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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

ScienceDaily: Strange Science News

ScienceDaily: Strange Science News

Ultrafast electron diffraction experiments open a new window on the microscopic world

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 03:22 PM PDT

Researchers have succeeded in simultaneously observing the reorganizations of atomic positions and electron distribution during the transformation of the "smart material" vanadium dioxide from a semiconductor into a metal – in a timeframe a trillion times faster than the blink of an eye.

Whites of their eyes: Infants respond to social cues from sclera, study finds

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 03:22 PM PDT

Infants at 7 months old are able to unconsciously pick up on eye cues, based on the size of the whites of a person's eyes – a vital foundation for the development of social interactive skills, a new psychology study shows.

Physicists closer to understanding balance of matter, antimatter in universe

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 11:50 AM PDT

Physicists have made important discoveries regarding Bs meson particles -- something that may explain why the Universe contains more matter than antimatter.

Menopausal symptoms may be lessened with young children in the house

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 09:04 AM PDT

The timeless, multicultural tradition of grandmothering might have an unexpected benefit: helping some women temper their hot flashes and night sweats during menopause, researchers say. Their study focused on the relationship between mid-life women and young children, and found that women who underwent rapid menopause, caused by the surgical removal of ovaries, had fewer hot flashes and night sweats when young children lived in their homes.

Ultrasound guides tongue to pronounce 'R' sounds

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 08:57 AM PDT

Using ultrasound technology to visualize the tongue's shape and movement can help children with difficulty pronouncing "r" sounds, according to a small study. The ultrasound intervention was effective when individuals were allowed to make different shapes with their tongue in order to produce the "r" sound, rather than being instructed to make a specific shape.

Emergent behavior lets bubbles 'sense' environment

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 07:05 AM PDT

Tiny, soapy bubbles can reorganize their membranes to let material flow in and out in response to the surrounding environment, according to researchers. This behavior could be exploited in creating microbubbles that deliver drugs or other payloads inside the body -- and could help us understand how the very first living cells on Earth might have survived billions of years ago.

A GPS from the chemistry set

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 07:03 AM PDT

You don't always need GPS, a map or a compass to find the right way. What demands a tremendous amount of computational power from today's navigation computers can also be achieved by taking advantage of the laws of physical chemistry and practicing so-called "chemical computing". The trick works as follows: A gel mixed with acid is applied at the exit of a labyrinth – i.e. the destination – filled with alkaline liquid. Within a shorttime, the acid spreads through the alkaline maze, although the majority of it remains together with the gel at the exit. When an alkaline solution mixed with dyes is now added to the other end of the maze, i.e. the entrance, it automatically seeks the way to the exit – the point with the highest acidity. 

Scientist spends nine months in max-security prison to learn how prisons manage mental illness in inmates

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 07:02 AM PDT

A mental health researcher spent a cumulative nine months in an Oregon maximum-security prison to learn first-hand how the prison manages inmates with mental illness.

Feathers in flight inspire anti-turbulence technology

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 05:52 AM PDT

Inspired by nature's own anti-turbulence devices – feathers – researchers have developed an innovative system that could spell the end of turbulence on flights.

Turning loss to gain: Cutting power could dramatically boost laser output

Posted: 26 Oct 2014 04:53 PM PDT

Re-examining longstanding beliefs about the physics of lasers, engineers have shown that carefully restricting the delivery of power to certain areas within a laser could boost its output by many orders of magnitude.

New evidence for an exotic, predicted superconducting state

Posted: 26 Oct 2014 04:53 PM PDT

Physicist have produced new evidence for an exotic superconducting state, first predicted a half-century ago, that can arise when a superconductor is exposed to a strong magnetic field.

Breakthrough in molecular electronics paves way for new generation of DNA-based computer circuits

Posted: 26 Oct 2014 04:52 PM PDT

Scientists have announced a significant breakthrough toward developing DNA-based electrical circuits. Molecular electronics, which uses molecules as building blocks for the fabrication of electronic components, has been seen as the ultimate solution to the miniaturization challenge. However, to date, no one has actually been able to make complex electrical circuits using molecules. Now scientists report reproducible and quantitative measurements of electricity flow through long molecules made of four DNA strands, signaling a significant breakthrough towards the development of DNA-based electrical circuits.

Receiving gossip about others promotes self-reflection, growth

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 05:26 AM PDT

Why are individuals interested in hearing gossip about others' achievements and failures? Researchers studied the effect positive and negative gossip has on how the recipient evaluates him or herself.

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