Science News

Science News

SETI Astronomer says We’re Ready for Alien Contact… Thanks to Hollywood

Seth Shostak talks about his activities in Tinseltown and the role movies play in shaping our perceptions of potential alien life.

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Posted: July 26, 2017, 8:00 am

Conjoined Bat Twins Found in Brazilian Forest

Instances of attached identical twins are rarely found outside of humans.

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Posted: July 26, 2017, 8:00 am

The Clay Models Used to Analyze Entrails in the Ancient World

Need to tell the future? Consult the library of livers.

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Posted: July 26, 2017, 8:00 am

A Universal ‘Language’ of Arousal Connects Humans and the Animal Kingdom

New research suggests that the ability to intuit emotional states from vocalization is hardwired in humans and land animals.

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Posted: July 26, 2017, 8:00 am

Human Ancestor Mated with 'Ghost Lineage' And the Proof Is in Your Spit

Ancestors of modern humans interbred with an extinct human lineage that was an even more distant relation than Neanderthal.

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Posted: July 26, 2017, 8:00 am

Large, distant comets more common than previously thought

There are about seven times more long-period comets measuring at least 1 kilometer across than previously predicted, suggests new research. The researchers also found that long-period comets are, on average, nearly twice as large as 'Jupiter family' comets, whose orbits are shaped by Jupiter's gravity and have periods of less than 20 years.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 8:10 pm

Well-designed visual aids improve risk understanding

Informed decision making depends on the ability to accurately evaluate and understand information about risk, suggests a new study. A state-of-the-science review of the literature concludes that visual aids are beneficial for diverse people with different levels of numeracy and graph literacy. The study identifies five categories of practical, evidence-based guidelines for the evaluation and design of visual aids.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 7:42 pm

Could spraying particles into marine clouds help cool the planet?

A first test of humans' ability to modify clouds would help explain the behavior of clouds and aerosols, while also testing a possible future climate emergency measure.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 7:42 pm

Mediterranean-style diets linked to better brain function in older adults

Eating foods included in two healthy diets -- the Mediterranean or the MIND diet -- is linked to a lower risk for memory difficulties in older adults, according to a new study.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 7:42 pm

Study: Yoga helps back pain among veterans

Those who completed a 12-week yoga program had better scores on a disability questionnaire, improved pain intensity scores, and a decline in opioid use, a study that included 150 veterans with chronic low back pain found. The findings jibe with those from two past clinical trials involving non-veterans.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 7:42 pm

Physicists master unexplored electron property

While the charge and spin properties of electrons are widely utilized in modern day technologies such as transistors and memories, another aspect of the subatomic particle has long remained uncharted. This is the 'valley' property which has potential for realizing a new class of technology termed 'valleytronics' -- similar to electronics (charge) and spintronics (spin). This property arises from the fact that the electrons in the crystal occupy different positions that are quantum mechanically distinct.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 7:42 pm

Improved imaging of neonatal soft-tissue tumors can help radiologists improve patient care

Better understanding of practical imaging techniques with regard to neonatal soft-tissue tumors can improve patient care, according to an article.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 7:41 pm

New shark species glows in the dark, weighs about 2 pounds and has a huge nose

Just as "Shark Week" is gearing up, researchers have discovered a new species of shark 17 years in the making. Like finding a needle in a haystack, it was well worth the wait as this elusive creature is yet to be seen in the wild.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 4:56 pm

How fear alone can cause animal extinction

Fear alone may contribute to the extinction of animal populations according to a recent study. When scientists exposed fruit flies to the scent of a praying mantis, a known predator, they found that the risk of extinction increased up to seven fold. The increased risk of extinction occurred because at small population sizes, as the flies spent more time being vigilant and less time eating, populations that declined could not quickly rebound.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 4:22 pm

Mind-body therapies immediately reduce unmanageable pain in hospital patients

After participating in a single, 15-minute session of certain mind-body therapies, patients reported an immediate decrease in pain levels similar to what one might expect from an opioid painkiller. This study is the first to compare the effects of mindfulness and hypnosis on acute pain in the hospital setting.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 4:22 pm

Cognitive cross-training enhances learning, study finds

Just as athletes cross-train to improve physical skills, those wanting to enhance cognitive skills can benefit from multiple ways of exercising the brain, according to a comprehensive new study. The 18-week study of 318 healthy young adults found that combining physical exercise and mild electric brain stimulation with computer-based cognitive training promoted skill learning significantly more than using cognitive training alone. The enhanced learning was skill-specific and did not translate to general intelligence.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 4:22 pm

Physical activity could combat fatigue, cognitive decline in cancer survivors

A new study indicates that cancer patients and survivors have a ready weapon against fatigue and 'chemo brain': a brisk walk. Researchers looked at the association between physical activity, fatigue and performance on cognitive tasks in nearly 300 breast cancer survivors.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 4:22 pm

