Plants with dormant seeds give rise to more species

Seeds that sprout as soon as they're planted may be good news for a garden. But wild plants need to be more careful. In the wild, a plant whose seeds sprouted at the first warm spell or rainy day would...

Gecko-like adhesives now useful for real world surfaces

To substantiate their claims of Geckskin's properties, the UMass Amherst team compared three versions to the abilities of a living Tokay gecko on several surfaces. As predicted by their theory, one Geckskin version matches and even exceeds the gecko's performance on all tested surfaces.The ability to stick objects to a wide range of surfaces such as drywall, wood, metal and glass with a single adhesive has been the elusive goal of many research...

'Dressed' laser aimed at clouds may be key to inducing rain, lightning

This shows University of Central Florida College of Optics and Photonics graduate students Matthew Mills and Ali Miri.The adage "Everyone complains about the weather but nobody does anything about it" may one day be obsolete if researchers at the University of Central Florida's College of Optics &...

Loud talking and horseplay in car results in more serious incidents for teen drivers

Adolescent drivers are often distracted by technology while they are driving, but loud conversations and horseplay between passengers appear more likely to result in a dangerous incident, according to a...

Tracking flu levels with Wikipedia

Can monitoring Wikipedia hits show how many people have the flu? Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital, USA, have developed a method of estimating levels of influenza-like illness in the American...

Five anthropogenic factors that will radically alter northern forests in 50 years

Climate change isn't the only factor influencing forests. A new study by Forest Service scientists and partners describes five anthropogenic factors that will radically alter forest conditions and management needs in the Northern United States.In the most densely forested and most densely populated quadrant of the United States, forests reflect two centuries of human needs, values and practices. Disturbances associated with those needs, such...

Surprise: Lost stem cells naturally replaced by non-stem cells, fly research suggests

Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered an unexpected phenomenon in the organs that produce sperm in fruit flies: When a certain kind of stem cell is killed off experimentally, another group...

AGU: More, bigger wildfires burning western US, study shows

A satellite image of the 2011 Las Conchas Fire in New Mexico shows the 150,874 acres burned in magenta and the unburned areas in green. This image was created with data from the Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS) Project that the authors of a new study used to measure large wildfires in the western United States.Wildfires across the western United States have been getting bigger and more frequent over the last 30 years -- a trend that could continue as climate change causes temperatures to...

Science: There's something ancient in the icebox

This is a piece of the GISP2 ice core showing silt and sand embedded in ice.  Soon after this picture was taken, the ice was crushed in the University of Vermont clean lab and the sediment was isolated for analysis.Glaciers are commonly thought to work like a belt sander. As they move over the land they scrape off everything -- vegetation, soil, and even the top layer of bedrock....

ASU researchers urge alternative identification methods for threatened species

<i>Atelopus varius</i> was previously widespread and common in Costa Rica. It was last seen in 1991 during the mass amphibian declines, subsequently rediscovered more than ten years later. There are currently three small populations known in Costa Rica.In a time of global climate change and rapidly disappearing habitat critical to the survival of countless endangered species, there is a heightened sense of urgency to confirm the return...

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Surprising material could play role in saving energy

One strategy for addressing the world's energy crisis is to stop wasting so much energy when producing and using it, which can happen in coal-fired power plants or transportation. Nearly...

'Exotic' material is like a switch when super thin

Researchers from Cornell University and Brookhaven National Laboratory have shown how to switch a particular transition metal oxide, a lanthanum nickelate (LaNiO3), from a metal to an insulator by making the material less than a nanometer thick.

Impurity size affects performance of emerging superconductive material

Research from North Carolina State University finds that impurities can hurt performance -- or possibly provide benefits -- in the key superconductive material Bi2212 (shown here), which is expected to find use in a host of applications, including future particle colliders. The size of the impurities determines whether they help or hinder the material's performance.Research from North Carolina State University finds that impurities can hurt performance -- or possibly provide benefits -- in a key superconductive material that is expected to find use in...

Is Parkinson's an autoimmune disease?

The cause of neuronal death in Parkinson's disease is still unknown, but a new study proposes that neurons may be mistaken for foreign invaders and killed by the person's own...

Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced

Scanning electron micrograph shows infectious spores produced by the deadly fungi <i>Cryptococcus neoformans</i>.Within each strand of DNA lies the blueprint for building an organism, along with the keys to its evolution and survival. These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

A University of Arizona-led research team has discovered a simple process for making a new lightweight plastic from the inexpensive and abundant element sulfur. This plastic can be molded into easy-to-make, lightweight lenses that transmit infra-red light.Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team has found.

Vitamin B3 might have been made in space, delivered to Earth by meteorites

Karen Smith crushes meteorites with a mortar and pestle in Goddard's Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory to prepare them for analysis. Vitamin B3 was found in all eight meteorites analyzed in the study.Ancient Earth might have had an extraterrestrial supply of vitamin B3 delivered by carbon-rich meteorites, according to a new analysis by NASA-funded researchers. The result supports a theory that the...

Connecting sleep deficits among young fruit flies to disruption in mating later in life

Mom always said you need your sleep, and it turns out, she was right. According to a new study published in Science this week from researchers at the Perelman School...

Clean air: Fewer sources for self-cleaning

Up to 1,000 meters above the ground: as part of the EU project PEGASOS, J&#252;lich scientists and their colleagues spent five weeks recording data with the Zeppelin NT in the atmosphere over northern Italy. During their campaign, the researchers identified a previously unknown process that leads to the formation of the trace gas nitrous acid (HONO). Data analysis led to a surprising finding: in contrast to the prevailing assumption, HONO is not an additional source of hydroxyl radicals (OH radicals), which play an important role in the atmosphere's self-cleaning capacity.Up to now, HONO, also known as nitrous acid, was considered one of the most important sources of hydroxyl radicals (OH), which are regarded as the detergent of the atmosphere,...

Call for alternative identification methods for endangered species

This is the harlequin frog from Costa Rica.In a time of global climate change and rapidly disappearing habitat critical to the survival of countless endangered species, there is a heightened sense of urgency to confirm the return...

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For resetting circadian rhythms, neural cooperation is key

Fruit flies are pretty predictable when it comes to scheduling their days, with peaks of activity at dawn and dusk and rest times in between. Now, researchers reporting in the...

New MRSA superbug emerges in Brazil

This shows UTHealth researchers reporting on a superbug in Brazil are (from left to right) Barbara E. Murray, M.D.; Truc T. Tran, Pham.D; Jose M. Munita, M.D.; Diana Panesso, Ph.D; and Cesar Arias, M.D., Ph.D.An international research team led by Cesar A. Arias, M.D., Ph.D., at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) has identified a new superbug that caused a...