Science and Technology

Modern humans reached westernmost Europe 5,000 years earlier than previously known

Science Daily - 29/09/2020
Modern humans arrived in westernmost Europe 41,000 to 38,000 years ago, about 5,000 years earlier than previously known, according to an international team of researchers that discovered stone tools used by modern humans dated to the earlier time period in a cave near the Atlantic coast of central Portugal. The tools document the presence of modern humans at a time when Neanderthals were thought to be present in the region.

'Insect Armageddon': Low doses of the insecticide, Imidacloprid, cause blindness in insects

Science Daily - 29/09/2020
New research provides important evidence on the role of insecticides on the longevity of insect population.

'Portfolio' of marine reserves enhances fish populations

Science Daily - 29/09/2020
No-take fishing zones on their own act as valuable sources of fish for neighboring reefs. These areas support more fish, which then produce even greater numbers of baby fish. But, just how many babies survive and where they end up varies greatly from year to year. Multiple smaller reserves instead of one large reserve can ensure a stable supply of fish.

Plastic-eating enzyme 'cocktail' heralds new hope for plastic waste

Science Daily - 29/09/2020
The same team who re-engineered the plastic-eating enzyme PETase have now created an enzyme 'cocktail' which can digest plastic up to six times faster.

Climate change threatens breeding birds

Science Daily - 29/09/2020
Surviving on a warming planet can be a matter of timing -- but simply shifting lifecycle stages to match the tempo of climate change has hidden dangers for some animals, according to new research. The study has uncovered drastic consequences for birds that are breeding earlier in lockstep with earlier starts of spring: chicks hatching earlier face increased risk of poor weather conditions, food shortages and mortality.

Epigenetic drivers for Alzheimer's disease uncovered

Science Daily - 29/09/2020
New findings suggest that late-onset Alzheimer's Disease is driven by epigenetic changes -- how and when certain genes are turned on and off -- in the brain.

Discovery of close binary trans-Neptunian object

Science Daily - 29/09/2020
A new study reveals the binary nature of a trans-Neptunian object (TNO).

Strong activation of anti-bacterial T cells linked to severe COVID-19

Science Daily - 29/09/2020
A type of anti-bacterial T cells, so-called MAIT cells, are strongly activated in people with moderate to severe COVID-19 disease, according to a new study.

3D biometric authentication based on finger veins almost impossible to fool

Science Daily - 29/09/2020
Biometric authentication, which uses unique anatomical features such as fingerprints or facial features to verify a person's identity, is increasingly replacing traditional passwords for accessing everything from smartphones to law enforcement systems.

Despite high hopes, carbon absorbed by Amazon forest recovery is dwarfed by deforestation emissions

Science Daily - 29/09/2020
After calculating how much carbon had been lost through deforestation, scientists have discovered that, in more than 30 years, the regrowth of secondary forests in the Brazilian Amazon has offset less than 10 per cent of emissions from the loss of old-growth forests.

About 14% of cerebral palsy cases may be tied to brain wiring genes

Science Daily - 29/09/2020
Researchers confirm that about 14% of all cases of cerebral palsy, a disabling brain disorder for which there are no cures, may be linked to a patient's genes and suggest that many of those genes control how brain circuits become wired during early development. The results led to recommended changes in the treatment of at least three patients, highlighting the importance of understanding the role genes play in the disorder.

Genetic testing cost effective for newly diagnosed GIST

Science Daily - 29/09/2020
Researchers reported that genetic testing is cost-effective and beneficial for newly diagnosed patients with metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), a rare type of cancer.

How the brain balances emotion and reason

Science Daily - 28/09/2020
Navigating through life requires balancing emotion and reason, a feat accomplished by the brain region 'area 32' of the anterior cingulate cortex. The area maintains emotional equilibrium by relaying information between cognitive and emotional brain regions, according to new research.

Naked prehistoric monsters! Evidence that prehistoric flying reptiles probably had feathers refuted

Science Daily - 28/09/2020
Pterosaur experts have examined the evidence that these creatures had feathers and believe they were in fact bald.

Evolutionary and heritable axes shape our brain

Science Daily - 28/09/2020
Every region has its place in the brain. However, it has been unclear why brain regions are located where they are. Now, scientists have defined two main axes along which brain regions are genetically organized, stretching from posterior to anterior and inferior to superior in the brain. These axes are mainly shaped by genes and evolution.

Looking at evolution's genealogy from home

Science Daily - 28/09/2020
Evolution leaves its traces -- in particular -- in genomes. Researchers used '2-n-way' software to determine the relationships between species or individuals and compare any genome of and for anyone.

Spreading ghost forests on NC coast may contribute to climate change

Science Daily - 28/09/2020
A new study found the spread of ghost forests across a coastal region of North Carolina may have implications for global warming.

Complex interplay among cells guides them to where they need to go

Science Daily - 28/09/2020
Many cells in our bodies are on the move and somehow seem to "know" where to go. But how do they learn the location of their destination? This question is key to understanding phenomena such as the renewal of cells in our body, the migration of cancer cells, and especially how wounds heal.

Natural capital a missing piece in climate policy

Science Daily - 28/09/2020
Clean air, clean water and a functioning ecosystem are considered priceless. Yet accounting for the economic value of nature has large implications for climate policy, a new study shows.

Increasing stability decreases ocean productivity, reduces carbon burial

Science Daily - 28/09/2020
As the globe warms, the atmosphere is becoming more unstable, but the oceans are becoming more stable, according to an international team of climate scientists, who say that the increase in stability is greater than predicted, and a stable ocean will absorb less carbon and be less productive.

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