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Science/Tech / ScienceDaily

Using sponges to wipe out cancer

Manzamine A, a natural product derived from certain groups of sponges, can block the growth of cervical cancer cells, report researchers. Manzamine A targets a protein that is highly expressed in many cancers, including cervical cancer, and is the first reported inhibitor of this protein.

5 Apr 2020 1:26 am
How important is speech in transmitting coronavirus?

Normal speech by individuals who are asymptomatic but infected with coronavirus may produce enough aerosolized particles to transmit the infection, according to aerosol scientists. Although it's not yet known how important this is to the spread of COVID-19, it underscores the need for strict social distancing measures -- and for virologists, epidemiologists and engineers who study aerosols and droplets to work together on this and other respiratory diseases.

4 Apr 2020 1:57 am
New temperature sensing mechanism in plants

Cell biologists reveal the phytochrome B molecule has unexpected dynamics activated by temperature, and behaves differently depending on the temperature and type of light. As climate change warms the world, crop growth patterns and flowering times will change. A better understanding of how phytochromes regulate the seasonal rhythms of plant growth will help scientists develop crops for optimal growth under the new climate and might shed light on cancer in animals.

4 Apr 2020 1:56 am
COVID-19 pandemic may exacerbate childhood obesity

Public health scientists predict that school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic will exacerbate the epidemic of childhood obesity in the United States. Researchers expect that COVID-19-related school closures will double out-of-school time this year for many children in the US and will exacerbate risk factors for weight gain associated with summer recess.

3 Apr 2020 10:19 pm
An antibiotic masquerading as a natural compound in the Giant Madeiran Squill

A previous study has shown that a type of squill growing in Madeira produces a chemical compound that may be useful as a medicinal drug. But a new study has shown that this is probably not true: instead, the plant had likely accumulated antibiotics from contaminated soil.

3 Apr 2020 9:21 pm
Changes to drylands with future climate change

While drylands around the world will expand at an accelerated rate because of future climate change, their average productivity will likely be reduced, according to a new study. These regions, which primarily include savannas, grasslands and shrublands, are important for grazing and non-irrigated croplands. They are also a critical part of the global carbon cycle and make up 41% of Earth's land surface and support 38% of its population.

3 Apr 2020 9:21 pm
Coronavirus: Virological findings from patients treated in a Munich hospital

New research has detailed the clinical course and treatment of Germany's first group of COVID-19 patients. Criteria may now be developed to determine the earliest point at which COVID-19 patients treated in hospitals with limited bed capacity can be safely discharged.

3 Apr 2020 9:21 pm
Plant root hairs key to reducing soil erosion

The tiny hairs found on plant roots play a pivotal role in helping reduce soil erosion, a new study has found. The research provides compelling evidence that when root hairs interact with the surrounding soil they reduce soil erosion and increase soil cohesion by binding soil particles.

3 Apr 2020 9:21 pm
Northern peatlands will lose some of their CO2 sink capacity under a warmer climate

A study sheds new light on the role of northern peatlands in regulating the regional climate. According to the researchers, peatlands will remain carbon sinks until the end of this century, but their sink capacity will be substantially reduced after 2050, if the climate warms significantly.

3 Apr 2020 9:21 pm
Clues to COVID-19 coronavirus's vulnerability emerge from an antibody against SARS

An antibody recovered from a survivor of the SARS epidemic in the early 2000s has revealed a potential vulnerability of the new coronavirus at the root of COVID-19.

3 Apr 2020 8:09 pm
Do urban fish exhibit impaired sleep?

Melatonin controls the body clock -- high melatonin levels make us feel tired in the evening. However, the hormone also plays an important role in animals' biological rhythms. Artificial light at night -- light pollution -- can suppress the production of melatonin in fish, even at very low light intensities, a finding established by researchers.

