Monday, February 19, 2018

Science X Newsletter Monday, Feb 19

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for February 19, 2018:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Duplicate genes help animals resolve sexual conflict

Computers aid discovery of new, inexpensive material to make LEDs with high color quality

In living color: Brightly-colored bacteria could be used to 'grow' paints and coatings

Plants colonized the Earth 100 million years earlier than previously thought

Study identifies traces of indigenous 'Taino' in present-day Caribbean populations

Astronomers conduct a multi-frequency study of the Milky Way-like spiral galaxy NGC 6744

Google AI can predict heart disease by looking at pictures of the retina

Research team uncovers hidden details in Picasso Blue Period painting

Unprecedented study of Picasso's bronzes uncovers new details

Newborn babies who suffered stroke regain language function in opposite side of brain

Asteroid 'time capsules' may help explain how life started on Earth

Personalized curriculum captures students' imagination, interest

To sleep, perchance to forget

Japanese researchers develop ultrathin, highly elastic skin display

What does a bear do in the Alaska woods? Disperse seeds

Astronomy & Space news

Astronomers conduct a multi-frequency study of the Milky Way-like spiral galaxy NGC 6744

An international team of astronomers has conducted a multi-frequency study of NGC 6744, one of the most Milky Way-like spiral galaxies. The new research, published February 8 in a paper on arXiv.org, identifies radio and X-ray sources in NGC 6744 and estimates its star formation rate.

Asteroid 'time capsules' may help explain how life started on Earth

In popular culture, asteroids play the role of apocalyptic threat, get blamed for wiping out the dinosaurs - and offer an extraterrestrial source for mineral mining.

Charged oxygen in ionosphere may offer biomarker for exoplanets

On January 9, 1992, astronomers announced a momentous discovery: two planets orbiting a pulsar 2,300 light years from our sun. The two planets, later named Poltergeist and Draugr, were the first confirmed "exoplanets"—worlds outside our solar system, circling a distant star. Scientists now know of 3,728 (confirmed) exoplanets in 2,794 systems, each one begging the question: "Is anyone else out there?"

Earth holds the key to detecting life beyond our solar system

New research in to how Earth's atmosphere evolved over time could hold the key to detecting life on exoplanets, according to scientists from the University of St Andrews and Cornell University.

Light pollution threatens Chile's dark skies

It seems nothing can escape the inexorable spread of light pollution—not even the giant telescopes probing the heavens above northern Chile, a region whose pristine dark skies, long considered a paradise for astronomers, are under increasing threat.

Satellite launch from California is delayed

A SpaceX satellite launch from California that could create a spectacular aerial display has been delayed.

Will the X3 ion thruster propel us to Mars?

X3 is a powerful ion thruster that could one day propel humans beyond Earth. The thruster was successfully tested few months ago, and could be selected by NASA as a crucial component of propulsion system for future Mars missions.

Jupiter's swirling cloud formations

See swirling cloud formations in the northern area of Jupiter's north temperate belt in this new view taken by NASA's Juno spacecraft.

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on precautionary standby status

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), at Mars since 2006, put itself into a precautionary standby mode on Feb. 15 in response to sensing an unexpectedly low battery voltage.

Astrophotographer captures Musk's Tesla Roadster moving through space

An astrophotographer in California has captured images of Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster on its journey around our sun. In the early morning of February 9th, Rogelio Bernal Andreo captured images of the Roadster as it appeared just above the horizon. To get the images, Andreo made use of an impressive arsenal of technological tools.

Image: Saturn's B ring peaks

While the Winter Olympics is in full swing in PyeongChang, South Korea, and many winter sport fanatics head to snow-clad mountains to get their thrills on the slopes this ski-season, this dramatic mountain scene is somewhat off-piste – in Saturn's rings to be precise.

Technology news

Google AI can predict heart disease by looking at pictures of the retina

I can look into your eyes to see straight to your heart.

Japanese researchers develop ultrathin, highly elastic skin display

A new ultrathin elastic display that fits snugly on the skin can show the moving waveform of an electrocardiogram recorded by a breathable, on-skin electrode sensor. Combined with a wireless communication module, this integrated biomedical sensor system, called "skin electronics," can transmit biometric data to the cloud.

MeltdownPrime and SpectrePrime: Researchers nail exploits

Research from authors with affiliations that include Princeton and NVIDIA has drawn interest with their paper, "MeltdownPrime and SpectrePrime: Automatically-Synthesized Attacks Exploiting Invalidation-Based Coherence Protocols," which is on arXiv.

