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Thursday, October 16, 2014

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

Earth's magnetic field could flip within a human lifetime

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 02:08 PM PDT

Earth's last magnetic reversal took place 786,000 years ago and happened very quickly, in less than 100 years -- roughly a human lifetime. The rapid flip, much faster than the thousands of years most geologists thought, comes as new measurements show the planet's magnetic field is weakening 10 times faster than normal and could drop to zero in a few thousand years.

NASA study finds 1934 had worst North American drought of last thousand years

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 12:07 PM PDT

A new study using a reconstruction of North American drought history over the last 1,000 years found that the drought of 1934 was the driest and most widespread of the last millennium. Using a tree-ring-based drought record from the years 1000 to 2005 and modern records, scientists found the 1934 drought was 30 percent more severe than the runner-up drought (in 1580) and extended across 71.6 percent of western North America.

Is matter falling into the massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way or being ejected from it?

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 08:47 AM PDT

Is matter falling into the massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way or being ejected from it? No one knows for sure, but astrophysicists are searching for an answer.

Rising sea levels of 1.8 meters in worst-case scenario, researchers calculate

Posted: 14 Oct 2014 05:59 AM PDT

The climate is getting warmer, the ice sheets are melting and sea levels are rising -- but how much? The report of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2013 was based on the best available estimates of future sea levels, but the panel was not able to come up with an upper limit for sea level rise within this century. Now researchers have calculated the risk for a worst-case scenario. The results indicate that at worst, the sea level would rise a maximum of 1.8 meters.

Crocodiles are sophisticated hunters: Work as a team to hunt their prey

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 12:26 PM PDT

Recent studies have found that crocodiles and their relatives are highly intelligent animals capable of sophisticated behavior such as advanced parental care, complex communication and use of tools for hunting. New research shows just how sophisticated their hunting techniques can be.

Chemical derived from broccoli sprouts shows promise in treating autism

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 12:26 PM PDT

Results of a small clinical trial suggest that a chemical derived from broccoli sprouts -- and best known for claims that it can help prevent certain cancers -- may ease classic behavioral symptoms in those with autism spectrum disorders.

Ultra-fast charging batteries that can be 70% recharged in just two minutes

Posted: 13 Oct 2014 06:04 AM PDT

Scientists have developed a new battery that can be recharged up to 70 per cent in only 2 minutes. The battery will also have a longer lifespan of over 20 years. Expected to be the next big thing in battery technology, this breakthrough has a wide-ranging impact on many industries, especially for electric vehicles which are currently inhibited by long recharge times of over 4 hours and the limited lifespan of batteries.

New records set for silicon quantum computing

Posted: 12 Oct 2014 10:48 AM PDT

Two research teams working in the same laboratories have found distinct solutions to a critical challenge that has held back the realization of super powerful quantum computers. The teams created two types of quantum bits, or "qubits" -- the building blocks for quantum computers -- that each process quantum data with an accuracy above 99%.

Novel culture system replicates course of Alzheimer's disease, confirms amyloid hypothesis

Posted: 12 Oct 2014 10:48 AM PDT

An innovative laboratory culture system has succeeded, for the first time, in reproducing the full course of events underlying the development of Alzheimer's disease. Using this system, investigators provide the first clear evidence supporting the hypothesis that deposition of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain is the first step in a cascade leading to the devastating neurodegenerative disease.

No single explanation for biodiversity in Madagascar

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 12:52 PM PDT

No single 'one-size-fits-all' model can explain how biodiversity hotspots come to be, finds a study of more than 700 species of reptiles and amphibians in Madagascar. By analyzing the distribution of Madagascar's lizards, snakes, frogs and tortoises, researchers find that each group responded differently to environmental fluctuations on the island over time. The results are important because they suggest that climate change and deforestation in Madagascar will have varying effects on different species.

Moms who choose to breastfeed older babies motivated by health, nutrition benefits

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 12:50 PM PDT

Mothers who decide to breastfeed their children beyond 1 year of age consider their child's physical and social development to be most important, while the advice of health care professionals, family and friends are least important, according to a study.

Space-based methane maps find largest U.S. signal in Southwest

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 01:38 PM PDT

An unexpectedly high amount of the climate-changing gas methane, the main component of natural gas, is escaping from the Four Corners region in the US Southwest, according to a new study. Four Corners sits on North America's most productive coalbed methane basin. Coalbed methane is a variety of the gas that's stuck to the surface of coal. It is dangerous to miners (not to mention canaries), but in recent decades, it's been tapped as a resource.

Giant leap for diabetes: From human embryonic stem cells to billions of human insulin producing cells

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 09:56 AM PDT

Stem cell researchers have announced that they have made a giant leap forward in the quest to find a truly effective treatment for type 1 diabetes. With human embryonic stem cells as a starting point, the scientists are for the first time able to produce, in the kind of massive quantities needed for cell transplantation and pharmaceutical purposes, human insulin-producing beta cells equivalent in most every way to normally functioning beta cells.

Scientists Confirm Folk Remedy Repels Mosquitoes

Posted: 03 Jul 2006 06:19 AM PDT

Swatting mosquitoes and dodging other biting bugs is nearly a year-round chore in the Southeast, but such pests are swarming across the country with the advent of summer weather. A traditional folk remedy, known among people in Mississippi's hill country for at least a century, may provide some relief without all the worries of DEET and other harsh chemicals.

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