Life Sciences
Feeding plants to this algae could fuel your car

Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory and partner institutions provided today the first published report of algae using raw plants as a carbon energy source.

Computer Assisted Design (CAD) for RNA: Researchers Develop CAD-Type Tools for Engineering RNA Control Systems

The computer assisted design (CAD) tools that made it possible to fabricate integrated circuits with millions of transistors may soon be coming to the biological sciences...

Tiny Protein Helps Bacteria 'Talk' and Triggers Defensive Response in Plants

Scientists have discovered a new signal that helps invading bacteria communicate but also helps targeted rice plants coordinate defensive attacks on the disease-causing invaders, a finding that could lead to new methods of combating infection not just in plants, but in humans.

Starving Orangutans Might Help to Better Understand Obesity and Eating Disorders in Humans

Rutgers evolutionary anthropologist Erin Vogel thinks new research published December 13 in Biology Letters, a Journal of the Royal Society, examining how endangered Indonesian orangutans -- considered a close relative to humans -- survive during times of extreme food scarcity might help scientists better understand eating disorders and obesity in humans.

Climate change forced zombie ant fungi to adapt

Zombie ants clamp on to aerial vegetation and hang for months spewing the spores of their parasitic fungi, but researchers noticed that they do not always clamp on to the same part of the plant...

New Strain of Lab Mice Mimics Human Alcohol Consumption Patterns

A line of laboratory mice developed by a researcher from the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) drinks more alcohol than other animal models and consumes it in a fashion similar to humans: choosing alcohol over other options and binge drinking.

Close Family Ties Keep Cheaters in Check: Why Almost All Multicellular Organisms Begin Life as a Single Cell

Any multicellular animal, from a blue whale to a human being, poses a special difficulty for the theory of evolution. Most of the cells in its body will die without reproducing, and only a privileged few will pass their genes to the next generation.

Why Buttercups Reflect Yellow On Chins: Research Sheds Light On Children's Game and Provides Insight Into Pollination

Scientists have found that the distinctive glossiness of the buttercup flower (Ranunculus repens), which children like to shine under the chin to test whether their friends like butter, is related to its unique anatomical structure.

Medicine
Cardiac Hybrid Imaging an Effective Tool for Predicting Heart Attacks

Cardiac hybrid imaging with CT and nuclear stress testing is an excellent long-term predictor of adverse cardiac events like heart attacks in patients being evaluated for coronary artery disease, according to a study in Radiology.

Multivitamins do not promote cardiovascular health

Multivitamins and mineral supplements do not prevent heart attacks, strokes or cardiovascular death. Data pooled from multiple studies show no health benefit of multivitamins.

Good Cholesterol may not always be good for Postmenopausal Women

Postmenopausal factors may have an impact on the heart-protective qualities of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) – also known as 'good cholesterol' – according to a study led by researchers in the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

Antibody identifier could speed development of therapies for cancer, other diseases

A research team led by a UCLA bioengineer has developed a model to predict the extent to which new laboratory-designed antibodies will be able to combat specific human diseases.

Success of blood test for autism affirmed

One year after researchers published their work on a physiological test for autism, a follow-up study confirms its exceptional success in assessing whether a child is on the autism spectrum.

Widespread connections among neurons help the brain distinguish smells

Can you tell the smell of a rose from the scent of a lilac? If so, you have your brain's piriform cortex to thank. Compared to many parts of the brain, the piriform cortex—which lets animals and humans process information about smells—looks like a messy jumble of connections between cells called neurons...

Wireless Pressure-Sensing Eye Implant Could Help Prevent Blindness

Researchers at Caltech have developed an implantable pressure sensor that can reside in the human eye for years at a time while wirelessly sending data about the eye's health to the patient or medical professionals.

Sleeping sickness: Pathogens camouflage themselves with sugar

It has long been known that the pathogens causing sleeping sickness evade the immune system by exchanging their surface proteins. But now scientists at the German Cancer Research Center have found an additional parasite strategy to escape the immune system: They confuse the defense system with sugar.

Earth Climate
Coral study reveals surprising twist

A new study puts a surprising twist—one might even say a double spiral—into our understanding of how corals react to ocean warming and acidification.

Coral reefs losing ability to keep pace with sea-level rise

Many coral reefs will be unable to keep growing fast enough to keep up with rising sea levels, leaving tropical coastlines and low-lying islands exposed to increased erosion and flooding risk, new research suggests.

