Today's Science News

Friday, September 12, 2014

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from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cutting the Cord on Soft Robots: Machine Walks Through Snow, Flames and Can Be Run Over by Cars

Sep. 11, 2014 — Engineers have developed the world's first untethered soft robot -- and demonstrated that the quadruped, which can literally stand up and walk away from its designers, can walk through snow, ... full story

Scientists Report First Semiaquatic Dinosaur, Spinosaurus: Massive Predator Was More Than 9 Feet Longer Than Largest T. Rex

Sep. 11, 2014 — Scientists today unveiled what appears to be the first truly semiaquatic dinosaur, Spinosaurus aegyptiacus. New fossils of the massive Cretaceous-era predator reveal it adapted to life in the water ... full story

Ceramics Don't Have to Be Brittle: Incredibly Light, Strong Materials Recover Original Shape After Being Smashed

Sep. 11, 2014 — Materials scientists have developed a method for creating new structural materials by taking advantage of the unusual properties that solids can have at the nanometer scale. They have used the method ... full story

'Hot Jupiters' Provoke Their Own Host Suns to Wobble

Sep. 11, 2014 — Blame the 'hot Jupiters.' These large, gaseous exoplanets can make their suns wobble when they wend their way through their own solar systems to snuggle up against their suns, according to ... full story

Scientists Revert Human Stem Cells to Pristine State

Sep. 11, 2014 — Researchers have resolved a long-standing challenge in stem cell biology by successfully 'resetting' human pluripotent stem cells to a fully pristine state, at a point of their greatest ... full story

15 Years of Carbon Dioxide Emissions on Earth Mapped

Sep. 11, 2014 — Scientists have developed a new approach to estimate carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels -- one that provides crucial information to policymakers. Called the 'Fossil Fuel Data ... full story

Eagle-Eyed Birds of Prey Help Scrounging Vultures Find Their Dinner

Sep. 9, 2014 — Zoologists have discovered how endangered vultures find their food, which will have important applications for their conservation. It turns out the iconic birds, which look like they belong in a ... full story

Unraveling Mysteries of the Venusian Atmosphere

Sep. 11, 2014 — Underscoring the vast differences between Earth and its neighbor Venus, new research shows a glimpse of giant holes in the electrically charged layer of the Venusian atmosphere, called the ... full story

Last Decade's Slowdown in Global Warming Enhanced by an Unusual Climate Anomaly

Sep. 11, 2014 — A hiatus in global warming ongoing since 2001 is due to a combination of a natural cooling phase, known as multidecadal variability (MDV) and a downturn of the secular warming trend. The exact causes ... full story

World's Largest DNA Origami Created

Sep. 11, 2014 — Researchers have created the world's largest DNA origami, which are nanoscale constructions with applications ranging from biomedical research to nanoelectronics. DNA origami are self-assembling ... full story

Lurking Bright Blue Star Caught: The Last Piece of a Supernova Puzzle

Sep. 11, 2014 — Astronomers have found evidence of a hot binary companion star to a yellow supergiant star, which had become a bright supernova. Its existence had been predicted by the team. This finding provides ... full story

Breast Milk Reveals a Correlation Between Dietary Fats and Academic Success

Sep. 11, 2014 — You are what you eat, the saying goes, and now a study suggests that the oft-repeated adage applies not just to physical health, but to brain power as well. Researchers compared the fatty acid ... full story

Simple Method Turns Human Skin Cells Into Immune Strengthening White Blood Cells

Sep. 11, 2014 — For the first time, scientists have turned human skin cells into transplantable white blood cells, soldiers of the immune system that fight infections and invaders. The work could let researchers ... full story

Brain Differences: Sometimes, Adolescents Just Can't Resist

Sep. 11, 2014 — A new study finds teenagers are far more sensitive than adults to the immediate effect or reward of their behaviors. Even when a behavior is no longer in a teenager’s best interest to continue, ... full story

Neurochemical Imbalance in Schizophrenia Discovered

Sep. 11, 2014 — Using human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), researchers have discovered that neurons from patients with schizophrenia secrete higher amounts of three neurotransmitters broadly implicated in ... full story

Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Ozone Layer Is Recovering, But It's Not All Good News

The Ozone Layer Is Recovering, But It's Not All Good News

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) — The Ozone layer is recovering thickness! Hooray! But in helping its recovery, we may have also helped put more greenhouse gases out there. Hooray? Video provided by Newsy
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Meet Spinosaurus, the First-Known Water Dinosaur

