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Friday, January 9, 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

3-D 'pop-up' silicon structures: Transforming planar materials into 3-D microarchitectures

Posted: 08 Jan 2015 11:47 AM PST

Researchers have invented simple routes to complex classes of 3-D micro/nanostructures in high performance materials, with relevance to electronics, photovoltaics, batteries, biomedical devices, and other microsystems technologies.

Poker-playing program knows when to fold 'em: Heads-up limit for hold 'em poker solved

Posted: 08 Jan 2015 11:47 AM PST

For over a half-century, games have been test beds for new ideas in Artificial Intelligence and the resulting successes have marked significant milestones: Deep Blue defeated Kasparov in chess, and Watson defeated Jennings and Rutter on Jeopardy! However, defeating top human players is not the same as actually solving a game, and for the first time researchers have essentially solved heads-up limit hold 'em poker.

Neuroprosthetics for paralysis: Biocompatible, flexible implant slips into the spinal cord

Posted: 08 Jan 2015 11:47 AM PST

New therapies are on the horizon for individuals paralyzed following spinal cord injury. The e-Dura implant can be applied directly to the spinal cord without causing damage and inflammation, scientists report.

Scientists illuminate mysterious molecular mechanism powering cells in most forms of life

Posted: 08 Jan 2015 11:13 AM PST

Scientists have taken a big step toward understanding the intricate molecular mechanism of a metabolic enzyme produced in most forms of life on Earth. The finding concerns nicotinamide nucleotide transhydrogenase (TH), an ancient evolutionary enzyme found throughout the animal kingdom as well as in plants and many simpler species. The enzyme is part of a process key to maintaining healthy cells and has also recently been linked to diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

Functional tissue-engineered intestine grown from human cells

Posted: 08 Jan 2015 11:13 AM PST

Tissue-engineered small intestine grown from human cells replicates key aspects of a functioning human intestine, researchers have demonstrated. The work brings surgeons one step closer to helping human patients using this regenerative medicine technique.

Monkeys can learn to see themselves in the mirror

Posted: 08 Jan 2015 10:00 AM PST

Unlike humans and great apes, rhesus monkeys don't realize when they look in a mirror that it is their own face looking back at them. But, according to a new report, that doesn't mean they can't learn. What's more, once rhesus monkeys in the study developed mirror self-recognition, they continued to use mirrors spontaneously to explore parts of their bodies they normally don't see.

Newly discovered antibiotic kills pathogens without resistance

Posted: 08 Jan 2015 09:48 AM PST

For years, pathogens' resis­tance to antibi­otics has put them one step ahead of researchers, which is causing a public health crisis. But now scientists have discovered a new antibi­otic that elim­i­nates pathogens without encoun­tering any detectable resistance -- a finding that chal­lenges long-held sci­en­tific beliefs and holds great promise for treating chronic infec­tions like tuber­cu­losis and those caused by MRSA.

Quantum optical hard drive breakthrough

Posted: 08 Jan 2015 07:06 AM PST

Scientists developing a prototype optical quantum hard drive have improved storage time by a factor of over 100. The team's record storage time of six hours is a major step towards a secure worldwide data encryption network based on quantum information which could be used for banking transactions and personal emails.

Unusual light signal yields clues about elusive black hole merger

Posted: 08 Jan 2015 06:44 AM PST

Scientists have found what appear to be two supermassive black holes in the final stages of a merger, a rare event never seen before. The discovery could help shed light on a long-standing conundrum in astrophysics called the "final parsec problem," which refers to the failure of theoretical models to predict what the final stages of a black hole merger look like or even how long the process might take.

Defying the Achilles heel of 'wonder material' graphene: Resilience to extreme conditions

Posted: 08 Jan 2015 05:48 AM PST

A resilience to extreme conditions by the most transparent, lightweight and flexible material for conducting electricity could help revolutionize the electronic industry, according to a new study. Researchers have discovered that a material adapted from the 'wonder material' graphene can withstand prolonged exposure to both high temperature and humidity.

An avocado a day may help keep bad cholesterol at bay

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 05:48 PM PST

Individuals on a moderate-fat diet who ate an avocado every day had lower bad cholesterol than those on a similar diet without an avocado a day or on a lower-fat diet, researchers report.

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