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Monday, October 6, 2014

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

Batteries included: A solar cell that stores its own power

Posted: 03 Oct 2014 03:43 AM PDT

Is it a solar cell? Or a rechargeable battery? Actually, the patent-pending device is both: the world's first solar battery. Scientists have succeeding in combining a battery and a solar cell into one hybrid device.

Falling asleep: Revealing the point of transition

Posted: 02 Oct 2014 11:18 AM PDT

How can we tell when someone has fallen asleep? To answer this question, scientists have developed a new statistical method and behavioral task to track the dynamic process of falling asleep.

Elusive particle that is its own antiparticle observed

Posted: 02 Oct 2014 11:17 AM PDT

Scientists have observed an exotic particle that behaves simultaneously like matter and antimatter, a feat of math and engineering that could yield powerful computers based on quantum mechanics.

How giant clams harness the sun by growing algae as a source of food

Posted: 02 Oct 2014 09:37 AM PDT

Beneath the waves, many creatures sport iridescent structures that rival what materials scientists can make in the laboratory. Researchers have now shown how giant clams use these structures to thrive, operating as exceedingly efficient, living greenhouses that grow symbiotic algae as a source of food. This understanding could have implications for alternative energy research, paving the way for new types of solar panels.

52-million-year-old amber preserves 'ant-loving' beetle

Posted: 02 Oct 2014 09:36 AM PDT

Scientists have uncovered the fossil of a 52-million-year old beetle that likely was able to live alongside ants -- preying on their eggs and usurping resources -- within the comfort of their nest. The fossil, encased in a piece of amber from India, is the oldest-known example of this kind of social parasitism, known as 'myrmecophily.' The research also shows that the diversification of these stealth beetles, which infiltrate ant nests world-wide today, correlates with the ecological rise of modern ants.

How curiosity changes the brain to enhance learning

Posted: 02 Oct 2014 09:36 AM PDT

The more curious we are about a topic, the easier it is to learn information about that topic. New research provides insights into what happens in our brains when curiosity is piqued. The findings could help scientists find ways to enhance overall learning and memory in both healthy individuals and those with neurological conditions.

Unexpectedly speedy expansion of human, ape cerebellum

Posted: 02 Oct 2014 09:36 AM PDT

A new study could rewrite the story of ape and human brain evolution. While the neocortex of the brain has been called 'the crowning achievement of evolution and the biological substrate of human mental prowess,' newly reported evolutionary rate comparisons show that the cerebellum expanded up to six times faster than anticipated throughout the evolution of apes, including humans.

Sharks have personality traits, study suggests

Posted: 02 Oct 2014 05:43 AM PDT

Some sharks are 'gregarious' and have strong social connections, whilst others are more solitary and prefer to remain inconspicuous, according to a new study which is the first to show that the notorious predators have personality traits.

Genetic secrets of the monarch butterfly revealed

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 10:30 AM PDT

Sequencing the genomes of monarch butterflies from around the world, a team of scientists has made surprising new insights into the monarch's genetics. They identified a single gene that appears central to migration -- a behavior generally regarded as complex -- and another that controls pigmentation. The researchers also shed light on the evolutionary origins of the monarch.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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