Meet Spinosaurus, the First-Known Water Dinosaur

AFP (Sep. 11, 2014) — Spinosaurus aegyptiacus was adapted for both land and water, and an exhibit featuring a life-sized model, based on new fossils unearthed in eastern Morocco, opens at the National Geographic Museum in Washington on Friday. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
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Common Sleeping, Anxiety Pills Linked To Alzheimer's

Common Sleeping, Anxiety Pills Linked To Alzheimer's

Newsy (Sep. 10, 2014) — Researchers found commonly prescribed sleeping and anxiety pills such as Xanax and Valium could lead to an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease. Video provided by Newsy
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Stonehenge's Shrouded Past Revealed Beneath Its Pillars

Stonehenge's Shrouded Past Revealed Beneath Its Pillars

Newsy (Sep. 10, 2014) — After a four-year study, researchers from the University of Birmingham reveal their findings of what lies below Stonehenge and its surroundings. Video provided by Newsy
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last updated on 2014-09-12 at 3:23 am EDT

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Primary Care Doctors Reluctant to Provide Genetics Assessment in Routine Care

Sep. 11, 2014 — Physicians report many barriers keep them from giving patients guidance on genetic risks, disease, according to new research. Medical genetics medicine has traditionally been used to identify and ... full story

New Genetic Targets Discovered in Fight Against Muscle-Wasting Disease

Sep. 11, 2014 — Findings of a new study offer the possibility of developing new ways of tackling an incurable condition known as muscle-wasting disease. To date, only six genes have been linked to the illness. ... full story

Molecular Mechanisms of Birth Defects Among Older Women: Why Older Women Can Have Babies With Down Syndrome

Sep. 11, 2014 — Researchers studying cell division in fruit flies have discovered a pathway that may improve understanding of molecular mistakes that cause older women to have babies with Down ... full story

Malaria Parasites Sense and React to Mosquito Presence to Increase Transmission

Sep. 11, 2014 — Many pathogens are transmitted by insect bites. The abundance of vectors (as the transmitting insects are called) depends on seasonal and other environmental fluctuations. A new article demonstrates ... full story

Diverse Gut Bacteria Associated With Favorable Ratio of Estrogen Metabolites

Sep. 11, 2014 — Postmenopausal women with diverse gut bacteria exhibit a more favorable ratio of estrogen metabolites, which is associated with reduced risk for breast cancer, compared to women with less microbial ... full story

Ebola Paper Demonstrates Disease Transmission Rate

Sep. 11, 2014 — Transmission rates for each single case of Ebola consistently showed at least one new case of the disease being transmitted. Country-specific analysis of transmission rates in Liberia and Sierra ... full story

Increased Access to Nature Trails Could Decrease Youth Obesity Rates, Study Finds

Sep. 11, 2014 — Local governments can help reduce youth obesity levels by increasing the amount and type of public lands available for recreation, researchers say. "More non-motorized nature trails available for use ... full story

Cells Put Off Protein Production During Times of Stress

Sep. 11, 2014 — When a stressed cell recognizes the buildup of misfolded proteins, it responds by reshuffling its workload, much like a stressed out employee might temporarily move papers from an overflowing inbox ... full story

Intestinal Bacteria Needed for Strong Flu Vaccine Responses in Mice

Sep. 11, 2014 — Mice treated with antibiotics to remove most of their intestinal bacteria or raised under sterile conditions have impaired antibody responses to seasonal influenza vaccination, researchers have ... full story

Impact on Gut Microbiota of Fermented Milk Product Containing Probiotics Revealed by New Technology

Sep. 11, 2014 — The effect of a fermented milk product containing probiotics on the gut microbiota has been demonstrated by researchers using a novel high resolution bioinformatics tool. The product affected certain ... full story

Chemical Signals in Brain Help Guide Risky Decisions

Sep. 11, 2014 — A gambler's decision to stay or fold in a game of cards could be influenced by a chemical in the brain, suggests new research. The rise and fall of dopamine plays a key role in decisions involving ... full story

You Can Classify Words in Your Sleep

Sep. 11, 2014 — When people practice simple word classification tasks before nodding off -- knowing that a 'cat' is an animal or that 'flipu' isn't found in the dictionary, for example -- their brains will ... full story

Not Enough Vitamin B1 Can Cause Brain Damage

Sep. 11, 2014 — A deficiency of a single vitamin, B1 (thiamine), can cause a potentially fatal brain disorder called Wernicke encephalopathy. Symptoms can include confusion, hallucinations, loss of muscle ... full story

Owls Provides Clues on How Humans Focus Attention

Sep. 11, 2014 — Research with barn owls reveals how the brain decides what it should pay attention to among competing external ... full story

