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Science News

Science News

News and discussion about interesting topics from the world of science.
Asteroid Smashup Observed By Spitzer Could Result In Planet Formation -
Asteroid Smashup Observed By Spitzer Could Result In Planet Formation
Meng and experts from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), the University of Tokyo and several other institutions explained that this type of behavior was “consistent with the occurrence of a violent impact that produced vapor out of which a thick cloud of silicate spherules condensed that were then ground into dust by collisions,” and suggest that their observations offer a sneak-peak into the process of forming rocky planets such as Earth. - Halil from Bookmarklet
Ebola Drug Saves Infected Monkeys - Scientific American -
Ebola Drug Saves Infected Monkeys - Scientific American
"ZMapp, the drug that has been used to treat seven patients during the current Ebola epidemic in West Africa, can completely protect monkeys against the virus, research has found." - imabonehead from Bookmarklet
"The study authors say that ZMapp works in an “advanced” stage of the disease. The drug was able to save one monkey that had bleeding under the skin affecting more than 70% of its body, and other monkeys that had enough virus in their blood to cause severe symptoms in people, says study co-author Gary Kobinger, an infectious-disease researcher at the Public Health Agency of Canada in... more... - imabonehead
China pursues 52 km collider project -
China pursues 52 km collider project
Particle physicists in China have unveiled plans to build a huge 52 km particle collider that would smash electrons and positrons together to study the Higgs boson in unprecedented detail. The so-called “Higgs factory”, if given government approval, would be built by 2028 and put the country at the forefront of international particle physics. - Halil from Bookmarklet
“They maintain that this will be a Chinese project, although they also admit they don’t have the people to build it themselves, so assistance from the international community would be required,” says Foster. - Halil
It'll be huge... - Halil
After almost 80 years, a woman has won the Fields Medal. -
After almost 80 years, a woman has won the Fields Medal.
At a ceremony in Seoul last week, Maryam Mirzakhani, professor of mathematics at Stanford University, became the first woman in history to be awarded mathematics’ highest honour, the Fields Medal. - Halil from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Pesticide linked to three generations of disease: Methoxychlor causes epigenetic changes -- ScienceDaily -
Pesticide linked to three generations of disease: Methoxychlor causes epigenetic changes -- ScienceDaily
"Washington State University researchers say ancestral exposures to the pesticide methoxychlor may lead to adult onset kidney disease, ovarian disease and obesity in future generations. "What your great-grandmother was exposed to during pregnancy, like the pesticide methoxychlor, may promote a dramatic increase in your susceptibility to develop disease, and you will pass this on to your grandchildren in the absence of any continued exposures," says Michael Skinner, WSU professor and founder of its Center for Reproductive Biology. He and his colleagues document their findings in a paper published online in PLOS ONE." - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Raising extinct species may bring balance to wildlife -
I've said this before, lets save what we have instead of pumping untold millions in trying to resurrect what's been lost. If it's a recent extinction that has huge ecological benefit, then by all means bring it back, but we must save/preserve what we have or we're doomed to repeat the same mistakes, especially if governments think that all we need to do is mix a few test-tubes to bring back lost wildlife as a result of negligent conservation polices. We must never let governments become complacent and think science can save the day when all we need is to be more caring/protective about the environment. - Halil from Bookmarklet
A new assessment from Europe's CryoSat spacecraft shows Greenland to be losing about 375 cu km of ice each year. Added to the discharges coming from Antarctica, it means Earth's two big ice sheets are now dumping roughly 500 cu km of ice in the oceans annually. "The contribution of both ice sheets together to sea level rise has doubled since 2009," said Angelika Humbert from Germany's Alfred Wegener Institute. "To us, that's an incredible number," she told BBC News. - Halil from Bookmarklet
Mark H
Natural News Blogs Treating Ebola with Homeopathy... and it's not satire. -
"How to Make Your Own Ebola Remedy. What you need: 1. A face mask and gloves 2. Two bottles (50 ml up to 500 ml glass or plastic bottles) with caps 3. Clean water (mineral or tap water) 4. An Ebola sample: some spit or other disease product, such as blood, from a person infected with Ebola, or who is suspected sick with it. Any small quantity will do, even a pinhead. 5. An alcoholic liquid, such as whisky, brandy, rum, etc. 6. Half an hour of your time." - Mark H from Bookmarklet
Up to 30,000 in need of Ebola drugs by now, analysis shows - No approved drugs exist though several are under development and the World Health Organisation last week gave the green light for experimental medicines to be used to fight the deadly disease. - Halil
Running Could Add 3 Years to Your Lifespan – WebMD -