3 Apr 2020 8:09 pm
Scientists discover a new class of taste receptors

Evolution is a tinkerer, not an engineer. 'Evolution does not produce novelties from scratch. It works with what already exists,' wrote Nobel laureate Franois Jacob in 1977, and biologists continue to find this to be true. Case in point: A team of scientists has discovered that multiple opsin proteins, known for decades to be required for vision, also function as taste receptors. The finding represents a light-independent function for opsins, and raises questions about the purpose these proteins

3 Apr 2020 5:58 pm
Coastal pollution reduces genetic diversity of corals, reef resilience

A new study found that human-induced environmental stressors have a large effect on the genetic composition of coral reef populations in Hawai'i. They confirmed that there is an ongoing loss of sensitive genotypes in nearshore coral populations due to stressors resulting from poor land-use practices and coastal pollution. This reduced genetic diversity compromises reef resilience.

3 Apr 2020 5:58 pm
The facial expressions of mice

Researchers have described different emotional facial expressions for mice. Similar to humans, the face of a mouse looks completely different when it tastes something sweet or bitter, or when it becomes anxious. With this new possibility to render the emotions of mice measurable, neurobiologists can now investigate the basic mechanisms of how emotions are generated and processed in the brain.

3 Apr 2020 12:14 am
Smaller scale solutions needed for rapid progress towards emissions targets

Low-carbon technologies that are smaller scale, more affordable, and can be mass deployed are more likely to enable a faster transition to net-zero emissions, according to a new study. Innovations ranging from solar panels to electric bikes also have lower investment risks, greater potential for improvement in both cost and performance, and more scope for reducing energy demand -- key attributes that will help accelerate progress on decarbonization.

3 Apr 2020 12:14 am
Using chemistry to unlock the difference between cold- and hot-brew coffee

Cold brew may be the hottest trend in coffee-making, but not much is known about how this process alters the chemical characteristics of the beverage. Now, scientists report that the content of potentially health-promoting antioxidants in coffee brewed without heat can differ significantly from a cup of joe prepared the traditional way, particularly for dark roasts.

2 Apr 2020 11:16 pm
Giant umbrellas shift from convenient canopy to sturdy storm shield

In a new approach to storm surge protection, a team has created a preliminary design for dual-purpose kinetic umbrellas that would provide shade during fair weather and could be tilted in advance of a storm to form a flood barrier. The researchers used computational modeling to begin evaluating the umbrellas' ability to withstand an acute storm surge.

2 Apr 2020 11:16 pm
What climate change means for Northwestern US wildfires

A synthesis study looks at how climate change will affect the risk of wildfires in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and western Montana. The authors also suggest how managers and individual landowners in different ecosystems can best prepare.

2 Apr 2020 11:16 pm
Whooping cranes form larger flocks as wetlands are lost -- and it may put them at risk

Over the past few decades, the endangered whooping crane (Grus Americana) has experienced considerable recovery. However, researchers found that habitat loss has led whooping cranes to gather in unusually large groups during migration. While larger groups are a positive sign of species recovery, the authors say that a disease outbreak or extreme weather event could inadvertently impact this still fragile population.

2 Apr 2020 8:47 pm
Our oceans are suffering, but we can rebuild marine life

It's not too late to rescue global marine life, according to a study outlining the steps needed for marine ecosystems to recover from damage by 2050. The study found many components of marine ecosystems could be rebuilt if we try harder to address the causes of their decline.

2 Apr 2020 7:38 pm
Discovery of life in solid rock deep beneath sea may inspire new search for life on Mars

Newly discovered single-celled creatures living deep beneath the seafloor have provided clues about how to find life on Mars. These bacteria were discovered living in tiny cracks inside volcanic rocks after researchers perfected a new method cutting rocks into ultrathin slices to study under a microscope. Researchers estimate that the rock cracks are home to a community of bacteria as dense as that of the human gut, about 10 billion bacterial cells per cubic centimeter.

2 Apr 2020 5:35 pm
Homo naledi juvenile remains offers clues to how our ancestors grew up

A partial skeleton of Homo naledi represents a rare case of an immature individual, shedding light on the evolution of growth and development in human ancestry, according to a study.

2 Apr 2020 12:38 am
Modern humans, Neanderthals share a tangled genetic history, study affirms

A new study reinforces the concept that Neanderthal DNA has been woven into the modern human genome on multiple occasions as our ancestors met Neanderthals time and again in different parts of the world.

