October 11, 2012

0 Comments

Humans Are Less in Control of Their Brains Than Previously Thought

brain-processes-visual-information

Most of the actions that people take for granted are the result of a set of complex decisions that the brain deals with. The decisions about how to aim the body, how hard to hold handles, and how to raise cups are something that no one often consciously thinks of, yet the brain does all […]

Continue reading...

October 11, 2012

1 Comment

Researchers Calculate That DNA Has a 521 Year Half-Life

dino-feathers-clumped-barbs-amber

A new study of fossils in New Zealand has discovered that cloning dinosaurs or organisms that have been extinct for millions of years is highly improbable, since the half-life of DNA is 521 years. The scientists published their findings in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. After cell death, enzymes start to break […]

Continue reading...

October 11, 2012

0 Comments

Distant Exoplanets form Planetary Syzygy Celestial Alignment

exoplanetary-system

Astronomers have discovered that two exoplanets are overlapping in the skies as they cross their star. The phenomenon is new enough that it doesn’t have a name, but it’s related to a syzygy, which is when a straight line configuration of three celestial bodies is formed in a gravitational system. Astronomers used data from the […]

Continue reading...

October 10, 2012

0 Comments

Graphene Membranes May Help Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Graphene membranes may lead to enhanced natural gas production

A new study shows that ultraviolet-induced oxidative etching can create pores in micrometer-sized graphene membranes, which effectively separates gas molecules of different sizes. Engineering faculty and students at the University of Colorado Boulder have produced the first experimental results showing that atomically thin graphene membranes with tiny pores can effectively and efficiently separate gas molecules […]

Continue reading...

October 10, 2012

1 Comment

Cutting Food Losses Could Feed an Additional Billion People

Halving the food losses

A newly published study in Science of the Total Environment is the first to evaluate the impact of food losses and its relationship to resources on a global scale, finding that an additional one billion people can be fed from our current resources if the food losses could be halved. More efficient use of the […]

Continue reading...

October 10, 2012

0 Comments

A Program to Encode Self-Assembling Collagen Proteins

lab encodes collagen

A newly published study describes the making and testing of collagen based on a new computer program that predicts the most stable structures of nanometer-sized collagen. Houston – The human body is proficient at making collagen. And human laboratories are getting better at it all the time. In a development that could lead to better […]

Continue reading...

October 10, 2012

1 Comment

Astronomers Discover Star Orbiting the Black Hole at Center of the Milky Way

astronomers discover star racing around black hole

A team of scientists discovered a star called S0-102 that orbits the black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy in 11.5 years. This is the shortest known orbit of any star near this black hole and with future measurements it may provide scientists with the opportunity to test Einstein’s theory of general […]

Continue reading...

October 10, 2012

0 Comments

Stanford Scientists Examine How UV Radiation Affects the Protective Functions of Human Skin

UV exposure makes human tissue more likely to tear under pressure

Scientists at Stanford University examined how varying doses of UVB radiation changes the protective functions of human skin, finding that beyond DNA damage and cancer risk, UV rays also change the way the outermost skin cells hold together and respond to strain. Reinhold Dauskardt, professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford, has been studying […]

Continue reading...

October 10, 2012

2 Comments

Curiosity Assesses a Small Plastic Object Found on the Surface of Mars

Curiosity assess a small plastic object on Mars

NASA’s Curiosity rover continues to assess a small plastic object discovered on the surface of Mars. It is believed that the object is something from the rover, not Martian material. Curiosity’s main activity in the 62nd sol of the mission (Oct. 8, 2012) was to image a small, bright object on the ground using the […]

Continue reading...

October 9, 2012

2 Comments

Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded to Quantum Physicists Serge Haroche and David Wineland

noble-prize-physics

Serge Haroche of the College of France, Paris, and David Wineland of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado, have been awarded an equal share of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics. While Wineland used light to measure the quantum state of atoms, Haroche used as a sensitive probe of light particles […]

Continue reading...

October 9, 2012

2 Comments

Amber Captured Cretaceous Period Spider Attacking a Wasp

amber-spider-wasp-original

A Cretaceous period juvenile spider was trapped in amber before it could devour a male wasp caught in its web. This is the first time that such a scene has been found in the fossil record. The scientists published their findings in the journal Historical Biology. This event occurred in the Early Cretaceous period, about […]

Continue reading...

October 9, 2012

0 Comments

Complex Synthetic Biology Circuit Can Detect Four Different Molecules

biological-complex-circuit

Synthetic biologists design circuits using genes as interchangeable parts, allowing them to perform new functions, such as sensing environmental conditions. However, the overall complexity that can be achieved in such circuits has recently been limited by the difficulty in assembling genetic components that don’t interfere with each other. Researchers have been trying to use proteins […]

Continue reading...

October 9, 2012

1 Comment

Medicine Nobel Prize Awarded to Researchers for Reprogramming Mature Cells to a Pluripotent State

pluripotent-cells

The discovery that mature, adult cells can be reprogrammed back to an embryonic-like state has won this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. It was awarded to two pioneers of stem-cell research, John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka. Reprogrammed cells are able to regain pluripotency, the potential to differentiate into many mature cell types. Researchers […]

Continue reading...

October 9, 2012

0 Comments

Herschel Discovers Water Vapor in a Molecular Cloud on the Verge of Star Formation

Taurus molecular cloud

The Herschel space observatory has discovered water vapor in a pre-stellar core in the constellation of Taurus known as Lynds 1544. This is the first detection of water vapor in a molecular cloud on the verge of star formation. ESA’s Herschel space observatory has discovered enough water vapor to fill Earth’s oceans more than 2000 […]

Continue reading...

October 9, 2012

3 Comments

Magnets Used to Eradicate Cancer Cells

magnet-cancer

A group of South Korean researchers has developed a new method to cause cell death in both living fish and lab bowel cancer cells using a magnetic field. This application of electro-magnetism triggers a death signal that leads to programmed cell death. The researchers published their findings in the journal Nature Materials. Treating cancer effectively […]

Continue reading...

October 9, 2012

0 Comments

Growth in Brain’s White Matter Tracts Could Predict Literacy

myelination

Brain connectivity can predict reading skills, thanks to brain scans and the examination of the growth of long-range connections in the brain. These allow researchers to predict how a child’s reading skills will develop. The scientists published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Literacy requires the integration of brain activity […]

Continue reading...

October 9, 2012

0 Comments

Thor’s Helmet Nebula

image-of-Thor’s-Helmet-Nebula

The above image of Thor’s Helmet Nebula was chosen as the winner of a competition during ESO’s 50th anniversary celebration. The nebula is located roughly 15,000 light-years away from Earth and is over 30 light-years across. This VLT image of the Thor’s Helmet Nebula was taken on the occasion of ESO’s 50th Anniversary, 5 October […]

Continue reading...

October 8, 2012

0 Comments

ALS Reveals Fundamental Reactions behind Advanced Battery Technology

reactions behind lithium battery technology revealed

Scientists used the Advanced Light Source at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California to test a novel solid-state version of a lithium-air battery, studying the electrochemical reactions taking place and showing the reactions between lithium and oxygen. Exactly what goes inside advanced lithium-air batteries as they charge and discharge has always been impossible to […]

Continue reading...