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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

First contracting human muscle grown in laboratory

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 12:40 PM PST

Researchers have grown human skeletal muscle in the laboratory that, for the first time, contracts and responds just like native tissue to external stimuli such as electrical pulses, biochemical signals and pharmaceuticals. The development should soon allow researchers to test new drugs and study diseases in functioning human muscle outside of the human body.

Feeling cold is contagious, scientists find

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 11:52 AM PST

Just looking at somebody shivering is enough to make us feel cold, new research has found. Volunteers who watched videos of people putting their hands in cold water found their own body temperature drop significantly, investigators report.

Dinosaurs wiped out rapidly in Europe 66 million years ago

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 09:12 AM PST

The well-known theory that an asteroid suddenly killed the dinosaurs is based almost entirely on fossils from North America. A new study shows that dinosaurs -- and other continental vertebrates -- remained diverse in Europe up until the asteroid impact, 66 million years ago. This is strong evidence that dinosaurs and many of their contemporaries went extinct rapidly and simultaneously all across the globe.

World's oldest butchering tools gave evolutionary edge to human communication: Oldowan technology behind genesis of language and teaching

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 09:10 AM PST

Two and a half million years ago, our hominin ancestors in the African savanna crafted rocks into shards that could slice apart a dead gazelle, zebra or other game animal. Over the next 700,000 years, this butchering technology spread throughout the continent and, it turns out, came to be a major evolutionary force.

Greenland meltwater contributes to rising sea levels

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 08:16 AM PST

As the largest single chunk of melting snow and ice in the world, the massive ice sheet that covers about 80 percent of Greenland is recognized as the biggest potential contributor to rising sea levels due to glacial meltwater.

Sizing up giants under the sea: Biologists correct inaccuracies for 25 marine species

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 06:05 AM PST

Researchers sifted through multiple datasets and historical records to produce more accurate and comprehensive measurements for 25 species including the Blue Whale, Giant Squid, and Great White Shark.

People prefer fair, but does the brain?

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 06:04 AM PST

Whether for oneself or for others, fairness is preferred by people, but the brain network changes depending on who is actually benefiting. "In previous studies," explains the lead investigator, "we found the same tendency to reject unfair offers regardless of whether the decision involved the subjects themselves or a third party. Brain imaging, however, suggested that the brain was working differently in the two situations."

Napping helps infants' memory development

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 06:03 AM PST

After studying over 200 young children, researchers have concluded that daytime naps of 30 minutes or more help infants to retain and remember new behaviors, adding that bedtime stories are invaluable for a child's development. Interestingly, the babies showed that they learn best when they are sleepy: "Until now people have presumed that the best time for infants to learn is when they are wide-awake, rather than when they are starting to feel tired, but our results show that activities occurring just before infants have a nap can be particularly valuable and well-remembered," researchers noted.

Positive factors in youth linked to better heart health later in life

Posted: 12 Jan 2015 03:11 PM PST

Children with favorable psychosocial experiences may have better cardiovascular health in adulthood, according to new research. Favorable socioeconomic status and self-regulatory behavior, meaning good aggression and impulse control, in youth were the strongest predictors of ideal cardiovascular health in adulthood.

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