December 12, 2012

0 Comments

Barbed Porcupine Quills Could Help Enhance Various Biomedical Devices

Porcupine-BioDome

A porcupine quill only needs half the force of a hypodermic needle in order to pierce skin. This new study also explains why the quills are hard to remove and this discovery could improve a variety of medical instruments. The scientists published their findings in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Porcupine […]

Continue reading...

December 12, 2012

0 Comments

NASA’s Curiosity Rover Nearing Yellowknife Bay

map traces where NASA's Mars rover Curiosity drove

NASA’s Curiosity rover continues to explore the Martian surface, approaching an area called “Yellowknife Bay,” which is a potential location for selecting the first target rock for Curiosity’s hammering drill, bringing the mission’s total driving distance to 598 meters. Pasadena, California — The NASA Mars rover Curiosity drove 63 feet (19 meters) northeastward early Monday, […]

Continue reading...

December 11, 2012

0 Comments

Ancient Cooking Stones Help Reconstruct Earth’s Magnetic History

maori-cooking-stones

Cooking stones that line Maori steam ovens in New Zealand are helping scientists study the history of the Earth’s magnetic field. The cooking process generates so much heat that the magnetic minerals in the stones will realign themselves with the direction of the current field. The scientists presented their findings at the fall meeting of […]

Continue reading...

December 11, 2012

1 Comment

Growth Bands Provide Exact Ages of Crustaceans

crustaceans-age-bands

Crustaceans shed their exoskeleton every year, making it hard for biologists to determine their exact age. Now researchers have found well-hidden growth bands in the animals that persist through molting and yield reliable ages. The scientists published their findings in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. This could help fishery agencies better manage […]

Continue reading...

December 11, 2012

0 Comments

An Invasive Grass Species Spreads Wildfires Quicker

cheatgrass-comparison

New research indicates that an invasive species of grass is making wildfires in the western USA larger, hotter and more frequent. A variety of grasses called cheatgrass dries out quickly, and burns more rapidly that other vegetation. The scientists published their findings in the journal Global Change Biology. The researchers believe that it has fueled […]

Continue reading...

December 11, 2012

2 Comments

Diuretic Drug Could Help Treat Autism

child-with-autism

The drug bumetanide, which has been used for decades to treat high blood pressure and other conditions, has now shown some promise in a small clinical trial for autism spectrum disorder. The drug reduced the overall severity of behavioral symptoms after 3 months of daily treatment. The scientists published their findings in the journal Translational […]

Continue reading...

December 11, 2012

1 Comment

Black Holes Have Properties that Resemble the Dynamics of Solids and Liquids

New knowledge about the properties of black holes

New research showing that black holes have properties that resemble the dynamics of both solids and liquids may help scientists better understand black holes and the physical properties of neutron stars. Black holes are surrounded by many mysteries, but now researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute, among others, have come up with new groundbreaking theories […]

Continue reading...

December 11, 2012

3 Comments

Radiation Exposure Could Be Countered By Ingesting Ex-Rad Pills

nuclear-bomb

The US Department of Defense has been developing pills that will protect humans from radiation. The pills are named Ex-Rad and were developed by Onconova Therapeutics in conjunction with the DoD. The scientists published their findings in the journal Radiation Research. Once humans have been exposed to radiation, there hasn’t been much they could do […]

Continue reading...

December 11, 2012

0 Comments

First New Biological Structure Solved With a Free-Electron Laser

X-ray Laser Helps Fight Sleeping Sickness

Scientists at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory are using X-ray lasers to determine the structures of biological molecules that are important for human health, solving the first new biological structure with a free-electron laser. Menlo Park, California — An international group of scientists working at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has […]

Continue reading...

December 11, 2012

0 Comments

Roots Show Similar Growth Patterns in Space

(Top) The root tips of space-grown plants showed a tendency to skew a bit more than their earthbound counterparts (bottom) when they encountered an object. Credit: NASA

Long periods in space can be detrimental to human biology, but it wasn’t exactly known how the lack of gravity affected plants. A new study suggests that space doesn’t seem to affect certain aspects of root growth. The scientists published their findings in the journal BMC Plant Biology. In 2010, researchers sent petri dishes loaded […]

Continue reading...

December 11, 2012

0 Comments

Asteroid Collision Led to the Mass Extinction of Lizards and Snakes

Obamadon gracilis

A newly published study details the mass extinction of lizards and snakes that occurred after an asteroid struck the Earth 65.5 million years ago, finding that as many as 83 percent of all snake and lizard species died off including the newly named species, Obamadon gracilis. The asteroid collision widely thought to have killed the […]

Continue reading...

December 10, 2012

0 Comments

River Formation Due to Interplay Between Incision and Soil Creep

river-formation-perron

The precise conditions that cause rivers to form branches have long been a mystery, until now. A new study pinpoints two opposing physical forces that work together to produce the intricate patterns of rivers. This could help scientists understand rivers at all scales, even on other worlds. The scientists published their findings in the journal […]

Continue reading...