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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

Mars spacecraft, including MAVEN, reveal comet flyby effects on Martian atmosphere

Posted: 07 Nov 2014 12:47 PM PST

Two NASA and one European spacecraft have gathered new information about the basic properties of a wayward comet that buzzed by Mars Oct. 19, directly detecting its effects on the Martian atmosphere. Debris from the comet, known officially as Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring, caused an intense meteor shower and added a new layer of ions, or charged particles, to the ionosphere.

Ebola in Democratic Republic of the Congo: A new strain of the virus

Posted: 07 Nov 2014 08:10 AM PST

While an Ebola epidemic has been raging in West Africa since March 2014, an outbreak of this hemorrhagic fever occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in August, leaving fears over the virus' spread to Central Africa.  A new study confirms that it is an Ebola epidemic. However, this particular epidemic is due to a local strain of the virus, different from the one rife in the West of the continent. While this result shows the two epidemics are not linked, it illustrates the speed at which the disease has emerged. It is therefore urgent that we understand just how the disease is spread.

New Zealand's moa were exterminated by an extremely low-density human population

Posted: 07 Nov 2014 06:16 AM PST

A new study suggests that the flightless birds named moa were completely extinct by the time New Zealand's human population had grown to two and half thousand people at most.

The power of the power nap: Scientists uncover secrets of hibernation

Posted: 07 Nov 2014 06:14 AM PST

For hibernating mammals, the pre-winter months are a race against time to accumulate enough energy reserves to last until spring. Offspring born late in the year have much less time to achieve this. Scientists have now discovered that power-napping can help late-born garden dormice overcome these unfavorable odds. The scientists also found a link between time spent at higher temperatures and aging.

Life in Earth’s primordial sea was starved for sulfate

Posted: 07 Nov 2014 06:14 AM PST

Earth's ancient oceans held much lower concentrations of sulfate -- a key biological nutrient -- than previously recognized, according to new research. The findings paint a new portrait of our planet's early biosphere and primitive marine life. Organisms require sulfur as a nutrient, and it plays a central role in regulating atmospheric chemistry and global climate.

Sense of meaning and purpose in life linked to longer lifespan

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 06:16 PM PST

A study of 9,050 English people with an average age of 65 found that the people with the greatest well-being were 30 percent less likely to die during the average eight and a half year follow-up period than those with the least well-being.

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