Today's Science News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

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from universities, journals, and other organizations

Oldest Pterodactyloid Species Discovered: Primitive Flying Reptile Took Wing 163 Million Years Ago

Apr. 24, 2014 — Scientists have discovered and named the earliest and most primitive pterodactyloid -- a group of flying reptiles that would go on to become the largest known flying creatures to have ever existed -- ... full story

Astronomical Forensics Uncover Planetary Disks in NASA's Hubble Archive

Apr. 24, 2014 — Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have applied a new image processing technique to obtain near-infrared scattered light photos of five disks observed around young stars in the ... full story

Male or Female? First Sex-Determining Genes Appeared in Mammals Some 180 Million Years Ago

Apr. 23, 2014 — The Y chromosome, which distinguishes males from females at the genetic level, appeared some 180 million years ago. It originated twice independently in all mammals. Scientists have managed to date ... full story

Brain Circuits Involved in Emotion Discovered by Neuroscientists

Apr. 22, 2014 — A brain pathway that underlies the emotional behaviors critical for survival have been discovered by neuroscientists. The team has identified a chain of neural connections which links central ... full story

Hearing Quality Restored With Bionic Ear Technology Used for Gene Therapy: Re-Growing Auditory Nerves

Apr. 23, 2014 — Researchers have for the first time used electrical pulses delivered from a cochlear implant to deliver gene therapy, thereby successfully regrowing auditory nerves. The research also heralds a ... full story

Skin Layer Grown from Human Stem Cells Could Replace Animals in Drug, Cosmetics Testing

Apr. 24, 2014 — The first lab-grown epidermis -- the outermost skin layer -- with a functional permeability barrier akin to real skin has been developed by scientists. The new epidermis, grown from human pluripotent ... full story

Genome Yields Insights Into Golden Eagle Vision, Smell

Apr. 24, 2014 — Scientists have sequenced the genome of the golden eagle, providing a bird's-eye view of eagle features that could lead to more effective conservation ... full story

Carbon Loss from Soil Accelerating Climate Change

Apr. 24, 2014 — New research has found that increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere cause soil microbes to produce more carbon dioxide, accelerating climate change. This research challenges our previous ... full story

Blood Cells Reprogrammed Into Blood Stem Cells in Mice

Apr. 24, 2014 — Researchers have reprogrammed mature blood cells from mice into blood-forming hematopoietic stem cells, using a cocktail of eight genetic switches called transcription factors. The reprogrammed cells ... full story

New Genetic Brain Disorder in Humans Discovered

Apr. 24, 2014 — A newly identified genetic disorder associated with degeneration of the central and peripheral nervous systems in humans, along with the genetic cause, has been reported by researchers. By performing ... full story

Scientists Build New 'Off Switch' to Shut Down Neural Activity

Apr. 24, 2014 — Nearly a decade ago, the era of optogenetics was ushered in with the development of channelrhodopsins, light-activated ion channels that can, with the flick of a switch, instantaneously turn on ... full story

New Shape Discovered Using Rubber Bands

Apr. 23, 2014 — While setting out to fabricate new springs to support a cephalopod-inspired imaging project, a group of researchers stumbled upon a surprising discovery: the hemihelix, a shape rarely seen in nature. ... full story

Your T-Shirt's Ringing: Printable Tiny Flexible Cell Phones for Clothes?

Apr. 24, 2014 — A new version of 'spaser' technology being investigated could mean that mobile phones become so small, efficient, and flexible they could be printed on clothing. A spaser is effectively a ... full story

Microbes Provide Insights Into Evolution of Human Language

Apr. 23, 2014 — Research into Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a type of bacteria common in water and soil, shows that they can communicate in a way that was previously thought to be unique to humans and perhaps some other ... full story

Drought May Take Toll on Congo Rainforest, NASA Satellites Show

Apr. 23, 2014 — A new analysis of NASA satellite data shows Africa's Congo rainforest, the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world, has undergone a large-scale decline in greenness over the past decade. ... full story

Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) — Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
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Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye'

Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye'

AP (Apr. 23, 2014) — A legally blind Michigan man is 'seeing something new every day' thanks to a high-tech retinal implant procedure. He's one of the first in the country to receive a 'bionic eye' since the federal government approved the surgery. (April 23) Video provided by AP
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Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2014) — A Harvard University study suggests monkeys can use symbols to perform basic math calculations. Video provided by Newsy
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Nuclear-Level Asteroids Might Be More Common Than We Realize