2 Apr 2020 12:38 am
Global nuclear medicine community shares COVID-19 strategies and experiences

In an effort to provide safer working environments for nuclear medicine professionals and their patients, clinics across five continents have shared their approaches to containing the spread of COVID-19. This compilation of strategies, experiences and precautions is intended to support nuclear medicine clinics as they make decisions regarding patient care.

2 Apr 2020 12:38 am
Fish have diverse, distinct gut microbiomes

The rich biodiversity of coral reefs even extends to microbial communities within fish, according to new research. The study reports that several important grazing fish on Caribbean coral reefs each harbor a distinct microbial community within their guts, revealing a new perspective on reef ecology.

1 Apr 2020 10:38 pm
Traces of ancient rainforest in Antarctica point to a warmer prehistoric world

Researchers have found evidence of rainforests near the South Pole 90 million years ago, suggesting the climate was exceptionally warm at the time.

1 Apr 2020 10:38 pm
Blocking the iron transport could stop tuberculosis

The bacteria that cause tuberculosis need iron to survive. Researchers have now solved the first detailed structure of the transport protein responsible for the iron supply. When the iron transport into the bacteria is inhibited, the pathogen can no longer grow. This opens novel ways to develop targeted tuberculosis drugs.

1 Apr 2020 10:38 pm
Elephant welfare can be assessed using two indicators

In two new studies, scientists have investigated how to measure stress in semi-captive working elephants. The studies suggest that both physiological and behavioral approaches can be used to reliably assess the well-being of semi-captive Asian elephants.

1 Apr 2020 10:38 pm
About the distribution of biodiversity on our planet

Large open-water fish predators such as tunas or sharks hunt for prey more intensively in the temperate zone than near the equator. With this result, a study is challenging a long-standing explanation for the distribution of biodiversity on our planet.

1 Apr 2020 10:38 pm
Models explain changes in cooking meat

Mathematicians show that by modelling meat as a fluid-saturated matrix of elastic proteins, which are deformed as the fluid moves, cooking behaviors can be simulated more precisely.

1 Apr 2020 10:38 pm
Stable perovskite LEDs one step closer

Researchers have developed a perovskite light-emitting diode (LED) with both high efficiency and long operational stability.

1 Apr 2020 10:38 pm
Surprising hearing talents in cormorants

The great cormorant has more sensitive hearing under water than in air. This new knowledge may help protect vulnerable bird species.

1 Apr 2020 10:37 pm
Plant disease primarily spreads via roadsides

A precise statistical analysis reveals that on the land Islands a powdery mildew fungus that is a common parasite of the ribwort plantain primarily spreads via roadsides because traffic raises the spores found on roadsides efficiently into the air.

1 Apr 2020 8:47 pm
Most of Earth's carbon was hidden in the core during its formative years

Carbon is essential for life as we know it and plays a vital role in many of our planet's geologic processes -- not to mention the impact that carbon released by human activity has on the planet's atmosphere and oceans. Despite this, the total amount of carbon on Earth remains a mystery, because much of it remains inaccessible in the planet's depths.

1 Apr 2020 7:34 pm
A new mechanism triggering cell death and inflammation: A left turn that kills

Researchers describe their discovery of a new mechanism that could contribute to the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases. The scientists found that ZBP1, a protein best known for defending against incoming viruses, is activated by sensing an unusual form of cellular genetic material (Z-nucleic acids), leading to cell death and inflammation.

31 Mar 2020 10:30 pm
Wastewater test could provide early warning of COVID-19

Researchers are working on a new test to detect SARS-CoV-2 in the wastewater of communities infected with the virus. The wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) approach could provide an effective and rapid way to predict the potential spread of novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) by picking up on biomarkers in feces and urine from disease carriers that enter the sewer system.

31 Mar 2020 6:57 pm
Experimental AI tool predicts which COVID-19 patients develop respiratory disease

An artificial intelligence tool accurately predicted which patients newly infected with the COVID-19 virus would go on to develop severe respiratory disease, a new study found.