Hanergy announces Fraunhofer lab rating for solar production module with record conversion efficiency

In solar industry news, there have been a number of conversations surrounding the Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) thin film solar panels from Hanergy Thin Film Power Group's US subsidiary Alta Devices, based in Sunnyvale California.

New microfluidic devices help athletes and enhance physical rehab

Northwestern University professor John A. Rogers is collaborating with a broad collection of partners including Gatorade, the Seattle Mariners, the U.S. Air Force and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab to bring his wearable microfluidic sweat analytics system into widespread distribution.

Three months show Hywind Scotland floating wind farm exceeding expectations

Statoil is riding high on performance outcomes during the first three full months of its wind farm production, which exceeded expectations.

Real-time Captcha technique improves biometric authentication

A new login authentication approach could improve the security of current biometric techniques that rely on video or images of users' faces. Known as Real-Time Captcha, the technique uses a unique "challenge" that's easy for humans—but difficult for attackers who may be using machine learning and image generation software to spoof legitimate users.

Stretchable electronics a 'game changer' for stroke recovery treatment

A groundbreaking new wearable designed to be worn on the throat could be a game-changer in the field of stroke rehabilitation.

Amazon: from online book seller to market shaker

Amazon has grown from a humble beginning as an online bookseller to a colossus of the internet. It recently devoured Whole Foods Market, and is now biting into health care.

UK church spires used to boost phone, wi-fi signal

Church spires across Britain will be used to boost broadband, mobile phone and WiFi connectivity in rural areas, under a deal struck between the government and the Church of England, it was announced Sunday.

Palmreaders? Japan team builds second skin message display

Palmreading could take on a whole new meaning thanks to a new invention from Japan: an ultra-thin display and monitor that can be stuck directly to the body.

After stunning growth streak, Amazon ambitions seem boundless

Triumphant in online retail, cloud computing, organic groceries, and streaming television, Amazon founder and chief disruptor Jeff Bezos is turning his seemingly limitless ambition to health care.

Blockchain revolution comes to world of humanitarian aid

Blockchain, the technology behind the cryptocurrency bitcoin, is taking root in a sector far from finance: the world of humanitarian aid.

Artificial intelligence poses questions for nature of war: Mattis

Artificial intelligence and its impact on weapons of the future has made US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis doubt his own theories on warfare.

Facebook to verify ads with postcards after Russian meddling (Update)

Facebook will soon rely on centuries-old technology to try to prevent foreign meddling in U.S. elections: the post office.

Siemens plans to float Healthineers in first half of 2018

Industrial giant Siemens on Monday said it plans to list its Healthineers medical unit in the first half of 2018, in what is expected to be Germany's largest initial public offering in over two decades.

We should learn to work with robots and not worry about them taking our jobs

We have all heard the dire predictions about robots coming to steal our jobs. Some would even have us believe these silicon bogeymen are coming to kill us. It plays straight into people's darkest fears about technology.

Meet the new 'renewable superpowers'—nations that boss the materials used for wind and solar

Imagine a world where every country has not only complied with the Paris climate agreement but has moved away from fossil fuels entirely. How would such a change affect global politics?

Ex-Googlers strike startup gold—again—with $1.9 billion sale to drugs giant

A two-man entrepreneurial team who attended an elite college together where they founded a startup they sold to Google for a reported $81 million have just sold a second company they founded together for nearly $2 billion.

Google's firing of Damore in 'monoculture' case found legal

Google's firing of an engineer over his controversial memo criticizing its diversity policies and "politically correct monoculture" didn't violate U.S. labor law, a federal agency lawyer concluded.

Gates says billionaires should pay 'significantly' more taxes

Bill Gates says he has paid more than $10 billion in taxes over a lifetime but billionaires like him should pay "significantly" more because they benefit more from the system.

Medicine & Health news

Newborn babies who suffered stroke regain language function in opposite side of brain

It's not rare that a baby experiences a stroke around the time it is born. Birth is hard on the brain, as is the change in blood circulation from the mother to the neonate. At least 1 in 4,000 babies are affected shortly before, during, or after birth.

To sleep, perchance to forget

The debate in sleep science has gone on for a generation. People and other animals sicken and die if they are deprived of sleep, but why is sleep so essential?

Brainwaves show how exercising to music bends your mind

Headphones are a standard sight in gyms and we've long known research shows listening to tunes can be a game-changer for your run or workout.

