Jumat, 12 Februari 2016

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

Decade of rising seas slowed by land soaking up extra water

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 04:23 PM PST

New measurements from a NASA satellite have allowed researchers to identify and quantify, for the first time, how climate-driven increases of liquid water storage on land have affected the rate of sea level rise. A new study shows that while ice sheets and glaciers continue to melt, changes in weather and climate over the past decade have caused Earth's continents to soak up and store an extra 3.2 trillion tons of water in soils, lakes and underground aquifers, temporarily slowing the rate of sea level rise by about 20 percent.

Carbon dioxide stored underground can find multiple ways to escape

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 03:59 PM PST

When carbon dioxide is stored underground in a process known as geological sequestration, it can find multiple escape pathways due to chemical reactions between carbon dioxide, water, rocks and cement from abandoned wells, according to researchers.

A metal that behaves like water

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 03:59 PM PST

Researchers have made a breakthrough in our understanding of graphene's basic properties, observing for the first time electrons in a metal behaving like a fluid. This research could lead to novel thermoelectric devices as well as provide a model system to explore exotic phenomena like black holes and high-energy plasmas.

By switching 'bait,' biologists trick plants' bacterial defense into attacking virus

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 03:40 PM PST

Scientists have modified a plant gene that normally fights bacterial infection to confer resistance to a virus. The method is the first time a plant's innate defense system has been altered to deliver resistance to a new disease.

Early diet of infants, not maternal obesity, influences development of gut microbiome

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 11:22 AM PST

After the age of nine months, the development of the infant gut microbiota is driven by the transition to family foods, not maternal obesity, according to results from a new study. The gut microbiota is a complex community of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract. Children are essentially born without microbes in their gut, and they are immediately colonized upon birth. The next several years are critical in establishing a person's endogenous gut microbiota.

The sleeping giant NGC 4889 harbors a dark secret

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 11:13 AM PST

The placid appearance of NGC 4889 can fool the unsuspecting observer. But the elliptical galaxy, seen in a new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, harbors a dark secret. At its heart lurks one of the most massive black holes ever discovered.

Common cell transformed to master heart cell

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 11:04 AM PST

By genetically reprogramming the most common type of cell in mammalian connective tissue, researchers have generated master heart cells -- primitive progenitors that form the developing heart. The feat could one day fuel drug discovery, powerful new models for heart disease and the raw material for treating diseased hearts.

Why smiles (and frowns) are contagious

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 11:04 AM PST

Smile! It makes everyone in the room feel better because they, consciously or unconsciously, are smiling with you. Growing evidence shows that an instinct for facial mimicry allows us to empathize with and even experience other people's feelings. If we can't mirror another person's face, it limits our ability to read and properly react to their expressions.

GPS tracking down to the centimeter

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 08:15 AM PST

A new, more computationally efficient way to process data from the Global Positioning System (GPS) has been developed to enhance location accuracy from the meter-level down to a few centimeters.

Could the food we eat affect our genes? Study in yeast suggests this may be the case

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 08:15 AM PST

Almost all of our genes may be influenced by the food we eat, suggests new research. The study, carried out in yeast -- which can be used to model some of the body's fundamental processes -- shows that while the activity of our genes influences our metabolism, the opposite is also true and the nutrients available to cells influence our genes.

South Africa's Sterkfontein Caves produce two new hominin fossils

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 07:47 AM PST

Two new hominin specimens, a finger bone and a molar, that were found in South Africa's Sterkfontein Caves seem to be from early hominins that can be associated with early stone tool-bearing sediments that entered the cave more than two million years ago.

New glass technology discovered: Window doubling as a huge TV?

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 07:47 AM PST

Imagine if the picture window in your living room could double as a giant thermostat or big screen TV. A discovery has brought us one step closer to this becoming a reality.

Gravitational waves detected 100 years after Einstein's prediction

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 07:39 AM PST

For the first time, scientists have observed ripples in the fabric of spacetime called gravitational waves, arriving at Earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. This confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein's 1915 general theory of relativity and opens an unprecedented new window onto the cosmos.

Power walk: Footsteps could charge mobile electronics

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 06:02 AM PST

When you're on the go and your smartphone battery is low, in the not-so-distant future you could charge it simply by plugging it into your shoe. An innovative energy harvesting and storage technology developed by mechanical engineers could reduce our reliance on the batteries in our mobile devices, ensuring we have power for our devices no matter where we are.

Sneezing produces complex fluid cascade, not a simple spray

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 05:25 AM PST

New high-speed videos captured researchers show that as a person sneezes, they launch a sheet of fluid that balloons, then breaks apart in long filaments that destabilize, and finally disperses as a spray of droplets, similar to paint that is flung through the air.

Plankton carries carbon to safe resting spot, ocean study reveals

Posted: 10 Feb 2016 10:48 AM PST

The ocean's power to rein in carbon and protect the environment is vast but not well-understood. But now, an international team of scientists has begun to illuminate how the ocean plucks carbon from the atmosphere, where it contributes to global warming, and shuttles it to the bottom of the sea.
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