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Saturday May 23rd 2015

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Basel physicists develop efficient method of signal transmission from nanocomponents

Physicists have developed an innovative method that could enable the efficient use of nanocomponents in electronic circuits. To achieve this, they have developed a layout in which a nanocomponent is connected to two electrical conductors, which uncouple the electrical signal in a highly efficient manner. The scientists at the Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel have published their results in the scientific journal Nature Communications together with their colleagues from ETH Zurich.

Posted on 22 May 2015 | 4:00 am

Birds ‘weigh’ peanuts and choose heavier ones

A study carried out in Arizona by an international research team from Poland and Korea revealed that the Mexican Jays (Aphelocoma wollweberi) distinguish between heavier and lighter peanuts without opening the nuts. The birds do it by shaking the nuts in their beaks, which allows them to ‘feel’ nut heaviness and to listen to sounds produced by peanuts during handling.

Posted on 22 May 2015 | 4:00 am

American Indians disproportionately disciplined at school compared to white students

School disciplinary actions handed down to students at Utah public schools disproportionately impact American Indian children over all other ethnicities enrolled in the state’s public education system, new research from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law Public Policy Clinic reveals.

Posted on 22 May 2015 | 4:00 am

Vaccines developed for H5N1, H7N9 avian influenza strains

Researchers have developed vaccines for H5N1 and H7N9, two new strains of avian influenza that can be transmitted from poultry to humans. The strains have led to the culling of millions of commercial chickens and turkeys as well as the death of hundreds of people.

Posted on 22 May 2015 | 4:00 am

Enhancing knowledge crucial to improving energy-saving behaviors, study shows

Increasing public knowledge and understanding about energy issues is vital if improved energy-saving behaviors are to be encouraged among individuals and organizations, a study conducted at Plymouth University suggests.

Posted on 22 May 2015 | 4:00 am

New research leads to FDA approval of first drug to treat radiation sickness

New research has led the FDA to approve use of a drug to treat the effects of radiation exposure following a nuclear incident. The drug, Neupogen, is the first ever approved for the treatment of acute radiation injury.

Posted on 22 May 2015 | 4:00 am

All sounds made equal in melancholy

Psychoacoustics identifies five basic types of emotional speech: angry, fearful, happy, sad and neutral. In order to fully understand what’s happening with speech perception, a research team at the University of Texas at Austin studied how depressed individuals perceive these different kinds of emotional speech in multi-tonal environments. They will present their findings at the 169th ASA meeting, held this week in Pittsburgh.

Posted on 22 May 2015 | 4:00 am

DNA samples from Purdue, Kew fungi collections provide key to mushroom ‘tree of life’

Genetic material from fungi collections at Purdue University and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, helped a team of researchers resolve the mushroom ‘tree of life,’ a map of the relationships between key mushroom species and their evolutionary history that scientists have struggled to piece together for more than 200 years.

Posted on 22 May 2015 | 4:00 am

Estuaries protect Dungeness crabs from deadly parasites

Parasitic worms can pose a serious threat to the Dungeness crab, a commercially important fishery species found along the west coast of North America. The worms are thought to have caused or contributed to the crash of the crab fishery of central California during the last half century. New research shows that infected crabs can rid themselves of parasites by moving into the less salty water of estuaries. Low salinity kills the worms creating a parasite refuge for the crabs.

Posted on 22 May 2015 | 4:00 am

BAMS article outlines 20-year process to create meteorological partnership between US and Cuba

In a forthcoming article in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, authors Dr. Richard Anthes, President Emeritus at University Corporation of Atmospheric Sciences and Dr. Alan Robock, Professor at Rutgers University’s School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, describe the two-decade-long process to form an active meteorological partnership with the Meteorological Institute of Cuba.

Posted on 22 May 2015 | 4:00 am

Science News Headlines – Yahoo News

Get the latest Science news headlines from Yahoo News. Find breaking Science news, including analysis and opinion on top Science stories.

‘Tomorrowland’ Celebrates Walt Disney’s Vision of the Future

'Tomorrowland' Celebrates Walt Disney's Vision of the Future"I grew up during the Cold War," said George Clooney, who plays Frank Walker, a grizzled, disillusioned inventor who sets things in motion in the film. Brad Bird, the director of the film (and previously of "Iron Giant," "Ratatouille" and "The Incredibles"), said he gets his optimism from a space-race perspective. In fact, NASA's role in "Tomorrowland" has come full circle.

