Τετάρτη, 25 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News


Morphable surfaces cut air resistance: Golf ball-like dimples on cars may improve fuel efficiency

Posted: 24 Jun 2014 08:07 AM PDT

Testing over the years has proved that a golf ball's irregular surface dramatically increases the distance it travels, because it can cut the drag caused by air resistance in half. Now researchers are aiming to harness that same effect to reduce drag on a variety of surfaces -- including domes that sometimes crumple in high winds, or perhaps even vehicles.

Bizarre parasite from the Jurassic had mouthparts for sucking blood of salamanders

Posted: 24 Jun 2014 07:58 AM PDT

Around 165 million years ago, a spectacular parasite was at home in the freshwater lakes of present-day Inner Mongolia (China): A fly larva with a thorax formed entirely like a sucking plate. With it, the animal could adhere to salamanders and suck their blood with its mouthparts formed like a sting. To date no insect is known that is equipped with a similar specialized design.

Schizophrenia and cannabis use may share common genes

Posted: 24 Jun 2014 06:33 AM PDT

Genes that increase the risk of developing schizophrenia may also increase the likelihood of using cannabis, according to a new study. Previous studies have identified a link between cannabis use and schizophrenia, but it has remained unclear whether this association is due to cannabis directly increasing the risk of the disorder. The new results suggest that part of this association is due to common genes.

Should the Higgs boson have caused our universe to collapse? Findings puzzle cosmologists

Posted: 24 Jun 2014 06:32 AM PDT

British cosmologists are puzzled: they predict that the universe should not have lasted for more than a second. This startling conclusion is the result of combining the latest observations of the sky with the recent discovery of the Higgs boson.

When it rains, it pours ... on the sun

Posted: 24 Jun 2014 06:32 AM PDT

Just like on Earth, the sun has spells of bad weather, with high winds and showers of rain. But unlike storms on Earth, rain on the sun is made of electrically charged gas (plasma) and falls at around 200,000 kilometers an hour from the outer solar atmosphere, the corona, to the sun's surface. Now a team of solar physicists has pieced together an explanation for this intriguing phenomenon with imagery that shows a 'waterfall' in the atmosphere of the sun.

Cancer 'as old as multi-cellular life on Earth': Researchers discover a primordial cancer in a primitive animal

Posted: 24 Jun 2014 06:25 AM PDT

Can cancer ever be completely defeated? Researchers have now reached a sobering conclusion: "cancer is as old as multi-cellular life on Earth and will probably never be completely eradicated," says one expert, following his latest research results. The researchers have now achieved an impressive understanding of the roots of cancer, providing proof that tumors indeed exist in primitive and evolutionary old animals.

Sound waves harnessed to enable precision micro- and nano-manufacturing

Posted: 24 Jun 2014 06:25 AM PDT

In a breakthrough discovery, researchers have harnessed the power of sound waves to enable precision micro- and nano-manufacturing. The researchers have demonstrated how high-frequency sound waves can be used to precisely control the spread of thin film fluid along a specially designed chip.

How repeatable is evolutionary history? 'Weakness' in clover genome biases species to evolve same trait

Posted: 23 Jun 2014 07:50 PM PDT

Some clover species have two forms, one of which releases cyanide to discourage nibbling by snails and insects and the other of which does not. A scientist found that this 'polymorphism' has evolved independently in six different species of clover, each time by the wholesale deletion of a gene. The clover species are in a sense predisposed to develop this trait, suggesting that evolution is not entirely free form but instead bumps up against constraints.

Titan's building blocks might pre-date Saturn

Posted: 23 Jun 2014 02:07 PM PDT

A combined NASA and European Space Agency (ESA)-funded study has found firm evidence that nitrogen in the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan originated in conditions similar to the cold birthplace of the most ancient comets from the Oort cloud. The finding rules out the possibility that Titan's building blocks formed within the warm disk of material thought to have surrounded the infant planet Saturn during its formation.

Wearable computing gloves can teach Braille, even if you're not paying attention

Posted: 23 Jun 2014 10:13 AM PDT

Researchers are using a wearable computing technology to help people learn how to read and write Braille. Those learning the skills are able to do so while concentrating on something else.

New evidence bolsters Higgs boson discovery: Confirmation of particle responsible for mass

Posted: 23 Jun 2014 09:10 AM PDT

If evidence of the Higgs boson revealed two years ago was the smoking gun, particle physicists have now found a few of the bullets. The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has just published research that details evidence of the direct decay of the Higgs boson to fermions, among the particles anticipated by the Standard Model of physics. The finding fits what researchers expected to see amid the massive amount of data provided by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

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