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The premier online source for science news since 1996. A service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Updated: 27 min 52 sec ago

Why bees soared and slime flopped as inspirations for systems engineering

18 hours 51 min ago
Honeybees gathering nectar inspired an algorithm that eased the burden of host servers handling unpredictable traffic by about 25 percent. Nature can inspire some great engineering, but it can also lead to some flops. Take slime mold: Standard algorithms beat it hands down to model connectivity. AAAS annual meeting presentation by systems researcher Craig Tovey.
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The new bioenergy research center: building on ten years of success

18 hours 51 min ago
The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, recently embarked on a new mission: to develop sustainable alternatives to transportation fuels and products currently derived from petroleum.
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Using mutant bacteria to study how changes in membrane proteins affect cell functions

18 hours 51 min ago
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, 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.
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Ras protein's role in spreading cancer

18 hours 51 min ago
Protein systems make up the complex signaling pathways that control whether a cell divides or, in some cases, metastasizes. Ras proteins have long been the focus of cancer research because of their role as 'on/off switch' signaling pathways that control cell division and failure to die like healthy cells do. Now, a team of researchers has been able to study precisely how Ras proteins interact with cell membrane surfaces.
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What makes circadian clocks tick?

18 hours 51 min ago
Circadian 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 they work. During the 62nd Biophysical Society Meeting, held Feb. 17-21, Andy LiWang, University of California, Merced, will present his lab's work studying the circadian clock of blue-green colored cyanobacteria. LiWang's group discovered that how the proteins move hour by hour is central to cyanobacteria's circadian clock function.
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Studying mitosis' structure to understand the inside of cancer cells

18 hours 51 min ago
Cell division is an intricately choreographed ballet of proteins and molecules that divide the cell. During mitosis, microtubule-organizing centers 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. Researchers are now trying to decipher their molecular architecture, and they will present their work during the 62nd Biophysical Society Annual Meeting, held Feb. 17-21.
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New study sheds light on illegal global trade of pangolins

Feb 17 2018 - 00:02
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.
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To sleep, perchance to forget

Feb 17 2018 - 00:02
People and other animals sicken and die if they are deprived of sleep, but why is sleep so essential? Psychiatrists Chiara Cirelli and Giulio Tononi proposed the 'synaptic homeostasis hypothesis' (SHY) in 2003. This hypothesis holds that sleep is the price we pay for brains that are plastic and able to keep learning new things. A few years ago, they started research that could show direct evidence for their theory. The result offers visual proof of SHY.
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Personalized curriculum captures students' imagination, interest

Feb 17 2018 - 00:02
Focusing on their personal DNA and genealogies, middle school students appear to have learned as much as their peers who used case studies, according to a Penn State researcher.
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Understanding roots opens students to science, diversity

Feb 17 2018 - 00:02
Focusing science education on students through genetic and genealogical studies may be the way to increase minorities in the pipeline and engage students who would otherwise deem science too hard or too uninteresting, according to a Penn State anthropologist.
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Asteroid 'time capsules' may help explain how life started on Earth

Feb 17 2018 - 00:02
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. But for Georgia Tech researcher Nicholas Hud, asteroids play an entirely different role: that of time capsules showing what molecules originally existed in our solar system. Having that information gives scientists the starting point they need to reconstruct the complex pathway that got life started on Earth.
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Newborn babies who suffered stroke regain language function in opposite side of brain

Feb 17 2018 - 00:02
A stroke in a baby -- even a big one -- does not have the same lasting impact as a stroke in an adult. A study led by Georgetown University Medical Center investigators found that a decade or two after a 'perinatal' stroke damaged the left 'language' side of the brain, affected teenagers and young adults used the right sides of their brain for language.
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Japanese researchers develop ultrathin, highly elastic skin display

Feb 17 2018 - 00:02
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.
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Stretchable electronics a 'game changer' for stroke recovery treatment

Feb 17 2018 - 00:02
A first-of-its-kind sensor that sticks to the throat and measures speech and swallowing patterns could be a game-changer in the field of stroke rehabilitation.
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Research team uncovers hidden details in Picasso Blue Period painting

Feb 17 2018 - 00:02
A partnership of the Northwestern University/Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Art has used multiple modes of light to uncover details hidden beneath the visible surface of Pablo Picasso's painting 'La Miséreuse accroupie', a major work from the artist's Blue Period. The researchers found images connected to other works by Picasso as well as a landscape -- likely by another Barcelona painter -- underneath Picasso's painting.
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Unprecedented study of Picasso's bronzes uncovers new details

Feb 17 2018 - 00:02
Musee national Picasso-Paris and the Northwestern University/Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts have completed the first major material survey and study of the Musee national Picasso-Paris' Pablo Picasso bronzes using portable instruments. The international research team of scientists, art conservators and curators used the instruments and a database of alloy 'fingerprints' to non-invasively analyze a group of 39 bronzes and 11 painted sheet metal sculptures, revealing new details about the modern master's art.
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Scientists shed light on biological roots of individuality

Feb 16 2018 - 00:02
A new study illuminates the biology that guides behavior across different stages of life in worms, and suggests how variations in specific neuromodulators in the developing nervous system may lead to occasional variations.
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At AAAS: Reducing bird-related tragedy through understanding bird behavior

Feb 16 2018 - 00:02
Bird-human actions can end in tragedy -- for bird as well as human. William & Mary professor John Swaddle believes technology and a solid understanding of bird behavior can make those tragedies less frequent, and is working on a pair of initiatives designed to minimize unpleasant results of bird-human interactions.
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NASA sees Tropical Storm 10S form along Western Australia Coast

Feb 16 2018 - 00:02
After days of lingering off the west Kimberley coast of Western Australia as a slowly organizing low pressure area, Tropical Storm 10S has formed about 50 miles west of Broome, Australia.
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How to train like the world's most successful female cross-country skier

Feb 16 2018 - 00:02
If you want to be as fast or as strong as the world's most decorated female winter Olympian ever, you'll have to train a lot -- more than 900 hours a year. But don't worry -- most of that training will be low intensity.
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