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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

Why is educational achievement heritable?

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 12:21 PM PDT

The high heritability of exam grades reflects many genetically influenced traits such as personality, behavior problems, and self-efficacy and not just intelligence. The study looked at 13,306 twins at age 16 . The twins were assessed on a range of cognitive and non-cognitive measures, and the researchers had access to their GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) scores.

Earth's ocean abyss has not warmed, NASA study finds

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 07:10 AM PDT

The cold waters of Earth's deep ocean have not warmed measurably since 2005, according to a new NASA study, leaving unsolved the mystery of why global warming appears to have slowed in recent years. But scientists say these findings do not throw suspicion on climate change itself.

Tumors might grow faster at night

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 06:46 AM PDT

A hormone that keeps us alert also suppresses the spread of cancer, researchers have discovered. The study suggests, therefore, that nighttime is the right time for cancer to grow and spread in the body, and that administering certain treatments in time with the body's day-night cycle could boost their efficiency.

Ocean warming in Southern Hemisphere underestimated, scientists suggest

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 06:45 AM PDT

Using satellite observations and a large suite of climate models, scientists have found that long-term ocean warming in the upper 700 meters of Southern Hemisphere oceans has likely been underestimated. Ocean heat storage is important because it accounts for more than 90 percent of Earth's excess heat that is associated with global warming.

Nanoparticles break the symmetry of light

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:49 AM PDT

How can a beam of light tell the difference between left and right? Tiny particles have now been coupled to a glass fiber. The particles emit light into the fiber in such a way that it does not travel in both directions, as one would expect. Instead, the light can be directed either to the left or to the right. This has become possible by employing a remarkable physical effect – the spin-orbit coupling of light. This new kind of optical switch has the potential to revolutionize nanophotonics.

2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine: Cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:24 AM PDT

The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to John O´Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain. The discoveries have solved a problem that has occupied philosophers and scientists for centuries -- how does the brain create a map of the space surrounding us and how can we navigate our way through a complex environment?

Air pollution increases river-flows, study shows

Posted: 05 Oct 2014 10:49 AM PDT

Air pollution has had a significant impact on the amount of water flowing through many rivers in the northern hemisphere, a new study shows. The paper shows how such pollution, known as aerosols, can have an impact on the natural environment and highlights the importance of considering these factors in assessments of future climate change.

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