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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

Giant rodent used incisors like tusks

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 05:43 PM PST

The largest rodent ever to have lived may have used its front teeth just like an elephant uses its tusks, a new study has found. "We concluded that Josephoartigasia must have used its incisors for activities other than biting, such as digging in the ground for food, or defending itself from predators. This is very similar to how a modern day elephant uses its tusks," an investigator said.

One in two people in the UK will get cancer

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 05:43 PM PST

One in two people will develop cancer at some point in their lives, according to the most accurate forecast to date from the UK. Age is the biggest risk factor for most cancers, and the increase in lifetime risk is primarily because more people are surviving into old age, when cancer is more common.

One-atom-thin silicon transistors hold promise for super-fast computing

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 01:01 PM PST

Researchers have created the first transistors out of silicene, the world's thinnest silicon material. This new 'wonder material' could make computers and other electronics more efficient.

Sea slug has taken genes from algae it eats, allowing it to photosynthesize like a plant

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 12:59 PM PST

How a brilliant-green sea slug manages to live for months at a time 'feeding' on sunlight, like a plant, is clarified in a recent study. The authors present the first direct evidence that the emerald green sea slug's chromosomes have some genes that come from the algae it eats.

Our thoughts are susceptible to external influence, even against our will

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 11:23 AM PST

New research documents how our thoughts are influenced by our outside environment. This research is the first demonstration of two thoughts in the stream of consciousness being controlled externally and against participants' will.

Add nature, art and religion to life's best anti-inflammatories

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 10:32 AM PST

Taking in such spine-tingling wonders as the Grand Canyon, Sistine Chapel ceiling or Schubert's 'Ave Maria' may give a boost to the body's defense system. Researchers have linked positive emotions -- especially the awe we feel when touched by the beauty of nature, art and spirituality -- with lower levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Artificial blood vessels: Tri-layered artificial blood vessels for first time

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 08:19 AM PST

By combining micro-imprinting and electro-spinning techniques, researchers have developed a vascular graft composed of three layers for the first time. This tri-layered composite has allowed researchers to utilize separate materials that respectively possess mechanical strength and promote new cell growth - a significant problem for existing vascular grafts that have only consisted of a single or double layer.

Scientists discover organism that hasn't evolved in more than 2 billion years

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 07:41 AM PST

The greatest absence of evolution ever reported has been discovered by an international group of scientists: a type of deep-sea microorganism that appears not to have evolved over more than 2 billion years. But the researchers say that the organisms' lack of evolution actually supports Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

Earth's orbit affects the stability of Antarctica's Eastern ice cap

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 06:43 AM PST

Scientists have found that there is a direct relation between the changes in the earth's orbit and the stability of the Eastern ice cap of Antarctica, more specifically, on the continental fringe of Wilkes Land (East Antarctica).

Magnetic sense for humans? Electronic skin with magneto-sensory system enables 'sixth sense'

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 06:41 AM PST

Scientists from Germany and Japan have developed a new magnetic sensor, which is thin, robust and pliable enough to be smoothly adapted to human skin, even to the most flexible part of the human palm. The achievement suggests it may be possible to equip humans with magnetic sense.

New technique doubles the distance of optical fiber communications

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 06:41 AM PST

A new way to process fibre optic signals could double the distance at which data travels error-free through transatlantic sub-marine cables. The new method has the potential to reduce the costs of long-distance optical fibre communications as signals wouldn't need to be electronically boosted on their journey, which is important when the cables are buried underground or at the bottom of the ocean.

New mechanism of inheritance could advance study of evolution, disease treatment

Posted: 02 Feb 2015 06:24 PM PST

A specific mechanism by which a parent can pass silenced genes to its offspring has been uncovered by researchers for the first time. Importantly, the team found that this silencing could persist for multiple generations -- more than 25, in the case of this study.

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