Πέμπτη, 19 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News


New manufacturing methods for 'soft' machines, robots

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 03:46 PM PDT

Researchers have developed a technique that might be used to produce 'soft machines' made of elastic materials and liquid metals for potential applications in robotics, medical devices and consumer electronics. Such an elastic technology could make possible robots that have sensory skin and stretchable garments that people might wear to interact with computers or for therapeutic purposes.

Fish-eating spiders discovered in all parts of the world

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 03:46 PM PDT

Spiders are traditionally viewed as predators of insects. Zoologists from Switzerland and Australia have now published a study that shows: spiders all over the world also prey on fish.

Breathalyzer test may detect deadliest cancer

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 11:00 AM PDT

Lung cancer causes more deaths in the US than the next three most common cancers combined. Now a new breathalyzer test, embedded with a 'NaNose' nanotech chip to literally 'sniff out' cancer tumors, has been developed by a team of international researchers. It may turn the tide by both accurately detecting lung cancer and identifying its stage of progression.

Familiar yet strange: Water's 'split personality' revealed by computer model

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 11:00 AM PDT

Using computer models, researchers found that as water freezes it takes on a sort of split personality wherein, at very cold temperatures and above a certain pressure, it may spontaneously split into two liquid forms. Finding this dual nature could lead to a better understanding of how water behaves in high-altitude clouds, which could improve the predictive ability of current weather and climate models.

Genetic code for diabetes in Greenland broken by scientists

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 11:00 AM PDT

New ground-breaking genetics research explains the high incidence of type 2 diabetes in the Greenlandic population, based on blood samples from 5,000 people or approximately 10% of the population. "Several epidemiological studies have looked at the health implications of the transition from life as sealers and hunters in small isolated communities to a modern lifestyle with appreciable dietary changes. Perhaps the gene variant which has been identified can be interpreted as a sign of natural selection as the traditional Greenlandic diet consisted primarily of protein and fat from sea animals," one researcher said.

Scientists take first dip into water's mysterious 'no-man's land'

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 11:00 AM PDT

Scientists have made the first structural observations of liquid water at temperatures down to minus 51 degrees Fahrenheit, within an elusive 'no-man's land' where water's strange properties are super-amplified.

How brain 'reboots' itself to consciousness after anesthesia

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 10:58 AM PDT

One of the great mysteries of anesthesia is how patients can be temporarily rendered completely unresponsive during surgery and then wake up again, with their memories and skills intact. "Recovery from anesthesia is not simply the result of the anesthetic 'wearing off,' but also of the brain finding its way back through a maze of possible activity states to those that allow conscious experience," one researcher said. "Put simply, the brain reboots itself."

Blocking brain's 'internal marijuana' may trigger early Alzheimer's deficits, study shows

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 10:19 AM PDT

A new study has implicated the blocking of endocannabinoids -- signaling substances that are the brain's internal versions of the psychoactive chemicals in marijuana and hashish -- in the early pathology of Alzheimer's disease.

Evolutionary biology: Why cattle, pigs only have two toes

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 10:19 AM PDT

During evolutionary diversification of vertebrate limbs, the number of toes in even-toed ungulates such as cattle and pigs was reduced and transformed into paired hooves. Scientists have identified a gene regulatory switch that was key to evolutionary adaption of limbs in ungulates. The study provides insights into the molecular history of evolution.

Molecule vital for creating water exists in dying sun-like stars

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 09:38 AM PDT

Using ESA's Herschel space observatory, astronomers have discovered that a molecule vital for creating water exists in the burning embers of dying Sun-like stars.

New horned dinosaur reveals unique wing-shaped headgear

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 08:18 AM PDT

A new species of horned dinosaur has been named Mercuriceratops gemini: Mercuriceratops (Mercuri + ceratops) means "Mercury horned-face," referring to the wing-like ornamentation on its head that resembles the wings on the helmet of the Roman god, Mercury. The name "gemini" refers to the almost identical twin specimens found in north central Montana and the Dinosaur Provincial Park, in Alberta, Canada. The dinosaur had a parrot-like beak and probably had two long brow horns above its eyes. It was a plant-eating dinosaur.

Exposure to TV violence related to irregular attention and brain structure

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 07:05 AM PDT

Young adult men who watched more violence on television showed indications of less mature brain development and poorer executive functioning, according to new results. Executive functioning abilities can be important for controlling impulsive behaviors, including aggression.

Brain imaging shows enhanced executive brain function in people with musical training

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:10 PM PDT

A controlled study using functional MRI brain imaging reveals a possible biological link between early musical training and improved executive functioning in both children and adults, report researchers. The study uses functional MRI of brain areas associated with executive function, adjusting for socioeconomic factors.

Stress hormone linked to short-term memory loss as we age, animal study suggests

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:01 PM PDT

A new study reports a potential link between stress hormones and short-term memory loss in older adults. The study reveals that having high levels of cortisol—a natural hormone in our body whose levels surge when we are stressed—can lead to memory lapses as we age.

Do 'walkable' neighborhoods reduce obesity, diabetes? Yes, research suggests

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 10:08 AM PDT

People who live in neighborhoods that are conducive to walking experienced a substantially lower rate of obesity, overweight and diabetes than those who lived in more auto-dependent neighborhoods, according to a pair of studies. Specifically, the studies found that people living in neighborhoods with greater walkability saw on average a 13 percent lower development of diabetes incidence over 10 years than those that were less walkable.

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