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Genetic Basis of Color Diversity in Coral Reefs Discovered
Biology » Corals, Coral »
University of Southampton − Scientists from the University of Southampton have discovered the genetic basis which allows corals to produce their stunning range of colours. They have found that instead of using a single gene to control pigment production, corals use multiple copies of the same gene. Depending on how many genes are active, the corals will become more or less colourful.
Heat Waves Becoming More Prominent in Urban Areas, Research Reveals
Nature » Urban, Cities »
University of California - Los Angeles − The frequency of heat waves has increased dramatically over the past 40 years, and the trend appears to be growing faster in urban areas than in less-populated areas around the world, a new study suggests.
Renewable Biofuel Production Avoids Competition with Food Resources
Physics » Biofuels, Dauenhauer »
BioMed Central − The efficient production of both biofuel and animal feed from one crop is now possible, and can be done on a farm without the need for off-site processes. The research, published in the open access journal Biotechnology for Biofuels, demonstrates the practical potential of an alternative to fossil fuels that does not compete with food resources.
Is This the Year You Join the 1 Percent?
Medicine » Inequality, Income »
Washington University in St. Louis − Here's some good news for the New Year: According to new research by Washington University in St. Louis and Cornell University, there's a 1 in 9 chance that a typical American will hit the jackpot and join the wealthiest 1 percent for at least one year in her or his working life. And now the bad news: That same research says only an elite few get to stay in that economic stratosphere - and nonwhite workers remain among those who face far longer odds.
A Rare Glimpse at the Elusive Saharan Cheetah
Biology » Leopards, Wcs »
Wildlife Conservation Society − Research by scientists and conservationists from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Zoological Society of London, and other groups published today in PLOS ONE shows that critically endangered Saharan cheetahs exist at incredibly low densities and require vast areas for their conservation. The research also offers some of the world's only photographs of this elusive big cat.
Landmark Study to Track 'Pioneer' Generation of Transgender Children
Psychology » Children, Ellenbogen »
University of Washington − Marlo Mack's son was 3 years old when he told her very adamantly that he was not a boy, but a girl.
Among Gut Microbes, Strains, Not Just Species, Matter
Biology » Microbiome, Human »
University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine − A large community of microorganisms calls the human digestive tract home. This dynamic conglomerate of microscopic life forms - the gut microbiome - is vital to how people metabolize various nutrients in their food, how their immune systems react to infection, and how they respond to various medications. Moreover, imbalances in the microbiome are thought to play a significant role in many human diseases.
Child Maltreatment Not a Clear Path to Adult Crime
Psychology » Child, Children »
University of Washington − Research has found a significant link between childhood abuse and neglect and crime in adulthood. But a recent University of Washington study finds that link all but disappears when accounting for other life factors.
Complex Environments Push 'Brain' Evolution
Biology » Brain, Brains »
University of Wisconsin-Madison − MADISON, Wis. -- Little animations trying to master a computer game are teaching neuroscience researchers how the brain evolves when faced with difficult tasks. Neuroscientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Michigan State University have programmed animated critters that they call "animats." The critters have a rudimentary neural system made of eight nodes: two sensors, two motors, and four internal computers that coordinate sensation, movement and memory.
Global Warming Won't Mean More Stormy Weather
Nature » Atmosphere, Lightning »
University of Toronto − TORONTO, ON - A study led by atmospheric physicists at the University of Toronto finds that global warming will not lead to an overall increasingly stormy atmosphere, a topic debated by scientists for decades. Instead, strong storms will become stronger while weak storms become weaker, and the cumulative result of the number of storms will remain unchanged.
Crystal Light: New Light-converting Materials Point to Cheaper, More Efficient Solar Power
Technology » Perovskite, Solar »
University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering − University of Toronto engineers study first single crystal perovskites for new applications Engineers have shone new light on an emerging family of solar-absorbing materials that could clear the way for cheaper and more efficient solar panels and LEDs. The materials, called perovskites, are particularly good at absorbing visible light, but had never been thoroughly studied in their purest form: as perfect single crystals.
