Σάββατο, 31 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

Domestication of dogs may explain mammoth kill sites and success of early modern humans

Posted: 29 May 2014 12:41 PM PDT

A new analysis of European archaeological sites containing large numbers of dead mammoths and dwellings built with mammoth bones has led to a new interpretation of these sites -- that their abrupt appearance may have been due to early modern humans working with the earliest domesticated dogs to kill the now-extinct mammoth.

NASA missions let scientists see moon's dancing tide from orbit

Posted: 29 May 2014 11:25 AM PDT

Scientists combined observations from two NASA missions to check out the moon's lopsided shape and how it changes under Earth's sway -- a response not seen from orbit before. The lopsided shape of the moon is one result of its gravitational tug-of-war with Earth. The mutual pulling of the two bodies is powerful enough to stretch them both, so they wind up shaped a little like two eggs with their ends pointing toward one another. On Earth, the tension has an especially strong effect on the oceans, because water moves so freely, and is the driving force behind tides.

'Free choice' in primates altered through brain stimulation

Posted: 29 May 2014 11:24 AM PDT

When electrical pulses are applied to the ventral tegmental area of their brain, macaques presented with two images change their preference from one image to the other. The study is the first to confirm a causal link between activity in the ventral tegmental area and choice behavior in primates.

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,

Cynical? You may be hurting your brain health

Posted: 28 May 2014 01:37 PM PDT

People with high levels of cynical distrust may be more likely to develop dementia, according to a new study. Cynical distrust, which is defined as the belief that others are mainly motivated by selfish concerns, has been associated with other health problems, such as heart disease. This is the first study to look at the relationship between cynicism and dementia.

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.

Light coaxes stem cells to repair teeth: Noninvasive laser therapy could radically shift dental treatment

Posted: 28 May 2014 12:05 PM PDT

Scientists have used low-power light to trigger stem cells inside the body to regenerate tissue. The research lays the foundation for a host of clinical applications in restorative dentistry and regenerative medicine more broadly, such as wound healing, bone regeneration, and more.

Toxins in the environment might make you older than your years

Posted: 28 May 2014 10:32 AM PDT

Why are some 75-year-olds downright spry while others can barely get around? Part of the explanation, say researchers is differences from one person to the next in exposure to harmful substances in the environment, chemicals such as benzene, cigarette smoke, and even stress.

Antarctic Ice Sheet unstable at end of last ice age

Posted: 28 May 2014 10:31 AM PDT

A new study has found that the Antarctic Ice Sheet began melting about 5,000 years earlier than previously thought coming out of the last ice age -- and that shrinkage of the vast ice sheet accelerated during eight distinct episodes, causing rapid sea level rise.

Extensive cataloging of human proteins uncovers 193 never known to exist

Posted: 28 May 2014 10:31 AM PDT

Striving for the protein equivalent of the Human Genome Project, an international team of researchers has created an initial catalog of the human 'proteome,' or all of the proteins in the human body. In total, using 30 different human tissues, the team identified proteins encoded by 17,294 genes, which is about 84 percent of all of the genes in the human genome predicted to encode proteins.

Water in moon rocks provides clues and questions about lunar history

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:54 AM PDT

A recent review of hundreds of chemical analyses of Moon rocks indicates that the amount of water in the Moon's interior varies regionally -- revealing clues about how water originated and was redistributed in the Moon. These discoveries provide a new tool to unravel the processes involved in the formation of the Moon, how the lunar crust cooled, and its impact history.

Flame retardants during pregnancy as bad as lead? Exposure linked to lower IQs in kids

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:52 AM PDT

Prenatal exposure to flame retardants can be significantly linked to lower IQs and greater hyperactivity in five-year old children. The researchers found that a 10-fold increase in PBDE concentrations in early pregnancy, when the fetal brain is developing, was associated with a 4.5 IQ decrement, which is comparable with the impact of environmental lead exposure. PBDEs have been widely used as flame retardants in furniture, carpet padding, car seats and other consumer products over the past three decades.

Universal antidote for snakebite: Experimental trial represents promising step toward

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:52 AM PDT

Another promising step has been made toward developing a universal antidote for snakebite. The results of this pilot study revealed findings that support the team's idea that providing fast, accessible, and easy-to-administer treatment can increase survival rates in victims of venomous snakebite.

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.

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.

HIV can cut and paste in human genome

Posted: 27 May 2014 07:12 AM PDT

A technology that uses the HIV virus as a tool in the fight against hereditary diseases -- and in the long term, against HIV infection as well -- has been developed in a first of its kind study. The technology repairs the genome in a new and safer manner. "Now we can simultaneously cut out the part of the genome that is broken in sick cells, and patch the gap that arises in the genetic information which we have removed from the genome. The new aspect here is that we can bring the scissors and the patch together in the HIV particles in a fashion that no one else has done before," says one researcher.

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.

How DNA is 'edited' to correct genetic diseases

Posted: 26 May 2014 03:27 PM PDT

A major step forward in our understanding of how enzymes 'edit' genes has been made by an international team of researchers, paving the way for correcting genetic diseases in patients. Researchers have observed the process by which a class of enzymes called CRISPR -- pronounced 'crisper' -- bind and alter the structure of DNA. The results provide a vital piece of the puzzle if these genome editing tools are ultimately going to be used to correct genetic diseases in humans.

Sound and vision: Visual cortex processes auditory information, too

Posted: 25 May 2014 12:53 PM PDT

"Seeing is believing," so the idiom goes, but new research suggests vision also involves a bit of hearing too. "So, for example, if you are in a street and you hear the sound of an approaching motorbike, you expect to see a motorbike coming around the corner. If it turned out to be a horse, you'd be very surprised," researchers said.

Mind alteration device makes flies sing and dance

Posted: 25 May 2014 12:47 PM PDT

Scientists have developed a special device for the thermogenetic control of flies. This tool, called FlyMAD, enabled the scientists to target light or heat to specific body regions of flies in motion and to analyse the animals' brain cells. Compared to other techniques, FlyMAD allows highly improved temporal resolution. Using the new technology, scientists got new insight into the role of two neuronal cell types in courtship behavior of flies.

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