last updated: Sun, 26 Oct 2014 00:15:23 GMT
NASA scientists have identified an unexpected high-altitude methane ice cloud on Saturn's moon Titan that is similar to exotic clouds found far above Earth's poles.
NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope detected a rapid-fire "storm" of high-energy blasts from a highly magnetized neutron star, also called a magnetar, on Jan. 22, 2009. Now astronomers analyzing this data have discovered underlying signals related to seismic waves rippling throughout the magnetar.
Pareidolia is the psychological phenomenon where people see recognizable shapes in clouds, rock formations, or otherwise unrelated objects or data. There are many examples of this phenomenon on Earth and in space.
NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft obtained this ultraviolet image of hydrogen surrounding comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring on Oct. 17, 2014, two days before the comet's closest approach to Mars. The Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) instrument imaged the comet at a distance of 5.3 million miles (8.5 million kilometers).
The Compact Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) observed comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as the comet sped close to Mars on Oct. 19. CRISM recorded imaging data in 107 different wavelengths, showing the inner part of the cloud of dust, called the coma, surrounding the comet's nucleus.
It might look like a spoked wheel or even a "Chakram" weapon wielded by warriors like "Xena," from the fictional TV show, but this ringed galaxy is actually a vast place of stellar life. A newly released image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the galaxy NGC 1291. Though the galaxy is quite old, roughly 12 billion years, it is marked by an unusual ring where newborn stars are igniting.
An emerging super-black nanotechnology that is to be tested for the first time this fall on the International Space Station will be applied to a complex, 3-D component critical for suppressing stray light in a new, smaller, less-expensive solar coronagraph designed to ultimately fly on the orbiting outpost or as a hosted payload on a commercial satellite.
Transfer of super-cooled or cryogenic fuel from one tank to another in the zero gravity of space may one day be a reality. But the challenges of measuring fuels and fuel levels in the weightlessness of space must be solved first. A newly developed sensor technology that will be tested on the early suborbital flights of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo in 2015.
Although scientists have flown two spacecraft in formation, no one ever has aligned the spacecraft with a specific astronomical target and then held that configuration to make a scientific observation -- creating, in effect, a single or "virtual" telescope with two distinctly different satellites.
On Oct. 18, 2014, a sunspot rotated over the left side of the sun, and soon grew to be the largest active region seen in the current solar cycle, which began in 2008. Currently, the sunspot is almost 80,000 miles across -- ten Earth's could be laid across its diameter.
The St Vincent's Hospital Heart Lung Transplant Unit has carried out the world's first distant procurement of hearts donated after circulatory death (DCD). These hearts were subsequently resuscitated and then successfully transplanted into patients with end-stage heart failure.
Physics researchers have discovered that most of the electrolytes used in lithium-ion batteries -- commonly found in consumer electronic devices -- are superhalogens, and that the vast majority of these electrolytes contain toxic halogens.
Chemists have devised a method using DNA-based tension probes to zoom in at the molecular level and measure and map how cells mechanically sense their environments, migrate and adhere to things.
The technology for creating new tissues from stem cells has taken a giant leap forward. Three tablespoons of blood are all that is needed to grow a brand new blood vessel in just seven days.
Researchers have just discovered a new type of light diffusion in tiny optical fibers 50 times thinner than a strand of hair. This phenomenon, which varies according to the fiber's environment, could be used to develop sensors that are innovative and highly sensitive.
The critically endangered Saimaa ringed seal, which inhabits Lake Saimaa in Finland, has extremely low genetic diversity and this development seems to continue, according to a recent study. Researchers analyzed the temporal and regional variation in the genetic diversity of the endangered Saimaa ringed seal. The population is only around 300 individuals divided into smaller sub-populations and with very little migration among between them.
A new study is helping to rewrite Ebola’s family history. It shows that Ebola and Marburg are each members of ancient evolutionary lines, and that these two viruses last shared a common ancestor sometime prior to 16-23 million years ago.
For patients with a severe type of stroke called subarachnoid hemorrhage, treatment at a hospital that treats a high volume of subarachnoid hemorrhage cases is associated with a lower risk of death, reports a new study.
An unprecedented boom in hydropower dam construction is underway, primarily in developing countries and emerging economies. While this is expected to double the global electricity production from hydropower, it could reduce the number of our last remaining large free-flowing rivers by about 20 percent and pose a serious threat to freshwater biodiversity.
Scientists have succeeded in creating a large metamaterial, up to 4 mm x 4 mm2 in size, that is essentially isotropic, using a type of metamaterial element called a split-ring resonator.
Chemists have developed a completely new way of forming charged molecules which offers tremendous potential for new areas of chemical research.
