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Thursday, December 18, 2014

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

NASA Goddard instrument makes first detection of organic matter on Mars

Posted: 16 Dec 2014 11:41 AM PST

Scientists have made the first definitive detection of organic molecules at Mars. The surface of Mars is currently inhospitable to life as we know it, but there is evidence that the Red Planet once had a climate that could have supported life billions of years ago.

Cost of cloud brightening for cooler planet revealed

Posted: 15 Dec 2014 05:30 PM PST

Scientists have identified the most energy-efficient way to make clouds more reflective to the sun in a bid to combat climate change. Marine Cloud Brightening is a reversible geoengineering method proposed to mitigate rising global temperatures. It relies on propelling a fine mist of salt particles high into the atmosphere to increase the albedo of clouds -- the amount of sunlight they reflect back into space.

Back to future with Roman architectural concrete: Advanced light source reveals key to longevity of imperial Roman monuments

Posted: 15 Dec 2014 03:50 PM PST

A key discovery to understanding Roman architectural concrete that has stood the test of time and the elements for nearly two thousand years has been made by researchers using beams of X-rays.

Evidence of Viking/Norse metalworking in Arctic Canada

Posted: 15 Dec 2014 12:48 PM PST

A small stone container found by archaeologists a half-century ago has now been recognized as further evidence of a Viking or Medieval Norse presence in Arctic Canada during the centuries around 1000 A.D.

Reshaping the horse through millennia: Sequencing reveals genes selected by humans in domestication

Posted: 15 Dec 2014 12:46 PM PST

Whole genome sequencing of modern and ancient horses unveils the genes that have been selected by humans in the process of domestication through the last 5,500 years, but also reveals the cost of this domestication. An international research group reports that a significant part of the genetic variation in modern domesticated horses could be attributed to interbreeding with the descendants of a now extinct population of wild horses. This population was distinct from the only surviving wild horse population.

NASA's MAVEN Mars orbiter mission identifies links in chain leading to atmospheric loss

Posted: 15 Dec 2014 11:08 AM PST

Early discoveries by NASA's newest Mars orbiter are starting to reveal key features about the loss of the planet's atmosphere to space over time. The findings are among the first returns from NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission, which entered its science phase on Nov. 16. The observations reveal a new process by which the solar wind can penetrate deep into a planetary atmosphere. They include the first comprehensive measurements of the composition of Mars' upper atmosphere and electrically charged ionosphere. The results also offer an unprecedented view of ions as they gain the energy that will lead to their to escape from the atmosphere.

Mathematicians prove the Umbral Moonshine Conjecture

Posted: 15 Dec 2014 08:48 AM PST

Monstrous moonshine, a quirky pattern of the monster group in theoretical math, has a shadow -- umbral moonshine. Mathematicians have now proved this insight, known as the Umbral Moonshine Conjecture, offering a formula with potential applications for everything from number theory to geometry to quantum physics.

Show us how you play and it may tell us who you are

Posted: 15 Dec 2014 06:43 AM PST

The way in which toys are handled and combined with one another during object play can tell use a lot about the cognitive underpinnings of the actors. An international team of scientists studied parrot species, as well as crow species, with the same set of toys and found out that the birds willingly brought objects into complex spatial relationships: behaviors that occur in only a few species of primates.

Physicists explain puzzling particle collisions

Posted: 10 Dec 2014 10:13 AM PST

An anomaly spotted at the Large Hadron Collider has prompted scientists to reconsider a mathematical description of the underlying physics. By considering two forces that are distinct in everyday life but unified under extreme conditions, they have simplified one description of the interactions of elementary particles. Their new version makes specific predictions about events that future experiments should observe and could help to reveal 'new physics,' particles or processes that have yet to be discovered.

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