Kamis, 05 Maret 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

Excavation reveals ancient town and burial complex in Diros Bay, Greece

Posted: 04 Mar 2015 12:26 PM PST

Recent research has uncovered the remains of an ancient town and burial complex that date to the Neolithic and Bronze Age. In addition to the Neolithic 'spooning' couple that has been highlighted in recent news articles, the team also uncovered several other burials and the remains of an ancient village that suggest the bay was an important center in ancient times.

Strength in numbers: First-ever quantum device that detects and corrects its own errors

Posted: 04 Mar 2015 12:26 PM PST

When scientists develop a full quantum computer, the world of computing will undergo a revolution of sophistication, speed and energy efficiency that will make even our beefiest conventional machines seem like Stone Age clunkers by comparison.

Galactic 'rain' explains why some galaxies are better at creating stars

Posted: 04 Mar 2015 12:26 PM PST

Some of the galaxies in our universe are veritable star nurseries. For example, our own Milky Way produces, on average, at least one new star every year. Others went barren years ago, now producing few if any new stars. Why that happens is a question that has dogged astronomers for years. But now, more than 20 years of research has culminated in what might be the answer to that elusive question.

Why isn't the universe as bright as it should be?

Posted: 04 Mar 2015 11:15 AM PST

A handful of new stars are born each year in the Milky Way, while many more blink on across the universe. But astronomers have observed that galaxies should be churning out millions more stars, based on the amount of interstellar gas available. This study explains why galaxies don't churn out as many stars as they should.

Direct evidence that drought-weakened Amazonian forests 'inhale less carbon'

Posted: 04 Mar 2015 11:14 AM PST

Direct evidence of the rate at which individual trees in the Amazonian basin 'inhale' carbon from the atmosphere during severe drought has been provided by an international research team. Researchers found that while the rate of photosynthesis was constant among trees on plots unaffected by drought, rates on the six drought-affected plots dropped significantly (as compared with before the 2010 drought). They also discovered that while the growth rates of drought-affected plots were unchanged, levels of tissue maintenance and the general health of trees were reduced.

Discovery of 2.8-million-year-old jaw sheds light on early humans

Posted: 04 Mar 2015 11:14 AM PST

For decades, scientists have been searching for African fossils documenting the earliest phases of the Homo lineage, but specimens recovered from the critical time interval between 3 and 2.5 million years ago have been frustratingly few and often poorly preserved. However, a fossil lower jaw found in the Ledi-Geraru research area, Afar Regional State, Ethiopia, pushes back evidence for the human genus -- Homo -- to 2.8 million years ago.

Planet 'reared' by four parent stars

Posted: 04 Mar 2015 10:22 AM PST

Growing up as a planet with more than one parent star has its challenges. Though the planets in our solar system circle just one star -- our sun -- other more distant planets, called exoplanets, can be reared in families with two or more stars. Researchers wanting to know more about the complex influences of multiple stars on planets have come up with two new case studies: a planet found to have three parents, and another with four.

Experiments support conductivity claims for microbial nanowires

Posted: 04 Mar 2015 08:03 AM PST

Scientific debate has been hot lately about whether microbial nanowires, the specialized electrical pili of the mud-dwelling anaerobic bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens, truly possess metallic-like conductivity as its discoverers claim. But now scientists say they have settled the dispute between theoretical and experimental scientists by devising a combination of new experiments and better theoretical modeling.

Hurricanes helped accelerate spread of lionfish

Posted: 04 Mar 2015 07:40 AM PST

Just when you thought hurricanes couldn't get any scarier, think again. Their names roll of the tongue like a rogues' gallery: Floyd, Frances, Irene, Wilma and Andrew. But these aren't the names of notorious criminals; rather, they are just a few of the hurricanes since 1992 that have helped spread invasive marine species throughout the Florida Straits. Researchers have discovered that storms don't only have a dramatic impact on land; they have an equally dramatic effect on ocean currents, which helps the spread of marine invasive species throughout a region.

Men tend to be more narcissistic than women, study finds

Posted: 04 Mar 2015 07:40 AM PST

With three decades of data from more than 475,000 participants, a new study on narcissism reveals that men, on average, are more narcissistic than women.

Grand tree of life study shows a clock-like trend in new species emergence and diversity

Posted: 04 Mar 2015 04:54 AM PST

Researchers have assembled the largest and most accurate tree of life calibrated to time, and surprisingly, it reveals that life has been expanding at a constant rate. The study also challenges the conventional view of adaptation being the principal force driving species diversification, but rather, underscores the importance of random genetic events and geographic isolation in speciation, taking about 2 million years on average for a new species to emerge onto the scene.

Animal functional diversity started out poor, became richer over time

Posted: 04 Mar 2015 04:54 AM PST

The finding refutes a hypothesis by the famed evolutionary biologist Stephen J. Gould that marine creatures underwent an 'early burst' of functional diversity during the dawn of animal life.

Genetic study revives debate on origin and expansion of Indo-European languages in Europe

Posted: 04 Mar 2015 04:53 AM PST

Researchers have identified a massive migration of Kurgan populations (Yamna culture) which went from the Russian steppes to the center of Europe some 4,500 years ago, favoring the expansion of Indo-European languages throughout the continent.

Adults only really catch flu about twice a decade, suggests study

Posted: 03 Mar 2015 11:15 AM PST

Adults over the age of 30 only catch flu about twice a decade, a new study suggests. So, while it may feel like more, flu-like illness can be caused by many pathogens, making it difficult to assess how often people are infected by influenza.

Unlocking key to immunological memory in bacteria

Posted: 02 Mar 2015 09:33 AM PST

A powerful genome editing tool may soon become even more powerful. Researchers have unlocked the key to how bacteria are able to 'steal' genetic information from viruses and other foreign invaders for use in their own immunological memory system.

Alzheimer amyloid clumps found in young adult brains

Posted: 02 Mar 2015 04:13 AM PST

Amyloid -- an abnormal protein that's a hallmark of Alzheimer's -- starts accumulating inside neurons of people as young as 20, reports a study. This is the first time amyloid accumulation has been shown in such young human brains. Small toxic amyloid clumps were found in neurons of deceased young adults. The clumps grew larger in the brains of normal older adults and those with Alzheimer's. The clumps likely damage and eventually kill memory-related neurons.
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