Sweet, bitter, fat: Genetics play a role in kids’ snacking patterns

Sweet, bitter, fat: Genetics play a role in kids' snacking patterns The types of snacks a child chooses could be linked to genetics, a new study found. The study investigated whether genetic variants in taste receptors related to sweet, fat and bitter tastes influence the snacks preschoolers choose and found nearly 80 per cent carried at least one of these genotypes that could predispose them to poor snacking habits. These findings could help parents tailor their kids' diets based on their genetics of taste. Full Story
read more

Quantum recurrence: Everything goes back to the way it was

Quantum recurrence: Everything goes back to the way it was When a complex system is left alone, it will return to its initial state with almost perfect precision. Gas particles in a container, for example, will return almost exactly to their starting positions after some time. For decades, scientists have investigated how this 'Poincaré Recurrence Theorem' can be applied to the world of quantum physics. Now, researchers have successfully demonstrated a kind of 'Poincaré recurrence' in a multi-particle quantum system. Full Story
read more

Comment on “The whole-soil carbon flux in response to warming”

Comment on "The whole-soil carbon flux in response to warming" In a compelling study, Hicks Pries et al. (Reports, 31 March 2017, p. 1420) showed that 4°C warming enhanced soil CO2 production in the 1-meter soil profile, with all soil depths displaying similar temperature sensitivity (Q10). We argue that some caveats can be identified in their experimental approach and analysis, and that these critically undermine their conclusions and hence their claim that the strength of feedback between the whole-soil carbon and climate has been underestimated in terrestrial models. Full Story
read more

Response to Comment on “The whole-soil carbon flux in response to warming”

Response to Comment on "The whole-soil carbon flux in response to warming" Temperature records and model predictions demonstrate that deep soils warm at the same rate as surface soils, contrary to Xiao et al.’s assertions. In response to Xiao et al.’s critique of our Q10 analysis, we present the results with all data points included, which show Q10 values of >2 throughout the soil profile, indicating that all soil depths responded to warming. Full Story
read more

Astronomers discover S0-2 star is single and ready for big Einstein test

Astronomers discover S0-2 star is single and ready for big Einstein test A team of astronomers has found that S0-2 does not have a significant other after all, or at least one that is massive enough to get in the way of critical measurements that astronomers need to test Einstein's Theory of General Relativity. Up until now, it was thought that S0-2 may be a binary, a system where two stars circle around each other. Full Story
read more

Researchers develop process producing cell-sized lipid vesicles for cell-cell synaptic therapies

Researchers develop process producing cell-sized lipid vesicles for cell-cell synaptic therapies Novel and robust process to produce functionalized giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) on-demand from double emulsions templates results in artificial cells with surface ligand neuroligin-2 (NL-2) to promote insulin secretion in pancreatic beta cells, demonstrating a versatile cell-cell synaptic therapeutic paradigm. Full Story
read more

Rohingya refugees could find new home on Floating Island

Rohingya refugees could find new home on Floating Island In what its prime minister said would be a 'temporary arrangement,' Bangladesh is turning an uninhabited island into a home for 100,000 Rohingya Muslims. But aid workers said they remain seriously concerned the island can't sustain livelihoods for thousands of people.  Full Story
read more

Distinguishing males from females among king penguins

Distinguishing males from females among king penguins It is difficult to distinguish males from females among King Penguins, but a new study reveals that King Penguins can be sexed with an accuracy of 100% based on the sex-specific syllable pattern of their vocalizations. Using the beak length, King Penguin individuals can be sexed with an accuracy of 79%. Full Story
read more

Beyond skin color

Beyond skin color Today’s contributor reflects on lessons he learned as he prayed about prejudice after moving from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Norway – and how those lessons continue to shape the way he sees others. Full Story
read more

After Parkland, a new generation finds its voice

After Parkland, a new generation finds its voice Teen activists are pushing for changes to gun laws via marches and walkouts in the wake of the recent shooting in a Florida high school. Their emerging power may be changing the long stalemate in the nation’s debate over firearms, some experts say. Full Story
read more

Sea urchins erode rock reefs, excavate pits for themselves

Sea urchins erode rock reefs, excavate pits for themselves Through their grazing activity, sea urchins excavate rock and form the pits they occupy. This activity may cause significant bioerosion of temperate reefs, according to a study published Feb. 21, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Michael Russell from Villanova University, US, and colleagues. Full Story
read more

Trump to Discuss School Shootings With Survivors, Including Florida Students

Trump to Discuss School Shootings With Survivors, Including Florida Students AdvertisementWASHINGTON — Under mounting pressure to take action after the nation’s latest school shooting massacre, President Trump will sit down at the White House on Wednesday with about 20 parents and students from the high school in Parkland, Fla., where a gunman killed 17 people last week, a White House official said.The afternoon session in the State Dining Room also will include about two dozen others affected by school shootings, including survivors of the rampage at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., in 1999, which…
read more

Kushner Resists Losing Access as Kelly Tackles Security Clearance Issues

Kushner Resists Losing Access as Kelly Tackles Security Clearance Issues AdvertisementWASHINGTON — Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, is resisting giving up his access to highly classified information, prompting an internal struggle with John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, over who should be allowed to see some of the nation’s most sensitive secrets, according to White House officials and others briefed on the matter.Mr. Kushner is one of dozens of White House officials operating under interim security clearances because of issues raised by the F.B.I. during their background checks, according…
read more

Film Memento helped uncover how the brain remembers and interprets events from clues

Film Memento helped uncover how the brain remembers and interprets events from clues In the Christopher Nolan film Memento (2000) the protagonist suffers from long-term memory loss and is unable to retain new memories for no longer than a few minutes. The events unfold in reversed chronological order. The results deepen our understanding of how the brain functions, how narratives work in film, and memory mechanisms impaired by conditions such as Alzheimer's disease. Full Story
read more

Listening to data could be the best way to track salmon migration

Listening to data could be the best way to track salmon migration Sound could be the key to understanding ecological data: in a new study, researchers have turned chemical data that shows salmon migration patterns into sound, helping people hear when they move towards the ocean from one river to another. The approach - called sonification - enables even untrained listeners to interpret large amounts of complex data, providing an easier way to interpret 'big data.' Full Story
read more

Resolvin D-1 limits kidney damage after heart attacks

Resolvin D-1 limits kidney damage after heart attacks A heart attack triggers an acute inflammatory response at the damaged portion of the heart's left ventricle. If the inflammation lingers, it can lead heart failure. The inflammation can also claim another victim -- the kidneys. New research shows that a bioactive compound called resolvin D-1, injected as a therapeutic dose, is able to limit this collateral damage in the kidneys, as tested in an animal model. This suggests potential application to the clinical setting. Full Story
read more

‘Brain on a chip’ reveals how the brain folds

'Brain on a chip' reveals how the brain folds Our brains are wrinkled like walnuts by the time we are born. Babies born without these wrinkles -- called smooth brain syndrome -- suffer from severe developmental deficiencies and their life expectancy is markedly reduced. Now researchers have developed a method for growing tiny 'brains on chips' from human cells that enabled them to track the physical and biological mechanisms underlying the wrinkling process. Full Story
read more

Trump Moves to Regulate ‘Bump Stock’ Devices

Trump Moves to Regulate ‘Bump Stock’ Devices AdvertisementWASHINGTON — President Trump ordered the Justice Department on Tuesday to propose regulations to ban so-called bump stocks, which can convert a semiautomatic gun into an automatic weapon like the one used last year in the massacre of concertgoers in Las Vegas.Speaking at the White House days after a mass shooting at a Florida high school that killed 14 students and three teachers, Mr. Trump said that he had directed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to develop the regulations, saying that the step would help prevent future mass shootings.“We…
read more

Trump Tries to Shift Blame to Obama for Not Countering Russian Meddling

Trump Tries to Shift Blame to Obama for Not Countering Russian Meddling AdvertisementWASHINGTON — Attempting to shift the blame for Russian interference in the 2016 election, President Trump suggested in Twitter posts on Tuesday that the previous administration did not do enough to prevent the Kremlin’s influence campaign and that President Barack Obama was dismissive of the threat.“There is no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even rig America’s elections, there’s no evidence that that has happened in the past or that it will happen this time, and so I’d…
read more

