Monday, August 7, 2017

Science X Newsletter Week 31

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 31:

Earth's 2017 resource 'budget' spent by August 2: report

Humanity will have used up its allowance of planetary resources such as water, soil, and clean air for all of 2017 by Wednesday, a report said.

Ancient DNA analysis reveals Minoan and Mycenaean origins

An analysis of ancient DNA has revealed that Ancient Minoans and Mycenaens were genetically similar with both peoples descending from early Neolithic farmers.

Dinosaur-era plant found alive in North America for first time

Imagine you're at work and suddenly, a cheetah pokes its head through your window.

Voyager spacecraft still reaching for the stars and setting records after 40 years

Humanity's farthest and longest-lived spacecraft, Voyager 1 and 2, achieve 40 years of operation and exploration this August and September. Despite their vast distance, they continue to communicate with NASA daily, still probing the final frontier.

Evolutionary biologists identify non-genetic source of species variability

An unspoken frustration for evolutionary biologists over the past 100 years, says Craig Albertson at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is that genetics can only account for a small percentage of variation in the physical traits of organisms. Now he reports experimental results on how another factor, a "bizarre behavior" that is part of early cichlid fish larvae's developmental environment, influences later variation in their craniofacial bones.

Study shows mango consumption has positive impact on inflammatory bowel disease

Initial results of a study by researchers in the department of nutrition and food science at Texas A&M University in College Station show mango consumption has a positive impact on people with inflammatory bowel disease.

Chinese team breaks record for largest virtual universe

(TechXplore)—A team of researchers with the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing has announced that it has broken a record set just last month by a team at the University of Zurich in Switzerland—they have created the largest-ever virtual universe. An announcement regarding the record breaking feat, was made via Science and Technology Daily, an official Chinese newspaper.

Researchers develop technology to make aged cells younger

Aging. We all face it. Nobody's immune and we've long tried to reverse it, stop it or just even slow it down. While advances have been made, true age-reversal at a cellular level remains difficult to achieve. By taking a different approach, however, researchers at Houston Methodist made a surprising discovery leading to the development of technology with the ability to rejuvenate human cells. And that couldn't be more important for the small population of children who are aging too quickly - children with progeria.

World's smallest neutrino detector observes elusive interactions of particles

In 1974, a Fermilab physicist predicted a new way for ghostly particles called neutrinos to interact with matter. More than four decades later, a UChicago-led team of physicists built the world's smallest neutrino detector to observe the elusive interaction for the first time.

Physicists shed light on rarely seen 16th-century metal-working technique

Imperial researchers have tested a 'blued' gauntlet from a 16th-century suit of armour with a method usually used to study solar panels.

Characteristics of metabolically unhealthy lean people

Compared to people who are of normal weight and metabolically healthy, subjects who are of normal weight but metabolically unhealthy (~20 percent of normal weight adults) have a more than three-fold higher risk of mortality and/or cardiovascular events. This risk is also higher than that of metabolically healthy obese subjects. Norbert Stefan, Fritz Schick and Hans-Ulrich Häring have now addressed characteristics determining metabolic health in lean, overweight and obese people, showed that a reduced accumulation of fat in the lower body puts lean people at risk and highlighted implications of their findings for personalized prevention and treatment of cardiometabolic diseases.

'Perfect liquid' quark-gluon plasma is the most vortical fluid

Particle collisions recreating the quark-gluon plasma (QGP) that filled the early universe reveal that droplets of this primordial soup swirl far faster than any other fluid. The new analysis of data from the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) - a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility for nuclear physics research at Brookhaven National Laboratory - shows that the "vorticity" of the QGP surpasses the whirling fluid dynamics of super-cell tornado cores and Jupiter's Great Red Spot by many orders of magnitude, and even beats out the fastest spin record held by nanodroplets of superfluid helium.

Social isolation, loneliness could be greater threat to public health than obesity, researchers say

Loneliness and social isolation may represent a greater public health hazard than obesity, and their impact has been growing and will continue to grow, according to research presented at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

Sun's core rotates four times faster than its surface

The sun's core rotates nearly four times faster than the sun's surface, according to new findings by an international team of astronomers. Scientists had assumed the core was rotating like a merry-go-round at about the same speed as the surfa

Scientists deliver knockout blow to multiple cancers

Targeting healthy cells that have been hijacked by cancer cells could help treat many different types of the disease, according to research funded by Cancer Research UK and published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute today.

Revealed: Brain 'switch' tells body to burn fat after a meal

Scientists at Monash University's Biomedicine Discovery Institute have found a mechanism by which the brain coordinates feeding with energy expenditure, solving a puzzle that has previously eluded researchers and offering a potential novel target for the treatment of obesity.

It's not just what you eat, it's what's eating you

Restricting how much you eat without starving has been shown to robustly extend lifespan in more than 20 species of animals including primates. How this works is still unclear. In a new study published in PLOS Genetics, neuroscientists from Florida Atlantic University show that it's not just what or how much you eat that matters. Smelling food in addition to consuming calories could influence the aging process. And, what's "eating" you or more specifically your cells may provide clues to healthy aging.

The truth about cats' and dogs' environmental impact

With many Americans choosing to eat less meat in recent years, often to help reduce the environmental effect of meat production, UCLA geography professor Gregory Okin began to wonder how much feeding pets contributes to issues like climate change.

Physicists investigate fundamental limits of quantum engines

(—Quantum engines are known to operate differently than—and in some cases, outperform—their classical counterparts. However, previous research on the performance of quantum engines may be overestimating their advantages. In a new study, physicists have developed an improved method to compute the efficiency of quantum engines. They show that the ultimate efficiency of quantum systems is subject to tighter fundamental limits than those imposed by the second law of thermodynamics, which governs the efficiency of classical systems.

Flame retardant exposure found to lower IQ in children

A hazardous class of flame retardant chemicals commonly found in furniture and household products damages children's intelligence, resulting in loss of IQ points, according to a new study by UC San Francisco researchers.

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