Κυριακή, 18 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

Caught in the act: Study probes evolution of California insect

Posted: 15 May 2014 01:38 PM PDT

A first-of-its-kind study this week suggests that the genomes of new species may evolve in a similar, repeatable fashion -- even in cases where populations are evolving in parallel at separate locations. Evolutionary biologists used a combination of ecological fieldwork and genomic assays to see how natural selection is playing out across the genome of a Southern California stick insect that is in the process of evolving into two unique species.

New algorithm shakes up cryptography

Posted: 15 May 2014 01:37 PM PDT

Researchers have solved one aspect of the discrete logarithm problem. This is considered to be one of the 'holy grails' of algorithmic number theory, on which the security of many cryptographic systems used today is based. They have devised a new algorithm that calls into question the security of one variant of this problem, which has been closely studied since 1976.

Children of parents in technical jobs at higher risk for autism

Posted: 15 May 2014 12:41 PM PDT

Children of fathers who are in technical occupations are more likely to have an autism spectrum disorder, according to researchers. Fathers who worked in engineering were two times as likely to have a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Those who worked in finance were four times more likely and those who worked in health care occupations were six times more likely to have a child on the autism spectrum. There was no association with a mother's occupation.

Silly Putty material inspires better batteries: Silicon dioxide used to make lithium-ion batteries that last three times longer

Posted: 15 May 2014 11:28 AM PDT

Using a material found in Silly Putty and surgical tubing, a group of researchers have developed a new way to make lithium-ion batteries that will last three times longer between charges compared to the current industry standard.

Quantum simulator gives clues about magnetism

Posted: 15 May 2014 11:28 AM PDT

Researchers optically trapped a cloud of gas a billion times colder than air in a very low-pressure vacuum, and found a lower speed limit to diffusion. Assembling the puzzles of quantum materials is, in some ways, like dipping a wire hanger into a vat of soapy water, says one of the researchers. Long before mathematical equations could explain the shapes and angles in the soap foams, mathematicians conjectured that soap films naturally found the geometry that minimized surface area, thus solving the problem of minimal surfaces. They could be created simply by blowing soap bubbles.

First 'heavy mouse' leads to first lab-grown tissue mapped from atomic life

Posted: 15 May 2014 11:28 AM PDT

The molecular 'fingerprint' for tissue taken from the first isotope-enriched mouse has huge potential for scientific breakthroughs, as well as improved medical implants. Earliest research based on the data has already revealed that a molecule thought to exist for repairing DNA may also in fact trigger bone formation.

Giant telescope tackles orbit and size of exoplanet

Posted: 15 May 2014 10:22 AM PDT

Using one of the world's largest telescopes, astronomers have tracked the orbit of a planet at least four times the size of Jupiter. The scientists were able to identify the orbit of the exoplanet, Beta Pictoris b, which sits 63 light years from our solar system, by using the Gemini Planet Imager's (GPI) next-generation, high-contrast adaptive optics (AO) system. This approach is sometimes referred to as extreme AO.

Single episode of binge drinking can adversely affect health, according to new study

Posted: 15 May 2014 10:22 AM PDT

A single episode of binge drinking can have significant negative health effects resulting in bacteria leaking from the gut, leading to increased levels of endotoxins in the blood, clinical scientists have found. Greater gut permeability and increased endotoxin levels have been linked to many of the health issues related to chronic drinking, including alcoholic liver disease.

Genetic tracking identifies cancer stem cells in human patients

Posted: 15 May 2014 09:33 AM PDT

The gene mutations driving cancer have been tracked for the first time in patients back to a distinct set of cells at the root of cancer -- cancer stem cells. The international research team studied a group of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes -- a malignant blood condition which frequently develops into acute myeloid leukemia. The researchers say their findings offer conclusive evidence for the existence of cancer stem cells.

How octopuses don't tie themselves in knots

Posted: 15 May 2014 09:32 AM PDT

An octopus's arms are covered in hundreds of suckers that will stick to just about anything, with one important exception. Those suckers generally won't grab onto the octopus itself; otherwise, the impressively flexible animals would quickly find themselves all tangled up. Researchers observed the behavior of amputated octopus arms, which remain very active for an hour after separation. Those observations showed that the arms never grabbed octopus skin, though they would grab a skinned octopus arm.

Mice with multiple sclerosis-like condition walk again after human stem cell treatment

Posted: 15 May 2014 09:32 AM PDT

Mice severely disabled by a condition similar to multiple sclerosis (MS) were able to walk less than two weeks following treatment with human neural stem cells. The finding uncovers potential new avenues for treating MS. When scientists transplanted human stem cells into MS mice, they predicted the cells would be rejected, much like rejection of an organ transplant. Expecting no benefit to the mice, they were surprised when the experiment yielded spectacular results.

This is your brain on meditation: Brain processes more thoughts, feelings during meditation, study shows

Posted: 15 May 2014 06:55 AM PDT

Meditation is more than just a way to calm our thoughts and lower stress levels: our brain processes more thoughts and feelings during meditation than when you are simply relaxing, a coalition of researchers has found. "The study indicates that nondirective meditation allows for more room to process memories and emotions than during concentrated meditation," says a co-author of the study.

High-speed solar winds increase lightning strikes on Earth

Posted: 14 May 2014 05:57 PM PDT

Scientists have discovered new evidence to suggest that lightning on Earth is triggered not only by cosmic rays from space, but also by energetic particles from the sun. Researchers found a link between increased thunderstorm activity on Earth and streams of high-energy particles accelerated by the solar wind, offering compelling evidence that particles from space help trigger lightning bolts.

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