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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

A smiling lens: 'Happy face' galaxy cluster reveals arcs caused by strong gravitational lensing

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 01:30 PM PST

An image taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows what appears to be a smiling galaxy cluster SDSS J1038+4849. In the case of this "happy face," the two eyes are very bright galaxies and the misleading smile lines are actually arcs caused by an effect known as strong gravitational lensing.

Napping reverses health effects of poor sleep

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 11:17 AM PST

A short nap can help relieve stress and bolster the immune systems of men who slept only two hours the previous night, according to a new study.

Smoking thins vital part of brain

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 10:31 AM PST

A major study shows new evidence that long-term smoking could cause thinning of the brain's cortex. The cortex is the outer layer of the brain in which critical cognitive functions such as memory, language and perception take place. Interestingly, the findings also suggest that stopping smoking helps to restore at least part of the cortex's thickness.

Damage from obesity passed to offspring, but impact of obesity on fertility can be reversed, mouse study finds

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 05:35 AM PST

In a breakthrough discovery, researchers have revealed how damage from obesity in mice is passed from a mother to her children, and also how that damage can be reversed.

Bringing texture to your flat touchscreen with virtual bumps

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 01:14 PM PST

What if the touchscreen of your smartphone or tablet could touch you back? Researchers now report a discovery that provides insight into how the brain makes sense of data from fingers. When people draw their fingers over a flat surface with two 'virtual bumps,' the researchers found that, under certain circumstances, the subjects feel only one bump when there really are two. And the researchers can explain why the brain comes to this conclusion.

Bionic leaf: Researchers use bacteria to convert solar energy into liquid fuel

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 01:14 PM PST

Solar energy can be harnessed using electricity from photovoltaic cells to yield hydrogen that can be stored in fuel cells. But hydrogen has failed to catch on as a practical fuel for cars or for power. Converting solar energy into liquid fuel could accelerate its adoption as a power source.

'Stressed' young bees could be the cause of colony collapse

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 01:12 PM PST

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is a major threat to bee colonies around the world and affects their ability to perform vital human food crop pollination. It has been a cause of urgent concern for scientists and farmers around the world for at least a decade but a specific cause for the phenomenon has yet to be conclusively identified. Pressure on young bees to grow up too fast could be a major factor in explaining the disastrous declines in bee populations seen worldwide.

A centimeter of time: Cool clocks pave the way to new measurements of Earth

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 08:30 AM PST

Two cryogenically cooled optical lattice clocks that can be synchronized to a tremendous one part in 2.0 x 10-18--meaning that they would only go out of synch by a second in 16 billion years. This is nearly 1,000 times more precise than the current international timekeeping standard cesium atomic clock.

Industrial aerosol emissions has changed relationship between temperature and precipitation in northern tropics

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 08:30 AM PST

An international team of scientists has found that human-made aerosol emissions from industrial processes have changed the relationship between temperature and precipitation in the northing tropics. The findings may help to indicate the shifts in seasonal rainfall in Central America, which is critical for agriculture in the region.

Researchers identify peptide that reduces urge to eat

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 08:19 AM PST

Researchers have identified a peptide and hormone that when administered to a specific area of the brain may reduce the desire for food. The study may one day lead to medications that treat obesity and binge eating disorders.

Culture shock: Are lab-grown cells a faithful model for human disease?

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 05:44 PM PST

Cell cultures used in research may not act as a faithful mimic of real tissue, according to new research. Laboratory-grown cells experience altered cell states within three days as they adapt to their new environment. Studies of disease, including cancer, rely on cell cultures that have often been grown for decades. The findings could affect the interpretation of past studies and provide important clues for improving cell cultures in the future.

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