Retina protein that may help conquer blindness discovered

Science Daily - Wed, 04/03/2015 - 3:45pm
A protein in the retina that is crucial for vision has been discovered by researchers who report, for the first time, the key molecular mechanisms leading to visual degeneration and blindness. The research reveals events that may be harnessed for prevention, as well as to slow down progression of retinal degenerative diseases.
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Kids and robots learn to write together

Science Daily - Wed, 04/03/2015 - 3:45pm
Who is the teacher: the student or the machine? By showing a robot how to write letters, children improve their writing skills and gain self-confidence.
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How big data can be used to understand major events

Science Daily - Wed, 04/03/2015 - 3:43pm
With the most unpredictable UK general election looming in modern times, how can big data be used to understand how elections are covered by the media? New research has for the first time analyzed over 130,000 online news articles to find out how the 2012 US presidential election played out in the media.
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Basis for cadmium toxicity uncovered

Science Daily - Wed, 04/03/2015 - 3:43pm
Research has uncovered how the metal cadmium, which is accumulating in the food chain, causes toxicity in living cells. "Cadmium is a very important industrial metal, but exposure to it results in accumulation in the food chain, leading to toxicity in animals and humans," says the project. "Exposure to cadmium can occur due to poor disposal of industrial or electronics waste, and also through cigarette smoke and ingestion of contaminated food. While the toxicity of cadmium has been known for a long time, how it causes toxicity and damages cells hasn't been understood."
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Where you live could mean 'greener' alternatives do more harm than good

Science Daily - Wed, 04/03/2015 - 3:43pm
Engineers propose a new 600-ton threshold that could indicate when switching to 'low carbon' alternatives may actually increase emissions. Although regions may welcome "green" technology like electric vehicles, high-speed rail and geothermal heating, they aren't green if the electricity to power them creates even more carbon emissions than their oil-driven counterparts, researchers say.
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Cause of tree-killing fungus uncovered: Extra genes

Science Daily - Wed, 04/03/2015 - 3:43pm
Forest scientists believe they've discovered the root cause of a deadly tree fungus: extra genes. The fungus, Mycosphaerella populorum, uses extra genes to produce a toxin that can cause fatal lesions on the leaves, stems and branches of poplar trees. The extra genes were found through genome sequencing, the mapping of an organism's DNA.
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Function of an enzyme critical to male fertility described

Science Daily - Wed, 04/03/2015 - 3:43pm
Researchers have filled in details of how an enzyme, through interactions with a network of nearly two dozen other genes, protects the integrity of the germ line by giving rise to a class of RNA molecules that are essential to sperm development.
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Oxytocin may enhance social function in psychiatric disorders

Science Daily - Wed, 04/03/2015 - 3:43pm
Inducing the release of brain oxytocin may be a viable therapeutic option for enhancing social function in psychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia, researchers suggest. The oxytocin system is well-known for creating a bond between a mother and her newborn baby, and oxytocin is a lead drug candidate for treating social deficits in autism.
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Amazon deforestation 'threshold' causes species loss to accelerate

Science Daily - Wed, 04/03/2015 - 3:42pm
One of the first studies to map the impact of deforestation on biodiversity across entire regions of the Amazon has found a clear 'threshold' for forest cover below which species loss becomes more rapid and widespread. By measuring the loss of a core tranche of dominant species of large and medium-sized mammals and birds, and using the results as a bellwether, the researchers found that for every 10% of forest loss, one to two major species are wiped out. This is until the threshold of 43% of forest cover is reached, beyond which the rate of biodiversity loss jumps from between two to up to eight major species gone per 10% of disappeared forest.
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Marriages more likely to end in divorce when wives get sick

Science Daily - Wed, 04/03/2015 - 3:41pm
Countless couples have recited the words, ‘in sickness and in health’ on their wedding day with the intention of honoring those vows. But as it turns out, that may be easier said than done.
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Simulating the potential spread of measles

Science Daily - Wed, 04/03/2015 - 3:41pm
To help the public better understand how measles can spread, a team of infectious disease computer modelers has launched a free, mobile-friendly tool that lets users simulate measles outbreaks in cities across the country.
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Genetic data can help predict how pine forests will cope with climate change

Science Daily - Wed, 04/03/2015 - 3:41pm
Data from only a small number of gene variants can predict which maritime pine trees are most vulnerable to climate change, scientists report. The results will improve computer models designed to forecast where forests will grow as the climate changes, and promises to help forestry managers decide where to focus reforestation efforts. The results will also guide the choice of tree stocks.
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Clinical trial for solid tumors with novel small molecule agent

Science Daily - Wed, 04/03/2015 - 3:40pm
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey is offering a clinical trial examining the investigational treatment known as ONC201 in patients with solid tumors whose cancer no longer responds to standard therapy. Prior research on the study drug suggests that it may be capable of turning off proteins that maintain tumor growth and and may help kill cancer cells while sparing normal ones.
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Hurricanes helped accelerate spread of lionfish

Science Daily - Wed, 04/03/2015 - 3:40pm
Just when you thought hurricanes couldn't get any scarier, think again. Their names roll of the tongue like a rogues' gallery: Floyd, Frances, Irene, Wilma and Andrew. But these aren't the names of notorious criminals; rather, they are just a few of the hurricanes since 1992 that have helped spread invasive marine species throughout the Florida Straits. Researchers have discovered that storms don't only have a dramatic impact on land; they have an equally dramatic effect on ocean currents, which helps the spread of marine invasive species throughout a region.
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Men tend to be more narcissistic than women, study finds

Science Daily - Wed, 04/03/2015 - 3:40pm
With three decades of data from more than 475,000 participants, a new study on narcissism reveals that men, on average, are more narcissistic than women.
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Wild yaks: Shaggy barometers of climate change

Science Daily - Wed, 04/03/2015 - 3:40pm
A new study finds that climate change and past hunting in the remote Tibetan Plateau is forcing female wild yaks onto steeper and steeper terrain.
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Twitter chatter predicts health insurance marketplace enrollment

Science Daily - Wed, 04/03/2015 - 3:40pm
An increase in Twitter sentiment (the positivity or negativity of tweets) is associated with an increase in state-level enrollment in the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) health insurance marketplaces — a phenomenon that points to use of the social media platform as a real-time gauge of public opinion and provides a way for marketplaces to quickly identify enrollment changes and emerging issues.
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Usual prey gone, a fish survives by changing predictably

Science Daily - Wed, 04/03/2015 - 3:40pm
Without the Bahamas mosquitofish to eat, bigmouth sleepers slide down the food chain and survive on insects, snails and crustaceans. And, in so doing, sleepers' behaviors, ratio of males to females and physical appearance change, too.
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Uber Buys Mapping Startup as Tensions With Google Grow

Wired News - Wed, 04/03/2015 - 3:35pm

Uber is finally loosening its chokehold on the billions of dollars it’s raised over the years, with the acquisition of deCarta, a mapping software business that was founded back in 1996.

The post Uber Buys Mapping Startup as Tensions With Google Grow appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Science

Gemini Constellation Holds Starry Treats for March Stargazers

Space.com - Wed, 04/03/2015 - 3:21pm
The constellation Gemini is currently well placed in the evening sky, just above and to the left of Orion for observers in the Northern Hemisphere. Here's how to see it.
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