Σάββατο, 29 Μαρτίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News


New way to filter light: May provide first directional selectivity for light waves

Posted: 27 Mar 2014 11:24 AM PDT

Light waves can be defined by three fundamental characteristics: their color (or wavelength), polarization, and direction. While it has long been possible to selectively filter light according to its color or polarization, selectivity based on the direction of propagation has remained elusive. But now, for the first time, researchers have produced a system that allows light of any color to pass through only if it is coming from one specific angle; the technique reflects all light coming from other directions.

Chronic stress in early life causes anxiety, aggression in adulthood, neurobiologists find

Posted: 27 Mar 2014 09:36 AM PDT

In experiments to assess the impacts of social stress upon adolescent mice, both at the time they are experienced and during adulthood, a laboratory team conducted many different kinds of stress tests and means of measuring their impacts. The research indicates that a 'hostile environment in adolescence disturbs psychoemotional state and social behaviors of animals in adult life,' the team says.

Four in 10 infants lack strong parental attachments

Posted: 27 Mar 2014 09:35 AM PDT

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 new report. The researchers found that these children are more likely to face educational and behavioral problems.

Inspiration linked to bipolar disorder risk

Posted: 27 Mar 2014 09:33 AM PDT

Inspiration has been linked with people at risk of developing bipolar disorder for the first time in a study. For generations, artists, musicians, poets and writers have described personal experiences of mania and depression, highlighting the unique association between creativity and bipolar disorder -- experiences which are backed up by recent research. But, until now, the specific links between inspiration -- the generation of ideas that form the basis of creative work -- and bipolar disorder has received little attention.

Computing with slime: Logical circuits built using living slime molds

Posted: 27 Mar 2014 07:03 AM PDT

A future computer might be a lot slimier than the solid silicon devices we have today. Researchers have revealed details of logic units built using living slime molds, which might act as the building blocks for computing devices and sensors.

Mass participation experiment reveals how to create the perfect dream

Posted: 26 Mar 2014 06:27 PM PDT

Psychologists have announced the results of a two-year study into dream control. The experiment shows that it is now possible for people to create their perfect dream, and so wake up feeling especially happy and refreshed. Researchers also discovered that people's dreams were especially bizarre around the time of a full moon.

No correlation between medical marijuana legalization, crime increase: Legalization may reduce homicide, assault rates

Posted: 26 Mar 2014 03:20 PM PDT

A professor of criminology found that legalization of medical marijuana is not an indicator of increased crime. It actually may be related to reductions in certain types of violent crime. The study tracked crime rates across all 50 states between 1990 and 2006, when 11 states legalized marijuana for medical use: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. Since the time period the study covered, 20 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana for medical use.

Crows understand water displacement at the level of a small child: Show causal understanding of a 5- to 7-year-old child

Posted: 26 Mar 2014 03:20 PM PDT

New Caledonian crows may understand how to displace water to receive a reward, with the causal understanding level of a 5- to 7-year-old child. Understanding causal relationships between actions is a key feature of human cognition. However, the extent to which non-human animals are capable of understanding causal relationships is not well understood. Scientists used the Aesop's fable riddle -- in which subjects drop stones into water to raise the water level and obtain an out-of reach-reward -- to assess New Caledonian crows' causal understanding of water displacement.

Autism begins in pregnancy, according to study: Cortical layers disrupted during brain development in autism

Posted: 26 Mar 2014 03:19 PM PDT

Researchers have published a study that gives clear and direct new evidence that autism begins during pregnancy. The researchers analyzed 25 genes in post-mortem brain tissue of children with and without autism. These included genes that serve as biomarkers for brain cell types in different layers of the cortex, genes implicated in autism and several control genes.

The search for seeds of black holes

Posted: 26 Mar 2014 02:03 PM PDT

How do you grow a supermassive black hole that is a million to a billion times the mass of our sun? Astronomers do not know the answer, but a new study using data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has turned up what might be the cosmic seeds from which a black hole will sprout. The results are helping scientists piece together the evolution of supermassive black holes -- powerful objects that dominate the hearts of all galaxies.

