Today's Science News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

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

Brain Size Matters When It Comes to Animal Self-Control

Apr. 22, 2014 — Chimpanzees may throw tantrums like toddlers, but their total brain size suggests they have more self-control than, say, a gerbil or fox squirrel, according to a new study of 36 species of mammals ... 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

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 ... 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 ... 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

Sleep Behavior Disorder Linked to Brain Disease

Apr. 22, 2014 — A sleep disorder that causes people to act out their dreams is the best current predictor of brain diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, research suggests. In this disorder, the disturbance ... full story

Sleeping Away Infection: Researchers Find Link Between Sleep, Immune Function in Fruitflies

Apr. 21, 2014 — When we get sick it feels natural to try to hasten our recovery by getting some extra shuteye. Researchers found that this response has a definite purpose, in fruitflies: enhancing immune system ... 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

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

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 ... 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

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 ... full story

Researchers Identify a New Variant of Ebola Virus in Guinea

Apr. 22, 2014 — In a new article, researchers have published their initial findings on the characteristics of the Ebola virus discovered in Guinea. Initial virological investigations enabled them to identify Zaire ... full story

Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

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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Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2014) — A 9-year-old Michigan boy was exploring a creek when he came across a 10,000-year-old tooth from a prehistoric mastodon. Video provided by Newsy
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last updated on 2014-04-23 at 11:53 am EDT

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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

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

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

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

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

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

New Drugs Offer Hope for Migraine Prevention

Apr. 22, 2014 — Two new studies may offer hope for people with migraines. Both studies involve drugs that are aimed at preventing migraine attacks from occurring, rather than stopping the attacks once they have ... 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

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

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

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

Commonly Available Blood-Pressure Medication Prevents Epilepsy After Severe Brain Injury

Apr. 22, 2014 — A team of neuroscientists has shown in rats that a drug commonly prescribed for hypertension can nearly eliminate the epilepsy that often follows severe head injury. The drug blocks a receptor on ... 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

New Way to Enhance Nerve Growth Following Injury Discovered

Apr. 22, 2014 — A mechanism to promote growth in damaged nerve cells as a means to restore connections after injury has been uncovered by scientists who have discovered a key molecule that directly regulates nerve ... full story

First Brain Images of African Infants Enable Research Into Cognitive Effects of Nutrition

Apr. 22, 2014 — Brain activity of babies in developing countries could be monitored from birth to reveal the first signs of cognitive dysfunction, researchers say. The cognitive function of infants can be visualized ... full story

Mystery Behind General Anesthetic Action Becoming More Clear

Apr. 21, 2014 — Despite decades of common use for surgeries of all kinds, the precise mechanism through which general anesthesia works on the body remains a mystery. New research investigated the common anesthetic ... full story

Safer Alternatives to Nonsteroidal Antinflamatory Pain Killers

Apr. 21, 2014 — Building on previous work that showed that deleting an enzyme in the COX-2 pathway in a mouse model of heart disease slowed the development of atherosclerosis, researchers have now extended this ... full story

Physicists Push New Parkinson's Treatment Toward Clinical Trials

Apr. 21, 2014 — The most effective way to tackle debilitating diseases is to punch them at the start and keep them from growing. Research shows that a small 'molecular tweezer' keeps proteins from clumping, or ... full story

Increased Prevalence of Celiac Disease in Children With Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Apr. 21, 2014 — There appears to be an increased prevalence of celiac disease among children with irritable bowel syndrome. Recurrent abdominal pain affects 10 percent to 15 percent of school-aged children. The ... 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

Ginseng Can Treat, Prevent Influenza, RSV, Researcher Finds

Apr. 21, 2014 — Ginseng can help treat and prevent influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, a respiratory virus that infects the lungs and breathing passages, according to research findings. Seasonal influenza is ... 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

Low Tolerance for Pain? The Reason May Be in Your Genes

Apr. 20, 2014 — Researchers may have identified key genes linked to why some people have a higher tolerance for pain than others, according to a new study. Researchers found that nine percent of the participants had ... full story

Better Way to Deal With Bad Memories Suggested

Apr. 18, 2014 — A simple and effective emotion-regulation strategy that has neurologically and behaviorally been proven to lessen the emotional impact of personal negative memories, researchers have shown. ... 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

Impact of Childhood Bullying Still Evident After 40 Years

Apr. 17, 2014 — The negative social, physical and mental health effects of childhood bullying are still evident nearly 40 years later, according to new research. The study is the first to look at the effects of ... full story

Gene Variant Increases Risk of Colorectal Cancer from Eating Processed Meat

Apr. 17, 2014 — A common genetic variant that affects one in three people appears to significantly increase the risk of colorectal cancer from the consumption of processed meat, according to a new ... 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

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

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

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

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

Major Advances in Dye Sensitized Solar Cells

Apr. 22, 2014 — Two groups of researchers have recently advanced the field of solar cells with a cheaper and efficient replacement for platinum and better synthesis of zinc oxide. Working on dye-sensitized solar ... full story

Unlocking Secrets of New Solar Material

Apr. 22, 2014 — A new solar material that has the same crystal structure as a mineral first found in the Ural Mountains in 1839 is shooting up the efficiency charts faster than almost anything researchers have seen ... 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

RNA Shows Potential as Boiling-Resistant Anionic Polymer Material for Nanoarchitectures

Apr. 22, 2014 — Nanotechnology researchers have discovered new methods to build boiling-resistant nanostructures and arrays using a new RNA triangle scaffold. These new RNA nanoarchitechtures can be used to form ... full story

Quantum Simulators Developed to Study Inaccessible Physical Systems

Apr. 22, 2014 — Quantum simulators recreate the behavior on a microscopic scale of biological and quantum systems and even of particles moving at the speed of light. The exact knowledge of these systems will lead to ... full story

Vacuum Ultraviolet Lamp of the Future Created

Apr. 22, 2014 — Scientists have developed a solid-state lamp that emits high-energy ultraviolet (UV) light at the shortest wavelengths ever recorded for such a device, from 140 to 220 nanometers. This is within the ... 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

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

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

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

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

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

Fear of the Cuckoo Mafia: In Fear of Retaliation, Birds Accept and Raise Brood Parasites' Young

Apr. 17, 2014 — If a restaurant owner fails to pay the 'protection money' demanded of him by the mob, he can expect his premises to be trashed. Warnings like these are seldom required, however, as fear of the ... full story

Simplicity Is Key to Co-Operative Robots

Apr. 16, 2014 — A way of making hundreds -- or even thousands -- of tiny robots cluster to carry out tasks without using any memory or processing power has been developed. Engineers have programmed extremely simple ... full story

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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

Political Ravens? Ravens Understand the Relationships Among Others

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

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

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

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

Two Genes Linked to Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Apr. 22, 2014 — Scientists have done what is believed to be the first direct genetic study to document the important function for the Ron receptor, a cell surface protein often found in certain cancers, and its ... 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

Tarantulas' Personality Determines Whether They Copulate With Males or Cannibalize Them

Apr. 22, 2014 — Sexual cannibalism in spiders – the attack and consumption of males by females before or after copulation – is very widespread. A new investigation analyses the reason behind such extreme ... full story

Queuing Theory Helps Physicist Understand Protein Recycling

Apr. 21, 2014 — A picture of waiting in line helps one physicist understand how cells operate, especially as it relates to what the consequences could be of protein traffic jams inside cells. "If you consider the ... 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

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

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

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

Lack of Breeding Threatens Blue-Footed Boobies' Survival

Apr. 21, 2014 — Blue-footed Boobies are on the decline in the Galαpagos. A new study indicates numbers of the iconic birds, known for their bright blue feet and propensity to burst into dance to attract mates, have ... 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

New Material Coating Technology Mimics Nature's Lotus Effect

Apr. 21, 2014 — Ever stop to consider why lotus plant leaves always look clean? The hydrophobic -- water repelling -- characteristic of the leaf, termed the "Lotus effect," helps the plant survive in muddy swamps, ... 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

Researchers Rethink 'Natural' Habitat for Wildlife

Apr. 18, 2014 — Protecting wildlife while feeding a world population predicted to reach nine billion by 2050 will require a holistic approach to conservation that considers human-altered landscapes such as farmland, ... 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

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

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

The Story of Animal Domestication Retold: Scientists Now Think Wild Animals Interbred With Domesticated Ones Until Quite Recently

Apr. 17, 2014 — A review of recent research on the domestication of large herbivores suggests that neither intentional breeding nor genetic isolation were as significant as traditionally thought. "Our findings show ... full story

Genetic Study Tackles Mystery of Slow Plant Domestications

Apr. 17, 2014 — Did domesticating a plant typically take a few hundred or many thousands of years? Genetic studies often indicate that domestication traits have a fairly simple genetic basis, which should facilitate ... full story

New City Wall Discovered at Ancient Roman Port

Apr. 17, 2014 — Researchers have discovered a new section of the boundary wall of the ancient Roman port of Ostia, proving the city was much larger than previously ... full story

Family Ties in the Language Jungle: Amazon Language Relationships Revealed

Apr. 16, 2014 — Relationships between rare languages in the Colombian Amazon have been revealed by researchers. The only linguistic data available for Carabayo, a language spoken by an indigenous group that lives in ... full story

Earliest Ancestor of Land Herbivores Discovered: 300-Million-Year-Old Predator Showed Way to Modern Terrestrial Ecosystem

Apr. 16, 2014 — New research demonstrates how carnivores transitioned into herbivores for the first time on land. Previously unknown, the 300-million-year old fossilized juvenile skeleton of Eocasea martini is less ... full story

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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

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

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

Alternative Identification Methods for Threatened Species Urged

Apr. 17, 2014 — With global climate change and rapidly disappearing habitat critical to the survival of endangered species, there is a sense of urgency to confirm the return of animals thought to be extinct, or to ... full story

Food Shortages Could Be Most Critical World Issue by Mid-Century

Apr. 17, 2014 — The world is less than 40 years away from a food shortage that will have serious implications for people and governments, according to a scientist. "For the first time in human history, food ... full story

Patented Research Remotely Detects Nitrogen-Rich Explosives

Apr. 17, 2014 — A patented technique that improves military security and remotely detects improvised explosive devices has been developed by an engineer. The same technique could help police during drug searches. ... full story

Pocket-Sized Anthrax Detector Created

Apr. 17, 2014 — A credit-card-sized anthrax detection cartridge makes testing safer, easier, faster and cheaper. Bacillus anthracis, the bacteria that causes anthrax, is commonly found in soils all over the world ... 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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