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Thursday, October 30, 2014

ScienceDaily: Strange Science News

ScienceDaily: Strange Science News

Can the wave function of an electron be divided and trapped?

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 06:41 PM PDT

Electrons are elementary particles -- indivisible, unbreakable. But new research suggests the electron's quantum state -- the electron wave function -- can be separated into many parts. That has some strange implications for the theory of quantum mechanics.

Glacier song: Studying how water moves through glaciers

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 11:55 AM PDT

Mountain glaciers represent one of the largest repositories of fresh water in alpine regions. However, little is known about the processes by which water moves through these systems. Scientists used seismic recordings collected near Lake Gornersee in the Swiss Alps to look for signs of water moving through fractures near the glacier bed. Analysis of these recordings reveals, for the first time, that harmonic tremor occurs within mountain glaciers and that individual icequakes at the glacier base can exhibit harmonic properties. These observations suggest that there is a complex network of fluid-induced fracture processes at the glacier base. Because glacial lake drainage events can occur with little or no warning, there is the potential for damaging floods in valleys below the glacier. Unfortunately, because the water moves under and through the glacier, surface observations alone cannot predict lake drainage events.

Laser experiments mimic cosmic explosions and planetary cores

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 09:26 AM PDT

Researchers are finding ways to understand some of the mysteries of space without leaving earth. Using high-intensity lasers focused on targets smaller than a pencil's eraser, they conducted experiments to create colliding jets of plasma knotted by plasma filaments and self-generated magnetic fields, reaching pressures a billion times higher than seen on earth.

Ancient auditory illusions reflected in prehistoric art?

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 08:47 AM PDT

Some of humankind's earliest and most mysterious artistic achievements -- including prehistoric cave paintings, canyon petroglyphs and megalithic structures such as Stonehenge -- may have been inspired by the behaviors of sound waves being misinterpreted as "supernatural."

Chimps plan ahead for a good breakfast

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 07:16 AM PDT

New research shows that chimpanzees plan ahead, and sometimes take dangerous risks, to get to the best breakfast buffet early.

Rare bush frog breeds in bamboo, researchers discover

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 07:12 AM PDT

Researchers have discovered a new reproductive mode in frogs and toads -- breeding and laying direct developing eggs in live bamboo with narrow openings -- which was observed in the white spotted bush frog (Raorchestes chalazodes). This critically endangered frog is currently only one of two species known to adopt this novel reproductive strategy.

Fish 'personality' linked to vulnerability to angling

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 05:23 AM PDT

Individual differences in moving activity in a novel environment are linked to individual differences in vulnerability to angling, according to an experimental study. The study used novel, long-term observations of individual behavior in groups and authentic angling trials to analyze if behaviors predict the vulnerability to fishing in brown trout reared in traditional and enriched hatchery rearing environments. Based on the results, it can be predicted that fishing modifies the heritable behavioral traits of fish by favoring cautious fish.

Prostate cancer risk reduced by sleeping with many women, but increased with many men, study finds

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 05:21 AM PDT

Compared to men who have had only one partner during their lifetime, having sex with more than 20 women is associated with a 28% lower risk of one day being diagnosed with prostate cancer. However, having more than 20 male partners in one's lifetime is associated with a twofold higher risk of getting prostate cancer compared to those who have never slept with a man.

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