last updated: Fri, 19 Dec 2014 11:34:08 GMT
Psychologists conducted a bottom-up exploration of what it really means to be humble. They found that people see a unique dimension of humility akin to a love of learning.
Many genetic mutations in visual pigments, spread over millions of years, were required for humans to evolve from a primitive mammal with a dim, shadowy view of the world into a greater ape able to see all the colors in a rainbow. Now, after more than two decades of painstaking research, scientists have finished a detailed and complete picture of the evolution of human color vision.
Struggling to stand on one leg for less than 20 seconds was linked to an increased risk for stroke, small blood vessel damage in the brain, and reduced cognitive function in otherwise healthy people, a study has shown. One-legged standing time may be a simple test used to measure early signs of abnormalities in the brain associated with cognitive decline, cerebral small vessel disease and stroke.
“Medication to lower raised eye pressure has been used for decades as the main treatment for OAG to delay progressive vision loss. But, until now, the extent to which the most frequently prescribed class of pressure-lowering drugs (prostaglandin analogues) have a protective effect on vision was not known," explains the lead author of a new study. “Our findings offer solid proof to patients and practitioners that the visual deterioration caused by glaucoma can be reduced using this treatment.”
On 28 September, 2014, the 38-year old doctor, who was in charge of an Ebola virus treatment unit in Lakka, Sierra Leone, developed a fever and diarrhea. He tested positive for the virus on the same day. The doctor was airlifted to Frankfurt University Hospital on the 5th day of his illness and admitted to a specialized isolation unit. Within 72 hours of admission he developed signs of vascular leakage and severe multi-organ failure, including the lungs, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract. He was placed on a ventilator and on kidney dialysis, and was given antibiotics together with a 3-day course of an experimental drug called FX06—a fibrin-derived peptide that has been shown to reduce vascular leakage and its complications in mice with Dengue hemorrhagic shock.
A fresh look at data collected by NASA's Cassini spacecraft during its 2001 flyby of Jupiter shows that Europa's tenuous atmosphere is even thinner than previously thought and also suggests that the thin, hot gas around the moon does not show evidence of plume activity occurring at the time of the flyby. The new research provides a snapshot of Europa's state of activity at that time, and suggests that if there is plume activity, it is likely intermittent.
NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft makes a comeback with the discovery of the first exoplanet found using its new mission -- K2. The discovery was made when astronomers and engineers devised an ingenious way to repurpose Kepler for the K2 mission and continue its search of the cosmos for other worlds.
An engineering team has discovered some of graphene oxide's important properties that can improve sodium- and lithium-ion flexible batteries.
By 2050, a majority of US coastal areas are likely to be threatened by 30 or more days of flooding each year due to dramatically accelerating impacts from sea level rise, according to a new study.
Scientists are examining molecular clues to answer a big question: how many types of blue whales exist in the waters of the southeastern Pacific?
Four pulses of laser light on nanoparticle photocells in a spectroscopy experiment has opened a window on how captured sunlight can be converted into electricity. The work, which potentially could inspire devices with improved efficiency in solar energy conversion, was performed on photocells that used lead-sulfide quantum dots as photoactive semiconductor material.
A definitive geological timeline shows that a series of massive volcanic explosions 66 million years ago played a role in the extinction event that claimed Earth's non-avian dinosaurs, and challenges the dominant theory that a meteorite impact was the sole cause of the extinction.
Scientists have characterized the electronic and magnetic structure in artificially synthesized materials called transition metal oxides.
If data could be encoded without current, it would require much less energy and make things like low-power, instant-on computing a ubiquitous reality. Scientists have made a breakthrough in that direction with a room-temperature magnetoelectric memory device. Equivalent to one computer bit, it exhibits the holy grail of next-generation nonvolatile memory: magnetic switchability, in two steps, with nothing but an electric field.
