Selected science news, the latest and most intriguing science and research news.
June 28, 2010
Climate Change Complicates Plant Diseases of the Future - Human-driven changes in the earth's atmospheric composition are likely to alter plant diseases of the future.
Was Venus Once a Habitable Planet? - The European Space Agency's Venus Express is helping planetary scientists investigate whether Venus once had oceans.
Scientists Create 3-D Models of Whole Mouse Organs - Yale University engineers have for the first time created 3D models of whole intact mouse organs, a feat they accomplished using fluorescence microscopy.
A Loss of Plasticity of the Brain? - Why is it that only some drug users become addicts? This is the question that has been addressed by the teams of Pier Vincenzo Piazza and Olivier Manzoni, at the Neurocentre Magendie in Bordeaux (Inserm unit 862).
June 21, 2010
Astronomers Witness a Star Being Born - Astronomers have glimpsed what could be the youngest known star at the very moment it is being born.
Songbirds Learn Their Songs During Sleep - When zebra finches learn their songs from their father early in life, their brain is active during sleep.
Malaria Threat Is as Old as Humanity - New research by scientists funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) shows that malaria is tens of thousands of years older than previously thought.
Researchers Find a New Approach to Ranking and Rating Soccer Players - As a young boy growing up in Portugal, Luís Amaral loved playing, watching and talking soccer. Amaral and his friends passionately debated about which players were "the best."
June 14, 2010
Improving Recovery from Spinal Cord Injury - Once damaged, nerves in the spinal cord normally cannot grow back and the only drug approved for treating these injuries does not enable nerve regrowth.
New Species of Large Blue Butterfly Discovered - Chinese and German scientists have found a new butterfly species in the south of China. It is the first known species of the family of large blue butterflies found to live in mountain forests.
Exoplanet Caught on the Move - For the first time, astronomers have been able to directly follow the motion of an exoplanet as it moves from one side of its host star to the other.
Polyphenols in Red Wine and Green Tea Halt Prostate Cancer Growth - In what could lead to a major advance in the treatment of prostate cancer, scientists now know exactly why polyphenols in red wine and green tea inhibit cancer growth.
June 7, 2010
Video Game Research Project to Help Blind Children Exercise - VI Fit, a project at the University of Nevada, Reno, helps children who are blind become more physically active and healthy through video games.
Glaciers in Tibet Were Never Really Large - The Tibetan Plateau is the largest and highest mountain region on Earth with glaciers whose meltwater provides the water supply for more than 1.3 billion people through several of the largest rivers in Asia.
Spending Time in Nature Makes People Feel More Alive - Feeling sluggish? The solution may require getting outside the box - that big brick-and-mortar box called a building.
Cosmic Zoo in the Large Magellanic Cloud
- Astronomers often turn their telescopes to the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), one of the closest galaxies to our own Milky Way, in their quest to understand the Universe.
May 31, 2010
Researcher Decodes Rembrandt's Magic - A University of British Columbia researcher has uncovered what makes Rembrandt's masterful portraits so appealing.
Researchers Design and Test Microfabricated Planar Ion Traps - Despite a steady improvement in the speed of conventional computers during the last few decades, certain types of problems remain computationally difficult to solve.
Clue to Origin of Milky Way Gas Clouds Discovered - A surprising discovery that hydrogen gas clouds found in abundance in and above our Milky Way Galaxy have preferred locations has given astronomers a key clue about the origin of such clouds, which play an important part in galaxy evolution.
First Horned Dinosaur from Mexico - A new species of horned dinosaur unearthed in Mexico has larger horns that any other species - up to 4 feet long - and has given scientists fresh insights into the ancient history of western North America.
May 24, 2010
Big Bang in the Protein Universe? - Researchers at Spain's Centre for Genomic Regulation demonstrate evidence in support of the common ancestry of life, thanks to a new computational approach to study protein evolution.
Reality TV High on Aggression - All the gossip, insults and dirty looks add up fast on popular reality shows, far outpacing the level seen in equally popular dramas, comedies and soap operas according to a new Brigham Young University study.
Probing the Dark Side of the Universe - Advancing into the next frontier in astrophysics and cosmology depends on our ability to detect the presence of a particular type of wave in space, a primordial gravitational wave.
Better Way to Detect Food Allergies - About 30 percent of Americans believe they have food allergies. However, the actual number is far smaller, closer to 5 percent, according to a recent study commissioned by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
May 17, 2010
DNA Could Be Backbone of Next-Generation Logic Chips - In a single day, a solitary grad student at a lab bench can produce more simple logic circuits than the world's entire output of silicon chips in a month.
Why a Whiff of Cats or Rats Is Scary - Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have found a specific chemical compound secreted by many predators that makes mice behave fearfully.
Neural Evidence for Sudden Insight - A recent study provides intriguing information about the neural dynamics underlying behavioral changes associated with the development of new problem solving strategies.
Flash Flooding Paved Streambeds on Saturn's Moon - It appears flash flooding has paved streambeds in the Xanadu region of Saturn's moon Titan with thousands of sparkling crystal balls of ice, according to scientists with NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
May 10, 2010
Brain's Master Switch Is Verified - The protein that has long been suspected by scientists of being the master switch allowing brains to function has now been verified by an Iowa State University researcher.
New Protein Involved in Longevity Identified -Researchers in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Thomas Jefferson University have found that the level of a single protein in the tiny roundworm C. elegans determines how long it lives.