Nuclear-Level Asteroids Might Be More Common Than We Realize

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2014) — The B612 Foundation says asteroids strike Earth much more often than previously thought, and are hoping to build an early warning system. Video provided by Newsy
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last updated on 2014-04-24 at 5:18 pm EDT

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Breakthrough Harnesses Light for Controlled Chemical Reaction

Apr. 24, 2014 — One catalyst supplies electrons, other one controls position of raw material. Reactions are powered by visible light, not UV. Technique could allow creation of novel molecules for ... full story

Tsetse Fly Genome Reveals Weaknesses: International 10-Year Project Unravels Biology of Disease-Causing Fly

Apr. 24, 2014 — Mining the genome of the disease-transmitting tsetse fly, researchers have revealed the genetic adaptions that allow it to have such unique biology and transmit disease to both humans and animals. ... full story

You May Have Billions and Billions of Good Reasons for Being Unfit

Apr. 24, 2014 — Although our chromosomes are relatively stable within our lifetimes, the genetic material found in our mitochondria is highly variable across individuals and may impact upon human health, say ... full story

Why Does Breast Cancer Often Spread to the Lung? Experts Explain

Apr. 24, 2014 — New research shows why breast cancer often spreads or metastasizes to the lung. The breast cancer stem cell (CSC) has been shown to be responsible for metastasis in animal models, particularly to the ... full story

Large-Scale Identification, Analysis of Suppressive Drug Interactions

Apr. 24, 2014 — Cell analysis finds drug interactions to be startlingly common: baker's yeast is giving scientists a better understanding of drug interactions, which are a major cause of illness and hospitalization ... full story

New Type of Protein Action Found to Regulate Development

Apr. 24, 2014 — Researchers report they have figured out how the aptly named protein Botch blocks the signaling protein called Notch, which helps regulate development. In a report on the discovery, the scientists ... full story

Oxygen Diminishes Heart's Ability to Regenerate, Researchers Discover

Apr. 24, 2014 — Scientific research previously discovered that the newborn animal heart can heal itself completely, whereas the adult heart lacks this ability. New research by the same team today has revealed why ... full story

New Point of Attack on HIV for Vaccine Development

Apr. 24, 2014 — A new vulnerable site on the HIV virus has been found, which may lead researchers closer to developing a vaccine for the illness. "HIV has very few known sites of vulnerability, but in this work ... full story

Paying Closer Attention to Attention

Apr. 24, 2014 — There may be an overreporting of attention problems in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), simply because parents and teachers are using a misplaced basis for comparison. They are ... full story

Bake Your Own Droplet Lens: Cheap, High-Quality Lenses Made from Droplets of Transparent Silicone

Apr. 24, 2014 — Researchers have created a new type of lens that costs less than a penny to make, and can be used in a 3-D printed attachment that turns a Smartphone into a dermascope, a tool to diagnose skin ... full story

Fruitfly Study Identifies Brain Circuit That Drives Daily Cycles of Rest, Activity

Apr. 24, 2014 — Researchers describe a circuit in the brain of fruit flies that controls their daily, rhythmic behavior of rest and activity. They also found that the fly version of the human brain protein known as ... full story

Take Notes by Hand for Better Long-Term Comprehension

Apr. 24, 2014 — Dust off those Bic ballpoints and college-ruled notebooks: research shows that taking notes by hand is better than taking notes on a laptop for remembering conceptual information over the long term. ... full story

New Ultrasound Device May Add in Detecting Risk for Heart Attack, Stroke

Apr. 24, 2014 — A new ultrasound device that could help identify arterial plaque that is at high risk of breaking off and causing heart attack or stroke has been developed by researchers. The prototype device has ... full story

Motor Skill Deficiencies Linked to Autism Severity, Reseearch Says

Apr. 24, 2014 — A relationship between motor skill deficiencies and the severity of the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder has been found in very young children. The findings indicate that development of motor ... full story

Luck Affects How We Judge Reckless Actions

Apr. 23, 2014 — A person, who acts immorally or recklessly but is “lucky” by escaping dire consequences, is judged less harshly than an “unlucky” person, even when both have committed the same act. "Moral ... full story

Innovation Improves Drowsy Driver Detection

Apr. 23, 2014 — A new way to detect when drivers are about to nod off behind the wheel has been developed. "Video-based systems that use cameras to detect when a car is drifting out of its lane are cumbersome and ... full story

Finding Safe Drugs to Treat Neurodegenerative Diseases

Apr. 23, 2014 — 'Mutant' protein clusters, long blamed for the progression of Huntington's and other neurodegenerative diseases, have been the primary focus of therapies in development by pharmaceutical companies. ... full story

