The body temperature of cold-blooded (ectothermic) animals, including insects, is ultimately determined by ambient temperature, and that impacts the speed and efficiency of their vital biological processes also.
But is it changes in average temperature or frequency of extreme temperature conditions that have the greatest impact on species distribution? A group of Danish and Australian researchers decided to examine a number of insect species to find out.
Researchers have used fishing line fiber and sewing thread to create inexpensive artificial muscles.
The inexpensive, artificial muscles generate far more force and power than human or animal muscles of the same size and could be used in medical devices, humanoid robots, prosthetic limbs, or woven into fabrics.
"In terms of the strength and power of the artificial muscle, we found that it can quickly lift weights 100 times heavier than a same-sized human muscle can, in a single contraction," says University of British Columbia Electrical and Computer Engineering professor John Madden. "It also has a higher power output for its weight than that of an automobile combustion engine."
A common space weather phenomenon on the outskirts of Earth's magnetic bubble, the magnetosphere, has a much different effect on Venus.
The giant explosions, called hot flow anomalies, can be so large at Venus that they're bigger than the entire planet - and they can happen multiple times a day.
Earth is protected from the constant streaming solar wind of radiation by its magnetosphere.
Venus, on the other hand, is a barren, inhospitable planet, with an atmosphere so dense that spacecraft landing there are crushed within hours. Venus has no magnetic protection.
You probably recognize that there are no objective measures to creating those "Top 10" and "Top 100" lists. There is a generous sprinkling of personal bias and subjective decisions.
Yet the assumption is that rankings of median home prices and crime rates and the "best places to live" aren't being done deceptively. Still, a way to account for unintentional bias would be great, and so Harvard researchers have created LineUp, an open-source application that empowers ordinary citizens to make quick, easy judgments about rankings based on multiple attributes.
DNA sequencing technologies continue to make bold strides, and that means a lot for the plant sciences.
Genome-scale data sets obtained from these new technologies will allow researchers to greatly improve our understanding of evolutionary relationships, because studies of phylogenetic relationships among different plant species have traditionally relied on analyses of a limited number of genes, mostly from the chloroplast genome. Limited data often means limited ability to fully or accurately resolve phylogenetic relationships.
Deep waters formed in the northern North Atlantic fill approximately half of the deep ocean globally.
As you might gather, that impacts the circum-Atlantic climate and regional sea levels and soaks up much of the excess atmospheric carbon dioxide from industrialization.
Changes in this circulation mode are considered by some to be a potential tipping point in future climate change that could have widespread and long-lasting impacts including on regional sea level, the intensity and pacing of Sahel droughts, and the pattern and rate of ocean acidification and CO2 sequestration. But this pattern of circulation has been relatively stable during warm climate states such as those projected for the end of the century.
The thyroid gland has an important role in regulating the body's metabolism, but researchers say it can also influence mental health. Past research found links between an increased risk of depression and both over- and under-active thyroid glands. Now, a new study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism has found an association between depression and thyroid activity variations...even within the normal range.
Heart disease is the world's leading cause of death, but recent advances in science and medicine have improved the chances of surviving a heart attack. In the United States alone, nearly one million people have survived an attack, but are living with heart failure—a chronic condition in which the heart, having lost muscle during the attack, does not beat at full capacity.
Scientists have been look at cellular reprogramming as a way to regenerate this damaged heart muscle. And it works. Scientists can transform skin cells into cells that closely resemble beating heart cells but it's complicated and the transformation is often incomplete.
If you want to turn down the emotional intensity before making an important decision, turn down the lights, say Alison Jing Xu, assistant professor of management at the University of Toronto Scarborough, and Aparna Labroo of Northwestern University.
Researchers have created an adult stem cell based method for restoring strength to damaged skeletal muscles in the elderly.
Skeletal muscles are some of the most important muscles in the body, supporting functions such as sitting, standing, blinking and swallowing. In aging individuals, the function of these muscles significantly decreases. People lose fifteen percent of muscle mass every single year after the age of 75, a trend that is irreversible.
Through tracing the signaling pathways of the cells, the researchers determined that during aging, a subpopulation of stem cells begin to express a modification of a protein that inhibits their ability to grow and make new stem cells.
In the 'sometimes what you don't find can be important too' department, a new high-accuracy calibration of the LUX (Large Underground Xenon) dark matter detector's sensitivity to ultra-low energy events strongly confirms the result that it did not find low-mass dark matter particles last summer during its initial run.
Survey results related to how men approach old age found that happiness remains relatively stable for some 80 percent of the population, but perceptions of unhappiness – or dealing with "hassles" – tends to get worse once you are about 65-70 years old.
The reasons vary, researchers say, but may be because of health issues, cognitive decline or the loss of a spouse or friends.
Twice in recent history, the periodic El Niño event has caused sea level drops abruptly in the tropical western Pacific. The tides remain below normal for up to a year in the South Pacific, especially around Samoa, and Samoans call the resulting wet stench of coral die-offs arising from the low sea levels "taimasa" (pronounced [kai' ma'sa]).
A team of scientists at the International Pacific Research Center, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa and at the University of New South Wales, Australia is studying the climate effects of this particular variation of El Niño.
Politics always make strange bedfellows. When George W. Bush was president, the claim of his political opposition was that Iraq was 'no harm to anyone outside its own borders' and so we should not be involved there, much less do any nation building. Yet when his political opposition gained control of the White House, the calls to do that same thing in Libya, Egypt, Syria and other places have been quite vocal. They just rationalized that they were helping an Arab Spring to flourish by removing the military power of despots.
Calling Bill Haley and the Comets, because PSR J0738-4042, which lies 37,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Puppis, is being rocked around the clock.
As in being constantly hit by asteroids.
It's not a great place. The environment around this star is especially harsh, full of radiation and violent winds of particles, say the researchers who used telescopes in South Africa and Australia to find the assaults.
"One of these rocks seems to have had a mass of about a billion tonnes," saidAustralian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's (CSIRO) astronomer and member of the research team Dr. Ryan Shannon. "If a large rocky object can form here, planets could form around any star. That's exciting."
Jazz musicians do a lot of spontaneous, improvisational music and brains scans show robust activation of brain areas traditionally associated with spoken language and syntax, which are used to interpret the structure of phrases and sentences.
But this musical conversation shut down brain areas linked to semantics — those that process the meaning of spoken language, according to results of a new study by Johns Hopkins researchers which used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to track the brain activity of jazz musicians in the act of "trading fours," a process in which musicians participate in spontaneous back and forth instrumental exchanges, usually four bars in duration.
Call it the buoyancy of the brood.
When facing a flood, ants build rafts and find other ways to minimize injury or death - they can basically use the brood to act as a life preserver - according to a new paper. The queen ant goes in the middle and is protected on all sides by the rafting ants.