High prevalence of evidence of CTE in brains of deceased football players

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) was diagnosed post-mortem in a high proportion of former football players whose brains were donated for research, including 110 of 111 National Football League players, according to a study.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 4:21 pm

Psychopaths are better at learning to lie, say researchers

Individuals with high levels of psychopathic traits are better at learning to lie than individuals who show few psychopathic traits, according to a new study. The findings indicate that people with high psychopathic traits may not have a 'natural' capacity to lie better, but rather are better at learning how to lie, according to the researchers.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 4:21 pm

Study points to penile microbiome as a risk factor for HIV in men

Uncircumcised men with high levels of anaerobic penile bacteria at higher risk for HIV, suggests new research.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 4:21 pm

Cosmologists produce new maps of dark matter dynamics

New maps of dark matter dynamics in the Universe have been produced by a team of international cosmologists, outlines a new report.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 4:21 pm

Molecular hitchhiker on human protein signals tumors to self-destruct

Engineers have found that an existing human protein is an ideal carrier for powerful molecules that can signal tumors to self-destruct.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 4:21 pm

How texting can protect babies from sudden death

Educational videos delivered by text or email successfully encouraged new mothers to use safe sleep practices for their babies, reducing the risk of sudden unexpected infant death, a new study has found.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 4:20 pm

Reversing tissue damage caused by heart attacks?

A new discovery helps to explain how cells which surround blood vessels, called pericytes, stimulate new blood vessels to grow with the hormone 'leptin' playing a key role. Leptin is produced by fat cells which helps to regulate energy balance in the body by inhibiting the appetite. This study may have important implications for the treatment of heart attacks and also for cancer.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 4:20 pm

Colorizing images with deep neural networks

For decades, image colorization has enjoyed an enduring interest from the public. Though not without its share of detractors, there is something powerful about this simple act of adding color to black and white imagery, whether it be a way of bridging memories between the generations, or expressing artistic creativity. However, the process of manually adding color can be very time consuming and require expertise, with typical professional processes taking hours or days per image to perfect. A team of researchers has proposed a new technique to leverage deep networks and AI, which allows novices, even those with limited artistic ability, to quickly produce reasonable results.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 4:13 pm

GM 2Q net earnings fall on loss from sale of European unit

General Motors' second-quarter net profit fell more than 40 percent as the carmaker lost money on the sale of its European unit and took charges for restructuring in India and selling its business in South Africa.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 3:51 pm

Team uses airborne telescopes to study Sun and Mercury during total solar eclipse

A team led by Southwest Research Institute will use airborne telescopes aboard NASA research aircraft to study the solar corona and Mercury's surface during this summer's total solar eclipse. The August 21 observations will provide the clearest images to date of the Sun's outer atmosphere and attempt the first-ever "thermal images" of surface temperature variations on Mercury.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 3:50 pm

Global ransomware attacks on the rise: Europol

Global ransomware attacks soared by over 11 percent in the 12 months to March, Europol reported Tuesday, but specialist tools developed with its partners had helped unlock some 28,000 encrypted devices.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 3:50 pm

New research reveals potential for synthetic materials systems that can 'count' and sense their size

From the smallest cell to humans, most organisms can sense their local population density and change behavior in crowded environments. For bacteria and social insects, this behavior is referred to as "quorum sensing." Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering have utilized computational modeling to mimic such quorum sensing behavior in synthetic materials, which could lead to devices with the ability for self-recognition and self-regulation.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 3:49 pm

Suomi NPP Satellite sees Hilary on verge of major hurricane status

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured an image of Hurricane Hilary as it continued to strengthen. The National Hurricane Center expects Hilary to become a major hurricane on July 27.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 3:47 pm

Cooler cows have healthier calves

Environmental influences affecting cows during pregnancy have been shown to induce life-long physical and metabolic changes in the offspring. To learn more about the effects of heat stress on calves conceived during the summer, Pablo Pinedo, from Colorado State University, and Albert De Vries, from the University of Florida, examined data from more than 150 herds of dairy cattle in Florida, where cows experience hot summers and mild winters.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 3:46 pm

Elevated cholesterol's link with canine cancer includes a better prognosis

Usually thought of as a health detriment, elevated cholesterol may play a role in longer survival times for dogs with a common form of bone cancer.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 3:45 pm

Chasing the Total Solar Eclipse from NASA's WB-57F jets

For most viewers, the Aug. 21, 2017, total solar eclipse will last less than two and half minutes. But for one team of NASA-funded scientists, the eclipse will last over seven minutes. Their secret? Following the shadow of the Moon in two retrofitted WB-57F jet planes.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 3:38 pm

BMW to build electric Mini in Oxford despite looming Brexit

Germany's BMW will make the electric version of its Mini compact cars at its factory in Oxford, England, a decision that comes at a time when automakers are scrutinizing investment plans due to Britain's impending departure from the European Union.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 3:00 pm