A Cluster and a Sea of Galaxies - A new wide-field image released by ESO displays many thousands of distant galaxies, and more particularly a large group belonging to the massive galaxy cluster known as Abell 315.
The Most Powerful Supercomputer in the World - They can't wait to do computational chemistry at a quadrillion calculations per second. But it's not all that computing power that's driving three Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory researchers as they develop computational chemistry at the petascale.
May 3, 2010
Largest Atlas of Nuclear Galactic Rings Unveiled - An international team of astrophysicists has just unveiled the most complete atlas of nuclear rings, enormous star-forming ring-shaped regions that circle certain galactic nuclei.
Fluorescent Compounds Make Tumors Glow - A series of novel imaging agents could light up tumors as they begin to form - before they turn deadly - and signal their transition to aggressive cancers.
Sleeping Well at 100 Years of Age - A study in the May 1 issue of the journal Sleep is the first to examine sleep issues in a large sample of exceptionally old adults, including nearly 2,800 people who were 100 years of age and older.
Dimmer Switch for Superconducting Quantum Computing Developed - Scientists have developed the first "dimmer switch" for a superconducting circuit linking a quantum bit and a quantum bus - promising technologies for storing and transporting information in future quantum computers.
April 26, 2010
Substance in Breast Milk Kills Cancer Cells - A substance found in breast milk can kill cancer cells, reveal studies carried out by researchers at Lund University and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Galaxy Merger Dilemma Solved - Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory have solved a long-standing dilemma about the mass of infrared bright merging galaxies.
Brain-Like Computing on an Organic Molecular Layer - Information processing circuits in digital computers are static. In our brains, information processing circuits - neurons - evolve continuously to solve complex problems.
Brains, Worms and Computer Chips Have Striking Similarities - An international team of scientists has discovered striking similarities between the human brain, the nervous system of a worm, and a computer chip.
April 19, 2010
Clues from Green Algae on the Origin of Males and Females - A multicellular green alga, Volvox carteri, may have finally unlocked the secrets behind the evolution of different sexes.
Uncovering Early Stages of Alzheimer's Disease - A major Australian study has provided new insights into the loss of structure in regions of the brain and its potential association with Alzheimer's Disease.
Supermassive Black Holes Strip Massive Galaxies of Star-Forming Gases - Black holes have long been beloved of science fiction writers for their destructive capabilities and peculiar ability to warp space time.
Cat Brain: A Step Toward the Electronic Equivalent - A cat can recognize a face faster and more efficiently than a supercomputer. That's one reason a feline brain is the model for a biologically-inspired computer project involving the University of Michigan.
April 12, 2010
Poor Sleep for Obese Adolescents - Obese adolescents go to bed later and sleep less than their lighter contemporaries. This is the finding of a study published in the April issue of Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.
Savvy Injection Molding - With the help of neural networks, in which complex algorithms are used to monitor critical process steps, engineers are paving the way for zero-defect production in the area of metal powder injection molding.
New Agent Chokes Off Energy Supply, Kills Cancer Cells - Cancer cells grow so fast that they can outstrip their blood supply, leaving them short of oxygen. The cells then produce energy in a way that needs less oxygen but more sugar.
Hiding out Behind the Milky Way - A leggy cosmic creature comes out of hiding in a new infrared view from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The spiral beauty, called IC 342 and sometimes the "hidden galaxy," is shrouded behind our own galaxy, the Milky Way.
April 5, 2010
Toads' Earthquake Exodus - Common toads (Bufo bufo) can detect impending seismic activity and alter their behaviour from breeding to evacuation mode.
Unequal Leg Length Tied To Osteoarthritis - A new study shows that arthritis in the knee is linked to the common trait of having one leg that is longer than the other.
Colony Of Young Stars Shines In New Spitzer Image - Astronomers have their eyes on a hot group of young stars, watching their every move like the paparazzi.
Significant Step Toward Lightweight Batteries - A team of researchers at MIT has made significant progress on a technology that could lead to batteries with up to three times the energy density of any battery that currently exists.
March 29, 2010
New Human Species Discovered - An international team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig has sequenced ancient mitochondrial DNA from a finger bone of a female found in southern Siberia.
First Temperate Exoplanet - Size Of Jupiter - Discovered - An international team of scientists, including several who are affiliated with UC Santa Barbara, has discovered a new planet the size of Jupiter.
Playing 'Pong' With The Blink Of An Eye - University students have developed a computer game that is operated by eye movements, which could allow people with severe physical disabilities to become 'gamers' for the first time.
Structure Of Insulin's Docking Point Identified - Walter and Eliza Hall Institute scientists have determined the structure of a previously unseen part of the insulin receptor, making possible new treatments for diabetes.
March 22, 2010
New Species Of Raptor Dinosaur In Inner Mongolia - A new species of dinosaur, a relative of the famous Velociraptor, has been discovered in Inner Mongolia by two PhD students.
Bully Galaxy Rules The Neighborhood - Located half a billion light-years from Earth, ESO 306-17, is a large, bright elliptical galaxy in the southern sky of a type known as a fossil group.
Brain Scans Could Be Marketing Tool Of The Future - Using advanced tools to see the human brain at work, a new generation of marketing experts may be able to test a product's appeal while it is still being designed.
Evolution Of Fairness And Punishment - Researchers have long been puzzled by large societies in which strangers routinely engage in voluntary acts of kindness, respect and mutual benefit even though there is often an individual cost involved.
Science news and Brain Teasers
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