Rabu, 31 Agustus 2016

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

Theorists solve a long-standing fundamental problem on atoms

Posted: 30 Aug 2016 01:05 PM PDT

Trying to understand a system of atoms is like herding gnats -- the individual atoms are never at rest and are constantly moving and interacting. When it comes to trying to model the properties and behavior of these kinds of systems, scientists use two fundamentally different pictures of reality, one of which is called 'statistical' and the other 'dynamical.'

Plant roots built beachhead for life on land

Posted: 30 Aug 2016 11:12 AM PDT

Plants – even relatively small ones – played a crucial role in establishing a beachhead for life on land, according to recent work by an international team of researchers. The group found that early in the history of Earth's terrestrial biosphere, a small plant called Drepanophycus, similar to modern club mosses, was already deeply rooted. This kept soils from washing away and even allowed build up as the resilient above-ground parts of the plants caught silt during floods. These plants – typically a metre long at most – helped form deep, stable soils where other plants could thrive.

Monkeys in zoos have human gut bacteria

Posted: 30 Aug 2016 10:18 AM PDT

Monkeys in captivity lose much of their native gut bacteria diversity and their gut bacteria ends up resembling those of humans, new research shows. The results suggest that switching to a low-fiber, Western diet may have the power to deplete most normal primate gut microbes in favor of a less diverse set of bacteria.

Addiction cravings may get their start deep in the right side of the brain

Posted: 30 Aug 2016 10:12 AM PDT

If you really want a drink right now, the source of your craving may be a pea-sized structure deep inside the right side of your brain, according to scientists.

The rise and fall of galaxy formation

Posted: 30 Aug 2016 10:12 AM PDT

Astronomers have charted the rise and fall of galaxies over 90 percent of cosmic history. The FourStar Galaxy Evolution Survey has built a multicolored photo album of galaxies as they grow from their faint beginnings into mature and majestic giants. They did so by measuring distances and brightnesses for more than 70,000 galaxies spanning more than 12 billion years of cosmic time, revealing the breadth of galactic diversity.

Variation in 'junk' DNA leads to trouble

Posted: 30 Aug 2016 09:17 AM PDT

Although genetic variants are scattered throughout the human genome, scientists have largely ignored the stretches of repetitive genetic code known as 'junk' DNA in their search for differences that influence human health and disease. Now, researchers have discovered that variation in these overlooked regions can affect the stability of the genome and the proper function of the chromosomes that package our genetic material, leading to an increased risk of birth defects, infertility, and cancer.

New optical material offers unprecedented control of light and thermal radiation

Posted: 30 Aug 2016 08:39 AM PDT

Engineers have discovered a new phase-transition optical material -- samarium nickelate -- and demonstrated novel devices that dynamically control light over a much broader wavelength range and with larger modulation amplitude than what has currently been possible. SmNiO3 could potentially transform optoelectronic technologies, including smart windows and infrared camouflage.

Psychopaths feel fear but see no danger

Posted: 30 Aug 2016 08:37 AM PDT

Researchers have found proof that psychopathic individuals can feel fear, but have trouble in the automatic detection and responsivity to threat.

People enhanced the environment, not degraded it, over past 13,000 years

Posted: 30 Aug 2016 08:37 AM PDT

Human occupation is usually associated with deteriorated landscapes, but new research shows that 13,000 years of repeated occupation by British Columbia's coastal First Nations has had the opposite effect, enhancing temperate rainforest productivity.

Anomalous grooves on Martian moon Phobos explained by impacts

Posted: 30 Aug 2016 08:32 AM PDT

Some of the mysterious grooves on the surface of Mars' moon Phobos are the result of debris ejected by impacts eventually falling back onto the surface to form linear chains of craters, according to a new study. One set of grooves on Phobos are thought to be stress fractures resulting from the tidal pull of Mars. The new study addresses another set of grooves that do not fit that explanation.

Amputees' brains remember missing hands even years later

Posted: 30 Aug 2016 07:13 AM PDT

Our brains have a detailed picture of our hands and fingers, and that persists even decades after an amputation, researchers have found. The finding could have implications for the control of next generation prosthetics.