Novel Compound Halts Cocaine Addiction, Relapse Behaviors

Apr. 23, 2014 — A novel compound that targets an important brain receptor has a dramatic effect against a host of cocaine addiction behaviors, including relapse behavior, an animal study has found. The research ... full story

Some Astronauts at Risk for Cognitive Impairment, Animal Studies Suggest

Apr. 23, 2014 — Rats exposed to high-energy particles, simulating conditions astronauts would face on a long-term deep space mission, show lapses in attention and slower reaction times, even when the radiation ... full story

Airport Security-Style Technology Could Help Doctors Decide on Stroke Treatment

Apr. 23, 2014 — A new computer program could help doctors predict which patients might suffer potentially fatal side-effects from a key stroke treatment. The program assesses brain scans using pattern recognition ... full story

Genetics Explain Why Some Kids Are Bigger Than Others

Apr. 23, 2014 — The influence of genetic factors on differences between children's Body Mass Index increases from 43 percent at age four to 82 percent at age 10, reports a new study. The researchers studied 2,556 ... full story

Vitamin D Supplements Have Little Effect on Risk of Falls in Older People

Apr. 23, 2014 — A new meta-analysis concludes that there is no evidence to suggest that vitamin D supplements prevent falls, and that ongoing trials to test this theory are unlikely to change this result. Falls can ... full story

Rural Microbes Could Boost City Dwellers' Health, Study Finds

Apr. 23, 2014 — The greater prevalence of asthma, allergies and other chronic inflammatory disorders among people of lower socioeconomic status might be due in part to their reduced exposure to the microbes that ... full story

Pollutants from Coal-Burning Stoves Strongly Associated With Miscarriages in Mongolia

Apr. 23, 2014 — Burning coal for domestic heating may contribute to early fetal death according to a new study that took place in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia -- the coldest capital city in the world. Researchers report ... full story

Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Contribute to U.S. Obesity Epidemic, Particularly Among Children

Apr. 23, 2014 — In response to the ongoing policy discussions on the role of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) on weight and health, The Obesity Society (TOS) concludes that SSBs contribute to the United States’ ... full story

In Lab Tests, the Antimicrobial Ingredient Triclosan Spurs Growth of Breast Cancer Cells

Apr. 23, 2014 — Some manufacturers are turning away from using triclosan as an antimicrobial ingredient in soaps, toothpastes and other products over health concerns. And now scientists are reporting new evidence ... full story

Legalizing Medical Marijuana Doesn't Increase Use Among Adolescents, Study Says

Apr. 23, 2014 — Parents and physicians concerned about an increase in adolescents' marijuana use following the legalization of medical marijuana can breathe a sigh of relief. According to a new study that compared ... full story

Physical Activity Keeps Hippocampus Healthy in People at Risk for Alzheimer's Disease

Apr. 23, 2014 — Moderate physical activity may preserve the hippocampus -- the brain region responsible for memory and spatial orientation that is attacked first in Alzheimer's disease, a study of older adults at ... full story

High-Calorie, Low-Nutrient Foods in Kids' TV Programs

Apr. 23, 2014 — Fruits and vegetables are often displayed in the popular Swedish children’s TV show Bolibompa, but there are also plenty of high-sugar foods. A new study explores how food is portrayed in ... full story

ADHD Drug May Help Preserve Self-Control Resources

Apr. 23, 2014 — Methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin, may prevent the depletion of self-control, according to research. Self-control can be difficult -- sticking with a diet or trying to focus attention on a ... full story

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'Double-Duty' Electrolyte Enables New Chemistry for Longer-Lived Batteries

Apr. 24, 2014 — Researchers have developed a new and unconventional battery chemistry aimed at producing batteries that last longer than previously thought possible. Researchers have challenged a long-held ... full story

A Step Up for NASA’s Robonaut: Ready for Climbing Legs

Apr. 24, 2014 — Getting your "space legs" in Earth orbit has taken on new meaning for NASA's pioneering Robonaut program. Thanks to a successful launch of the SpaceX-3 flight of the Falcon 9/Dragon capsule on ... full story

Using Antineutrinos to Monitor Nuclear Reactors

Apr. 24, 2014 — When monitoring nuclear reactors, the International Atomic Energy Agency has to rely on input given by the operators. In the future, antineutrino detectors may provide an additional option for ... full story

When Things Get Glassy, Molecules Go Fractal

Apr. 24, 2014 — School children learn the difference between liquids and gases, but centuries of scholarship have failed to produce consensus about how to categorize glass. Now, combining theory and numerical ... full story

How Do Liquid Foams Completely Block Sound?