Blood and urine tests developed to indicate autism in children

New tests which can indicate autism in children have been developed by researchers at the University of Warwick.

Calcium may play a role in the development of Parkinson's disease

Researchers have found that excess levels of calcium in brain cells may lead to the formation of toxic clusters that are the hallmark of Parkinson's disease.

Electrical implant reduces 'invisible' symptoms of man's spinal cord injury

An experimental treatment that sends electrical currents through the spinal cord has improved "invisible" yet debilitating side effects for a B.C. man with a spinal cord injury.

Study looks at how newly discovered gene helps grow blood vessels

A new study published today found that a newly discovered gene helps grow blood vessels when it senses inadequate blood flow to tissues.

Some viruses produce insulin-like hormones that can stimulate human cells—and have potential to cause disease

Every cell in your body responds to the hormone insulin, and if that process starts to fail, you get diabetes. In an unexpected finding, scientists at Joslin Diabetes Center have identified four viruses that can produce insulin-like hormones that are active on human cells. The discovery brings new possibilities for revealing biological mechanisms that may cause diabetes or cancer.

Unexpected immune activation illustrated in the cold

Researchers at Utrecht University and Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands, have imaged an important immune system on-switch. Their novel technical approach has led to the discovery of two ways in which the immune system can be activated. This is important for designing better therapies for infections or cancer, according to team leaders Piet Gros and Thom Sharp. Their findings are published in Science.

Low availability of sexual aids and resources at cancer centers

(HealthDay)—The availability of therapeutic sexual aids and resources at major cancer centers is very low, according to a study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual Cancer Survivorship Symposium, held from Feb. 16 to 17 in Orlando, Fla.

In african-descent glaucoma patients, visual field changes up

(HealthDay)—Patients of African descent with glaucoma have increased visual field variability compared to those of European descent, likely contributing to delayed detection of progression, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss recovery impacted by MetS

(HealthDay)—Patients with metabolic syndrome have a lower rate of recovery from sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) than those without, according to research published online Feb. 15 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Pre-op mental health doesn't affect rhinoplasty outcomes

(HealthDay)—For patients undergoing rhinoplasty, preoperative mental health does not appear to affect patient satisfaction with functional outcomes, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

Ras protein's role in spreading cancer

Protein systems, such as Ras, make up the complex signaling pathways that control whether a cell divides or, in some cases, becomes cancerous and metastasizes into other regions of the body. For example, 98 percent of pancreatic cancers show Ras protein mutations.

Medical examiner taps DNA science to find missing persons

For families who have searched years for missing loved ones, donating a sample of their DNA is often a last, desperate act to confirm their worst fears.

Lack of guidance may delay a child's first trip to the dentist

Without a doctor or dentist's guidance, some parents don't follow national recommendations for early dental care for their children, a new national poll finds.

How to train like the world's most successful female cross-country skier

Marit Bjoergen is a Norwegian cross-country skier who has won six Olympic gold medals, 18 World Championship gold medals and 110 World Cup victories. The 37-year-old is competing in the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang and is already the most decorated female Winter Olympian ever.

How the brain responds to injustice

Punishing a wrongdoer may be more rewarding to the brain than supporting a victim. That is one suggestion of new research published in JNeurosci, which measured the brain activity of young men while they played a "justice game."

Mouse model of intellectual disability isolates learning gene

Adult male mice lacking a gene linked to intellectual disability have trouble completing and remembering mazes, with no changes in social or repetitive behavior, according to new research published in JNeurosci. This animal model provides a new way to study the role of this gene in learning and memory and provides a rodent model of pure intellectual disability.

Multiflora rose amplifies the prevalence of Lyme disease pathogen, but not necessarily Lyme risk

When it comes to avoiding Lyme disease, know your forest.

Shot may protgect against shingles

Anyone who has had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine is at risk for the painful skin condition herpes zoster, more commonly known as shingles. Both diseases are caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which stays in the body after chickenpox clears and may reactivate later in life.

The effects of happiness and sadness on children's snack consumption

A University of Texas at Dallas psychologist has examined the preconceptions about the effects of emotions on children's eating habits, creating the framework for future studies of how dietary patterns evolve in early childhood.

Researchers discover link between gut and type 1 diabetes

Scientists have found that targeting micro-organisms in the gut, known as microbiota, could have the potential to help prevent type 1 diabetes.