Spinning up a dust devil in the thin air of Mars requires a stronger updraft than is needed to create a similar vortex on Earth, researchers show. “To start a dust devil on Mars you need convection, a strong updraft,” said Bryce Williams, an atmospheric science graduate student at UAH. “We looked at the ratio between convection and surface turbulence to find the sweet spot where there is enough updraft to overcome the low level wind and turbulence. And on Mars, where we think the process that creates a vortex is more easily disrupted by frictional dissipation – turbulence and wind at the surface – you need twice as much convective updraft as you do on Earth.” Williams and UAH’s Dr. Udaysankar Nair looked for the dust devil sweet spot by combining dat
Researchers at Princeton University have reported new insights into the structure of an active component of the nickel oxide catalyst, a promising catalyst for water splitting to produce hydrogen fuel.
For decades, neuroscientists have been trying to design computer networks that can mimic visual skills such as recognizing objects, which the human brain does very accurately and quickly. Until now, no computer model has been able to match the primate brain at visual object recognition during a brief glance. Now neuroscientists have found that one of the latest generation of 'deep neural networks' matches the primate brain.
A common over-the-counter drug that tackles pain and fever may also hold keys to a longer, healthier life, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist. Regular doses of ibuprofen extended the lifespan of multiple species.
Most vaccines work by inducing an immune response characterized by neutralizing antibodies against the respective pathogen. An effective HIV vaccine has remained elusive so far, but researchers have continued to make progress, often employing innovative methods. A new study reports that a combination of antibodies from llamas can neutralize a wide range of circulating HIV viruses.
Many animals may have a previously under-appreciated ability to make up for lost time with more effort, according to new research.
Scientists have solved a long-standing space mystery - the origin of the 'theta aurora'. Auroras are the most visible manifestation of the Sun's effect on Earth. They are seen as colorful displays in the night sky, known as the Northern or Southern Lights. They are caused by the solar wind, a stream of plasma - electrically charged atomic particles - carrying its own magnetic field, interacting with the earth's magnetic field. Normally, the main region for this impressive display is the 'auroral oval', which lies at around 65-70 degrees north or south of the equator, encircling the polar caps. However, auroras can occur at even higher latitudes. One type is known as a 'theta aurora' because seen from above it looks like the Greek letter theta - an oval with a line crossing through the center.
Among the most revolutionary concepts of modern physics is that the laws of nature are inherently non-local. One striking manifestation of this non-locality was famously predicted by Aharonov and Bohm: a magnetic field confined to the interior of a solenoid can alter the behavior of electrons outside it, shifting the phase of their wave-like interference although they never directly encounter the magnetic field. Originally regarded as a mere curiosity, such "geometric phase shifts" are now known to have dramatic consequences for electron transport in solid-state materials, e.g., allowing unimpeded current flow along the edges of a material that is insulating in the bulk.
In addition to DNA damage, cancer depends on the slow degradation of tissue that allows cancer cells to out-compete healthy cells, a new study shows. "We show that mutations, although necessary, cannot promote blood cancer development without an age-altered tissue microenvironment," the researchers write.
With an increase in parties, increased food and alcohol consumption and a general disruption of normal routines, the month of December can be exhausting. Here are three tips to improve sleep habits.
A family of molecules known as NTS enzyme inhibitors are promising candidates for new herpes virus treatments, a new study shows. The findings could lead to new treatment options for herpes that patients can use in conjunction with or instead of currently approved anti-viral medications like Acyclovir. Researchers likened a combination of treatments for herpes to a cocktail of medications HIV patients take.
Cars that run on natural gas are touted as efficient and environmentally friendly, but getting enough gas onboard to make them practical is a hurdle. A new study promises to help. Researchers have calculated the best candidates among possible metal organic frameworks to store natural gas for cars.
Crows have the brain power to solve higher-order, relational-matching tasks, and they can do so spontaneously, according to new research. That means crows join humans, apes and monkeys in exhibiting advanced relational thinking, according to the research.
Climate change impacts will require major but very uncertain transformations of global agriculture systems by mid-century, according to new research.
Golden-winged warblers apparently knew in advance that a storm that would spawn 84 confirmed tornadoes and kill at least 35 people last spring was coming, according to a new report. The birds left the scene well before devastating supercell storms blew in.