High Levels of Physical Activity Linked to Better Academic Performance in Boys

Sep. 11, 2014 — Higher levels of physical activity are related to better academic achievement during the first three school years, particularly in boys, research shows. For instance, boys with higher levels of ... full story

Talking Therapy for People With a Recent Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis

Sep. 11, 2014 — A group of people with a recent bipolar diagnosis who had an average of 14 hours Cognitive Behavioural Therapy alongside 'treatment as usual,' which includes medication and support from community ... full story

Sunshine Can Act as 'Driver' for Suicide

Sep. 11, 2014 — Long spells of sunshine -- as demonstrated by many scientific studies -- can have a positive impact on the human mind and can have a helpful effect for people with depression. Things are very ... full story

Is the Pattern of Brain Folding a 'Fingerprint' for Schizophrenia?

Sep. 11, 2014 — Anyone who has seen pictures or models of the human brain is aware that the outside layer, or cortex, of the brain is folded in an intricate pattern of “hills”, called gyri, and “valleys”, ... full story

Bully Victims More Likely to Suffer Night Terrors, Nightmares by Age 12

Sep. 11, 2014 — Children who are bullied at ages 8-10 are more likely to suffer from sleep walking, night terrors or nightmares by the time they are 12 years old. The authors suggest that: "If a child is ... full story

'Fat Shaming' Doesn't Encourage Weight Loss

Sep. 10, 2014 — Discrimination against overweight and obese people does not help them to lose weight, finds new research. In a study of 2,944 UK adults over four years, those who reported experiencing weight ... full story

New Superfoods Could Help Key Protein Keep Bodies Healthy

Sep. 11, 2014 — A new generation of new superfoods that tackle heart disease and diabetes could be developed following research into a protein that helps keep cells in our bodies healthy. The beneficial substances ... full story

Binge Drinking in Pregnancy Can Affect Child's Mental Health, School Results

Sep. 10, 2014 — Binge drinking during pregnancy can increase the risk of mental health problems (particularly hyperactivity and inattention) in children aged 11 and can have a negative effect on their school ... full story

Small Weight Gain Can Raise Blood Pressure in Healthy Adults

Sep. 10, 2014 — Gaining a few pounds can increase blood pressure in healthy adults, researchers report. Increased fat inside the abdomen led to even larger increases in blood pressure, their study results ... full story

Can Your Blood Type Affect Your Memory in Later Years?

Sep. 10, 2014 — People with blood type AB may be more likely to develop memory loss in later years than people with other blood types, according to a study. AB is the least common blood type, found in about 4 ... full story

Even Small Stressors May Be Harmful to Men's Health, New Research Shows

Sep. 10, 2014 — Older men who lead high-stress lives are likely to die earlier than the average for their peers, new research shows. The study looked at two types of stress: the everyday hassles of such things as ... full story

Fish, Fatty Acid Consumption Associated With Lower Risk of Hearing Loss in Women

Sep. 10, 2014 — Consumption of 2 or more servings of fish per week was associated with a lower risk of hearing loss in women, researchers have found. "Acquired hearing loss is a highly prevalent and often disabling ... full story

Working During Depression Can Offer Health Benefits to Employees

Sep. 10, 2014 — Attending work while suffering a depressive illness could help employees better manage their depression more than taking a sickness absence from work, a new study has found. The study is the first ... full story

Female Baboons With Male Companions Live Longer

Sep. 10, 2014 — Numerous studies have linked social interaction to improved health and survival in humans, and new research confirms that the same is true for baboons. A long-term study of more than 200 wild female ... full story

Back Pain Killing Your Sex Life? Study Reveals Best Positions to Save Your Spine

Sep. 10, 2014 — Contrary to popular belief, spooning is not always the best sex position for those with a bad back, according to new research. For the first time ever, scientists have successfully documented the way ... full story

Pain Tolerance Levels Between Men, Women Are Similar

Sep. 10, 2014 — Resilience, a person's ability to overcome adverse circumstances, is the main quality associated with pain tolerance among patients and their adjustment to chronic pain. This is the result of a new ... full story

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Scientists Fabricate Single-Photon Sources in Solid Matter

Sep. 11, 2014 — A breakthrough in quantum information processing was achieved using state-of-the-art diamond growth technology. A research group has successfully fabricated for the first time in the world ... full story

New Species of Electrons Can Lead to Better Computing

Sep. 11, 2014 — Electrons that break the rules and move perpendicular to the applied electric field could be the key to delivering next generation, low-energy ... full story

