ScienceTank

New Photo Shows Pluto’s ‘Heart’ Actually A Vast, Frozen Wasteland

Here’s How Far Our Music Has Traveled Into Deep Space

  • High reaction rates even without precious metals
    Non-precious metal nanoparticles could one day replace expensive catalysts for hydrogen production. However, it is often difficult to determine what reaction rates they can achieve, especially when it comes to oxide particles. This is because the particles must be attached to the electrode using a binder and conductive additives, which distort the results. With the aid of electrochemical analyses of individual particles, researchers have now succeeded in determining the activity and substance conversion of nanocatalysts made from cobalt iron oxide -- without any binders.
  • Plate tectonics may have driven 'Cambrian Explosion'
    The quest to discover what drove one of the most important evolutionary events in the history of life on Earth has taken a new, fascinating twist.
  • Extreme pressure and heat in Earth's mantle simulated
    Unlike flawless gems, fibrous diamonds often contain small saline inclusions. These give hints to scientists about the conditions under which diamonds are formed deep in the Earth's mantle. A research team has now solved the puzzle of the formation of these inclusions by simulating conditions of extreme heat and pressure in the laboratory.
  • Wind can prevent seabirds accessing their most important habitat
    We marvel at flying animals because it seems like they can access anywhere, but a first study of its kind has revealed that wind can prevent seabirds from accessing the most important of habitats: their nests.
  • Researchers see around corners to detect object shapes
    Computer vision researchers have demonstrated they can use special light sources and sensors to see around corners or through gauzy filters, enabling them to reconstruct the shapes of unseen objects. The researchers said this technique enables them to reconstruct images in great detail, including the relief of George Washington's profile on a US quarter.
  • First step towards a better prosthetic leg? Trip people over and over
    The first step a team took in addressing a challenge in lower-body prosthetics was coming to understand the way people with two legs catch themselves, accomplished by covering test subjects with motion-capturing sensors.
  • Investigating coral and algal 'matchmaking' at the cellular level
    What factors govern algae's success as 'tenants' of their coral hosts both under optimal conditions and when oceanic temperatures rise?
  • The secret of platinum deposits revealed by field observations in South Africa
    There are two competing ideas of how platinum deposits formed: the first involves gravity-induced settling of crystals on the chamber floor, while the second idea implies that the crystals grow in situ, directly on the floor of the magmatic chamber. Researchers have established that the crystals grow in situ, with its high platinum status being attained while all its minerals were crystallizing along the cooling margins of the magma chamber.
  • Inattentive children earn less money at 35
    An international team finds that if kids can't pay attention in kindergarten, they will grow up to have less lucrative careers.
  • Joint hypermobility related to anxiety, also in animals
    Researchers report the first evidence in a non-human species, the domestic dog, of a relation between joint hypermobility and excitability: dogs with more joint mobility and flexibility tend to have more anxiety problems.
  • 'Goldilocks' neurons promote REM sleep
    It has been a mystery why REM sleep, or dream sleep, increases when the room temperature is 'just right'. Neuroscientists show that melanin-concentrating hormone neurons within the hypothalamus increase REM sleep when the need for body temperature defense is minimized, such as when sleeping in a warm and comfortable room temperature. These data have important implications for the function of REM sleep.
  • Fatty fish without environmental pollutants protect against type 2 diabetes
    If the fatty fish we eat were free of environmental pollutants, it would reduce our risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, the pollutants in the fish have the opposite effect and appears to eliminate the protective effect from fatty fish intake. This has been shown by researchers using innovative methods that could be used to address several questions about food and health in future studies.
  • Is glue the answer to climate change?
    A small amount of cheap epoxy resin replaces bulky support materials in making effective carbon capture solid sorbents, developed by scientists.
  • Motherhood can deliver body image boost
    New research indicates that perfectionism is related to breast size dissatisfaction, but only in non-mothers -- suggesting that mothers are more comfortable with their bodies.
