22 May 2013|
Physics-defying magnetic field behavior in solar flares explained
When a solar flare filled with charged particles erupts from the Sun, its magnetic lines of force sometimes break apart and then quickly reconnect in a way that has mystified astrophysicists, but an explanation for this flouting of a widely accepted rule of physics may be in the offing...
21 May 2013|
The pirate ant: scientists mull bizarre pigmentation of new species
Scientists working in the Philippines have discovered a new enigmatic species of ant with a bizarre pigmentation pattern that has no equivalent anywhere else on the planet...
20 May 2013|
Humans, as well as bats, have echolocation skills
Researchers have been investigating how blind and visually impaired people can use echolocation, the navigational sonar used by bats and dolphins, to determine the location of objects...
19 May 2013|
Medicinal clays may be new weapon against antibiotic-resistant infections
Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute is trying a new approach to developing effective antibacterial agents - one that draws on a naturally occurring substance recognized since antiquity for its medicinal properties: clay...
16 May 2013|
"Flowers" self-assemble from basic chemistry
By simply manipulating chemical gradients in a beaker of fluid, researchers at Harvard have found they can control the growth behavior of crystals to create beautiful, precisely tailored nanostructures...
16 May 2013|
Marijuana users have smaller waists, better blood sugar control
Pot smokers have 16 percent lower fasting insulin levels compared to non-users, say researchers examining the relationship between marijuana use and fasting insulin, glucose, and insulin resistance...
15 May 2013|
Stunning new species of palm-pitviper discovered
Herpetologists have identified a striking new species of highly dangerous green palm-pitviper that lives within a cloud forest reserve in northern Honduras...
13 May 2013|
New technique for finding distant planets makes its first discovery
For the first time, astrophysicists from Tel Aviv University and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have discovered an exoplanet using a new technique that relies on Einstein's special theory of relativity...
12 May 2013|
Liquid hydrogen fueled drone shatters endurance record
Researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory have set a new continuous flight record with an electric drone powered by a fuel cell running from liquid hydrogen in cryogenic storage...
9 May 2013|
Hubble identifies Earth-like debris in white dwarfs' atmospheres
The Hubble Space Telescope has found the building blocks of Earth-like planets - silicon and carbon - in an unlikely place: the atmospheres of a pair of burnt-out white dwarf stars...
9 May 2013|
Pear-shaped atoms may hold clues to unsolved physics
Physicists have found the first direct evidence of exotic pear shaped nuclei in atoms, a discovery that could advance the search for a new fundamental force in nature and explain why the Big Bang created more matter than antimatter...
7 May 2013|
Climate change, not humans, wiped out megafauna, claim Aussie scientists
New research challenges the notion that humans were responsible for the demise of the gigantic animals that once roamed Australia, pointing the finger instead at climate change...
7 May 2013|
Nocebo effect behind electrosmog illnesses, say European researchers
An investigation into the purported health risks associated with electromagnetic fields has shown that media reports alone may cause suggestible people to develop symptoms of a disease...
5 May 2013|
Madagascar's dwarf lemurs shed light on tropical climate hibernation
By comparing the hibernation habits of eastern dwarf lemurs and their western counterparts, researchers hope to better understand what sends animals into hibernation mode...
2 May 2013|
Tiny robotic insect makes first controlled flight
Inspired by the biology of a fly, with submillimeter-scale anatomy and two wafer-thin wings that flap 120 times per second, this tiny robotic insect that's half the size of a paperclip represents the cutting edge of micro-manufacturing...
1 May 2013|
Scientists merge electronics with bio-printed ear
Using off-the-shelf 3D printing tools, Princeton scientists have built a functional cell-cultured ear that can "hear" radio frequencies...
30 April 2013|
Study reveals "staggering" over-diagnosis and over-treatment of depression
Researchers assessing adults with clinician-identified depression found that when evaluated for major depressive episodes using a structured interview, only 38 percent of the subjects met the actual criteria for depression...
