Dolphins use extra energy to communicate in noisy waters

Science Daily - Thu, 23/04/2015 - 5:04pm
Dolphins that raise their voices to be heard in noisy environments expend extra energy in doing so, according to new research that for the first time measures the biological costs to marine mammals of trying to communicate over the sounds of ship traffic or other sources.
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World Happiness Report 2015 ranks happiest countries

Science Daily - Thu, 23/04/2015 - 5:03pm
Since it was first published in 2012, the World Happiness Report demonstrated that well-being and happiness are critical indicators of a nation's economic and social development, and should be a key aim of policy. This year's report looks at the changes in happiness levels in 158 countries, and examines the reasons behind the statistics.
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A focus on flight: Birds use just two postures to avoid obstacles during flight

Science Daily - Thu, 23/04/2015 - 5:03pm
A new study shows birds use two highly stereotyped postures to avoid obstacles in flight. The study could open the door to new ways to program drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles to avoid similar obstacles.
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Differences in personality influence survival in field crickets

Science Daily - Thu, 23/04/2015 - 5:03pm
An individual's behaviour in risky situations is a distinct personality trait both in humans and animals that can have an immediate impact on longevity. Researchers have now found differences in personality types for the first time in a population of free living field crickets. Risk-prone individuals showed a higher mortality as they stayed more often outside their burrow where they can be easily detected by predators, compared to risk averse individuals. Moreover, shy individuals are not encountered so often by researchers, causing potential bias in collected scientific data. This methodological problem has been a neglected in many personality studies but has been accounted for uniquely in the present study.
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Human tape worm drug shows promise against MRSA in lab

Science Daily - Thu, 23/04/2015 - 5:02pm
A drug already approved to fight tapeworms in people, effectively treated MRSA superbugs in lab cultures and in infected nematode worms. The scientists are pursuing further testing with hope that the findings will lead to new treatments for deadly MRSA infections.
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Hiatus in global average temperatures has little effect on projected temperatures in 2100

Science Daily - Thu, 23/04/2015 - 5:02pm
The recent slowdown in the rise of global average air temperatures will make no difference to how much the planet will warm by 2100, a new study has found.
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In search of tinnitus, that phantom ringing in the ears

Science Daily - Thu, 23/04/2015 - 4:58pm
About one in five people experience tinnitus, the perception of a sound -- often described as ringing -- that isn't really there. Now, researchers have taken advantage of a rare opportunity to record directly from the brain of a person with tinnitus in order to find the brain networks responsible.
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Looking to fossils to predict tooth evolution in rodents: Ever-growing molars in the future?

Science Daily - Thu, 23/04/2015 - 4:58pm
Fifty million years ago, all rodents had short, stubby molars -- teeth similar to those found in the back of the human mouth, used for grinding food. Over time, rodent teeth progressively evolved to become taller, and some rodent species even evolved continuously growing molar teeth. A new study predicts that most rodent species will have ever-growing molars in the far distant future.
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Can sound help us detect 'earthquakes' on Venus?

Science Daily - Thu, 23/04/2015 - 4:58pm
Detecting an 'earthquake' on Venus would seem to be an impossible task. But conditions in Venus' atmosphere are much more hospitable, and it is here that researchers hope to deploy an array of balloons or satellites that could detect Venusian seismic activity -- using sound.
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Crime scene discovery: Scientist separates the DNA of identical twins

Science Daily - Thu, 23/04/2015 - 4:57pm
Since its first use in the 1980s -- a breakthrough dramatized in recent crime-solving dramas -- DNA profiling has been a vital tool for forensic investigators.  Now researchers have solved one of its few limitations by successfully testing a technique for distinguishing between the DNA -- or genetic fingerprint -- of identical twins. 
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Africa E-Waste Dump Continues Hyperbole War

