last updated: Thu, 05 Mar 2015 23:41:03 GMT
NASA's Dawn spacecraft has become the first mission to achieve orbit around a dwarf planet. The spacecraft was approximately 38,000 miles (61,000) kilometers from Ceres when it was captured by the dwarf planet's gravity at about 4:39 a.m. PST (7:39 a.m. EST) Friday.
Good supervisors aren't easily duped by the motives of underlings who go the extra mile -- they know when an employee is sucking up to them because of personal ambition, or when such actions truly have what's best for the organization at heart.
Researchers have proposed a new way to explain how the High Plains got so high. Water trapped deep below Earth's crust may have flooded the lower crust, creating buoyancy and lift.
A new report has dismissed claims made last year that the first super-Earth planet discovered in the habitable zone of a distant star was 'stellar activity masquerading as planets.' The researchers are confident the planet named GJ 581d, identified in 2009 orbiting the star Gliese 581, does exist, and that last year's claim was triggered by inadequate analysis of the data.
A quantum version of General Relativity demonstrates that dark energy and dark matter are different manifestations of gravity. The theory calculates the precise value of the cosmological constant, derives the baryonic Tully-Fisher relation, gives a quantum description of Black Holes and calculates the baryonic mass content of the observable universe.
For once, slower is better in a new piece of technology. Scientists have developed a new, radio frequency processing device that allows information to be controlled more effectively, opening the door to a new generation of signal processing on microchips. One of the keys to the technology involves slowing information down.
A pilot study in 51 North Carolina classrooms shows the effectiveness of a new measure in assessing the quality of practices in inclusive preschools. Not only is the Inclusive Classroom Profile a reliable instrument, researchers say it also reveals the types of inclusive settings that may be best serving preschoolers with disabilities, researchers say.
More than one billion people world-wide have no access to electricity to cook food or light their homes, despite the technology being in place. A study on options for getting more electrical access has taken place in Bangladesh.
Losing as little as 30 minutes of sleep per day on weekdays can have long-term consequences for body weight and metabolism, a new study finds.
Obesity is associated with substantial increases in older adults’ hospitalizations, emergency room admissions and use of outpatient health care services, according to a new study of 172,866 Medicare Advantage members throughout the U.S.
A technology that allows the preparation of artificial methane hydrates has been developed by researchers. These researchers have demonstrated that it is possible to prepare methane hydrates in a laboratory by imitating, and even enhancing, natural processes through the use of activated carbon materials as nano-reactors. One of the keys of this research was that scientists were able to reduce the process to form methane hydrates, which takes a long time in nature, to just a few minutes, thus making its technological applicability much easier.
Climate change can affect our food safety in a number of ways. In a European study, researchers state that there is often a relationship between long-term changes in temperature and rainfall and vegetable and fruit contamination. For example, flooding may result in increased concentrations of harmful bacteria that can be quickly broken down again by UV light. Similarly, in one region fungi that produce toxins may increase due to global warming, while they decrease in other regions.
The excavation of a favissa, a pit discovered in early December 2014 near the temple of the god Ptah, has been completed. The dig has unearthed 38 statues, statuettes and precious objects, making this an exceptional find, both for the quantity and quality of the religious artifacts brought to light. Furthermore, a completely new recording method was used during the dig that makes it possible to virtually reconstruct each step of the discovery with millimeter accuracy.
The human language is unique in that we can refer to objects, events and ideas. The combination of syllables and words enables humans to generate an infinite number of expressions. An important prerequisite for language is the ability to imitate sounds, i.e. to store acquired acoustic information and to use this for one's own vocal production. Cortical structures in the brain play a crucial role in this. While songbirds and certain marine mammals are capable of such vocal learning, there is very little evidence for vocal learning in terrestrial mammals -- not even in our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees. Nonhuman primate vocal production is largely restricted to an innate repertoire of sounds.
Moves are being made to automate the identification of Saimaa ringed seals. This would bring new kinds of real-time information on how the extremely endangered species behaves, the movements of individual seals, and what happens to them. The final aim of an ongoing study on machine vision is to get a biometric passport for each individual Saimaa ringed seal. This happens on the basis of the unique fur patterns of each individual seal, using computer-based smart calculation and digital image processing. The aim is to store the information in a so-called Saimaa ringed seal database.
Are leaves and buds developing earlier in the spring? And do leaves stay on the trees longer in autumn? Do steppe ecosystems remain green longer and are the savannas becoming drier and drier? In fact, over recent decades, the growing seasons have changed everywhere around the world, according to research based on satellite data. The results are expected to have consequences for agriculture, interactions between species, the functioning of ecosystems, and the exchange of carbon dioxide and energy between the land surface and the atmosphere.
The human brain can select relevant objects from a flood of information and edit out what is irrelevant. It also knows which parts belong to a whole. If, for example, we direct our attention to the doors of a house, the brain will preferentially process its windows, but not the neighbouring houses. Psychologists have now discovered that this also happens when parts of the objects are merely maintained in our memory.
