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The premier online source for science news since 1996. A service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
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Researchers make major breakthrough in controlling the 3D structure of molecules

Sep 20 2018 - 00:09
Scientists from The Graduate Center of The City University of New York (GC/CUNY) have made a major breakthrough in chemical synthesis that now makes it possible to quickly and reliably modify the 3D structure of molecules used in drug discovery, according to a paper appearing in the current issue of the journal Science. The new method allows scientists to employ cross-coupling reactions to generate new compounds while controlling their 3D architecture.
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What makes a mammal a mammal? Our spine, say scientists

Sep 20 2018 - 00:09
Mammals are unique in many ways. We're warm-blooded and agile in comparison with our reptilian relatives.
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Fat from 558 million years ago reveals earliest known animal

Sep 20 2018 - 00:09
Scientists from The Australian National University (ANU) and overseas have discovered molecules of fat in an ancient fossil to reveal the earliest confirmed animal in the geological record that lived on Earth 558 million years ago.
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Plug-and-play technology automates chemical synthesis

Sep 20 2018 - 00:09
MIT researchers have developed an automated chemical synthesis machine that can take over many tedious aspects of chemical experimentation, freeing chemists to spend time on the more analytical and creative aspects of their work.
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Like our sun, other stars spin faster at the equator than at the poles

Sep 20 2018 - 00:09
Finally providing insights into the spin behavior of sun-like stars outside our solar system, researchers now report that, much like the sun, some other solar-type stars spin faster at their equators than at their poles.
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Analysis of global fossils informs evolution of mammalian spine

Sep 20 2018 - 00:09
The three stages of mammalian backbone evolution are far clearer now, thanks to work by a team of researchers that examined fossilized backbones of primitive mammal ancestors and applied novel statistical analyses.
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Unraveling the exponential rise of the US drug overdose epidemic

Sep 20 2018 - 00:09
The exponential growth in overall mortality from unintentional drug overdoses in recent decades is a composite of multiple underlying sub-epidemics of different drug types, each with its own unique set of social and geographic characteristics, reports a new study.
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Molecular fossils confirm Dickinsonia as one of Earth's earliest animals

Sep 20 2018 - 00:09
By identifying specific biomarkers preserved alongside fossils of oval-shaped life forms from the Ediacaran Period, fossils from which are typically considered one of the greatest mysteries in paleontology, researchers say the ovular organism is not a fungus or protist, as some have thought, but an early animal.
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'Gut sense' is hardwired, not hormonal

Sep 20 2018 - 00:09
Searching for a more direct connection between the gut and the brain, Duke researchers were shocked to see that distance spanned by a single synapse, relaying the signal in less than 100 milliseconds, less than the blink of an eye. The finding in the journal Science has profound implications for the understanding of appetite and appetite suppressants, most of which target slow-acting hormones rather than fast-acting synapses.
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Breaking down backbones

Sep 20 2018 - 00:09
A new study is challenging the long-held belief that specialization in mammal backbones date back to the earliest land animals. Evidence suggests that the spine gained regions during mammal evolution, with the first -- located in close proximity to the shoulders and front legs -- appearing some 250 million years ago, just as dramatic changes began to appear in the forelimbs of animals known as non-mammalian therapsids.
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When mammal ancestors evolved flexible shoulders, their backbones changed too

Sep 20 2018 - 00:09
Dolphins swim, horses gallop, and humans walk on two legs -- mammals are able to move in lots of different ways. That's because we have unique backbones. And scientists exploring how mammals' backbones evolved have discovered that the key to our complex spines lies in mammals' flexible shoulders.
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Simulations enable 'choose-your-own-adventure' stereochemistry

Sep 20 2018 - 00:09
"We used our data-driven tools to derive significant insight into how the process works that allows us to design the correct additives to get the desired outcomes," Sigman said. The results allow chemists to control which stereochemical product comes out of the reaction, simply by selecting the right ligand. It's more than just a laboratory convenience, though. The study also reveals much more about how this important chemical process works.
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Drug overdose epidemic has been growing exponentially for decades

Sep 20 2018 - 00:09
Death rates from drug overdoses in the US have been on an exponential growth curve that began at least 15 years before the mid-1990s surge in opioid prescribing, suggesting that overdose death rates may continue along this same historical growth trajectory for years to come. These findings suggest that, to be successful, prevention efforts must extend beyond control of specific drugs to address deeper factors driving the epidemic.
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Gut fungus exacerbates asthma in antibiotic-treated mice

Sep 20 2018 - 00:09
A non-pathogenic fungus can expand in the intestines of antibiotic-treated mice and enhance the severity of allergic airways disease, according to a study published Sept. 20 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by David Underhill of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and colleagues. The findings suggest that alterations in gut microbiota induced by intestinal fungi might be a previously unrecognized but potentially important risk of antibiotic therapy in patients with asthma and other respiratory diseases.
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Preventing a dengue outbreak at the 2020 Summer Olympics

Sep 20 2018 - 00:09
In 2014, a dengue outbreak unexpectedly occurred in Tokyo. What does that mean for the 2020 summer Olympics and Paralympics being held in the city? Researchers report this week in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases that new controls and frameworks are recommended to detect dengue and other infectious diseases and help prevent their spread during the summer games.
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Graphene bilayer provides efficient transport and control of spins

Sep 20 2018 - 00:09
University of Groningen physicists in collaboration with a theoretical physics group from Universität Regensburg have built an optimized bilayer graphene device which displays both long spin lifetimes and electrically controllable spin-lifetime anisotropy. It has the potential for practical applications such as spin-based logic devices. The results were published in Physical Review Letters on 20 September.
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Affordable Care Act: Study finds surprising gaps in HIV care providers' knowledge

Sep 20 2018 - 00:09
More than a quarter of providers were unable to say whether their state had expanded Medicaid, the national survey found. The survey also sought to assess the healthcare providers' views on the effects of the ACA.
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Opioid controlled substance agreements safely reduce health care visits, Mayo study finds

Sep 20 2018 - 00:09
The medical community has long known that patients on long-term opioid therapy often have significantly more health care visits. But adhering to a standardized care process model for opioid prescriptions appears to reduce the overall number of health care visits for these patients while maintaining safety, shows new research published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
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In cardiac injury, the NSAID carprofen causes dysfunction of the immune system

Sep 20 2018 - 00:09
Attention has focused on how NSAIDs may cause dysfunction of the immune system. Researchers now have found that sub-acute pretreatment with the NSAID carprofen before experimental heart attack in mice impaired resolution of acute inflammation following cardiac injury. They focused on three aspects of the inflammation resolution axis -- cardiac function, leukocyte profiling and inflammation-resolution markers.
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Reducing false positives in credit card fraud detection

Sep 20 2018 - 00:09
Consumers' credit cards are declined surprisingly often in legitimate transactions. One cause is that fraud-detecting technologies used by a consumer's bank have incorrectly flagged the sale as suspicious. Now MIT researchers have employed a new machine-learning technique to drastically reduce these false positives, saving banks money and easing customer frustration.
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