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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

Saturn's largest moon is a windy place: Titan dune puzzle solved

Posted: 08 Dec 2014 11:44 AM PST

Titan, Saturn's largest moon, is a peculiar place. Unlike any other moon, it has a dense atmosphere. It has rivers and lakes made up of components of natural gas, such as ethane and methane. It also has windswept dunes that are hundreds of yards high, more than a mile wide and hundreds of miles long -- despite data suggesting the body to have only light breezes. Winds on Titan must blow faster than previously thought to move sand. The discovery may explain how the dunes were formed.

World record for compact particle accelerator: Researchers ramp up energy of laser-plasma 'tabletop' accelerator

Posted: 08 Dec 2014 10:56 AM PST

Using one of the most powerful lasers in the world, researchers have accelerated subatomic particles to the highest energies ever recorded from a compact accelerator. The team used a specialized petawatt laser and a charged-particle gas called plasma to get the particles up to speed. The setup is known as a laser-plasma accelerator, an emerging class of particle accelerators that physicists believe can shrink traditional, miles-long accelerators to machines that can fit on a table.

NASA's Curiosity rover finds clues to how water helped shape Martian landscape

Posted: 08 Dec 2014 09:29 AM PST

Observations by NASA's Curiosity Rover indicate Mars' Mount Sharp was built by sediments deposited in a large lake bed over tens of millions of years. This interpretation of Curiosity's finds in Gale Crater suggests ancient Mars maintained a climate that could have produced long-lasting lakes at many locations on the Red Planet.

Early warning signals of abrupt climate change

Posted: 08 Dec 2014 04:45 AM PST

A new study has found early warning signals of a reorganization of the Atlantic ocean's circulation which could have a profound impact on the global climate system.

Mindfulness intervention boosts brain activation for healthy pleasures

Posted: 05 Dec 2014 11:24 AM PST

How can people who are dependent on prescription opioids reduce their cravings? Learn to enjoy other aspects of their lives. Researchers report that after a sample of chronic pain patients misusing opioids went through MORE, they exhibited increased brain activation on an EEG to natural healthy pleasures. The MORE intervention concentrates on helping people to recover a sense of meaning and fulfillment in everyday life, embracing its pleasures and pain without turning to substance use as a coping mechanism.

Drugs in the environment affect plant growth

Posted: 05 Dec 2014 08:39 AM PST

By assessing the impacts of a range of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, research has shown that the growth of edible crops can be affected by these chemicals -- even at the very low concentrations found in the environment. The research focused its analysis on lettuce and radish plants and tested the effects of several commonly prescribed drugs, including diclofenac and ibuprofen. These drugs are among the most common and widely used group of pharmaceuticals, with more than 30 million prescribed across the world every day.

Dopamine helps with math rules as well as mood

Posted: 05 Dec 2014 06:38 AM PST

Rule-applying neurons work better under the influence of the happy hormone, researchers have found. The chemical messenger dopamine – otherwise known as the happiness hormone – is important not only for motivation and motor skills. It seems it can also help neurons with difficult cognitive tasks, they report.

Poisonous cure: Toxic fungi may hold secrets to tackling deadly diseases

Posted: 04 Dec 2014 11:10 AM PST

Take two poisonous mushrooms, and call me in the morning. While no doctor would ever write this prescription, toxic fungi may hold the secrets to tackling deadly diseases. A team of scientists has discovered an enzyme that is the key to the lethal potency of poisonous mushrooms. The results reveal the enzyme's ability to create the mushroom's molecules that harbor missile-like proficiency in attacking and annihilating a single vulnerable target in the human liver.

Beer, beef and politics: Findings at viking archaeological site show power trumping practicality

Posted: 03 Dec 2014 01:10 PM PST

Vikings are known for raiding and trading, but those who settled in Iceland centuries ago spent more time producing and feasting on booze and beef — in part to gain political clout in a place very different from their homeland, says an archaeologist.

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