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Friday December 19th 2014

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OCD patients’ brains light up to reveal how compulsive habits develop

Misfiring of the brain’s control system might underpin compulsions in obsessive-compulsive disorder, according to researchers at the University of Cambridge, writing in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Posted on 19 December 2014 | 5:00 am

Quantum physics just got less complicated

Researchers show that wave-particle duality and quantum uncertainty are the same thing, reducing two mysteries to one

Posted on 19 December 2014 | 5:00 am

How the physics of champagne bubbles may help address the world’s future energy needs

Most power stations rely on boilers to convert water into steam, but the phase transition involved is highly complex. During the phase transition, no one is exactly sure what’s occurring inside the boiler — especially how bubbles form. So a team of researchers in Japan set out to find an answer and in the Journal of Chemical Physics, they describe how they were able to simulate bubble nucleation from the molecular level.

Posted on 18 December 2014 | 5:00 am

Research shows E.B. White was right in Charlotte’s Web

Psychologists conducted a bottom-up exploration of what it really means to be humble. They found that people see a unique dimension of humility akin to a love of learning.

Posted on 18 December 2014 | 5:00 am

Tackling neurotransmission precision

OIST professor Tomoyuki Takahashi introduces a new way to measure the distance from voltage-gated channels to vesicles, and explains how this distance affects neural signaling precision and efficacy.

Posted on 18 December 2014 | 5:00 am

High socioeconomic status increases discrimination, depression risk in black young adults

An investigation into factors related to disparities of depression in young adults has found that higher parental education — which has a protective effect for white youth — can also increase the risk of depression for black youth by increasing the discrimination they experience.

Posted on 18 December 2014 | 5:00 am

The Lancet: Doctor who survived Ebola received experimental drug treatment

A Ugandan doctor, who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone, survived after being flown to Germany for aggressive treatment involving a new drug under clinical development for vascular leakage. Dr. Timo Wolf and colleagues, from University Hospital Frankfurt in Germany, detail the successful intensive-care treatment the doctor received under biosafety level 4 conditions in an article published in The Lancet.

Posted on 18 December 2014 | 5:00 am

A clear, molecular view of how human color vision evolved

Many genetic mutations in visual pigments, spread over millions of years, were required for humans to evolve from a primitive mammal with a dim, shadowy view of the world into a greater ape able to see all the colors in a rainbow. Now, after more than two decades of painstaking research, scientists have finished a detailed and complete picture of the evolution of human color vision.

Posted on 18 December 2014 | 5:00 am

Crows are smarter than you think

A newly published study finds crows have the brain power to solve higher-order, relational-matching tasks, and they can do so spontaneously. That means crows join humans, apes and monkeys in exhibiting advanced relational thinking, according to the research.

Posted on 18 December 2014 | 5:00 am

New technique moves researchers closer to new range of biosensors

Researchers from North Carolina State University have found a way of binding peptides to the surface of gallium nitride in a way that keeps the peptides stable even when exposed to water and radiation. The discovery moves researchers one step closer to developing a new range of biosensors for use in medical and biological research applications.

Posted on 18 December 2014 | 5:00 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.

Disgraced Japan researcher fails to replicate ‘game changing’ stem cell results

Haruko Obokata, a researcher at semi-governmental research institute RIKEN, lowers her eyes during a news conference in OsakaBy Elaine Lies TOKYO (Reuters) – A disgraced Japanese researcher has failed to replicate results hailed as a potential breakthrough in stem-cell treatment and efforts to do so will be abandoned, officials at her research institute said on Friday. The scandal involving the research, which detailed simple ways to reprogram mature cells back to an embryonic-like state, eventually led to the retraction of papers published in the influential journal Nature and tarnished the reputation of Japanese scientific research. …

Posted on 19 December 2014 | 4:23 am

Carnivore Comeback: Bears and Wolves Are Thriving in Europe

Despite having half the land area of the contiguous United States and double the population density, Europe is home to twice as many wolves as the U.S. A new study finds that Europe’s other large carnivores are experiencing a resurgence in their numbers, too — and mostly in nonprotected areas where the animals coexist alongside humans. The success is owed to cross-border cooperation, strong regulations and a public attitude that brings wildlife into the fold with human society, rather than banishing it to the wilderness, according to study leader Guillaume Chapron, a professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences’ Grimsö Wildlife Research Station. In Europe, “we don’t have unspoiled, untouched areas,” Chapron told Live Science.