'Talking' and 'Listening' to Atoms: Scientists Make Acoustic Waves Couple to an Artificial Atom

Sep. 11, 2014 — Scientists have used sound to communicate with an artificial atom. They can thereby demonstrate phenomena from quantum physics with sound taking on the role of ... full story

How Salt Causes Buildings to Crumble

Sep. 11, 2014 — Salt crystals are often responsible when buildings start to show signs of aging. Researchers have studied salt damage in greater depth and can now predict weathering processes more ... full story

The Quantum Revolution Is a Step Closer: New Way to Run a Quantum Algorithm

Sep. 11, 2014 — A new way to run a quantum algorithm using much simpler methods than previously thought has been discovered. These findings could dramatically bring forward the development of a 'quantum computer' ... full story

Graphene Paints a Corrosion-Free Future: Keep Food Fresh Longer?

Sep. 11, 2014 — A thin layer of graphene paint can make impermeable and chemically resistant coatings which could be used for packaging to keep food fresh for longer and protect metal structures against corrosion, ... full story

Chemical Detection: A Purer Solution

Sep. 10, 2014 — A separation method that isolates protein-protected gold clusters enables improved sensing of toxic mercury compounds and pesticides. Fluorescence-based detection of pesticides and other ... full story

Ozone Nano-Bubble Water: Potential Treatment for Severe Gum Infections

Sep. 10, 2014 — A powerful new antiseptic agent, called ozone nano-bubble water, holds promise for the treatment of periodontitis, or severe gum infections, according to new ... full story

More Efficient Fuel Cells for Vehicles: Angling Chromium to Let Oxygen Through

Sep. 10, 2014 — More efficient fuel cells might gain wider use in vehicles or as quiet, pollution-free, neighborhood electricity generating stations. A serendipitous finding has resulted in a semiconducting material ... full story

New 3-D Imaging Techniques May Improve Understanding of Biofuel Plant Material: Never-Before-Seen Details

Sep. 10, 2014 — A comparison of 3-D transmission electron microscopy imaging techniques reveals never-seen-before details of plant cell ... full story

NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover Arrives at Martian Mountain

Sep. 11, 2014 — NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has reached the Red Planet's Mount Sharp, a Mount-Rainier-size mountain at the center of the vast Gale Crater and the rover mission's long-term prime ... full story

First Map of Rosetta's Comet

Sep. 11, 2014 — Scientists have found that the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko -- the target of study for the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission -- can be divided into several regions, each ... full story

Alien Life Search: Spotting Atmospheric Chemistry of Alien Worlds Devoid of Life

Sep. 11, 2014 — Astronomers searching the atmospheres of alien worlds for gases that might be produced by life can't rely on the detection of just one type, such as oxygen, ozone, or methane, because in some cases ... full story

Astronomers Pinpoint 'Venus Zone' Around Stars

Sep. 10, 2014 — Astronomers have defined the 'Venus Zone,' the area around a star in which a planet is likely to exhibit the unlivable conditions found on the planet Venus. The research will aid Kepler astronomers ... full story

Mysterious Quasar Sequence Explained

Sep. 10, 2014 — Quasars are supermassive black holes that live at the center of distant massive galaxies. They shine as the most luminous beacons in the sky by rapidly accelerating matter into their gravitationally ... full story

Where to Grab Space Debris: Algorithm Analyzes the Rotation of Objects in Space

Sep. 10, 2014 — Objects in space tend to spin -- and spin in a way that's totally different from the way they spin on earth. Understanding how objects are spinning, where their centers of mass are, and how their ... full story

Bright Clumps in Saturn Ring Now Mysteriously Scarce

Sep. 10, 2014 — Compared to the age of the solar system -- about four-and-a-half billion years -- a couple of decades are next to nothing. Some planetary locales change little over many millions of years, so for ... full story

Geomagnetic Storm Mystery Solved: How Magnetic Energy Turns Into Particle Energy

Sep. 10, 2014 — Magnetic reconnection can trigger geomagnetic storms that disrupt cell phone service, damage satellites and black out power grids. But how reconnection, in which the magnetic field lines in plasma ... full story

This Star Cluster Is Not What It Seems: Messier 54 Shows Lithium Problem Also Applies Outside Our Galaxy

Sep. 10, 2014 — A new image from the VLT Survey Telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in northern Chile shows a vast collection of stars, the globular cluster Messier 54. This cluster looks very similar to many ... full story

Companion Star Hidden for 21 Years in a Supernova's Glare

Sep. 9, 2014 — Astronomers have discovered a companion star to a rare class of supernova, known as a Type IIb. The discovery confirms a long-held theory that the supernova, dubbed SN 1993J, occurred inside what is ... full story

