Σάββατο, 19 Απριλίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

First potentially habitable Earth-sized planet confirmed by Gemini and Keck observatories

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 11:19 AM PDT

The first Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting within the habitable zone of another star has been confirmed by observations with both the W. M. Keck Observatory and the Gemini Observatory. The initial discovery, made by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, is one of a handful of smaller planets found by Kepler and verified using large ground-based telescopes. It also confirms that Earth-sized planets do exist in the habitable zone of other stars.

There's something ancient in the icebox: Three-million-year-old landscape beneath Greenland Ice Sheet

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 11:18 AM PDT

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 persisted much longer than previously known, enduring through many past periods of global warming.

Earliest ancestor of land herbivores discovered: 300-million-year-old predator showed way to modern terrestrial ecosystem

Posted: 16 Apr 2014 02:22 PM PDT

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 than 20 cm long. Found in Kansas, it consists of a partial skull, most of the vertebral column, the pelvis and a hind limb. By comparing the skeletal anatomy of related animals, scientists discovered that Eocasea martini belonged to the caseid branch of the group Synapsid. This group, which includes early terrestrial herbivores and large top predators, ultimately evolved into modern living mammals. Eocasea lived nearly 80 million years before the age of dinosaurs.

Eavesdropping on brain cell chatter

Posted: 16 Apr 2014 11:33 AM PDT

Everything we do -- all of our movements, thoughts and feelings -- are the result of neurons talking with one another, and recent studies have suggested that some of the conversations might not be all that private. Brain cells known as astrocytes may be listening in on, or even participating in, some of those discussions. But a new mouse study suggests that astrocytes might only be tuning in part of the time -- specifically, when the neurons get really excited about something.

How smells stick to your memories: Your nose can be a pathfinder

Posted: 16 Apr 2014 10:33 AM PDT

Waves in your brain make smells stick to your memories and inner maps. Researchers have recently discovered the process behind this phenomenon. The brain, it turns out, connects smells to memories through an associative process where neural networks are linked through synchronized brain waves of 20-40 Hz.

Searching for dark energy with neutrons: With neutrons, scientists can now look for dark energy in the lab

Posted: 16 Apr 2014 10:33 AM PDT

It does not always take a huge accelerator to do particle physics: First results from a low energy, table top alternative takes validity of Newtonian gravity down by five orders of magnitude and narrows the potential properties of the forces and particles that may exist beyond it by more than one hundred thousand times. Gravity resonance spectroscopy is so sensitive that it can now be used to search for Dark Matter and Dark Energy.

Scientists re-define what's healthy in newest analysis for human microbiome project

Posted: 16 Apr 2014 10:31 AM PDT

A new look at the Human Microbiome Project shows wide variation in the types of bacteria found in healthy people. Based on their findings, there is no single healthy microbiome. Rather each person harbors a unique and varied collection of bacteria that's the result of life history as well their interactions with the environment, diet and medication use.

Functional brain imaging reliably predicts which vegetative patients have potential to recover consciousness

Posted: 15 Apr 2014 05:37 PM PDT

A functional brain imaging technique known as positron emission tomography is a promising tool for determining which severely brain damaged individuals in vegetative states have the potential to recover consciousness, according to new research.

Real-time audio of corporal punishment shows kids misbehave within 10 minutes of spanking

Posted: 15 Apr 2014 11:40 AM PDT

Real-time audio recordings of children being spanked showed parents responded impulsively or emotionally, rather than being intentional with their discipline, says a psychologist and parenting expert. Researchers discovered that spanking was more common than parents admit, that children were hit for trivial misdeeds, and that children misbehaved within 10 minutes of punishment.

New method of screening children for autism spectrum disorders works at 9 months old

Posted: 15 Apr 2014 09:55 AM PDT

Researchers have identified head circumference and head tilting reflex as two reliable biomarkers in the identification of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in children that are between 9 and 12 months of age. ASD is identifiable as early as two years old, although most children are not identified until after the age of four. While a number of studies have reported that parents of children with ASD notice developmental problems in children before their first birthday, there has yet to be a screening tool to identify those children.

How nerve cells flexibly adapt to acoustic signals

Posted: 11 Apr 2014 07:31 AM PDT

Nerve cells flexibly adapt to acoustic signals, research has shown. Depending on the input signal, neurons generate action potentials either near or far away from the cell body. Nerve cells ensure that the various kinds of input signals are optimally processed -- and thus allow us to perceive both small and large acoustic arrival time differences well, and thereby localize sounds in space.

Impact of the 1,000 mph supersonic car predicted

Posted: 11 Apr 2014 07:31 AM PDT

What are the aerodynamic characteristics of traveling at 1,000 mph? Simulations have looked at how the car will cope with the supersonic rolling ground, rotating wheels and resulting shock waves in close proximity to the test surface at the record attempt site in Hakskeen Pan, South Africa. Where, in 2015, it will make high speed test runs of up to 800mph, with the full 1,000mph attempt scheduled for 2016.

Grandmas stay sharp when they care for grandkids once a week

Posted: 08 Apr 2014 08:17 AM PDT

Taking care of grandkids one day a week helps keep grandmothers mentally sharp, finds a study. That's good news for women after menopause, when women need to lower their risks of developing Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive disorders. On the other hand, taking care of grandchildren five days a week or more had some negative effects on tests of mental sharpness.

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