The United States is a melting pot of different racial and ethnic groups, but it has not been clear how the genetic ancestry of these populations varies across different geographic regions. In a landmark study, researchers analyzed the genomes of more than 160,000 African-Americans, Latinos, and European-Americans, providing novel insights into the subtle differences in genetic ancestry across the United States.
Women who experience moderate to severe hot flashes and night sweats during menopause tend to have lower bone mineral density and higher rates of hip fracture than peers who do not have menopausal symptoms, according to a new study.
As people in developing nations relocate from rural areas to cities, the increased stress is affecting their hormone levels and making them more susceptible to diabetes and other metabolic disorders, according to a new study.
To paraphrase Mark Twain, the report of the Kepler spacecraft's death was greatly exaggerated. Despite a malfunction that ended its primary mission in May 2013, Kepler is still alive and working. The evidence comes from the discovery of a new super-Earth using data collected during Kepler's 'second life.'
Health-care systems and providers are not attuned to older adults' malnutrition risk, and ignoring malnutrition exacts a toll on hospitals, patients, and payers, according to experts. A new article points out that aging is a risk factor for malnutrition and highlights opportunities to improve nutrition awareness, interventions, and policy priorities.
A new study is challenging accepted ideas about how ancient soft-bodied organisms become part of the fossil record. Findings suggest that bacteria involved in the decay of those organisms play an active role in how fossils are formed -- often in a matter of just a few tens to hundreds of years. Understanding the relationship between decay and fossilization will inform future study and help researchers interpret fossils in a new way.
It is difficult to diagnose, study and treat cioliopathies, because it is difficult to examine cilia in molecular detail. Now researchers report that they have captured the highest-resolution images of human cilia ever, using a new approach.
A powerful new system for studying how proteins and other biological molecules form and lose their natural folded structures has been developed by scientists. Using the new system, researchers can force a sample of molecules to unfold and refold by boosting and then dropping the temperature, so quickly that even some of the fastest molecular folding events can be tracked.
Archaeologists have unearthed a unique royal entryway to the Herodian Hilltop Palace. The main feature is a 20-meter-high corridor with a complex system of arches, allowing the King and his entourage direct passage into the palace courtyard. During the excavations, the original palace vestibule, decorated with painted frescoes, was also exposed.
After an incomplete spinal cord injury, the body can partially recover basic motor function. So-called muscle spindles and associated sensory circuits back to the spinal cord promote the establishment of novel neuronal connections after injury. This circuit-level mechanism behind the process of motor recovery was elucidated by recent research; findings may contribute to designing novel strategies for treatment after spinal cord injuries.
The unique genetic paths that the childhood brain tumor medulloblastoma follows when the disease comes back has been mapped out, researchers report. Scientists looked at biopsies from the relapsed tumours of 29 patients. They found a range of changes that only appeared when the disease returned and were responsible for the cancer becoming more aggressive.
Type 1 diabetes patients who have developed low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) as a complication of insulin treatments over time are able to regain normal internal recognition of the condition after receiving pancreatic islet cell transplantation, according to a new study.
Scientists have discovered a way to dramatically increase the selectivity and binding strength of crown ethers by incorporating them within a rigid framework of graphene. Strong, specific electrostatic binding of crown ethers may advance sensors, chemical separations, nuclear-waste cleanup, extraction of metals from ores, purification and recycling of rare-earth elements, water purification, biotechnology, energy production in durable lithium-ion batteries, catalysis, medicine and data storage.
Researchers have received a patent for its use of a peptide that has been shown to prevent or reduce damage to intestinal tissue. Their ongoing work may have far-reaching implications, including new ways to treat tissue damaged during a heart attack or stroke, and even a possible cure for cancer.
For many people, the New Year is an opportunity for a fresh look at life – a time to resolve to return to or even begin a healthy lifestyle. But with an internet full of misinformation and some “professionals” with little, if any, formal education in nutrition, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages everyone to seek their healthy eating information from educated, trained and qualified nutrition experts – registered dietitian nutritionists.
Researchers hope to better forecast the flood risk from a combination of heavy rains and melting snow, which are most of the worst West Coast floods. Many of the worst West Coast winter floods pack a double punch. Heavy rains and melting snow wash down the mountains together to breach riverbanks, wash out roads and flood buildings.
