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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

Sitting for long periods increases risk of disease and early death, regardless of exercise

Posted: 19 Jan 2015 02:17 PM PST

The amount of time a person sits during the day is associated with a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and death, regardless of regular exercise, according to a review study.

Fossil ankles indicate Earth's earliest primates lived in trees

Posted: 19 Jan 2015 12:45 PM PST

Earth's earliest primates have taken a step up in the world, now that researchers have gotten a good look at their ankles. A new study has found that Purgatorius, a small mammal that lived on a diet of fruit and insects, was a tree dweller. Paleontologists made the discovery by analyzing 65-million-year-old ankle bones collected from sites in northeastern Montana.

Geophysicists find the crusty culprits behind sudden tectonic plate movements

Posted: 19 Jan 2015 12:45 PM PST

New research may have solved one of the biggest mysteries in geology -- namely, why do tectonic plates beneath the Earth's surface, which normally shift over the course of tens to hundreds of millions of years, sometimes move abruptly?

Major cause of blindness linked to calcium deposits in the eye

Posted: 19 Jan 2015 12:43 PM PST

Microscopic spheres of calcium phosphate have been linked to the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a major cause of blindness. AMD affects 1 in 5 people over 75, causing their vision to slowly deteriorate, but the cause of the most common form of the disease remains a mystery. The ability to spot the disease early and reliably halt its progression would improve the lives of millions, but this is simply not possible with current knowledge and techniques.

Voyage from Earth's crust to its mantle and back again

Posted: 19 Jan 2015 09:45 AM PST

Uranium isotopes leave a distinct 'fingerprint' in the sources of volcanic rocks, making it possible to gauge their age and origin. Geologists have gained a new understanding of how Earth's crust is recycled back into its interior based on these uranium isotopes.

How planetary building blocks evolved from porous to hard objects

Posted: 19 Jan 2015 06:09 AM PST

Thinking small has enabled an international team of scientists to gain new insight into the evolution of planetary building blocks in the early solar system. Planetary scientists study chondritic meteorites to reconstruct planet formation. These meteorites are made of a mixture of solid chondrules, millimeter-sized beads (the approximate width of a penny) that became embedded in a fluffy matrix.

Extremely short, sharp flash of radio waves from unknown source in the universe, caught as it was happening

Posted: 19 Jan 2015 05:32 AM PST

A strange phenomenon has been observed by astronomers right as it was happening -- a 'fast radio burst'. The eruption is described as an extremely short, sharp flash of radio waves from an unknown source in the universe.

Preserved fossil represents oldest record of parental care in group of prehistoric reptiles

Posted: 19 Jan 2015 05:30 AM PST

New research details how a preserved fossil found in China could be the oldest record of post-natal parental care from the Middle Jurassic. The specimen, found by a farmer in China, is of an apparent family group with an adult, surrounded by six juveniles of the same species. Given that the smaller individuals are of similar sizes, the group interpreted this as indicating an adult with its offspring, apparently from the same clutch.

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