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Gray matter density increases during adolescence, study finds

For years, the common narrative in human developmental neuroimaging has been that gray matter in the brain — the tissue found in regions of the brain responsible for muscle control, sensory perception such as seeing and hearing, memory, emotions, speech, decision making, and self-control — declines in adolescence, a finding derived mainly from studies of…

Marmoset monkeys learn to call the same way human infants learn to babble

A baby’s babbles start to sound like speech more quickly if they get frequent vocal feedback from adults. Princeton University researchers have found the same type of feedback speeds the vocal development of infant marmoset monkeys. “We wanted to find out whether the idea that monkeys don’t do any learning during their vocal development is…

World’s thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world’s thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday electronics like smart phones, computers and TVs. Interactive 3D holograms are a staple of science fiction — from Star Wars to Avatar but the challenge for scientists trying to turn them into reality is…

Climate stabilization: Planting trees cannot replace cutting carbon dioxide emissions

Growing plants and then storing the CO2 they have taken up from the atmosphere is no viable option to counteract unmitigated emissions from fossil fuel burning, a new study shows. The plantations would need to be so large, they would eliminate most natural ecosystems or reduce food production if implemented as a late-regret option in…

Sniffing out stem cell fates in the nose

Adult stem cells have the ability to transform into many types of cells, but tracing the path individual stem cells follow as they mature and identifying the molecules that trigger these fateful decisions are difficult in a living animal. University of California, Berkeley, neuroscientists have now combined new techniques for sequencing the RNA in single…

3D-printed ‘bionic skin’ could give robots the sense of touch

Engineering researchers at the University of Minnesota have developed a revolutionary process for 3D printing stretchable electronic sensory devices that could give robots the ability to feel their environment. The discovery is also a major step forward in printing electronics on real human skin. “This stretchable electronic fabric we developed has many practical uses,” said…

Nearly one in three drugs found to have safety concerns after FDA approval

How often are safety concerns raised about a drug after it’s been approved by the FDA? Nicholas Downing, MD, of the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and colleagues have found that for drugs approved between 2001 and 2010, nearly 1 in 3 had a postmarket safety event. The team defines postmarket safety…

Experimental technology monitors and maintains drug levels in the body

As with coffee or alcohol, the way each person processes medication is unique. One person’s perfect dose may be another person’s deadly overdose. With such variability, it can be hard to prescribe exactly the right amount of critical drugs, such as chemotherapy or insulin. Now, a team led by Stanford electrical engineer H. Tom Soh…

Primitive atmosphere discovered around ‘Warm Neptune’

A pioneering new study uncovering the ‘primitive atmosphere’ surrounding a distant world could provide a pivotal breakthrough in the search to how planets form and develop in far-flung galaxies. A team of international researchers, co-lead by Hannah Wakeford from NASA and Professor David Sing from the University of Exeter, has carried out one of the…

Antibiotic-resistant microbes date back to 450 million years ago, well before the age of dinosaurs

Leading hospital “superbugs,” known as the enterococci, arose from an ancestor that dates back 450 million years about the time when animals were first crawling onto land (and well before the age of dinosaurs), according to a new study led by researchers from Massachusetts Eye and Ear, the Harvard-wide Program on Antibiotic Resistance and the…

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