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Tuesday October 21st 2014

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EurekAlert! – Breaking News

Peanut in house dust linked to peanut allergy in children with skin gene mutation

A new study led by researchers at King’s College London in collaboration with the University of Manchester and the University of Dundee has found a strong link between exposure to peanut protein in household dust during infancy and the development of peanut allergy in children genetically predisposed to a skin barrier defect.

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 4:00 am

Backpack physics: Smaller hikers carry heavier loads

Hikers are generally advised that the weight of the packs they carry should correspond to their own size, with smaller individuals carrying lighter loads. Although petite backpackers might appreciate the excuse to hand off heavier gear to the larger members of the group, it turns out that they may not need the help.

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 4:00 am

Super stable garnet ceramics may be ideal for high-energy lithium batteries

Scientists have discovered exceptional properties in a garnet material that could enable development of higher-energy battery designs.

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 4:00 am

Researchers take big-data approach to estimate range of electric vehicles

Researchers have developed new software that estimates how much farther electric vehicles can drive before needing to recharge. The new technique requires drivers to plug in their destination and automatically pulls in data on a host of variables to predict energy use for the vehicle.

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 4:00 am

Kung fu stegosaur

Stegosaurs might be portrayed as lumbering plant eaters, but they were lethal fighters when necessary, according to paleontologists who have uncovered new evidence of a casualty of stegosaurian combat. The evidence is a fatal stab wound in the pubis bone of a predatory allosaur. The wound — in the conical shape of a stegosaur tail spike — would have required great dexterity to inflict and shows clear signs of having cut short the allosaur’s life.

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 4:00 am

Impressions shaped by facial appearance foster biased decisions

Research in recent years has shown that people associate specific facial traits with an individual’s personality. People consistently associate trustworthiness, competence, dominance, and friendliness with specific facial traits. According to an article in Trends in Cognitive Sciences, people rely on these subtle facial traits to make important decisions, from voting for a political candidate to convicting a suspect for a crime. The authors present its real-world consequences and discuss potential ways of overcoming it.

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 4:00 am

Perceived hatred fuels conflicts between Democrats and Republicans, Israelis and Palestinians

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences by a team of researchers from The New School for Social Research, Northwestern University and Boston College demonstrates how seemingly unsolvable political and ethnic conflicts are fueled by asymmetrical perceptions of opponents’ motivations — and that these tensions can be relieved by providing financial incentives to better understand what drives an adversary group.

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 4:00 am

Quantum holograms as atomic scale memory keepsake

A theoretical model of quantum memory for light, adapting the concept of a hologram to a quantum system has been published in EPJD. The authors demonstrate that it is theoretically possible to retrieve, on demand, a given portion of the stored quantized light signal of a holographic image — set in a given direction in a given position in time sequence. This is done by shaping the control field both in space and time.

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 4:00 am

Color and texture matter most when it comes to tomatoes

A new study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists, evaluated consumers’ choice in fresh tomato selection and revealed which characteristics make the red fruit most appealing.

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 4:00 am

Even depressed people believe that life gets better

Adults typically believe that life gets better — today is better than yesterday was and tomorrow will be even better than today. A new study shows that even depressed individuals believe in a brighter future, but this optimistic belief may not lead to better outcomes. The findings are published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 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.

See the Partial Solar Eclipse Thursday with a Pinhole Camera (Video)

See the Partial Solar Eclipse Thursday with a Pinhole Camera (Video)A potentially amazing partial solar eclipse is due to darken skies above North America Thursday (Oct. 23), and you can build and easy tool to help you view it safely. Instead of looking straight at Earth's closest star, observers still interested in seeing the partial eclipse can use a pinhole camera — an easy tool made with household items. A pinhole camera projects sunlight through a small hole in a box onto the other side of the box, allowing you to see a view of the sun safely without risking your eyesight. To create a pinhole camera, all you need is a shoebox, some white paper and foil.

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 4:22 pm

500-Year-Old Traces of Monster Hawaii Tsunami Discovered

500-Year-Old Traces of Monster Hawaii Tsunami DiscoveredA powerful earthquake in Alaska sent towering waves up to 30 feet (9 meters) tall crashing down on Hawaii about 500 years ago, leaving behind fragments of coral, mollusk shells and coarse beach sand in a sinkhole located on the island of Kauai, new research finds. The quake, likely a magnitude 9.0, sent the mighty waves toward Hawaii sometime between 1425 and 1665, the study found. It's possible that another large Alaskan earthquake could trigger a comparable tsunami on Hawaii's shores in the future, experts said. There's a 0.1 percent chance it could happen in any given year, the same probability that northeastern Japan had for the 9.0-magnitude 2011 Tohoku earthquake and related tsunami, said Gerald Fryer, a geophysicist at the pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, who was not involved in the study.

