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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

ScienceDaily: Strange Science News

ScienceDaily: Strange Science News

Sweat-eating bacteria may improve skin health

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 03:00 PM PDT

Bacteria that metabolize ammonia, a major component of sweat, may improve skin health and some day could be used for the treatment of skin disorders, such as acne or chronic wounds. Human volunteers using the bacteria reported better skin condition and appearance compared with a placebo control group.

Glaciers in the Grand Canyon of Mars?

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 12:42 PM PDT

For decades, planetary geologists have speculated that glaciers might once have crept through Valles Marineris, the 2000-mile-long chasm that constitutes the Grand Canyon of Mars. Using satellite images, researchers have identified features that might have been carved by past glaciers as they flowed through the canyons; however, these observations have remained highly controversial and contested.

Sleep twitches light up the brain

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 12:39 PM PDT

A new study finds twitches during rapid eye movement sleep comprise a different class of movement, which researchers say is further evidence that sleep twitches activate circuits throughout the developing brain and teach newborns about their limbs and what they can do with them.

Cassini watches mysterious feature evolve in hydrocarbon sea on Saturn's moon Titan

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 09:32 AM PDT

NASA's Cassini spacecraft is monitoring the evolution of a mysterious feature in a large hydrocarbon sea on Saturn's moon Titan. The feature covers an area of about 100 square miles (260 square kilometers) in Ligeia Mare, one of the largest seas on Titan. It has now been observed twice by Cassini's radar experiment, but its appearance changed between the two apparitions.

Harvesting energy from walking around: Shoe insole charges AAA and watch batteries

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 07:52 AM PDT

A device that fits inside a pair of shoes harvests the energy left-over when someone walks. This energy is then stored in AAA or watch batteries.

Dolphins are attracted to magnets: Add dolphins to the list of magnetosensitive animals, French researchers say

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 07:52 AM PDT

Add dolphins to the list of magnetosensitive animals, French researchers say. Dolphins are indeed sensitive to magnetic stimuli, as they behave differently when swimming near magnetized objects.

Smart, eco-friendly new battery made of seeds and pine resin

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 06:40 AM PDT

Present-day lithium batteries are efficient but involve a range of resource and environmental problems. Using materials from alfalfa (lucerne seed) and pine resin and a clever recycling strategy, researchers have now come up with a highly interesting alternative.

Scientists make droplets move on their own

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 06:38 AM PDT

Droplets are simple spheres of fluid, not normally considered capable of doing anything on their own. But now researchers have made droplets of alcohol move through water. In the future, such moving droplets may deliver medicines.

Tooth buried in bone shows prehistoric predators tangled across land, sea

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 06:06 AM PDT

Before dinosaurs, it was thought the top aquatic and terrestrial predators didn't often interact. But researchers have discovered that the smaller of the two apex predators was potentially targeting the larger animal.

Simulations reveal an unusual death for ancient stars

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 06:05 AM PDT

Certain primordial stars -- between 55,000 and 56,000 times the mass of our sun, or solar masses -- may have died unusually. In death, these objects -- among the universe's first generation of stars -- would have exploded as supernovae and burned completely, leaving no remnant black hole behind.

Hand size appears to stay constant, providing natural 'ruler'

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 06:05 AM PDT

People tend to perceive their dominant hand as staying relatively the same size even when it's magnified, lending support to the idea that we use our hand as a constant perceptual 'ruler' to measure the world around us.

Self-made billionaires more likely to give than inheritors

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 06:04 AM PDT

Billionaires who have built their own fortunes are more likely to pledge to donate a large portion of their wealth to charities, than those who are heirs to family fortunes, a study has shown. The researchers examined written testaments of wealthy philanthropists who have signed up to The Giving Pledge, a venture which encourages billionaires to donate at least half of their wealth to charitable causes.

Mimicking brain cells to boost computer memory power

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 06:03 AM PDT

Researchers have brought ultra-fast, nano-scale data storage within striking reach, using technology that mimics the human brain. The researchers have built a novel nano-structure that offers a new platform for the development of highly stable and reliable nanoscale memory devices.

'Cloaking' device uses ordinary lenses to hide objects across range of angles

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 05:52 AM PDT

Inspired perhaps by Harry Potter's invisibility cloak, scientists have recently developed several ways -- some simple and some involving new technologies -- to hide objects from view. The latest effort not only overcomes some of the limitations of previous devices, but it uses inexpensive, readily available materials in a novel configuration.

Smelly discovery challenges effectiveness of antimicrobial textiles

Posted: 26 Sep 2014 12:04 PM PDT

Anti-odor clothing may not be living up to its promise, and a researcher is saying it could all be a matter of how the product was tested.

Risk of esophageal cancer decreases with height

Posted: 25 Sep 2014 10:28 AM PDT

Taller individuals are less likely to develop esophageal cancer and it's precursor, Barrett's esophagus, according to a new study. Esophageal cancer incidence increased eight-fold in the U.S. from 1973 to 2008. Almost all cases arise from Barrett's esophagus.

Goats better than chemicals for curbing invasive marsh grass

Posted: 25 Sep 2014 10:27 AM PDT

Herbivores, not herbicides, may be the most effective way to combat the spread of Phragmites australis, one of the most invasive plants now threatening East Coast salt marshes. A new study finds allowing small herds of goats and other livestock to graze in severely affected marshes can reduce phragmites cover from 94 percent to 21 percent and help restore natural species diversity, marsh function, and valuable shoreline views of the water.

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