New Research Shows Our Seas Are in Trouble
Nature » Marine, Ireland »
University of Sheffield − New research by the University of Sheffield has warned of the increasing risk of extinction to our marine life. Overfishing, pollution, climate change and destruction of habitats like coral reefs are all putting our seas in trouble but academics fear the risk is not being taken as seriously as concerns for the loss of animals and plants which live on land.
Could a New Proposed Particle Help to Detect Dark Matter?
Space » Dark, Matter »
University of Southampton − Researchers at the University of Southampton have proposed a new fundamental particle which could explain why no one has managed to detect 'Dark Matter', the elusive missing 85 per cent of the Universe's mass. Dark Matter is thought to exist because of its gravitational effects on stars and galaxies, gravitational lensing (the bending of light rays) around these, and through its imprint on the Cosmic Microwave Background (the afterglow of the Big Bang).
Generating Möbius Strips of Light
Chemistry » Beam, Lcls »
University of Rochester − A collaboration of researchers from Canada, Europe and the USA have experimentally produced Möbius strips from the polarization of light, confirming a theoretical prediction that it is possible for light's electromagnetic field to assume this peculiar shape.
Scientists Reveal Global Patterns of Specialized Feeding in Insect Herbivores
Biology » Conservation, Species »
University of Nevada, Reno − RENO, Nev. - Insects are picky eaters, and not the voracious eat-everything-in-sight bingers that devour all the plants in your garden.
New Deep-brain Imaging Reveals Separate Functions for Nearly Identical Neurons
Biology » Insulin, Neurons »
University of North Carolina Health Care − CHAPEL HILL, NC - Researchers at the UNC School of Medicine have used new deep-brain imaging techniques to link the activity of individual, genetically similar neurons to particular behaviors of mice. Specifically, for the first time ever scientists watched as one neuron was activated when a mouse searched for food while a nearly identical neuron next to it remained inactive; instead, the second neuron only became activated when the mouse began eating.
Love And Intimacy in Later Life - New Study Reveals Active Sex Lives of the over 70s
Psychology » Sexual, Women »
University of Manchester − Older people are continuing to enjoy active sex lives well into their seventies and eighties, according to new research from The University of Manchester and NatCen Social Research. More than half (54%) of men and almost a third (31%) of women over the age of 70 reported they were still sexually active, with a third of these men and women having frequent sex - meaning at least twice a month - according to data from the latest wave of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA).
Study on Dopamine Neurons Could Instruct Research into Mobility And Neurological Disorders
Biology » Spinal, Cord »
University of Leicester − "Our understanding of dopamine function is largely derived from the study of dopamine-releasing neurons that are located within the midbrain, a structure located near to the base of the brain. However, vertebrates, including humans, also possess a cluster of dopamine-containing neurons in the forebrain. Unlike their midbrain counterparts, these neurons extend projections to the spinal cord, a region that is dedicated to the production of motor behaviours (such as walking and swimming). We know relatively little about the role this forebrain population plays…
Study: Blame Men for Political Gridlock
Medicine » Women, Political »
University of Kansas − LAWRENCE -- During the political gridlock that led to the 2013 federal government shutdown, the leading voices for compromise were the handful of female U.S. senators -- only 20 percent of the overall legislative body. "I don't think it's a coincidence that women were so heavily involved in trying to end this stalemate," Maine Sen. Susan Collins said in the New York Times. "Although we span the ideological spectrum, we are used to working together in a collaborative way."
How Negative Stereotyping Affects Older People
Psychology » Adults, Older »
University of Kent − The most comprehensive analysis to date of research on the effect of negative stereotypes on older people's abilities has concluded that these stereotypes create a significant problem for that demographic. A research team at the University of Kent's School of Psychology carried out a review and meta-analysis of Aged-Based Stereotype Threat (ABST).
