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Saturday, October 25, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top News

ScienceDaily: Top News

NASA identifies ice cloud above cruising altitude on Titan

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 05:05 PM PDT

NASA scientists have identified an unexpected high-altitude methane ice cloud on Saturn's moon Titan that is similar to exotic clouds found far above Earth's poles.

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.

Illusions in the cosmic clouds: New image of spinning neutron star

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 04:59 PM PDT

Pareidolia is the psychological phenomenon where people see recognizable shapes in clouds, rock formations, or otherwise unrelated objects or data. There are many examples of this phenomenon on Earth and in space.

MAVEN ultraviolet image of comet Siding Spring's hydrogen coma

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 04:57 PM PDT

NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft obtained this ultraviolet image of hydrogen surrounding comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring on Oct. 17, 2014, two days before the comet's closest approach to Mars. The Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) instrument imaged the comet at a distance of 5.3 million miles (8.5 million kilometers).

Mars Orbiter's spectrometer shows Oort comet's coma

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 04:54 PM PDT

The Compact Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) observed comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as the comet sped close to Mars on Oct. 19. CRISM recorded imaging data in 107 different wavelengths, showing the inner part of the cloud of dust, called the coma, surrounding the comet's nucleus.

Galactic wheel of life shines in infrared

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 04:51 PM PDT

It might look like a spoked wheel or even a "Chakram" weapon wielded by warriors like "Xena," from the fictional TV show, but this ringed galaxy is actually a vast place of stellar life. A newly released image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the galaxy NGC 1291. Though the galaxy is quite old, roughly 12 billion years, it is marked by an unusual ring where newborn stars are igniting.

NASA creating a virtual telescope with two small spacecraft

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 04:25 PM PDT

Although scientists have flown two spacecraft in formation, no one ever has aligned the spacecraft with a specific astronomical target and then held that configuration to make a scientific observation -- creating, in effect, a single or "virtual" telescope with two distinctly different satellites.

NASA's SDO observes largest sunspot of the solar cycle

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 02:10 PM PDT

On Oct. 18, 2014, a sunspot rotated over the left side of the sun, and soon grew to be the largest active region seen in the current solar cycle, which began in 2008. Currently, the sunspot is almost 80,000 miles across -- ten Earth's could be laid across its diameter.

Australian doctors transplants first circulatory death human heart

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 11:48 AM PDT

The St Vincent's Hospital Heart Lung Transplant Unit has carried out the world's first distant procurement of hearts donated after circulatory death (DCD). These hearts were subsequently resuscitated and then successfully transplanted into patients with end-stage heart failure.

Li-ion batteries contain toxic halogens, but environmentally friendly alternatives exist

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 08:19 AM PDT

Physics researchers have discovered that most of the electrolytes used in lithium-ion batteries -- commonly found in consumer electronic devices -- are superhalogens, and that the vast majority of these electrolytes contain toxic halogens.

Molecular beacons shine light on how cells 'crawl'

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 08:19 AM PDT

Chemists have devised a method using DNA-based tension probes to zoom in at the molecular level and measure and map how cells mechanically sense their environments, migrate and adhere to things.

Growing a blood vessel in a week

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 07:12 AM PDT

The technology for creating new tissues from stem cells has taken a giant leap forward. Three tablespoons of blood are all that is needed to grow a brand new blood vessel in just seven days.

Subwavelength optical fibers to diffuse light

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 07:12 AM PDT

Researchers have just discovered a new type of light diffusion in tiny optical fibers 50 times thinner than a strand of hair. This phenomenon, which varies according to the fiber's environment, could be used to develop sensors that are innovative and highly sensitive.

Ebola's evolutionary roots more ancient than previously thought

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 07:12 AM PDT

A new study is helping to rewrite Ebola's family history. It shows that Ebola and Marburg are each members of ancient evolutionary lines, and that these two viruses last shared a common ancestor sometime prior to 16-23 million years ago.