The motion of the two electrons in the helium atom can be imaged and controlled with attosecond-timed laser flashes.
Programmed cell death is a mechanism that causes defective and potentially harmful cells to destroy themselves. It serves a number of purposes in the body, including the prevention of malignant tumor growth. Now, researchers have discovered a previously unknown mechanism for regulating programmed cell death. They have also shown that patients with lymphoma often carry mutations in this signal pathway.
In the animal kingdom many species must identify environmental sounds to increase their chance of survival. Therefore, animals have evolved a vast diversity of mechanisms to detect sounds. Acoustic communication occurs in many groups of animals. Yet, due to their biological diversity, insect species constitute a large percentage of the acoustic community -- particularly cicadas, crickets, katydids and grasshoppers. A detailed review of the functional mechanics of katydid (bushcricket) hearing, draws distinct parallels between the ear of the bushcricket and tetrapods.
The majority (55-74%) of adolescents entering substance use treatment also have psychiatric disorders, such as depression, ADHD and trauma-related problems. Unfortunately, these youth face poorer treatment outcomes (e.g., relapse), and their mental health issues are often not directly addressed. Furthermore, few studies exist to guide those clinicians who would like to use integrated care to treat adolescent with co-occurring disorders. A new review proposes that the Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA), which is a combination of cognitive-behavioral and family therapies, may be an ideal treatment method for this patient population.
Impending fatherhood can lower two hormones -- testosterone and estradiol -- for men, even before their babies are born, a new study found. This is the first study to show that the decline may begin even before the child's birth, during the transition to fatherhood.
Scientists are tackling one of the biggest barriers to the use of robots in emergency response: energy efficiency. They are developing technology that will dramatically improve the endurance of legged robots, helping them operate for long periods while performing the types of locomotion most relevant to disaster response scenarios.
New work is blending the power of computers with biology to use the human genome to remove much of the guesswork involved in discovering cures for diseases. A corresponding article describes how key genes that are present in our cells could be used to develop drugs for Ebola virus disease.
The highest-resolution maps of the Greenland Ice Sheet are debuting. Starting with Worldview satellite imagery, The maps are already revealing previously unknown features on the ice sheet.
Scientists have taken a significant step in our understanding of superconductivity by studying the strange quantum events in a unique superconducting material.
The high-dose flu vaccine is significantly better than the regular flu shot at boosting the immune response to the flu virus in frail, older residents of long-term care facilities, according to the results of a new study. It is the first evaluation of the vaccine in long-term care residents, which is the population most vulnerable to flu-related death.
Women exposed to high levels of fine particulate matter specifically during pregnancy -- particularly during the third trimester -- may face up to twice the risk of having a child with autism than mothers living in areas with low particulate matter, according to a study. The greater the exposure, the greater the risk, researchers found. It was the first US-wide study exploring the link between airborne particulate matter and autism.
A new study has found that sensitive caregiving in the first three years of life predicts an individual's social competence and academic achievement, not only during childhood and adolescence, but into adulthood. The study used information from 243 individuals who were born into poverty, came from a range of racial/ethnic backgrounds, and had been followed from birth to age 32.
Social anxiety is one of the most common psychiatric disorders among children and adolescents. A new study has found that together, the quality of parent-infant relationships and early childhood shyness predict the likelihood of social anxiety in adolescence. In this longitudinal study, researchers studied 165 European-American, middle- to upper-middle-class adolescents who were recruited as infants.
A study of children born prematurely has found differences in a subtle but important aspect of memory: the ability to form and retrieve memories about context. The study examined 33 8-to 10-year olds using magnetic resonance imaging to measure the volume of the hippocampi. The results suggest that the maturational state of the hippocampus at the time of birth influences the maturation of certain memory functions even at 8- to 10-years old.
Discovering your child has a severe food allergy can be a terrible shock. Even more stressful can be determining what foods your child can and cannot eat, and constructing a new diet which might eliminate entire categories of foods. Providing parents with detailed, individual advice from a dietician is a key component of effective food allergy care, experts say.