Researchers have proposed alternatives to the use of sulphites in potatoes, one of the main preservatives currently used and which, among other properties, prevents the browning that appears after peeling and/or cutting certain foods.
Hard work under hot sun causes health problems for sugar cane workers in Costa Rica, such as headache, nausea, and renal dysfunction. The presence of symptoms is also expected to increase in line with ongoing climate changes, according to research.
Countries with higher levels of compassion and openness score better when it comes to environmental sustainability, says research. "We used to think that personality only mattered for individual outcomes," says the author, "but we're finding that population differences in personality characteristics have many large-scale consequences."
The Ebola virus disease epidemic already devastating swaths of West Africa will likely get far worse in the coming weeks and months unless international commitments are significantly and immediately increased, new research predicts.
Costs to treat strokes caused by bleeding in the brain increased about 31 percent from five years after stroke to 10 years. Medication, nursing home and informal care expenses accounted for some of the increases.
As many as 4 million Europeans and 3.5 million Americans experience homelessness every year, and the numbers are rising. Homeless people “are the sickest in our society”, but just treating ill health might not be enough to help get people off the streets, according to a new two-part Series on homelessness in high-income countries.
Scientists are developing an implantable device that delivers therapeutic drugs at a rate guided by remote control. The device's effectiveness will be tested aboard the International Space Station and on Earth's surface.
“Long tail” thinking in public health might yield greater progress in eliminating health disparities, according to a new study. The long tail strategy is one many new businesses employ, recognizing that selling small quantities of many niche items can be more profitable than selling a few blockbuster items.
An ocean's oxygen levels may play a role in the impact of marine predators on bodies when they are immersed in the sea, according to researchers, who deployed a trio of pig carcasses into Saanich Inlet off Vancouver Island and studied them using an underwater camera via the internet.
Using extremely faint light from galaxies 10.8-billion light years away, scientists have created one of the most complete, three-dimensional maps of a slice of the adolescent universe. The map shows a web of hydrogen gas that varies from low to high density at a time when the universe was made of a fraction of the dark matter we see.
Computer-Aided Nodule Assessment and Risk Yield, is a novel software tool that can automatically quantitate adenocarcinoma pulmonary nodule characteristics from non-invasive high resolution computed tomography images and stratify non-small cell lung cancer patients into risk groups that have significantly different disease-free survival outcome.
Sixteen institutions across Europe collaborated together to show for the first time that a semi-quantitative anaplastic lymphoma kinase protein expression test, immunohistochemistry, is reliable amongst several laboratories and reviewers when test methodology and result interpretation are strictly standardized and the scoring pathologists are appropriately trained on the test.
Volatile rainstorms drive complex landscape changes in deserts, particularly in dryland channels, which are shaped by flash flooding. Paradoxically, such desert streams have surprisingly simple topography with smooth, straight and symmetrical form that until now has defied explanation.
Ferns are believed to be 'old' plant species -- some of them lived alongside the dinosaurs, over 200 million years ago. However, a group of Andean ferns evolved much more recently: their completely new form and structure (morphology) arose and diversified within the last 2 million years. This novel morphology seems to have been advantageous when colonising the extreme environment of the high Andes.
Designer proteins that expand on nature's own repertoire, created by a team of chemists and biochemists, are described in a new paper. Proteins are long linear molecules that fold up to form well-defined 3D shapes. These 3D molecular architectures are essential for biological functions such as the elasticity of skin, the digestion of food, and the transport of oxygen in blood.
Researchers have recorded the first observations of the molecular structure of liquid water at a gold electrode under different battery charging conditions.
Scientists working on islands in Florida have documented the rapid evolution of a native lizard species -- in as little as 15 years -- as a result of pressure from an invading lizard species, introduced from Cuba.
Research conducted at the highest-altitude Pleistocene archaeological sites yet identified in the world sheds new light on the capacity of humans to survive in extreme environments. The findings were taken from sites in the Pucuncho Basin, located in the Southern Peruvian Andes.
Just like those of humans, insect guts are full of microbes, and the microbiota can influence the insect's ability to transmit diseases. A new study reports that a bacterium isolated from the gut of an Aedes mosquito can reduce infection of mosquitoes by malaria parasites and dengue virus. The bacterium can also directly inhibit these pathogens in the test tube, and shorten the life span of the mosquitoes that transmit both diseases.
Southern California water agencies have turned to new pricing structures, expanded rebate programs and implemented other means to encourage their customers to reduce consumption. Some of those policies have greatly reduced per capita consumption, while others have produced mixed results.
The National Synchrotron Light Source II detects its first photons, beginning a new phase of the facility’s operations. Scientific experiments at NSLS-II are expected to begin before the end of the year.
