- Star is discovered to be a close neighbor of the Sun and the coldest of its kind
- Reconstructed ancient ocean reveals secrets about the origin of life
- Chernobyl's birds adapting to ionizing radiation
- Controlling brain waves to improve vision
- Microscopic organism plays a big role in ocean carbon cycling
- Take notes by hand for better long-term comprehension
Posted: 25 Apr 2014 01:23 PM PDT
A 'brown dwarf' star that appears to be the coldest of its kind -- as frosty as Earth's North Pole -- has been discovered by astronomers. The object's distance at 7.2 light-years away, making it the fourth closest system to our Sun.
Posted: 25 Apr 2014 04:52 AM PDT
Researchers have published details about how the first organisms on Earth could have become metabolically active. The results permit scientists to speculate how primitive cells learned to synthesize their organic components -- the molecules that form RNA, lipids and amino acids. The findings also suggest an order for the sequence of events that led to the origin of life.
Posted: 24 Apr 2014 07:30 PM PDT
Birds in the exclusion zone around Chernobyl are adapting to -- and may even be benefiting from -- long-term exposure to radiation, ecologists have found. The study is the first evidence that wild animals adapt to ionizing radiation, and the first to show that birds which produce most pheomelanin, a pigment in feathers, have greatest problems coping with radiation exposure.
Posted: 24 Apr 2014 02:05 PM PDT
A novel technique to test brain waves is being used to see how the brain processes external stimuli that do and don't reach our awareness. "When we have different things competing for our attention, we can only be aware of so much of what we see," said a researcher on the study. "For example, when you're driving, you might really be concentrating on obeying traffic signals." But say there's an unexpected event: an emergency vehicle, a pedestrian -- will you actually see the unexpected, or will you be so focused on your initial task that you don't notice?
Posted: 24 Apr 2014 12:18 PM PDT
Scientists have taken a leap forward in understanding the microscopic underpinnings of the ocean carbon cycle by pinpointing a bacterium that appears to play a dominant role in carbon consumption.
Posted: 24 Apr 2014 07:28 AM PDT
Dust off those Bic ballpoints and college-ruled notebooks: research shows that taking notes by hand is better than taking notes on a laptop for remembering conceptual information over the long term. "Our new findings suggest that even when laptops are used as intended -- and not for buying things on Amazon during class -- they may still be harming academic performance," says a psychological scientist involved in the study.
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