Τρίτη, 20 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Latest Science News

ScienceDaily: Latest Science News

I like your genes: People more likely to choose a spouse with similar DNA

Posted: 19 May 2014 01:07 PM PDT

Individuals are more genetically similar to their spouses than they are to randomly selected individuals from the same population, according to a new study. Scientists already knew that people tend to marry others who have similar characteristics, including religion, age, race, income, body type and education, among others. Scientists now show that people also are more likely to pick mates who have similar DNA.

Engineer invents a way to beam power to medical chips deep inside the body

Posted: 19 May 2014 01:07 PM PDT

Researchers have invented a way to wirelessly beam power to programmable devices deep inside the body. These medical chips could be as small as a grain of rice. They would sit alongside nerves, muscles and other tissues. The chips could be programmed for a wide variety of medical tasks. The wireless power recharging would enable them to be implanted once and repowered as need be. This is a platform technology to enable a new therapeutic category -- 'electroceutical' devices.

Chemists challenge conventional understanding of how photocatalysis works

Posted: 19 May 2014 01:07 PM PDT

Photocatalysts are most often semiconductors, with metals (platinum, gold) added to promote their activity. However, these metals (or 'promoters') are expensive; hence the quest for more economical alternatives. Now a team of chemists has come up with a model to explain this promoting effect that could shift the focus in the search for substitutes of the metals, and help identify better promoters for photocatalysis in the near future.

Favoritism, not hostility, causes most discrimination

Posted: 19 May 2014 01:06 PM PDT

Most discrimination in the U.S. is not caused by intention to harm people different from us, but by ordinary favoritism directed at helping people similar to us, according to a theoretical review.

Could texting and autocorrect affect kids' writing skills?

Posted: 19 May 2014 01:05 PM PDT

An English teacher sees the effects of students' growing up in an age when communication is done in an abbreviated text language and where they depend on autocorrect to automatically solve the "i before e" literary dilemma.

Taste test: Could sense of taste affect length of life?

Posted: 19 May 2014 01:05 PM PDT

Perhaps one of the keys to good health isn't just what you eat but how you taste it. Taste buds -- yes, the same ones you may blame for that sweet tooth or French fry craving -- may in fact have a powerful role in a long and healthy life -- at least for fruit flies. Bitter tastes could have negative effects on lifespan, sweet tastes had positive effects, and the ability to taste water had the most significant impact -- flies that could not taste water lived up to 43% longer than other flies.

Different types of El Nino have different effects on global temperature: May explain slowdowns in global warming

Posted: 19 May 2014 10:48 AM PDT

The El Niño–Southern Oscillation is known to influence global surface temperatures, with El Niño conditions leading to warmer temperatures and La Niña conditions leading to colder temperatures. However, a new study shows that some types of El Niño do not have this effect, a finding that could explain recent decade-scale slowdowns in global warming.

Children who exercise have better body-fat distribution, regardless of their weight

Posted: 19 May 2014 10:48 AM PDT

Maybe the numbers on the scale aren't alarming, but that doesn't mean that healthy-weight children get a pass on exercising, according to a new study. "The FITKids study demonstrates the extent to which physical activity can improve body composition, and that's important because it matters to your health where fat is stored. But the study is also interesting for what happened in the control group to the kids who didn't exercise," said the study's lead author.

Improved supercapacitors for super batteries, electric vehicles

Posted: 19 May 2014 09:25 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a novel nanometer scale ruthenium oxide anchored nanocarbon graphene foam architecture that improves the performance of supercapacitors, a development that could mean faster acceleration in electric vehicles and longer battery life in portable electronics.

Liberating devices from their power cords

Posted: 19 May 2014 09:25 AM PDT

A new type of supercapacitor that can hold a charge when it takes a lickin' has been developed. It is the first "multi-functional" energy storage device that can operate while subject to realistic static and dynamic loads – advancing the day when everything from cell phones to electric vehicles will no longer need separate batteries.

