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Monday, January 12, 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

Small volcanic eruptions partly explain 'warming hiatus'

Posted: 09 Jan 2015 10:28 AM PST

The "warming hiatus" that has occurred over the last 15 years has been caused in part by small volcanic eruptions. Scientists have long known that volcanoes cool the atmosphere because of the sulfur dioxide that is expelled during eruptions. Droplets of sulfuric acid that form when the gas combines with oxygen in the upper atmosphere can persist for many months, reflecting sunlight away from Earth and lowering temperatures at the surface and in the lower atmosphere. New research further identifies observational climate signals caused by recent volcanic activity.

Special delivery: Hitchhiking microparticles deliver drugs directly

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 12:10 PM PST

Polymeric microparticles are made to 'hitchhike' to inflamed tissue in order to deliver their drug payload. By taking advantage of natural body processes, researchers have developed a method of targeting inflamed tissues, creating a way to treat both the inflammation and its underlying cause.

Hello people, goodbye soil: Humans erode soil 100 times faster than nature

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 12:07 PM PST

In North America, European colonization and agriculture led to as much soil loss in just decades as would have occurred naturally in thousands of years, new research shows. Scientists have, for the first time, precisely quantified natural rates of erosion in ten US river basins to compare with modern ones.

Study pinpoints autism-linked protein for sculpting brain connections

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 02:12 PM PST

Shortly after birth, human brains expand rapidly with the experience of an entirely new world. During this period, neurons in the brain compete with one another to form lasting connections, called synapses. A new study provides a close-up of synapse refinement and identifies a protein that is crucial in this process. Disruptions in the protein, called hevin, have previously been linked to autism, depression and suicide.

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