Designing microbial communities to help plants battle nutritional stress

Designing microbial communities to help plants battle nutritional stress Plants and microbes engage in a diverse array of symbiotic relationships, but identifying the specific microbes or groups of microbes that contribute to plant health is extremely difficult. Researchers have devised a general experimental scheme to identify and predict which small groups of bacterial species can help plants respond to phosphate starvation, a form of nutritional stress. Full Story
read more

Land use change has warmed Earth’s surface

Land use change has warmed Earth's surface Recent changes to vegetation cover are causing Earth's surface to heat up. Activities like cutting down evergreen forests for agricultural expansion in the tropics create energy imbalances that lead to higher local surface temperatures and contribute to global warming. Full Story
read more

Can you eat cells? Computer model predicts which organisms are capable of phagocytosis

Can you eat cells? Computer model predicts which organisms are capable of phagocytosis Researchers have created a computational model capable of predicting whether or not organisms have the ability to 'eat' other cells through a process known as phagocytosis. The model may be a useful tool for large-scale microbe surveys and provides valuable insight into the evolution of complex life on Earth, challenging ideas put forward in recent studies. Full Story
read more

Noise from ships scares porpoises

Noise from ships scares porpoises Porpoises communicate with each other using sounds. Therefore, they are highly sensitive to noise, such as ship noise. A new study shows that porpoises flee from and stop feeding when disturbed by heavy ship noise. Full Story
read more

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to reveal secrets of the Red Planet

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope to reveal secrets of the Red Planet Mars rovers and orbiters have found signs that Mars once hosted liquid water on its surface. Much of that water escaped over time. How much water was lost, and how does the water that’s left move from ice to atmosphere to soil? During its first year of operations, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will seek answers. Webb also will study mysterious methane plumes that hint at possible geological or even biological activity. Full Story
read more

Typhoid outbreak: Genetic cause of extensive drug-resistance found

Typhoid outbreak: Genetic cause of extensive drug-resistance found The genetic cause behind a strain of typhoid's resistance to five classes of antibiotics has been uncovered by scientists at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and their collaborators. There is currently a major outbreak of typhoid fever in Pakistan. This study shows the typhoid strain causing the outbreak acquired an additional piece of DNA to become resistant to multiple antibiotics, including a third-generation antibiotic. Full Story
read more

A trip to the mountains despite a heart condition?

A trip to the mountains despite a heart condition? Cardiologists are in agreement that generally exercise in the mountains is a very good way to prevent or reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases. Nevertheless what about those people who have a pre-existing cardiovascular condition? Under what circumstances is it safe for them to reside or holiday in high mountainous regions, and what rules should they apply to their conduct whilst there? Full Story
read more

Permanent water restrictions imminent for California

Permanent water restrictions imminent for California A year with almost no rain has plunged California back into emergency drought status. Water managers are voting whether to reinstate some water restrictions which would prohibit excessively watering lawns and limit washing sheets and towels at hotels. Full Story
read more

What Makes Us Vibe?

What Makes Us Vibe? We like other people in part because they think the way we do—but we may also think alike as a result of being friends -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com Full Story
read more

Trump Adds Cautious Support to Changes to Background Checks for Gun Buyers

Trump Adds Cautious Support to Changes to Background Checks for Gun Buyers AdvertisementWEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Amid a growing national outcry over gun restrictions led by the teenagers who survived last week’s mass shooting that left 17 people dead in Parkland, Fla., President Trump signaled Monday that he was willing to join the discussion.Mr. Trump is open to improvements in federal background checks for prospective gun buyers, the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a statement. She said the president had spoken on Friday to Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the…
read more

In living color: Brightly-colored bacteria could be used to ‘grow’ paints and coatings

In living color: Brightly-colored bacteria could be used to 'grow' paints and coatings Researchers have unlocked the genetic code behind some of the brightest and most vibrant colors in nature. The article is the first study of the genetics of structural color -- as seen in butterfly wings and peacock feathers -- and paves the way for genetic research in a variety of structurally colored organisms. Full Story
read more

