Τετάρτη, 28 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Latest Science News

ScienceDaily: Latest Science News

Why don’t the highly educated smoke? Families kids grow up in play important role

Posted: 27 May 2014 07:17 PM PDT

It's well established that adults with college degrees are much less likely to smoke than adults with less education, but the reasons for this inequality are unclear. Families in which kids grow up and children's non-cognitive skills may matter far more than realized in explaining the robust association between education and smoking in adulthood.

Diamond planets may be more common than astronomers thought

Posted: 27 May 2014 07:05 PM PDT

Carbon-rich planets may be more common than previously thought, according to new research. Some of these planets, all located far beyond Earth's solar system, could contain vast deposits of graphite or diamonds, and their apparent abundance prompts new questions about the implications of carbon-intense environments for climate, plate tectonics, and other geological processes, as well as for life.

Intertwined evolution of human brain and brawn

Posted: 27 May 2014 03:53 PM PDT

The cognitive differences between humans and our closest living cousins, chimpanzees, are staggeringly obvious; however a new study suggests that human muscle may be just as unique.

Making research findings freely available is an essential aid to medical progress, experts say

Posted: 27 May 2014 03:53 PM PDT

Medical researchers explore how open access publications could help moderate and reduce the vast waste of global medical research. Subscription-based academic journals make money by through copyrights assigned by authors to publishers who lock the articles behind paywalls. Open access models, in which journals charge a publication fee and then make research and related content fully and immediately available to all, stand to aid the dissemination of knowledge and to improve its quality, experts say.

Barriers to HIV testing in older children

Posted: 27 May 2014 03:53 PM PDT

Concerns about guardianship and privacy can discourage clinics from testing children for HIV, according to new research from Zimbabwe. The results of the study provide much-needed information on how to improve care of this vulnerable population.

Sunsets on Titan reveal the complexity of hazy exoplanets

Posted: 27 May 2014 03:07 PM PDT

Scientists working with data from NASA's Cassini mission have developed a new way to understand the atmospheres of exoplanets by using Saturn's smog-enshrouded moon Titan as a stand-in. The new technique shows the dramatic influence that hazy skies could have on our ability to learn about these alien worlds orbiting distant stars.

Supertasters do not have particularly high density of taste buds on tongue, crowdsourcing shows

Posted: 27 May 2014 01:18 PM PDT

Science crowdsourcing was used to disprove a widely held theory that 'supertasters' owe their special sensitivity to bitter tastes to an usually high density of taste buds on their tongue, according to a new study.

Learning early in life may help keep brain cells alive: Brain cells survive in young who master a task

Posted: 27 May 2014 12:47 PM PDT

Using your brain -- particularly during adolescence -- may help brain cells survive and could impact how the brain functions after puberty. Scientists have found that the newborn brain cells in young rats that were successful at learning survived while the same brain cells in animals that didn't master the task died quickly.

A habitable environment on Martian volcano?

Posted: 27 May 2014 12:47 PM PDT

The Martian volcano Arsia Mons may have been home to one of the most recent habitable environments yet found on the Red Planet, geologists say. The research shows that volcanic eruptions beneath a glacial ice sheet would have created substantial amounts of liquid water on Mars's surface around 210 million years ago. Where there was water, there is the possibility of past life.

Spontaneous thoughts are perceived to reveal meaningful self-insight

Posted: 27 May 2014 12:47 PM PDT

Scientists set out to determine how people perceive their own spontaneous thoughts and if those thoughts or intuitions have any influence over judgment. They found that spontaneous thoughts are perceived to provide potent self-insight and can influence judgment and decisions more than similar, more deliberate kinds of thinking -- even on important topics such as commitment to current romantic partners.

Where have all the craters gone?

Posted: 27 May 2014 12:47 PM PDT

Impact craters reveal one of the most spectacular geologic process known to human beings. During the past 3.5 billion years, it is estimated that more than 80 bodies, larger than the dinosaur-killing asteroid that struck the Yucatan Peninsula 66 million years ago, have bombarded Earth. However, tectonic processes, weathering, and burial quickly obscure or destroy craters. If Earth weren't so dynamic, its surface would be heavily cratered like the Moon or Mercury.

NASA-funded rocket to study birthplace of stars

Posted: 27 May 2014 12:17 PM PDT

In deep space, floating between the stars, lies an abundance of atoms -- carbon, oxygen, hydrogen -- that over millions of years will grow into new stars and new planets. NASA successfully launched the Colorado High-resolution Echelle Stellar Spectrograph, or CHESS, payload aboard a Black Brant IX suborbital sounding rocket on May 24, 2014, for a 15-minute flight to observe this star nursery more comprehensively and in better detail than has been done by a single instrument ever before.

