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Thursday, February 5, 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News

Scientists predict Earth-like planets around most stars

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 03:44 PM PST

Planetary scientists have calculated that there are hundreds of billions of Earth-like planets in our galaxy which might support life, by applying a 200 year old idea to the thousands of exo-planets discovered by the Kepler space telescope.

Pigeon power: Study suggests similarity between how pigeons learn the equivalent of words and the way children do

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 03:44 PM PST

A new study finds pigeons can categorize 128 photographs into 16 categories of natural and humanmade objects, a skill researchers say is similar to the mechanism children use to learn words.

HIV and syphilis biomarkers: Smartphone, finger prick, 15 minute diagnosis

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 11:45 AM PST

Medical researchers have developed a low-cost smartphone accessory that can perform a point-of-care test that simultaneously detects three infectious disease markers -- HIV and syphilis -- from a finger prick of blood in just 15 minutes. The device replicates, for the first time, all mechanical, optical, and electronic functions of a lab-based blood test without requiring any stored energy: all necessary power is drawn from the smartphone.

Anti-epilepsy drug preserves brain function after stroke, research suggests

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 10:41 AM PST

New research suggests that an already-approved drug could dramatically reduce the debilitating impact of strokes, which affect nearly a million Americans every year.

The brain's social network: Nerve cells interact like friends on Facebook

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 10:41 AM PST

Neurons in the brain are wired like a social network, according to new research. Each nerve cell has links with many others, but the strongest bonds form between the few cells most similar to each other.

Fossils from heart of Amazon provide evidence that South American monkeys came from Africa

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 10:41 AM PST

The early evolutionary history of monkeys in South America is cloaked in mystery. Long thought to have journeyed from Africa, evidence for this hypothesis was difficult to support without fossil data. A new discovery now unveils a key chapter of their evolutionary saga. The discovery of three new extinct monkeys from eastern Peru hints strongly that South American monkeys have an African ancestry.

Scientists reprogram plants for drought tolerance

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 10:41 AM PST

Plant biologists report that drought tolerance in plants can be improved by engineering them to activate water-conserving processes in response to an agrochemical already in use -- an approach that could be broadly applied to other parts of the same drought-response pathway and a range of other agrochemicals. The finding illustrates the power of synthetic biological approaches for manipulating crops, opening new doors for crop improvement.

Cheap and abundant chemical outperforms precious metals as a catalyst

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 10:41 AM PST

Chemists have discovered that a cheap, safe, and abundant potassium compound can be used instead of rare precious metals as a catalyst in the production of chemicals important for drug discovery, agricultural science, medical imaging, and the creation of new materials.

VISTA stares right through the Milky Way, sees Trifid Nebula in a new light

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 04:53 AM PST

A new image taken with ESO's VISTA survey telescope reveals the Trifid Nebula in a new light. By observing in infrared light, astronomers can see right through the central parts of the Milky Way and spot many previously hidden objects. In one of the VISTA surveys, astronomers have discovered very distant Cepheid variable stars. They are the first such stars found that lie in the central plane of the Milky Way beyond its central bulge.

Code cracked for infections by major group of viruses including common cold and polio

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 04:52 AM PST

Researchers have cracked a code that governs infections by a major group of viruses including the common cold and polio. Until now, scientists had not noticed the code, which had been hidden in plain sight in the sequence of the ribonucleic acid (RNA) that makes up this type of viral genome.

Penta-graphene, a new structural variant of carbon, discovered

Posted: 03 Feb 2015 11:23 AM PST

Researchers have discovered a new structural variant of carbon called 'penta-graphene' -- a very thin sheet of pure carbon that has a unique structure inspired by a pentagonal pattern of tiles found paving the streets of Cairo.

Light jogging may be most optimal for longevity: Too much strenuous jogging may be harmful

Posted: 02 Feb 2015 01:07 PM PST

Jogging may be best in small quantities according to a new study. The study, which tracked hours of jogging, frequency, and the individual's perception of pace, found that over the 12-year study strenuous joggers were as likely to die as sedentary non-joggers, while light joggers had the lowest rates of death.

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