Computers aid discovery of new, inexpensive material to make LEDs with high color quality

Computers aid discovery of new, inexpensive material to make LEDs with high color quality Computers have helped researchers develop a new phosphor that can make LEDs cheaper and render colors more accurately. Researchers predicted the new phosphor using supercomputers and data mining algorithms, then developed a simple recipe to make it in the lab. Unlike many phosphors, this one is made of inexpensive, earth-abundant elements and can easily be made using industrial methods. As computers predicted, the new phosphor performed well in tests and in LED prototypes. Full Story
read more

Duplicate genes help animals resolve sexual conflict

Duplicate genes help animals resolve sexual conflict Duplicate copies of a gene shared by male and female fruit flies have evolved to resolve competing demands between the sexes. New genetic analysis describes how these copies have evolved separate male- and female-specific functions that are crucial to reproduction and fertility. Full Story
read more

Blood and urine tests developed to indicate autism in children

Blood and urine tests developed to indicate autism in children New blood and urine tests which search for damage to proteins could lead to earlier detection of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and consequently children with autism could be given appropriate treatment much earlier in their lives. ASDs are defined as developmental disorders mainly affecting social interaction and they can include a wide spectrum of behavioral problems. These include speech disturbances, repetitive and/or compulsive behavior, hyperactivity, anxiety, and difficulty to adapt to new environments, some with or without cognitive impairment. Full Story
read more

Flexible warped nanographene developed for bioimaging

Flexible warped nanographene developed for bioimaging An international team of scientists has developed a water-soluble "warped nanographene," a flexible molecule that is biocompatible and shows promise for fluorescent cell imaging. The new nanographene molecule also induces cell death when exposed to blue laser light. Further investigation is required to determine how nanocarbons could be used for a range of biological applications, such as photodynamic therapy for cancer treatments. Full Story
read more

D-galactose affects ageing male and female brains differently

D-galactose affects ageing male and female brains differently A research study demonstrates in mice the biological relevance of sex in the effects of accelerated ageing caused by a chronic treatment of D-galactose, a sugar found abundantly in milk and to a lesser extent in fruits and vegetables. At high doses, this substance accelerates ageing in males, affecting them at sensory and motor level and in their neuro-immuno-endocrine system, while females experience alterations in learning and their ability to register information about their surroundings and orientation. However, at low doses the treatment has positive effects, especially…
read more

Unconventional superconductor may be used to create quantum computers of the future

Unconventional superconductor may be used to create quantum computers of the future With their insensitivity to decoherence what are known as Majorana particles could become stable building blocks of a quantum computer. The problem is that they only occur under very special circumstances. Now researchers have succeeded in manufacturing a component that is able to host the sought-after particles. Full Story
read more

How Unwitting Americans Encountered Russian Operatives Online

How Unwitting Americans Encountered Russian Operatives Online AdvertisementThey were politically active Americans scattered around the country, dedicating their spare time to the 2016 presidential campaign or various causes. And the seeming fellow activists who called them to rallies via Facebook, or joined in the free-for-all on Twitter, appeared unremarkable.Except that their English sometimes seemed a little odd.“We are looking for friendship because we are fighting for the same reasons,” someone purporting to be with an online group calling itself Blacktivist wrote via Twitter to the Rev. Dr. Heber Brown III, a Baltimore pastor, in April…
read more

Studying mitosis’ structure to understand the inside of cancer cells

Studying mitosis' structure to understand the inside of cancer cells 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. Full Story
read more

What makes circadian clocks tick?

