- Ocean on Saturn's moon Titan could be as salty as Earth's Dead Sea
- Extinct human cousin gave Tibetans advantage at high elevation
- Five-legged kangaroo? Telling the tale of a kangaroo's tail
- Plants respond to leaf vibrations caused by insects' chewing
- ACP recommends against pelvic exam in asymptomatic, average risk, non-pregnant women
- 19th century math tactic gets a makeover -- and yields answers up to 200 times faster
- Almonds reduce the risk of heart disease, research shows
- Unprecedented 3-D view of important brain receptor
- Controlling body movement with light: Neuroscientists inhibit muscle contractions by shining light on spinal cord neurons
- Wind turbine payback: Environmental lifecycle assessment of 2-megawatt wind turbines
Posted: 02 Jul 2014 01:55 PM PDT
Scientists analyzing data from NASA's Cassini mission have firm evidence the ocean inside Saturn's largest moon, Titan, might be as salty as Earth's Dead Sea. The new results come from a study of gravity and topography data collected during Cassini's repeated flybys of Titan during the past 10 years. Using the Cassini data, researchers presented a model structure for Titan, resulting in an improved understanding of the structure of the moon's outer ice shell.
Posted: 02 Jul 2014 10:17 AM PDT
Several thousand years ago, the common ancestors of Han Chinese and Tibetans moved onto the Tibetan plateau, a low-oxygen environment that probably proved fatal to many because of early heart disease and high infant mortality. But a specific variant of a gene for hemoglobin regulation, picked up from earlier interbreeding with a mysterious human-like species, Denisovans, gradually spread through the Tibetan population, allowing them to live longer and healthier and avoid cardiovascular problems.
Posted: 01 Jul 2014 04:33 PM PDT
Kangaroos may be nature's best hoppers. But when they are grazing on all fours, which is most of the time, their tail becomes a powerful fifth leg, says a new study. It turns out that kangaroo tails provide as much propulsive force as their front and hind legs combined as they eat their way across the landscape.
Posted: 01 Jul 2014 03:38 PM PDT
Previous studies have suggested that plant growth can be influenced by sound and that plants respond to wind and touch. Now, researchers, in a collaboration that brings together audio and chemical analysis, have determined that plants respond to the sounds that caterpillars make when eating plants and that the plants respond with more defenses.
Posted: 30 Jun 2014 04:34 PM PDT
ACP's new evidence-based guideline finds that harms of screening pelvic examination outweigh any demonstrated benefits. ACP's guideline is based on a systematic review of the published literature on human subjects in the English language from 1946 through January 2014.
Posted: 30 Jun 2014 09:49 AM PDT
A relic from long before the age of supercomputers, the 169-year-old math strategy called the Jacobi iterative method is widely dismissed today as too slow to be useful. But thanks to a curious, numbers-savvy engineering student and his professor, it may soon get a new lease on life.
Posted: 30 Jun 2014 06:45 AM PDT
Eating almonds can reduce the risk of heart disease by keeping blood vessels healthy, research has shown. Research found that they significantly increase the amount of antioxidants in the blood stream, reduce blood pressure and improve blood flow. These findings add weight to the theory that Mediterranean diets with lots of nuts have big health benefits.
Posted: 27 Jun 2014 12:00 PM PDT
Researchers have given science a new and unprecedented 3-D view of one of the most important receptors in the brain -- a receptor that allows us to learn and remember, and whose dysfunction is involved in a wide range of neurological diseases and conditions, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, schizophrenia and depression.
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.
Posted: 16 Jun 2014 06:33 AM PDT
Researchers have carried out an environmental lifecycle assessment of 2-megawatt wind turbines mooted for a large wind farm in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. They conclude that in terms of cumulative energy payback, or the time to produce the amount of energy required of production and installation, a wind turbine with a working life of 20 years will offer a net benefit within five to eight months of being brought online.
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