Most pieces of a 12,000-year-old human fossil have been found in the rubble left by a fire that destroyed most of the National Museum of Brazil last month, according to museum officials. The fossil, dubbed Luzia, is one of the museum's prized pieces and among the few artifacts recovered following the Sept. 2 blaze.
Researchers have devised a way to detect young exoplanets within dust rings in faraway stellar systems, according to findings published on arXiv.org. Young exoplanets leave tracks in the dust rings that can be spotted by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, allowing scientists to chart a distant exoplanet's movements even though they can't see the planet itself.
The 120-million-year-old fossil of a bird that lived among the dinosaurs has been found in China, and paleontologists were surprised to find well-preserved fossilized lungs within its chest cavity, according to findings presented at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology's annual meeting. The fossil of Archaeorhynchus spathula also includes preserved feathers.
Differences in DNA have been linked to people choosing same-sex partners, according to a study of more than 490,000 people throughout the US, UK and Sweden. "There is no gay gene, but rather non-heterosexuality is influenced by many tiny-effect genetic factors," said geneticist Andrea Ganna, who presented the results at the American Society of Human Genetics' annual meeting.
Carbon fiber is renowned for its strength and lightness, but some scientists also see its potential for energy storage. Noting the material's high electrochemical capacity when it's engineered with a lower degree of stiffness, researchers at Sweden's Chalmers University of Technology are working to determine whether they can retain that quality while also producing a mechanically robust form of carbon fiber.
Poor data quality and variability in data elements impede the use of EHRs to train deep learning models, according to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. Among the impediments the researchers identified were temporal irregularities and a lack of labels on records indicating the target, and a lack of transparency and interpretability in deep learning models.
Texas Tech University has received a $3.3 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop an immunotherapy treatment for peanut allergies. Research will focus on the use of microneedles, which can mitigate some of the side effects caused by traditional allergy shots.
The NIH awarded an $11 million grant to Clemson University to establish a center for musculoskeletal research. The South Carolina Center for Translational Research Improving Musculoskeletal Health will use virtual human trials via computer modeling to test treatments for such conditions as arthritis and osteoporosis.
Scientists, engineers and students will discuss opportunities, challenges and ethical considerations of using big data in research during symposia at Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society's Annual Meeting and Student Research Conference. The events will take place Oct. 26-28 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport in California. The Student Research Conference on Oct. 27 includes a research poster competition that is open to high school students through graduate students. Register today!
American Scientist's special issue on big data and astrophysics is now available
The September-October issue of American Scientist illuminates the ways that astronomers employ computational techniques to manage the ever-increasing flood of data from state-of-the-art observatories -- and how these techniques can benefit other areas of science. Sigma Xi members should look for their digital or print editions (additional content is exclusively available on the americanscientist.org website). Nonmembers can find the magazine on newsstands or order a copy for $5.95 plus shipping fees by calling 1-800-282-0444 and selecting option 4.