Will Antarctic Worms Warm to Changing Climate?

Researchers at the University of Delaware are examining tiny worms that inhabit the frigid sea off Antarctica to learn not only how these organisms adapt to the severe cold, but how they will survive as ocean temperatures increase.

Link Between Earthquakes and Tropical Cyclones: New Study May Help Scientists Identify Regions at High Risk for Earthquakes

A groundbreaking study led by University of Miami (UM) scientist Shimon Wdowinski shows that earthquakes, including the recent 2010 temblors in Haiti and Taiwan, may be triggered by tropical cyclones (hurricanes and typhoons), according to a presentation of the findings at the 2011 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco.

Climate change forced zombie ant fungi to adapt

Zombie ants clamp on to aerial vegetation and hang for months spewing the spores of their parasitic fungi, but researchers noticed that they do not always clamp on to the same part of the plant...

Growing 'dead zone' confirmed by underwater robots

New research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) has confirmed a dramatic decrease in oxygen in the Gulf of Oman part of the Arabian Sea. But the environmental disaster is worse than expected.

Sensing the Deep Ocean

Futuristic robots may be coming soon to an ocean near you. Sensorbots are spherical devices equipped with biogeochemical sensors, that promise to open a new chapter in the notoriously challenging exploration of earth's largest ecosystem -- the ocean.

As Climate Change Sets In, Plants and Bees Keep Pace

No laggards, those bees and plants. As warm temperatures due to climate change encroach winter, bees and plants keep pace.

Psyche & Brain
Switching Brain Circuits On and Off Without Surgery

In the maze of our brains, there are various pathways by which neural signals travel. These pathways can go awry in patients with neurological and psychiatric diseases and disorders, including epilepsy, Parkinson's, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Crucial Advances in 'Brain Reading' Demonstrated

At UCLA's Laboratory of Integrative Neuroimaging Technology, researchers use functional MRI brain scans to observe brain signal changes that take place during mental activity...

Antioxidant Has Potential in the Alzheimer's Fight

When you cut an apple and leave it out, it turns brown. Squeeze the apple with lemon juice, an antioxidant, and the process slows down.

Ability to Love Takes Root in Earliest Infancy

The ability to trust, love, and resolve conflict with loved ones starts in childhood -- way earlier than you may think. That is one message of a new review of the literature in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal published by the Association for Psychological Science.

Mutation in Gene That's Critical for Human Development Linked to Arrhythmia

The biologic and genetic mechanisms controlling the formation and function of the CCS are not well understood, but new research with mice shows that altered function of a gene called Tbx3 interferes with the development of the CCS and causes lethal arrhythmia.

New Strain of Lab Mice Mimics Human Alcohol Consumption Patterns

A line of laboratory mice developed by a researcher from the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) drinks more alcohol than other animal models and consumes it in a fashion similar to humans: choosing alcohol over other options and binge drinking.

Whole New Meaning for Thinking On Your Feet: Brains of Small Spiders Overflow Into Legs

Smithsonian researchers report that the brains of tiny spiders are so large that they fill their body cavities and overflow into their legs.

Scientists Point to Link Between Missing Synapse Protein and Abnormal Behaviors

Although many mental illnesses are uniquely human, animals sometimes exhibit abnormal behaviors similar to those seen in humans with psychological disorders...

Maths & Computers
Time for a Change? Overhauling the Calendar

Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University have discovered a way to make time stand still -- at least when it comes to the yearly calendar.

Computer Assisted Design (CAD) for RNA: Researchers Develop CAD-Type Tools for Engineering RNA Control Systems

The computer assisted design (CAD) tools that made it possible to fabricate integrated circuits with millions of transistors may soon be coming to the biological sciences...

Using Photons to Manage Data

Managing light to carry computer data, such as text, audio and video, is possible today with laser light beams that are guided along a fibre-optic cable...

The Perfect Clone: Researchers Hack RFID Smartcards

Professional safecrackers use a stethoscope to find the correct combination by listening to the clicks of the lock. Researchers at the Ruhr-University Bochum have now demonstrated how to bypass the security mechanisms of a widely used contactless smartcard in a similar way...

More Powerful Supercomputers? New Device Could Bring Optical Information Processing

Researchers have created a new type of optical device small enough to fit millions on a computer chip that could lead to faster, more powerful information processing and supercomputers.