Satellites Can Improve Regional Air Quality Forecasting
Nature » Geo-Stationary, Ice-Field »
University of Iowa − Satellites planned for launch during the next several years may have an expanded role: Forecasting air-quality worldwide. That's the view of University of Iowa researchers, who found that data gathered from geo-stationary satellites--satellites orbiting Earth at about 22,000 miles above the equator and commonly used for telecommunications and weather imaging--can greatly improve air-quality forecasting.
Canceled Flights: for Monarch Butterflies, Loss of Migration Means More Disease
Biology » Monarchs, Monarch »
University of Georgia − Athens, Ga. - Human activities are disrupting the migration patterns of many species, including monarch butterflies. Some monarchs have stopped migrating to their traditional overwintering sites in Mexico, remaining in the southern U.S. to breed during the winter.
Ancient 'Genomic Parasites' Spurred Evolution of Pregnancy in Mammals
Biology » Genes, Mammals »
University of Chicago Medical Center − An international team of scientists has identified large-scale genetic changes that marked the evolution of pregnancy in mammals.
Picking Up on the Smell of Evolution
Biology » Insects, Plants »
University of Arizona − For most of us, switching to a vegetarian diet might be a matter of a New Year's resolution and a fair amount of willpower, but for an entire species, it's a much more involved process -- one that evolutionary biologists have struggled to understand for a long time.
Iceland Rises as Its Glaciers Melt from Climate Change
Nature » Glaciers, Ice »
University of Arizona − The Earth's crust under Iceland is rebounding as global warming melts the island's great ice caps, a University of Arizona-led team reports in an upcoming issue of Geophysical Research Letters. The paper is the first to show the current fast uplift of the Icelandic crust is a result of accelerated melting of the island's glaciers and coincides with the onset of warming that began about 30 years ago, the scientists said.
Study Analyses Internet, Mobile And Video Game Effects on Young Users
Psychology » Students, Gambling »
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona − A study conducted by researchers at the UAB, the Catalan Institute of Health (ICS) and the FPCEE Blanquerna (Ramon Llull University), and which included the methodological support of the Institute for Primary Healthcare Research (IDIAP Jordi Gol), has analysed the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) by secondary school students, by using a sample of 5,538 students from the Vallès Occidental region of Catalonia. The study, based on surveys taken in the 2010/2011 academic year, finds links between school failure and an…
Dartmouth Researchers Determine Key Element in Circadian Clock Speed
Biology » Clock, Circadian »
The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth − Whether in fungi or human beings, circadian clocks influence nearly all aspects of an organism's life. On a molecular level at the core of these circadian rhythms, biological oscillators are present and key proteins comprising these cycles have a lifetime of approximately 24 hours. Because the period of the clock matched the lifetime of the proteins it was assumed for many years that the stability of the protein determined the period length of these biological clocks. But it's not that simple.
'Feeding And Fasting' Hormone Adropin Can Improve Insulin Action
Medicine » Adropin, Fasting »
Saint Louis University − ST. LOUIS -- In a study published in Molecular Metabolism, a SLU researcher has found that adropin, a hormone that regulates whether the body burns fat or sugar during feeding and fasting cycles, can improve insulin action in obese, diabetic mice, suggesting that it may work as a therapy for type 2 diabetes.
Walking on Ice Takes More Than Brains
Biology » Spinal, Cord »
Salk Institute − LA JOLLA--Walking across an icy parking lot in winter--and remaining upright--takes intense concentration. But a new discovery suggests that much of the balancing act that our bodies perform when faced with such a task happens unconsciously, thanks to a cluster of neurons in our spinal cord that function as a "mini-brain" to integrate sensory information and make the necessary adjustments to our muscles so that we don't slip and fall.
Home Is a Safe Haven for Female Deer
Biology » Deer, Boar »
Springer − To female black-tailed deer, their home turf provides a safe haven and a refuge against possible predation by pumas. Does that venture into unchartered territory are four times more likely to fall prey to these cats. After tracking deer in California's coastal mountains, a team of researchers led by Tavis Forrester, then at the University of California Davis in the US, has proven that the old adage 'home sweet home' holds true for deer. The findings are published in Springer's journal Behavioral Ecology…

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