Παρασκευή, 30 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Latest Science News

ScienceDaily: Latest Science News


Billions of kg of CO2 could be saved by scrapping DVDs, research suggests

Posted: 28 May 2014 05:43 PM PDT

A new study has shown that streaming can be much better for the environment, requiring less energy and emitting less carbon dioxide, than some traditional methods of DVD renting, buying and viewing.

Breakthrough technology uncovers fingerprints on ATM bills and receipts

Posted: 28 May 2014 05:42 PM PDT

New technology could help in the fight against theft and fraud – by identifying fingerprints on old receipts and ATM bills previously hidden from view. The technology uses a specially tailored UV light source to visualize fingerprints not possible to see otherwise on 'thermal paper' -- that is, the paper used for shop receipts and for bank statements from ATMs.

Obesity rates climbing worldwide, most comprehensive global study to date shows

Posted: 28 May 2014 05:42 PM PDT

Worldwide, there has been a startling increase in rates of obesity and overweight in both adults (28% increase) and children (up by 47%) in the past 33 years, with the number of overweight and obese people rising from 857 million in 1980 to 2.1 billion in 2013, according to a major new analysis. However, the rates vary widely throughout the world with more than half of the world's 671 million obese individuals living in just ten countries—the USA, China and India, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Egypt, Germany , Pakistan, and Indonesia,

Large muskies lured by the moon: Study ties lunar cycles, fish behavior to angler success

Posted: 28 May 2014 03:02 PM PDT

The lunar cycle may synchronize with feeding activity, luring large muskies to take angler bait. Previous studies have suggested a relationship between the moon and fish behavior. To investigate this further, scientists analyzed angler catch records for evidence of an effect due to the lunar cycle and explored sources of its variation on anglers' catch.

Meek male and fighting female scorpions

Posted: 28 May 2014 03:02 PM PDT

Threatened female bark scorpions sting quicker than males, likely to compensate for reduced ability to flee the threat. Differences between male and female scorpion bodies and behavior may result from sexual or environmental pressures. For example, female bark scorpions are pregnant 80% of the year, and as a result, may deal with threats differently than males.

Brain's reaction to male odor shifts at puberty in children with gender dysphoria

Posted: 28 May 2014 01:37 PM PDT

The brains of children with gender dysphoria react to androstadienone, a musky-smelling steroid produced by men, in a way typical of their biological sex, but after puberty according to their experienced gender, finds a study for the first time. Around puberty, the testes of men start to produce androstadienone, a breakdown product of testosterone. Men release it in their sweat, especially from the armpits. Its only known function is to work like a pheromone: when women smell androstadienone, their mood tends to improve, their blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing go up, and they may become aroused.

Crow or raven? New birdsnap app can help

Posted: 28 May 2014 01:36 PM PDT

Using computer vision and machine learning techniques, researchers have developed Birdsnap, a free new iPhone app that's an electronic field guide featuring 500 of the most common North American bird species. The app enables users to identify bird species through uploaded photos, and accompanies a comprehensive website.

New mechanism explaining how cancer cells spread

Posted: 28 May 2014 01:36 PM PDT

A protein critical to the spread of deadly cancer cells has been discovered by researchers who have determined how it works, paving the way for potential use in diagnosis and eventually possible therapeutic drugs to halt or slow the spread of cancer. The protein, Aiolos, is produced by normal blood cells but commits a kind of "identity theft" of blood cells when expressed by cancer cells, allowing the latter to metastasize, or spread, to other parts of the body. Metastatic cancer cells have the ability to break free from tissue, circulate in the blood stream, and form tumors all over the body, in a way acting like blood cells.

Drug users switch to heroin because it's cheap, easy to get

Posted: 28 May 2014 01:36 PM PDT

Drug users are attracted to heroin not only for the "high," but because it is less expensive and easier to get than prescription painkillers, a nationwide survey of heroin users indicate. Researchers have found that many suburban drug users have made the switch. "In the past, heroin was a drug that introduced people to narcotics," said the principal investigator. "But what we're seeing now is that most people using heroin begin with prescription painkillers such as OxyContin, Percocet or Vicodin, and only switch to heroin when their prescription drug habits get too expensive."

Increased social network can have big payoff for nonprofits, study shows

Posted: 28 May 2014 12:06 PM PDT

Charitable fundraising once depended primarily upon a charity's size, efficiency and longstanding reputation. That was before Razoo, Chipin, Facebook and Twitter came to town. Technology and social media, it turns out, can not only raise the online profile of even small organizations, but increase their support bases and their ability to generate donations online and off.

Wild coho may seek genetic diversity in mate choice

Posted: 28 May 2014 12:06 PM PDT

Wild coho salmon that choose mates with disease-resistant genes different from their own are more likely to produce greater numbers of adult offspring returning to the river some three years later. The researchers also found that hatchery-reared coho -- for some unknown reason -- do not appear to have the same ability to select mates that are genetically diverse, which may, in part, explain their comparative lower reproductive success.