Evaluating quality of life after kidney cancer treatments

Patients with an advanced form of kidney cancer had similar quality of life outcomes taking a drug called cabozantinib as those who received the standard treatment, everolimus, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study. The findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Taking blood without a needle

EPFL-based startup Loop Medical is working on a needleless device to take pain-free blood samples at home. The company has just signed a partnership agreement with Cerba HealthCare to develop this unique product and bring it to the market.

Can diet improve the symptoms of endometriosis? Sadly, there's no clear answer

There is no cure for endometriosis, a condition affecting one in ten women of childbearing age that can cause painful and heavy periods, fatigue and pain with sex. Some women with the disease experience pain so severe, it makes them nauseated and interferes with their life.

Here's what you need to know about the new flu vaccines for over-65s

In an attempt to avoid a repeat of last year's horror flu season, Health Minister Greg Hunt yesterday announced the government would fund two new flu vaccines in 2018 to try to better protect the elderly.

Meditation may decrease the risk of heart disease

Meditation may decrease the risk of heart disease, according to a first-ever statement on the practice issued by the American Heart Association.

Whistleblowers often suffer from severe psychological problems

Whistleblowers play a very important and indispensable role in society. However the effects of blowing the whistle on whistleblowers are dramatic, according to a new empirical study of Tilburg University. About 80% report very negative effects on work and wages, and almost 50% very negative effects on family life. About 45% suffer from clinical levels of mental health problems such as anxiety and/or depressive symptoms.

Comfortably numb – why some older people turn to cannabis for pain relief

When most people think of cannabis users, they probably think mainly of the younger generations. But it's actually the 45 to 64 age group who show the highest proportion of household spending on cannabis.

Looking forward to things is good for you, so plan for your next treat

Moving from a city to the beautiful Welsh countryside a few years ago made me acutely aware of the seasons and how they change. Most recently signs of spring have appeared in my garden over here on the Ceredigion coast. This mindfulness and awareness of the environment is difficult to explain to those whose comparable experience is confined to the bus stop and a park.

Receiving parental care is associated with increased attractiveness as a partner

Adults, who report having received higher levels of parental care in childhood, perceive themselves as more attractive mates. In particular, maternal care is associated with experienced mate value in adulthood.

Protecting your electronic health records

(HealthDay)—An electronic health record, or EHR, is the digital version of the paper records documenting your health care. These online records are an advance in health management in many ways.

Significant challenges for developmental-behavioral peds

(HealthDay)—The developmental-behavioral pediatric (DBP) workforce struggles to meet current service demands, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in Pediatrics.

Automated central system offers time savings for pharmacists

(HealthDay)—An automated central pharmacy system, Omnicell XR2, is helping pharmacists save time, allowing them to take on additional roles as part of a transition-of-care team, according to a report published in Drug Topics.

Bariatric surgery linked to discontinuing diabetes meds

(HealthDay)—Antidiabetes treatment discontinuation rates are higher for obese individuals undergoing bariatric surgery, according to a study published online Feb. 14 in JAMA Surgery.

Breaking through the HIV vaccine 'logjam'

When biomolecular engineer Phil Berman began his postgraduate work in the 1980s, he had no idea he would spend the rest of his career searching for a way to stop a deadly virus that was then almost entirely known. But around him, as if from nowhere, hundreds of people began to die. He has spent the past three decades looking for an effective vaccine against the AIDS epidemic that would claim more than 20,000 lives in the coastal metropolis alone.

Home remedies: Lifestyle affects your heart health

Heart disease can be improved—or even prevented—by making certain lifestyle changes. The following changes can help anyone who wants to improve heart health:

Life expectancy diverges between England's wealthiest and poorest neighbourhoods

New research from the Longevity Science Panel (LSP) shows life expectancy diverging between England's wealthiest and poorest neighbourhoods since 2001. This widening gap in outcomes applies to children born today and to people already in older age.

College roommates underestimate each other's distress, new psychology research shows

College roommates are sensitive to their roommates' distress but tend to underestimate the level of distress being experienced by others, finds a newly published study from New York University psychology researchers.

2016 junior doctor strikes in England had 'significant impact' on healthcare provision

The 2016 junior doctors strikes in England had a 'significant' impact on the provision of healthcare, with thousands of appointments cancelled, and significantly fewer admissions and A&E attendances than expected, reveals research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Doctors blast Trump's mental illness focus to fight violence

Frustration is mounting in the medical community as the Trump administration again points to mental illness in response to yet another mass shooting.

