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Thursday, October 2, 2014

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

ScienceDaily: Most Popular 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.

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.

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.

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.

An apple a day could keep obesity away

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 03:11 PM PDT

Nondigestible compounds in apples -- specifically, Granny Smith apples -- may help prevent disorders associated with obesity, scientists have concluded. "We know that, in general, apples are a good source of these nondigestible compounds but there are differences in varieties," said the study's lead researcher. "Results from this study will help consumers to discriminate between apple varieties that can aid in the fight against obesity."

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.

Causes of California drought linked to climate change

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 10:35 AM PDT

The extreme atmospheric conditions associated with California's crippling drought are far more likely to occur under today's global warming conditions than in the climate that existed before humans emitted large amounts of greenhouse gases, scientists say.

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.

DNA signature in Ice Storm babies: Prenatal maternal stress exposure to natural disasters predicts epigenetic profile of offspring

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 07:53 AM PDT

The number of days an expectant mother was deprived of electricity during Quebec's Ice Storm in 1998 predicts the epigenetic profile of her child, a new study finds.

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.

Signature of aging in brain: Researchers suggest that the brain's 'immunological age' is what counts

Posted: 29 Sep 2014 06:38 AM PDT

Evidence of a unique 'signature' that may be the 'missing link' between cognitive decline and aging has been found by researchers. The scientists believe that this discovery may lead, in the future, to treatments that can slow or reverse cognitive decline in older people.

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.

Neuroscientists use morphed images of Hollywood celebrities to reveal how neurons make up your mind

Posted: 26 Sep 2014 08:21 AM PDT

Morphed images of celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, Bob Marley, Sylvester Stallone, Uma Thurman, Nicole Kidman, Whoopi Goldberg, Bill Clinton and George Bush, and others were shown to participants in a recent study. The study found that neurons fire in line with conscious recognition of images rather than the actual images seen, thereby leading scientists to believe that neurons play a key role in the formation of memory.

NASA rover drill pulls first taste from Mars mountain

Posted: 26 Sep 2014 07:15 AM PDT

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has collected its first taste of the layered mountain whose scientific allure drew the mission to choose this part of Mars as a landing site.

Talk therapy -- not medication -- best for social anxiety disorder, large study finds

Posted: 25 Sep 2014 05:56 PM PDT

While antidepressants are the most commonly used treatment for social anxiety disorder, new research suggests that cognitive behavioral therapy is more effective and, unlike medication, can have lasting effects long after treatment has stopped.

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