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Saturday, January 24, 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

Scientists slow down the speed of light travelling in free space

Posted: 23 Jan 2015 11:41 AM PST

Scientists have managed to slow photons in free space for the first time. They have demonstrated that applying a mask to an optical beam to give photons a spatial structure can reduce their speed.

Why all-nighters don't work: How sleep, memory go hand-in-hand

Posted: 23 Jan 2015 09:17 AM PST

Scientists have long known that sleep, memory and learning are deeply connected but how has remained a mystery. The question is, does the mechanism that promotes sleep also consolidate memory, or do two distinct processes work together? In other words, is memory consolidated during sleep because the brain is quiet or are memory neurons actually putting us to sleep? In a recent paper, researchers make a case for the latter.

Telomere extension turns back aging clock in cultured human cells, study finds

Posted: 23 Jan 2015 07:25 AM PST

A new procedure can quickly and efficiently increase the length of human telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that are linked to aging and disease, according to scientists.

Climate affects development of human speech

Posted: 23 Jan 2015 07:25 AM PST

A correlation between climate and the evolution of language has been uncovered by researchers. To find a relationship between the climate and the evolution of language, one needs to discover an association between the environment and vocal sounds that is consistent throughout the world and present in different languages. And that is precisely what a group of researchers has done.

Arctic ice cap slides into the ocean

Posted: 23 Jan 2015 05:17 AM PST

Satellite images have revealed that a remote Arctic ice cap has thinned by more than 50 metres since 2012 -- about one sixth of its original thickness -- and that it is now flowing 25 times faster. The findings show that over the last two decades, ice loss from the south-east region of Austfonna, located in the Svalbard archipelago, has increased significantly. In this time, ice flow has accelerated to speeds of several kilometres per year, and ice thinning has spread more than 50km inland -- to within 10km of the summit.

Revolutionary device found to lower blood pressure

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 04:39 PM PST

A revolutionary device has been shown to significantly lower blood pressure among patients with uncontrolled high blood pressure, compared to those treated with usual drug measures. "High blood pressure is very dangerous and leads to hospital treatment, stroke, heart attack and chronic kidney disease. We must find better means of treating high blood pressure as drugs do not work for everyone and the Coupler is a big step forward in our search for alternative treatment," said the lead investigator.

Found: 'Fight or flight' response control center for the heart

Posted: 20 Jan 2015 08:12 AM PST

An animal study has uncovered what controls the ability of healthy hearts to speed up in response to circumstances ranging from fear to a jog around the block. The key to the heart's "fight or flight" response, they report, is a channel in cells' energy factories, known as mitochondria, which appear to drive the heart to beat beyond its resting rate. Better understanding of this channel, called the mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU), could lead to new treatments for people whose heart rates needlessly accelerate, they say.

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