3-D view of the Greenland Ice Sheet opens a window into ice history

3-D view of the Greenland Ice Sheet opens a window into ice history

Scientists using ice-penetrating radar data collected by NASA's Operation IceBridge and earlier airborne campaigns have built the first comprehensive map of layers deep inside the Greenland Ice Sheet, opening a window on past climate conditions and the ice sheet's potentially perilous future.

This new map allows scientists to determine the age of large swaths of the second largest mass of ice on Earth, an area containing enough water to raise ocean levels by about 20 feet.

Dragnet for epilepsy genes

Dragnet for epilepsy genes

An international team of scientists has taken a new path in the research into causes of epilepsy: The researchers determined the networks of the active genes and, like a dragnet, looked for the "main perpetrators" using a computer model. In doing so, they discovered the molecule sestrin-3 as a central switch. In animal models, the scientists were able to demonstrate that inhibition of sestrin-3 leads to a reduction in seizures.

Mothers may not think so, but they speak less clearly to their babies

Mothers may not think so, but they speak less clearly to their babies

People have a distinctive way of talking to babies and small children: We speak more slowly, using a sing-song voice, and tend to use cutesy words like "tummy". While we might be inclined to think that we talk this way because it is easier for children to understand, new research published in Psychological Science suggests that, surprisingly, mothers may actually speak less clearly to their infants than they do to adults.

Black holes exist with unbounded speeds of propagation - in math, anyway

Black holes exist with unbounded speeds of propagation - in math, anyway

Lorentz invariance (LI) is a cornerstone of modern physics, and strongly supported by observations.

In fact, all the experiments carried out so far are consistent with it, and no evidence to show that such a symmetry needs to be broken at a certain energy scale. Nevertheless, there are various reasons to construct gravitational theories with broken LI. In particular, our understanding of space-times at Plank scale is still highly limited, and the renomalizability and unitarity of gravity often lead to the violation of LI.

Lucid dreams and metacognition: Awareness of thinking, awareness of dreaming

Lucid dreams and metacognition: Awareness of thinking, awareness of dreaming

To control one's dreams and to live out there what is impossible in real life - a truly tempting idea. Some persons - so-called lucid dreamers -can do this. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin and the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich have discovered that the brain area which enables self-reflection is larger in lucid dreamers. Thus, lucid dreamers are possibly also more self-reflecting when being awake.

Sexual fluidity: It may be just a preference after all

Sexual fluidity: It  may be just a preference after all

Love is blind. Pyty
Explainer: what is sexual fluidity?

By Dylan Selterman, Lecturer at University of Maryland.

A marine biologist went to Davos...

A marine biologist went to Davos...

The author, getting up to speed in Davos. World Economic Forum

By Alex Rogers, Professor of Conservation Biology at University of Oxford

Linguistics: Tonal languages need humid climates

Linguistics: Tonal languages need humid climates

The weather impacts not only upon our mood but also our voice. An international research team including scientists from the Max Planck Institutes for Psycholinguistics, Evolutionary Anthropology and Mathematics in the Sciences has analyzed the influence of humidity on the evolution of languages. Their study has revealed that languages with a wide range of tone pitches are more prevalent in regions with high humidity levels. In contrast, languages with simpler tone pitches are mainly found in drier regions.

Deaths of extremely premature infants decline

In a large, national study of extremely premature infants, researchers found that death rates decreased from 2000 to 2011. An analysis of specific causes found that deaths attributed to immaturity or pulmonary causes and complicated by infection or central nervous system injury all decreased; however, deaths attributed to necrotizing enterocolitis increased. Necrotizing enterocolitis is an intestinal complication resulting from prematurity.

The study results are published in the Jan. 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Calling for a new model to evaluate medical schools

Over the past 100 years, licensing and accrediting bodies have raised the quality of medical education and efforts have been made to ensure that medical schools meet a minimum standard for the curricula and clinical training they offer to students. However, comparing institutions and identifying which ones produce the physicians who provide the best patient care and conduct the best biomedical research remains challenging for prospective students. A popular method for comparing medical schools, the analysis performed by U.S.