Neutron beams reveal how antibodies cluster in solution

Posted: 19 May 2014 08:44 AM PDT

Results from neutron spin-echo analysis are an important advance towards enabling subcutaneous injections of concentrated biopharmaceuticals used to treat cancer and autoimmune disorders (e.g. arthritis, multiple sclerosis). The insights obtained could help drug companies reduce the viscosity and mitigate phase separation in injectable biopharmaceuticals, making them easier to manufacture and fluid enough to be self-administered in the home.

Can chemicals produced by gut microbiota affect children with autism?

Posted: 19 May 2014 08:44 AM PDT

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have significantly different concentrations of certain bacterial-produced chemicals, called metabolites, in their feces compared to children without ASD. This research provides further evidence that bacteria in the gut may be linked to autism.

Having and raising offspring is costly phase of life for baboon moms

Posted: 19 May 2014 08:43 AM PDT

Observations made over the past 29 years in Kenya as part of one of the world's longest-running studies of a wild primate show how having offspring influences the health of female baboons. These observations highlight that females are mostly injured on days when they are likely to conceive. In addition, injuries heal the slowest when they are suckling their young. Reproduction can be dangerous and energetically costly, exposing individuals to physical harm, infectious disease and reduced immunity.

Earth organisms survive under Martian conditions: Methanogens stay alive in extreme heat and cold

Posted: 19 May 2014 08:42 AM PDT

New research suggests that methanogens -- among the simplest and oldest organisms on Earth -- could survive on Mars. Methanogens, microorganisms in the domain Archaea, use hydrogen as their energy source and carbon dioxide as their carbon source, to metabolize and produce methane, also known as natural gas. Methanogens live in swamps and marshes, but can also be found in the gut of cattle, termites and other herbivores as well as in dead and decaying matter.

The spot-tail golden bass: A new fish species from deep reefs of the southern Caribbean

Posted: 19 May 2014 08:03 AM PDT

Scientists have described a new species of small coral reef sea bass from underexplored deep-reef depths of Curaçao, southern Caribbean. With predominantly yellow body and fins, the new species, Liopropoma santi, more closely resembles the other two 'golden basses' found together with it at Curaçao, L. aberrans and L. olneyi, than the striped species that occur on shallower reefs.

Engineers find way to lower risk of midair collisions for small aircraft

Posted: 19 May 2014 08:03 AM PDT

Researchers have developed new modifications for technology that helps pilots of small aircraft avoid midair collisions. The modified tools significantly improved pilot response times in making decisions to avert crashes.

Antarctica's ice losses on the rise

Posted: 19 May 2014 08:02 AM PDT

Three years of observations show that the Antarctic ice sheet is now losing 159 billion tons of ice each year -- twice as much as when it was last surveyed. Scientists have now produced the first complete assessment of Antarctic ice sheet elevation change.

Keywords hold our vocabulary together in memory

Posted: 19 May 2014 07:47 AM PDT

Like key players in social networks, scientists have found evidence that there are keywords in word networks that hold together groups of words in our memory. The existence of keywords opens up many possible real-life applications such as helping individuals with word finding after stroke. Conversely, removing a keyword through psycholinguistic tasks, could actually disrupt language processing - fracturing our word network.

'Smoking gun' evidence for theory that Saturn's collapsing magnetic tail causes auroras

Posted: 19 May 2014 06:04 AM PDT

Researchers have captured stunning images of Saturn's auroras as the planet's magnetic field is battered by charged particles from the Sun.

Hybrid electric vehicles: Logged driving route can reduce energy consumption by 10 percent

Posted: 19 May 2014 06:04 AM PDT

For long distance driving, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles use the internal combustion engine more than necessary. A new method has now been developed to make the car remember the commuter routes and thereby make optimal use of the battery. The strategy can reduce fuel consumption by up to 10 percent compared to conventional methods.

Greenland will be far greater contributor to sea rise than expected: Work reveals long, deep valleys connecting ice cap to ocean

Posted: 18 May 2014 01:44 PM PDT

Greenland's icy reaches are far more vulnerable to warm ocean waters from climate change than had been thought, according to new research by glaciologists. The work shows previously uncharted deep valleys stretching for dozens of miles under the Greenland Ice Sheet.

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