Many musicians suffer ear damage. Professional orchestras have therefore taken measures in recent years to reduce the sound levels. Studies now reveal that physical measures, like placing screens between sections or creating more space between them, have little effect. This is due to one's own instrument contributing just as much to the sound level that reaches the ear as all the orchestra's instruments together. So experienced musicians that play alone at home - whether professionals or amateurs - also produce excessive sound levels. The only solution that really helps is earplugs.

Upon first glance, most people wouldn't think alligators or birds were evolutionary cousins. But indeed, reptiles are the closest living relatives of birds, and all descended from the archosaurs, the "ruling reptiles" who once dominated the Earth 250 million years ago.

Archosaurs gave rise to the age of the dinosaurs and, eventually, birds and reptiles as their only living descendants.

A team of bioengineers and bioinformaticians at the University of California San Diego have discovered how the environment surrounding a tumor can trigger metastatic behavior in cancer cells. Specifically, when tumor cells are confined in a dense environment, the researchers found that they turn on a specific set of genes and begin to form structures that resemble blood vessels.

New research comparing cystic fibrosis patients in the United States and Canada showed that, although the patients' nutritional status and lung function improved in both countries over the period from 1990 to 2013, the rate of improvement was faster in the United States.

Nutritional status and lung function are closely related to survival in people living with cystic fibrosis, an inherited disease that affects the respiratory and digestive systems.

An international team of researchers from MIPT; Lebedev Physical Institute, RAS; Prokhorov General Physics Institute, RAS; Skoltech; and Aalto University (Finland) has examined the optical and dielectric properties of thin macroscopic films based on single-walled carbon nanotubes and obtained an explanation for the metallic nature of their conductivity using infrared and terahertz spectroscopy. The research findings were published in the journals Carbon and Nanotechnology.

A new method to predict human mobility - which can be used to chart the potential spread of disease or determine rush hour bottlenecks - has been developed by a team of researchers, including one from Arizona State University.

The research, Universal model of individual and population mobility on diverse spatial scales, was published in the Nov. 21 issue of Nature Communications.

So-called "triple-negative" breast cancer is a particularly aggressive and difficult-to-treat form. It accounts for only about 10 percent of breast cancer cases, but is responsible for about 25 percent of breast cancer fatalities.

A study led by the University of Nottingham has found that differently-coiled types of Japanese land snails should in fact be considered a single species, because - against all odds - they are sometimes able to mate, a result which has implications for the classification of other snails.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University researchers have found a method of identifying biological markers in small amounts of blood that they believe could be used to detect a myriad of diseases, infections and different medical conditions at early stages.

Researchers studying a rapid global warming event, around 56 million years ago, have shown evidence of major changes in the intensity of rainfall and flood events. The findings indicate some of the likely implications should current trends of rising carbon dioxide and global warming continue.

It follows much discussion on the nature of global change in a warmer 21st Century at the COP23 Climate Negotiations in Bonn last week.