29 April 2013|
Giant vortex at Saturn's north pole finally revealed
The Cassini spacecraft has provided scientists with the first close-up views of a massive hurricane-like vortex swirling around Saturn's north pole. The vortex - about 20 times larger than the average hurricane on Earth - spins inside a large, mysterious, six-sided weather pattern which astronomers call "the hexagon"...
28 April 2013|
Computer scientists mull origins of evolvability
Over time, organisms appear to become increasingly capable of evolving in response to changes in the environment, but computer boffins say the traditional explanation - competition to survive in nature - may not actually be necessary for evolvability to increase...
25 April 2013|
Evolution making women taller, thinner
As well as living longer and having fewer children, women are becoming taller and slimmer, but researchers aren't sure why selection has shifted from shorter and stouter women to taller and thinner ones...
24 April 2013|
Ecotourism wildcard in African disease cocktail
Somewhat counter-intuitively, protected areas of Africa where numbers of humans are limited appear to also be hotspots for the exchange of fecal matter between animals and humans. The researchers behind the discovery say it could have important implications for antibiotic resistance and the emergence of new diseases...
23 April 2013|
Hubble snaps pic of faraway comet ISON
Hubble has given astronomers their clearest view yet of ISON, a newly-discovered sun-grazer comet that could light up the sky later this year...
22 April 2013|
Genetic circuit balances individual freedom and collective good
An intriguing investigation of bacterial genetic circuitry indicates that even the simplest creatures can make difficult choices that strike a balance between selflessness and selfishness...
21 April 2013|
Rising CO2 giving fish super-hearing
Ocean acidification is known to negatively impact a wide variety of marine animals, but new research indicates that a huge increase in hearing sensitivity for fish could also be one of the effects...
18 April 2013|
Ultracheap tactile sensor for robots unveiled
Giving robots a sense of touch has traditionally been an expensive and complex exercise with results that were often less than useful. Now, however, a newly developed tactile sensor using off-the-shelf cell phone components could dramatically change how robots interact with the world around them...
17 April 2013|
"Nanosponge" removes toxins from bloodstream
Nanoengineers say they have created a "nanosponge" that is capable of safely removing a broad class of dangerous substances from the bloodstream - including toxins produced by MRSA, E. coli, venomous snakes, and bees...
16 April 2013|
Dramatic changes in bacteria following male circumcision could explain HIV protective effect
Removing the foreskin causes significant changes in the bacterial community of the penis, according to a study that also suggests how these changes offer protection from HIV infection...
15 April 2013|
Sexual happiness means keeping up with the Joneses
A new analysis of national data suggests that sex is like income: people are generally happy when they keep pace with the Joneses and they're even happier if they get a bit more...
14 April 2013|
Successful transplant of bioengineered rat kidney
Bioengineered rat kidneys have successfully produced urine both in a laboratory apparatus and after being transplanted into living animals. The scientists behind the breakthrough believe that with further work, bioengineered kidneys could someday replace donor kidneys...
11 April 2013|
This is your brain on iTunes
Researchers have been using an MRI scanner to work out what happens in our brain when we decide to purchase a piece of music after we hear it for the first time. The study pinpoints the specific brain activity that makes new music rewarding and predicts the decision to purchase music...
10 April 2013|
Radiation exposure from "dark lightning" quantified
Physicists have developed a new model of how thunderstorms manage to produce high-energy gamma-ray radiation and what the likely risk is for air travelers who happen to be near the lightning strike...
9 April 2013|
Rapid evolution tied to environmental change
Environmental change can drive hard-wired evolutionary changes in animal species in a matter of generations, report ecologists from UmeŚ University and the University of Leeds. The new findings, which overturn the common assumption that evolution occurs slowly, could shed light in areas such as the management of fisheries, where human actions can result in major changes to an entire populationís environment...
8 April 2013|
Couch potatoes born that way
Research from the University of Missouri indicates certain genetic traits may predispose people to being more or less motivated to exercise and remain active...
7 April 2013|
Nose loses monopoly on sense of smell
In a discovery suggesting that odors may have a far more important role in life than previously supposed, scientists have found that heart, blood, lung, and other areas of the body have the same olfactory receptors for sensing odors that exist in the nose...