Apr. 24, 2014 — Liquid foams have a remarkable property: they completely block the transmission of sound over a wide range of frequencies. Physicists have studied how sound is attenuated in liquid foams. Their ... full story

Asteroids Made Easy: 'Patch of Asteroid' Being Built Inside a Satellite

Apr. 24, 2014 — A dozen astronauts have walked on the moon, and several rovers have been piloted on Mars, giving us a good understanding of these off-world environments. But when it comes to asteroids, scientists ... full story

It's a Bubble, but Not as We Know It

Apr. 23, 2014 — Multi-sensory technology that creates soap bubbles, which can have images projected onto them or when the bubbles are burst release a scent, is being unveiled at an international conference. The ... full story

'Off-the-Shelf' Equipment Used to Digitize Insects in 3-D: 3-D Model Insects Useful for Studying, Sharing Specimens

Apr. 23, 2014 — Scientists have developed a cost-effective, off-the-shelf system to obtain natural-color 3-D models of insects. Scientists studying insects rely on collected specimens that are often shared between ... full story

Superconducting Qubit Array Points the Way to Quantum Computers

Apr. 23, 2014 — A fully functional quantum computer is one of the holy grails of physics. Physicists have moved one step closer to making a quantum computer a reality by demonstrating a new level of reliability in a ... full story

Mapping the Road to Quantum Gravity

Apr. 23, 2014 — The road uniting quantum field theory and general relativity -- the two great theories of modern physics -- has been impassable for 80 years. Could a tool from condensed matter physics finally help ... full story

Cosmic Illusion Revealed: Gravitational Lens Magnifies Supernova

Apr. 24, 2014 — Astronomers have announced the discovery of a galaxy that magnified a background, Type Ia supernova thirty-fold through gravitational lensing. This first example of strong gravitational lensing of a ... full story

Liquid Spacetime: What If Spacetime Were a Kind of Fluid?

Apr. 23, 2014 — What if spacetime were a kind of fluid? This is the question tackled by theoretical physicists working on quantum gravity by creating models attempting to reconcile gravity and quantum mechanics. ... full story

For an Immune Cell, Microgravity Mimics Aging

Apr. 22, 2014 — Telling someone to "act your age" is another way of asking him or her to behave better. Age, however, does not always bring improvements. Certain cells of the immune system tend to misbehave with ... full story

Red Stars and Big Bulges: How Black Holes Shape Galaxies

Apr. 22, 2014 — The universe we can see is made up of thousands of millions of galaxies, each containing anywhere from hundreds of thousands to hundreds of billions of stars. Large numbers of galaxies are elliptical ... full story

Solved: Mysteries of a Nearby Planetary System

Apr. 22, 2014 — Mysteries of one of the most fascinating nearby planetary systems now have been solved. A new study presents the first viable model for the planetary system orbiting one the first stars discovered to ... full story

'Upside-Down Planet' Reveals New Method for Studying Binary Star Systems

Apr. 21, 2014 — What looked at first like a sort of upside-down planet has instead revealed a new method for studying binary star systems. Astronomers confirmed the first "self-lensing" binary star system -- one in ... full story

Exoplanets Soon to Gleam in the Eye of NESSI

Apr. 21, 2014 — The New Mexico Exoplanet Spectroscopic Survey Instrument (NESSI) will soon get its first "taste" of exoplanets, helping astronomers decipher their chemical composition. Exoplanets are planets that ... full story

NASA Completes LADEE Mission With Planned Impact on Moon's Surface

Apr. 19, 2014 — Ground controllers at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., have confirmed that NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft impacted the surface of the ... full story

SpaceX-3 Launches Science Cargo to International Space Station

Apr. 18, 2014 — A SpaceX Dragon spacecraft full of NASA cargo, experiments and equipment blazed into orbit Friday, April 18, aboard the company's Falcon 9 rocket. The astronauts aboard the International Space ... full story

Impact Glass from Asteroids and Comets Stores Biodata for Millions of Years

Apr. 18, 2014 — Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists exploring ... full story

Bioinformatics Profiling Identifies a New Mammalian Clock Gene

Apr. 22, 2014 — Over 15 mammalian clock proteins have been identified, but researchers surmise there are more. Could big data approaches help find them? To accelerate clock-gene discovery, investigators used a ... full story

Checking Up on Crude Oil in the Ground: Nanoreporters Tell 'Sour' Oil from 'Sweet'

Apr. 22, 2014 — Scientists have created a nanoscale detector that checks for and reports on the presence and concentration of hydrogen sulfide in crude oil and natural gas while they're still in the ... full story

