The brain watched during language learning

Learning a new language is a difficult task. It requires skills for memorizing new words, learning how to put those words together in a grammatical way, and integrating them with existing linguistic knowledge. In a new study from researchers at...

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Surprising qualities of insulator ring surfaces

Topological insulators behave like insulators at their core and allow good conductivity on their surface. They owe their characteristics to a new quantum state within the material discovered in 2007...

Rice University lab runs crowd-sourced competition to create 'big data' diagnostic tools

A crowdsourced collaboration/competition known as DREAM 9 that is centered at Rice University set out three years ago to develop ideas for computational tools that would help treat patients with acute myeloid leukemia. The results were announced this week.Big data has a bright future in personalized medicine, as demonstrated by an international competition centered at Rice University that suggested ways forward for treatment of patients with leukemia.

Night-time light pollution causes spring to come early

Human use of artificial light is causing Spring to come at least a week early in the UK, researchers at the University of Exeter in Cornwall have found.

Universe becoming cleaner as cosmic dust gets mopped up by stars, astronomers reveal

A small glimpse of one region, a tenth of the full area of the Herschel ATLAS images. Everything in this image, apart from the picture of the moon, which has just been placed there to show the area of sky covered by the survey and the small square that shows the area covered by the Hubble Deep Field, consists of far-infrared emission from cosmic dust.The Universe is becoming gradually cleaner as more and more cosmic dust is being mopped up by the formation of stars within galaxies, an international team of astronomers has revealed.

Penguin population could drop 60 percent by end of the century

University of Delaware researchers project that approximately 30 percent of current Adélie colonies may be in decline by 2060 and approximately 60 percent may be in decline by 2099. Warming in Antarctica, once beneficial to the penguins, has reached a tipping point and is causing the sharp decline.Climate has influenced the distribution patterns of Adélie penguins across Antarctica for millions of years.

New mid-infrared laser system could detect atmospheric chemicals

Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have found a new way of using mid-infrared lasers to turn regions of molecules in the open air into glowing filaments of electrically charged gas,...

Baby fish lose poisonous protectors in acidified oceans

Juvenile fish shelter within the tentacles of a jellyfish. Predicted ocean acidification will upset this symbiotic relationship.A common close partnership which sees baby fish sheltering from predators among the poisonous tentacles of jellyfish will be harmed under predicted ocean acidification, a new University of Adelaide study...

Boston subway system covered in microbes, but they're not harmful

Boston's subway system, known as the T, might be just as bacteria-laden as you'd expect but organisms found there are largely from normal human skin and incapable of causing disease,...

Hubble nets a cosmic tadpole

In this new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, a firestorm of star birth is lighting up one end of the diminutive galaxy LEDA 36252 -- also known as Kiso 5649.This new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows a cosmic tadpole, with its bright head and elongated tail, wriggling through the inky black pool of space. Tadpole galaxies...

Freiburg biologists explain function of Pentagone

Co-receptors (red) are located on the surfaces of the cells. Pentagone causes the co-receptors to become internalized and degraded within the cell (yellow/green).How do the cells in a human embryo know where they are located in the body and how they should develop? Why do certain cells form a finger while others...

RIT professors create new method for identifying black holes

Rochester Institute of Technology professors have developed a faster, more accurate way to assess gravitational wave signals and infer the astronomical sources that made them.

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Jasmonate-deficient tobacco plants attract herbivorous mammals

A gopher (<i>Geomiydae</i>) pulls a branch of <i>Nicotiana attenuata</i> into its nest. In nature, the plants are well protected against mammalian herbivory by nicotine, a neurotoxic substance. If the plants lack the hormone that regulates nicotine production, they become an attractive food source for many mammals, as shown in experiments with genetically modified plants.Coyote tobacco (Nicotiana attenuata) produces a potent neurotoxic substance: nicotine. The production of nicotine is regulated by plant hormones called jasmonates. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology...

Skype data of 500 million people reveals the real patterns of social adoption

Snowball sample of the Skype social network (gray links), showing multiple innovators as green nodes, induced small vulnerable trees as red nodes and links, and the triggered connected stable cluster as blue nodes and links.Global patterns of adoption spreading are induced by local adoption cascades initiated by multiple spontaneous adopters arriving at a constant rate, amplified by a large number of adoptions induced by...

Protein associated with improved survival in some breast cancer patients

A family of proteins that help cancer cells survive and spread around the body may be associated with improved prognosis for some women receiving treatment for breast cancer, research has...

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Crucial peatlands carbon-sink vulnerable to rising sea levels

Crucial peatlands carbon-sink vulnerable to rising sea levels.Crucial peatlands carbon-sink vulnerable to rising sea levels, research shows

Building a better battery

Mapping electron density in order of increasing lithiation levels using spectral imaging. Each colored region corresponds to sites where electron density is localized, which also corresponds to high concentrations of Li-ions. "The stripes mark regions that have been extensively lithiated and reduced," Banerjee notes.Forget mousetraps -- today's scientists will get the cheese if they manage to build a better battery.

New framework uses patterns to predict terrorist behavior

Mohammad Khasawneh, professor and head of the Systems Science and Industrial Engineering (SSIE) department at Binghamton University and Binghamton University Ph.D. candidate Salih Tutun.Government agencies are having difficulty tracking potential terrorist attacks, since terrorists have developed new ways to communicate besides social media. A new framework developed by researchers at Binghamton University, State...

New study shows impact of man-made structures on Louisiana's coastal wetlands

The red frames show the location of enlarged interferograms presented in Figures A, B and C. A) Radarsat-1 interferogram of the western Chenier Plain spanning 24-day period (2004/01/03-2004/01/27). In the central part of the interferogram fringe patterns show changes in inland water bodies. The left side of the interferogram shows fringe patterns due to the morphology of the Chenier reflecting water level changes in the mudflats in between the ridges of the Chenier's. B) ALOS interferogram, 92 days (2007/07/03-2007/10/03), of the central Chenier Plain showing phase changes due to elongated fringe patterns sub-parallel to the coastline coinciding with man-made canals. C) ALOS interferogram of the west of the Mississippi River delta, spanning 92-day period (2007/09/11-2007/12/12). The interferogram showing two fringe cycles across the tidal zone mapping the tide inundation extent.As Louisiana's wetlands continue to disappear at an alarming rate, a new study has pinpointed the man-made structures that disrupt the natural water flow and threaten these important ecosystems. The...

'Bugs' on the subway: Monitoring the microbial environment to improve public health

The trillions of microbes that transfer from people to surfaces could provide an early warning system for the emergence of public health threats such as a flu outbreak or a...

See and sort: Developing novel techniques to visualize uncultured microbial cell activity

Many uncultured microbes play unknown roles in regulating Earth's biogeochemical processes; everything from regulating plant health to driving nutrient cycles in both terrestrial and marine environments, processes that can impact...

Pipelines affect health, fitness of salmon, study finds

Pipelines carrying crude oil to ports in British Columbia may spell bad news for salmon, according to a new University of Guelph-led study.