Science news of interest...


16 September 2014

Medicos find more evidence of baldness/prostate cancer link


Compared to men with no baldness, men with a frontal pattern of baldness at age 45 have a 40 percent increased risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer later in life...


9 September 2014

Strangely, the loss of forests may actually be cooling the planet


An intriguing study from Yale University shows that large-scale forest losses over the last 150 years - largely through the conversion of forests to cropland - produced a net global cooling effect of about 0.1 degrees Celsius...


4 September 2014

Scientists demo first direct brain-to-brain communication between humans


Using non-invasive techniques, an international team of researchers have demonstrated direct brain-to-brain communication between two human subjects located 5,000 miles apart...


29 August 2014

Quantum camera takes pic using only entangled photons


Using a new quantum imaging technique, a picture has been captured without the camera detecting the light that was used to illuminate the subject. Instead, the detector relies on entangled photons that have never touched the subject...


27 August 2014

Less domestic violence for pot smoking marrieds


New research that examined incidences of domestic violence supports the perspective that marijuana use by couples decreases the likelihood of intimate partner violence...


21 August 2014

Viable ecosystems found in subglacial lake deep beneath West Antarctic Ice Sheet


Analysis of water samples taken from subglacial Lake Whillans - hidden beneath a half-mile of ice in Antarctica - has revealed a diverse and exotic microbial community...


15 August 2014

Largest ever self-organizing swarm of robots created


Harvard computer scientists have demonstrated how a self-organizing swarm of 1,024 small robots can collaborate to enact complex behaviors...


14 August 2014

Japanese scientists hijack neural signaling to bypass spinal injuries


Spinal cord injuries that result in paraplegia may one day be treatable using a technique that bypasses the damaged neural pathways that connect the brain to the spinal locomotor center...


13 August 2014

Could tainted cookware be poisoning an entire continent?


Despite the ban on lead in gasoline, blood lead levels in African nations have remained stubbornly high. Now, researchers think they might know why. Cookware made in Africa from recycled metals is leaching lead into food in quantities nearly 200 times the levels permissible in the United States...


7 August 2014

Stunning photos of comet 67P at the end of Rosetta's decade-long journey


After a 10 year journey, the Rosetta spacecraft has rendezvoused with the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in the region of space between Mars and Jupiter. Rushing towards the inner solar system at around 30,000 miles per hour, the strangely shaped comet is presenting Rosetta's controllers with multiple challenges in establishing an orbit so that the spacecraft's instrument package can be deployed...


6 August 2014

Flores' "hobbit" not a new human species, say detractors


Back in 2004, the excavation of unusual skeletal remains on the island of Flores, yielded what the discoverers claimed was "the most important find in human evolution for 100 years." But the so-called hobbit may not be a new human species at all, say the authors of a new paper, and may simply be the remains of an individual with Down syndrome...


4 August 2014

Did feminization create modern humans?


Duke University anthropologists have been measuring more than 1,400 ancient and modern skulls, leading them to theorize that modern humans emerged concurrently with a lowering of testosterone levels...


31 July 2014

Physicists map quantum to classical collapse


Extracting information from a system as it collapses from a quantum state to a classical state was never considered possible by the original founders of quantum theory, but Berkeley physicists have managed to extract information from a system continuously throughout its change of state, an achievement they say is like monitoring Schrodinger's cat through the whole life or death process...


29 July 2014

Compelling new evidence for artificial lighting's role in breast cancer


Scientists have found that for laboratory rats with human breast tumors, exposure to dim light at night made the tumors resistant to the breast cancer drug tamoxifen. The new research is the first to show that a significant correlation exists between melatonin levels and the effectiveness of tamoxifen in treating breast cancer...


24 July 2014

Locate alien civilizations by their pollution, suggest astrophysicists


Harvard-Smithsonian scientists speculate that little green men may not be "green" at all, and finding them might be a simple matter of looking for industrial pollution in the atmospheres of exoplanets...


14 July 2014

Prehistoric token "bookkeeping" persisted long into age of written language


An archaeological dig in Turkey has uncovered a large number of clay tokens that were used as records of trade before the advent of writing around 3,000 B.C. But the newly found tokens show the rudimentary accounting system didn't die out with the invention of writing, and persisted for at least another 2,000 years...


10 July 2014

New fossil interpretation challenges notion that birds are descended from dinosaurs


Re-examination of a sparrow-sized fossil from China has led researchers to challenge the commonly held belief that birds evolved from ground-dwelling dinosaurs that gained the ability to fly...


