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Electronics Engineer | Editor at The Surg

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November 6, 2017 · 582 Reads

Top stories in science this week

Drugs commonly used to treat acid reflux has been linked to risk of stomach cancer

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are used to suppress acid production in the stomach and are among the most widely sold drugs in the world, but a new study reveals that long-term use of the medicine can increase stomach cancer risks by almost 250 percent.

Reference: Gut

 

Scientists may soon heal spine injuries in humans by studying gecko tails

Scientists studying gecko tails at the cellular level – how they detach when under pressure, and how they grow back again – have found a particular group of stem cells known as radial glial cells are responsible for growing the tail back.

Reference: Journal of Comparative Neurology

Scientists have identified a key chemical in the brain that helps us inhibit unwanted thoughts

Scientists have linked a neurotransmitter known as GABA to unwanted and intrusive thoughts. These findings could have a major impact on our understanding of conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia.

Reference: Nature Communications

Researchers have discovered that bees have preference for flying left or right

Researchers not only demonstrated bees can have preference for flying left or right. Through their testing, the team also found bees could distinguish between a smaller hole and a larger one, choosing the larger (and potentially less hazardous) option to fly though.

Reference: PLOS One

Physicists discovered a new highly powerful fusion between quarks

A pair of physicists discovered a new kind of fusion that occurs between quarks – and they were so concerned with its power they almost didn’t publish the results. It could have been the dawning of a new subatomic age. But as they’ve explored the idea they’ve discovered there are limits to its potential that we can be both disappointed by and thankful for all at once.

Reference: Nature

Researchers revealed a new visual stimulus that could explain why some of us are photophobic

Now a study has revealed a pigment known to play a role in controlling circadian rhythms also sends information to the visual cortex. By using light invisible to other vision receptors, researchers discovered the stimulus could be particularly unpleasant for some sensitive individuals.

Reference: PNAS

Alzheimer’s could actually start elsewhere in the body and not the brain, new study says

Alzheimer’s disease is usually described as a degenerative neurological condition, one that is commonly associated with memory loss and confusion. There’s a growing pile of research indicating that dementia might just be the traumatic culmination of numerous factors outside of the central nervous system, which could provide better targets for early diagnosis and even prevention.

Reference: Molecular Psychiatry 

Scientists have identified a particular protein that could conduct electricity

Proteins, the building blocks in every cell, have usually been thought of as blobs of inert organic matter. Now scientists have caught one particular protein doing something incredible: conducting electricity. If the findings can be replicated and used, we could have ourselves a powerful new diagnostic tool for medical use, capable of identifying single protein molecules with a little blip of electrical current.

Reference: Nano Futures

Researchers identify four genes that can predict how long patients can survive with pancreatic cancer

The analysis centered on the activity of the KRAS, CDKN2A, SMAD4, and TP53 genes. Results showed that patients who had three or four of the altered genes had worse disease-free survival (the time between surgery and when cancer returns), and overall survival (from surgery to death), compared to patients with a single or two altered genes.

Reference: JAMA Oncology

Physicists show how lifeless particles can become ‘life-like’ by switching behaviours

Physicists have shown how a system of lifeless particles can become ‘life-like’ by collectively switching back and forth between crystalline and fluid states — even when the environment remains stable.

Reference: Physical Review Letters

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