Study cited for blaming autism on TV cartoon does not exist

There is no Harvard study that says a British children's television cartoon causes autism, despite what a social media post claims. In fact, there's at least one peer-reviewed study that hints that a children's television show may help autistic kids.

Human epigenomics explained in new textbook

Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland have published a textbook on human epigenomics, the study of epigenetic modifications across the entire genome. The book is the first of its kind to focus on epigenomics in humans and its role in health and disease.

TB vaccine trial results offer potential for BCG revaccination, hope for subunit vaccines

Aeras, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing vaccines against tuberculosis (TB), today announced results from an innovative clinical trial that provides encouraging new evidence that TB vaccines could prevent sustained infections in high-risk adolescents. In a prevention-of-infection Phase 2 trial conducted in South Africa, revaccination with the Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine significantly reduced sustained TB infections in adolescents. An experimental vaccine candidate, H4:IC31, also reduced sustained infections, although not at statistically significant levels. However, the trend observed for H4:IC31 is the first time a subunit vaccine has shown any indication of ability to protect against TB infection or disease in humans.

Researcher discusses the trauma of war on survivors

Dr. Ayesha Ahmad is a lecturer in Global Health at the university with a Ph.D. in ethics where she has developed and leads on three modules, Humanitarian Action and Ethics, Culture and Mental Health, and Global Health Humanities.

Treatment-free remission of chronic myeloid leukemia is possible following second-line nilotinib

Treatment-free remission seems to be achievable in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) who have achieved sustained deep molecular response (DMR) after discontinuation of second-line nilotinib therapy. Results from a Phase 2, open-label study are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Complex government-mandated hospital performance measure not supported by evidence

Evidence supporting the use of a complex government-mandated hospital performance measure does not hold up to scientific rigor. Findings from a systematic evidence review are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

New guidelines offer recommendations for diagnosis and treatment of CKD-MBD

The Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) 2017 Clinical Practice Guideline Update provides revisions to 15 recommendations for the diagnosis, evaluation, prevention, and treatment of chronic kidney disease-mineral and bone disorder (CKD-MBD). A synopsis of the guidelines is published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Hydroxychloroquine no more effective than placebo for relieving osteoarthritis hand pain

Hydroxychloroquine is no more effective than placebo for relieving moderate to severe hand pain and radiographic osteoarthritis. The findings of a randomized trial are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Biology news

Duplicate genes help animals resolve sexual conflict

Duplicate copies of a gene shared by male and female fruit flies have evolved to resolve competing demands between the sexes. New genetic analysis by researchers at the University of Chicago describes how these copies have evolved separate male- and female-specific functions that are crucial to reproduction and fertility. These changes occurred in just 200,000 years since the genes duplicated, meaning that this process can resolve selective pressures between sexes and specialize relatively quickly.

In living color: Brightly-colored bacteria could be used to 'grow' paints and coatings

Researchers have unlocked the genetic code behind some of the brightest and most vibrant colours in nature. The paper, published in the journal PNAS, is the first study of the genetics of structural colour - as seen in butterfly wings and peacock feathers - and paves the way for genetic research in a variety of structurally coloured organisms.

What does a bear do in the Alaska woods? Disperse seeds

Does a bear leave scat in the woods? The answer is obvious but the effects on an ecosystem may not be.

Why bees soared and slime flopped as inspirations for systems engineering

Bees? Great. Ants? Hit or miss. Slime mold amoebas? Fail. Though nature offers excellent design inspirations in some information technology systems, in other systems, it can bomb.

First video of 'dumbo' octopod hatchling shows that they look like mini-adults

Researchers who've gotten the first look at a deep-sea "dumbo" octopod hatchling report in Current Biology on February 19 that the young octopods look and act much like adults from the moment they emerge from an egg capsule. Dumbo octopods are so named because their fins resemble Dumbo the elephant's ears.

Biodiversity loss raises risk of 'extinction cascades'

New research shows that the loss of biodiversity can increase the risk of "extinction cascades", where an initial species loss leads to a domino effect of further extinctions.

Pausing evolution makes bioproduction of chemicals affordable and efficient

Bioproduction of chemicals using engineered microorganisms is routinely reported today, but only a few bioprocesses are functional in the large fermentation volumes that industry requires. For a longer period, the lack of successful scale-up has been one of the most important challenges for engineers to solve, in order to replace oil-derived production with bio-based production of chemicals.

