Rabu, 01 Oktober 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News


Satellite measurements reveal gravity dip from ice loss in West Antarctica

Posted: 30 Sep 2014 04:54 PM PDT

Although not designed to map changes in Earth's gravity over time, ESA's GOCE satellite has shown that the ice lost from West Antarctica over the last few years has left its signature. More than doubling its planned life in orbit, GOCE spent four years measuring Earth's gravity in unprecedented detail. Researchers have found that the decrease in the mass of ice during this period was mirrored in GOCE's measurements.

Aral Sea loses its eastern lobe -- first time in modern history, NASA's Terra satellite shows

Posted: 30 Sep 2014 04:33 PM PDT

Summer 2014 marked another milestone for the Aral Sea, the once-extensive lake in Central Asia that has been shrinking markedly since the 1960s. For the first time in modern history, the eastern basin of the South Aral Sea has completely dried.

CDC and Texas Health Department confirm first Ebola case diagnosed in the U.S.

Posted: 30 Sep 2014 04:09 PM PDT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed today, through laboratory tests, the first case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States in a person who had traveled to Dallas, Texas from Liberia. The patient did not have symptoms when leaving West Africa, but developed symptoms approximately four days after arriving in the U.S. on Sept. 20.

NASA's Swift mission observes mega flares from nearby red dwarf star

Posted: 30 Sep 2014 02:15 PM PDT

On April 23, NASA's Swift satellite detected the strongest, hottest, and longest-lasting sequence of stellar flares ever seen from a nearby red dwarf star. The initial blast from this record-setting series of explosions was as much as 10,000 times more powerful than the largest solar flare ever recorded.

Blades of grass inspire advance in organic solar cells

Posted: 30 Sep 2014 11:42 AM PDT

Using a bio-mimicking analog of one of nature's most efficient light-harvesting structures, blades of grass, an international research team has taken a major step in developing long-sought polymer architecture to boost power-conversion efficiency of light to electricity for use in electronic devices.

Study shows how chimpanzees share skills: Evidence of new behavior being transmitted socially

Posted: 30 Sep 2014 11:41 AM PDT

Biologists have found evidence of new behavior being adopted and transmitted socially from one individual to another within a wild chimpanzee community. This is the first instance of social learning recorded in the wild.

How dinosaur arms turned into bird wings

Posted: 30 Sep 2014 11:41 AM PDT

Although we now appreciate that birds evolved from a branch of the dinosaur family tree, a crucial adaptation for flight has continued to puzzle evolutionary biologists. During the millions of years that elapsed, wrists went from straight to bent and hyperflexible, allowing birds to fold their wings neatly against their bodies when not flying. A resolution to this impasse is now provided by an exciting new study.

Memory loss associated with Alzheimer's reversed: Small trial succeeds using systems approach to memory disorders

Posted: 30 Sep 2014 11:34 AM PDT

In the first, small study of a novel, personalized and comprehensive program to reverse memory loss, nine of 10 participants displayed subjective or objective improvement in their memories beginning within three to six months after the program's start.

Pollution linked to lethal sea turtle tumors

Posted: 30 Sep 2014 08:33 AM PDT

Polluted urban and farm runoff in Hawaii has been linked to lethal tumors in endangered sea turtles. A new study finds that excess nitrogen in the runoff accumulates in algae that the turtles eat and can cause the disease Fibropapillomatosis which is the leading known cause of death in endangered green sea turtles. The disease causes the formation of tumors on the animals' eyes, flippers, and internal organs.

How to make a 'perfect' solar absorber

Posted: 30 Sep 2014 08:32 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a solar cell that can tap the sun's full radiation spectrum. The material is a two-dimensional metallic dielectric photonic crystal, and has the additional benefits of absorbing sunlight from a wide range of angles and withstanding extremely high temperatures. Perhaps most importantly, the material can also be made cheaply at large scales.

New material steals oxygen from the air: One spoonful absorbs all the oxygen in a room

Posted: 30 Sep 2014 08:32 AM PDT

Researchers have synthesized crystalline materials that can bind and store oxygen in high concentrations. Just one spoon of the substance is enough to absorb all the oxygen in a room. The stored oxygen can be released again when and where it is needed.

Laser-guided herds of sea monkeys show how zooplankton migrations may affect global ocean currents

Posted: 30 Sep 2014 08:14 AM PDT

Sea monkeys have captured the popular attention of both children and aquarium hobbyists because of their easily observable life cycle. Physicists are interested in a shorter-term pattern: Like other zooplankton, brine shrimp vertically migrate in large groups throughout the day in response to changing light conditions. New research suggests that the collective movement of small marine organisms could affect global ocean circulation patterns on a level comparable to the wind and the tides.

First evidence that reptiles can learn through imitation

Posted: 30 Sep 2014 06:04 AM PDT

New research has for the first time provided evidence that reptiles could be capable of social learning through imitation. The ability to acquire new skills through the 'true imitation' of others' behavior is thought to be unique to humans and advanced primates, such as chimpanzees.  

Astronomers find 'cousin' planets around twin stars

Posted: 30 Sep 2014 06:04 AM PDT

Astronomers have found two new Jupiter-sized extra-solar planets, each orbiting one star of a binary-star system.  Most known extra-solar planets orbit stars that are alone, like our Sun. Yet many stars are part of binary systems, twin stars formed from the same gas cloud. Now, for the first time, two stars of a binary system are both found to host a "hot Jupiter'' exoplanet.

Plants prepackage beneficial microbes in their seeds

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 03:00 PM PDT

Plants have a symbiotic relationship with certain bacteria. These 'commensal' bacteria help the plants extract nutrients and defend against invaders -- an important step in preventing pathogens from contaminating fruits and vegetables. Now, scientists have discovered that plants may package their commensal bacteria inside of seeds; thus ensuring that sprouting plants are colonized from the beginning.

Use of broad-spectrum antibiotics before age 2 associated with obesity risk

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 03:00 PM PDT

The use of broad-spectrum antibiotics by children before the age of 24 months was associated with increased risk of obesity in early childhood, a study concludes. The authors used electronic health records spanning from 2001 to 2013 from a network of primary care clinics. All children with annual visits at ages 0 to 23 months, as well as one or more visit at ages 24 to 59 months were enrolled. The final group included 64,580 children. Children were followed-up until they were 5 years old.

Quest continues for peanut that won't cause allergic reaction

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 09:39 AM PDT

A food scientist has removed 80 percent of allergens from whole peanuts, moving him a step closer to eliminating 99.9 percent of peanut allergens. For the study, researchers used a pulsating light system to direct concentrated bursts of light to modify the peanut allergenic proteins. That way, they say, human antibodies can't recognize them as allergens and begin to release histamines.
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