The development of a new organism from the joining of two single cells is a carefully orchestrated endeavor. But even before sperm meets egg, an equally elaborate set of choreographed steps must occur to ensure successful sexual reproduction. Those steps, known as reproductive cell division or meiosis, split the original number of chromosomes in half so that offspring will inherit half their genetic material from one parent and half from the other.
The rate of non-Hispanic white youth diagnosed with type 1 diabetes increased significantly from 2002 to 2009 in all but the youngest age group of children, according to a new study.
Research into the effectiveness of hydrocooling of sweet cherries at commercial packing houses determined the need for post-packing cooling. Analyses determined that core temperatures achieved by in-line hydrocoolers during packing did not reduce temperatures sufficiently to ensure good quality retention over the longer periods of time required for container shipping to export markets. The study recommends forced-air cooling to further reduce sweet cherry temperatures in the box before shipping.
Sleep difficulties -- particularly problems with falling asleep -- were very common among toddlers and preschool-aged children who were receiving clinical treatment for a wide range of psychiatric disorders, a study has found. "This study is a great reminder that it's critical for mental health providers working with young children and their families to ask about children's sleep," said one expert.
Exosomes, tiny, virus-sized particles released by cancer cells, can bioengineer micro-RNA molecules resulting in tumor growth. They do so with the help of proteins, such as one named Dicer, scientists have discovered.
Federal Express and UPS are no match for the human body when it comes to distribution. There exists in cancer biology an impressive packaging and delivery system that influences whether your body will develop cancer or not, scientists say. Researchers have announced findings indicating a possible new way of manipulating chromatin and its histones through a protein reader known as the YEATS domain protein, providing new hope for cancer treatment.
Synthetic gene networks hold great potential for broad biotechnology and medical applications, but so far they have been limited to the lab. A study reveals a new method for using engineered gene circuits beyond the lab, allowing researchers to safely activate the cell-free, paper-based system by simply adding water. The low-cost, easy-to-use platform could enable the rapid detection of different strains of deadly viruses such as Ebola.
People may have been making their way from Easter Island to the Americas well before Dutch commander Jakob Roggeveen arrived in 1722, according to new genomic evidence showing that the Rapanui people living on that most isolated of islands had significant contact with Native American populations hundreds of years earlier. The findings lend the first genetic support for such an early trans-Pacific route between Polynesia and the Americas, a trek of more than 4,000 kilometers.
In individuals living in the Arctic, researchers have discovered a genetic variant that arose thousands of years ago and likely provided an evolutionary advantage for processing high-fat diets or for surviving in a cold environment; however, the variant also seems to increase the risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and infant mortality in today's northern populations. The findings provide an example of how an initially beneficial genetic change could be detrimental to future generations.
Scientists have identified a key phenomenon in the triggering of solar flares. Using satellite data and models, the scientists were able to monitor the evolution of the solar magnetic field in a region with eruptive behavior. Their calculations reveal the formation of a magnetic rope1 that emerges from the interior of the Sun and is associated with the appearance of a sunspot. They show that this structure plays an important role in triggering the flare.
It may be possible to use Diffuse Optical Spectroscopic Tomographic imaging (DOST) to predict which patients will best respond to chemotherapy used to shrink breast cancer tumors before surgery, a study shows.
Ewing sarcoma tumors disappeared and did not return in more than 70 percent of mice treated with combination therapy that included drugs from a family of experimental agents developed to fight breast cancer, report researchers.
California’s position as a leader in tobacco control is under threat, according to a new report. Once a highly successful program and international model, the state's anti-tobacco efforts now appear to be waning due to the decreased spending power of the California Tobacco Control Program, a resurgence of the tobacco industry in state politics, and the emergence of new unregulated tobacco products.
Scientists have discovered a way to decrease deadly protein deposits in the heart, kidney and other organs associated with a group of human diseases called the systemic amyloid diseases.
A new comprehensive analysis of thyroid cancer from The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network has identified markers of aggressive tumors, which could allow for better targeting of appropriate treatments to individual patients.
Researchers have broken new ground in the development of proteins that form specialized fibers used in medicine and nanotechnology. For as long as scientists have been able to create new proteins that are capable of self-assembling into fibers, their work has taken place on the nanoscale. For the first time, this achievement has been realized on the microscale -- a leap of magnitude in size that presents significant new opportunities for using engineered protein fibers.
Engaging brain areas linked to so-called 'off-task' mental activities (such as mind-wandering and reminiscing) can actually boost performance on some challenging mental tasks, a new research led by a neuroscientist shows for the first.
A shortened (four month) treatment for tuberculosis is well tolerated and may work well in subsets of tuberculosis patients, but overall could not be considered as an alternative to the current six month standard treatment, a clinical drug trial conducted in five Sub-Sahara African countries shows.