Applying Math to Biology: Software Identifies Disease-Causing Mutations in Undiagnosed Illnesses

Apr. 22, 2014 — A computational tool has successfully identified diseases with unknown gene mutations in three separate cases. Sequencing the genomes of individuals or small families often produces false predictions ... full story

Speed-Reading Apps May Impair Reading Comprehension by Limiting Ability to Backtrack

Apr. 22, 2014 — To address the fact that many of us are on the go and pressed for time, app developers have devised speed-reading software that eliminates the time we supposedly waste by moving our eyes as we read. ... full story

People Pay More Attention to Upper Half of Field of Vision, Study Shows

Apr. 22, 2014 — People pay more attention to the upper half of their field of vision, a study shows, a finding that could have ramifications for traffic signs to software interface design. "It doesn't mean people ... full story

iPad Users Explore Data With Their Fingers: Kinetica Converts Tabular Data Into Touch-Friendly Format

Apr. 22, 2014 — Spreadsheets may have been the original killer app for personal computers, but data tables don't play to the strengths of multi-touch devices such as tablets. So researchers have developed a ... full story

Progress Made in Developing Nanoscale Electronics: New Research Directs Charges Through Single Molecules

Apr. 21, 2014 — Scientists are facing a number of barriers as they try to develop circuits that are microscopic in size, including how to reliably control the current that flows through a circuit that is the width ... full story

Computer-Assisted Accelerator Design

Apr. 21, 2014 — Accelerator physicists are using custom designed software to create a 3-D virtual model of the electron accelerator physicists hope to build inside the tunnel currently housing the Relativistic Heavy ... full story

Computational Method Dramatically Speeds Up Estimates of Gene Expression

Apr. 20, 2014 — With gene expression analysis growing in importance for both basic researchers and medical practitioners, researchers have developed a new computational method that dramatically speeds up estimates ... full story

Tracking Flu Levels With Wikipedia

Apr. 17, 2014 — Can monitoring Wikipedia hits show how many people have the flu? Researchers have developed a method of estimating levels of influenza-like illness in the American population by analyzing Internet ... full story

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Microscopic Organism Plays a Big Role in Ocean Carbon Cycling

Apr. 24, 2014 — Scientists have taken a leap forward in understanding the microscopic underpinnings of the ocean carbon cycle by pinpointing a bacterium that appears to play a dominant role in carbon ... full story

Some Corals Adjusting to Rising Ocean Temperatures

Apr. 24, 2014 — Scientists have revealed how some corals can quickly switch on or off certain genes in order to survive in warmer-than-average tidal waters. To most people, 86-degree Fahrenheit water is pleasant for ... full story

Ocean Microbes Display Remarkable Genetic Diversity: One Species, a Few Drops of Seawater, Hundreds of Coexisting Subpopulations

Apr. 24, 2014 — The smallest, most abundant marine microbe, Prochlorococcus, is a photosynthetic bacteria species essential to the marine ecosystem. An estimated billion billion billion of the single-cell creatures ... full story

Cell Resiliency Surprises Scientists

Apr. 24, 2014 — Cells are more resilient in taking care of their DNA than scientists originally thought, new research shows. Even when missing critical components, cells can adapt and make copies of their DNA in an ... full story

'Tis the Season: Be on the Lookout for Brown Recluse Spiders

Apr. 24, 2014 — Warmer, spring weather has many of us getting out and becoming more active, and the brown recluse spider is no exception. Scientists shared 10 facts about the somewhat small, shy ... full story

Hydrothermal Vents: How Productive Are the Ore Factories in the Deep Sea?

Apr. 24, 2014 — Hydrothermal vents in the deep sea, the so-called 'black smokers,' are fascinating geological formations. They are home to unique ecosystems, but are also potential suppliers of raw materials for the ... full story

Boring Cells Could Hold the Key to Heart Disease

Apr. 24, 2014 — Fibroblasts, cells long thought to be boring and irrelevant, could offer an alternative to heart transplants for patients with heart disease. "Heart disease is still one of the major killers in our ... full story

How a Plant Beckons Bacteria That Will Do It Harm

Apr. 24, 2014 — A common plant puts out a welcome mat to bacteria seeking to invade, and scientists have discovered the mat’s molecular mix. The team showed that the humble and oft-studied plant Arabidopsis puts ... full story

Two New River Turtle Species Described

Apr. 24, 2014 — The alligator snapping turtle is the largest river turtle in North America, weighing in at up to 200 pounds and living almost a century. Now researchers have discovered that it is not one species -- ... full story

