Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

+ - Half-male, half-female bird has a rough life->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Scientists have taken a closer look at a rare half-female, half-male northern cardinal spotted a few years ago in Rock Island, Illinois. It turns out being a split-sex “gynandromorph” isn't all fun and games. The cardinal didn’t appear to have a mate, and observers never heard it sing. On the other hand, it wasn’t “subjected to any unusual agonistic behaviors from other cardinals,” according to the paper."
Link to Original Source

+ - Jumping spiders battle video animations->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "To win a mate, Lyssomanes viridis males must often do battle with one another, extending their colorful fangs, waving their forelegs in combative displays, and head-butting each other until one of them gives way. But males who fight every battle to the fullest end up exhausted or dead. So how do jumping spiders decide which other males they’re willing to fight? To find out, researchers designed their own computer-animated jumping spiders and had them confront live specimens in a lab. The animated spiders varied in body size as well as in fang and leg length; in each case, the scientists observed whether the live spiders would escalate a battle. Surprisingly, the spiders were just as willing to fight animations with long legs and fangs than those with less imposing weapons. But they consistently retreated from challenges made by animations that had significantly bigger bodies than their own. That suggests that the size difference between spiders—rather than body size alone—may be the best predictor of whether two males end up in combat."
Link to Original Source

+ - Three-hundred-million-year-old fossil fish still has traces of eye tissue->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Researchers have unearthed a fossil fish so well preserved, it still has traces of eye tissues. What’s more, these fossil tissues reveal that the 300-million-year-old fish called Acanthodes bridgei, like its living relatives, possessed two types of photoreceptors called rods and cones—cells that make vision possible. This is the first time that mineralized rods and cones have been found conserved in a vertebrate fossil. The discovery of cones, which help the eye see colors, is suggestive of the presence of color vision in fish for at least 300 million years."
Link to Original Source

+ - Does journal peer review miss best and brightest?->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "A study published today indicates that the scientific peer review system does a reasonable job of predicting the eventual interest in most papers, but it may shoot an air ball when it comes to identifying really game-changing research. Papers that were accepted outright by one of the three elite journals tended to garner more citations than papers that were rejected and then published elsewhere. And papers that were rejected went on to receive fewer citations than papers that were approved by an editor. But there is a serious chink in the armor: All 14 of the most highly cited papers in the study were rejected by the three elite journals, and 12 of those were bounced before they could reach peer review. The finding suggests that unconventional research that falls outside the established lines of thought may be more prone to rejection from top journals."
Link to Original Source

+ - Climate change could cost U.S. coasts $1 trillion by 2100->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Climate change will cost U.S. coastal areas twice what analysts had predicted, according to a new study. Researchers had estimated that preparing coastal cities, repairing property damages, and relocating inhabitants for future sea level rise could have a roughly $500 billion price tag by 2100. But storm surge from tropical cyclones can cause additional local rises in sea level rise; that figure hits about $1 trillion."
Link to Original Source

+ - Human skeleton has become lighter over time-> 1

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Compared to those of other primate, human bones are weak, with a relative lack of spongy bone that makes our skeletons lighter and increases our risk of fractures and osteoporosis. The the driving force behind the change might be modern human’s sedentary lifestyle, free of the bone-strengthening exercise of chasing down prey and spending hours foraging for food. A second study further supports that hypothesis by comparing the density of spongy bone in the hip joints of nonhuman primates, ancient hunter-gatherers, and ancient farmers. The hunter-gatherers’ hip joints were about as strong as those of the apes, whereas the ancient farmers’ hips showed a significant loss of spongy bone. The researchers conclude that a lack of rigorous exercise, rather than any evolutionary pressure toward lighter skeletons, is the reason for modern human’s weak bones."
Link to Original Source

+ - Satellite captures glowing plants from space->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "About 1% of the light that strikes plants is re-emitted as a faint, fluorescent glow—a measure of photosynthetic activity. Today, scientists released a map of this glow as measured by the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, a NASA satellite launched in July with the goal of mapping the net amount of carbon in the atmosphere. The map reveals that tropical rainforests near the equator are actively sucking up carbon, while the Corn Belt in the eastern United States, near the end of its growing season, is also a sink. Higher resolution fluorescence mapping could one day be used to help assess crop yields and how they respond to drought and heat in a changing climate."
Link to Original Source

