10 Stories to Start Your Day

Welcome to the “ScienceBlog.com” update, featuring 10 Stories to Start Your Day.

Views expressed in this science and technology news summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.

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Accessed on 13 February 2020, 2210 UTC.

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ScienceBlog.com: 10 Stories to Start Your Day

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Baby hear, baby sing

Posted: 13 Feb 2020 07:43 AM PST

Researchers — and parents — have long known that babies learn to speak by mimicking the words they hear. But a new study shows that babies also might try to imitate the singing they hear in songs. As part of the study, scientists captured audio of a 15-month-old boy making sounds similar to the beginning […]
Making the internet more energy efficient through systemic optimization

Posted: 13 Feb 2020 07:41 AM PST

Researchers at Chalmers ​recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded multiple scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications. ​Streaming films and […]
Acid reflux drug is a surprising candidate to curb preterm birth

Posted: 13 Feb 2020 07:40 AM PST

Lansoprazole, an over-the-counter acid reflux drug that is often taken by pregnant women may be a promising therapy to reduce preterm birth, according to a computational drug repurposing study that also tested several of the drugs in mice. The study also identified 12 other FDA-approved drugs that are deemed safe in pregnancy. While the drugs […]
Hormone injection can boost brain activity associated with attraction

Posted: 13 Feb 2020 07:37 AM PST

The researchers behind the early-stage work, published in JCI Insight, are exploring whether kisspeptin can ultimately be used to treat men with common psychosexual disorders – sexual problems which are psychological in origin such as low libido. The team are now hoping to perform trials in patients with low sexual desire. The team have previously shown […]
Harnessing the sun to bring fresh water to remote or disaster-struck communities

Posted: 13 Feb 2020 07:35 AM PST

Researchers at the University of Bath have developed a revolutionary desalination process that has the potential to be operated in mobile, solar-powered units. The process is low cost, low energy and low maintenance, and has the potential to provide safe water to communities in remote and disaster-struck areas where fresh water is in short supply. […]
Fewer liquor stores may lead to less homicide

Posted: 13 Feb 2020 07:33 AM PST

Reducing the number of businesses in Baltimore that sell alcohol in urban residential areas may lower the homicide rate, according to new research. As cities contemplate new zoning regulations regarding alcohol, the implications of those policies can have life-or-death outcomes. “There is an ongoing violence epidemic in Baltimore, with recent years breaking records for number […]
Fossilized insect from 100 million years ago is oldest record of primitive bee with pollen

Posted: 13 Feb 2020 07:32 AM PST

Beetle parasites clinging to a primitive bee 100 million years ago may have caused the flight error that, while deadly for the insect, is a boon for science today. The female bee, which became stuck in tree resin and thus preserved in amber, has been identified by Oregon State University researcher George Poinar Jr. as […]
Study Links Human Gene Variant to THC Reward in Adolescent Females

Posted: 13 Feb 2020 07:31 AM PST

A common variation in a human gene that affects the brain’s reward processing circuit increases vulnerability to the rewarding effects of the main psychoactive ingredient of cannabis in adolescent females, but not males, according to preclinical research by Weill Cornell Medicine investigators. As adolescence represents a highly sensitive period of brain development with the highest […]
Timing of brain cell death uncovers a new target for Alzheimer’s treatment

Posted: 13 Feb 2020 07:30 AM PST

Alzheimer’s remains the leading cause of dementia in Western societies, with some estimates suggesting that as many as 24 million people worldwide are living with the disease. Alzheimer’s is characterized by a progressive decline in cognitive ability that eventually affects even basic functions such as walking and swallowing. The exact cause of Alzheimer’s is unknown, […]
Understanding different brown bear personalities may help reduce clashes with people

Posted: 13 Feb 2020 06:01 AM PST

The brown bear is one of Europe’s five large carnivores and can sometimes cross paths with people, with potentially fatal consequences. But bears have different personalities and behaviours, say researchers, and understanding this is the key to reducing conflict and protecting both them and humans. Brown bears once thrived in woodlands throughout Europe, but human […]

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Until next time,

Russ Roberts

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