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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

West Antarctic melt rate has tripled in last decade

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 03:33 PM PST

A comprehensive, 21-year analysis of the fastest-melting region of Antarctica has found that the melt rate of glaciers there has tripled during the last decade.

Unlike people, monkeys aren't fooled by expensive brands

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 03:33 PM PST

In at least one respect, Capuchin monkeys are smarter than humans -- they don't assume a higher price tag means better quality, according to a new study.

Brain representations of social thoughts accurately predict autism diagnosis

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 11:48 AM PST

Researchers have created brain-reading techniques to use neural representations of social thoughts to predict autism diagnoses with 97 percent accuracy. This establishes the first biologically based diagnostic tool that measures a person's thoughts to detect the disorder that affects many children and adults worldwide.

Losing air: Barrage of small impacts likely erased much of the Earth’s primordial atmosphere

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 10:23 AM PST

Researchers believe a blitz of small space rocks, or planetesimals, may have bombarded Earth around the time the moon was formed, kicking up clouds of gas with enough force to permanently eject small portions of the atmosphere into space.

Strange galaxy perplexes astronomers: Prominent 'jets' of subatomic particles

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 10:23 AM PST

With the help of citizen scientists, astronomers have found an important new example of a very rare type of galaxy that may provide valuable insight on galaxy evolution in the early Universe.

See it, touch it, feel it: Researchers use ultrasound to make invisible 3-D haptic shape that can be seen and felt

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 09:38 AM PST

Technology has changed rapidly over the last few years with touch feedback, known as haptics, being used in entertainment, rehabilitation and even surgical training. New research, using ultrasound, has developed an invisible 3-D haptic shape that can be seen and felt.

Vitamin supplement successfully prevents noise-induced hearing loss

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 09:38 AM PST

A way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss has been found in a mouse using a simple chemical compound that is a precursor to vitamin B3. This discovery has important implications not only for preventing hearing loss, but also potentially for treating some aging-related conditions that are linked to the same protein.

Another case against the midnight snack: Researchers tinker with a time-restricted diet in mice and find that it's remarkably forgiving

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 09:37 AM PST

These days, with the abundance of artificial light, TV, tablets and smartphones, adults and children alike are burning the midnight oil. What they are not burning is calories: with later bedtimes comes the tendency to eat. A new study cautions against an extended period of snacking, suggesting instead that confining caloric consumption to an 8- to 12-hour period-as people did just a century ago-might stave off high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity.

Traces of Martian biological activity could be locked inside a meteorite

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 09:01 AM PST

Did Mars ever have life? Does it still? A meteorite from Mars has reignited the old debate. New research shows that Martian life is more probable than previously thought.

Chemists fabricate novel rewritable paper

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 09:01 AM PST

Chemists have fabricated novel rewritable paper, one that is based on the color switching property of commercial chemicals called redox dyes. The dye forms the imaging layer of the paper. Printing is achieved by using ultraviolet light to photobleach the dye, except the portions that constitute the text on the paper. The new rewritable paper can be erased and written on more than 20 times with no significant loss in contrast and resolution.

King Richard III: Case closed after 529 years

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 09:01 AM PST

King Richard III: a DNA and genealogical study confirms the identity of remains found in Leicester and uncovers new truths about his appearance and Plantagenet lineage.

Revealed: How bacteria drill into our cells and kill them

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 06:37 AM PST

A team of scientists has revealed how certain harmful bacteria drill into our cells to kill them. Their study shows how bacterial 'nanodrills' assemble themselves on the outer surfaces of our cells, and includes the first movie of how they then punch holes in the cells' outer membranes. The research supports the development of new drugs that target this mechanism, which is implicated in serious diseases.

Predators and isolation shape the evolution of 'island tameness,' providing conservation insights

Posted: 01 Dec 2014 04:12 PM PST

Charles Darwin noted more than 150 years ago that animals on the Galapagos Islands, including finches and marine iguanas, were more docile than mainland creatures. He attributed this tameness to the fact that there are fewer predators on remote islands.

Most ancient pinworm yet found was infected with parasitic nematodes

Posted: 01 Dec 2014 01:33 PM PST

The discovery of a 240-million-year-old pinworm egg confirms that herbivorous cynodonts -- the ancestors of mammals -- were infected with the parasitic nematodes.

Mastodon fossils in Alaska and Yukon suggest local extinction long before human colonization

Posted: 01 Dec 2014 01:32 PM PST

Existing age estimates of American mastodon fossils indicate that these extinct relatives of elephants lived in the Arctic and Subarctic when the area was covered by ice caps -- a chronology that is at odds with what scientists know about the massive animals' preferred habitat: forests and wetlands abundant with leafy food. Now, scientists are revising fossil age estimates and suggesting that the north was only a temporary home to mastodons when the climate was warm.

Human eye can see 'invisible' infrared light

Posted: 01 Dec 2014 01:11 PM PST

Science textbooks say we can't see infrared light. Like X-rays and radio waves, infrared light waves are longer than the light waves in the visual spectrum. But an international team of researchers has found that under certain conditions, the retina can sense infrared light after all.

Detectable, pre-cancerous state in the blood identified

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 02:14 PM PST

An easily detectable, 'pre-malignant' state in the blood has been discovered that significantly increases the likelihood that an individual will go on to develop blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, or myelodysplastic syndrome. The discovery, which was made independently by two research teams opens new avenues for research aimed at early detection and prevention of blood cancer.

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