+ - Science announces its Breakthrough of the Year->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Each year, Science’s editors choose a singular scientific achievement as Breakthrough of the Year. Past winners have included the discovery of the Higgs boson, cancer immunotherapy, and the first quantum machine. This year’s winner captured the world’s attention and reminded us of the immense scope of human scientific accomplishment—as well as how far we have yet to go. Meet this year’s Breakthrough and check out our nine amazing runners-up!"
Link to Original Source

+ - Genetic study reveals surprising ancestry of many Americans-> 1

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "In the United States, almost no one can trace their ancestry back to just one place. And for many, the past may hold some surprises, according to a new study. Researchers have found that a significant percentage of African-Americans, European Americans, and Latinos carry ancestry from outside their self-identified ethnicity. The average African-American genome, for example, is nearly a quarter European, and almost 4% of European Americans carry African ancestry."
Link to Original Source

+ - This is why you're always getting lost->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Have you ever stared at a map on your phone, utterly confused, as your GPS cryptically directed you to “head east”? It turns out that the entorhinal region of the brain—an area best known for its role in memory formation—may be at least partly to blame for your poor sense of direction. According to a study published online today in Current Biology, this brain region may help humans decide which direction to go to reach a destination. In the study, participants explored a virtual, square room with four unique objects in each corner and different landscapes on each of the four walls. Once they were familiar with the environment, the volunteers had to navigate a series of paths from one corner to another while the researchers monitored their brain activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging. The entorhinal region has long been known to help people identify which direction they’re facing already, but to plan a route, navigators must also imagine the direction of their destination. The study showed that this brain region likely also has a role in decisions about which directions to face next to get where we want to go. And as the participants imagined their way through the virtual room, the researchers found that the strength of the signal from this region was directly related to navigational performance."
Link to Original Source

+ - 'Dinosaur eggs' spotted on Rosetta's comet->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "There are places on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko where cauliflowerlike textures appear in the dusty crust, like goose bumps under the skin. Scientists using the Rosetta spacecraft—which arrived at 67P in August and became the first mission to orbit and land on a comet—now think they may have discovered the source of these patterns on cliff faces and in deep pits: layer upon layer of rounded nodules, 1 to 3 meters across. These spherules, dubbed dinosaur eggs, could be the fundamental building blocks that clumped together to form the comet 4.5 billion years ago."
Link to Original Source

+ - Spacecraft spots probable waves on Titan's seas->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "It’s springtime on Titan, Saturn’s giant and frigid moon, and the action on its hydrocarbon seas seems to be heating up. Near the moon’s north pole, there is growing evidence for waves on three different seas, scientists reported here today at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Researchers are also coming up with the first estimates for the volume and composition of the seas. The bodies of water appear to be made mostly of methane, and not mostly ethane as previously thought. And they are deep: Ligeia Mare, the second biggest sea with an area larger than Lake Superior, could contain 55 times Earth’s oil reserves."
Link to Original Source

+ - SPAM: Study finds e-cigarettes can help smokers quit

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Proponents of e-cigarettes—introduced in 2006—have argued that the pen-shaped nicotine vaporizers could help cigarette smokers kick the habit. Now, a review of the scientific literature, published today, lends credibility to this claim, although the matter is far from settled. Conducted by the UK Cochrane Centre, the review focused on just two randomized controlled trials, but it also considered data from 11 cohort studies, which compared people who were already trying to quit with and without e-cigarettes. On balance, the data “suggest that electronic cigarettes can be helpful [for] stopping smoking and reducing cigarette consumption,” says lead author and behavioral scientist Hayden McRobbie of the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine in London."
Link to Original Source

+ - Researchers make blood vessels grow by shining a light on skin->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Any fan of Star Trek knows that simply shining light on an injury will heal many wounds in the future. Now scientists have brought that future a bit closer. In a new study, researchers have found a way to stimulate the growth of blood vessels—an important part of healing—by hitting the skin with ultraviolet light."
Link to Original Source

+ - Robot spots predatory worms, floating slime balls under Arctic ice->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "A lightweight, remotely operated vehicle that dove deep under Arctic ice has spotted under-ice algae, as well as tiny copepods, ctenophores (jellyfish), predatory marine worms called arrow worms, and abundant amounts of large floating slime balls, known to scientists as larvaceans. What links these lower members of the food web to seals and polar bears isn’t yet clear; scientists saw no evidence of the most obvious missing element—fish—during the expedition."
Link to Original Source

This login session: $13.76, but for you $11.88.

Working...