Skin bacteria may predict vulnerability of amphibians to killer chytrid fungus

Bacterial communities that live on the skin of frogs and toads could provide vital clues to species' vulnerability to the lethal chytrid fungus.

The 11th species of an endemic Australian wasp genus

As well as an interest in all insects, Flinders biological sciences Ph.D. Ben Parslow has a fascination for wasps.

Romeo the lonesome frog is feelin' the love

In the end, Romeo the lonesome Bolivian frog found more love than he could have imagined.

New study sheds light on illegal global trade of pangolins

Animal traffickers are taking advantage of remote ivory trade routes to smuggle pangolins - one of the world's most endangered animals - out of Central Africa, a new study has found.

What makes circadian clocks tick?

Circadian clocks are found within microbes and bacteria, plants and insects, animals and humans. These clocks arose as an adaptation to dramatic swings in daylight hours and temperature caused by the Earth's rotation. But we still don't fully understand how these tiny biological clocks work.

Using mutant bacteria to study how changes in membrane proteins affect cell functions

Phospholipids are water insoluble "building blocks" that define the membrane barrier surrounding cells and provide the structural scaffold and environment where membrane proteins reside. During the 62nd Biophysical Society Annual Meeting, held Feb. 17-21, in San Francisco, California, William Dowhan from the University of Texas-Houston McGovern Medical School will present his group's work exploring how the membrane protein phospholipid environment determines its structure and function.

Studying mitosis' structure to understand the inside of cancer cells

Cell division is an intricately choreographed ballet of proteins and molecules that divide the cell. During mitosis, microtubule-organizing centers (MTOCs) assemble the spindle fibers that separate the copying chromosomes of DNA. While scientists are familiar with MTOCs' existence and the role they play in cell division, their actual physical structure remains poorly understood.

Finches from remote corners of New Guinea help solve an evolutionary puzzle

Tucked away in an unassuming gray metal file cabinet in a graduate student office at Boston University is an evolutionary puzzle that would leave even Charles Darwin scratching his head. Inside the cabinet, 18 clear Tupperware containers house 301 estrildid finch specimens from New Guinea, carefully laid out in rows by population and species. Each of the 11 species' plumage is splashed with its own distinct pattern of black, brown, gray, and white.

Did humans domesticate themselves?

Human self-domestication posits that among the driving forces of human evolution, humans selected their companions depending on who exhibited more pro-social behavior. Researchers from a team of the UB led by Cedric Boeckx, ICREA professor at the Department of Catalan Philology and General Linguistics and member of the Institute of Complex Systems of the University of Barcelona (UBICS), report new genetic evidence for this evolutionary process.

Study reveals mechanism in spruce tree that causes growth

While it's common knowledge that trees grow when days start to become longer in the springtime and stop growing when days become shorter in the fall, exactly how this happens has not been well understood.

New moth species discovered in Denmark

Scientists have discovered a new species of moth in northern Europe, which was previously unknown to science.

Using ultrasound to predict return to form for injured racehorses

A new technique that uses ultrasound to predict a racehorse's likelihood of a return to racing after a tendon injury has been developed by researchers at the University of Nottingham, Oakham Equine Hospital and the world-famous Hong Kong Jockey Club.

The surprising benefits of oysters (and no, it's not what you're thinking)

Think of oysters, and what comes to mind? You'll probably picture a plate of seafood with a generous squeeze of lemon, or you might think of oysters' reputation as an aphrodisiac. But oysters have many talents beyond their famed gastronomic (and other) qualities.

Hybrid mountain pine beetles set to spread more easily

A hybrid population of mountain pine beetles is set to do further damage to one of Canada's most iconic regions.

New species of shark discovered through genetic testing

A team of scientists led by Florida Institute of Technology's Toby Daly-Engel has confirmed after decades of uncertainty that sixgill sharks residing in the Atlantic Ocean are a different species than their counterparts in the Indian and Pacific oceans.

France to let wolf packs grow despite angry farmers

The French government announced Monday it will allow the wolf population to grow 40 percent despite pressure from farmers in mountain regions who are worried about their sheep flocks.

Thai officials smell clue with faeces find in tycoon poaching case

Thai officials will test human faeces found at a campsite in a wildlife sanctuary to try to prove their case against a tycoon accused of poaching a leopard.

In Kenya, anti-poaching dogs are wildlife's best friends

Five-month-old bloodhound Shakaria gambols through the long savannah grasses of Kenya's Maasai Mara reserve, her playful mood swiftly turning to keen determination as she is ordered to track a human scent.


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