31 Mar 2020 12:51 am
Hopes for pandemic respite this spring may depend upon what happens indoors

How much spring and summer affect the COVID-19 pandemic may depend not only on the effectiveness of social distancing measures, but also on the environment inside our buildings, according to a new review on how respiratory viruses are transmitted.

31 Mar 2020 12:51 am
New research sheds light on potentially negative effects of cannabis

Coughing fits, anxiety and paranoia are three of the most common adverse reactions to cannabis, according to a recent study.

30 Mar 2020 10:35 pm
Lessons from the Spanish flu: Early restrictions lowered disease, mortality rates

A review of published data and analysis on the Spanish flu, found that cities that adopted early and broad isolation and prevention measures had disease and mortality rates that were 30% to 50% lower than other cities.

30 Mar 2020 8:33 pm
Air pollution linked to dementia and cardiovascular disease

People continuously exposed to air pollution are at increased risk of dementia, especially if they also suffer from cardiovascular diseases, according to a new study. Therefore, patients with cardiovascular diseases who live in polluted environments may require additional support from care providers to prevent dementia, according to the researchers.

30 Mar 2020 8:33 pm
How animals understand numbers influences their chance of survival

While they can't pick out precise numbers, animals can comprehend that more is, well, more. A neurobiologist explored the current literature on how different animal species comprehend numbers and the impact on their survival, arguing that we won't fully understand the influence of numerical competence unless we study it directly.

30 Mar 2020 8:33 pm
Extreme, high temperatures may double or triple heart-related deaths

In Kuwait, a country known for hot weather, death certificates reveal that on days when the temperatures reached extremes of an average daily temperature of 109 degrees Fahrenheit, the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease dramatically increased. With unprecedentedly high temperatures, people living in inherently hot regions of the world may be at particularly high risk of heat-related cardiovascular death.

30 Mar 2020 7:04 pm
Intensity of past methane release measured with new, groundbreaking methods

A novel approach to geochemical measurements helps scientists reconstruct the past intensity of the methane seeps in the Arctic Ocean. Recent studies show that methane emissions fluctuated, strongly, in response to known periods of abrupt climate change at the end of the last glacial cycle.

30 Mar 2020 7:04 pm
Double-walled nanotubes have electro-optical advantages

Theorists find that flexoelectric effects in double-walled carbon nanotubes could be highly useful for photovoltaic applications.

28 Mar 2020 1:47 am
In Earth's largest extinction, land animal die-offs began long before marine extinction

Because of poor dates for land fossils laid down before and after the mass extinction at the end of the Permian, paleontologists assumed that the terrestrial extinctions from Gondwana occurred at the same time as the better-documented marine extinctions. But a new study provides more precise dates for South African fossils and points to a long, perhaps 400,000-year period of extinction on land before the rapid marine extinction 252 million years ago.

28 Mar 2020 1:47 am
Copper boosts pig growth, and now we know why

Pigs have better feed conversion rates with copper in their diets, but until now, scientists didn't fully understand why. Existing research from the University of Illinois shows copper doesn't change fat and energy absorption from the diet. Instead, according to new research, the element seems to enhance pigs' ability to utilize fat after absorption, resulting in increased energy utilization of the entire diet.

27 Mar 2020 11:45 pm
Seafloor of Fram Strait is a sink for microplastic from Arctic and North Atlantic Ocean

Working in the Arctic Fram Strait, scientists have found microplastic throughout the water column with particularly high concentrations at the ocean floor.

27 Mar 2020 11:45 pm
Standardizing COVID-19 data analysis to aid international research efforts

Researchers have launched a new database to advance the international research efforts studying COVID-19. The publicly-available, free-to-use resource can be used by researchers from around the world to study how different variations of the virus grow, mutate and make proteins.

27 Mar 2020 9:53 pm
COVID-19 linked to cardiac injury, worse outcomes for patients with heart conditions

COVID-19 can have fatal consequences for people with underlying cardiovascular disease and cause cardiac injury even in patients without underlying heart conditions, according to a new review.

27 Mar 2020 9:07 pm