy originated remains unclear. A team of physicists now offers an explanation.
Tue, 11 Jun 2024 13:03:35 EDT

Major milestone in cutting harmful gases that deplete ozone layer and worsen global warming

A new study has revealed significant progress in the drive to reduce levels in the atmosphere of chemicals that destroy Earth's ozone layer, confirming the success of historic regulations limiting their production.
Tue, 11 Jun 2024 13:03:06 EDT

New discovery reveals unexpected ocean algae help cool Earth

A common type of ocean algae plays a significant role in producing a massively abundant compound that helps cool the Earth's climate, new research has discovered.
Tue, 11 Jun 2024 13:03:03 EDT

Lone Star State: Tracking a low-mass star as it speeds across the Milky Way

Astronomers have discovered a rare hypervelocity L subdwarf star racing through the Milky Way. More remarkably, this star may be on a trajectory that causes it to leave the Milky Way altogether.
Mon, 10 Jun 2024 17:10:15 EDT

Brain's structure hangs in 'a delicate balance'

Researchers examined anatomy of neurons from humans, mice and fruit flies. They discovered that the cellular structure of the brain is at a critical point, poised between two phases. New insights could help design computational models of the brain's complexity.
Mon, 10 Jun 2024 17:09:56 EDT

Researchers engineer new approach for controlling thermal emission

If a material absorbs light, it will heat up. That heat must go somewhere, and the ability to control where and how much heat is emitted can protect or even hide such devices as satellites. An international team of researchers has published a novel method for controlling this thermal emission in Science.
Mon, 10 Jun 2024 17:09:46 EDT

Four-legged, dog-like robot 'sniffs' hazardous gases in inaccessible environments

Nightmare material or truly man's best friend? A team of researchers equipped a dog-like quadruped robot with a mechanized arm that takes air samples from potentially treacherous situations, such as an abandoned building or fire. The robot dog walks samples to a person who screens them for potentially hazardous compounds.
Mon, 10 Jun 2024 17:09:38 EDT

Two can play that game: juvenile dolphins who play together are more successful as adults

Juvenile social play predicts adult reproductive success in male bottlenose dolphins, a new study has found.
Mon, 10 Jun 2024 17:09:27 EDT

Protocol for creating 'wired miniature brains'

Researchers have developed -- and shared -- a process for creating brain cortical organoids -- essentially miniature artificial brains with functioning neural networks.
Mon, 10 Jun 2024 17:09:22 EDT

Hubble finds surprises around a star that erupted 40 years ago

Astronomers have used new data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the retired SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) as well as archival data from other missions to revisit one of the strangest binary star systems in our galaxy -- 40 years after it burst onto the scene as a bright and long-lived nova. A nova is a star that suddenly increases its brightness tremendously and then fades away to its former obscurity, usually in a few months or years.
Mon, 10 Jun 2024 17:09:14 EDT

Researchers demonstrate the first chip-based 3D printer

Researchers have demonstrated the first chip-based 3D printer, a tiny device that emits reconfigurable beams of visible light into a well of resin that rapidly cures into a solid shape. The advance could enable a 3D printer small enough to fit in the palm of a person's hand.
Mon, 10 Jun 2024 17:09:11 EDT

Webb telescope reveals asteroid collision in neighboring star system

Astronomers have captured what appears to be a snapshot of a massive collision of giant asteroids in Beta Pictoris, a neighboring star system known for its early age and tumultuous planet-forming activity.
Mon, 10 Jun 2024 14:03:38 EDT

Optimism wards off procrastination

People with an optimistic outlook on the future are less likely to be severe procrastinators, according to new research. While procrastinators often admonish themselves for their 'bad habit,' it turns out that their worries for the future are more to blame. Through a survey of nearly 300 young people, researchers found that those who had a positive view about their stress levels decreasing in the future, compared to the past or present, were less likely to experience severe procrastination. Views on personal well-being didn't appear to have an effect. Improving people's outlook and readiness for the future could help them overcome procrastination and achieve a less stressful lifestyle.
Mon, 10 Jun 2024 14:02:56 EDT

Improved prime editing system makes gene-sized edits in human cells at therapeutic levels

Scientists have improved a gene-editing technology that is now capable of inserting or substituting entire genes in the genome in human cells efficiently enough to be potentially useful for therapeutic applications. The advance could one day help researchers develop a single gene therapy for diseases such as cystic fibrosis that are caused by one of hundreds or thousands of different mutations in a gene. Using this new approach, they would insert a healthy copy of the gene at its native location in the genome, rather than having to create a different gene therapy to correct each mutation using other gene-editing approaches that make smaller edits.
Mon, 10 Jun 2024 14:02:54 EDT

The solar system may have passed through dense interstellar clouds 2 million years ago, altering Earth's climate

Astrophysicists calculate the likelihood that Earth was exposed to cold, harsh interstellar clouds, a phenomenon not previously considered in geologic climate models.
Mon, 10 Jun 2024 14:02:49 EDT

Planetary Health Diet associated with lower risk of premature death, lower environmental impact

People who eat a healthy, sustainable diet may substantially lower their risk of premature death in addition to their environmental impact, according to a new study. This large study directly evaluates the impacts of adherence to recommendations in the landmark 2019 EAT-Lancet report. The researchers have named the dietary pattern outlined in the report -- which emphasizes a variety of minimally processed plant foods but allows for modest consumption of meat and dairy foods -- the Planetary Health Diet (PHD).
Mon, 10 Jun 2024 14:02:39 EDT

Novel Genetic Clock discovers oldest known marine plant

An international research team has discovered the oldest known marine plant using a novel genetic clock. This 1400-year-old seagrass clone from the Baltic Sea dates back to the Migration Period. The research project is a significant step towards better understanding and protecting marine ecosystems.
Mon, 10 Jun 2024 14:02:21 EDT

Benefits of failure are overrated

The platitude that failure leads to success may be both inaccurate and damaging to society, according to new research.
Mon, 10 Jun 2024 14:02:18 EDT

Statins for heart disease prevention could be recommended for far fewer Americans if new risk equation is adopted

If national guidelines are revised to incorporate a new risk equation, about 40% fewer people could meet criteria for cholesterol-lowering statins to prevent heart disease. The study examines the potential impact of widespread adoption of the PREVENT equations, which were released by the American Heart Association in November 2023 to update physicians' go-to calculators for assessing patients' 10-year risk of heart attack or stroke.
Mon, 10 Jun 2024 14:01:53 EDT

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