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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

Virus devastating sea stars on Pacific Coast identified

Posted: 17 Nov 2014 01:44 PM PST

Scientists have now explained the mysteriously sudden appearance of a disease that has decimated sea stars on the North American Pacific Coast.

Subtle shifts in the Earth could forecast earthquakes, tsunamis

Posted: 17 Nov 2014 01:41 PM PST

Earthquakes and tsunamis can be giant disasters no one sees coming, but now an international team of scientists have found that subtle shifts in the earth's offshore plates can be a harbinger of the size of the disaster.

Hiding in plain sight: Elusive dark matter may be detected with GPS satellites

Posted: 17 Nov 2014 12:47 PM PST

The everyday use of a GPS device might be to find your way around town or even navigate a hiking trail, but for two physicists, the Global Positioning System might be a tool in directly detecting and measuring dark matter, so far an elusive but ubiquitous form of matter responsible for the formation of galaxies.

Why lizards have bird breath: Iguanas evolved one-way lungs surprisingly like those of birds

Posted: 17 Nov 2014 12:46 PM PST

Biologists long assumed that one-way air flow was a special adaptation in birds driven by the intense energy demands of flight. But now scientists have shown that bird-like breathing also developed in green iguanas – reptiles not known for high-capacity aerobic fitness. The finding bolsters the case that unidirectional bird-like flow evolved long before the first birds.

The 'dirty' side of soap: Triclosan, a common antimicrobial in personal hygiene products, causes liver fibrosis and cancer in mice

Posted: 17 Nov 2014 12:46 PM PST

Triclosan is an antimicrobial commonly found in soaps, shampoos, toothpastes and many other household items. Despite its widespread use, researchers report potentially serious consequences of long-term exposure to the chemical.

Revolutionary solar-friendly form of silicon shines

Posted: 17 Nov 2014 10:06 AM PST

Silicon is the second most-abundant element in the earth's crust. When purified, it takes on a diamond structure, which is essential to modern electronic devices -- carbon is to biology as silicon is to technology. Scientists have synthesized an entirely new form of silicon, one that promises even greater future applications.

Warmth, flowing water on early Mars were episodic

Posted: 17 Nov 2014 10:06 AM PST

There is ample evidence that water once flowed on the surface of ancient Mars. But that evidence is difficult to reconcile with the latest generation of climate models that suggest Mars should have been eternally icy. A new study suggest that warming and water flow on Mars were probably episodic and related to ancient volcanic eruptions.

Calorie-restricting diets slow aging, study finds

Posted: 17 Nov 2014 08:06 AM PST

Neuroscientists have shown that calorie-reduced diets stop the normal rise and fall in activity levels of close to 900 different genes linked to aging and memory formation in the brain.

Spiral laser beam creates quantum whirlpool

Posted: 17 Nov 2014 06:33 AM PST

Physicists have engineered a spiral laser beam and used it to create a whirlpool of hybrid light-matter particles called polaritons, hybrid particles that have properties of both matter and light and could link electronics with photonics.

Turbulence in molten core helps amplify Earth's magnetic field

Posted: 17 Nov 2014 05:46 AM PST

Researchers have shown that turbulence, random motion that takes place in the molten metal in the Earth's core, makes a contribution to our planet's magnetic field. To obtain this result, they modeled the Earth's outer core using liquid sodium enclosed between two rotating concentric metal spheres. Like many planets and most stars, the Earth produces its own magnetic field by dynamo action, i.e. because of the motion of an electrically conducting fluid-in this case, a mixture of molten iron and nickel.

Engineers develop innovative process to print flexible electronic circuits

Posted: 17 Nov 2014 05:46 AM PST

Engineers have successfully printed complex electronic circuits using a common t-shirt printer. The electronic circuits are printed using unique materials in layers on top of everyday flexible materials such as plastic, aluminum foil and even paper. Resistors, transistors and capacitors, the key components of a complex electronic circuit, are printed using non-toxic organic materials like silver nanoparticles, carbon and plastics.

Up to 80 million bacteria sealed with a kiss

Posted: 16 Nov 2014 06:10 PM PST

As many as 80 million bacteria are transferred during a 10 second kiss, according to new research. The study also found that partners who kiss each other at least nine times a day share similar communities of oral bacteria.

Magic tricks created using artificial intelligence for the first time

Posted: 16 Nov 2014 06:10 PM PST

Researchers working on artificial intelligence have taught a computer to create magic tricks. The researchers gave a computer program the outline of how a magic jigsaw puzzle and a mind reading card trick work, as well the results of experiments into how humans understand magic tricks, and the system created completely new variants on those tricks which can be delivered by a magician.

Three-dimensional microtechnology with Origami folding art

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 05:58 AM PST

Microtechnology has radically changed our lives, both in electronics and mechanics. Everyone encounters this every day and uses successful examples, such as the accelerometer in smartphones or the sensor in car airbags. However, enormous strides can still be made in microtechnology. The current applications are two-dimensional. Everything is placed on a thin layer of glass or silicon, which is used in pure form for the production of semiconductor chips, for example, in smartphones.

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