NASA airborne research focuses on Andean volcanoes

Posted: 27 May 2014 12:15 PM PDT

Volcanoes in Central and South America were the primary focus of a four-week Earth science study in late April and early May 2014 using a NASA-developed airborne synthetic aperture imaging radar.

Seafloor experts publish new view of zone where Malaysia Airlines flight 370 might lie

Posted: 27 May 2014 11:59 AM PDT

A new illustration of the seafloor, created by two of the world's leading ocean floor mapping experts that details underwater terrain where the missing Malaysia Airlines flight might be located, could shed additional light on what type of underwater vehicles might be used to find the missing airplane and where any debris from the crash might lie.

Vines choke a forest's ability to capture carbon

Posted: 27 May 2014 11:29 AM PDT

As tropical forests take over abandoned agricultural land, scientists expect these new forests to mop up industrial quantities of atmospheric carbon. New research shows increasingly abundant vines could hamper carbon uptake and may even cause tropical forests to lose carbon.

Controlling the nano-world: Scientists unveil first method for controlling the growth of metal crystals

Posted: 27 May 2014 11:29 AM PDT

Researchers have announced the first ever method for controlling the growth of metal-crystals from single atoms. The method, called nanocrystallometry, allows for the creation of precise components for use in nanotechnology.

Physical activity helps maintain mobility in older adults

Posted: 27 May 2014 10:32 AM PDT

It's something we've all heard for years: Exercise can help keep older adults healthy. But now a study, the first of its kind, proves that physical activity can help older adults maintain their mobility and dodge physical disability.

Autonomous airboats monitor hippo dung in Kenya's Mara River basin

Posted: 27 May 2014 09:45 AM PDT

Small, autonomous airboats, disguised to look like crocodiles, helped scientists measure water quality this spring in Kenya's Mara River. An estimated 4,000 hippos use the river as a toilet with potentially deadly effects for fish living downriver.

New method discovered to protect against chemical weapons

Posted: 27 May 2014 09:41 AM PDT

Researchers have discovered that some compounds called polyoxoniobates can degrade and decontaminate nerve agents such as the deadly sarin gas, and have other characteristics that may make them ideal for protective suits, masks or other clothing. They could ultimately help save both military and civilian lives.

Google Glass adaptation opens the universe to deaf students

Posted: 27 May 2014 09:41 AM PDT

A group of deaf university students and their professor developed a system to display video narrating planetarium shows onto glasses worn by deaf students.

Hybrid energy transfer system mimics process responsible for photosynthesis

Posted: 27 May 2014 09:41 AM PDT

Scientists have developed a new hybrid energy transfer system, which mimics the processes responsible for photosynthesis. From photosynthesis to respiration, the processes of light absorption and its transfer into energy represent elementary and essential reactions that occur in any biological living system. In a new study, researchers demonstrate an alternate non-radiative, intermolecular energy transfer that exploits the intermediating role of light confined in an optical cavity.

Rules to cut carbon emissions also reduce air pollution harmful to people, environment

Posted: 27 May 2014 08:49 AM PDT

Setting strong standards for climate-changing carbon emissions from power plants would provide an added bonus -- reductions in other air pollutants that can make people sick; damage forests, crops, and lakes; and harm fish and wildlife. This, according to a first-of-its-kind study released today by scientists who mapped the potential environmental and human health benefits of power plant carbon standards.

Light-colored butterflies and dragonflies thriving as European climate warms

Posted: 27 May 2014 08:49 AM PDT

Butterflies and dragonflies with lighter colors are out-competing darker-colored insects in the face of climate change. Scientists have shown that as the climate warms across Europe, communities of butterflies and dragonflies consist of more lighter coloured species. Darker coloured species are retreating northwards to cooler areas, but lighter coloured species are also moving their geographical range north as Europe gets warmer.

A new 'Kabuto-like' nickel catalyst forms bioactive frameworks from phenol derivatives

Posted: 27 May 2014 08:47 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a new nickel catalyst with a 'Kabuto-like' structure that was found to catalyze the cross-coupling reaction between carbonyl compounds and readily available phenol derivatives, to form alpha-arylketones, which are found in many biologically active compounds. (A Kabuto is a helmet worn by Japanese samurai.)

Smaller accelerators for particle physics?