Slashdot - Thu, 23/04/2015 - 4:57pm
retroworks writes: Two stories appear today which feature close up photos of young African men surrounded by scrap metal in the city of Accra. The headlines state that this is where our computers go to die (Wired). The Daily Mail puts it in even starker terms, alleging "millions of tons" are dumped in Agbogbloshie. The stories appear the same day as a press release by investigators who returned this week from 3 weeks at the site. The release claims that Agbogbloshie's depiction as the worlds "largest ewaste dump site" to be a hoax. It is a scrap automobile yard which accounts for nothing more than local scrap from Accra. Three Dagbani language speaking electronics technicians, three reporters, Ghana customs officials and yours truly visited the site, interviewed workers about the origins of the material, and assessed volumes. About 27 young men burn wire, mostly from automobile scrap harnesses. The electronics — 20 to 50 items per day — are collected from Accra businesses and households. The majority of Accra (population 5M) have had televisions since the 1990s, according to World Bank metadata (over 80% by 2003). The investigation did confirm that most of the scrap was originally imported used, and that work conditions were poor. However, the equipment being recycled had been repaired and maintained, typically for a decade (longer than the original OECD owner). It is a fact that used goods will, one day, eventually become e-waste. Does that support a ban on the trade in used goods to Africa? Or, as the World Bank reports, is the affordable used product essential to establish a critical mass of users so that investment in highways, phone towers, and internet cable can find necessary consumers?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Thawing permafrost feeds climate change

Science Daily - Thu, 23/04/2015 - 4:56pm
Single-cell organisms called microbes are rapidly devouring the ancient carbon being released from thawing permafrost soil and ultimately releasing it back into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, according to new research. Increased carbon dioxide levels, of course, cause the Earth to warm and accelerate thawing.
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How to stop a stroke in its tracks

Science Daily - Thu, 23/04/2015 - 4:56pm
New minimally invasive surgical devices called stentrievers are enabling brain surgeons to stop strokes in their tracks.
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Reducing school bus pollution improves children's health

Science Daily - Thu, 23/04/2015 - 4:48pm
Use of clean fuels and updated pollution control measures in the school buses 25 million children ride every day could result in 14 million fewer absences from school a year, based on a new study.
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Fat tissue controls brain's response to food scarcity, helping regulate optimal amount of body fat for brain function

Science Daily - Thu, 23/04/2015 - 4:48pm
An enzyme secreted by the body's fat tissue controls energy levels in the brain, according to new research. The findings, in mice, underscore a role for the body's fat tissue in controlling the brain's response to food scarcity, and suggest there is an optimal amount of body fat for maximizing health and longevity. The findings may help explain the many studies that show a survival benefit to having a body mass index toward the low end of what is considered overweight.
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Extra sleep fixes memory problems in flies with Alzheimer's-like condition

Science Daily - Thu, 23/04/2015 - 4:48pm
Many studies have linked more sleep to better memory, but new research in fruit flies demonstrates that extra sleep helps the brain overcome catastrophic neurological defects that otherwise would block memory formation, report scientists.
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Entire genomes of woolly mammoths mapped: Clues to extinction, possibility of bringing mammoths back

Science Daily - Thu, 23/04/2015 - 4:48pm
An international team of researchers has sequenced the nearly complete genome of two Siberian woolly mammoths -- revealing the most complete picture to date -- including new information about the species' evolutionary history and the conditions that led to its mass extinction at the end of the Ice Age.
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Gene-editing technique offers hope for hereditary diseases

Science Daily - Thu, 23/04/2015 - 4:48pm
Scientists have used molecular "scissors" to eliminate mitochondrial mutations in eggs and embryos. They are now investigating the possibility of translating this technology to the clinic in human eggs and embryos.
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NASA Unveils Spectacular Photo for Hubble Telescope's 25th Birthday

Space.com - Thu, 23/04/2015 - 4:35pm
An awe-inspiring landscape of multicolored dust and jewel-like stars has been unveiled as the official image of the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope.
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Beyond Hubble: Future Space Observatories Will Carry Telescope's Legacy Forward

Space.com - Thu, 23/04/2015 - 4:20pm
See what's next after the Hubble Space Telescope, from a tech perspective.
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