Παρασκευή, 13 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

Synchronized brain waves enable rapid learning

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 09:13 AM PDT

The human mind can rapidly absorb and analyze new information as it flits from thought to thought. These quickly changing brain states may be encoded by synchronization of brain waves across different brain regions, according to a new study.

When good people do bad things: Being in a group makes some people lose touch with their personal moral beliefs

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 07:49 AM PDT

Researchers find that being in a group makes some people lose touch with their personal moral beliefs. When people get together in groups, unusual things can happen -- both good and bad. Groups create important social institutions that an individual could not achieve alone, but there can be a darker side to such alliances: Belonging to a group makes people more likely to harm others outside the group.

Rise and fall of prehistoric penguin populations charted

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 06:51 AM PDT

A study of how penguin populations have changed over the last 30,000 years has shown that between the last ice age and up to around 1,000 years ago penguin populations benefitted from climate warming and retreating ice.

David and Goliath: How a tiny spider catches much larger prey

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 06:50 AM PDT

In nature, it is very rare to find a proverbial much smaller David able to overpower and kill a Goliath for supper. This is exactly the modus operandi of a solitary tiny spider from the Negev desert in Israel that routinely kills ants up to almost four times its own size.

White sharks in northwest Atlantic offers optimistic outlook for recovery

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 05:59 AM PDT

White sharks are among the largest, most widespread apex predators in the ocean, but are also among the most vulnerable. A new study, the most comprehensive ever on seasonal distribution patterns and historic trends in abundance of white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) in the western North Atlantic Ocean, used records compiled over more than 200 years to update knowledge and fill in gaps in information about this species.

Going inside an ant raft: Researchers look to CT scan to visualize connectivity phenomenon

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 05:59 AM PDT

Researchers froze ant rafts and scanned them with a miniature CT scan machine to look at the strongest part of the structure -- the inside -- to discover how opaque ants connect, arrange and orient themselves with each other.

Chimpanzees spontaneously initiate and maintain cooperative behavior

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 05:53 AM PDT

Without any pre-training or restrictions in partner choice among chimpanzees, researchers found for the first time that chimpanzees housed in a socially complex, contained setting spontaneously cooperate with multiple partners of their choosing. This finding addresses long-standing doubt about the level of cooperation chimpanzees are able to spontaneously achieve or understand.

Tiny plants ride on the coattails of migratory birds: Migrant birds may be virtual dispersal highways for plants

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 05:53 AM PDT

Since the days of Darwin, biologists have questioned why certain plants occur in widely separated places, the farthest reaches of North American and the Southern tip of South America but nowhere in between. How did they get there? Researchers have now found an important piece of the puzzle: migratory birds about to fly to South America from the Arctic harbor small plant parts in their feathers.

'Pocket sauropod' sheds light on giant's evolution

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 05:51 AM PDT

A new study presents a detailed description of the skull bones of a dwarf sauropod, together with an updated reconstruction of an adult Europasaurus skull. At 40 meters long and 100 tons in weight, and with an exceptionally long neck and small head, the herbivorous sauropod dinosaurs were the largest animals ever to have walked the Earth.

Why Diplodocus did not put all her eggs in one basket

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 05:51 AM PDT

If you thought the largest dinosaurs to have walked the earth produced the biggest eggs, you'd be mistaken. Scientists have discovered that both individual egg size and clutch size for the sauropods – which includes Diplodocus – were a lot smaller than might be expected for such enormous creatures.

Mining data archives yields haul of 'red nuggets' galaxies

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 12:11 PM PDT

The world of astronomy has changed. An astronomer used to have to travel to a remote location and endure long, cold nights, patiently guiding a telescope to collect precious photons of light. Now, a proliferation of online archives allows astronomers to make discoveries from the comfort of their own offices. By mining such archives, a team of astronomers has found a treasure trove of 'red nugget' galaxies.

Leukemia drug found to stimulate immunity against many cancer types

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 10:20 AM PDT

A class of drug currently being used to treat leukemia has the unexpected side-effect of boosting immune responses against many different cancers, reports a new study. The drugs, called p110´ inhibitors, have shown such remarkable efficacy against certain leukemias in recent clinical trials that patients on the placebo were switched to the real drug. Until now, however, they have not been tested in other types of cancer.

More than just food for koalas: Scientists sequence genome of eucalyptus -- a global tree for fuel and fiber

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 10:19 AM PDT

Researchers seek to harness and improve upon Eucalyptus' potential for enhancing sustainable biofuels and biomaterials production. It can be harvested from tropical and temperate zones and has over 700 species that are rich in genetic variation. The international effort to sequence and analyze the genome of Eucalyptus grandis engaged more than 80 researchers from 30 institutions, representing 18 countries.

Weird 'magic' ingredient for quantum computing: Contextuality

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 10:18 AM PDT

A form of quantum weirdness is a key ingredient for building quantum computers according to new research. Researchers have shown that a weird aspect of quantum theory called contextuality is a necessary resource to achieve the so-called magic required for universal quantum computation.

Gigantic explosions buried in dust: Probing environment around dark gamma-ray bursts

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 10:17 AM PDT

Astronomers have for the first time directly mapped out the molecular gas and dust in the host galaxies of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) — the biggest explosions in the universe. In a complete surprise, less gas was observed than expected, and correspondingly much more dust, making some GRBs appear as "dark GRBs".

New fossil find pinpoints the origin of jaws in vertebrates

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 10:17 AM PDT

A major fossil discovery in Canada sheds new light on the development of the earliest vertebrates, including the origin of jaws, the first time this feature has been seen so early in the fossil record.

Genes found in nature yield 1918-like virus with pandemic potential

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 10:15 AM PDT

An international team of researchers has shown that circulating avian influenza viruses contain all the genetic ingredients necessary to underpin the emergence of a virus similar to the deadly 1918 influenza virus.

'Trust hormone' oxytocin helps old muscle work like new, study finds

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 08:27 AM PDT

Oxytocin -- a hormone associated with maternal nurturing, social attachments, childbirth and sex -- plays a critical role in healthy muscle maintenance and repair, researchers report. It is the latest target for development as a potential treatment for age-related muscle wasting. A few other biochemical factors in blood have been connected to aging and disease in recent years, but oxytocin is the first anti-aging molecule identified that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for clinical use in humans.

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