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Bottlenose Dolphins Colonized The Mediterranean After The Last Ice Age

Science2.0 - February 18, 2015 - 3:40pm
A new study to investigate the population structure and historical processes responsible for the geographic distribution of the species in the Mediterranean finds that the bottlenose dolphin only colonized the region after the last Ice Age, about 18,000 years ago.

The Mediterranean basin is now a global biodiversity hotspot and several marine species exhibit complex population structure patterns over relatively short geographic distances, so it is interesting to investigate the drivers of population structure in marine organisms. Tissue samples from 194 adult bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were collected between 1992 and 2011 from the five main eastern Mediterranean basins. 
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Nicotine Supports Learning And Memory

Science2.0 - February 18, 2015 - 3:31pm
A nicotine metabolite once thought to be inactive, cotinine, instead supports learning and memory, by amplifying the action of a primary chemical messenger involved in both, finds a new study.

The new findings indicate cotinine makes brain receptors more sensitive to lower levels of the messenger acetylcholine, which are typical in Alzheimer's, and may boost effectiveness, at least for a time, of existing therapies for Alzheimer's and possibly other memory and psychiatric disorders.
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Plants Survive Mass Extinctions Better Than Animals

Science2.0 - February 18, 2015 - 1:30pm
At least five mass extinction events have profoundly changed the course of life on Earth - animal life, at least. Plants have been very resilient to those events, finds a new study.

For over 400 million years, plants have played an essential role in almost all terrestrial environments and covered most of the world’s surface. During this long history, many smaller and a few major periods of extinction severely affected Earth’s ecosystems and its biodiversity.
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The Quote Of The Week: Resolving The Mass Hierarchy With A Little Help From A Supernova

Science2.0 - February 18, 2015 - 10:45am
"1. Interaction with matter changes the neutrino mixing and effective mass splitting in a way that depends on the mass hierarchy. Consequently, results of oscillations and flavor conversion are different for the two hierarchies.
2. Sensitivity to the mass hierarchy appears whenever the matter effect on the 1-3 mixing and mass splitting becomes substantial. This happens in supernovae in large energy range, and in the matter of the Earth.[...] 
4. Multi-megaton scale under ice (water) atmospheric neutrino detectors with low energy threshold (2-3 GeV) may establish mass hierarchy with (3-10)σ confidence level in few years. [...] -->

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Tautological Description-Relativistic Metaphysics IS The Theory Of Everything

Science2.0 - February 18, 2015 - 7:42am

  Modern physics is not accidentally relativistic and quantum, or in other words, Einstein-relative as well as Everett-relative (Bell-violating Everett-relativity is the very core of quantum mechanics!). Modern physics becomes ever more relativistic still today, and description relativity has revolutionized fundamental physics (see string theory dualities, Maldacena conjecture, black hole complementarity/holography, and so on). Why? Because we must take the observer’s perspective, and this means the describer’s perspective, ever more into account.

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Mothers Pass Traits To Offspring Through Bacteria DNA

Science2.0 - February 18, 2015 - 5:53am

It's a firmly established fact straight from Biology 101: Traits such as eye color and height are passed from one generation to the next through the parents' DNA.

But now, a new study in mice by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has shown that the DNA of bacteria that live in the body can pass a trait to offspring in a way similar to the parents' own DNA. According to the authors, the discovery means scientists need to consider a significant new factor - the DNA of microbes passed from mother to child - in their efforts to understand how genes influence illness and health.


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Child Rearing Is Unequal Between The Sexes - And That Is Due To Evolution

Science2.0 - February 18, 2015 - 1:07am
Caring for offspring is unequal between the sexes in many animal species and a new study suggests evolution is the culprit.

Making babies is one of the fundamental conflicts of interest between the sexes. Care by either partner is beneficial to both partners as it increases the health and survival prospects of the common young, while providing care is costly only to the caring individual. As a result, each partner does best in a situation where most of the care is provided by the other partner--an outcome that is clearly impossible.
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Nicotine Reduces Parasite Infection In Bees Up To 81 Percent

Science2.0 - February 18, 2015 - 12:49am
In 2006, there was a large die-off in bees and though their numbers quickly rebounded and have continued upward since, scientists have been looking for ways to make the periodic collapses that occur less dramatic. 

The cause the last time it happened was the same plague that bees have endured for as long as science has been able to study them; parasites. But a new study shows that "nature's medicine cabinet" may be able to smooth out those natural booms and busts.
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Bio-P3: 3D Tissue Engineering With Multicellular Building Blocks

Science2.0 - February 18, 2015 - 12:39am
Scientifically engineered tissues intended to repair or regenerate damaged or diseased human tissues require three-dimensional tissue constructs that are densely packed with living cells.

The Bio-P3, an innovative instrument able to pick up, transport, and assemble multi-cellular microtissues to form larger tissue constructs is described in an article in Tissue Engineering, Part C: Methods.
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Your Skull: Now An Extended Network Structured In Ten Modules

Science2.0 - February 17, 2015 - 10:05pm
A new mathematical analysis tool can numerically describe the skull as an extended network structured in ten modules. 

