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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

'Programmable' antibiotic harnesses an enzyme to attack drug-resistant microbes

Posted: 05 Oct 2014 10:49 AM PDT

Conventional antibiotics are indiscriminate about what they kill, a trait that can lead to complications for patients and can contribute to the growing problems of antibiotic resistance. But a a 'programmable' antibiotic would selectively target only the bad bugs, particularly those harboring antibiotic resistance genes, and leave beneficial microbes alone.

NASA's SDO watches giant filament on the sun

Posted: 03 Oct 2014 06:43 PM PDT

A snaking, extended filament of solar material currently lies on the front of the sun -- some 1 million miles across from end to end. Filaments are clouds of solar material suspended above the sun by powerful magnetic forces. Though notoriously unstable, filaments can last for days or even weeks.

Neurobiological basis of human-pet relationship: Mothers' brains respond differently to images of their child and their dog

Posted: 03 Oct 2014 06:43 PM PDT

How closely does the relationship between people and their non-human companions mirror the parent-child relationship? Researchers makes a contribution to answering this complex question by investigating differences in how important brain structures are activated when women view images of their children and of their own dogs.

Making oxygen before life: Oxygen can form directly from carbon dioxide in upper atmosphere

Posted: 03 Oct 2014 06:22 AM PDT

About one fifth of the Earth's atmosphere is oxygen, pumped out by green plants as a result of photosynthesis and used by most living things on the planet to keep our metabolisms running. Scientists have now shown that oxygen can be formed directly from carbon dioxide in the upper atmosphere, changing models of how the atmosphere evolved early in Earth's history.

Boosting biofuel: Yeast made to tolerate high levels of ethanol, making them more productive

Posted: 02 Oct 2014 11:18 AM PDT

Yeast are commonly used to transform corn and other plant materials into biofuels such as ethanol. However, large concentrations of ethanol can be toxic to yeast, which has limited the production capacity of many yeast strains used in industry.

HIV pandemic's origins located: Likely to have emerged in Kinshasa around 1920

Posted: 02 Oct 2014 11:17 AM PDT

The present HIV pandemic almost certainly originated in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to a new study. An international team of scientists reconstructed the genetic history of the HIV-1 group M pandemic, which saw HIV spread across Africa and around the world. Their analysis suggests that the common ancestor of group M is likely to have emerged in Kinshasa around 1920.

Auditory system: The ruffling effect of rumble

Posted: 02 Oct 2014 06:24 AM PDT

Barely perceptible low-frequency signals nevertheless activate measurable responses in our auditory circuits. Neurobiologists have now characterized the remarkable impact of low-frequency sounds on the inner ear.

Energy drinks cause insomnia, nervousness in athletes

Posted: 02 Oct 2014 05:43 AM PDT

A study analyzing the positive and negative effects of energy drinks on athletes has seen that, although in principle their sports performance was seen to improve by between 3% and 7%, there was also an increase in the frequency of insomnia, nervousness and the level of stimulation in the hours following competition, scientists report.

Spiders: Survival of the fittest group

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 03:44 PM PDT

Researchers have uncovered the first-ever field-based evidence for a biological mechanism called 'group selection' contributing to local adaptation in natural populations. Evolutionary theorists have been debating the existence and power of group selection for decades. Now two scientists have observed it in the wild.

Changing Antarctic waters could trigger steep rise in sea levels, conditions 14,000 years ago suggest

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 07:25 AM PDT

Current changes in the ocean around Antarctica are disturbingly close to conditions 14,000 years ago that new research shows may have led to the rapid melting of Antarctic ice and an abrupt 3-4 meter rise in global sea level.

Improving babies' language skills before they're even old enough to speak

Posted: 30 Sep 2014 02:14 PM PDT

In the first months of life, when babies begin to distinguish sounds that make up language from all the other sounds in the world, they can be trained to more effectively recognize which sounds "might" be language, accelerating the development of the brain maps which are critical to language acquisition and processing, according to new research.

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