Today's Science News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

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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

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 ... full story

Fat Metabolism in Animals Altered to Prevent Most Common Type of Heart Disease

Apr. 22, 2014 — Working with mice and rabbits, scientists have found a way to block abnormal cholesterol production, transport and breakdown, successfully preventing the development of atherosclerosis, the main ... 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

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

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

Cow Manure Harbors Diverse New Antibiotic Resistance Genes

Apr. 22, 2014 — Manure from dairy cows, which is commonly used as a farm soil fertilizer, contains a surprising number of newly identified antibiotic resistance genes from the cows' gut bacteria. The findings ... full story

New Electric Fish Genus, Species Discovered in Brazil's Rio Negro

Apr. 22, 2014 — Discovery of a new species of electric knife fish in the Amazon Basin in Brazil is leading to a new interpretation of classifications and interrelationships among closely related groups. As the ... 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

Political Ravens? Ravens Notice the Relationships Among Others, Study Shows

Apr. 23, 2014 — Cognitive biologists have revealed that ravens do understand and keep track of the rank relations between other ravens. Such an ability has been known only from primates. Like many social mammals, ... full story

Surface Area of the Digestive Tract Much Smaller Than Previously Thought

Apr. 23, 2014 — The internal surface area of the gastro-intestinal tract has long been considered to be between 180 and 300 square meters. Scientists have used refined microscopic techniques that indicate a much ... full story

Hundreds of Genetic Mutations Found in Healthy Blood of a Supercentenarian

Apr. 23, 2014 — Genetic mutations are commonly studied because of links to diseases such as cancer; however, little is known about mutations occurring in healthy individuals. Researchers have now detected over 400 ... full story

From Liability to Viability: Genes on the Y Chromosome Prove Essential for Male Survival

Apr. 23, 2014 — The human Y chromosome has, over the course of millions of years of evolution, preserved a small set of genes that has ensured not only its own survival but also the survival of men. Moreover, the ... full story

Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

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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NASA Chief Outlines Plan for Human Mission to Mars

NASA Chief Outlines Plan for Human Mission to Mars

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) — NASA administrator Charles Bolden, speaking at the 'Human to Mars Summit' in Washington, says that learning more about the Red Planet can help answer the 'fundamental question' of 'life beyond Earth'. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
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Pain Threshold Could Be Genetic

Pain Threshold Could Be Genetic

Newsy (Apr. 21, 2014) — A new study suggests four different genes could affect your pain threshold most. Researchers hope this could lead to better treatments for pain. Video provided by Newsy
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last updated on 2014-04-24 at 7:03 am EDT

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Microbes Provide Insights Into Evolution of Human Language

Apr. 23, 2014 — Big brains do not explain why only humans use sophisticated language, according to researchers who have discovered that even a species of pond life communicates by similar ... 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

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

Enzymes That Help Fix Cancer-Causing DNA Defects Disovered

Apr. 23, 2014 — An important enzyme pathway that helps prevent new cells from receiving too many or too few chromosomes, a condition that has been directly linked to cancer and other diseases, has been discovered by ... full story

Gold Nanoparticles Help Target, Quantify Breast Cancer Segments in a Living Cell

Apr. 23, 2014 — A way to detect and measure cancer levels in a living cell by using tiny gold particles with tails of synthetic DNA has been developed by scientists. The process uses gold nanoparticles to target and ... 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

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

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

New Target for Prostate Cancer Resistant to Anti-Hormone Therapies

Apr. 23, 2014 — A new target that could remain sensitive even when prostate cancer becomes resistant to current treatments has been discovered by researchers. Prostate cancer becomes deadly when anti-hormone ... 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

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

Toward Unraveling the Alzheimer's Mystery: New Step Points to Proteins

Apr. 23, 2014 — Getting to the bottom of Alzheimer's disease has been a rapidly evolving pursuit with many twists, turns and controversies. In the latest crook in the research road, scientists have found a new ... 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

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

Researchers Compare Hip Width and Sexual Behavior

Apr. 23, 2014 — Hip width and risk of birth-related trauma may play a role in a woman's decision to have sex. Women who were more inclined to have one-night stands had wider hips, reveals a study into how a woman's ... full story

Loss of Memory in Alzheimer's Mice Models Reversed Through Gene Therapy

Apr. 23, 2014 — Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia and affects some 400,000 people in Spain alone. However, no effective cure has yet been found. One of the reasons for this is the lack of ... full story

Effectiveness of Medications for Treating Epileptic Seizures in Children Examined

Apr. 22, 2014 — Although some studies have suggested that the drug lorazepam may be more effective or safer than the drug diazepam in treating a type of epileptic seizures among children, a randomized trial finds ... full story