Anatomical Network Analysis (AnNA) is based on network analysis mathematical tools for studying anatomy and has led to several studies of both the human skeleton and of the rest of terrestrial vertebrates, especially in regard to the development and evolution of the skull.
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'Fiddling' With Temperature Data Doesn't Change The Global Warming Trend

Science2.0 - February 17, 2015 - 9:54pm

Attacks on institutions that keep records of global temperatures, such as NASA, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the UK Met Office, and Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, continue to appear in the press.

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Organic Milk Offers No Nutritional Boost Over Regular Milk

Science2.0 - February 17, 2015 - 7:43pm

By Leigh Cooper, Inside Science

(Inside Science) – Two bottles of whole milk sit side-by-side in a supermarket refrigerator. One costs $3.46 per gallon while the other costs $7.08 per gallon.

The difference? The second bottle of milk is labeled organic.

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Real Paleo Diet: Anything Early Hominids Could Find

Science2.0 - February 17, 2015 - 7:09pm

Early hominids didn’t have a lot of time to whip up coconut flour pancakes. Credit: United Artists

Reconstructions of human evolution are prone to simple, overly-tidy scenarios. Our ancestors, for example, stood on two legs to look over tall grass, or began to speak because, well, they finally had something to say. Like much of our understanding of early hominid behavior, the imagined diet of our ancestors has also been over-simplified.

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Obesity Paradox: A High-Fat Diet Reduces Heart Attack Damage 50 Percent

Science2.0 - February 17, 2015 - 6:41pm
Over the long term, a high-fat diet is bad for heart attack risk. Yet a new study finds that if you are going to have a heart attack, you are likely to get through it better if you ate a high-fat diet before it happened. Mice fed a high-fat diet for one day to two weeks days before a heart attack had heart attack reduced by about 50 percent. If the results could be translated to humans, that would mean piling on cheeseburgers and ice cream for a month to a year, not a winning strategy for lots of other reasons.

It's another example of the obesity paradox, an unexplained phenomenon where obese patients who do have a heart attack live longer than thin ones.
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Parkinson's Gene Linked To Lung Cancer

Science2.0 - February 17, 2015 - 5:03pm

Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), in collaboration with other colleagues of the Genetic Epidemiology of Lung Cancer Consortium (GELCC), have identified a gene that is associated with lung cancer.

The findings are published in American Journal of Human Genetics. Through whole exome sequencing, researchers identified a link between a mutation in PARK2, a gene associated with early-onset Parkinson's disease, and familial lung cancer.

The researchers sequenced the exomes (protein coding region of the genome) of individuals from a family with multiple cases of lung cancer. They then studied the PARK2 gene in additional families affected by lung cancer.


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Chimps From Good Families Do Better In Fights

Science2.0 - February 17, 2015 - 5:03pm

For chimpanzees, just like humans, teasing, taunting and bullying are familiar parts of playground politics. An analysis of 12 years of observations of playground fights between young chimpanzees in East Africa finds that chimps with higher-ranked moms are more likely to win.

The results come from an analysis of daily field notes recorded from 2000 to 2011 at Gombe National Park in western Tanzania. Stored in the Jane Goodall Institute Research Center at Duke University and also at The George Washington University, the records are part of a larger database containing more than 50 years of data on over 300 wild chimpanzees, going all the way back to Jane Goodall's first observations from the early 1960s.


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Geolocating Where Videos Were Taken, Using Sound And Image Recognition

Science2.0 - February 17, 2015 - 3:56pm
It's always helpful to have text or verbal claims about where a video was taken, but when it comes to terrorists or other criminals, they might not be telling the truth. 

Researchers from Ramón Llull University in Spain have created a system capable of geolocating videos by comparing audiovisual content with a worldwide multimedia database and it is able to locate where the videos were taken with no indication of where they were produced.
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Oscars: The Science Behind Award-Winning Trees And Tresses

Science2.0 - February 17, 2015 - 2:00pm

DreamWorks Animation Foliage System "trees" in "How To Train Your Dragon." Courtesy of DreamWorks Animations

By Emilie Lorditch, Inside Science

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Probiotic Hype: No Relationship Between The Gut Microbiome And Obesity

Science2.0 - February 17, 2015 - 8:30am

Latching onto the probiotics diet fad, several studies have claimed that the gut microbiome, the diverse array of bacteria that live in the stomach and intestines, may be to blame for obesity. But Katherine Pollard, PhD, a senior investigator at the Gladstone Institutes, says it is not that simple.


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Killer Shrimp: Invasive Species In The Great Lakes By 2063

Science2.0 - February 17, 2015 - 8:30am

The Great Lakes have been invaded by more non-native species than any other freshwater ecosystem in the world. In spite of increasing efforts to stem the tide of invasion threats, the lakes remain vulnerable, according to scientists from McGill University and colleagues in Canada and the United States. If no new regulations are enforced, they predict new waves of invasions and identify some species that could invade the Lakes over the next 50 years.


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