Electronics That Need Very Little Energy? Nanotechnology Used to Help Cool Electrons With No External Sources

Sep. 10, 2014 — A team of researchers has discovered a way to cool electrons to minus 228 degrees Celsius without external means and at room temperature, an advancement that could enable electronic devices to ... full story

Algorithms Reveal Forecasting Power of Tweets, Predicts Individual's Behavior

Sep. 10, 2014 — Researchers used 500 million tweets to develop algorithms that not only paint a picture of everyday human dynamics, but can predict an individual's behavior hours in ... full story

First Graphene-Based Flexible Display Produced

Sep. 10, 2014 — A flexible display incorporating graphene in its pixels’ electronics has been successfully demonstrated, the first time graphene has been used in a transistor-based flexible ... full story

New Method to Detect Prize Particle for Future Quantum Computing

Sep. 10, 2014 — Scientists have uncovered a new method to detect Majorana particles, a key element for a next-generation quantum computing platform. Quantum computing relies on the laws of quantum mechanics to ... full story

Squeezed Quantum Communication: Flashes of Light in Quantum States Transmitted Through Atmosphere

Sep. 9, 2014 — Scientists have sent a pulse of bright light in a particularly sensitive quantum state through 1.6 kilometers of air. This quantum state, which they call squeezed, was maintained, which is something ... full story

Smart Headlights Spare the Eyes of Oncoming Drivers

Sep. 9, 2014 — A smart headlight enables drivers to take full advantage of their high beams without fear of blinding oncoming drivers or suffering from the glare that can occur when driving in snow or rain at ... full story

Researchers Advance Artificial Intelligence for Player Goal Prediction in Gaming

Sep. 9, 2014 — Researchers have developed artificial intelligence software that is significantly better than any previous technology at predicting what goal a player is trying to achieve in a video game. The ... full story

Buckyballs and Diamondoids in Tiny Electronic Gadget: Two Exotic Types of Carbon Form Molecule for Steering Electron Flow

Sep. 9, 2014 — Scientists have married two unconventional forms of carbon -- one shaped like a soccer ball, the other a tiny diamond -- to make a molecule that conducts electricity in only one direction. This tiny ... full story

Layered Graphene Sandwich for Next Generation Electronics

Sep. 8, 2014 — Sandwiching layers of graphene with white graphene could produce designer materials capable of creating high-frequency electronic devices, scientists have ... full story

Ultra Sensitive Biosensor from Molybdenite Semiconductor: Potential for Single-Molecule Detection

Sep. 5, 2014 — Researchers have demonstrated an atomically thin, ultrasensitive and scalable molybdenum disulfide field-effect transistor based biosensors and establish their potential for single-molecule ... full story

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Volunteer 'Eyes on the Skies' Track Peregrine Falcon Recovery in California

Sep. 11, 2014 — Datasets from long-running volunteer survey programs, calibrated with data from sporadic intensive monitoring efforts, have allowed ecologists to track the recovery of peregrine falcons in California ... full story

Microbes Evolve Faster Than Ocean Can Disperse Them

Sep. 11, 2014 — Scientists have created an advanced model aimed at exploring the role of neutral evolution in the biogeographic distribution of ocean microbes. Over the past sev­eral decades, ecol­o­gists have ... full story

BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster: Researchers Continue Working to Safeguard Shoreline

Sep. 11, 2014 — A research team has estimated the total mass of oil that reached the Gulf of Mexico shore in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout. It's the first time such an estimate was ... full story

Secrets of Animal Weapons Revealed

Sep. 11, 2014 — From antlers to horns, humans have long been fascinated by animals' ability to defend themselves with their natural-born weapons. But until now, no studies have directly tested whether those weapons ... full story

Ticks That Vector Lyme Disease Move West Into North Dakota

Sep. 11, 2014 — Ixodes scapularis, also known as the blacklegged tick or deer tick -- is moving westward, and for the first time has been found to be established in North ... full story

Two New Species of Carabid Beetles Found in Ethiopia

Sep. 11, 2014 — Scientists have found two new beetles in the genus Calathus -- Calathus juan and Calathus carballalae -- in Ehtiopia. There are more than 150 species of beetles in the genus Calathus, 17 of which ... full story

New Defense Mechanism Against Viruses Discovered

Sep. 11, 2014 — A known quality control mechanism in human, animal and plant cells is active against viruses, researchers have discovered. They think it might represent one of the oldest defense mechanisms against ... full story