What makes circadian clocks tick? 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. Scientists studying the circadian clock of blue-green colored cyanobacteria. The group discovered that how the proteins move hour by hour is central to cyanobacteria's circadian clock function. Full Story
read more

Ras protein’s role in spreading cancer

Ras protein's role in spreading cancer 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. Full Story
read more

Trump Blames Obama and Democrats for Failing to Stop Russian Meddling

Trump Blames Obama and Democrats for Failing to Stop Russian Meddling AdvertisementWEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Trump, in a series of angry and defiant tweets on Sunday morning, sought to shift the blame to Democrats for Russia’s virtual war to meddle in the 2016 election, saying that President Barack Obama had not done enough to stop the interference and denying that he had ever suggested that Moscow might not have been involved.Mr. Trump, who has said little to publicly acknowledge a threat to American democracy that even one of his top aides called “incontrovertible”…
read more

Fact Check: Trump Falsely Claims, ‘I Never Said Russia Did Not Meddle’

Fact Check: Trump Falsely Claims, ‘I Never Said Russia Did Not Meddle’ AdvertisementWASHINGTON — President Trump falsely claimed in an early Sunday morning Twitter post that he had never rejected the notion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.“I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said ‘it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer,’” Mr. Trump wrote. “The Russian ‘hoax’ was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia - it never did!I…
read more

Reconciliation’s process and promise

Reconciliation’s process and promise The stories by Stacy Teicher Khadaroo in Louisiana and Fred Weir in Russia in this week’s issue are about the search for reconciliation. They are about injustice and inhumanity on two different continents and on a scale unthinkable. Full Story
read more

Newborn babies who suffered stroke regain language function in opposite side of brain

Newborn babies who suffered stroke regain language function in opposite side of brain A stroke in a baby -- even a big one -- does not have the same lasting impact as a stroke in an adult. A study 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. Full Story
read more

Ultrathin, highly elastic skin display developed

Ultrathin, highly elastic skin display developed 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. Full Story
read more

To sleep, perchance to forget

To sleep, perchance to forget People and other animals sicken and die if they are deprived of sleep, but why is sleep so essential? Psychiatrists 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. Full Story
read more

Asteroid ‘time capsules’ may help explain how life started on Earth

Asteroid 'time capsules' may help explain how life started on Earth 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 one researcher, 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. Full Story
read more

Shot may help shield against shingles

Shot may help shield against shingles Two vaccines are available to help prevent shingles, which can affect anyone who has had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine; both diseases are caused by the same virus, which stays in the body after chickenpox clears. Full Story
read more

Hoping American values will outshine the confusing Trump era, While the West focuses elsewhere, Africa should take advantage, Britain hopes to hedge its way out of ‘Brexit’, The world should awaken to Romanian corruption, Beware of bitcoin

Hoping American values will outshine the confusing Trump era, While the West focuses elsewhere, Africa should take advantage, Britain hopes to hedge its way out of ‘Brexit’, The world should awaken to Romanian corruption, Beware of bitcoin A roundup of global commentary for the Feb. 19, 2018 weekly magazine. Full Story
read more

13 Russians Indicted as Mueller Reveals Effort to Aid Trump Campaign

13 Russians Indicted as Mueller Reveals Effort to Aid Trump Campaign AdvertisementWASHINGTON — The Justice Department charged 13 Russians and three companies on Friday in a sprawling indictment that unveiled a sophisticated network designed to subvert the 2016 election and to support the Trump campaign. It stretched from an office in St. Petersburg, Russia, into the social feeds of Americans and ultimately reached the streets of election battleground states.The Russians stole the identities of American citizens, posed as political activists and used the flash points of immigration, religion and race to manipulate a campaign in…
read more

News Analysis: Indictment Makes Trump’s Hoax Claim Harder to Sell

News Analysis: Indictment Makes Trump’s Hoax Claim Harder to Sell AdvertisementWASHINGTON — He brushed it off as a hoax. He mused that it might be China, or a guy from New Jersey, or “somebody sitting on their bed who weighs 400 pounds.” He said President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had assured him it wasn’t true. And, he added, “I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it.”President Trump has never stopped belittling the charge that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election. But on Friday, with the indictment of 13 Russians…
read more

As Mueller moves forward, lingering questions about Comey and Clinton

As Mueller moves forward, lingering questions about Comey and Clinton A review of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server is expected to be released soon by the Department of Justice's inspector general. It may help answer growing questions among Republicans about possible bias at the FBI – and shed light on the origins of the Trump-Russia probe. Full Story
read more