Παρασκευή, 16 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

Antidepressant may slow Alzheimer's disease

Posted: 14 May 2014 11:23 AM PDT

A commonly prescribed antidepressant can reduce production of the main ingredient in Alzheimer's brain plaques, according to new research. The findings, in mice and people, support preliminary studies that evaluated a variety of antidepressants. Brain plaques are tied closely to memory problems and other cognitive impairments caused by Alzheimer's disease. Stopping plaque buildup may halt the disastrous mental decline caused by the disorder.

Advance brings 'hyperbolic metamaterials' closer to reality

Posted: 14 May 2014 10:34 AM PDT

Researchers have taken a step toward practical applications for 'hyperbolic metamaterials,' ultra-thin crystalline films that could bring optical advances including powerful microscopes, quantum computers and high-performance solar cells.

California mountains rise as groundwater depleted in state's Central Valley: May trigger small earthquakes

Posted: 14 May 2014 10:34 AM PDT

The weight of water pumped from California's agricultural heartland, the Central Valley, over the past 150 years is enough to allow Earth's crust to rebound upward, raising surrounding mountain ranges, the Sierra Nevada and Coast Ranges, some six inches. Winter rains and summer pumping cause annual up and down movements that could affect earthquakes on the San Andreas Fault, which parallels the ranges.

Dangerous storms: Hurricanes peaking further north, typhoons further south, than in past

Posted: 14 May 2014 10:34 AM PDT

Powerful, destructive tropical cyclones are now reaching their peak intensity farther from the equator and closer to the poles, according to a new study. The results of the study show that over the last 30 years, tropical cyclones -- also known as hurricanes or typhoons -- are moving poleward at a rate of about 33 miles per decade in the Northern Hemisphere and 38 miles per decade in the Southern Hemisphere.

How gut bacteria regulate weight gain: Study provides further understanding

Posted: 14 May 2014 10:30 AM PDT

Gut bacteria communicate with their host to specifically regulate weight gain and serum cholesterol levels, new research has found. The research has implications for the rational selection and design of probiotics for the control of obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes. "Recent work by other groups has shown that bile acids act as signalling molecules in the host, almost like a hormonal network, with an ability to influence host metabolism. What we have done is to show that a specific mechanism exists by which bacteria in the gut can influence this process with significant consequences for the host," commented one researcher.

Magnetar formation mystery solved? Supernova explosions and dizzying spins in a binary system

Posted: 14 May 2014 05:45 AM PDT

Magnetars are the bizarre super-dense remnants of supernova explosions. They are the strongest magnets known in the universe — millions of times more powerful than the strongest magnets on Earth. Astronomers now believe they've found the partner star of a magnetar for the first time. This discovery helps to explain how magnetars form — a conundrum dating back 35 years — and why this particular star didn't collapse into a black hole as astronomers would expect.

Strongly interacting electrons in wacky oxide synchronize to compute like the brain

Posted: 14 May 2014 05:43 AM PDT

A new type of computing architecture that stores information in the frequencies and phases of periodic signals could work more like the human brain to do computing using a fraction of the energy of today's computers.

Primates and patience: Evolutionary roots of self control

Posted: 13 May 2014 05:46 PM PDT

Some primate species will wait more than two minutes if they know they will get a larger serving of food -- while others are unable to wait more than a few seconds. A new study probes the evolutionary reasons for the difference.

Ancient giant sperm from tiny shrimps discovered at Riversleigh World Heritage Fossil Site

Posted: 13 May 2014 05:46 PM PDT

Preserved giant sperm from tiny shrimps that lived about 17 million years ago have been discovered in Queensland, Australia. They are the oldest fossilized sperm ever found in the geological record. The shrimps lived in a pool in an ancient cave inhabited by thousands of bats, and the presence of bat droppings in the water could help explain the almost perfect preservation of the fossil crustaceans.

Human learning altered by electrical stimulation of dopamine neurons

Posted: 13 May 2014 02:50 PM PDT

Stimulation of a certain population of neurons within the brain can alter the learning process, according to a team of neuroscientists and neurosurgeons. A new report describes for the first time that human learning can be modified by stimulation of dopamine-containing neurons in a deep brain structure known as the substantia nigra.

Surprising global species shake-up discovered

Posted: 13 May 2014 01:16 PM PDT

Scientists re-examined 100 world-wide monitoring studies and were surprised to discover that, over decades, the number of species in many places has not changed much -- or has increased. But the researchers did discover that almost 80% of the communities showed changes in species composition. This shows that a rapid global turnover of species is happening, resulting in novel biological communities. The scientists conclude that biodiversity change may be as large a concern as biodiversity loss.

Cause of many preterm births discovered: Premature aging of placenta from oxidative stress

Posted: 13 May 2014 10:27 AM PDT

A new study is the first to show that premature aging of the placenta due to oxidative stress is the cause of many preterm births.

Radiation from early universe found key to answer major questions in physics

Posted: 13 May 2014 10:27 AM PDT

Astrophysicists have measured the minute gravitational distortions in polarized radiation from the early universe and discovered that these ancient microwaves can provide an important cosmological test of Einstein's theory of general relativity.

New implanted devices may reshape medicine: Researchers create transistors that wrap around tissues

Posted: 13 May 2014 10:27 AM PDT

Scientists have create flexible transistors that can grip large tissues, nerves and blood vessels without losing their electronic properties. These biologically adaptive, flexible transistors might one day help doctors learn more about what is happening inside the body, and stimulate the body for treatments.

Forgiving a wrong may actually make it easier to forget

Posted: 13 May 2014 08:36 AM PDT

We're often told to 'forgive and forget' the wrongs that we suffer -- it turns out that there may be some scientific truth behind the common saying. A new study shows that the details of a transgression are more susceptible to forgetting when that transgression has been forgiven.

Molecular motor for packaging virus DNA found, may lead to targeted antiviral drugs

Posted: 12 May 2014 12:50 PM PDT

New light has been shed on a type of molecular motor used to package the DNA of a number of viruses, including herpes and the adenoviruses. Their findings could help in the development of more effective drugs and inspire the design of new and improved synthetic biomotors. Viruses are the enigma of the biological world -- despite having their own DNA and being able to adapt to their environment and evolve, they are not considered to be alive like cells. In order to reproduce and multiply -- a requirement of "life" -- a virus must invade a living cell, eject its DNA into that of the cell, and commandeer the cell's biological machinery.

From age 30 onwards, inactivity has greatest impact on women's lifetime heart disease risk

Posted: 08 May 2014 04:25 PM PDT

From the age of 30 onwards, physical inactivity exerts a greater impact on a woman's lifetime risk of developing heart disease than the other well-known risk factors, suggests research. This includes overweight, the finding show, prompting the researchers to suggest that greater effort needs to be made to promote exercise.

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