Referral Banners

Thursday, December 4, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

Arabian sea humpback whales isolated for 70,000 years

Posted: 03 Dec 2014 12:18 PM PST

Scientists have made a fascinating discovery in the northern Indian Ocean: humpback whales inhabiting the Arabian Sea are the most genetically distinct humpback whales in the world and may be the most isolated whale population on earth. The results suggest they have remained separate from other humpback whale populations for perhaps 70,000 years, extremely unusual in a species famed for long distance migrations.

Oldest ever engraving discovered on 500,000-year-old shell

Posted: 03 Dec 2014 11:24 AM PST

Homo erectus on Java was already using shells of freshwater mussels as tools half a million years ago, and as a 'canvas' for an engraving. The discovery of an engraved geometrical pattern on one of the shells came as a total surprise. The zig zag pattern, that can only be seen with oblique lighting, is clearly older than the weathering processes on the shell arising from fossilization.

World’s fastest 2-D camera, 100 billion frames per second, may enable new scientific discoveries

Posted: 03 Dec 2014 11:24 AM PST

A team of biomedical engineers has developed the world's fastest receive-only 2-D camera, a device that can capture events up to 100 billion frames per second.

Tinkering with the Tao of pandas

Posted: 03 Dec 2014 09:53 AM PST

Good news on the panda front: Turns out they're not quite as delicate -- and picky -- as thought. Up until now, information gleaned from 30 years worth of scientific literature suggested that pandas were inflexible about habitat. Those conclusions morphed into conventional wisdom and thus have guided policy in China. But a new researcher has led a deep dive into aggregate data and emerged with evidence that the endangered animal is more resilient and flexible than previously believed.

Geckos are sticky without effort: Death has no impact on strength geckos use to adhere to surfaces

Posted: 03 Dec 2014 09:53 AM PST

Scientists have studied a variety of features in geckos such as the adhesive toe pads on the underside of the feet with which geckos attach to surfaces with remarkable strength. Biologists have now conducted experiments in the lab on live and dead geckos that show, for the first time, that dead geckos can adhere to surfaces with the same strength as living geckos. The research could have applications in the field of robotics.

'Mirage Earth' exoplanets may have burned away chances for life

Posted: 03 Dec 2014 09:48 AM PST

Planets orbiting close to low-mass stars — easily the most common stars in the universe — are prime targets in the search for extraterrestrial life. But new research led by an astronomy graduate student indicates some such planets may have long since lost their chance at hosting life because of intense heat during their formative years.

Gut bacteria from a worm can degrade plastic

Posted: 03 Dec 2014 08:11 AM PST

Plastic is well-known for sticking around in the environment for years without breaking down, contributing significantly to litter and landfills. But scientists have now discovered that bacteria from the guts of a worm known to munch on food packaging can degrade polyethylene, the most common plastic.The finding could lead to new ways to help get rid of the otherwise persistent waste, the scientists say.

Brain study uncovers new clues on how cues may affect memory

Posted: 03 Dec 2014 05:40 AM PST

The brain activity prior to seeing an item is related to how well it is later remembered, a new study shows. Moreover, researchers also found that the activity in different areas of the brain was unexpectedly related to how the information was remembered.

Computer model enables design of complex DNA shapes

Posted: 03 Dec 2014 05:40 AM PST

Biological engineers have created a new computer model that allows them to design the most complex three-dimensional DNA shapes ever produced, including rings, bowls, and geometric structures such as icosahedrons that resemble viral particles.

Astronomers detect atomic hydrogen emission in galaxies at record breaking distances

Posted: 03 Dec 2014 05:38 AM PST

Using the world's largest radio telescope, astronomers have detected the faint signal emitted by atomic hydrogen gas in galaxies three billion light years from Earth, breaking the previous record distance by 500 million light years.

You can hear the coral reefs dying, experts say

Posted: 03 Dec 2014 05:37 AM PST

You can hear the sound of former bustling coral reefs dying due to the impact of human activity, according to new research. Scientists have found that coral reefs impacted by human activity, such as overfishing, are much quieter than protected reefs, which can have a big impact on the fish and invertebrates which rely on the reefs for survival.

Solving a long-standing mystery, scientists identify principal protein sensor for touch

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 01:14 PM PST

Biologists have solved a long-standing mystery in neuroscience by identifying the "mechanoreceptor" protein that mediates the sense of touch in mammals.

Neuronal encoding of the switch from specific to generalized fear

Posted: 01 Dec 2014 08:31 AM PST

Fear memories are crucial for survival. However, excessive generalization of such memories, characterized by a failure to discriminate dangerous from safe stimuli, is common in anxiety disorders. Researchers identified distinct neuronal populations in the amygdala that signaled generalized versus cue-specific associations and determined how their distributions switched during fear generalization. These results provide a cellular basis in the amygdala for the alteration of emotional states from normal to pathological fear.

No comments: