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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

New model for snake venom evolution proposed

Posted: 08 Dec 2014 12:26 PM PST

Researchers have found genetic evidence that highly toxic venom proteins were evolutionarily 'born' from non-toxic genes, which have other ordinary jobs around the body, such as regulation of cellular functions or digestion of food.

First step toward pill for obesity taken, researchers report

Posted: 08 Dec 2014 11:55 AM PST

Researchers have taken what they are describing as 'the first step toward a pill that can replace the treadmill' for the control of obesity -- though it of course would not provide all the additional benefits of exercise. The researchers have already identified two compounds that can accomplish that in human cells.

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.

Warm gas pours 'cold water' on galaxy's star-making

Posted: 08 Dec 2014 09:43 AM PST

Some like it hot, but for creating new stars, a cool cosmic environment is ideal. As a new study suggests, a surge of warm gas into a nearby galaxy -- left over from the devouring of a separate galaxy -- has extinguished star formation by agitating the available chilled gas.

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.

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