Τετάρτη, 18 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

Move over, silicon, there's a new circuit in town

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 01:43 PM PDT

When it comes to electronics, silicon will now have to share the spotlight. Scientists have now overcome a major issue in carbon nanotube technology by developing a flexible, energy-efficient hybrid circuit combining carbon nanotube thin film transistors with other thin film transistors. This hybrid could take the place of silicon as the traditional transistor material used in electronic chips, since carbon nanotubes are more transparent, flexible, and can be processed at a lower cost.

Livestock gut microbes contributing to greenhouse gas emissions

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 09:19 AM PDT

One-fifth of methane emissions has been attributed by researchers to livestock such as cattle, sheep and other ruminants, but the amount of methane produced varies substantially among animals in the same species. Researchers aimed to explore role the microbes living in the rumen play in this process.

Family violence leaves genetic imprint on children

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 07:25 AM PDT

Children in homes affected by violence, suicide, or the incarceration of a family member have significantly shorter telomeres -— a cellular marker of aging -- than those in stable households. The study suggests that the home environment is an important intervention target to reduce the biological impacts of adversity in the lives of young children.

Single dose of century-old drug approved for sleeping sickness reverses autism-like symptoms in mice

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 07:24 AM PDT

In a further test of a novel theory that suggests autism is the consequence of abnormal cell communication, researchers report that an almost century-old drug approved for treating sleeping sickness also restores normal cellular signaling in a mouse model of autism, reversing symptoms of the neurological disorder in animals that were the human biological age equivalent of 30 years old.

Solar photons drive water off the moon

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:40 AM PDT

New research indicates that ultraviolet photons emitted by the sun likely cause water molecules on the lunar surface to either quickly desorb or break apart. The fragments of water may remain on the lunar surface, but the presence of useful amounts of water on the sunward side is not likely.

Gene 'switch' reverses cancer in common childhood leukemia

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:40 AM PDT

A type of leukaemia can be successfully 'reversed' by coaxing the cancer cells back into normal development, researchers have demonstrated. The discovery was made using a model of B-progenitor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, the most common cancer affecting children. Researchers showed that switching off a gene called Pax5 could cause cancer in a model of B-ALL, while restoring its function could 'cure' the disease.

Nanoshell shields foreign enzymes used to starve cancer cells from immune system

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:40 AM PDT

A nanoshell to protect foreign enzymes used to starve cancer cells as part of chemotherapy has been developed by nanoengineers. Enzymes are naturally smart machines that are responsible for many complex functions and chemical reactions in biology. However, despite their huge potential, their use in medicine has been limited by the immune system, which is designed to attack foreign intruders.

With light echoes, the invisible becomes visible

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:32 AM PDT

Scientists have developed a novel camera system which can see around the corner without using a mirror. Using diffusely reflected light, it reconstructs the shape of objects outside of the field of view. A laser shines on the wall; a camera watches the scene. Nothing more than white ingrain wallpaper with a bright spot of light can be seen through the lens. A computer records these initially unremarkable images and as the data is processed further, little by little, the outlines of an object appear on a screen.

Discovery of Earth's northernmost perennial spring

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 05:45 PM PDT

Scientists have discovered the highest latitude perennial spring known in the world. This high-volume spring demonstrates that deep groundwater circulation through the cryosphere occurs, and can form gullies in a region of extreme low temperatures and with morphology remarkably similar to those on Mars. The 2009 discovery raises many new questions because it remains uncertain how such a high-volume spring can originate in a polar desert environment.

Sedentary behavior increases risk of certain cancers

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 05:43 PM PDT

Physical inactivity has been linked with diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, but it can also increase the risk of certain cancers, according to a study. When the highest levels of sedentary behavior were compared to the lowest, the researchers found a statistically significantly higher risk for three types of cancer -- colon, endometrial, and lung.

Quantum biology: Algae evolved to switch quantum coherence on and off

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 12:15 PM PDT

Scientists have discovered how algae that survive in very low levels of light are able to switch on and off a weird quantum phenomenon that occurs during photosynthesis. The function in the algae of this quantum effect, known as coherence, remains a mystery, but it is thought it could help them harvest energy from the sun much more efficiently. Working out its role in a living organism could lead to advances such as better organic solar cells.

Your genes affect your betting behavior

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 12:15 PM PDT

People playing competitive games like betting engage two main areas of the brain: the medial prefrontal cortex and the striatum. Researchers scanned 12 genes involved in dopamine regulation in these areas and found that some genetic variants affect how bettors deal with trial-and-error learning, while other variants affect belief learning, that is, how well they respond to the actions of others.

Hunt for extraterrestrial life gets massive methane boost

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 12:15 PM PDT

A powerful new model to detect life on planets outside of our solar system more accurately than ever before has been developed by researchers. The new model focuses on methane, the simplest organic molecule, widely acknowledged to be a sign of potential life. The new model has been tested and verified by successfully reproducing in detail the way in which the methane in failed stars, called brown dwarfs, absorbs light.

Animal trapping records reveal strong wolf effect across North America

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 06:36 AM PDT

Coyote and red fox fur trapping records across North America have been used by scientists to document how the presence of wolves influences the balance of smaller predators further down the food chain. From Alaska and Yukon to Nova Scotia and Maine, the researchers have demonstrated that a "wolf effect" exists, favoring red foxes where wolves are present and coyotes where wolves are absent.

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