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Thursday, October 30, 2014

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

Team discovers how microbes build a powerful antibiotic

Posted: 26 Oct 2014 04:54 PM PDT

Researchers have made a breakthrough in understanding how a powerful antibiotic agent is made in nature. Their discovery solves a decades-old mystery, and opens up new avenues of research into thousands of similar molecules, many of which are likely to be medically useful.

NASA's Fermi satellite finds hints of starquakes in magnetar 'storm'

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 05:02 PM PDT

NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope detected a rapid-fire "storm" of high-energy blasts from a highly magnetized neutron star, also called a magnetar, on Jan. 22, 2009. Now astronomers analyzing this data have discovered underlying signals related to seismic waves rippling throughout the magnetar.

Pleasure of learning new words

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 05:25 AM PDT

From our very first years, we are intrinsically motivated to learn new words and their meanings. First language acquisition occurs within a permanent emotional interaction between parents and children. However, the exact mechanism behind the human drive to acquire communicative linguistic skills is yet to be established.

Lucky star escapes black hole with minor damage: Closest near-miss event to be spotted near the Milky Way

Posted: 23 Oct 2014 08:08 AM PDT

Astronomers have gotten the closest look yet at what happens when a black hole takes a bite out of a star -- and the star lives to tell the tale.

Mathematical model shows how brain remains stable during learning

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 09:30 AM PDT

Complex biochemical signals that coordinate fast and slow changes in neuronal networks keep the brain in balance during learning, according to an international team of scientists. Neuronal networks form a learning machine that allows the brain to extract and store new information from its surroundings via the senses. Researchers have long puzzled over how the brain achieves sensitivity and stability to unexpected new experiences during learning -- two seemingly contradictory requirements.

Resetting the circadian clock: Shift workers might want to skip high-iron foods at night

Posted: 21 Oct 2014 10:48 AM PDT

Workers punching in for the graveyard shift may be better off not eating high-iron foods at night so they don't disrupt the circadian clock in their livers. "Iron is like the dial that sets the timing of the clock," the lead researcher says. "Discovering a factor, such as iron, that sets the circadian rhythm of the liver may have broad implications for people who do shift work."

Tarantula venom illuminates electrical activity in live cells

Posted: 21 Oct 2014 07:11 AM PDT

A cellular probe that combines a tarantula toxin with a fluorescent compound has been developed to help scientists observe electrical activity in neurons and other cells. This is the first time researchers have been able to visually observe these electrical signaling proteins turn on without genetic modification.

Why your brain makes you reach for junk food

Posted: 20 Oct 2014 08:12 AM PDT

Will that be a pizza for you or will you go for a salad? Choosing what you eat is not simply a matter of taste, conclude scientists in a new study. As you glance over a menu or peruse the shelves in a supermarket, your brain is making decisions based more on a food's caloric content.

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