"Runners may live an average three years longer than people who don't run, according to new research. But, the best news from this study is that it appears that you can reap this benefit even if you run at slow speeds for mere minutes every day, the 15-year study suggests." - imabonehead from Bookmarklet
Mark H
"ESA’s Venus Express spacecraft has climbed to a new orbit following its daring aerobraking experiment, and will now resume observations of this fascinating planet for at least a few more months. The orbit-raising followed a month of aerobraking that saw the spacecraft surf in and out of the atmosphere at altitudes typically between 131 km and 135 km for a couple of minutes on each of its closest approaches to the planet. Before, normal operations involved an elliptical orbit every 24 hours that took Venus Express from 66 000 km over the south pole down to around 250 km at the north pole, just above the top of the atmosphere. But, after eight years and with propellant running low, the Venus Express team began a daring aerobraking campaign, dipping the craft progressively lower into the atmosphere on its closest approaches." - Mark H from Bookmarklet
"This orbit will slowly decay again under gravity, but with only a few kilograms of fuel at most now remaining further altitude-raising manoeuvres may not be possible. If no further corrections are made, Venus Express will probably reenter the atmosphere again in December, but this time for good, ending the mission.In the meantime, having survived not only the aerobraking experiment but... more... - Mark H
All 8 Pangolin Species Being Eaten into Extinction | Extinction Countdown, Scientific American Blog Network -
All 8 Pangolin Species Being Eaten into Extinction | Extinction Countdown, Scientific American Blog Network
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"A few days ago customs officials in Vietnam raided a cargo ship from Sierra Leone and seized an astonishing 1.4 tons of dried pangolin scales. The grisly discovery came from the bodies of as many as 10,000 dead pangolins, the scaly anteaters of Africa and Asia that are being hunted into extinction for their meat and the supposed medicinal qualities of their scales. Experts estimate that more than one million wild pangolins have been caught, killed and traded in the past decade, making them the most heavily trafficked group of species in the world." - imabonehead from Bookmarklet
:( - rönin
Lack of Sleep May Lead To False Memories - Dumb Out | Dumb Out -
Lack of Sleep May Lead To False Memories - Dumb Out | Dumb Out
"According to a recent study published in Psychological Science, a journal of Association for Psychological Science, regular lack of sleep may lead to increase false memories." - imabonehead from Bookmarklet
"If you are unable to sleep for sufficient period of time, you may have your mood affected. Lack of sleep leads to irritability as well as anxiousness during daytime. To add to this, the study conducted by Steven J. Frenda of Department of Psychology and Social Behavior at UCI states that those who go do not get sufficient sleep are likely to remember untrue details." - imabonehead
Paging Louis Gray... - Spidra Webster
I can attest to this. 5 weeks of crappy sleep because my MIL and I find that daily household things I thought I asked for or did didn't happen. - Anika
I remember this. - Louis Gray
New study confirms water vapor as global warming amplifier -
New study confirms water vapor as global warming amplifier
we're are apparently running out of fresh drinking water and this may well be the explanation - Halil from Bookmarklet
New stem cell operation could revolutionise treatment of knee injuries | Science | -
New stem cell operation could revolutionise treatment of knee injuries | Science |
"Surgeons have pioneered a new knee operation that could prevent the development of arthritis and extend sporting careers. The procedure, which is being trialled at Southampton general hospital, involves coating damaged cartilage with stem cells, taken from a patient's own hip, and surgical glue. Known as Abicus (autologous bone marrow implantation of cells University Hospital Southampton), the technique, if successful, will regenerate the remaining tissue and create a permanent "like-for-like" replacement for the first time." - imabonehead from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
SAGE Publications busts “peer review and citation ring,” 60 papers retracted | Retraction Watch -
SAGE Publications busts “peer review and citation ring,” 60 papers retracted | Retraction Watch
"This one deserves a “wow.” SAGE Publishers is retracting 60 articles from the Journal of Vibration and Control after an investigation revealed a “peer review and citation ring” involving a professor in Taiwan. Here’s the beginning of a statement from SAGE: London, UK (08 July 2014) – SAGE announces the retraction of 60 articles implicated in a peer review and citation ring at the Journal of Vibration and Control (JVC). The full extent of the peer review ring has been uncovered following a 14 month SAGE-led investigation, and centres on the strongly suspected misconduct of Peter Chen, formerly of National Pingtung University of Education, Taiwan (NPUE) and possibly other authors at this institution. In 2013 the then Editor-in-Chief of JVC, Professor Ali H. Nayfeh,and SAGE became aware of a potential peer review ring involving assumed and fabricated identities used to manipulate the online submission system SAGE Track powered by ScholarOne Manuscripts™. Immediate action was taken to... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Clothing increases the risk of indirect ballistic fractures [J Orthop Surg Res. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI -
Clothing increases the risk of indirect ballistic fractures [J Orthop Surg Res. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI
"BACKGROUND: Current literature has shown the mechanism of how indirect fractures occur but has not determined what factors increase the risks of such fractures. The objective of this study is thus to determine the effect of clothing and soft tissue thickness on the risk of indirect fracture formation. METHODS: Twenty-five fresh red deer femora embedded in ballistic gelatine were shot with varying distances off their medial cortex with a 5.56 × 45 mm North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) bullet while being filmed with a slow-motion video. We compared the effect of two different gelatine depths and the effect of denim cloth laid onto the impact surface of the moulds. RESULTS: Bullet passage in thinner moulds failed to cause fracture because the bullet exited the mould before a large expanding temporary cavity was produced. Clothing dramatically altered the size and depth of the expanding cavity, as well as increased lateral pressures, resulting in more severe fractures with greater... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
USC Researchers Create Natural Battery -
USC Researchers Create Natural Battery
"Scientists at the University of Southern California created a battery using quinones, organic compounds that can be found in nature. Plants, fungi, bacteria and some animals contain them. “These are the types of molecules that nature uses for energy transfer,” explained USC professor Sri Narayan. The researchers derived their quinones from naturally-occurring hydrocarbons. The point of using them is their much lower cost. Currently, it is more common for flow batteries to use metals, such as Vanadium, but the cost is higher for metals. Redox flow design The new battery is based on a familiar design: the redox flow battery. This type of battery can use water as an electrolyte that also contains some dissolved electroactive chemicals. Narayan and Surya Prakash at USC wanted to use an organic compound to dissolve in water for their electrolyte. A large redox flow battery has been operating successfully at a California almond farm to store energy generated by a solar array. The Enervault... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Study finds people would rather electrocute themselves than spend 15 minutes alone with their thoughts. - Seriously, Science? | -
Study finds people would rather electrocute themselves than spend 15 minutes alone with their thoughts. - Seriously, Science? |
"This study–published in the tip top journal Science, no less–found that when participants were asked to spend 6 to 15 minutes in a room by themselves with no distractions, most had a very difficult time doing it. In fact, the authors found that “simply being alone with their own thoughts for 15 min was apparently so aversive that it drove many participants to self-administer an electric shock that they had earlier said they would pay to avoid.” (Unsurprisingly, more men than women chose to shock themselves.)" - Eivind from Bookmarklet
Zap. - Stephen Mack from iPhone
weird sample group. i don't mind being alone with my thoughts, it's what we did before electronic toys were everywhere (and i'm including television and recorded music here). WTF is wrong with ppl who can't bear to examine the contents of their own minds? and i say this as someone with major depression and panic disorder. really, what's sitting in their heads that's this awful, or are they just THAT easily bored? - Big Joe Silence
I was wondering why this sounded familiar - is this a meta study? I don't find it particularly surprising - most people who aren't guests of the penal system are rarely without some sort of stimuli to occupy their minds. Something to look at, smell, touch, eat - a room full of colors, pictures, textures. Ambient noise from your home and environment. There's a reason why solitary confinement is so punishing. - Jennifer Dittrich
They also studied college students not people of various ages. It was 100 people and they excluded one guy who shocked himself a ridiculous amount of times because it was "weird." - Zulema ❧ spicy cocoa tart from Android
so basically the study was a load of crap. - Big Joe Silence
"To see whether the difficulty with “just thinking” is distinctive to college students, in study 9 we recruited community participants at a farmer’s market and a local church. The participants ranged in age from 18 to 77 (median age=48.0 years)." And it's not necessarily "wrong" to remove outliers. - Eivind from Android
I've spent hours staring at the ceiling and just thinking. It's a nice break from doing stuff all the freaking time. No comment on study, just throwing that out here. :) - Jenny H. from Android
I can spend 15 minutes alone thinking about electrocution. - טעות בזיהוי
If I have to be realistic and honest, yep, I'd be among those who opted for electricity. - grizabella from Android
Mark H
Sen. Brandon Smith has important things to say about climate change, Mars -
"Brandon Smith: 'As you (Energy & Environment Cabinet official) sit there in your chair with your data, we sit up here in ours with our data and our constituents and stuff behind us. I don’t want to get into the debate about climate change, but I will simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There are no factories on Mars that I’m aware of.'" - Mark H from Bookmarklet
