Report: Most clinical studies on vitamins flawed by poor methodology

Most large, clinical trials of vitamin supplements, including some that have concluded they are of no value or even harmful, have a flawed methodology that renders them largely useless in determining the real value of these micronutrients, a new analysis suggests.

'Approximate computing' improves efficiency, saves energy

Researchers are developing computers capable of "approximate computing" to perform calculations good enough for certain tasks that don't require perfect accuracy, potentially doubling efficiency and reducing energy consumption.

"Social" bacteria that work together to hunt for food and survive under harsh conditions

When considering the behavior of bacteria, the word "social" doesn't often come to mind. Yet some bacteria are quite social, chief among them Myxococcus xanthus, a soil-dwelling bacterium that organizes itself into multi-cellular, three-dimensional structures made up of thousands of cells that work together to hunt for food and survive under harsh conditions.

What sharks, honeybees and humans have in common

A mathematical pattern of movement called a Lévy walk describes the foraging behavior of animals from sharks to honey bees, and now for the first time has been shown to describe human hunter-gatherer movement as well. The study, led by University of Arizona anthropologist David Raichlen, was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Claim: Extensive use of antibiotics in agriculture creating public health crisis

Citing an overabundance in the use of antibiotics by the agriculture and aquaculture industries that poses a threat to public health, economics professor Aidan Hollis has proposed a solution in the form of user fees on the non-human use of antibiotics.

Batteries as they are meant to be seen

Researchers have developed a way to microscopically view battery electrodes while they are bathed in wet electrolytes, mimicking realistic conditions inside actual batteries. While life sciences researchers regularly use transmission electron microscopy to study wet environments, this time scientists have applied it successfully to rechargeable battery research.

Researchers point to digital gains in human recognition

Human beings are highly efficient at recognising familiar faces, even from very poor quality images. New research led by a psychologist at the University of York is using advances in the level of detail available in digital photography to harness this human ability for use in forensics.

New approach to vertex connectivity could maximize networks' bandwidth

Computer scientists are constantly searching for ways to squeeze ever more bandwidth from communications networks.

Researchers create largest evolutionary 'timetree' of land plants to investigate traits that permit survival in cold climates

A team of researchers studying plants has assembled the largest dated evolutionary tree, using it to show the order in which flowering plants evolved specific strategies, such as the seasonal shedding of leaves, to move into areas with cold winters.

Claim: Solar activity not a key cause of climate change

Climate change has not been strongly influenced by variations in heat from the sun, a new scientific study shows. The findings overturn a widely held scientific view that lengthy periods of warm and cold weather in the past might have been caused by periodic fluctuations in solar activity.

Report: Some plants may not adapt quickly to future climate change

Using the largest dated evolutionary tree of flowering plants ever assembled, a new study suggests how plants developed traits to withstand low temperatures, with implications that human-induced climate change may pose a bigger threat than initially thought to plants and global agriculture.

'Be different or die' does not drive evolution

A new study has found that species living together are not forced to evolve differently to avoid competing with each other, challenging a theory that has held since Darwin's Origin of Species.

Penn researchers grow liquid crystal 'flowers' that can be used as lenses

A team of material scientists, chemical engineers and physicists from the University of Pennsylvania has made another advance in their effort to use liquid crystals as a medium for assembling structures.

Claim: Texting may be good for your health

New University of Michigan research says that a simple tool right in your back pocket may help decrease your risk for type 2 diabetes: Text messages on your phone.

New data compression method reduces big-data bottleneck; outperforms, enhances JPEG

In creating an entirely new way to compress data, a team of researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has drawn inspiration from physics and the arts.

Researchers find a cause of aging that can be reversed

Medical researchers have found a cause of aging in animals that can be reversed, possibly paving the way for new treatments for age-related diseases including cancer, type 2 diabetes, muscle wasting and inflammatory diseases. The researchers hope to start human trials late next year.

Report: Chewing gum is often the culprit for migraine headaches in teens

Teenagers are notorious for chewing a lot of gum. The lip smacking, bubble popping, discarded gum stuck to the sole give teachers and parents a headache.

Algae to crude oil: Million-year natural process takes minutes in the lab

Engineers have created a continuous chemical process that produces useful crude oil minutes after they pour in harvested algae — a verdant green paste with the consistency of pea soup.

Tropical forests mitigate extreme weather events

Tropical forests reduce peak runoff during storms and release stored water during droughts, according to researchers working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Their results lend credence to a controversial phenomenon known as the sponge effect, which is at the center of a debate about how to minimize flood damage and maximize water availability in the tropics.

Getting at the roots of the Lithium Battery problem

The lithium-ion batteries that power our laptops, smartphones and electric vehicles could have significantly higher energy density if their graphite anodes were to be replaced by lithium metal anodes. Hampering this change, however, has been the so-called dendrite problem.