For brain hemorrhage, risk of death lower at high-volume hospitals

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 05:26 AM PDT

For patients with a severe type of stroke called subarachnoid hemorrhage, treatment at a hospital that treats a high volume of subarachnoid hemorrhage cases is associated with a lower risk of death, reports a new study.

Global boom in hydropower expected this decade

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 05:26 AM PDT

An unprecedented boom in hydropower dam construction is underway, primarily in developing countries and emerging economies. While this is expected to double the global electricity production from hydropower, it could reduce the number of our last remaining large free-flowing rivers by about 20 percent and pose a serious threat to freshwater biodiversity.

Three-dimensional metamaterials with a natural bent

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 05:26 AM PDT

Scientists have succeeded in creating a large metamaterial, up to 4 mm x 4 mm2 in size, that is essentially isotropic, using a type of metamaterial element called a split-ring resonator.

Liquid helium offers a fascinating new way to make charged molecules

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 05:25 AM PDT

Chemists have developed a completely new way of forming charged molecules which offers tremendous potential for new areas of chemical research.

Hidden truth about the health of homeless people

Posted: 23 Oct 2014 04:34 PM PDT

As many as 4 million Europeans and 3.5 million Americans experience homelessness every year, and the numbers are rising. Homeless people "are the sickest in our society", but just treating ill health might not be enough to help get people off the streets, according to a new two-part Series on homelessness in high-income countries.

In orbit or on Earth, implantable device will be commanded to release therapeutic drugs remotely

Posted: 23 Oct 2014 04:33 PM PDT

Scientists are developing an implantable device that delivers therapeutic drugs at a rate guided by remote control. The device's effectiveness will be tested aboard the International Space Station and on Earth's surface.

Bodies at sea: Ocean oxygen levels may impact scavenger response

Posted: 23 Oct 2014 12:50 PM PDT

An ocean's oxygen levels may play a role in the impact of marine predators on bodies when they are immersed in the sea, according to researchers, who deployed a trio of pig carcasses into Saanich Inlet off Vancouver Island and studied them using an underwater camera via the internet.

Coping with water scarcity: Effectiveness of water policies aimed at reducing consumption evaluated

Posted: 23 Oct 2014 11:20 AM PDT

Southern California water agencies have turned to new pricing structures, expanded rebate programs and implemented other means to encourage their customers to reduce consumption. Some of those policies have greatly reduced per capita consumption, while others have produced mixed results.

Meiosis: Cutting the ties that bind

Posted: 23 Oct 2014 11:20 AM PDT

The development of a new organism from the joining of two single cells is a carefully orchestrated endeavor. But even before sperm meets egg, an equally elaborate set of choreographed steps must occur to ensure successful sexual reproduction. Those steps, known as reproductive cell division or meiosis, split the original number of chromosomes in half so that offspring will inherit half their genetic material from one parent and half from the other.

Breast Cancer Tumor Response to Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy measured

Posted: 23 Oct 2014 10:13 AM PDT

It may be possible to use Diffuse Optical Spectroscopic Tomographic imaging (DOST) to predict which patients will best respond to chemotherapy used to shrink breast cancer tumors before surgery, a study shows.

New therapies for systemic amyloid diseases? Scientists closer to combating dangerous unstable proteins

Posted: 23 Oct 2014 10:08 AM PDT

Scientists have discovered a way to decrease deadly protein deposits in the heart, kidney and other organs associated with a group of human diseases called the systemic amyloid diseases.

Flu at the zoo and other disasters: Experts help animal exhibitors prepare for the worst

Posted: 23 Oct 2014 08:10 AM PDT

Here are three disaster scenarios for zoo or aquarium managers: one, a wildfire lunges towards your facility, threatening your staff and hundreds of zoo animals. Two, hurricane floodwaters pour into your basement, where more than 10,000 exotic fish and marine mammals live in giant tanks. Three, local poultry farmers report avian influenza (bird flu) in their chickens, a primary source of protein for your big cats. What do you do?

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