Even though the levels of two environmental pollutants have declined over the last 20 years, they may still have adverse effects on children’s development, according to a new study. The researchers found that maternal levels of DDE (indicating the levels to which the fetuses were exposed to in utero) were significantly associated with rapid growth in early life. They also found that levels of PCB153 in milk and the amount transferred through breastfeeding were associated with decreased infant growth and falling below expected growth curves.
Researchers have examined a database of television advertisements broadcast between March 2012 and February 2013 on 139 network and cable channels and found that more than 608 hours of advertisements for energy drinks were aired. Nearly half of those advertisements, 46.5%, appeared on networks with content themes likely to appeal to adolescents.
Combined measurements of brain anatomy, connectivity and neurochemistry distinguish autism spectrum disorder subjects from controls, scientists say. This multimodal approach is distinct from many previous studies that have used a single neuroimaging measure. While those studies uncovered widespread functional and anatomical brain abnormalities in ASD, the results were not highly consistent, possibly reflecting the complex brain pathology in autism spectrum disorders.
The popular dietary supplement ubiquinone, also known as Coenzyme Q10, is widely believed to function as an antioxidant, protecting cells against damage from free radicals. But a new study finds that ubiquinone is not a crucial antioxidant.
Sitting for many hours per day is associated with increased coronary artery calcification, a marker of subclinical heart disease that can increase the risk of a heart attack, according to research. Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease and the leading cause of death in the United States.
Women who experience hot flashes earlier in life appear to have poorer endothelial function -- the earliest sign of cardiovascular disease -- than women who have hot flashes later in life or not at all, according to two new studies.
Women suffering a heart attack wait much longer than men to call emergency medical services and face significantly longer delays getting to a hospital equipped to care for them, putting women at greater risk for adverse outcomes.
The long-anticipated El Niño has finally arrived, according to forecasters with NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. In their updated monthly outlook released today, forecasters issued an El Niño Advisory to declare the arrival of the ocean-atmospheric phenomenon marked by warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the central Pacific Ocean near the equator.
Soybean oil accounts for more than 90 percent of all the seed oil production in the United States. Genetically modified soybean oil, made from seeds of GM soybean plants, was recently introduced into the food supply on the premise that it is healthier than conventional soybean oil. But is that premise true? Just barely, say scientists.
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, second only to carbon dioxide in its capacity to trap heat in Earth's atmosphere for a long time. The gas can originate from lakes and swamps, natural-gas pipelines, deep-sea vents, and livestock. Understanding the sources of methane, and how the gas is formed, could give scientists a better understanding of its role in warming the planet.
An important food resource has been disappearing from streams without anyone noticing until now. Ecologists reports that nutrient pollution causes a significant loss of forest-derived carbon from stream ecosystems, reducing the ability of streams to support aquatic life.
In obese Latino and African American children, restricting dietary fructose, but not calories, may decrease liver fat and the conversion of sugar to fat in the liver, a new study finds.
In adults with obesity, lowering dietary fat may lead to greater body fat loss than lowering dietary carbohydrate, a new study finds.
Modest consumption of nuts every day is associated with an improved cardiovascular risk profile among adolescents, a new analysis of a large national database shows.
A primitive ocean on Mars held more water than Earth's Arctic Ocean, and covered a greater portion of the planet's surface than the Atlantic Ocean does on Earth, according to new results published today. An international team of scientists used ESO's Very Large Telescope, along with instruments at the W. M. Keck Observatory and the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility, to monitor the atmosphere of the planet and map out the properties of the water in different parts of Mars's atmosphere over a six-year period. These new maps are the first of their kind.
Astronomers have spotted for the first time a distant supernova split into four images. The multiple images of the exploding star are caused by the powerful gravity of a foreground elliptical galaxy embedded in a massive cluster of galaxies.
The composition of intestinal bacteria and other micro-organisms -- called the gut microbiota -- changes over time in unhealthy ways in black men who are prediabetic, a new study finds.
A synthetic nasal formulation of the hormone oxytocin reduced caloric intake in healthy men, particularly consumption of fatty foods, after a single treatment, a new study finds. The results confirm those of animal studies showing oxytocin reduces food intake.
Male partners of infertile obese females may increase the odds of conceiving a child by improving their own weight and dietary habits, preliminary results from a pilot study suggest.
By studying specially bred mice with specific developmental and cognitive traits resembling those seen in schizophrenia, researchers have provided new evidence that abnormal rhythmic activity in particular brain cells contributes to problems with learning, attention, and decision-making in individuals with that disorder.
Did you know that our body produces its own marijuana-like compound to protect us against anxiety? A study reveals a new biological pathway that regulates this system and suggests that a drug currently in clinical trials to treat obesity might also provide an attractive way to combat anxiety disorders.
For the first time, CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology has been employed in a whole organism model to systematically target every gene in the genome. A team of scientists has pioneered the use of this technology to 'knock out,' or turn off, all genes across the genome systematically in an animal model of cancer, revealing genes involved in tumor evolution and metastasis and paving the way for similar studies in other cell types and diseases.
