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The Lead

Humans Adapted to Arsenic

March 4, 2015 | by Molecular Biology and Evolution | News | Comments

For thousands of years, in some regions of the Andes, people have been exposed to high levels of arsenic, a naturally occurring phenomenon that happens when arsenic in the volcanic bedrock is released into the groundwater. Studying these people, researchers have identified the first evidence of a population uniquely adapted to tolerate the toxic chemical arsenic.

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Software Contradicts Caesar’s ‘City of Marble’ Claim

March 4, 2015 3:00 pm | by UCLA | News | Comments

Caesar Augustus, the founder of the Roman Empire once famously boasted, “I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble.” Was he telling the truth or making an empty claim? A researcher decided to uncover the truth behind Augustus’ famous declaration by using advanced modeling software to reconstruct the city of seven hills in its entirety and observing how it changed during the period when he was in power.

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UN: World Eats Too Much Sugar

March 4, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Maria Cheng | News | Comments

Put down the doughnut. And while you're at it, skip the breakfast cereal, fruit juice, beer and ketchup. New guidelines, focused on the added sugars in processed food and those in honey, syrups and fruit juices, say the world is eating too much sugar and people should slash their sugar intake to just 5 to 10 percent of their overall calories. The advice does not apply to naturally occurring sugars in fruits, vegetables and milk.

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Researchers Find More Effective Carbon Capture Method

March 4, 2015 3:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

Trapping carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants and various industries could play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the future. But current materials that can collect CO2— from smokestacks, for example— have low capacities or require very high temperatures to work.

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Scientists Analyze World’s Oldest Beer

March 4, 2015 3:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

Some breweries have taken to resurrecting the flavors of ages past. Adventurous beer makers are extrapolating recipes from clues that archeologists have uncovered from old and even ancient brews found at historical sites. Now, scientists have analyzed some of the oldest preserved beer samples from an 1840s' shipwreck to try to provide insight into how they were made.

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Fly's Brain Sheds Light on Temperature Sensation

March 4, 2015 3:00 pm | by Northwestern Univ. | News | Comments

Innately, we pull our hand away when we touch a hot pan on the stove, but little is known about how our brain processes temperature information. Now, scientists have discovered how a fruit fly's brain represents temperature, mapping it neuron by neuron, which has implications for understanding the much more complex human brain and how it responds to sensory stimuli.

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Proven: Drought-ridden Forests Inhale Less Carbon

March 4, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Oxford | News | Comments

For the first time, an international research team has provided direct evidence of the rate at which individual trees in the Amazonian basin “inhale” carbon from the atmosphere during a severe drought. They measured the growth and photosynthesis rates of trees at 13 rainforest plots across Brazil, Peru and Bolivia, comparing plots that were affected by the strong drought of 2010 with unaffected plots.

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Researchers Date Earliest Human Fossil to 2.8 Million Years Ago

March 4, 2015 3:00 pm | by Penn State Univ. | News | Comments

The earliest known record of the genus Homo— the human genus— represented by a lower jaw with teeth, recently found in the Afar region of Ethiopia, dates to between 2.8 and 2.75 million years ago, according to a team of geoscientists and anthropologists. They also dated other fossils to between 2.84 and 2.58 million years ago, which helped reconstruct the environment in which the individual lived.

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App Can Control Thermo Incubator from Anywhere

March 4, 2015 12:40 pm | Videos | Comments

The Thermo Scientific Cymon remote monitoring application essentially replicates the next-generation display of the Cytomat 10 Automated Incubator on a Samsung 10.1” touchscreen tablet, which can be operated remotely. 

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Rat Study Sheds Light on Sensation, Memory

March 4, 2015 7:00 am | by National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke | News | Comments

Scientists have mapped changes in communication between nerve cells as rats learned to make specific decisions in response to particular sounds. The researchers then used this map to accurately predict the rats’ reactions. These results add to our understanding of how the brain processes sensations and forms memories to inform behavior.

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New Material Produces Clean Energy

March 4, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Houston | News | Comments

Researchers have created a new thermoelectric material, intended to generate electric power from waste heat– from a vehicle tailpipe, for example, or an industrial smokestack– with greater efficiency and higher output power than currently available materials.

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Expert: Cash Could Be Phased Out in a Decade

March 4, 2015 7:00 am | by Australian National Univ. | News | Comments

The rise of electronic currency will lead to the phasing out of physical cash in Australia within a decade, according to an expert. He believes cash may be a thing of the past.

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Are e-Cigs Safer?

March 4, 2015 7:00 am | by ACS | Videos | Comments

Electronic cigarettes have exploded in popularity in recent months. But is that vapor you're inhaling any safer than taking a drag on a cigarette?

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Clock-like Trend Seen in Species Emergence, Diversity

March 4, 2015 7:00 am | by Molecular Biology and Evolution | News | Comments

Researchers have assembled the largest and most accurate tree of life calibrated to time and, surprisingly, it reveals that life has been expanding at a constant rate. This indicates that the ecological niches of life are not being filled up and saturated.  

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Scientists See How Brain Areas Communicate

March 4, 2015 7:00 am | by Carnegie Mellon Univ. | News | Comments

Neuroscientists have identified a new pathway by which several brain areas communicate within the brain's striatum. Communication between these regions is important for abilities like how a baseball player is able to estimate where to swing his bat or how a person finds a car in a large parking lot filled with similar cars.

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Challenging the Rate of Digital Health Care

March 4, 2015 7:00 am | by Ryan Bushey, Associate Editor, Bioscience Technology | Articles | Comments

Digital health investments are booming, according to Rock Health, a venture capital (VC) firm that monitors investments in this sector. Shortcomings in the fast-evolving digital health care arena are becoming obvious, so Harvard Univ. is challenging those notions with technology.

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