Jumat, 09 Desember 2016

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

Devastating decline for the giraffe

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 01:24 PM PST

Over 700 newly recognized bird species have been assessed for the latest update of The IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM, and 11% of them are threatened with extinction. The update also reveals a devastating decline for the giraffe, driven by habitat loss, civil unrest and illegal hunting. The global giraffe population has plummeted by up to 40% over the last 30 years, and the species has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

Climate change is already causing widespread local extinction in plant and animal species

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 12:21 PM PST

Extinctions related to climate change have already happened in hundreds of plant and animal species around the world. New research shows that local extinctions have already occurred in 47% of the 976 plant and animal species studied.

Pioneering nanotechnology captures energy from people

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 12:21 PM PST

The day of charging cellphones with finger swipes and powering Bluetooth headsets simply by walking is now much closer, say investigators.

Researchers map neural circuitry of songbird learning

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 11:35 AM PST

Researchers have begun to map the brain circuitry responsible for cultural transmission and species specificity in birdsong.

Neuroimaging categorizes four depression subtypes

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 11:34 AM PST

Patients with depression can be categorized into four unique subtypes defined by distinct patterns of abnormal connectivity in the brain, according to new research.

Fishery bycatch rapidly driving Mexico's vaquita to extinction

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 11:34 AM PST

One of the most sophisticated networks of acoustic detectors ever developed for wildlife science has documented a devastating 34 percent per year decline of Mexico's critically endangered vaquita porpoise, according to a new study. A companion article uses both acoustic and visual surveys to estimate that only about 60 vaquitas remained, as of last year.

Protein disrupts infectious biofilms

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 11:34 AM PST

Researchers have discovered a protein that inhibits biofilms of a bacterium responsible for many cystic fibrosis infections.

Amateur astronomer helps uncover secrets of unique pulsar binary system

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 11:33 AM PST

A professional astrophysicist and an amateur astronomer have teamed up to reveal surprising details about an unusual millisecond pulsar (MSP) binary system comprising one of the fastest-spinning pulsars in our Galaxy and its unique companion star.

Against the tide: A fish adapts quickly to lethal levels of pollution

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 11:33 AM PST

Evolution is working hard to rescue some urban fish from a lethal, human-altered environment, according to a study. Atlantic killifish living in four polluted East Coast estuaries have adapted to levels of highly toxic industrial pollutants that would normally kill them.

Better diabetes treatment? Artificial beta cells from human kidney cells

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 11:33 AM PST

Researchers have used the simplest approach yet to produce artificial beta cells from human kidney cells. Like their natural model, the artificial cells act as both sugar sensors and insulin producers.

Amber specimen offers rare glimpse of feathered dinosaur tail

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 11:16 AM PST

Researchers have discovered a dinosaur tail complete with its feathers trapped in a piece of amber. The finding helps fill in details of the dinosaurs' feather structure and evolution.

17th Century strain of smallpox retrieved from partial mummified remains of Lithuanian child

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 11:16 AM PST

New genetic research suggests that smallpox, a pathogen that caused millions of deaths worldwide, may not be an ancient disease but a much more modern killer that went on to become the first human disease eradicated by vaccination.

Further improvement of qubit lifetime for future quantum computers

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 11:13 AM PST

An international team of scientists has succeeded in making further improvements to the lifetime of superconducting quantum circuits. An important prerequisite for the realization of high-performance quantum computers is that the stored data should remain intact for as long as possible. The researchers have developed and tested a technique that removes unpaired electrons from the circuits. These are known to shorten the qubit lifetime.

Observing crystallization at the molecular level for the first time

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 09:13 AM PST

We watch crystallization take place every winter when ice crystals form on our windows. But no one had ever seen it happen at the molecular level – until now. Scientists have created a way to observe this phase of crystallization, verifying long-held theories.

Fossilized evidence of a tumor in a 255-million-year-old mammal forerunner

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 09:13 AM PST

An extinct mammal relative harbored a benign tumor made up of miniature, tooth-like structures, paleontologists report. The tumor, a compound odontoma, is common to mammals today. But this animal lived 255 million years ago, before mammals even existed.

High altitudes hamper hummingbirds' ability to maneuver

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 09:11 AM PST

Hummingbirds' ability to accelerate and turn diminishes at high altitudes, but it isn't a lack of oxygen to the body that limits the birds' performance -- it's physics.

Scientists examine bacterium found 1,000 feet underground

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 06:07 AM PST

Researchers find a bacterium 1,000 feet underground (called Paenibacillus) that is resistant to 18 different antibiotics and uses identical methods of defense as similar species found in soils. The scientists identified five novel pathways that were of potential clinical concern.

Will Earth still exist 5 billion years from now?

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 06:04 AM PST

What will happen to Earth when, in a few billion years' time, the sun is a hundred times bigger than it is today? Using the most powerful radio telescope in the world, an international team of astronomers has set out to look for answers in the star L2 Puppis. Five billion years ago, this star was very similar to the sun as it is today.

Hot hydrogen atoms discovered in Earth's upper atmosphere

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 06:30 AM PST

Scientists have discovered the existence of hot atomic hydrogen (H) atoms in an upper layer of Earth's atmosphere known as the thermosphere. This finding significantly changes current understanding of the H distribution and its interaction with other atmospheric constituents.

Gut feelings: How the microbiome may affect mental illness and interact with treatment

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 06:30 AM PST

All of us who have experienced a 'nervous stomach' under periods of stress suspect that there is a link between our gut and our mood. Now researchers have received strong scientific support for exactly this link.

Dark matter may be smoother than expected

Posted: 07 Dec 2016 06:29 AM PST

Analysis of a giant new galaxy survey suggests that dark matter may be less dense and more smoothly distributed throughout space than previously thought. An international team used data from the Kilo Degree Survey (KiDS) to study how the light from about 15 million distant galaxies was affected by the gravitational influence of matter on the largest scales in the universe.

During last warming period, Antarctica heated up two to three times more than planet average

Posted: 06 Dec 2016 08:15 AM PST

A new study of warming after the last ice age 20,000 years ago confirms climate models that predict an amplification of warming at the poles. By 15,000 years ago, the Antarctic had warmed about 11 degrees Celsius, almost 3 times the average global warming (4 degrees Celsius). The calculations, based on temperature measurements down a 3.4-kilometer-deep borehole, prove that climate models do a good job of estimating past climatic conditions and, very likely, future changes.
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