Our Microbes Are a Rich Source of Drugs

Sep. 11, 2014 — Bacteria that normally live in and upon us have genetic blueprints that enable them to make thousands of molecules that act like drugs, and some of these molecules might serve as the basis for new ... full story

Steroid Hormone to Fight Age-Related Diseases

Sep. 11, 2014 — Through the study of the roundworm, Caenorhabditis elegans, a research team has discovered a hormone that enhances longevity and reduces fertility, thus reproducing the effects of an extreme diet. ... full story

Pesticides More Toxic for Soil Organisms in Dry Soil, at Enhanced Temperatures

Sep. 11, 2014 — Soil organisms react more sensitive to marketable pesticides when exposed in dry soil and at enhanced temperatures. Both conditions may occur more often in the future due to climate change. ... full story

Atmosphere in Northern Hemisphere Has Lower Self-Cleaning Capacity Than Previously Thought

Sep. 11, 2014 — Pollution is being removed more slowly from the atmosphere in the northern hemisphere than previously assumed. An international research team established that the atmospheric cleaning agent hydroxyl ... full story

Cat Bites Dog: In India's Human Dominated Landscapes, Top Prey for Leopards Is Dogs

Sep. 11, 2014 — In India’s human dominated agricultural landscapes, where leopards prowl at night, it’s not livestock that’s primarily on the menu -- it is man’s best ... full story

Microfluidics: Lab on a Breathing Chip

Sep. 10, 2014 — Human nasal epithelial cells, cultured on a microchip, react to air pollutants just like they would in the upper airway. The upper respiratory tract is the first line of defense against air ... full story

'Green Wave' Explains Migratory Bird Routes

Sep. 10, 2014 — Bird migrations follow areas of new plant growth -- a so-called 'green wave' of new leaves and numerous insects -- research shows. In fall, particularly in the western US, they stick to higher ... full story

Earth's Ozone Layer on Track to Recovery, Scientists Report

Sep. 10, 2014 — Earth's protective ozone layer is well on track to recovery in the next few decades thanks to concerted international action against ozone depleting substances, according to a new assessment by 300 ... full story

Major Earthquake May Occur Off Coast of Istanbul, Seismic Shifts Suggest

Sep. 10, 2014 — When a segment of a major fault line goes quiet, it can mean one of two things: The "seismic gap" may simply be inactive -- the result of two tectonic plates placidly gliding past each other -- or ... full story

Groundwater Tied to Human Evolution

Sep. 10, 2014 — Our ancient ancestors' ability to move around and find new sources of groundwater during extremely dry periods in Africa millions of years ago may have been key to their survival and the evolution of ... full story

Sharks More Abundant on Healthy Coral Reefs

Sep. 10, 2014 — Sharks in no-fishing zones in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park are more abundant when the coral is ... full story

Drivers of Rich Bird Biodiversity in Neotropics Identified

Sep. 10, 2014 — New research challenges a commonly held view that explains how so many species of birds came to inhabit the Neotropics, an area rich in rain forest that extends from Mexico to the southernmost tip of ... full story

Three Extinct Squirrel-Like Species Discovered: Mammals May Have Originated Much Earlier Than Thought

Sep. 10, 2014 — Paleontologists have described three new small squirrel-like species that place a poorly understood Mesozoic group of animals firmly in the mammal family tree. The study supports the idea that ... full story

Ancient Swamp Creature Had Lips Like Mick Jagger

Sep. 10, 2014 — A swamp-dwelling, plant-munching creature that lived 19 million years ago in Africa has been named after Rolling Stones lead singer Sir Mick Jagger, because of its big, sensitive lips and snout. The ... full story

Non-Dominant Hand Vital to the Evolution of the Thumb

Sep. 10, 2014 — New research from biological anthropologists has shown that the use of the non-dominant hand was likely to have played a vital role in the evolution of modern human hand morphology: the production of ... full story

New Study Reconstructs Mega-Earthquakes Timeline in Indian Ocean

Sep. 10, 2014 — A new study on the frequency of past giant earthquakes in the Indian Ocean region shows that Sri Lanka, and much of the Indian Ocean, is affected by large tsunamis at highly variable intervals, from ... full story

Sloths Are No Slouches When It Comes to Evolution

Sep. 10, 2014 — Today's sloths might be known as slow, small animals, but their ancestors developed large body sizes at an amazing rate, according to an evolutionary reconstruction. The fast rate of change suggests ... full story