Posted on 22 May 2015 | 6:33 pm

Dino-Chicken Gets One Step Closer

Dino-Chicken Gets One Step CloserTalk of a "chickenosaurus" lit up the science world last week when researchers announced they had modified the beak of a chicken embryo to resemble the snout of its dinosaur ancestors. "From a quantitative point of view, we're 50 percent there," said Jack Horner, a professor of paleontology at Montana State University and a curator of paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies. By understanding how and when to modify certain molecular mechanisms, countless changes could be within reach.

Posted on 22 May 2015 | 4:22 pm

Atheists Inspire Thoughts of Death in Many Americans

Now, research suggests one reason why: Thinking about atheists reminds people of death. Not only do thoughts of death put people in a negative frame of mind, Cook told Live Science, but they also prompt people to hold more tightly onto their own values. “There’s a little circular thing going on where encountering atheism will make people grasp their values closer and then become more negative because atheists are perceived as not having values,” Cook said.

Posted on 22 May 2015 | 4:16 pm

Prosecutors: Professor offered China data on US-made device

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The chairman of Temple University’s physics department schemed to provide U.S. technology secrets to China in exchange for prestigious appointments for himself, federal authorities said in charging him with four counts of wire fraud.

Posted on 22 May 2015 | 4:16 pm

Brightest Galaxy in the Universe Found

Brightest Galaxy in the Universe FoundThe engine behind the galaxy's brilliance may be a supermassive black hole, researchers said. If this is indeed what's going on with the newly discovered galaxy, which is known as WISE J224607.57-052635.0, it raises an interesting question: How did the supermassive black hole get so big, so fast? The black hole may simply have been born big, researchers said.

Posted on 22 May 2015 | 4:14 pm

SpaceX capsule splashes down in Pacific with space station cargo

The SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo craft is grappled by the Canadarm2 robotic arm at the International Space Station in this NASA handout photoBy Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) – A Space Exploration Technologies Dragon cargo capsule made a parachute splashdown into the Pacific Ocean on Thursday, wrapping up a five-week stay at the International Space Station. The capsule blasted off on April 14 aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and arrived at the orbiting outpost three days later with more than 4,300 pounds (1,950 kg) of food, supplies and science experiments for the live-aboard crew. It was repacked with 3,100 pounds of science samples and other equipment and released back into orbit at 7:04 a.m. EDT (1104 GMT) on Thursday for a return trip to Earth, a NASA TV broadcast showed.

Posted on 22 May 2015 | 3:15 pm

Testosterone Rules for Women Athletes Are Unfair, Researchers Argue

Elite women athletes are currently barred from competing in top-tier competitions, such as the Olympic Games and World Championships, if their testosterone levels are too high. Most studies have found that men’s levels of natural testosterone (often called “T levels”) are about 10 times higher than women’s, and even the highest levels in women are still far below the lowest levels in men, the researchers said. “This policy excludes women with naturally high T” from competing, said Katrina Karkazis, a co-author of the new editorial published online today (May 21) in the journal Science, and a senior research scholar at the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics.

Posted on 22 May 2015 | 2:53 pm

Feds: Temple professor offered China data on US-made device

The chairman of Temple University’s physics department was arrested in what prosecutors said was a scheme to provide U.S. technology secrets to China in exchange for prestigious appointments. Xi Xiaoxing, …

Posted on 22 May 2015 | 2:23 pm

Lockheed-Boeing rocket venture needs commercial orders to survive

By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) – United Launch Alliance, a 50-50 joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co, on Thursday said it would go out of business unless it won commercial and civil satellite launch orders to offset an expected slump in U.S. military and spy launches. ULA President Tory Bruno said the company must attract those kind of orders to remain a “viable economic entity” so it is scrambling to restructure and develop a new rocket that in seven or eight years could launch satellites twice as fast at half the current cost. Formed by the two largest U.S. weapons makers in 2006, ULA has long been the sole company able to launch U.S. military and intelligence satellites into orbit.

Posted on 21 May 2015 | 8:54 pm

Scientists want you to know plankton is not just whale food

Handout of scientists aboard the Tara Oceans vessel use plankton nets to strain microbes from seawaterBy Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Scientists on Thursday unveiled the most comprehensive analysis ever undertaken of the world's ocean plankton, the tiny organisms that serve as food for marine creatures such as the blue whale, but also provide half the oxygen we breathe. Plankton include microscopic plants and animals, fish larvae, bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms that drift in the oceans. "Plankton are much more than just food for the whales," said Chris Bowler, a research director at France's National Center for Scientific Research, and one of the scientists involved in the study published in the journal Science.

Posted on 21 May 2015 | 7:05 pm