"First of all, I did not make up that quote, it’s quite real. Secondly, while the average temperature on Earth is roughly 58 degrees Fahrenheit, the average temperature on Mars is approximately -80 degrees Fahrenheit. In Sen. Smith’s defense, he’s only off by about 138 degrees or so, which happens sometimes." - Mark H
Newly Discovered Wasp Plugs Nest With Cork of Ant Corpses – Phenomena: Not Exactly Rocket Science -
Newly Discovered Wasp Plugs Nest With Cork of Ant Corpses – Phenomena: Not Exactly Rocket Science
"For specific hints, you need to travel to the forests of China. There, Michael Staab from the University of Freiburg has discovered a new species of wasp that protects its young by stuffing the entrance to its nests with ant cadavers. The practice reminded him of European ossuaries—buildings like the amazing Sedlec Ossuary that are piled high and deep with human skeletons. In honour of these sites, Staab named the insect Deuteragenia ossarium. It’s the bone-house wasp." - imabonehead from Bookmarklet
Extinct Humans Passed High-Altitude Gene to Tibetans – Phenomena: Not Exactly Rocket Science -
Extinct Humans Passed High-Altitude Gene to Tibetans – Phenomena: Not Exactly Rocket Science
"Tibetan people can survive on the roof of the world—one of the most inhospitable places that anybody calls home—thanks to a gene that they inherited from a group of extinct humans called Denisovans, who were only discovered four years ago thanks to 41,000-year-old DNA recovered from a couple of bones that would fit in your palm. If any sentence can encapsulate why the study of human evolution has never been more exciting, it’s that one." - imabonehead from Bookmarklet
"In 2010, Rasmus Nielsen from the University of California, Berkeley found that Tibetan people have a mutation in a gene called EPAS1, which helps them handle low levels of oxygen. Thanks to this mutation, they can cope with air that has 40 percent less oxygen than what most of us inhale, and they can live on a 4,000-metre-high plateau where most of us would fare poorly. To date, this... more... - imabonehead
BBC News - Deep dives of devil rays solve 'mystery' of warm brain -
BBC News - Deep dives of devil rays solve 'mystery' of warm brain
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"A new study shows that devil rays plunge nearly 2km below the ocean surface, making some of the deepest and fastest dives ever observed in the sea." - imabonehead from Bookmarklet
Bacteria Help Explain Why Stress, Fear Trigger Heart Attacks -
"Scientists believe they have an explanation for the axiom that stress, emotional shock, or overexertion may trigger heart attacks in vulnerable people. Hormones released during these events appear to cause bacterial biofilms on arterial walls to disperse, allowing plaque deposits to rupture into the bloodstream, according to research published in published today in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology." - imabonehead from Bookmarklet
Changing farming practices could cut the intensity of heat waves | Ars Technica -
Changing farming practices could cut the intensity of heat waves | Ars Technica
"As the Earth's climate continues to warm, the elevated temperatures can put a strain on agriculture. Although an increase in the average temperature can harm crops, it's the details obscured by that average that can cause the biggest problems: more—and more extended—periods of extreme temperatures often harm crops far more than raising the typical temperature a fraction of a degree." - imabonehead from Bookmarklet
"Fortunately, as a team of Swiss and French researchers have determined, the opposite may also be true. They've identified a simple agricultural practice that does little to alter the average temperature of farming areas. But it does have a strong effect on extreme temperatures, lowering them by nearly 2°C. That should be enough to keep existing crops viable for longer in the face of future climate change." - imabonehead
"The technique in question is called "no-till farming," and it simply involves leaving the debris from previous crops on the surface of the fields rather than plowing the fields and exposing the soil underneath. Observations of test agricultural fields indicate that no-till practices have several effects. To begin with, the debris tends to retain moisture, which limits evaporation;... more... - imabonehead
They left out several huge benefits: soil has vital aerobic organisms in the top few inches of soil, and anaerobic organisms below that. if you plow a field, you kill both, killing your soil. you also lose a lot of topsoil to wind, especially the idiot farmers who plow right after harvest. a yeoman's plow vibrates a narrow, and much deeper channel to prepare the soil for planting. you... more... - exador23
Fatal Toxins Found in "Edible" Wild Mushrooms - Scientific American -
Fatal Toxins Found in "Edible" Wild Mushrooms - Scientific American
"A wild mushroom eaten by foraging enthusiasts across Europe has been found to contain dangerous and potentially lethal toxins. Chinese scientists believe they have identified the mushroom toxins that cause rhabdomyolysis – a sometimes fatal disease that can irreparably damages the kidneys – that was first reported 15 years ago in France. However, the toxins were not isolated from the mushroom Tricholoma equestre that was thought to be responsible for the deaths, but from Tricholoma terreum, its close relative, highlighting the complexity of fungus toxicology. These scientists are recommending that people who forage for mushrooms avoid eating both of these species." - imabonehead from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Fossil found during New Mexico bachelor party is 10 million years old | Reuters -
