Category: Science

Three-quarters of COPD cases are linked to childhood risk factors that are exacerbated in adulthood

Three-quarters of COPD cases are linked to childhood risk factors that are exacerbated in adulthood

Three-quarters of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) cases have their origins in poor lung function pathways beginning in childhood. These pathways are associated with exposures in childhood, and amplified by factors in adulthood, according to a cohort study. While smoking remains the biggest risk factor for COPD, the study demonstrates that childhood illnesses (such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, allergic rhinitis, eczema) and exposures to parental smoking are also linked to the disease. …read more

Older adults grow just as many new brain cells as young people

Older adults grow just as many new brain cells as young people

Researchers show for the first time that healthy older men and women can generate just as many new brain cells as younger people. …read more

X-linked genes help explain why boys of all ages face higher respiratory risk

X-linked genes help explain why boys of all ages face higher respiratory risk

Human airways already demonstrate gender-based differences in DNA methylation signatures at birth, providing an early hint of infants who may be predisposed to develop respiratory disorders later in life. …read more

Light ‘relaxes’ crystal to boost solar cell efficiency

Light ‘relaxes’ crystal to boost solar cell efficiency

Scientists have discovered a novel phenomenon: Light-induced lattice expansion in perovskite materials that cures bulk and interface defects, which leads to an enhancement of the optoelectronic properties. …read more

Coral bleaching threatens the diversity of reef fish

Coral bleaching threatens the diversity of reef fish

New research reveals that global warming also affects fish who depend on corals. The Great Barrier Reef is revered for its kaleidoscope of color. New international research reveals that coral bleaching events not only whitewash corals, but can also reduce the variety of fish occupying these highly valued ecosystems. …read more

Attention deficit disorders could stem from impaired brain coordination

Attention deficit disorders could stem from impaired brain coordination

Researchers have discovered how two brain regions work together to maintain attention, and how discordance between the regions could lead to attention deficit disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression. …read more

A next-generation non-hormonal contraceptive for women is being developed in Sweden

A next-generation non-hormonal contraceptive for women is being developed in Sweden

A hormone-free women’s contraceptive with no side effects is one promising use for a new technique developed by researchers kto tighten up the mucous membrane – the body’s first line of defense in protecting its inner lining. …read more

Rapid emissions reductions would keep CO2 removal and costs in check

Rapid emissions reductions would keep CO2 removal and costs in check

Rapid greenhouse-gas emissions reductions are needed if governments want to keep in check both the costs of the transition towards climate stabilization and the amount of removing already emitted CO2 from the atmosphere. To this end, emissions in 2030 would need to be at least 20 percent below what countries have pledged under the Paris climate agreement, a new study finds. …read more

A moveable feast: Antibiotics give C. diff a nutrient-rich environment, no competition

A moveable feast: Antibiotics give C. diff a nutrient-rich environment, no competition

Using a mouse model, researchers have found that antibiotic use creates a “banquet” for Clostridium difficile, by altering the native gut bacteria that would normally compete with C. diff for nutrients. The findings could lead to the development of probiotics and other strategies for preventing C. diff infection. …read more

Flexible ultrasound patch could make it easier to inspect damage in odd-shaped structures

Flexible ultrasound patch could make it easier to inspect damage in odd-shaped structures

Researchers have developed a stretchable, flexible patch that could make it easier to perform ultrasound imaging on odd-shaped structures, such as engine parts, turbines, reactor pipe elbows and railroad tracks — objects that are difficult to examine using conventional ultrasound equipment. The ultrasound patch is a versatile and more convenient tool to inspect machine and building parts for defects and damage deep below the surface. …read more