Science2.0

Four Corners: US Southwest Has High Methane Emissions

Science2.0 - October 9, 2014 - 9:18pm

A high amount of methane, the main component of natural gas, is escaping from the Four Corners region in the U.S. Southwest, according to a new study.


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Flies Give Another Twist In The Evolving Story Of Heredity

Science2.0 - October 9, 2014 - 9:01pm

A female neriid fly (right) laying eggs, while her mate fights off a rival male. Angela Crean and Russell Bonduriansky. Credit: Author provided

By Angela Crean and Russell Bonduriansky

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Temperature And Water Vapor Mapped On Wild Exoplanet WASP-43b

Science2.0 - October 9, 2014 - 8:02pm

A team of scientists using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to make the most detailed global map yet of the glow from a giant, oddball planet orbiting another star, an object twice as massive as Jupiter and hot enough to melt steel, called WASP-43b.

WASP-43b is a world of extremes, where winds howl at the speed of sound from a 3,000-degree-Fahrenheit dayside to a pitch-black nightside when temperatures plunge to a relatively cool 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, still hot enough to melt silver.


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Synthetic Oil Triheptanoin Improves Autism Spectrum Disorder And Longevity

Science2.0 - October 9, 2014 - 7:42pm

Young mice with the rodent equivalent of a rare autism spectrum disorder (ASD) called Rett syndrome that were fed a diet supplemented with the synthetic oil triheptanoin had physical and behavioral symptoms that were less severe after being on the diet - and they lived longer than mice on regular diets.

Researchers involved in the study think that triheptanoin improved the functioning of mitochondria, energy factories common to all cells. Since mitochondrial defects are seen in other ASDs, the researchers say, the experimental results offer hope that the oil could help not just people with Rett syndrome, but also patients with other, more common ASDs.


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Individual Lung Tumors Have Genomic Consistency

Science2.0 - October 9, 2014 - 7:30pm

Cancer-driving genomic aberrations in localized lung cancer appear are so consistently present across tumors that a single biopsy of one region of the tumor is likely to identify most of them, according to a new paper.

The study addresses the challenge of what scientists call genomic heterogeneity, the presence of many different variations that drive tumor formation, growth and progression, and likely complicate the choice and potential efficacy of therapy.

A landmark study of renal cell cancer in 2012 found that most cancer-promoting variations were not present across all regions of those tumors, so biopsy of a single region would not provide a good representation of cancer genes important in the genesis of any given tumor.


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20 Million Square Kilometers - Antarctic Sea Ice New Record Maximum

Science2.0 - October 9, 2014 - 7:02pm
Antarctic sea ice reached a new record high extent this year, covering more of the southern oceans than it has since scientists began a long-term satellite record to map sea ice extent in the late 1970s.

The Antarctic sea ice extent exceeded 7.72 million square miles (20 million square kilometers) for the first time since 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The ice extent stayed above this benchmark extent for several days. The average maximum extent between 1981 and 2010 was 7.23 million square miles (18.72 million square kilometers). 
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Preventing Ebola: Screen — Or Screen Door?

Science2.0 - October 9, 2014 - 6:26pm
It is pretty hard to trust or admire our government on a good day.

However, this is more of a theoretical concern than a practical one, since they haven't had a whole lot of them lately. 
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Hurricane Simon's Remnants Moving Through Mexico And The US

Science2.0 - October 9, 2014 - 6:01pm

Tropical Storm Simon, once a hurricane, is expected to bring heavy rain to portions of the central Plains and Midwest on today and tomorrow. Since it is not hitting New York City during presidential election season, it won't be called a SuperStorm and get much national media attention.


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Is Chess The New Texas Hold 'Em?

Science2.0 - October 9, 2014 - 5:19pm
Credit: Millionaire Chess tournament

When I was a kid, no one outside Texas played Texas Hold 'Em. We played Stud, we played Draw, we played Liar's, but not Hold 'Em.

Like Esther Williams movies and organic food, some things just make their way into pop culture and there is no rational reason why. Texas Hold 'Em is now the most popular card game in the country, every month or so our neighborhood gets together at one of our homes and puts in 20 bucks each and we go at it.
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Naomi Klein Or Al Gore? Making Sense Of Contrasting Views On Climate Change

Science2.0 - October 9, 2014 - 5:00pm

Naomi Klein: To fight climate change, we have to end capitalism. Mariusz Kubik, CC BY

By Matthew Nisbet, Northeastern University

Earth is “f---ed” and our insatiable growth economy is to blame. So argues Naomi Klein in her intentionally provocative best-seller This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.

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Tropical Cyclone Hudhud Becoming A Typhoon: Warnings For East-Central India

Science2.0 - October 9, 2014 - 4:39pm

Tropical Cyclone Hudhud formed on Oct. 8th and began moving from east to west across the Bay of Bengal in the Northern Indian Ocean. 

