Referral Banners

Saturday, November 8, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

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.

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.

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.

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.

Astronomers peer into galaxies' star-forming centers

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 01:51 PM PST

Astronomers provide data from a new instrument, offering the most precise picture yet of events 4 billion years ago at the centers of distant, dust-cloaked galaxies.

Mystery sea of stars? Rocket experiment finds surprising cosmic light

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 11:37 AM PST

Using an experiment carried into space on a NASA suborbital rocket, astronomers have detected a diffuse cosmic glow that appears to represent more light than that produced by known galaxies in the universe. The discovery suggests that many such previously undetected stars permeate what had been thought to be dark spaces between galaxies, forming an interconnected sea of stars.

Hungry bats compete for prey by jamming sonar

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 11:37 AM PST

In their nightly forays, bats hunting for insects compete with as many as one million hungry roost-mates. Now scientists have discovered that Mexican free-tailed bats jam the sonar of competitors to gain advantage in aerial foraging contests.

Ancient DNA shows earliest European genomes weathered the Ice Age: Neanderthal interbreeding clues and a mystery human lineage

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 11:37 AM PST

A genome taken from a 36,000 skeleton reveals an early divergence of Eurasians once they had left Africa, and allows scientists to better assess the point at which 'admixture' -- or interbreeding -- between Eurasians and Neanderthals occurred. The latest research also points to a previously unknown population lineage as old as the first population separations since humans dispersed out of Africa.

Discovering the undiscovered: Advancing new tools to fill in the microbial tree of life

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 11:37 AM PST

Scientists suggest why the time is right to apply genomic technologies to discover new life on Earth. 'Nature has been tinkering with life for at least three billion years and we now have a new set of ways to look for novel forms of life that have so far eluded discovery.'

Rare 2.5-billion-year-old rocks reveal hot spot of sulfur-breathing bacteria: Sulfur-dependent life forms thrived in oceans

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 11:37 AM PST

Biogeochemical signals in 2.5-billion-year-old carbonate rocks from Brazil reveal that sulfur-consuming bacteria were active at a time when ocean sulfur levels were low. Geologists focused on sulfur isotopes in ancient carbonate rocks. The study sheds light on Earth's early atmospheric chemistry.

Landmark study on the evolution of insects

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 11:37 AM PST

An international team of more than 100 researchers has published the first modern roadmap of insect evolution. Understanding how insects are related uncovers their true ecological, economic, and medical importance, and, until now, has been largely unknown. The unprecedented results reconstruct the insect 'tree of life' and answer longstanding questions about the origins and evolution of insects.

Astronomy: Debris-strewn exoplanetary construction yards

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 11:35 AM PST

Over the past few years, astronomers have found an incredible diversity in the architecture of exoplanetary systems, as well as the planets themselves. A survey using the sharp view of the Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered a similar diversity in the debris systems that coincide with the formation of exoplanets. These circumstellar dusty disks are likely generated by collisions between objects left over from planet formation around stars. The survey's results suggest that there is some sort of interdependence between a planet and the accompanying debris system.

Transitions between states of matter: It’s more complicated, scientists find

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 11:35 AM PST

The seemingly simple process of phase changes -- those transitions between states of matter -- is more complex than previously known. New work reveals the need to rethink one of science's building blocks and, with it, how some of the basic principles underlying the behavior of matter are taught in our classrooms.

Koala study reveals clues about origins of the human genome

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:23 AM PST

Eight percent of your genome derives from retroviruses that inserted themselves into human sex cells millions of years ago. In a recent study, scientists discovered that 39 different koala retroviruses in a koala's genome were all endogenous, which means passed down to the koala from one parent or the other; one of the koala retroviruses was found in both parents.

Synthetic biology for space exploration

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:23 AM PST

Synthetic biology may hold the key to long-termed manned explorations of Mars and the Moon. Researchers have shown that biomanufacturing based on microbes could to make travel to and settlement of extraterrestrial locations more practical and bearable.

Body weight heavily influenced by gut microbes: Genes shape body weight by affecting gut microbes

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:22 AM PST

Our genetic makeup influences whether we are fat or thin by shaping which types of microbes thrive in our body, according to a new study. Scientists identified a specific, little known bacterial family that is highly heritable and more common in individuals with low body weight. This microbe also protected against weight gain when transplanted into mice. The results could pave the way for personalized probiotic therapies that are optimized to reduce the risk of obesity-related diseases based on an individual's genetic make-up.

Ghost illusion created in the lab

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:18 AM PST

Patients suffering from neurological or psychiatric conditions have often reported 'feeling a presence' watching over them. Now, researchers have succeeded in recreating these ghostly illusions in the lab.

From single cells to multicellular life: Researchers capture the emergence of multicellular life in real-time experiments

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 08:33 AM PST

All multicellular creatures are descended from single-celled organisms. The leap from unicellularity to multicellularity is possible only if the originally independent cells collaborate. So-called cheating cells that exploit the cooperation of others are considered a major obstacle. Now, researchers capture the emergence of multicellular life in real-time experiments.

No comments: