Science and Technology

Parliamentary members use simpler language on hot days

Science Daily - 13/06/2024
Climate change has many widespread and complicated effects on the well-being of people and the planet, and a new study has now added a surprising one to the list. After analyzing the language used in seven million parliamentary speeches around the world, it shows that high temperatures lead to a significant and immediate reduction in politicians' language complexity.

Study hints at tools to prevent diabetes caused by psychiatric meds

Science Daily - 13/06/2024
New research points to a potential approach to reducing the risk of diabetes associated with widely prescribed antipsychotic medications. The study presents early evidence in support of co-administering antipsychotic medications that block dopamine receptors in the brain alongside drugs that stop antipsychotics from blocking those same receptors in the pancreas. This approach could limit metabolic side effects, including impaired control over blood sugar, or dysglycemia.

Outdoor recreation noise affects wildlife behavior and habitat use, study finds

Science Daily - 13/06/2024
We may go to the woods seeking peace and quiet, but are we taking our noise with us? A recent study indicates that the answer is yes -- and that this noise can trigger a fear response, as if escaping from predators. This new science calls into question whether otherwise high-quality habitat truly provides refugia for wildlife when recreationists are present and underscores the challenges land managers face in balancing outdoor recreational opportunities with wildlife conservation.

Confronting trauma alleviates chronic pain among older veterans

Science Daily - 13/06/2024
A new study found chronic pain among older adults could be significantly reduced through a newly developed psychotherapy that works by confronting past trauma and stress-related emotions that can exacerbate pain symptoms.

Reinvigorating exhausted immune cells reveals potential therapy target for cancer

Science Daily - 13/06/2024
Researchers have not only identified how two immune cells work together to fight cancer but also revealed the cascade of molecules that help coordinate this attack.

After major traumatic brain injury, more blood transfusions could mean better outcomes

Science Daily - 13/06/2024
Increased use of blood transfusions after major traumatic brain injury could help people hospitalized in intensive care units regain greater functional independence and a better quality of life, according to new research.

Public more confident connecting increasing heat, wildfires with climate change than other extreme weather events, study finds

Science Daily - 13/06/2024
Researchers found that U.S. adults are fairly confident in linking wildfires and heat to climate change, but less confident when it comes to other extreme weather events like hurricanes, flooding or tornadoes.

Marine heatwaves devastate red gorgonians in the Medes Islands

Science Daily - 13/06/2024
The increase in the frequency and intensity of marine heatwaves in recent decades is one of the effects of global climate change. A study shows that the extreme heatwave of 2022 caused an 'unprecedented' increase in mortality of the red gorgonian Paramuricea clavata, affecting 70% of the colonies located in the Montgr Natural Park, the Medes Islands and the Baix Ter. According to the researchers, these results are 'alarming and threaten the viability' of this species of great value for the biodiversity of benthic ecosystems, since it is considered to be an inhabitant-forming species.

Watery planets orbiting dead stars may be good candidates for studying life -- if they can survive long enough

Science Daily - 13/06/2024
The small footprint and dim light of white dwarfs, remnants of stars that have burned through their fuel, may make excellent backdrops for studying planets with enough water to harbor life. The trick is spotting the shadow of a planet against a former star that has withered to a fraction of its size and finding that it's a planet that has kept its water oceans for billions of years even after riding out the star's explosive and violent final throes. A new study of the dynamics of white dwarf systems suggests that, in theory, some watery planets may indeed thread the celestial needles necessary to await discovery and closer scrutiny.

Mysterious mini-Neptunes

Science Daily - 13/06/2024
This study discovered mini-Neptunes around four red dwarfs using observations from a global network of ground-based telescopes and the TESS space telescope. These four mini-Neptunes are close to their parent stars, and the three of them are likely to be in eccentric orbits.

Breakthrough in predicting sudden cardiac death

Science Daily - 13/06/2024
A new computational method developed by physicists can be used to estimate the risk of sudden cardiac death from a one-minute heart rate measurement at rest. The study was carried out in interdisciplinary collaboration between cardiology and computational physics.

Estimating the energy of past earthquakes from brecciation in a fault zone

Science Daily - 13/06/2024
In the same way that the number of rings in a tree can tell us its age, the characteristics of rocks such as breccia can tell us about the history of a region. The breccia around Ichinokawa Mine (located in Ehime prefecture) are of particular interest, as the mine is located south of the Median Tectonic Line. Researchers uncovered how breccia can provide valuable evidence to estimate the energy of past earthquakes in the area.

Which of the two DNA strands is damaged influences the cell's mutation profile

Science Daily - 13/06/2024
Cancer genomes are the result of diverse mutation processes that have often accumulated over decades. Scientists have analyzed the molecular evolution of tumors after exposure to mutagenic chemicals. DNA lesions that persists unrepaired over several cell generations lead to sequence variations at the site of damage, the quantification of which provides insights into the kinetics and mechanisms of DNA repair. This enabled the researchers to distinguish the contribution of the triggering lesion from that of the subsequent repair in shaping the mutation pattern.

6,000 years ago, men and women had equal access to resources

Science Daily - 13/06/2024
Using isotope geochemistry, scientists have uncovered new information about the Barmaz necropolis in Valais (Switzerland): 14% of the people buried 6,000 years ago at this site were not locals. What's more, the study suggests that this Middle Neolithic agropastoral society -- one of the oldest known in the western part of Switzerland -- was relatively egalitarian. The isotope ratios of carbon, nitrogen and sulphur contained in the bones reveal that all members of the community, including people from elsewhere, had access to the same food resources.

Ancient ocean slowdown warns of future climate chaos

Science Daily - 13/06/2024
When it comes to the ocean's response to global warming, we're not in entirely uncharted waters. A new study shows that episodes of extreme heat in Earth's past caused the exchange of waters from the surface to the deep ocean to decline.

Promising gene therapy for FOXG1 syndrome

Science Daily - 13/06/2024
A viral gene therapy has reversed some brain abnormalities in infant mice with FOXG1 syndrome, a significant step toward one day treating children with this severe neurodevelopmental disorder.

Why many lung cancer patients who have never smoked have worse outcomes

Science Daily - 13/06/2024
The reason why targeted treatment for non-small cell lung cancer fails to work for some patients, particularly those who have never smoked, has been discovered.

Quantum data assimilation: A quantum leap in weather prediction

Science Daily - 13/06/2024
Data assimilation is an important mathematical discipline in earth sciences, particularly in numerical weather prediction (NWP). However, conventional data assimilation methods require significant computational resources. To address this, researchers developed a novel method to solve data assimilation on quantum computers, significantly reducing the computation time. The findings of the study have the potential to advance NWP systems and will inspire practical applications of quantum computers for advancing data assimilation.

Nanosized blocks spontaneously assemble in water to create tiny floating checkerboards

Science Daily - 13/06/2024
Researchers have engineered nanosized cubes that spontaneously form a two-dimensional checkerboard pattern when dropped on the surface of water. The work presents a simple approach to create complex nanostructures through a technique called self-assembly.

Dolphins with elevated mercury levels in Florida and Georgia

Science Daily - 13/06/2024
Scientists found elevated mercury levels in dolphins in the U.S. Southeast. The highest levels were found in dolphins in Florida's St. Joseph and Choctawhatchee Bays. Researchers study dolphins because they are considered a sentinel species for oceans and human health. Like us, they are high up in the food chain, live long lives, and share certain physiological traits. Some of their diet is most vulnerable to mercury pollution and is also eaten by people.

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