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Easter Island society did not collapse prior to European contact, new research shows

Moai statues on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) (stock image). Credit: © daboost / Adobe Stock Easter Island society did not collapse prior to European contact and its people continued to build its iconic moai statues for much longer than previously believed, according to a team of researchers including faculty at Binghamton University, State University of…

Simple, solar-powered water desalination

Sun and ocean (stock image). Credit: © magann / Adobe Stock A completely passive solar-powered desalination system developed by researchers at MIT and in China could provide more than 1.5 gallons of fresh drinking water per hour for every square meter of solar collecting area. Such systems could potentially serve off-grid arid coastal areas to…

One small grain of moon dust, one giant leap for lunar studies

Moon surface (stock image; elements furnished by NASA). Credit: © Infinity Nostalgia / Adobe Stock Back in 1972, NASA sent their last team of astronauts to the Moon in the Apollo 17 mission. These astronauts brought some of the Moon back to Earth so scientists could continue to study lunar soil in their labs. Since…

Molecular ‘switch’ reverses chronic inflammation and aging

Hourglass, aging concept (stock image). Credit: © photosaint / Adobe Stock Chronic inflammation, which results when old age, stress or environmental toxins keep the body's immune system in overdrive, can contribute to a variety of devastating diseases, from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's to diabetes and cancer. Now, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have identified…

Water-conducting membrane allows carbon dioxide to transform into fuel more efficiently

Methanol molecular structure illustration (stock image). Credit: © ollaweila / Adobe Stock Methanol is a versatile and efficient chemical used as fuel in the production of countless products. Carbon dioxide (CO2), on the other hand, is a greenhouse gas that is the unwanted byproduct of many industrial processes. Converting CO2 to methanol is one way…

Cancer-causing culprits will be caught by their DNA fingerprints

Illustration of cancer cells (stock image). Credit: © / Adobe Stock Causes of cancer are being catalogued by a huge international study revealing the genetic fingerprints of DNA-damaging processes that drive cancer development. Researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Duke-NUS Medical School Singapore, University of California San Diego School of Medicine, the Broad Institute…

Normal resting heart rate appears to vary widely from person to person

Monitoring heart rate (stock image). Credit: © VILevi / Adobe Stock A person's normal resting heart rate is fairly consistent over time, but may vary from others' by up to 70 beats per minute, according to analysis of the largest dataset of daily resting heart rate ever collected. Giorgio Quer of the Scripps Research Translational…

Cancer mutations occur decades before diagnosis

Cancer diagnosis concept (stock image). Credit: © vchalup / Adobe Stock Researchers at EMBL's European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and the Francis Crick Institute have analysed the whole genomes of over 2600 tumours from 38 different cancer types to determine the chronology of genomic changes during cancer development. Cancer occurs as part of a lifelong process…

New droplet-based electricity generator: A drop of water generates 140V power, lighting up 100...

Water droplet about to splash (stock image). Credit: © Guy Sagi / Adobe Stock Generating electricity from raindrops efficiently has gone one step further. A research team led by scientists from the City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has recently developed a droplet-based electricity generator (DEG), featured with a field-effect transistor (FET)-like structure that allows…

Why males pack a powerful punch

Man's fist (stock image). Credit: © cineberg / Adobe Stock Elk have antlers. Rams have horns. In the animal kingdom, males develop specialized weapons for competition when winning a fight is critical. Humans do too, according to new research from the University of Utah. Males' upper bodies are built for more powerful punches than females',…

Scientists document collapse of the white-lipped peccary

Peccary (stock image). Credit: © KikkiaJackson / Adobe Stock White-lipped peccaries have declined by as much as 87% to 90% from their historical range in Central America, signaling a population collapse of a key species in the region, according to a study published recently in the journal Biological Conservation. The research was conducted by a…

Genome stability: Intricate process of DNA repair discovered

DNA illustration (stock image). Credit: © Design Cells / Adobe Stock An elaborate system of filaments, liquid droplet dynamics and protein connectors enables the repair of some damaged DNA in the nuclei of cells, researchers at the University of Toronto have found. The findings further challenge the belief that broken DNA floats aimlessly -- and…

Gene variants provide insight into brain, body incongruence in transgender

Genetic sequencing illustration (stock image). Credit: © ktsdesign / Adobe Stock Some of the first biological evidence of the incongruence transgender individuals experience, because their brain indicates they are one sex and their body another, may have been found in estrogen receptor pathways in the brain of 30 transgender individuals. "Twenty-one variants in 19 genes…

Astronomers discover unusual monster galaxy in the very early universe

W. M. Keck Observatory (stock image). Credit: © Daniel Gillies / Adobe Stock An international team of astronomers led by scientists at the University of California, Riverside, has found an unusual monster galaxy that existed about 12 billion years ago, when the universe was only 1.8 billion years old. Dubbed XMM-2599, the galaxy formed stars…

Controlling light with light

Abstract beams of light (stock image). Credit: © Sozh / Adobe Stock The future of computation is bright -- literally. Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), in collaboration with researchers at McMaster University and University of Pittsburgh, have developed a new platform for all-optical computing, meaning computations…

Altruistic babies? Infants are willing to give up food, help others

Children sharing an apple (stock image). Credit: © anoushkatoronto / Adobe Stock Altruistic helping -- the act of giving away something desirable, even at a cost to oneself -- is perhaps no more evident than when it comes to food. Human adults often respond to hungry people, whether through food banks or fundraisers, or by…

Scientists unravel mystery of photosynthesis

Sunlight and leaves (stock image). Credit: © Elena Volkova / Adobe Stock Plants have been harnessing the sun's energy for hundreds of millions of years. Algae and photosynthetic bacteria have been doing the same for even longer, all with remarkable efficiency and resiliency. It's no wonder, then, that scientists have long sought to understand exactly…

DNA extracted in museum samples can reveal genetic secrets

DNA illustration (stock image). Credit: © adimas / Adobe Stock DNA in preserved museum specimens can allow scientists to explore the history of species and humanities impact on the ecosystem, but samples are typically preserved in formaldehyde which can damage DNA and make very difficult to recover. Researchers have used a vortex fluidic device (VFD)…

Pluto’s icy heart makes winds blow

Pluto (stock image). Credit: © mikolajn / Adobe Stock A "beating heart" of frozen nitrogen controls Pluto's winds and may give rise to features on its surface, according to a new study. Pluto's famous heart-shaped structure, named Tombaugh Regio, quickly became famous after NASA's New Horizons mission captured footage of the dwarf planet in 2015…

Sand dunes can ‘communicate’ with each other

Sand dunes (stock image). Credit: © aiisha / Adobe Stock Even though they are inanimate objects, sand dunes can 'communicate' with each other. A team from the University of Cambridge has found that as they move, sand dunes interact with and repel their downstream neighbours. Using an experimental dune 'racetrack', the researchers observed that two…

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