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Thursday, November 13, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

Amateur, professional astronomers alike thrilled by extreme storms on Uranus

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 11:48 AM PST

The normally bland face of Uranus has become increasingly stormy, with enormous cloud systems so bright that for the first time, amateur astronomers are able to see details in the planet's hazy blue-green atmosphere. Astronomers first observed the storms in the infrared using the Keck telescope. When amateurs learned of the storms, they turned their optical telescopes on the planet and saw different but equally impressive storms.

Jupiter's Great Red Spot is likely a sunburn, not a blush

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 10:32 AM PST

The ruddy color of Jupiter's Great Red Spot is likely a product of simple chemicals being broken apart by sunlight in the planet's upper atmosphere, according to a new analysis of data from NASA's Cassini mission. The results contradict the other leading theory for the origin of the spot's striking color -- that the reddish chemicals come from beneath Jupiter's clouds.

Research suggests how mosquitoes evolved an attraction to human scent

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 10:20 AM PST

The female mosquitoes that spread dengue and yellow fever didn't always rely on human blood to nourish their eggs. Their ancestors fed on furrier animals. But then, thousands of years ago, some of these bloodsuckers made a smart switch: They began biting humans and hitchhiked all over the globe, spreading disease in their wake. To understand the evolutionary basis of this attraction, a research team examined the genes that drive some mosquitoes to prefer humans.

All 'quantum weirdness' may be caused by interacting parallel worlds, physicist theorizes

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 10:19 AM PST

A new theory of quantum mechanics was developed by Bill Poirier, a chemical physicist. The theory discusses parallel worlds' existence and the quantum effects observed in nature.

Touchdown! Rosetta’s Philae probe lands on comet

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 09:48 AM PST

The European Space Agency's Rosetta mission has soft-landed its Philae probe on a comet, the first time in history that such an extraordinary feat has been achieved. After a tense wait during the seven-hour descent to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the signal confirming the successful touchdown arrived on Earth at 16:03 GMT (17:03 CET).

Single-dose, needle-free ebola vaccine provides long-term protection in macaques

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 07:25 AM PST

Scientists have demonstrated for the first time that a single-dose, needleless Ebola vaccine given to primates through their noses and lungs protected them against infection for at least 21 weeks.

Tools and primates: Opportunity, not necessity, is the mother of invention

Posted: 11 Nov 2014 05:59 PM PST

When food is scarce, tool use among non-human primates does not increase. This counterintuitive finding leads researchers to suggest that the driving force behind tool use is ecological opportunity -- and that the environment shapes the development of culture.

Twisted light waves sent across Vienna

Posted: 11 Nov 2014 04:22 PM PST

A group of researchers from Austria have sent twisted beams of light across the rooftops of Vienna. It is the first time that twisted light has been transmitted over a large distance outdoors, and could enable researchers to take advantage of the significant data-carrying capacity of light in both classical and quantum communications.

Lighter, cheaper radio wave device could transform telecommunications

Posted: 10 Nov 2014 09:41 AM PST

Researchers have achieved a milestone in modern wireless and cellular telecommunications, creating a radically smaller, more efficient radio wave circulator that could be used in cellphones and other wireless devices. The new circulator has the potential to double the useful bandwidth in wireless communications and transform the telecommunications industry, making communications faster and less expensive in a wide array of products.

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