Newly-Approved Brain Stimulator Offers Hope for Individuals With Uncontrolled Epilepsy

Apr. 22, 2014 — A recently FDA-approved device has been shown to reduce seizures in patients with medication-resistant epilepsy by as much as 50 percent. When coupled with an innovative electrode placement planning ... 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

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

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

Risk of Pregnancy Greater With Newer Method of Female Sterilization

Apr. 22, 2014 — The risk of pregnancy among women using a newer method of planned sterilization called hysteroscopic sterilization is more than 10 times greater over a 10-year period than using the more commonly ... full story

Neurotics Don't Just Avoid Action: They Dislike It, Study Finds

Apr. 22, 2014 — Neurotics don't just avoid taking action. By their very nature they dislike it. A study of nearly 4,000 college students in 19 countries has uncovered new details about why neurotic people may avoid ... 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

Male Health Linked to Testosterone Exposure in Womb, Study Finds

Apr. 22, 2014 — Men's susceptibility to serious health conditions may be influenced by low exposure to testosterone in the womb, new research suggests. Understanding why some men have less of the hormone than others ... full story

Life Stressors Trigger Neurological Disorders, Researchers Find

Apr. 22, 2014 — When mothers are exposed to trauma, illness, alcohol or other drug abuse, these stressors may activate a single molecular trigger in brain cells that can go awry and activate conditions such as ... 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

Child's Autism Risk Accelerates With Mother's Age Over 30

Apr. 22, 2014 — Older parents are more likely to have a child who develops an autism spectrum disorder than are younger parents. A recent study provides more insight into how the risk associated with parental age ... full story

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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

Atomic Switcheroo Explains Origins of Thin-Film Solar Cell Mystery

Apr. 23, 2014 — Treating cadmium-telluride (CdTe) solar cell materials with cadmium-chloride improves their efficiency, but researchers have not fully understood ... full story

Halving Hydrogen: First View of Nature-Inspired Catalyst After Ripping Hydrogen Apart Provides Insights for Better Fuel Cells

Apr. 23, 2014 — A fuel cell catalyst that converts hydrogen into electricity must tear open a hydrogen molecule. Now researchers have captured a view of such a catalyst holding onto the two halves of its hydrogen ... 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

Steering Chemical Reactions With Laser Pulses

Apr. 23, 2014 — Ultra short laserpulses in the femtosecond-range give scientists a powerful new method of controlling chemical reactions. A team of researchers could now show that the fragmentation of carbohydrates ... 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

Mantis Shrimp Stronger Than Airplanes: Composite Material Inspired by Shrimp Stronger Than Standard Used in Airplane Frames

Apr. 22, 2014 — Inspired by the fist-like club of a mantis shrimp, researchers have developed a design structure for composite materials that is more impact resistant and tougher than the standard used in airplanes. ... full story

Neuroimaging Technique: Live from Inside the Cell in Real-Time

Apr. 22, 2014 — A novel imaging technique provides insights into the role of redox signaling and reactive oxygen species in living neurons, in real time. Scientists have developed a new optical microscopy technique ... 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

Collider Reveals Sharp Change from 'Quark Soup' to Atoms

Apr. 18, 2014 — Scientists using the atom smasher at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have observed a phase transition different than the smooth transition of the early universe from ... full story

Bright Points in Sun's Atmosphere Mark Patterns Deep in Its Interior

Apr. 17, 2014 — Like a balloon bobbing along in the air while tied to a child's hand, a tracer has been found in the sun's atmosphere to help track the flow of material coursing underneath the sun's ... 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

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

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

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

Wireless Power Transfer Achieved at 5-Meter Distance

Apr. 17, 2014 — A great improvement has been demonstrated in the distance that electric power can travel wirelessly. Researchers developed the 'Dipole Coil Resonant System' for an extended range of inductive power ... full story

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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

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

Cell Division Speed Influences Gene Architecture

Apr. 23, 2014 — Speed-reading is a technique used to read quickly. It involves visual searching for clues to meaning and skipping non-essential words and/or sentences. Similarly in humans, biological systems are ... full story

Best Practices in Communication for Animal World

Apr. 22, 2014 — Effective communication is not just about the signaler, according to a new study. The receiver also needs to assess the signaler efficiently. For instance, one of the most effective strategies from ... 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

Scientists Pinpoint Protein That Could Improve Small Cell Lung Cancer Therapies

Apr. 22, 2014 — Approximately 15 percent of all lung cancers are small cell lung cancers, which grow rapidly and often develop resistance to chemotherapy. However, researchers have revealed new insights into the ... full story

Critical New Protein Complex Involved in Learning, Memory

Apr. 22, 2014 — A protein complex that plays a critical but previously unknown role in learning and memory formation has been identified by researchers. "This is a critical building block that regulates a ... full story