Using Math and Light to Detect Misshapen Red Blood Cells

Misshapen red blood cells (RBCs) are a sign of serious illnesses, such as malaria and sickle cell anemia. Until recently, the only way to assess whether a person's RBCs were the correct shape was to look at them individually under a microscope -- a time-consuming process for pathologists...

New Interface Could Help Facebook Members Limit Security Leaks

A sign-up interface created by Penn State researchers for Facebook apps could help members prevent personal information -- and their friends' information -- from leaking out through third-party games and apps to hackers and identity thieves.

Computerized Method for Matching Images in Photos, Paintings, Sketches Created

Computers can mimic the human ability to find visually similar images, such as photographs of a fountain in summer and in winter, or a photograph and a painting of the same cathedral, by using a technique that analyzes the uniqueness of images, say researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science.

Astronomy & Space
One black hole or two? Dust clouds can explain puzzling features of active galactic nuclei

Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), believe clouds of dust, rather than twin black holes, can explain the features found in active galactic nuclei (AGNs).

A cosmic quirk helps astronomers pinpoint the farthest star ever seen

More than halfway across the universe, an enormous blue star nicknamed Icarus is the farthest individual star ever seen. Normally, it would be much too faint to view, even with the world’s largest telescopes.

Juno Solves 39-Year Old Mystery of Jupiter Lightning

Ever since NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft flew past Jupiter in March, 1979, scientists have wondered about the origin of Jupiter's lightning. That encounter confirmed the existence of Jovian lightning, which had been theorized for centuries.

Earth's magnetic field simpler than we thought

Scientists have identified patterns in Earth's magnetic field that evolve on the order of 1,000 years, providing new insight into how the field works and adding a measure of predictability to changes in the field not previously known...

Possible Subsurface Lake near Martian South Pole

A new paper published in Science this week suggests that liquid water may be sitting under a layer of ice at Mars' south pole.The finding is based on data from the European Mars Express spacecraft, obtained by a radar instrument called MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding).

Astronomers See Distant Eruption as Black Hole Destroys Star

For the first time, astronomers have directly imaged the formation and expansion of a fast-moving jet of material ejected when the powerful gravity of a supermassive black hole ripped apart a star that wandered too close to the massive monster.

NASA Finds Ancient Organic Material, Mysterious Methane on Mars

NASA's Curiosity rover has found new evidence preserved in rocks on Mars that suggests the planet could have supported ancient life, as well as new evidence in the Martian atmosphere that relates to the search for current life on the Red Planet.

Shocking case of indigestion in supermassive black hole

A multi-wavelength study of a pair of colliding galaxies has revealed the cause of a supermassive black hole's case of 'indigestion'. Results will be presented by Dr Hayden Rampadarath at the National Astronomy Meeting at the University of Hull.

Matter & Energy
Measuring each point of a beam of light

If you want to get the greatest benefit from a beam of light-whether to detect a distant planet or to remedy an aberration in the human eye-you need to be able to measure it.

Confined, insensitive light could improve lasers, solar cells

Cheaper and more efficient photonic devices, such as lasers, optical fibers, and other light sources, may be possible with confined light that is unaffected by imperfections in the material that confines it, according to new research.

Paint-On Solar Cells Developed

Imagine if the next coat of paint you put on the outside of your home generates electricity from light -- electricity that can be used to power the appliances and equipment on the inside.

New Particle at Large Hadron Collider Discovered by ATLAS Experiment

Researchers from the University of Birmingham and Lancaster University, analysing data taken by the ATLAS experiment, have been at the centre of what is believed to be the first clear observation of a new particle at the Large Hadron Collider.

New photodetector could improve night vision, thermal sensing and medical imaging

Using graphene, one of science’s most versatile materials, engineers from the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering have invented a new type of photodetector that can work with more types of light than its current state-of-the-art counterparts.

New Technique Makes It Easier to Etch Semiconductors

Creating semiconductor structures for high-end optoelectronic devices just got easier, thanks to University of Illinois researchers.

Boron Nanoribbons Reveal Surprising Thermal Properties in Bundles

Size matters… but apparently so does shape -- when it comes to conducting heat in very small spaces.

Chemists Solve an 84-Year-Old Theory On How Molecules Move Energy After Light Absorption

The same principle that causes figure skaters to spin faster as they draw their arms into their bodies has now been used by Michigan State University researchers to understand how molecules move energy around following the absorption of light.

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