Citizen Scientists Match Research Tool When Counting Sharks: Dive Guides Monitoring Sharks on Coral Reef at Similar Level to Telemetry

Apr. 23, 2014 — Shark data collected by citizen scientists may be as reliable as data collected using automated tools. Shark populations are declining globally, and scientists lack data to estimate the conservation ... full story

Increased Infrastructure Required for Effective Oil Spill Response in U.S. Arctic

Apr. 23, 2014 — A changing climate is increasing the accessibility of U.S. Arctic waters to commercial activities such as shipping, oil and gas development, and tourism, raising concern about the risk of oil spills. ... full story

Picky Male Black Widow Spiders Prefer Well-Fed Virgins

Apr. 23, 2014 — New research shows that male black widow spiders prefer their female mates to be well-fed virgins -- a rare example of mate preference by male spiders. The study found they can tell whether a ... full story

Scientists Identify Source of Mysterious Sound in the Southern Ocean

Apr. 23, 2014 — Scientists have conclusive evidence that the source of a unique rhythmic sound, recorded for decades in the Southern Ocean and called the 'bio-duck,' is the Antarctic minke whale (Balaenoptera ... full story

Odds of Storm Waters Overflowing Manhattan Seawall Up 20-Fold

Apr. 23, 2014 — Maximum water levels in New York harbor during major storms have risen by nearly two and a half feet since the mid-1800s, making the chances of water overtopping the Manhattan seawall now at least 20 ... full story

Predicting Drift of Floating Pumice 'Islands' Can Benefit Shipping

Apr. 23, 2014 — A new technique will aid in predicting the dispersal and drift patterns of large floating ‘islands’ of pumice created by volcanic eruptions at sea. Known as pumice rafts, these large mobile ... full story

How to Avoid Water Wars Between 'Fracking' Industry and Residents

Apr. 23, 2014 — The shale gas boom has transformed the energy landscape in the U.S., but in some drier locations, it could cause conflict among the energy industry, residents and agricultural interests over ... full story

New Discovery Helps Solve Mystery Source of African Lava

Apr. 23, 2014 — Floods of molten lava may sound like the stuff of apocalyptic theorists, but history is littered with evidence of such past events where vast lava outpourings originating deep in the Earth accompany ... full story

How Australia's Outback Got One Million Feral Camels: Camels Culled on Large Scale

Apr. 23, 2014 — A new study has shed light on how an estimated one million-strong population of wild camels thriving in Australia's remote outback have become reviled as pests and culled on a large ... full story

Wind Turbine Movement Can Generate Lightning

Apr. 23, 2014 — Under favorable atmospheric conditions any elevated structure can generate upward lightning flashes. Even aircraft can do so —- in fact, height and movement are two of the factors that contribute ... full story

Wildlife Response to Climate Change Is Likely Underestimated, Experts Warn

Apr. 22, 2014 — Analyzing thousands of breeding bird surveys sent in by citizen scientists over 35 years, wildlife researchers report that most of the 40 songbird species they studied shifted either northward or ... full story

Genomic Diversity and Admixture Differs for Stone-Age Scandinavian Foragers and Farmers

Apr. 24, 2014 — Scientists report a breakthrough on understanding the demographic history of Stone-Age humans. A genomic analysis of eleven Stone-Age human remains from Scandinavia revealed that expanding Stone-age ... full story

The Blood Preserved in the Preserved Relic Pumpkin Did Not Belong to Louis XVI

Apr. 24, 2014 — The results of an international study indicate that the DNA recovered from the inside of a pumpkin, attributed so far to the French King Louis XVI, does not actually belong to the monarch, ... full story

Cougars’ Diverse Diet Helped Them Survive the Mass Extinction That Wiped out the Saber-Tooth Cat, American Lion

Apr. 22, 2014 — Cougars may have survived the mass extinction that took place about 12,000 years ago because they were not particular about what they ate, unlike their more finicky cousins the saber-tooth cat and ... full story

International Team Sequences Rainbow Trout Genome

Apr. 22, 2014 — An international team of researchers has mapped the genetic profile of the rainbow trout, a versatile salmonid whose relatively recent genetic history opens a window into how vertebrates evolve. The ... full story

How Are We Different and What Gave Us the Advantage Over Extinct Types of Humans Like the Neanderthals?

