Παρασκευή, 27 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

Bloodsucking mite threatens UK honeybees

Posted: 26 Jun 2014 02:27 PM PDT

Scientists have discovered how a bloodsucking parasite has transformed Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) into one of the biggest threats facing UK honeybees. Honeybees are a key pollinating insect, adding around $40B globally to crop value. Over recent years the spread of parasites and the viruses they transmit has resulted in high overwintering colony losses. New and emerging threats to insect pollinators are putting increasing pressure on the agricultural sector to meet the demands of a growing population.

Not much force: Researchers detect smallest force ever measured

Posted: 26 Jun 2014 12:09 PM PDT

Researchers have detected the smallest force ever measured -- approximately 42 yoctonewtons -- using a unique optical trapping system that provides ultracold atoms. A yoctonewton is one septillionth of a newton.

Animals built reefs 550 million years ago, fossil study finds

Posted: 26 Jun 2014 11:16 AM PDT

It is a remarkable survivor of an ancient aquatic world -- now a new study sheds light on how one of Earth's oldest reefs was formed. Researchers have discovered that one of these reefs -- now located on dry land in Namibia -- was built almost 550 million years ago, by the first animals to have hard shells.

Ancient ocean currents may have changed pacing and intensity of ice ages: Slowing of currents may have flipped switch

Posted: 26 Jun 2014 11:16 AM PDT

Researchers have found that the deep ocean currents that move heat around the globe stalled or even stopped about 950,000 years ago, possibly due to expanding ice cover in the north. The slowing currents increased carbon dioxide storage in the ocean, leaving less in the atmosphere, which kept temperatures cold and kicked the climate system into a new phase of colder but less frequent ice ages, they hypothesize.

The shocking truth about electric fish: Genomic basis for the convergent evolution of electric organs

Posted: 26 Jun 2014 11:16 AM PDT

Scientists have found how the electric fish's jolt evolved. Biologists identified the regulatory molecules involved in the genetic and developmental pathways that electric fish have used to convert a simple muscle into an organ capable of generating a potent electrical field.

Fighting parasitic infection inadvertently unleashes dormant virus

Posted: 26 Jun 2014 11:10 AM PDT

Signals from the immune system that help repel a common parasite inadvertently can cause a dormant viral infection to become active again, a new study shows. Further research is necessary to understand the clinical significance of the finding, but researchers said the study helps illustrate how complex interactions between infectious agents and the immune system have the potential to affect illness.

Foul exhaust fumes derail dinner for hungry moths

Posted: 26 Jun 2014 11:10 AM PDT

In new research on how pollinators find flowers when background odors are strong, researchers have found that both natural plant odors and human sources of pollution can conceal the scent of sought-after flowers. Car and truck exhaust fumes that foul the air for humans also cause problems for pollinators.

New species of small mammal: Round-eared elephant-shrew found in Namibia

Posted: 26 Jun 2014 10:22 AM PDT

Scientists have discovered a new species of round-eared sengi, or elephant-shrew, in the remote deserts of southwestern Africa. This is the third new species of sengi to be discovered in the wild in the past decade. It is also the smallest known member of the 19 sengis in the order Macroscelidea.

Controlling body movement with light: Neuroscientists inhibit muscle contractions by shining light on spinal cord neurons

Posted: 26 Jun 2014 09:20 AM PDT

Neuroscientists report that they can inhibit muscle contractions by shining light on spinal cord neurons. The researchers studied mice in which a light-sensitive protein that promotes neural activity was inserted into a subset of spinal neurons. When the researchers shone blue light on the animals' spinal cords, their hind legs were completely but reversibly immobilized. The findings offer a new approach to studying the complex spinal circuits that coordinate movement and sensory processing, the researchers say.

Chimps like listening to music with a different beat

Posted: 26 Jun 2014 09:16 AM PDT

While preferring silence to music from the West, chimpanzees apparently like to listen to the different rhythms of music from Africa and India, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

New NASA images highlight U.S. air quality improvement

Posted: 26 Jun 2014 08:59 AM PDT

Anyone living in a major U.S. city for the past decade may have noticed a change in the air. The change is apparent in new NASA satellite images unveiled this week that demonstrate the reduction of air pollution across the country.

We speak as we feel, we feel as we speak

Posted: 26 Jun 2014 06:57 AM PDT

Ground-breaking experiments have been conduced to uncover the links between language and emotions. Researchers were able to demonstrate that the articulation of vowels systematically influences our feelings and vice versa. The authors concluded that it would seem that language users learn that the articulation of 'i' sounds is associated with positive feelings and thus make use of corresponding words to describe positive circumstances. The opposite applies to the use of 'o' sounds.

Oldest biodiversity found in Gabonese marine ecosystem

Posted: 26 Jun 2014 06:55 AM PDT

Researchers have discovered, in clay sediments from Gabon, fossils of the oldest multicellular organisms ever found. In total, more than 400 fossils dating back 2.1 billion years have been collected, including dozens of new types. The detailed analysis of these finds reveals a broad biodiversity composed of micro and macroscopic organisms of highly varied size and shape that evolved in a marine ecosystem.

To avoid interbreeding, monkeys have undergone evolution in facial appearance

Posted: 26 Jun 2014 06:29 AM PDT

Old World monkeys have undergone a remarkable evolution in facial appearance as a way of avoiding interbreeding with closely related and geographically proximate species, researchers have found. Their research provides the best evidence to date for the role of visual cues as a barrier to breeding across species.

Increased nearsightedness linked to higher education levels and more years spent in school

Posted: 26 Jun 2014 06:29 AM PDT

Researchers have found strong evidence that attaining a higher level of education and spending more years in school are two factors associated with a greater prevalence and severity of nearsightedness, or myopia. The research is the first population-based study to demonstrate that environmental factors may outweigh genetics in the development of myopia.

'Nanosubmarine' designed that delivers complementary molecules inside cells

Posted: 25 Jun 2014 05:19 PM PDT

Nanoparticles that under the right conditions, self-assemble -- trapping complementary guest molecules within their structure -- have been recently created by scientists. Like tiny submarines, these versatile nanocarriers can navigate in the watery environment surrounding cells and transport their guest molecules through the membrane of living cells to sequentially deliver their cargo.

Did Neanderthals eat their vegetables? First direct evidence of plants in Neanderthal diet

Posted: 25 Jun 2014 05:19 PM PDT

Scientists have identified human fecal remains from El Salt, a known site of Neanderthal occupation in southern Spain that dates back 50,000 years. The researchers analyzed each sample for metabolized versions of animal-derived cholesterol, as well as phytosterol, a cholesterol-like compound found in plants. While all samples contained signs of meat consumption, two samples showed traces of plants -- the first direct evidence that Neanderthals may have enjoyed an omnivorous diet.

People with tinnitus process emotions differently from their peers, researchers report

Posted: 25 Jun 2014 03:49 PM PDT

Patients with persistent ringing in the ears -- a condition known as tinnitus -- process emotions differently in the brain from those with normal hearing, researchers report. Tinnitus afflicts 50 million people in the United States, and causes those with the condition to hear noises that aren't really there. These phantom sounds are not speech, but rather whooshing noises, train whistles, cricket noises or whines. Their severity often varies day to day.

Watching too much TV may increase risk of early death: Three hours a day linked to premature death from any cause

Posted: 25 Jun 2014 03:48 PM PDT

Adults who watch TV three hours or more a day may double their risk of premature death from any cause. Researchers suggest adults should consider getting regular exercise, avoiding long sedentary periods and reducing TV viewing to one to two hours a day.

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