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Thursday, December 25, 2014

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

Oldest stone tool ever found in Turkey discovered

Posted: 23 Dec 2014 05:41 AM PST

Scientists have discovered the oldest recorded stone tool ever to be found in Turkey, revealing that humans passed through the gateway from Asia to Europe much earlier than previously thought, approximately 1.2 million years ago. The chance find of a humanly-worked quartzite flake, in ancient deposits of the river Gediz, in western Turkey, provides a major new insight into when and how early humans dispersed out of Africa and Asia.

Modern genetics confirm ancient relationship between fins and hands

Posted: 22 Dec 2014 01:54 PM PST

Efforts to connect the evolutionary transition from fish fins to wrist and fingers with the genetic machinery for this adaptation have fallen short because they focused on the wrong fish. Now, researchers describe the genetic machinery for autopod assembly in a non-model fish, the spotted gar.

Cells 'feel' their surroundings using finger-like structures

Posted: 22 Dec 2014 01:54 PM PST

Cells have finger-like projections that they use to feel their surroundings. They can detect the chemical environment and they can 'feel' their physical surroundings using ultrasensitive sensors. New research shows how the finger-like structures, called filopodia, can extend themselves, contract and bend in dynamic movements.

Tales from a Martian rock: New chemical analysis of ancient Martian meteorite provides clues to planet's history of habitability

Posted: 22 Dec 2014 01:50 PM PST

A new analysis of a Martian rock that meteorite hunters plucked from an Antarctic ice field 30 years ago this month reveals a record of the planet's climate billions of years ago, back when water likely washed across its surface and any life that ever formed there might have emerged.

Hunter-gatherer past shows our fragile bones result from inactivity since invention of farming

Posted: 22 Dec 2014 01:50 PM PST

Latest analysis of prehistoric bones show there is no anatomical reason why a person born today could not develop the skeletal strength of a prehistoric forager or a modern orangutan. Findings support the idea that activity throughout life is the key to building bone strength and preventing osteoporosis risk in later years, say researchers.

New non-invasive method can detect Alzheimer's disease early

Posted: 22 Dec 2014 11:30 AM PST

A noninvasive MRI approach that can detect the Alzheimer's disease in a living animal, well before typical Alzheimer's symptoms appear, has been developed by researchers. The research team created an MRI probe that pairs a magnetic nanostructure with an antibody that seeks out the amyloid beta brain toxins responsible for onset of the disease. The accumulated toxins, because of the associated magnetic nanostructures, show up as dark areas in MRI scans of the brain.

Light-emitting e-readers before bedtime can adversely impact sleep

Posted: 22 Dec 2014 10:13 AM PST

Use of a light-emitting electronic device (LE-eBook) in the hours before bedtime can adversely impact overall health, alertness, and the circadian clock which synchronizes the daily rhythm of sleep to external environmental time cues, according to new research that compared the biological effects of reading an LE-eBook compared to a printed book.

The Milky Way's new neighbor: Tiny and isolated dwarf galaxy discovered

Posted: 22 Dec 2014 05:43 AM PST

The Milky Way, the galaxy we live in, is part of a cluster of more than 50 galaxies that make up the 'Local Group', a collection that includes the famous Andromeda galaxy and many other far smaller objects. Now a Russian-American team has added to the canon, finding a tiny and isolated dwarf galaxy almost 7 million light years away. The new galaxy, named KKs3 is located in the southern sky in the direction of the constellation of Hydrus and its stars have only one ten-thousandth of the mass of the Milky Way.

550-million-year-old fossils provide new clues about fossil formation

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 09:08 AM PST

A new study is challenging accepted ideas about how ancient soft-bodied organisms become part of the fossil record. Findings suggest that bacteria involved in the decay of those organisms play an active role in how fossils are formed -- often in a matter of just a few tens to hundreds of years. Understanding the relationship between decay and fossilization will inform future study and help researchers interpret fossils in a new way.

Short-necked Triassic marine reptile discovered in China

Posted: 17 Dec 2014 12:40 PM PST

A new species of short-necked marine reptile from the Triassic period has been discovered in China.

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