Πέμπτη, 3 Ιουλίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News


Ocean on Saturn's moon Titan could be as salty as Earth's Dead Sea

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.

Researchers regrow corneas, first known tissue grown from an adult human stem cell

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 10:17 AM PDT

Researchers have identified a way to enhance regrowth of human corneal tissue to restore vision, using a molecule known as ABCB5 that acts as a marker for hard-to-find limbal stem cells. The research is also one of the first known examples of constructing a tissue from an adult-derived human stem cell.

Extinct human cousin gave Tibetans advantage at high elevation

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.

Martian salts must touch ice to make liquid water, study shows

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 10:16 AM PDT

In chambers that mimic Mars' conditions, researchers have shown how small amounts of liquid water could form on the planet despite its below-freezing temperatures. Liquid water is an essential ingredient for life as we know it. Mars is one of the very few places in the solar system where scientists have seen promising signs of it -- in gullies down crater rims, in instrument readings, and in Phoenix spacecraft self portraits that appeared to show wet beads on the lander's leg several years ago.

Who will binge-drink at age 16? Teen imaging study pinpoints predictors

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 10:16 AM PDT

Neuroscientists leading the largest longitudinal adolescent brain imaging study to date have learned that a number of factors -- genetics, brain function and about 40 different variables -- can help scientists predict which teens will become binge drinkers.

New reprogramming method makes better stem cells

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 10:16 AM PDT

Researchers have shown for the first time that stem cells created using different methods produce differing cells. The findings provide new insights into the basic biology of stem cells and could ultimately lead to improved stem cell therapies.

Fruit fly research may reveal what happens in female brains during courtship, mating

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 09:24 AM PDT

What are the complex processes in the brain involved with choosing a mate, and are these processes different in females versus males? It's difficult to study such questions in people, but researchers are finding clues in fruit flies that might be relevant to humans and other animals.

A stellar womb shaped and destroyed by its ungrateful offspring

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 06:23 AM PDT

The little-known cloud of cosmic gas and dust called Gum 15 is the birthplace and home of hot young stars. Beautiful and deadly, these stars mould the appearance of their mother nebula and, as they progress into adulthood, will eventually also be the death of her.

Key brain region responds to subjective perception in study of individual neuron activity

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 04:32 PM PDT

When evaluating another person's emotions – happy, sad, angry, afraid – humans take cues from facial expressions. Neurons in a part of the brain called the amygdala "fire" in response to the visual stimulation as information is processed by the retina, the amygdala and a network of interconnected brain structures. Some of these regions respond just to the actual features of the face, whereas others respond to how things appear to the viewer, but it is unknown where in the brain this difference arises.

Engineered red blood cells could carry precious therapeutic cargo

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 01:40 PM PDT

Scientists have genetically and enzymatically modified red blood cells (RBCs) to carry a range of valuable payloads—from drugs, to vaccines, to imaging agents—for delivery to specific sites throughout the body. RBCs are an attractive vehicle for potential therapeutic applications for a variety of reasons, including their abundance -- they are more numerous than any other cell type in the body -- and their long lifespan (up to 120 days in circulation).

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