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 2:59 pm

Virtual Reality Could Let Astronauts ‘Go to the Beach’

Virtual Reality Could Let Astronauts 'Go to the Beach'Spending long periods of time in space can be a psychologically demanding experience, but a new virtual reality system could give NASA astronauts a welcome escape. The system, which features the super-advanced Oculus Rift virtual reality display, would allow spacefarers to virtually visit friends and family at home, or places such as the beach — complete with the sounds of waves breaking, the smell of saltwater and the feel of an ocean breeze, the researchers said. "When you wear the Oculus Rift, it feels like you are in whatever scene you see," said Lorie Loeb, a computer scientist at Dartmouth University. Loeb leads the Digital Arts Leadership and Innovation lab (DALI), which is developing the virtual system.

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 2:41 pm

The Tech Behind Apple Pay: Is Your Money Secure?

The Tech Behind Apple Pay: Is Your Money Secure?Apple's new mobile payment system, Apple Pay, launches today (Oct. 20), and while some have questioned whether the technology is safe, security experts say it may actually be safer than swiping your credit or debit card. Apple Pay lets iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users make purchases in stores with their smartphones, using near-field communication (NFC) technology. A tiny antennain the phone transmits encrypted credit card data without consumers having to swipe their card. Apple Pay uses a security protocol — known as the EMV standard — that other mobile wallets don't use, Ferenczi told Live Science.

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 2:37 pm

23andMe, MyHeritage partner to combine DNA and family trees

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Personal genetics company 23andMe and Israel’s MyHeritage said on Tuesday they would collaborate to enable people to discover their heritage based on genetic ancestry and documented family history. California-based 23andMe, which is backed by Google, is a pioneer in the sale of home genetic tests and has more than 750,000 clients. It sells a $99 DNA test, from which it provides its customers ancestry-related genetic reports. MyHeritage helps families find their history with family tree tools and a library of more than 5.5 billion historical records. …

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 1:06 pm

Partial Solar Eclipse to Darken US Skies This Week

Partial Solar Eclipse to Darken US Skies This WeekMark Thursday (Oct. 23) on your calendar as "Solar Eclipse Day," for if the weather cooperates, you should have no difficulty observing a partial eclipse of the sun.  Nearly all of North America, except for a portion of eastern Canada and a slice of eastern New England, will experience the partial solar eclipse this week. People who live east of a line running from roughly Quebec City to Montauk Point, New York, will miss out on the solar show, since the sun will set before the dark disc of the moon begins to encroach upon it. The several hundred thousand people who inhabit parts of Siberia will get a brief view around local sunrise time — but on Friday (Oct. 24), because this part of the eclipse visibility zone is to the west of the International Date Line.

Posted on 21 October 2014 | 11:32 am

Cell transplant helps paralyzed man walk with frame

Paralysed Man Walks Again After Cell TransplantBy Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) – A Bulgarian man who was paralyzed from the chest down in a knife attack can now walk with the aid of a frame after receiving pioneering transplant treatment using cells from his nose. The technique, described as a breakthrough by a study in the journal Cell Transplantation, involved transplanting what are known as olfactory ensheathing cells into the patient's spinal cord and constructing a "nerve bridge" between two stumps of the damaged spinal column. "We believe… …

Posted on 20 October 2014 | 11:11 pm

New apps bring kids’ playtime back to real world

Woman walks past icons for Apple Apps at San Francisco retail storeBy Natasha Baker TORONTO (Reuters) – Parents eager to get their children away from television and video screens can turn to new apps that get youngsters to learn while playing in the real world. New iPad and iPhone apps for children by companies such as Osmo and Tiggly are designed to help children learn spatial, language, counting and physics concepts while playing with tangible objects. Tangram, Words and Newton from California-based Osmo let children manipulate objects in the real world and to interact with games on the screen. …

Posted on 20 October 2014 | 8:30 pm

Incredible Science and Historical Artifacts Up for Auction

Incredible Science and Historical Artifacts Up for AuctionA working Apple-1 computer, a window from the Manhattan Project's bomb-development site and a letter from Charles Darwin discussing the details of barnacle sex will go on sale this month at an auction of rare scientific artifacts. A viewing window from the Manhattan Project — valued at around $200,000 — is another big-ticket item at the auction. The Manhattan Project was a secret government operation during World War II designed to develop the world's first atomic bomb, and included many famous scientists like J. Robert Oppenheimer, Albert Einstein and Richard Feynman. A collection of astronomer George Willis Ritchey's deep-space photographs, books and telescope blueprints is also on sale.

Posted on 20 October 2014 | 12:44 pm

Science meets voodoo in a New Orleans festival of water

By Kathy Finn NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) – Perhaps no other city in the United States is as well-suited as New Orleans to wed a scientific discussion of environment with a celebration of the occult. That’s exactly what unfolded on Saturday at “Anba Dlo,” an annual New Orleans festival where prominent scientists joined with practitioners of the voodoo religion to look for answers to the challenges of dealing with water. In “The Big Easy,” a low-lying Louisiana city devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and threatened by the BP oil spill of 2010, water is a subject nearly impossible to ignore. …

Posted on 20 October 2014 | 6:04 am