Apr. 22, 2014 — In parallel with modern man (Homo sapiens), there were other, extinct types of humans with whom we lived side by side, such as Neanderthals and the recently discovered  Denisovans of Siberia. Yet ... full story

Today's Antarctic Region Once as Hot as California, Florida

Apr. 21, 2014 — Parts of ancient Antarctica were as warm as today's California coast, and polar regions of the southern Pacific Ocean registered 21st-century Florida heat, according to scientists using a new way to ... full story

First Eurasians Left Africa Up to 130,000 Years Ago

Apr. 21, 2014 — Scientists have shown that anatomically modern humans spread from Africa to Asia and Europe in several migratory movements. The first ancestors of today’s non-African peoples probably took a ... full story

Plague in Your Family: Family Tree of Black Death Bacterium Explored

Apr. 21, 2014 — The first view of the Black Death bacterium's entire family tree shows some how family members evolve to become harmful. The researchers showed that Yersinia pestis and Yersinia enterocolitica, two ... full story

Krypton Used to Accurately Date Ancient Antarctic Ice

Apr. 21, 2014 — Scientists have successfully identified the age of 120,000-year-old Antarctic ice using radiometric krypton dating -- a new technique that may allow them to locate and date ice that is more than a ... full story

Taking the Pulse of Mountain Formation in the Andes

Apr. 21, 2014 — New research shows that the Altiplano plateau in the central Andes -- and most likely the entire mountain range -- was formed through a series of rapid growth spurts. "This study provides increasing ... full story

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Inverse Effects of Midlife Occupational, Leisure Time Physical Activity on Mobility Limitation in Old Age

Apr. 23, 2014 — Strenuous occupational physical activity in midlife increases the risk of mobility limitation in old age, whereas leisure-time physical activity decreases the risk. This is found in a study that ... full story

More Than Two-Thirds of Americans Support Mandated Coverage of Birth Control in Health Plans

Apr. 22, 2014 — Nearly 7 in 10 Americans support mandated coverage of birth control medications, according to a new American national survey. Women, blacks, Hispanics, parents with children under the age of 18 at ... full story

LEDs Get Seal of Approval: Safe for Skin, Experts Say

Apr. 21, 2014 — There was a time when no one thought about light bulbs -- one blew, you screwed another one in. Nowadays, it’s more complicated, as energy efficiency concerns have given rise to a slew of options, ... full story

Regulating Legal Marijuana Could Be Guided by Lessons from Alcohol, Tobacco, Study Says

Apr. 21, 2014 — Recent ballot initiatives that legalized marijuana in Colorado and Washington for recreational uses are unprecedented. A new study outlines how regulations on alcohol and tobacco may provide guidance ... full story

Mental Illness Not Usually Linked to Crime, Research Finds

Apr. 21, 2014 — In a study of crimes committed by people with serious mental disorders, only 7.5 percent were directly related to symptoms of mental illness, according to new research. Researchers analyzed 429 ... full story

People Selectively Remember Details of Atrocities That Absolve in-Group Members

Apr. 21, 2014 — Conversations about wartime atrocities often omit certain details. According to research, these omissions can lead people to have different memories for the event depending on social group ... full story

Codeine Often Prescribed to Children, Despite Available Alternatives

Apr. 21, 2014 — Despite its potentially harmful effects in children, codeine continues to be prescribed in U.S. emergency rooms, according to new research. "Despite strong evidence against the use of codeine in ... full story

Climate Benefit of Biofuels from Corn Residue: Researchers Cast Doubt

Apr. 20, 2014 — Biofuels made from corn stover -- stalks, leaves and cobs that remain after harvest -- appear to emit more carbon dioxide over their life cycle than federal standards allow, according to new ... full story

Counterfeit Contraceptives Found in South America

Apr. 18, 2014 — A survey of emergency contraceptive pills in Peru found that 28 percent of the batches studied were either of substandard quality or falsified. Many pills released the active ingredient too slowly. ... full story

Future Heat Waves Pose Risk for Population of Greater London

Apr. 18, 2014 — The effects of future heat waves on people living in Greater London in 2050 has been modeled in a study, which concludes that the risk of heat-related deaths could be significantly reduced if ... full story

Sporting Latest Tech Toy Can Make You Seem More Like a Leader

Apr. 17, 2014 — If you want to be perceived as a leader, new research suggests investing in the latest technological gadgets is the way to go. "Familiarity with and usage of new high-tech products appears to be a ... full story

Flaw in 'Secure' Cloud Storage Could Put Privacy at Risk

Apr. 15, 2014 — Computer scientists have found a flaw in the way that secure cloud storage companies protect their customers’ data. The scientists say this weakness jeopardizes the privacy protection these digital ... full story

Cybersecurity Researchers Roll out a New Heartbleed Solution: Red Herring Creates Decoy Servers, Entraps, Monitors Hackers