  • Antarctic marine life recovery following the dinosaurs' extinction
    A new study shows how marine life around Antarctica returned after the extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs. A team studied just under 3000 marine fossils collected from Antarctica to understand how life on the sea floor recovered after the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction 66 million years ago. They reveal it took one million years for the marine ecosystem to return to pre-extinction levels.
  • Astronomers make first detection of polarized radio waves in Gamma Ray Burst jets
    Astronomers detect polarized radio waves from a gamma-ray burst for the first time. Polarization signature reveals magnetic fields in explosions to be much more patchy and tangled than first thought. Combining the observations with data from X-ray and visible light telescopes is helping unravel the mysteries of the universe's most powerful explosions.
  • High postural sway doubles older women's fracture risk
    Postural sway is an independent risk factor for bone fractures in postmenopausal women, according to a new study. Women with the highest postural sway had a two times higher fracture risk compared to women with the lowest postural sway.
  • Electrons take alternative route to prevent plant stress
    When plants absorb excess light energy during photosynthesis, reactive oxygen species are produced, potentially causing oxidative stress that damages important structures. Plants can suppress the production of reactive oxygen species by oxidizing P700 (the reaction center chlorophyll in photosystem I). A new study has revealed more about this vital process.
  • Memories form 'barrier' to letting go of objects for people who hoard
    Researchers hope that the findings could help develop new ways to train people with hoarding difficulties to discard clutter.
  • Researchers find quantum gravity has no symmetry
    Using holography, researchers have found when gravity is combined with quantum mechanics, symmetry is not possible.
  • Mapping and measuring proteins on the surfaces of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in cells
    Sigma receptors are proteins found on mainly the surface of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in certain cells. Sigma-1 and sigma-2 are the two main classes of these receptors. The sigma-1 receptor is involved neurological disorders and certain types of cancer. To understand better how the receptor is involved in disease and whether drugs developed to target it are working, it is important to be able to accurately trace the sigma-1 receptor. Researchers have now developed a probe, which can identify and latch onto the sigma-1 receptor.
  • A sound idea: a step towards quantum computing
    Researchers have developed a new method for using lasers to create tiny lattice waves inside silicon crystals that can encode quantum information. By taking advantage of existing silicon hardware, this work may greatly reduce the cost of future quantum computers for cryptographic and optimization applications.
  • Developing a new type of refrigeration via force-driven liquid gas transition
    A research team has made a groundbreaking discovery in the quest to replace hydrofluorocarbons in refrigeration systems with natural refrigerants such as water and alcohol. Their study involved carrying-out a liquid-to-gas phase transition via a nanosponge, a soft, elastic material equipped with small nanopores less than 10 nanometers. Their findings could lead to more efficient refrigerants with a smaller carbon footprint.
  • Researchers find cause of rare, fatal disease that turns babies' lips and skin blue
    Scientists used a gene editing method called CRISPR/Cas9 to generate mice that faithfully mimic a fatal respiratory disorder in newborn infants that turns their lips and skin blue. The new laboratory model allowed researchers to pinpoint the ailment's cause and develop a potential and desperately needed nanoparticle-based treatment. Mostly untreatable, Alveolar Capillary Dysplasia with Misalignment of Pulmonary Veins (ACDMPV) usually strikes infants within a month of birth.
  • Real-time analysis of MOF adsorption behavior
    Researchers have developed a technology to analyze the adsorption behavior of molecules in each individual pore of a metal organic framework (MOF). This system has large specific surface areas, allowing for the real-time observation of the adsorption process of an MOF, a new material effective for sorting carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and methane.
  • How arousal impacts physiological synchrony in relationships
    A team of researchers has examined what type of social interaction is required for people to display physiological synchrony -- mutual changes in autonomic nervous system activity. The study also looked at whether the levels of autonomic arousal people share predicts affiliation and friendship interest between people.
  • Good viruses and bad bacteria: A world-first green sea turtle trial
    A world-first study has found an alternative to antibiotics for treating bacterial infections in green sea turtles.
  • Unexpected culprit: Wetlands as source of methane
    Wetlands are an important part of the Earth's natural water management system. The complex system of plants, soil, and aquatic life serves as a reservoir that captures and cleans water. However, as cities have expanded, many wetlands were drained for construction. In addition, many areas of land in the Midwest were drained to increase uses for agriculture to feed a growing world.
  • Your nose knows when it comes to stronger memories
    Memories are stronger when the original experiences are accompanied by unpleasant odors, a team of researchers has found. The study broadens our understanding of what can drive Pavlovian responses and points to how negative experiences influence our ability to recall past events.
  • Crocs' climate clock: Ancient distribution of Crocs could reveal more about past climates
    Underneath their tough exteriors, some crocodilians have a sensitive side that scientists could use to shine light on our ancient climate.
  • Researchers lay out plan for managing rivers for climate change
    New strategies for river management are needed to maintain water supplies and avoid big crashes in populations of aquatic life, researchers argue.
  • Good physical fitness in middle age linked to lower chronic lung disease risk
    Good heart and lung (cardiorespiratory) fitness in middle age is associated with a lower long term risk of chronic lung disease (COPD), suggests new research.
  • One day of employment a week is all we need for mental health benefits
    Latest research finds up to eight hours of paid work a week significantly boosts mental health and life satisfaction. However, researchers found little evidence that any more hours -- including a full five-day week - provide further increases in wellbeing. They argue the findings show some paid work for the entire adult population is important, but rise of automation may require shorter hours for all so work can be redistributed.
  • Yogurt may help to lower pre-cancerous bowel growth risk in men
    Eating two or more weekly servings of yogurt may help to lower the risk of developing the abnormal growths (adenomas) which precede the development of bowel cancer -- at least in men -- finds new research.
  • Record-low fertility rates linked to decline in stable manufacturing jobs
    New research identifies a link between the long-term decline in manufacturing jobs -- accelerated during the Great Recession -- and reduced fertility rates.
  • Microfluidics device captures circulating cancer cell clusters
    About 90% of cancer deaths are due to metastases, when tumors spread to other vital organs, and a research group recently realized that it's not individual cells but rather distinct clusters of cancer cells that circulate and metastasize to other organs. As the group reports, they set out to gain a better understanding of these circulating cancer cell clusters. The group's microfluidic device brings a new therapeutic strategy to the fight.
  • Cell structure linked to longevity of slow-growing Ponderosa Pines
    Slow-growing ponderosa pines may have a better chance of surviving longer than fast-growing ones, especially as climate change increases the frequency and intensity of drought, according to new research from the University of Montana.
  • Appearance of deep-sea fish does not signal upcoming earthquake in Japan
    The unusual appearance of deep-sea fish like the oarfish or slender ribbonfish in Japanese shallow waters does not mean that an earthquake is about to occur, according to a new statistical analysis.
  • Cool halo gas caught spinning like galactic disks
    Astronomers have discovered cool halo gas spinning in the same direction as galactic disks in typical star-forming galaxies. Their findings suggest that the whirling gas halo will eventually spiral in towards the galactic disk where it can fuel star formation.
  • Quantum music to my ears
    Researchers have applied new atomic-sensing capabilities to detect and record music.
  • Marijuana use increases, shifts away from illegal market
    A new article reports that, based on analysis of public wastewater samples in at least one Western Washington population center, cannabis use both increased and substantially shifted from the illicit market since retail sales began in 2014.
  • Wearable device reveals how seals prepare for diving
    A wearable noninvasive device based on near-infrared spectroscopy can be used to investigate blood volume and oxygenation patterns in freely diving marine mammals, according to a new study.
  • Sea otters have low genetic diversity like other threatened species, biologists report
    Sea otters have very low genetic diversity, scientists report. Their findings have implications for the conservation of rare and endangered species, in which a lack of genetic diversity can increase the risk of extinction.
  • Size matters: New data reveals cell size sparks genome awakening in embryos
    Researchers have found in an embryo that activation of its genome does not happen all at once. Instead, it follows a specific pattern controlled primarily by the various sizes of its cells.