Engineered bacteria produce biofuel alternative for high-energy rocket fuel

Posted: 26 Mar 2014 01:09 PM PDT

Researchers have engineered a bacterium to synthesize pinene, a hydrocarbon produced by trees that could potentially replace high-energy fuels, such as JP-10, in missiles and other aerospace applications. By inserting enzymes from trees into the bacterium scientists have boosted pinene production six-fold over earlier bioengineering efforts.

Ancient sea creatures filtered food like modern whales

Posted: 26 Mar 2014 11:22 AM PDT

Ancient, giant marine animals used bizarre facial appendages to filter food from the ocean, according to new fossils discovered in northern Greenland. The new study describes how the strange species, called Tamisiocaris, used these huge, specialized appendages to filter plankton, similar to the way modern blue whales feed today.

First ring system around asteroid: Chariklo found to have two rings

Posted: 26 Mar 2014 11:18 AM PDT

Astronomers have made the surprise discovery that the remote asteroid Chariklo is surrounded by two dense and narrow rings. This is the smallest object by far found to have rings and only the fifth body in the Solar System — after the much larger planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune — to have this feature. The origin of these rings remains a mystery, but they may be the result of a collision that created a disc of debris.

Significant progress toward creating 'benchtop human' reported

Posted: 26 Mar 2014 10:53 AM PDT

Scientists are reporting significant progress toward creating "homo minutus" -- a benchtop human. Researchers have successfully developed and analyzed a liver human organ construct that responds to exposure to a toxic chemical much like a real liver.

Dark energy hides behind phantom fields

Posted: 26 Mar 2014 08:45 AM PDT

Quintessence and phantom fields, two hypotheses formulated using data from satellites are among the many theories that try to explain the nature of dark energy. Now researchers suggest that both possibilities are only a mirage in the observations and it is the quantum vacuum which could be behind this energy that moves our universe. Cosmologists believe that some three quarters of the universe are made up of a mysterious dark energy which would explain its accelerated expansion. The truth is that they do not know what it could be, therefore they put forward possible solutions.

Beer marinade could reduce levels of potentially harmful substances in grilled meats

Posted: 26 Mar 2014 07:27 AM PDT

The smells of summer -- the sweet fragrance of newly opened flowers, the scent of freshly cut grass and the aroma of meats cooking on the backyard grill -- will soon be upon us. Now, researchers are reporting that the very same beer that many people enjoy at backyard barbeques could, when used as a marinade, help reduce the formation of potentially harmful substances in grilled meats.

An answer to the perennial question: Is it safe to pee in the pool?

Posted: 26 Mar 2014 07:27 AM PDT

Sanitary-minded pool-goers who preach 'no peeing in the pool,' despite ordinary and Olympic swimmers admitting to the practice, now have scientific evidence to back up their concern. Researchers are reporting that when mixed, urine and chlorine can form substances that can cause potential health problems.

Contaminated white dwarfs: Scientists solve riddle of celestial archaeology

Posted: 26 Mar 2014 06:22 AM PDT

A decades old space mystery has been solved by an international team of astronomers. The team put forward a new theory for how collapsed stars become polluted -- that points to the ominous fate that awaits planet Earth. Scientists investigated hot, young, white dwarfs -- the super-dense remains of Sun-like stars that ran out of fuel and collapsed to about the size of the Earth.

Time out: Spanking babies is surprisingly common, U.S. study finds

Posted: 16 Mar 2014 06:09 PM PDT

The same hands that parents use to lovingly feed, clothe and bathe their babies are also commonly used to spank their bundles of joy. A new study found that 30 percent of 1-year-old children were spanked at least once in the past month by their mother, father or both parents. A long-time topic of debate, spanking children is a common practice among U.S. parents.

Eating eggs is not linked to high cholesterol in adolescents, study suggests

Posted: 19 Jul 2013 05:39 AM PDT

Although in the late 20th century it was maintained that eating more than two eggs a week could increase cholesterol, in recent years experts have begun to refute this myth. Now, a new study has found that eating more eggs is not associated with higher serum cholesterol in adolescents, regardless of how much physical activity they do.

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