Kick starting a process that might repair the damage done in cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis could begin with disabling a driver that helps block regeneration, say researchers.
The two alleles of Oct4, a gene important in embryonic stem cells, don't remain separate in the nucleus of stem cells but rather pair up, at the developmental point at which stem cells begin their maturation into specific cell types, scientists have discovered.
Exposure to hormone-altering chemicals called phthalates -- which are found in many plastics, foods and personal care products -- early in pregnancy is associated with a disruption in an essential pregnancy hormone and adversely affects the masculinization of male genitals in the baby, according to new research. The findings focus on the role of the placenta in responding to these chemicals and altering levels of a key pregnancy hormone.
A team of scientists call attention to nine issues that must be considered if there is to be any hope of limiting the environmental impacts of the ongoing expansion of new roads, road improvements, energy projects, and more now underway or 'coming soon' in countries all around the world.
Sotos syndrome is a congenital syndrome that is characterized by varying degrees of mental retardation and a large head circumference etc. It is known that 90 percent of Sotos syndrome patients have mutations in the NSD1 gene. This time, an international research group has revealed that mutation in the APC2 gene causes symptoms of Sotos syndrome related to the nervous system, from analyses of the Apc2-knockout mouse.
The Initiative on Women in Science and Engineering Working Group, a collection of more than 30 academic and business leaders, present seven strategies to advance women in science, engineering, and medicine in the modern landscape.
Menopause is a downright bizarre trait among animals. It's also rare. Outside of the human species, only the female members of two whale species outlive their reproductive lives in such a major way. Female killer whales typically become mothers between the ages of 12 and 40, but they can live for more than 90 years. Males rarely make it past 50. Now, researchers have new evidence to explain why.
A small molecule that binds to a receptor found on muscle cells speeds up energy metabolism -- but only in female mice. Researchers have shown that female mice treated with a molecule found in tree leaves could indulge in high-fat foods without gaining weight or accumulating fat. Males did not enjoy similar benefits, highlighting the need to study both sexes while developing drugs.
The mechanical basis of mitosis has only been understood in fragments so far. Now scientists have been able to add another piece to the puzzle of cell biological mechanisms.
High-speed videos reveal that, unlike other jumping insects, the juvenile praying mantis does not spin out of control when airborne. In fact, it both creates and controls angular momentum at extraordinary speeds to orient its body for precise landings.
Human milk provides the best nutrition for most babies and breastfeeding provides the best nutrition for infants and very young children, according to an updated position paper. The paper also outlines the health risks of not breastfeeding, which include increased rates of infant and maternal morbidity and mortality, increased health care costs and significant economic losses to families and employers.
Exposure during pregnancy to a combination of fire retardant chemicals and phthalate chemicals -- both present in the average home -- can contribute to autistic-like behaviors in the offspring, according to an animal study.
Prenatal exposure to low doses of the environmental contaminants polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, change the developing brain in an area involved in metabolism, and some effects are apparent even two generations later, a new study finds. Hereditary effects included increased body weight, but only in descendants of females -- and not males -- exposed to PCBs in the womb.
A key piece in the complex molecular puzzle underlying heart failure -- a serious and sometimes life-threatening disorder affecting more than 5 million Americans -- has been identified by researchers. They explored the heart's progression from initial weakening to heart failure, and found that a protein, known as RBFox2, plays a critical role in this process.
A heads-up to New York, Baltimore, Houston and Miami: a new study suggests that these metropolitan areas and others will increase their exposure to floods even in the absence of climate change.
NASA's next mission to Mars, scheduled to launch one year from today to examine the Red Planet's deep interior and investigate how rocky planets like Earth evolved, now has one specific site under evaluation as the best place to land and deploy its science instruments.
Women who smoke when pregnant are putting their daughters at a greater risk of developing ovarian and breast cancer later in life, a new study has determined. Findings also demonstrated that mothers who reported smoking most days while pregnant had daughters who had an earlier age of first menstruation, or menarche.
A global review into the effectiveness of family-based programs has found these programs can be highly effective in stopping children from taking up smoking. "Preventing children from starting to smoke is important to avoid a lifetime of addiction, poor health, and social and economic consequences," said one expert and investigator.
A method to selectively enhance or inhibit optical nonlinearities in a chip-scale device has been developed by scientists. To achieve their result the scientists investigated a specific optical nonlinearity that deals with the interaction between light and sound on chip scale devices.
Common consumer products, including those marketed as 'green,' 'all-natural,' 'non-toxic' and 'organic' emit a range of compounds that could harm human health and air quality, researchers have found. But most of these ingredients are not disclosed to the public.
A good immune system relies on a key 'energy producing' protein in immune cells to develop immunity to vaccines and disease, an international team of scientists has found. The protein, called HuR (human antigen R) is critical for controlling metabolism in B cells, which make antibodies that are essential in fighting infections and in developing long-term immunity after vaccination.