How Cells Take out the Trash

Apr. 22, 2014 — As people around the world mark Earth Day (April 22) with activities that protect the planet, our cells are busy safeguarding their own environment. To keep themselves neat, tidy and above all ... full story

First Size-Based Chromatography Technique for the Study of Livi

Apr. 22, 2014 — Using nanodot technology, researchers demonstrated the first size-based form of chromatography for studying the membranes of living cells. This unique physical approach to probing cellular membrane ... 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

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

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

New Design for Mobile Phone Masts Could Cut Carbon Emissions

Apr. 22, 2014 — A breakthrough in the design of signal amplifiers for mobile phone masts could deliver a massive 200MW cut in the load on UK power stations, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by around 0.5 million ... full story

Cloaked DNA Nanodevices Survive Pilot Mission

Apr. 22, 2014 — By mimicking a viral strategy, scientists have created the first cloaked DNA nanodevice that survives the body's immune defenses. Their success opens the door to smart DNA nanorobots that use logic ... full story

UV-Radiation Data to Help Ecological Research

Apr. 22, 2014 — Existing data on global UV-B radiation has been processed by researchers in such a way that they can use them to find answers to many ecological questions. According to a new paper, this data set ... full story

Higher Solar-Cell Efficiency Achieved With Zinc-Oxide Coating

Apr. 22, 2014 — Researchers have achieved 14-percent efficiency in a 9-millimeter-square solar cell made of gallium arsenide. It is the highest efficiency rating for a solar cell that size and made with that ... 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

Earth Week: Bark Beetles Change Rocky Mountain Stream Flows, Affect Water Quality

Apr. 21, 2014 — On Earth Week -- and in fact, every week now -- trees in mountains across the western United States are dying, thanks to an infestation of bark beetles that reproduce in the trees' inner bark. In ... 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

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

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

Birthplace of the Domesticated Chili Pepper Identified in Mexico

Apr. 21, 2014 — Combining historical language and ecological information, as well as genetic and archaeological data, scientists have identified Central-east Mexico as the likely birthplace of the domesticated chili ... full story

More Questions Than Answers as Mystery of Domestication Deepens

Apr. 21, 2014 — New research on domestication raises more questions than it has answered. Scientists have outlined some of the key questions that have been raised about this pivotal event in human ... full story

Ancient DNA: Barnyard Chickens Living Just a Few Hundred Years Ago Looked Far Different from Today's Chickens

Apr. 18, 2014 — Ancient DNA adds a twist to the story of how barnyard chickens came to be. Analyzing DNA from the bones of chickens that lived 200-2,300 years ago in Europe, researchers report that some of the ... full story

Vitamin B3 Might Have Been Made in Space, Delivered to Earth by Meteorites

Apr. 17, 2014 — Ancient Earth might have had an extraterrestrial supply of vitamin B3 delivered by carbon-rich meteorites, according to a new analysis. The result supports a theory that the origin of life may have ... full story

There's Something Ancient in the Icebox: Three-Million-Year-Old Landscape Beneath Greenland Ice Sheet

Apr. 17, 2014 — Scientists were greatly surprised to discover an ancient tundra landscape preserved under the Greenland Ice Sheet, below two miles of ice. This finding provides strong evidence that the ice sheet has ... full story

Atom Probe Assisted Dating of Oldest Piece of Earth

Apr. 17, 2014 — It's a scientific axiom: big claims require extra-solid evidence. So when a geoscience professor dated an ancient crystal to 4.4 billion years ago, skeptics questioned the dating. Then, in 2013, ... full story

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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

Boomers' Dark Secret: Booze; What Their Caregivers Don’t Know or Don't Ask Could End Up Hurting Aging Patients

Apr. 18, 2014 — By 2015, all baby boomers will be 50 or older. In an editorial, one expert writes that, unlike members of previous generations, many of these individuals have been using alcohol (and other drugs) for ... full story

Loud Talking, Horseplay in Car Results in More Serious Incidents for Teen Drivers

Apr. 17, 2014 — Adolescent drivers are often distracted by technology while they are driving, but loud conversations and horseplay between passengers appear more likely to result in a dangerous incident, according ... 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

Important and Complex Systems, from the Global Financial Market to Groups of Friends, May Be Highly Controllable

Mar. 20, 2014 — Scientists have discovered that all complex systems, whether they are found in the body, in international finance, or in social situations, actually fall into just three basic categories, in terms of ... 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

Secret to Cutting Sugary Drink Use by Teens Found by New Study

Mar. 26, 2014 — A new study shows that teenagers can be persuaded to cut back on sugary soft drinks -- especially with a little help from their friends. A 30-day challenge encouraging teens to reduce sugar-sweetened ... full story

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