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Archaeologists Reveal Factors that Contributed to the Demise of Early Rapa Nui Society

January 28, 2015

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Archaeologists Clarify Factors that Contributed to the Demise of Early Rapa Nui Society

Using flakes of obsidian as a dating tool, a newly published study helps clarify the factors that contributed to the demise of early Rapa Nui society. Long before the Europeans arrived on Easter Island in 1722, the native Polynesian culture known as Rapa Nui showed signs of demographic decline. However, the catalyst has long been […]

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Conformational Changes of EF-G on the Ribosome During tRNA Translocation

January 21, 2015

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Study Shows Ribosomal Motor is Crucial Part of Cellular Protein Factory

New research from Yale University provides insights into the conformational space that EF-G samples on the ribosome and reveals that tRNA translocation on the ribosome is facilitated by a structural transition of EF-G from a compact to an elongated conformation, which can be prevented by the antibiotic dityromycin. The ribosome is the protein-making “factory” within […]

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Earth’s Earliest Primates Lived in Trees

January 20, 2015

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Earth’s Earliest Primates Lived in Trees

New research from Yale University reveals that Earth’s earliest primates lived in trees. Earth’s earliest primates have taken a step up in the world, now that researchers have gotten a good look at their ankles. A new study has found that Purgatorius, a small mammal that lived on a diet of fruit and insects, was […]

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New Exoplanet-Hunting Facility (NGTS) Achieves First Light

January 14, 2015

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New Exoplanet-Hunting Telescopes

The Next-Generation Transit Survey has achieved first light and will focus on discovering Neptune-sized and smaller planets, with diameters between two and eight times that of Earth. The Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) is a wide-field observing system made up of an array of twelve telescopes, each with an aperture of 20 centimeters [1]. This new […]

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New Insights Into Why Some Crystals Jump, While Others Crumble

January 13, 2015

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Why Some Crystals Jump and Others Crumble

A team of researchers has discovered the force that makes the organometallic compound palladium hexafluoroacetylacetonate jump. This thermosalient effect could potentially be applied in artificial muscles and actuators. Crystals are not as stationary as you might think. A crystal of an organometallic compound containing palladium, for example, downright jumps from a hotplate once it reaches […]

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Duke Study Provides Close-Up of Synapse Refinement

January 12, 2015

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Study Pinpoints Autism-Linked Protein for Sculpting Brain Connections

A new study from Duke University provides a close-up of synapse refinement and identifies that the protein hevin is crucial in this process. Durham, North Carolina – Shortly after birth, human brains expand rapidly with the experience of an entirely new world. During this period, neurons in the newborn brain compete with one another to […]

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Fine-Tuning the Chemistry of Materials

January 9, 2015

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Controlling Chemical Binding Properties Improves Structurally Complex Materials like Concrete

Using sophisticated calculations that show how atomic-level forces affect the mechanical properties of a complex particle-based material, researchers from Rice University reveal new ways to improve the chemistry of materials like concrete to make it less prone to cracking and more suitable for specific applications. Even when building big, every atom matters, according to new […]

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Onset of Schizophrenia Linked to Elevated Neural Links

January 7, 2015

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Schizophrenia Onset Linked to Elevated Neural Links

New research from Yale scientists, in conjunction with colleagues at the Huaxi Magnetic Resonance Research Center at Sichuan University in China, reveals that that the onset of the schizophrenia is marked by an abnormal spike in neural connections. In its chronic stage, schizophrenia is typically marked by a dearth of links between brain cells in […]

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Mars Express Image Shows Chasms and Cliffs on Mars

January 5, 2015

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Mars Express Image of Chasms and Cliffs on Mars

This Mars Express image shows a region of Mars filled with cliffs, trenches, faults, giant plateaus and volcanoes. Although Mars is a very alien planet, some aspects of its geology are surprisingly familiar. The flowing cracks and fault-like lines in this image form part of the Claritas Rupes escarpment, a 950 km-long network of steep […]

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New Research Identifies Enzyme Crucial to the Shaping and Division of Brain Cells

January 5, 2015

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Study Identifies Enzyme Crucial to the Shaping and Division of Brain Cells

A newly published study identifies a “cutting” enzyme crucial to the shaping and division of brain cells as well as the replenishment of neural stem cells. The study, appearing online December 17 in the journal Neuron, helps explain the molecular basis of complex brain abnormalities, including small brain size (microcephaly) observed in children who were […]

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Study Shows Digital Books Can Adversely Impact Overall Health

December 31, 2014

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E-Readers Foil Good Night’s Sleep

A newly published study from Harvard Medical School reveals that using light-emitting electronic devices before bedtime can adversely impact overall health. Use of a light-emitting electronic book (LE-eBook) in the hours before bedtime can adversely impact overall health, alertness and the circadian clock, which synchronizes the daily rhythm of sleep to external environmental time cues, […]

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2014 – A look Back on a Significant Year for NASA

December 29, 2014

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Kepler-186f

As 2014 comes to a close this short video and pictures look back on a few of the events that took place this year at NASA. In 2014, NASA took significant steps on the agency’s journey to Mars — testing cutting-edge technologies and making scientific discoveries while studying our changing Earth and the infinite universe […]

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Martian Rock Reveals a Record of the Planet’s Climate

December 23, 2014

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New Analysis of a Martian Rock Reveals Climate Clues

New research on a Martian rock reveals a record of the planet’s climate billions of years ago, back when water likely washed across its surface and any life that ever formed there might have emerged. Scientists from the University of California, San Diego, NASA and the Smithsonian Institution report detailed measurements of minerals within the […]

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New Research Shows Vocalizing Birds Could Tell Us More About Speech Disorders

December 23, 2014

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Birdsong Could Help Solve Stuttering

New genomics research from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory suggests vocalizing birds could tell us more about speech disorders. Think that sparrow whistling outside your bedroom window is nothing more than pleasant background noise? A new paper from a researcher at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) suggests that we can […]

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Yale Study Shows Strong Neighborhood Relationships Can Help Reduce Gun Violence

December 22, 2014

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Yale Study Strong Neighborhood Relationships Can Help Reduce Gun Violence

New research presented at the Institute of Medicine’s Means of Violence workshop shows that strong neighborhood ties can help reduce gun violence. The bonds that tie a neighborhood together can help shield community members from gun violence, according to new findings by Yale School of Medicine researchers in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars […]

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New Computer Neural Networks Identify As Well As The Primate Brain

December 19, 2014

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New Computer Neural Networks Can Visually Identify as Well as the Primate Brain

A new study from MIT neuroscientists shows that the newest computer neural networks can identify visual objects as well as the primate brain. For decades, neuroscientists have been trying to design computer networks that can mimic visual skills such as recognizing objects, which the human brain does very accurately and quickly. Until now, no computer […]

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Targeted Computer Games Improve Neurobiological Dysfunctions of Psychopaths

December 18, 2014

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Study Shows Computer Games Can Change the Behavior of Psychopaths

New research from Yale University shows that computer games can be used to change the behavior of psychopaths, teaching them to consider emotion and other pieces of information when they make decisions. Psychopaths generally do not feel fear and fail to consider the emotions of others, or reflect upon their behavior — traits that make […]

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