  • New manufacturing process for aluminum alloys
    Using a novel Solid Phase Processing approach, a research team eliminated several steps that are required during conventional extrusion processing of aluminum alloy powders, while also achieving a significant increase in product ductility. This is good news for sectors such as the automotive industry, where the high cost of manufacturing has historically limited the use of high-strength aluminum alloys made from powders.
  • Survivors of breast cancer face increased risk of heart disease
    Thanks to advanced medical treatments, women diagnosed with breast cancer today will likely survive the disease. However, some treatment options put these women at greater risk for a number of other health problems. A new study shows that postmenopausal women with breast cancer are at greater risk for developing heart disease.
  • Egg-sucking sea slug from Florida's Cedar Key named after Muppets creator Jim Henson
    Feet from the raw bars and sherbet-colored condominiums of Florida's Cedar Key, researchers discovered a new species of egg-sucking sea slug, a rare outlier in a group famous for being ultra-vegetarians.
  • The fellowship of the wing: Pigeons flap faster to fly together
    Homing pigeons fit in one extra wingbeat per second when flying in pairs compared to flying solo, new research reveals.
  • Afraid of food? The answer may be in the basal forebrain
    A brain circuit in the mouse basal forebrain that is involved in perceiving the outside world, connects with and overrides feeding behaviors regulated by the hypothalamus.
  • New evidence supports the presence of microbes in the placenta
    Researchers report visual evidence supporting the presence of bacteria within the microarchitecture of the placental tissue.
  • New study shows how environmental disruptions affected ancient societies
    A new study shows that over the past 10,000 years, humanity has experienced a number of foundational transitions, or 'bottlenecks.' During these periods of transition, the advance or decline of societies was related to energy availability in the form of a benign climate and other factors.
  • Collaborative research charts course to hundreds of new nitrides
    For chemists attempting to create new nitrides in the laboratory, a recently published large stability map of the ternary nitrides will be a significantly valuable tool.
  • An ounce of prevention: Preoperative management of inflammation may stave off cancer recurrences
    Administering anti-inflammatory treatments that prevent inflammation as well as proresolution treatments that tamp down the body's inflammatory response to surgery or chemotherapy can promote long-term survival in experimental animal cancer models, new research shows.
  • How hepatitis B and delta viruses establish infection of liver cells
    Researchers have developed a new, scalable cell culture system that allows for detailed investigation of how host cells respond to infection with hepatitis B (HBV) and delta virus (HDV).
  • Monitoring biodiversity with sound: How machines can enrich our knowledge
    Ecologists have long relied on their senses when it comes to recording animal populations and species diversity. However, modern programmable sound recording devices are now the better option for logging animal vocalizations. Scientists have investigated this using studies of birds as an example.
  • New insight from Great Barrier Reef coral provides correction factor to climate records
    Newly developed geological techniques help uncover the most accurate and high-resolution climate records to date, according to a new study. The research finds that the standard practice of using modern and fossil coral to measure sea-surface temperatures may not be as straightforward as originally thought. By combining high-resolution microscopic techniques and geochemical modeling, researchers are using the formational history of Porites coral skeletons to fine-tune the records used to make global climate predictions.
  • Inhaling air pollution-like irritant alters defensive heart-lung reflex for hypertension
    Using a rat model for high blood pressure (hypertension), a common chronic cardiovascular condition, researchers found that preexisting hypertension altered normal reflexes in the lungs to affect autonomic regulation of the heart when an irritant mimicking air pollution was inhaled.
  • Two new Earth-like planets discovered near Teegarden's Star
    An international research team has discovered two new Earth-like planets near one of our closest stars. Teegarden's Star is about 12.5 light years away and is one of the smallest known stars.
  • A new force for optical tweezers awakens
    When studying biological cells using optical tweezers, one main issue is the damage caused to the cell by the tool. Scientists have discovered a new type of force that will greatly reduce the amount of light used by optical tweezers -- and improve the study of all kinds of cells and particles.
  • Risky business: New data show how manatees use shipping channels
    New research tracks West Indian manatee movements through nearshore and offshore ship channels in the north-central Gulf of Mexico. A new publication in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science tracks West Indian manatee movements through nearshore and offshore ship channels in the north-central Gulf of Mexico.
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