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Sunday, November 9, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top News

ScienceDaily: Top 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.

Cybersecurity experts discover lapses in Heartbleed bug fix

Posted: 07 Nov 2014 10:18 AM PST

A detailed analysis by cybersecurity experts found that U.S. website administrators nationwide tasked with patching security holes exploited by the Heartbleed bug may not have done enough.

On the Trail of Proteins: Scientists electrochemically detect protein binding on semiconductors

Posted: 07 Nov 2014 10:17 AM PST

Scientists have succeeded in electrochemically detecting protein binding on semiconductor materials for the first time, thanks to a newly developed investigative method based on differences in electrical charge. Now the physicists are working on an optical process to detect and localize protein binding directly under a microscope, for example, a method that could launch new applications in medical research and diagnostics.

Reprogrammed cells grow into new blood vessels

Posted: 07 Nov 2014 10:16 AM PST

By transforming human scar cells into blood vessel cells, scientists may have discovered a new way to repair damaged tissue. The method appeared to improve blood flow, oxygenation, and nutrition to areas in need.

Origin of the unique ventilatory apparatus of turtles: How the tortoise's ribs got embedded in its shell

Posted: 07 Nov 2014 08:10 AM PST

Through the careful study of modern and early fossil tortoise, researchers now have a better understanding of how tortoises breathe and the evolutionary processes that helped shape their unique breathing apparatus and tortoise shell.

Maybe it wasn't the Higgs particle after all

Posted: 07 Nov 2014 08:10 AM PST

Last year CERN announced the finding of a new elementary particle, the Higgs particle. But maybe it wasn't the Higgs particle, maybe it just looks like it. And maybe it is not alone.

Brain's response to threat silenced when we are reminded of being loved and cared for

Posted: 07 Nov 2014 08:10 AM PST

Being shown pictures of others being loved and cared for reduces the brain's response to threat, new research has found. The study discovered that when individuals are briefly presented pictures of others receiving emotional support and affection, the brain's threat monitor, the amygdala, subsequently does not respond to images showing threatening facial expressions or words. This occurred even if the person was not paying attention to the content of the first pictures.

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.

Offshore islands amplify, rather than dissipate, a tsunami's power

Posted: 07 Nov 2014 06:18 AM PST

A long-held belief that offshore islands protect the mainland from tsunamis turns out to be the exact opposite of the truth, according to a new study.

Genes contribute to behavior differences between fierce and friendly rats

Posted: 07 Nov 2014 06:16 AM PST

After many generations, rats bred for their bad attitude behave differently from those selected for a calm demeanor around humans. Researchers have now identified gene regions that contribute to differences between nasty and nice rats in their behavior and the activity of genes in the brain. These results may provide important clues as to which genes make tame animals like dogs behave so differently from their wild ancestors.

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.

Scientists examine mysterious tar mounds in the West African deep ocean

Posted: 07 Nov 2014 06:15 AM PST

More than two thousand mounds of asphalt harboring a wealth of deep-water creatures have been discovered up to two kilometers deep, off the coast of Angola. Scientists have been examining the images and data captured at the site to build an intriguing picture of the life and geology of this underwater area. The naturally-occurring asphalt mounds are made up of the same substance that covers our roads.

Patients with ALS have difficulty with verbs: Why?

Posted: 07 Nov 2014 06:15 AM PST

According to many scientists the fact that ALS patients experience (in addition to severe motor deficits) greater linguistic difficulty with verbs denoting action compared to nouns denoting objects depends on their motor deficit. The idea is that the motor system plays a role in the semantic encoding of these words. A new study has tested this hypothesis and suggests a major role for the "executive function".

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.

New research lights the way to super-fast computers

Posted: 07 Nov 2014 06:14 AM PST

New research has demonstrated how glass can be manipulated to create a material that will allow computers to transfer information using light. This development could significantly increase computer processing speeds and power in the future.

Mouse infestations cause more asthma symptoms than cockroach exposure

Posted: 07 Nov 2014 06:12 AM PST

Past research has been inconsistent in determining the relative effects of mouse droppings vs. cockroach exposure on asthma in children. According to a new study, mice infestation is a stronger predictor of asthma symptoms in young children than exposure to cockroaches.

You might be allergic to penicillin; then again, you might not

Posted: 07 Nov 2014 06:12 AM PST

Many people have been told, incorrectly, that they're allergic to penicillin, but have not had allergy testing. These people are often given alternative antibiotics prior to surgery to ward off infection. But when antibiotic choices are limited due to resistance, treatment alternatives may be more toxic, more expensive and less effective.

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.

Plants return to Earth after growing in space

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 01:51 PM PST

Researchers have just welcomed a truck carrying small containers holding more than 1,000 frozen plants that germinated and grew aboard the International Space Station.

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