NASA's Aqua satellite flew over Hudhud today and took a picture of the storm that showed it was still somewhat elongated, but more organized than the previous day. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite provided the hint of a developing eye.

Warnings for winds, rain and surf are already in effect for the northern Andhra Pradesh coast and south Odisha coastline of eastern India as Hudhud approaches.


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Autophagy Discovery May Lead To Less Chemotherapy

Science2.0 - October 9, 2014 - 4:00pm

No matter what type of chemotherapy you attack a tumor with, many cancer cells resort to the same survival tactic: They start eating themselves. This autophagy process happens when two proteins pair up and switch it on this process, according to a new paper.

"This gives us a therapeutic avenue to target autophagy in tumors," says Brigham Young University chemistry professor Josh Andersen. "The idea would be to make tumors more chemo-sensitive. You could target these proteins and the mechanism of this switch to block autophagy, which would allow for lower doses of chemotherapy while hopefully improving patient outcomes."


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Zapping The Brain With Tiny Magnetic Pulses Improves Memory

Science2.0 - October 9, 2014 - 3:30pm

Who doesn't want more brain power? Credit: James Steidl

By Elizabeth Maratos, University of Leicester

The practice of physically stimulating the brain in order to alleviate symptoms of illness and injury has been around since the early 20th century. For example, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is still used to alleviate symptoms of depression.

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How Evolution Creates New Characteristics

Science2.0 - October 9, 2014 - 3:30pm

The evolution of new traits with novel functions has long been studied by evolutionary biology and a new study of the color markings of cichlid fish has shed some new light on it.

Swiss scientists writing in Nature Communications show what triggered these evolutionary innovations, namely: a mobile genetic element in the regulatory region of a color gene.  


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Bushmeat Linked To Ebola: Why Industrial Agriculture May Be Safer

Science2.0 - October 9, 2014 - 2:24pm

Sometimes organic food kills and there is nothing more natural than locally-hunted wild meat bought at a local market. 

Now it turns out that ebola, as with many emerging infections, may have arisen due to the practice of eating wild meat known as 'bushmeat', say a team of researchers led by the University of Cambridge and the Zoological Society of London. They surveyed almost 600 people across southern Ghana about their bat bushmeat consumption – and how people perceive the risks associated with the practice.


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40,000 Year Old Rock Art Found In Indonesia

Science2.0 - October 9, 2014 - 1:31pm

A close up of one of the hand stencils found in the prehistoric caves in Indonesia. Credit: Kinez Riza, Author provided

By Paul S.C.Taçon, Griffith University; Adam Brumm, Griffith University, and Maxime Aubert, Griffith University

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Are Ebola Drug Researchers Developing ‘Death Drugs’ That Could Wipe Out Humanity?

Science2.0 - October 9, 2014 - 1:00pm

Credit: Institute of Responsible Technology

By Jon Entine, Genetic Literacy Project

It’s perplexing that strident anti-GMO critics who regularly harp on the “danger” of harvesting a “foreign” gene from one species and inserting into another to improve crop performance or nutrition are mostly silent when the exact same process is used to engineer new drugs. The Ebola crisis and the desperate search for viable treatments highlights that oddity.

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Herpesvirus, Not Zoos, Implicated In Baby Elephant Deaths

Science2.0 - October 9, 2014 - 1:00pm

Elephants are among the most intelligent non-humans, arguably on par with chimpanzees, and both African and Asian elephants are endangered. 

In 1995, 16-month old Kumari, the first Asian elephant born at the National Zoo in Washington, DC, died of a mysterious illness. In 1999, Gary Hayward of Johns Hopkins University and collaborators published their results identifying a novel herpesvirus, EEHV1 as the cause of Kumari's sudden death. They now show that severe cases like this one are caused by viruses that normally infect the species, rather than by viruses that have jumped from African elephants, which was their original hypothesis.  


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The Energy Of 10 Million Suns: An Impossibly Bright Dead Star

Science2.0 - October 9, 2014 - 12:30pm

A once-in-a-century supernova, dubbed SN2014J, in a the nearby galaxy Messier 82 - the Cigar Galaxy - 12 million light-years away has been spotted; a pulsating dead star beaming with the energy of about 10 million suns. The object, previously thought to be a black hole because it is so powerful, is in fact a pulsar - the incredibly dense rotating remains of a star. 

Dom Walton, a postdoctoral scholar at Caltech who works with NuSTAR data, says that with its extreme energy, this first ultraluminous pulsar takes the top prize in the weirdness category. Pulsars are typically between one and two times the mass of the sun. This new pulsar presumably falls in that same range but shines about 100 times brighter than theory suggests something of its mass should be able to.


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Ebola Won’t Gain A Foothold In Western Countries – Here’s Why

Science2.0 - October 9, 2014 - 1:30am

Commotion outside house of infected nurse Teresa Ramos near Madrid. Credit: EPA

By Peter Barlow, Edinburgh Napier University

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