Apr. 14, 2014 — As companies scrambled in recent days to address the latest cybersecurity bug known as Heartbleed, researchers demonstrate a solution that fixes the vulnerability, and also detects and entraps ... full story

Tiny Particles Could Help Verify Goods

Apr. 13, 2014 — Chemical engineers hope smartphone-readable microparticles could crack down on counterfeiting. Some 2 to 5 percent of all international trade involves counterfeit goods, according to a 2013 United ... full story

Should You Trust Your Financial Advisor? Pseudo-Mathematics and Financial Charlatanism

Apr. 10, 2014 — Your financial advisor calls you up to suggest a new investment scheme. Drawing on 20 years of data, he has set his computer to work on this question: If you had invested according to this scheme in ... full story

UN Climate Report: Pricing of Carbon Dioxide Emissions Critical

Apr. 4, 2014 — Despite climate change, most polluters still pay little or nothing when they release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. A cost $0.15 US per kilo of carbon dioxide would be enough to solve the whole ... full story

Americans Using More Energy, According to New Analysis

Apr. 2, 2014 — Americans used more renewable, fossil and even nuclear energy in 2013, according to the most recent energy flow charts. Wind energy continued to grow strongly, increasing 18 percent from 1.36 ... full story

Agroforestry Systems Can Repair Degraded Watersheds

Mar. 27, 2014 — Agroforestry, combined with land and water management practices that increase agricultural productivity, can save watersheds from degradation. A study in the Gabayan watershed in eastern Bohol, ... full story

Smoke-Free Air Policies Seem to Protect the Heart

Mar. 27, 2014 — Policies prohibiting tobacco smoking in workplaces and other public spaces may substantially improve public health by reducing heart disease and death, according to a new study on the impact of ... full story

Keeping Secrets in a World of Spies and Mistrust

Mar. 26, 2014 — A new article reviews developments in quantum cryptography and describes how we can keep our secrets secret even when faced with the double challenge of mistrust and ... full story

Picture Books Aren't Just Fun: Children Learn Sophisticated Animal Facts When Parent Read Them

Apr. 23, 2014 — Children hear as much sophisticated information about animals when parents read picture book stories about animals as when they read flashcard-type animal vocabulary books, according to a new study. ... full story

Inhibited Children Become Anxious Adults: Examining the Causes and Effects of Early Shyness

Apr. 17, 2014 — Three little girls sit together in a room, playing with the toys surrounding them. One of the girls -- "Emma" -- has clearly taken charge of the group, and the others happily go along with her. A ... full story

'I Spy' Used to Show Spoken Language Helps Direct Children's Eyes

Apr. 17, 2014 — Children spot objects more quickly when prompted by words than if they are only prompted by images, cognitive scientists have demonstrated. Spoken language taps into children's cognitive system, ... full story

Computer Software Analyzing Facial Expressions Accurately Predicts Student Test Performance

Apr. 16, 2014 — Real-time engagement detection technology that processes facial expressions can perform with accuracy comparable to that of human observers, according to new research. The study used automatic ... full story

Teaching to Optimize Learning or Control Misbehavior? Scale of Disruptive Behavior in Schools Seriously Underestimated

Apr. 14, 2014 — The true extent of poor pupil behavior in schools is seriously underestimated, according to an academic. The research raises the question of the extent to which there is a right to learn in ... full story

Procrastination and Impulsivity Genetically Linked: Exploring the Genetics of 'I'll Do It Tomorrow'

Apr. 7, 2014 — Procrastination and impulsivity are genetically linked, suggesting that the two traits stem from similar evolutionary origins, according to new research. The research indicates that the traits are ... full story

U.S. School Children Exposed to Arsenic in Well Water Have Lower IQ Scores

Apr. 7, 2014 — A study from three school districts in Maine exposed to arsenic in drinking water experienced declines in child intelligence. While earlier studies conducted by the researchers in South Asia, and ... full story

Limiting Screen Time Improves Sleep, Academics, Behavior, Study Finds

Mar. 31, 2014 — Parents may not always see it, but efforts to limit their children’s screen time can make a difference. A new study found children get more sleep, do better in school and see other health benefits ... full story

Four in 10 Infants Lack Strong Parental Attachments

Mar. 27, 2014 — In a study of 14,000 US children, 40 percent lack strong emotional bonds -- what psychologists call 'secure attachment' -- with their parents that are crucial to success later in life, according to a ... full story

Natural History Must Reclaim Its Place, Experts Say

Mar. 26, 2014 — Scientists argue that the study of natural history has waned in recent decades in developed countries. Declining course requirements and support for herbaria are among the documented evidence. Yet ... full story

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