2013 Tornadoes: Numbers Low, Destruction High

Posted: 28 May 2014 12:04 PM PDT

Despite some high profile tornadoes in 2013, scientists are reporting below average numbers of tornadoes. There were 903 tornadoes in the United States, which is below the 10-year annual average of 1,350. Furthermore, it has been 25 years since a year with fewer tornadoes, which was in 1989 with 856. 

Patient-centered educational, behavioral program to reduce lymphedema risk trialed

Posted: 28 May 2014 12:02 PM PDT

A pilot study to evaluate a patient-centered educational and behavioral self-care program called The Optimal Lymph Flow was recently launched. The goals of the program were to promote lymph flow and optimize BMI over a 12-month period after breast cancer surgery. Findings offer initial evidence in support of a shift in the focus of lymphedema care away from treatment and toward proactive risk reduction.

How long should HCV treatment last? Study suggests answers are complex

Posted: 28 May 2014 11:58 AM PDT

As new treatments for hepatitis C virus (HCV) are approved, biomedical scientists are exploring their mechanisms and what they reveal about the virus. A new report is the first to report real-time tracking of viral decay in the liver and blood in 15 patients with HCV. "Our findings begin to define for how long patients may need to be treated in order to achieve viral eradication," explained the lead researcher.

Zeroing in on the proton's magnetic moment

Posted: 28 May 2014 10:28 AM PDT

As part of a series of experiments designed to resolve one of the deepest mysteries of physics today, researchers have made the most precise ever direct measurement of the magnetic moment of a proton. The work seeks to answer the fundamental question of why we exist at all. It is believed that the Big Bang some 13 billion years ago generated equal amounts of matter and antimatter -- which annihilate when they collide -- and yet the universe today seems to contain only matter.

Analysis of financial markets using laws of molecular fluid dynamics

Posted: 28 May 2014 10:25 AM PDT

Scientists have develop an innovative new model to aid the analysis of financial markets uses the laws of molecular fluid dynamics to describe order-book transactions.

Surface physics: Leaving the islands

Posted: 28 May 2014 08:41 AM PDT

In a recent study, the desorption of oxygen molecules from a silver surface was successfully visualized for the first time. The effects account for the shortcomings of conventional models of desorption.

Brazil will enjoy a big bump in attendance after World Cup games

Posted: 28 May 2014 08:41 AM PDT

Big soccer clubs in nations that host the World Cup enjoy significant bumps in attendance after the event, which provides at least a small ray of sunshine amid the howls of protest from Brazilians over the extravagant hosting costs.

Supersonic spray delivers high-quality graphene layer

Posted: 28 May 2014 08:41 AM PDT

A simple, inexpensive spray method that deposits a graphene film can heal manufacturing defects and produce a high-quality graphene layer on a range of substrates.

Variety in diet can hamper microbial diversity in the gut

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:52 AM PDT

Scientists have discovered that the more diverse the diet of a fish, the less diverse are the microbes living in its gut. If the effect is confirmed in humans, it could mean that the combinations of foods people eat can influence their gut microbe diversity. The research could impact how probiotics and diet are used to treat diseases associated with bacteria in human digestive systems.

Melting Arctic opens new passages for invasive species

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:49 AM PDT

For the first time in roughly 2 million years, melting Arctic sea ice is connecting the north Pacific and north Atlantic oceans. The newly opened passages leave both coasts and Arctic waters vulnerable to a large wave of invasive species, biologists assert.

Scientists control rapid re-wiring of brain circuits using patterned visual stimulation

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:49 AM PDT

Researchers have shown for the first time how the brain re-wires and fine-tunes its connections differently depending on the relative timing of sensory stimuli. In most neuroscience textbooks today, there is a widely held model that explains how nerve circuits might refine their connectivity based on patterned firing of brain cells, but it has not previously been directly observed in real time.

Unusual parenting behaviour by Southeast Asian species of treefrog discovered

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:30 AM PDT

A Southeast Asian species of treefrog practices parental care to increase the likelihood of survival of its offspring. Chiromantis hansenae (C. hansenae), is currently the only species in the treefrog family in Southeast Asia that is known to exhibit such behavior. Researchers observed that this frog exhibits a form of parental care, known as egg attendance, in which a parent remains with the egg mass at a fixed location. These frogs care for their offspring by covering the egg mass with its body. Occasionally, the females will make trips down to the pond, presumably to soak up more water, and return to secrete the liquid over the egg mass, keeping it moist.

Age-old relationship between birds and flowers: World’s oldest fossil of a nectarivorous bird

Posted: 27 May 2014 06:49 PM PDT

Scientists have described the oldest known fossil of a pollinating bird. The well-preserved stomach contents contained pollen from various flowering plants. This indicates that the relationship between birds and flowers dates back at least 47 million years. The fossil comes from the well-known fossil site "Messel Pit."

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