A bar magnet creates chaos in plasma

Placing a magnet on your refrigerator might hold up your calendar, but researchers from India's Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics found that placing one outside a plasma chamber causes a localized, fireball-like structure. This work may help understand plasma dynamics under these north-south, or dipolar, magnetic fields. They present their results this week in the journal Physics of Plasmas.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 3:00 pm

Researchers demonstrate new way to produce high-density clusters of aligned quantum sensors in diamond

Imagine a sensor so sensitive it can detect changes in the proton concentration of a single protein, within a single cell. This level of insight would reveal elusive quantum-scale dynamics of that protein's function, potentially even in real time, but demands a sensor with controllable features at a similar scale.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 3:00 pm

Study shows India can integrate 175 GW of renewable energy into its electricity grid

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has confirmed the technical and economic viability of integrating 175 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy into India's grid by 2022.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 2:55 pm

Vatican switches off fountains as Italy battles drought

The historic fountains in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican lay empty Tuesday after the tiny city state turned them off as Italy struggles with a prolonged draught.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 2:55 pm

Nielsen to count viewers for Hulu, YouTube live TV services

Nielsen will begin to tabulate how many people get their live TV from Hulu and YouTube, giving media companies and advertisers a better idea of how many people now stream broadcast networks rather than watching them on traditional TV.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 2:55 pm

Sophisticated medical imaging technique proves useful for automotive industry

Many of today's cars are coated with paint that exhibits a metallic or glittery shine. The exact sparkle and color you see is determined by the distribution and characteristics of tiny metal flakes used in the paint. A new approach based on the medical imaging technique optical coherence tomography (OCT) provides the car industry with a practical way to automatically analyze these metal flakes, which until now have been difficult to image, in order to improve the efficiency of the automotive finishing process.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 2:53 pm

Designing soft robots: Ethics-based guidelines for human-robot interactions

Soft-bodied robots offer the possibility for social engagement, and novel tactile human-robot interactions that require careful consideration of the potential for misplaced emotional attachments and personally and socially destructive behavior by users. The ethical challenges related to human-robot interactions and how these should contribute to soft robotics design in the context of social interaction are discussed in a compelling new article in Soft Robotics.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 2:51 pm

What do Trump's tweets say about his personality?

The Twitter messages of Donald J. Trump, the entrepreneurial businessman turned US president, show that he is creative, competitive and a rule-breaker, but also has neurotic tendencies. An analysis of Trump's tweets and what implications his personality traits have for political leadership are the focus of a study published in Springer's journal Small Business Economics.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 2:50 pm

Venus's turbulent atmosphere

Venus is often referred to as Earth's twin because both planets share a similar size and sur-face composition. Also, they both have atmospheres with complex weather systems. But that is about where the similarities end: Venus is one the most hostile places in our solar system. Its atmosphere consists of 96.5 percent carbon dioxide, with surface temperatures of con-stantly about 500 degrees Celsius. Venus is a slowly rotating planet—it needs about 243 ter-restrial days to complete one rotation. We would expect its atmosphere to rotate with the same rhythm, but in fact it takes only four days. This phenomenon is called superrotation, and it causes substantial turbulences in the planet's atmosphere. The scientists do not yet fully understand its origin and motor, but are working on an answer to this puzzle. The many waves in the planet's atmosphere may play an important role.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 2:43 pm

Nanoparticles loaded with component of common spice kill cancer cells

Attaching curcumin, a component of the common spice turmeric, to nanoparticles can be used to target and destroy treatment-resistant neuroblastoma tumor cells, according to a new study published in Nanoscale.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 2:37 pm

QUT to use drones to find and protect koalas

Queensland University of Technology will deploy drones in a high-tech effort to find and protect koalas in South East Queensland, with the State Government announcing a funding boost for koala conservation.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 2:35 pm

How marriage may protect transgender couples

Transgender people who are married are less likely to experience discrimination than their unmarried counterparts, indicates a national study led by a Michigan State University sociologist.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 2:34 pm

A new synthesis route for alternative catalysts of noble metals

Researchers have developed a new synthesis route for alternative catalysts of noble metals for versatile chemical reactions that could help address environmental concerns.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 2:32 pm

Researchers hit new world efficiency record with perovskite solar cells

A recent study, affiliated with UNIST finds key to produce a new cost-efficient way to produce inorganic-organic hybrid perovskite solar cells (PSCs) which sets a new world-record efficiency performance of 22.1 % in small cells and 19.7 percent in 1-square-centimeter cells.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 2:24 pm

When it comes to tillage, timing matters

With herbicide resistance on the rise, there is a renewed emphasis on soil tillage as a critical component of integrated weed management. Research shows, though, that timing matters. When tillage occurs can significantly impact both weed density and the composition of the weed community that emerges from the weed seed bank.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 2:21 pm

Discovery of why emus are grounded takes flight

Researchers from Monash University's Biomedicine Discovery Institute have helped solve the mystery of how emus became flightless, identifying a gene involved in the development and evolution of bird wings.
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Posted: July 25, 2017, 2:17 pm

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