8 July 2014

Scientists uncover biggest-ever flying bird


The fossilized remains of an extinct giant bird with a wingspan of 24 feet place the creature above theoretical upper limits for powered flight in animals, leaving scientists to wonder how the enormous bird managed to take to the air...


4 July 2014

Biological basis for magic mushrooms' mind-expansion revealed


For the first time, researchers have measured the level of entropy for different networks in the brain under the influence of psilocybin. They found that activity in the more primitive brain network linked to emotional thinking became more pronounced - a pattern of activity similar to that observed in people who are dreaming...


1 July 2014

Antihistamines may be next blockbuster anti-cancer drug


Scientists have established a connection between two diseases that aren't commonly linked: allergy and cancer. The new research shows that antihistamines appear to have "significant" anti-cancer properties...


26 June 2014

African music preferred by chimps


Chimpanzees like to listen to the different rhythms of music from Africa and India, but prefer silence to music from the West according to new research...


24 June 2014

Software scans family photos to diagnose rare disorders


Software that scans and analyzes family snapshots could help doctors diagnose which rare genetic disorder a child is suffering from, say Oxford University researchers...


20 June 2014

UV light can be addictive, say scientists


Why do people still spend extended periods in the sun when the dangers of skin cancer are so well recognized? A new study adds important support to the theory that ultraviolet light can actually be addictive, triggering opiate-like effects in the body...


19 June 2014

Animals conceal sickness in mating situations


In research that has implications for our understanding of how infectious diseases spread in human populations, researchers from the University of Zurich have been studying how sick animals will conceal their illness when mating opportunities arise...


17 June 2014

Algae turn quantum coherence on and off


A team of researchers has discovered how algae that survive in very low levels of light are able to switch on-and-off a quantum phenomenon known as coherence. The function of coherence in the algae remains a mystery, but the researchers think it could help the organisms harvest energy from the Sun much more efficiently. They add that working out its precise role in a living organism could lead to technological advances, such as much-improved organic solar cells...


13 June 2014

Feminization of men causing obesity epidemic, say Aussie researchers


An imbalance of female sex hormones among men in Western nations may be contributing to high levels of male obesity, as men artificially imitate the female pattern of weight gain...


11 June 2014

Singing primates and tweeting birds: Uncovering human language's deep origins


By re-examining contemporary human language, MIT researchers believe they can uncover how human communication could have evolved from the systems underlying the older communication modes of birds and primates...


10 June 2014

Could "free will" arise from random brain noise?


Free will, the ability that we believe we have to make choices - and mistakes - might arise from simple random fluctuations in the brain's background electrical noise, say neuroscientists from the University of California, Davis...


9 June 2014

Human face evolved to be punched


A controversial new paper contends that human faces have evolved over time to minimize injury from punches to the face during fights. The new theory presents an alternative view to the long-held hypothesis that the robustness of our faces resulted from the need to chew hard-to-crush foods...


3 June 2014

Laser sensor busts drunk drivers from outside car


Most health and law enforcement agencies would agree that the effective early detection of drivers under the influence of alcohol would significantly reduce the number of fatal car accidents. To date, this has been only been possible by stopping individual vehicles and requiring the driver to breath into a device that measures the alcohol content of the driver's breath. Now, however, researchers in Poland have shown that a simple laser device can measure alcohol vapor levels in a moving vehicle...


30 May 2014

Domestication of dogs may explain success of early humans


A new analysis of European archaeological sites suggests that early humans working with the earliest domestic dogs were extremely successful at killing large animals. The success of this dog-human hunting combo could explain the mysterious, massive collections of mammoth bones found in Europe...


27 May 2014

Could heat from a Martian volcano create a habitable environment?


Scientists think that the heat from a volcano erupting beneath an immense glacier might have created large lakes of liquid water on Mars in the relatively recent past. And where there's water, there is also the possibility of life...


23 May 2014

Scientists map mental illness' effects on life expectancy


A new study by researchers at the University of Oxford shows that mental illnesses reduce life expectancy by 10-20 years, a loss of years that's equivalent to or worse than that for heavy smoking. Why then, ask the researchers, is mental health much less of a public health priority?


21 May 2014

Vitamin E in canola linked to asthma, lung inflammation


A new study shows the drastically different health effects of vitamin E depending on its form. The study authors say a vitamin E variant known as gamma-tocopherol - found in soybean, corn, and canola oils - was found to be associated with decreased lung function in humans...