Price peaks of wheat on the world market are mainly caused by production shocks such as induced for example by droughts, researchers found. These shocks get exacerbated by low storage levels as well as protective trade policies, the analysis of global data deriving from the US Department of Agriculture shows. In contrast to widespread assumptions, neither speculation across stock or commodity markets nor land-use for biofuel production were decisive for annual wheat price changes in the past four decades.
Special 'nugget-producing' bacteria may hold the key to more efficient processing of gold ore, mine tailings and recycled electronics, as well as aid in exploration for new deposits, research has shown.
Researchers have found that a material which incorporates atomically thin layers of water is able to store and deliver energy much more quickly than the same material that doesn't include the water layers. The finding raises some interesting questions about the behavior of liquids when confined at this scale and holds promise for shaping future energy-storage technologies.
While increased carbon dioxide levels theoretically boost the productivity of nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the world's oceans, because of its 'fertilizing' effect, a new study reveals how increasingly acidic seawater featuring higher levels of this gas can overwhelm these benefits, hampering the essential service these bacteria provide for marine life.
Reading supportive comments, 'likes' and private messages from social media friends prior to taking a test may help college students who have high levels of test-anxiety significantly reduce their nervousness and improve their scores, a new study suggests.
Individuals with a slender lower face are about 25 percent more likely to be left-handed. This unexpected finding was identified in 13,536 individuals who participated in three national surveys conducted in the United States. This association may shed new light on the origins of left-handedness, as slender jaws have also been associated with susceptibility to tuberculosis, a disease that has shaped human evolution and which today affects 2 billion people.
Food insecurity (FI) affects nearly 795 million people worldwide. Although a complex phenomenon encompassing food availability, affordability, utilization, and even the social norms that define acceptable ways to acquire food, FI can affect people's health beyond its impact on nutrition. A new study determined that FI was associated with poorer mental health and specific psychosocial stressors across global regions (149 countries), independent of individuals' socioeconomic status.
A method to rapidly trigger the universal tagging of proteins being produced by a cell has now been discovered by researchers. The tagging can be turned on like a switch, which enables researchers to acquire a snapshot of proteins being produced by a cell at a given time.
Overweight and obese individuals with early stage type 2 diabetes (T2D) had more severe and progressive abnormalities in brain structure and cognition compared to normal-weight study participants, research indicates.
Researchers have developed a risk calculator that estimates the risk of kidney failure after donation. Overall risk was low, but black race and male sex were associated with increased risks of developing kidney failure in living kidney donors. Older age was associated with greater kidney failure risk in nonblack donors, but not in in black donors. Higher BMI and a close biological relationship to the recipient were also associated with increased risks of kidney failure.
Men over 50 have a higher risk than the general population of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, so they need to keep a sharp eye out for signs of the disease. Many women in this age group, however, would attest that they’re more likely than their male partners to notice suspicious spots on the skin — which means women could help save their male partners’ lives by helping them spot skin cancer.
A newly discovered molecule increases appetite during fasting, and decreases it during gorging. The neuron-exciting protein, named NPGL – apparently aims to maintain body mass at a constant, come feast or famine. An evolutionary masterstroke, but not great news for those looking to trim down, or beef up for the summer.
Using a planet-hunting technique called gravitational microlensing, astronomers have detected an Earth-mass planet orbiting an ultracool dwarf 12,750 light-years away. By combining data from space- and ground-based telescopes, the astronomers determined that the newfound world is about 1.4 times the Earth’s mass. Called OGLE-2016-BLG-1195Lb, the planet orbits an ultracool dwarf at only 1.16 times the [...]
Bacterial symbionts transition between plant pathogenicity and insect defensive mutualism, a new report demonstrates. The bacterium Burkholderia gladioli lives in specific organs of a plant-feeding beetle and defends the insect's eggs from detrimental fungi by producing antibiotics. However, when transferred to a plant, the bacterium can spread throughout the tissues and negatively affect the plant.
A gene previously identified as critical for tumor growth in many human cancers also maintains intestinal stem cells and encourages the growth of cells that support them, according to results of a study. The finding adds to evidence for the intimate link between stem cells and cancer, and advances prospects for regenerative medicine and cancer treatments.
A gene has been identified that allows neurons that release serotonin to evenly spread their branches throughout the brain. Without this gene, these branches become entangled, leading to haphazard serotonin distribution, and signs of depression in mice. These observations shed light on how neuronal wiring is critical to overall brain health, while also revealing a promising new research focus for psychiatric disorders associated with serotonin imbalance -- such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and autism.