Posted: 27 May 2014 08:43 AM PDT

It took every inch of the Large Hadron Collider's 17-mile length to accelerate particles to energies high enough to discover the Higgs boson. Now, imagine an accelerator that could do the same thing in, say, the length of a football field. Or less. That is the promise of laser-plasma accelerators. Scientists have grappled with building these devices for two decades, and a new theoretical study predicts that this may be easier than previously thought.

Using thoughts to control airplanes

Posted: 27 May 2014 07:14 AM PDT

Pilots of the future could be able to control their aircraft by merely thinking commands. Scientists have now demonstrated the feasibility of flying via brain control -- with astonishing accuracy.

Intermediaries increase corruption

Posted: 27 May 2014 07:13 AM PDT

An experimental study took part analyzed the interaction between public officials and citizens and found that the presence of intermediaries significantly increases corruption. In reality, an intermediary participates in many, if not most, cases of corruption. However there has been very scarce empirical evidence that illuminates their role in these situations.

New biodiversity study throws out controversial scientific theory

Posted: 27 May 2014 07:13 AM PDT

Scientists have released ground-breaking findings that dismiss the 'Neutral Theory of Biodiversity'. The theory has dominated biodiversity research for the past decade, and been advocated as a tool for conservation and management efforts. The study, the largest of its kind, covers a broad range of marine ecosystems on Earth and has important implications for how marine conservation areas are managed.

Sperm cells are extremely efficient at swimming against a current: How sperm travel long distances, through difficult terrain, to reach an egg

Posted: 27 May 2014 07:13 AM PDT

Like salmon traveling upstream to spawn, sperm cells are extremely efficient at swimming against the current, according to new research. The discovery may help us to understand how some sperm travel such long distances, through difficult terrain, to reach and fertilize an egg. Of the hundreds of millions of sperm cells that begin the journey up the oviducts, only a few hardy travelers will ever reach their destination. Not only do the cells have to swim in the right direction over distances that are around 1,000 times their own length, but they are exposed to different chemicals and currents along the way.

People attribute free will to mind, not soul

Posted: 27 May 2014 07:12 AM PDT

A new study tested whether people believe free will arises from a metaphysical basis or mental capacity. Even though most respondents said they believed humans to have souls, they judged free will and assigned blame for transgressions based on pragmatic considerations -- such as whether the actor in question had the capacity to make an intentional and independent choice.

'Virtual human' shows that stiff arteries can explain cause of high blood pressure

Posted: 27 May 2014 07:12 AM PDT

High blood pressure is highly age-related and affects more than one billion people worldwide. But doctors can't fully explain the cause of 90 per cent of all cases. A computer model of a 'virtual human' suggests that stiff arteries alone are enough to cause high blood pressure.

Heavily decorated classrooms disrupt attention and learning in young children

Posted: 27 May 2014 07:06 AM PDT

Maps, number lines, shapes, artwork and other materials tend to cover elementary classroom walls. However, new research shows that too much of a good thing may end up disrupting attention and learning in young children.

An area's level of poverty or wealth may affect the distribution of cancer types

Posted: 27 May 2014 07:06 AM PDT

A new analysis has found that certain cancers are more concentrated in areas with high poverty, while other cancers arise more often in wealthy regions.

Molecules do the triple twist

Posted: 27 May 2014 05:54 AM PDT

They are three-dimensional and yet single-sided: Moebius strips. These twisted objects have only one side and one edge and they put our imagination to the test. Scientists have now succeeded in designing the world's first triply twisted molecule. Because of their peculiar quantum mechanical properties these structures are interesting for applications in molecular electronics and optoelectronics.

Aircraft fuel consumption can be reduced by 15 per cent

Posted: 27 May 2014 05:54 AM PDT

Two aircraft engine concepts, geared turbofan and open rotor, can enable a significant reduction to aircraft fuel consumption. With open rotor, the potential reduction is 15 per cent.

Novel home cleaning method to reduce asthma

Posted: 27 May 2014 05:51 AM PDT

Researchers received two patents for a new method to rid carpets, mattresses and other furniture of harmful allergens and pests that cause asthma. The method uses carbon dioxide to "freeze clean" home fabrics. The process deactivates proteins found in pet dander and can remove smoke residue and other allergy-causing substances.

Clinical trial reaffirms diet beverages play positive role in weight loss

Posted: 27 May 2014 05:51 AM PDT

A new study confirms that drinking diet beverages can help people lose weight. "This study clearly demonstrates that diet beverages can in fact help people lose weight, directly countering myths in recent years that suggest the opposite effect -- weight gain," said a study co-author.

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