Posted on 18 December 2014 | 9:05 pm

Daring Philae Comet Landing Named Top Breakthrough of 2014

Daring Philae Comet Landing Named Top Breakthrough of 2014The first-ever soft landing of a robotic probe the surface of a comet has just been named the top scientific breakthrough of 2014 by the journal Science. The European Space Agency's comet-studying Rosetta mission is telling scientists more about the origins of the solar system, according to representatives with Science. Rosetta has been orbiting Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko since August and released the Philae lander down to the icy cosmic body's surface in November. "Even though the landing was rougher than expected — Philae bounced off the unforgiving surface of 67P and came to rest on its side, quite a distance from its target — it was nonetheless the first-ever soft landing on a comet," Science representatives said in a statement.

Posted on 18 December 2014 | 8:35 pm

Songbirds fly coop long before tornadoes arrive in Tennessee

Henry Streby holds a male golden-winged warbler and the geolocator that the bird carried in the Cumberland Mountains of TennesseeBy Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) – You might want to be careful about who you call a birdbrain. Some of our feathered friends exhibit powers of perception that put humans to shame. Scientists said on Thursday that little songbirds known as golden-winged warblers fled their nesting grounds in Tennessee up to two days before the arrival of a fierce storm system that unleashed 84 tornadoes in southern U.S. states in April. The researchers said the birds were apparently alerted to the danger by sounds at frequencies below the range of human hearing. …

Posted on 18 December 2014 | 5:13 pm

NASA’s Kepler Spacecraft Finds 1st Alien Planet of New Mission

NASA's Kepler Spacecraft Finds 1st Alien Planet of New MissionNASA's Kepler space telescope is discovering alien planets again. "Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Kepler has been reborn and is continuing to make discoveries," study lead author Andrew Vanderburg, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), said in a statement. The spacecraft has been incredibly successful to date, finding nearly 1,000 confirmed planets — more than half of all known alien worlds — along with about 3,200 other "candidates," the vast majority of which should turn out to be the real deal. The spacecraft finds planets by the "transit method," watching for the telltale dimming caused when a world cross the face of, or transits, its parent star from Kepler's perspective.

Posted on 18 December 2014 | 4:58 pm

Strange Fossil Shows How Life Responded After Mass Extinction

A strange marine reptile from the age of dinosaurs that was recently unearthed in China may shed light on how life recovered after the greatest mass extinction in Earth’s history, researchers say. The creatures were odd-looking predators that grew to about 6 feet (2 meters) in size, and have so far only been found in the province of Hubei in central China. “Hupehsuchia is a group of bizarre marine reptiles unlike anything living today,” said study co-author Ryosuke Motani, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of California, Davis.

Posted on 18 December 2014 | 3:11 pm

Ancient Farmhouse Found in Israel Reveals Agricultural Secrets

Ancient Farmhouse Found in Israel Reveals Agricultural SecretsOver the past few weeks, archaeologists have uncovered the sprawling stone house in Rosh Ha-'Ayin, in central Israel. Archaeologists found the farmhouse during an excavation that the government required be done before construction could begin to enlarge the modern city. The house, which measures 98 by 131 feet (30 by 40 meters), is "extraordinarily well preserved," Amit Shadman, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said in a statement. The farmhouse dates back to the time of the Assyrian conquest, when the Assyrians conquered Northern Israel, the researchers said.

Posted on 18 December 2014 | 3:09 pm

SpaceX delays planned cargo run to space station to early January

Falcon 9 rocket is launched by Space Exploration Technologies on its fourth cargo resupply service mission to the International Space Station, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in FloridaCAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) – Space Exploration Technologies is delaying the planned launch on Friday of an unmanned Falcon 9 rocket, which will carry a cargo ship to the International Space Station for NASA, to early January, officials said on Thursday. Liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida had been planned for 1:22 p.m. EST, but an undisclosed technical issue with the rocket prompted SpaceX, as the company is known, to postpone the flight until Jan 6. The problem surfaced during routine prelaunch test firing of the rocket’s engines, SpaceX spokesman John Taylor said. …

Posted on 18 December 2014 | 1:07 pm

India tests its heaviest space launch vehicle, eyes global market

By Aditya Kalra NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s space agency successfully tested on Thursday its most powerful satellite launch vehicle that can put heavier payloads into space, and, it hopes, win India a bigger slice of the $300 billion global space industry. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) also checked the working of an unmanned crew module on the vehicle, which could give the agency the option of manned missions. …

Posted on 18 December 2014 | 7:12 am

U.S, China making progress on biotech crop talks: USDA’s Vilsack

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The United States and China are making progress in talks over Beijing’s acceptance of new biotechnology for crops, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Wednesday. The countries are “moving toward an understanding of how we might be able to establish a strategic dialogue on biotechnology,” Vilsack told Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang in a bilateral meeting in Chicago. Biotech crops are a key trade issue between the countries because China has rejected more than 1 million tons of U.S. …

Posted on 17 December 2014 | 4:46 pm