New Digital Map Reveals Stunning Hidden Archaeology of Stonehenge

Sep. 9, 2014 — A host of previously unknown archaeological monuments have been discovered around Stonehenge as part of an unprecedented digital mapping project that will transform our knowledge of this iconic ... full story

New Species of Extinct Dolphin Sheds Light on River Dolphin History

Sep. 9, 2014 — Researchers described a new fossil dolphin species from the Miocene -- dating to more than 16 million years ago -- of the Pisco Basin, a desert on the coast of Peru. It belongs to a rare extinct ... full story

Study Traces Ecological Collapse Over 6,000 Years of Egyptian History

Sep. 8, 2014 — Depictions of animals in ancient Egyptian artifacts have helped scientists assemble a detailed record of the large mammals that lived in the Nile Valley over the past 6,000 years. A new analysis of ... full story

Paleontologists Discover New Species of Titanosaurian Dinosaur in Tanzania

Sep. 8, 2014 — Paleontologists have identified a new species of titanosaurian, a member of the large-bodied sauropods that thrived during the final period of the dinosaur age, in Tanzania. Although many fossils of ... full story

Whale Sex: It's All in the Hips

Sep. 8, 2014 — Whales and dolphins need their hips, it turns out. The bones that we used to believe were vestigial turn out to be important to reproduction. The muscles that control a cetacean's penis -- which has ... full story

Enigmatic Viking Fortress Discovered in Denmark

Sep. 8, 2014 — On fields at Vallø Estate, near Køge, researchers have discovered traces of a massive Viking fortress built with heavy timbers and earthen embankments. The perfectly circular fortress is similar to ... full story

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Psychological Study of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Conspiracy Theories

Sep. 10, 2014 — Conspiracy theories flourish even when there is no official explanation to react against, finds a psychologist who has examined reactions to the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 -- the ... full story

PTSD, Respiratory Illness: A Signature Long-Term Problem of 9/11 Responders

Sep. 10, 2014 — As many as 60 percent of 9/11 World Trade Center responders continue to experience clinically significant symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and lower respiratory illness, according to ... full story

Impact of Violent Media on the Brain: Depends on Each Individual's Brain Circuitry, Study Finds

Sep. 10, 2014 — With the longstanding debate over whether violent movies cause real world violence as a backstop, a study has found that each person's reaction to violent images depends on that individual's brain ... full story

A Novel Method for Portable Detection of Potent Drugs Known as 'Bath Salts'

Sep. 10, 2014 — Despite being outlawed in 2012 in the US, the synthetic drugs known as 'bath salts' -- which really aren't meant for your daily bath -- are still readily available in some retail shops, on the ... full story

Air Pollution Harmful to Young Brains, Study Finds

Sep. 10, 2014 — Pollution in many cities threatens the brain development in children. Findings from a recent study reveal that children living in megacities are at increased risk for brain inflammation and ... full story

U.S. Cityscapes Show Consistent Patterns of 'Urban Evolution'

Sep. 10, 2014 — Scientists studying urban ecosystems say U.S. urban landscapes are remarkably similar geologically and biochemically, share certain traits that can function as markers for urbanization, and evolve ... full story

Male–male Bonds as a Key to the Evolution of Complex Social Systems

Sep. 10, 2014 — A new study shows tolerance and cooperative ties between male Guinea baboons. Contests, threats, at best ignore one another: The relationships between male mammals are usually described in this or a ... full story

Brain Structure Could Predict Risky Behavior

Sep. 9, 2014 — Some people avoid risks at all costs, while others will put their wealth, health, and safety at risk without a thought. Researchers have found that the volume of the parietal cortex in the brain ... full story

Re-Analysis of Clinical Trial Data Can Change Conclusions in One-Third of Studies

Sep. 9, 2014 — As many as one-third of previously published randomized clinical trials could be re-analyzed in ways that modify the conclusions of how many or what types of patients need to be treated, according to ... full story

Frequent Cannabis Use in Adolescence Linked With Reduced Educational Attainment, Other Problems in Young Adults

Sep. 9, 2014 — Individuals who are daily users of cannabis before age 17 are over 60% less likely to complete high school or obtain a degree compared to those who have never used the drug, new research shows. The ... full story

There Could Be Increased Numbers of Psychopaths in Senior Managerial Positions, High Levels of Business, Research Shows

Sep. 8, 2014 — For the first time, it has been demonstrated that people with psychopathic tendencies who have high IQs can mask their symptoms by manipulating tests designed to reveal their personalities. It raises ... full story

Self-Deceived Individuals Deceive Others Better

Aug. 27, 2014 — Over-confident people can fool others into believing they are more talented than they actually are, a study has found. These 'self-deceived' individuals could be more likely to get promotions and ... full story

