Τρίτη, 29 Απριλίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News


Scientists create circuit board modeled on the human brain

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 10:40 AM PDT

Scientists have developed faster, more energy-efficient microchips based on the human brain -- 9,000 times faster and using significantly less power than a typical PC. This offers greater possibilities for advances in robotics and a new way of understanding the brain. For instance, a chip as fast and efficient as the human brain could drive prosthetic limbs with the speed and complexity of our own actions.

Flexible battery, no lithium required: Lab creates thin-film battery for portable, wearable electronics

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:13 AM PDT

Scientists have created a thin, flexible film that combines the best qualities of batteries and supercapacitors. Chemists developed a flexible material with nanoporous nickel-fluoride electrodes layered around a solid electrolyte to deliver battery-like supercapacitor performance that combines the best qualities of a high-energy battery and a high-powered supercapacitor without the lithium found in commercial batteries today.

Urbanization, higher temperatures can influence butterfly emergence patterns

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:12 AM PDT

Researchers have found that a subset of common butterfly species are emerging later than usual in urban areas located in warmer regions, raising questions about how the insects respond to significant increases in temperature.

Loss of Y chromosome can explain shorter life expectancy, higher cancer risk for men

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:12 AM PDT

It is generally well known that men have an overall shorter life expectancy compared to women. A recent study shows a correlation between a loss of the Y chromosome in blood cells and both a shorter life span and higher mortality from cancer in other organs.

Egyptologists identify tomb of royal children

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:08 AM PDT

Who had the privilege to spend eternal life next to the pharaoh?  Close to the royal tombs in the Egyptian Valley of the Kings, excavations by Egyptologists have identified the burial place of several children as well as other family members of two pharaohs.

Origin of Huntington's disease found in brain; insights to help deliver therapy

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:06 AM PDT

The gene mutation that causes Huntington's disease appears in every cell in the body, yet kills only two types of brain cells. Why? Scientists used a unique approach to switch the gene off in individual brain regions and zero in on those that play a role in causing the disease in mice. Their findings shed light on where Huntington's starts in the brain. It also suggests new targets and routes for therapeutic drugs to slow the devastating disease, which strikes an estimated 35,000 Americans.

The scent of a man: Gender of experimenter has big impact on rats' stress levels, explains lack of replication of some findings

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:06 AM PDT

Scientists' inability to replicate research findings using mice and rats has contributed to mounting concern over the reliability of such studies. Pain researchers have now found that the gender of experimenters has a big impact on the stress levels of rodents used in research. The presence of male experimenters produced a stress response in mice and rats equivalent to that caused by restraining the rodents for 15 minutes in a tube or forcing them to swim for three minutes. This stress-induced reaction made mice and rats of both sexes less sensitive to pain.

Strategic thinking strengthens intellectual capacity

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 06:42 AM PDT

Strategy-based cognitive training has the potential to enhance cognitive performance and spill over to real-life benefit according to a data-driven perspective article. The research-based perspective highlights cognitive, neural and real-life changes measured in randomized clinical trials that compared a gist-reasoning strategy-training program to memory training in populations ranging from teenagers to healthy older adults, individuals with brain injury to those at-risk for Alzheimer's disease.

The Moroccan flic-flac spider: A gymnast among the arachnids

Posted: 28 Apr 2014 04:44 AM PDT

A spider expert has described a new species: Cebrennus rechenbergi. It is the only spider that is able to move by means of flic-flac jumps. The flic-flac spider uses its legs to create a rolling motion. Like a gymnast, it propels itself off the ground, followed by a series of rapid flic-flac movements of its legs.

Oops! Researchers find neural signature for mistake correction

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 09:50 AM PDT

Researchers have captured an elusive brain signal underlying memory transfer and, in doing so, pinpointed the first neural circuit for "oops" -- the precise moment when one becomes consciously aware of a self-made mistake and takes corrective action. The findings verified a 20-year-old hypothesis on how brain areas communicate. 

To mark territory or not to mark territory: Breaking the pheromone code

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 09:47 AM PDT

The surprisingly versatile code by which chemical cues help trigger some of the most basic behaviors in mice has been deciphered by scientists. The findings shed light on the evolution of mammalian behaviors -- which include human behaviors -- and their underlying brain mechanisms. They also challenge the traditional view of how pheromones work in animals such as mice. These compounds have until now been thought to trigger behaviors very directly and simply -- one compound, when detected, triggers one behavior -- so that behaviors critical for survival and reproduction don't have to be learned.

Altruistic adolescents less likely to become depressed, study says

Posted: 24 Apr 2014 07:28 AM PDT

It is better to give than to receive -- at least if you're an adolescent and you enjoy giving, a new study suggests. The study found that 15- and 16-year-olds who find pleasure in pro-social activities, such as giving their money to family members, are less likely to become depressed than those who get a bigger thrill from taking risks or keeping the money for themselves.

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