- NASA's WISE findings poke hole in black hole 'doughnut' theory
- New 'T-ray' tech converts light to sound for weapons detection, medical imaging
- Fruit flies show mark of intelligence in thinking before they act, study suggests
- A glimpse into nature's looking glass -- to find the genetic code is reassigned: Stop codon varies widely
- Ancient DNA ends Australia's claim to kiwi origins
- Blocking pain receptors extends lifespan, boosts metabolism in mice
- First broadband wireless connection ... to the moon: Record-shattering Earth-to-Moon uplink
- Devastating human impact on the Amazon rainforest revealed
- Top ten new species for 2014
Posted: 22 May 2014 01:23 PM PDT
A survey of more than 170,000 supermassive black holes, using NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), has astronomers reexamining a decades-old theory about the varying appearances of these interstellar objects. The unified theory of active, supermassive black holes, first developed in the late 1970s, was created to explain why black holes, though similar in nature, can look completely different. Some appear to be shrouded in dust, while others are exposed and easy to see.
Posted: 22 May 2014 12:05 PM PDT
A device that essentially listens for light waves could help open up the last frontier of the electromagnetic spectrum -- the terahertz range. So-called T-rays, which are light waves too long for human eyes to see, could help airport security guards find chemical and other weapons. They might let doctors image body tissues with less damage to healthy areas. And they could give astronomers new tools to study planets in other solar systems. Those are just a few possible applications.
Posted: 22 May 2014 11:14 AM PDT
Fruit flies 'think' before they act, a study suggests. Neuroscientists showed that fruit flies take longer to make more difficult decisions. In experiments asking fruit flies to distinguish between ever closer concentrations of an odor, the researchers found that the flies don't act instinctively or impulsively. Instead they appear to accumulate information before committing to a choice.
Posted: 22 May 2014 11:14 AM PDT
It has long been assumed that there is only one 'canonical' genetic code, so each word means the same thing to every organism. Now, this paradigm has been challenged by the discovery of large numbers of exceptions from the canonical genetic code.
Posted: 22 May 2014 11:13 AM PDT
Australia can no longer lay claim to the origins of the iconic New Zealand kiwi following new research showing the kiwi's closest relative is not the emu as was previously thought. Instead, the diminutive kiwi is most closely related to the extinct Madagascan elephant bird -- a 2-3 meter tall, 275 kg giant. And surprisingly, the study concluded, both of these flightless birds once flew.
Posted: 22 May 2014 09:35 AM PDT
Chronic pain is known to shorten lifespan, and pain tends to increase with age. But is there a relationship between pain and longevity? Researchers have found that mice lacking the capsaicin pain receptor live around 14 percent longer than other mice, and they retain a more youthful metabolism as well. Receptor blockers could not only relieve pain, but increase lifespan, improve metabolic health and help diabetics and the obese.
Posted: 22 May 2014 07:49 AM PDT
Scientists have prepared new details and the first comprehensive overview of the on-orbit performance of their record-shattering laser-based communication uplink between the moon and Earth, which beat the previous record transmission speed last fall by a factor of 4,800.
Posted: 22 May 2014 07:48 AM PDT
The human impact on the Amazon rainforest has been grossly underestimated according to an international team of researchers. They found that selective logging and surface wildfires can result in an annual loss of 54 billion tons of carbon from the Brazilian Amazon, increasing greenhouse gas emissions. This is equivalent to 40% of the yearly carbon loss from deforestation -- when entire forests are chopped down.
Posted: 22 May 2014 04:33 AM PDT
An international committee selected the top 10 from among the approximately 18,000 new species named during the previous year. The list includes a quartet of tiny newcomers to science: a miniscule skeleton shrimp from Santa Catalina Island in California, a single-celled protist that does a credible imitation of a sponge, a clean room microbe that could be a hazard during space travel and a teensy fringed fairyfly named Tinkerbell.
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