This artist's impression shows a view of the surface of the planet Proxima b orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Solar System. The double star Alpha Centauri AB also appears in the image to the upper-right of Proxima itself. Proxima b is a little more massive than the Earth and orbits in the habitable zone around Proxima Centauri, where the temperature is suitable for liquid water to exist on its surface.
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Stanford scientists combine satellite data and machine learning to map poverty

Stanford researchers combine high-resolution satellite imagery with powerful machine learning algorithms to predict poverty in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Malawi.One of the biggest challenges in providing relief to people living in poverty is locating them. The availability of accurate and reliable information on the location of impoverished zones is...

Coffee drinking habits can be written in our DNA, study finds

Researchers have identified a gene that appears to curb coffee consumption.

Biofuels not as 'green' as many think

Statements about biofuels being carbon neutral should be taken with a grain of salt. This is according to researchers at the University of Michigan Energy Institute after completing a retrospective,...

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ALMA finds unexpected trove of gas around larger stars

Artist impression of a debris disk surrounding a star in the Scorpius-Centaurus Association. ALMA discovered that -- contrary to expectations -- the more massive stars in this region retain considerable stores of carbon monoxide gas. This finding could offer new insights into the timeline for giant planet formation around young stars.Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) surveyed dozens of young stars -- some Sun-like and others approximately double that size -- and discovered that the larger variety have...

NASA's WISE, Fermi missions reveal a surprising blazar connection

An analysis of blazar properties observed by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and Fermi's Large Area Telescope (LAT) reveal a correlation in emissions from the mid-infrared to gamma rays, an energy range spanning a factor of 10 billion. When plotted by gamma-ray and mid-infrared colors, confirmed Fermi blazars (gold dots) form a unique band not shared by other sources beyond our galaxy. A blue line marks the best fit of these values. The relationship allows astronomers to identify potential new gamma-ray blazars by studying WISE infrared data.Astronomers studying distant galaxies powered by monster black holes have uncovered an unexpected link between two very different wavelengths of the light they emit, the mid-infrared and gamma rays. The...

New tiny species of extinct Australian marsupial lion named after Sir David Attenborough

Reconstruction by palaeoartist Peter Schouten of <i>Microleo attenboroughi</i> prowling along the branches of rainforest trees in search of prey.The fossil remains of a new tiny species of marsupial lion which prowled the lush rainforests of northern Australia about 18 million years ago have been unearthed in the Riversleigh...

Sick animals limit disease transmission by isolating themselves from their peers

By removing themselves from the group sick mice limit disease spread.When animals get sick, they may change their behaviour, becoming less active, for example. The study's lead author, Patricia Lopes from the Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies at...

Battery you can swallow could enable future ingestible medical devices

Christopher Bettinger, Ph.D., is developing an edible battery made with melanin and dissolvable materials.Non-toxic, edible batteries could one day power ingestible devices for diagnosing and treating disease. One team reports new progress toward that goal with their batteries made with melanin pigments, naturally...

Why prisons continue to grow, even when crime declines

The U.S. prison population continued to rise even after the crime rate began declining in the mid-1990s because judges were faced with more repeat offenders, a new study suggests.

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Single-celled fungi multiply, alien-like, by fusing cells in host

Microsporidia cause diarrhea, an illness called microsporidiosis and even death in immune-compromised individuals.

New mouse model of Zika sexual transmission shows spread to fetal brain

This image depicts how the vaginal mucosal environment is permissive to the replication of Zika virus and infection through that route can lead to fetal brain infection even in mice with an intact immune system.The Zika virus, commonly transmitted through a bite from an infected mosquito, is also capable of leaping from person to person through sexual transmission. However, the mechanisms Zika uses to...

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Stroke-like brain damage is reduced in mice injected with omega-3s

Researchers from Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) found that omega-3 fatty acids reduced brain damage in a neonatal mouse model of stroke.

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Bubble-wrapped sponge creates steam using sunlight

How do you boil water? Eschewing the traditional kettle and flame, MIT engineers have invented a bubble-wrapped, sponge-like device that soaks up natural sunlight and heats water to boiling temperatures,...

Researchers find vulnerabilities in iPhone, iPad operating system

An international team of computer science researchers has identified serious security vulnerabilities in the iOS - the operating system used in Apple's iPhone and iPad devices. The vulnerabilities make a...

Mutually helpful species become competitors in benign environments

Nature abounds with examples of mutualistic relationships. Think of bees pollinating flowers whose nectar nourishes the bees, or clownfish that fight off predators of anemones that in turn provide habitats...

Molecular signature shows plants are adapting to increasing atmospheric CO2

<I>Plantago lanceolata</I> -- the plantain found in the high carbon dioxide springs and the subject of this study.Plants are adapting to increasing atmospheric CO2 according to a new study from the University of Southampton.

In the ocean, clever camouflage beats super sight

Squinting won't help you spot the fish in this photo. These snub-nosed darts blend seamlessly into their watery surroundings with help from their silvery reflective skin. Researchers have long assumed that squid, shrimp and other ocean animals could see through this disguise, thanks to an ability to detect a property of light -- called polarization -- that humans can't see. But a new study finds that not even polarization vision helps animals spot silvery fish from afar.In a matchup of animal superpowers, a clever form of camouflage might beat super sight -- at least in the ocean.

Coral conservation efforts aided by computer simulations

This image shows coral releasing egg/sperm bundles which will be fertilized in the water to form poppy-seed-sized larvae.Contrary to a prevailing theory, coral larvae could not survive the five-thousand-kilometer trip across the Pacific Ocean to replenish endangered corals in the eastern Pacific, according to new research. Researchers...

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'Cyclops' beetles hint at solution to 'chicken-and-egg' problem in novel trait evolution

Heads of horned and cyclopic beetles of the genus <em>Onthophagus</em> are shown. After knocking out the gene otd1, the cyclopic beetle (right) lost the horn but gained a pair of small compound eyes in the center of the head.Beetles with cyclops eyes have given Indiana University scientists insight into how new traits may evolve through the recruitment of existing genes -- even if these genes are already carrying...

Analog DNA circuit does math in a test tube

Duke graduate student Tianqi Song and computer science professor John Reif have created strands of synthetic DNA that, when mixed together in a test tube in the right concentrations, form an analog circuit that can add, subtract and multiply as the molecules form and break bonds. While most DNA circuits are digital, their device performs calculations in an analog fashion, without requiring special circuitry to convert signals to zeroes and ones first.Often described as the blueprint of life, DNA contains the instructions for making every living thing from a human to a house fly.

Simple new test could improve diagnosis of tuberculosis in developing nations

In a new diagnostic test, a green glow highlights live TB cells against a field of other debris in a saliva sample.In developing nations, the current test to diagnose tuberculosis (TB) is error-prone, complicated and time-consuming. Furthermore, patients in these resource-limited areas can't easily travel back to a clinic at a...

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