Feeling Bad at Work Can Be a Good Thing (and Vice Versa)

Aug. 21, 2014 — Contrary to popular opinion, it can be good to feel bad at work, whilst feeling good in the workplace can also lead to negative outcomes, researchers say. The commonly-held assumption that positivity ... full story

Sleepy College Students Stressed by Jobs

Aug. 20, 2014 — College students are typically more sleep deprived than the rest of us and often ignore the health benefits of adequate slumber, said a researcher who studies the topic. "Sleep is extremely important ... full story

In an Already Stressful Workplace, Great Recession's Health Effects Hard to Find

Aug. 19, 2014 — The Great Recession of 2007-2009 had little direct effect on the health of workers who survived the waves of job cuts that took place during that period, according to a new ... full story

Disconnect Between Parenting and Certain Jobs a Source of Stress

Aug. 16, 2014 — Some working parents are carrying more psychological baggage than others — and the reason has nothing to do with demands on their time and energy. The cause is their ... full story

Shift Workers: Evidence for Sleep-Inducing and Alertness Drugs Is Weak

Aug. 12, 2014 — Shift workers are taking drugs to help them stay awake or get to sleep despite weak evidence for their benefit, according to a new review. The authors of the review found only small numbers of trials ... full story

Study Measures Steep Coastal Costs of China's GDP Growth

Aug. 8, 2014 — Economic reforms declared in 1978 led to a surge of growth in China, but resulting increases in human impact activities are seriously degrading the nation's coastal ecosystems, according to a newly ... full story

Geography Matters: Model Predicts How Local 'Shocks' Influence U.S. Economy

Aug. 6, 2014 — Hurricanes. Foreclosures. Factory shutdowns. How do these local industry 'shocks' influence the country as a whole? A new model measures the power of industry dips and boosts nationwide. Overall, ... full story

All-in-One Energy System Offers Greener Power for Off–grid Homes, Farms and Businesses

July 30, 2014 — An innovative ‘trigeneration’ system fuelled entirely by raw plant oils could have great potential for isolated homes and businesses operating outside grid ... full story

Cellphone Addiction Harming Academic Performance Is 'an Increasingly Realistic Possibility'

Aug. 28, 2014 — Women college students spend an average of 10 hours a day on their cellphones, with men college students spending nearly eight hours, according to a study on cellphone activity. "As cellphone ... full story

Readers With Dyslexia Have Disrupted Network Connections in the Brain, Map the Circuitry of Dyslexia Shows

Aug. 28, 2014 — Dyslexia, the most commonly diagnosed learning disability in the United States, is a neurological reading disability that occurs when the regions of the brain that process written language don't ... full story

Social Class Makes a Difference in How Children Tackle Classroom Problems

Aug. 27, 2014 — Social class can account for differences in how parents coach their children to manage classroom challenges, a study shows. Such differences can affect a child's education by reproducing inequalities ... full story

Combining Math and Music to Open New Possibilities

Aug. 25, 2014 — The power of mathematics to open new possibilities in music has been demonstrated by scientists for years. Modern experiments with computer music are just the most recent ... full story

ADHD Children Make Poor Decisions Due to Less Differentiated Learning Processes

Aug. 21, 2014 — Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common psychiatric disorders among school children. Pupils with ADHD often make poorer decisions than their unaffected classmates. ... full story

Children's Drawings Indicate Later Intelligence, Study Shows

Aug. 18, 2014 — How 4-year-old children draw pictures of a child is an indicator of intelligence at age 14, according to a new study. The researchers studied 7,752 pairs of identical and non-identical twins and ... full story

How Children's Brains Memorize Math Facts

Aug. 17, 2014 — As children learn basic arithmetic, they gradually switch from solving problems by counting on their fingers to pulling facts from memory. The shift comes more easily for some kids than for others, ... full story

Expecting to Teach Enhances Learning, Recall

Aug. 8, 2014 — People learn better and recall more when given the impression that they will soon have to teach newly acquired material to someone else, suggests new research. Findings of the study suggest that ... full story

Musical Training Offsets Some Academic Achievement Gaps, Research Says

Aug. 8, 2014 — Learning to play a musical instrument or to sing can help disadvantaged children strengthen their reading and language skills, according to research. The findings, which involved hundreds of kids ... full story

New Insights Into How Young and Developing Readers Make Sense of Words

Aug. 7, 2014 — Skilled readers are often able to make sense of words suffering from 'typos' and jumbled up letter orders as long as the beginning and end letters of the words are ... full story

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