"A fossil mastodon skull found by a group attending a bachelor party at a New Mexico lakeshore is more than 10 million years old and will take at least six months to clean, a museum paleontologist said on Friday. The partygoers stumbled across the skull this week, complete with its tusks, buried in sand at Elephant Butte State Park, about 155 miles (250 km) south of Albuquerque. Gary Morgan, curator and head paleontologist at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, led a team that spent some six hours on Thursday carefully excavating the fossil, which was buried in about four feet (1.2 meters) of lake silt. When it emerged, it was found to measure approximately five feet by three feet (1.5 by 1 meters) and weighed more than 1,000 pounds (450 kg). "This mastodon find is older than the woolly mammoth that tread the Earth in the Ice Age. ... It probably died on a sandbar of the ancient Rio Grande River," Morgan told Reuters. "I've been here for 20 years and have never seen... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Somehow I always thought mastodons were far larger than 10 feet tall. - Spidra Webster
Spidra Webster
Bean genome sequencing yields uncommon findings :: UC Davis News & Information -
Bean genome sequencing yields uncommon findings :: UC Davis News & Information
"A newly reported genome sequence for the common bean — which includes a number of varieties that together rank as the world’s 10th most widely grown food crop — has been released by a research team including a UC Davis plant scientist. The results shed light on nitrogen fixation, how beans were domesticated and disease resistance. The sequencing effort is key to helping boost production of this vitally important global food source, improving competitive production of the $1.2 billion U.S. crop and better understanding the genetic makeup of the broader group of related legume plants. “The availability of this new whole-genome sequence for beans is already paying off,” said Professor Paul Gepts, a UC Davis plant scientist and co-author on the new sequencing study. Gepts noted that the new sequence is already being used to confirm many of the findings made earlier by his UC Davis research group, including identification of the common bean’s two points of origin and domestication — one... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.: UF team finds possible treatment for greening | State | -
"ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. — University of Florida researchers said Wednesday that they've found a possible treatment for a disease that's devastating citrus trees around the state, but caution that it could be years before the cure could become commercially available to growers. The team from UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences said that it has discovered a chemical that kills the citrus greening bacteria. The chemical — benzbromarone — has been used to treat gout in humans but has never been approved for use in the United States because of concerns over reports of acute liver injury. Researchers sprayed greenhouse tree shoots infected with greening with three different chemicals, and the benzbromarone halted the bacteria in 80 percent of the infected trees' shoots. The researchers published their findings in the journal PLOS Pathogens. But researchers caution that this good news is the first step in a years-long process. "We are getting closer and closer," said Claudio... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
HIV transmission networks mapped to reduce infection rate #HIV #AIDS
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have mapped the transmission network of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in San Diego. The mapping of HIV infections, which used genetic sequencing, allowed researchers to predictively model the likelihood of new HIV transmissions and identify persons at greatest risk for transmitting the virus. - Halil
Do they still teach safe sex education in schools? They did when I was at school eons ago. Why are we still seeing "newly" infected individuals? - Halil
Some schools do and many schools do not. I think if parents weren't so immature when it comes to sex talk, it wouldn't be an issue. I've already discussed STDs with my kids. I do it constantly, so they're not caught by surprise. - Anika
Big Joe Silence
BBC News - Traces of another world found on the Moon -
BBC News - Traces of another world found on the Moon
"Researchers have found evidence of the world that crashed into the Earth billions of years ago to form the Moon. Analysis of lunar rock brought back by Apollo astronauts shows traces of the "planet" called Theia. The researchers claim that their discovery confirms the theory that the Moon was created by just such a cataclysmic collision. Now a more refined analysis of Moon rock has found evidence of material thought to have an alien origin. The study has been published in the journal Science." - Big Joe Silence from Bookmarklet
Not finding any preprints/postprints of this article... Hidden behind the Science wall. - Joe
I thought was talking about not finding footprints and it kinda blew my mind for a second. - Betsy
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