Systems biology research study reveals benefits of vacation, meditation

Posted: 30 Aug 2016 06:18 AM PDT

Scientists used a rigorous study design to assess the biological impact of meditation compared to vacation. The researchers found that a resort vacation provides a strong and immediate impact on molecular networks associated with stress and immune pathways, in addition to short-term improvements in well-being, as measured by feelings of vitality and distress. A meditation retreat, for those who already used meditation regularly, was associated with molecular networks characterized by antiviral activity. The molecular signature of long-term meditators was distinct from the non-meditating vacationers.

Functional human tissue-engineered liver generated from stem, progenitor cells

Posted: 30 Aug 2016 06:18 AM PDT

A research team has generated functional human and mouse tissue-engineered liver from adult stem and progenitor cells. Tissue-engineered Liver (TELi) was found to contain normal structural components such as hepatocytes, bile ducts and blood vessels.

Planet Nine could spell doom for solar system

Posted: 30 Aug 2016 05:43 AM PDT

The solar system could be thrown into disaster when the sun dies if the mysterious 'Planet Nine' exists, according to new research.

Brain's internal compass also navigates during imagination

Posted: 30 Aug 2016 05:40 AM PDT

When you try to find your way in a new place, your brain creates a spatial map that represents that environment. Neuroscientists now show that the brain's 'navigation system' is not only active during actual or virtual movement, but also when imagining view directions. This suggests that the brain's spatial navigation system might also be important for cognitive functions such as imagination and memory.

Dogs understand both vocabulary and intonation of human speech

Posted: 29 Aug 2016 04:27 PM PDT

Dogs have the ability to distinguish vocabulary words and the intonation of human speech through brain regions similar to those that humans use, a new study reports.

Super cement's secret

Posted: 29 Aug 2016 04:26 PM PDT

Mayenite is one smart cement -- it can be turned from an insulator to a transparent conductor and back. It is also suitable for use as semiconductors in flat panel displays. The secret behind mayenite's magic is a tiny change in its chemical composition. In new work, researchers show how components called electron anions help to transform crystalline mayenite, also called C12A7, into semiconducting glass.

Interactive map shows where animals will move under climate change

Posted: 29 Aug 2016 01:36 PM PDT

Researchers have created an animated map showing where mammals, birds and amphibians are projected to move in the Western Hemisphere in response to climate change.

Ancient dental plaque sheds new light on the diet of Mesolithic foragers in the Balkans

Posted: 29 Aug 2016 01:33 PM PDT

Micro-fossils trapped in dental calculus reveal that Late Mesolithic foragers were consuming domesticated plant foods c. 6600 BC, almost 400 years earlier than previously thought.

Climate change has less impact on drought than previously expected

Posted: 29 Aug 2016 01:33 PM PDT

As a multiyear drought grinds on in the Southwestern United States, many wonder about the impact of global climate change on more frequent and longer dry spells. As humans emit more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, how will water supply for people, farms, and forests be affected?

Proxima b is in host star's habitable zone, but could it really be habitable?

Posted: 29 Aug 2016 12:53 PM PDT

The world's attention is now on Proxima Centauri b, a possibly Earth-like planet orbiting the closest star, 4.22 light-years away. The planet's orbit is just right to allow liquid water on its surface, needed for life. But could it in fact be habitable? If so, the planet evolved very differently than Earth, say researchers say astronomers, geophysicists, climatologists, evolutionary biologists and others who study how distant planets might host life.

Researchers unravel process for the formation of rainstorms

Posted: 29 Aug 2016 09:22 AM PDT

Violent thunderstorms can often cause torrential rain, which pose a threat for both humans and the infrastructure. Until now such extreme weather phenomena have been very poorly understood. However, using advanced simulations for cloud systems, researchers have determined how complex cloud systems build up in the atmosphere, which then interact with each other and strengthen the further build up of heavy rain and severe thunderstorms.
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