Study shows people can be trained to be more compassionate
Published May 23, 2013 - 7:59:23 AM
Until now, little was scientifically known about the human potential to cultivate compassion — the emotional state of caring for people who are suffering in a way that motivates altruistic behavior.
USGS Study Confirms U.S. Amphibian Populations Declining at Precipitous Rates
Published May 23, 2013 - 7:45:06 AM
The first-ever estimate of how fast frogs, toads and salamanders in the United States are disappearing from their habitats reveals they are vanishing at an alarming and rapid rate.
Comprehensive Analysis of Impact Spherules Supports Theory of Cosmic Impact 12,800 Years Ago
Published May 22, 2013 - 7:19:25 AM
About 12,800 years ago when the Earth was warming and emerging from the last ice age, a dramatic and anomalous event occurred that abruptly reversed climatic conditions back to near-glacial state. According to James Kennett, UC Santa Barbara emeritus professor in earth science, this climate switch fundamentally –– and remarkably –– occurred in only one year, heralding the onset of the Younger Dryas cool episode.
UCSB Study Shows Where Scene Context Happens in our Brain
Published May 21, 2013 - 11:06:09 AM
In a remote fishing community in Venezuela, a lone fisherman sits on a cliff overlooking the southern Caribbean Sea. This man –– the lookout –– is responsible for directing his comrades on the water, who are too close to their target to detect their next catch. Using abilities honed by years of scanning the water's surface, he can tell by shadows, ripples, and even the behavior of seabirds, where the fish are schooling, and what kind of fish they might be, without actually seeing the fish. This, in turn, changes where the boats go, and how the men fish.
New study finds blind people have the potential to use their 'inner bat' to locate objects
Published May 21, 2013 - 10:55:44 AM
New research from the University of Southampton has shown that blind and visually impaired people have the potential to use echolocation, similar to that used by bats and dolphins, to determine the location of an object.
Early-life traffic-related air pollution exposure linked to hyperactivity
Published May 21, 2013 - 9:00:06 AM
Early-life exposure to traffic-related air pollution was significantly associated with higher hyperactivity scores at age 7, according to new research from the University of Cincinnati (UC) and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
Amazon River exhales virtually all carbon taken up by rain forest
Published May 21, 2013 - 8:56:39 AM
The Amazon rain forest, popularly known as the lungs of the planet, inhales carbon dioxide as it exudes oxygen. Plants use carbon dioxide from the air to grow parts that eventually fall to the ground to decompose or get washed away by the region's plentiful rainfall.
Study finds air pollution and noise pollution increase cardiovascular risk
Published May 21, 2013 - 8:55:51 AM
Both fine-particle air pollution and noise pollution may increase a person's risk of developing cardiovascular disease, according to German researchers who have conducted a large population study, in which both factors were considered simultaneously.
Former Monsanto employee put in charge of GMO papers at journal
Published May 20, 2013 - 7:31:37 AM
Just months after a study was published showing that two Monsanto products, a genetically modified (GM) maize and Roundup herbicide, damaged the health of rats, the journal that published the study appointed a former Monsanto scientist to decide which papers on GM foods and crops should be published, a new article reveals.
Consuming Coffee Linked to Lower Risk of Detrimental Liver Disease, Mayo Clinic Finds
Published May 20, 2013 - 7:14:37 AM
Regular consumption of coffee is associated with a reduced risk of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), an autoimmune liver disease, Mayo Clinic research shows. The findings were being presented at the Digestive Disease Week 2013 conference in Orlando, Fla.
For combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, 'fear circuitry' in the brain never rests
Published May 20, 2013 - 7:13:45 AM
Chronic trauma can inflict lasting damage to brain regions associated with fear and anxiety. Previous imaging studies of people with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, have shown that these brain regions can over-or under-react in response to stressful tasks, such as recalling a traumatic event or reacting to a photo of a threatening face. Now, researchers at NYU School of Medicine have explored for the first time what happens in the brains of combat veterans with PTSD in the absence of external triggers.
Bright Explosion on the Moon
Published May 17, 2013 - 10:31:04 AM
For the past 8 years, NASA astronomers have been monitoring the Moon for signs of explosions caused by meteoroids hitting the lunar surface. "Lunar meteor showers" have turned out to be more common than anyone expected, with hundreds of detectable impacts occurring every year.
Sea level: One-third of its rise comes from melting mountain glaciers
Published May 17, 2013 - 7:58:18 AM
How much all glaciers contribute to global sea-level rise has never been calculated before with this accuracy. An international group of researchers involving two geographers from the University of Zurich has confirmed that melting of glaciers caused about one third of the observed sea-level rise, while the ice sheets and thermal expansion of sea water account for one third each. So far, estimates on the contribution of glaciers have differed substantially. Now 16 scientists from nine countries have compared the data from traditional measurements on the ground with satellite data from the NASA missions ICESat (Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite) and GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment).
GPS solution provides three-minute tsunami alerts
Published May 17, 2013 - 7:56:12 AM
Researchers have shown that, by using global positioning systems (GPS) to measure ground deformation caused by a large underwater earthquake, they can provide accurate warning of the resulting tsunami in just a few minutes after the earthquake onset. For the devastating Japan 2011 event, the team reveals that the analysis of the GPS data and issue of a detailed tsunami alert would have taken no more than three minutes. The results are published on 17 May in Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).
Kidney problems linked to traffic fumes
Published May 16, 2013 - 11:28:46 AM
Living close to a busy road may increase your risk of developing kidney problems, research suggests.
The US investigators who discovered a link in 1,100 patients believe traffic pollution could harm the arteries that supply the kidneys.
Skeptical Science Study Finds 97% Consensus on Human-Caused Global Warming in the Peer-Reviewed Literature
Published May 16, 2013 - 7:05:27 AM
A new survey of over 12,000 peer-reviewed climate science papers by our citizen science team at Skeptical Science has found a 97% consensus in the peer-reviewed literature that humans are causing global warming.
Stanford professor and former NASA official explains how NASA might revive the Kepler space telescope
Published May 16, 2013 - 7:03:02 AM
NASA officials announced Wednesday, May 15, that the Kepler space telescope – the agency's primary instrument for detecting planets beyond our solar system – had suffered a critical failure and could soon be shut down permanently.
Prediabetes - Do You Have It? How Do You Know?
Published May 15, 2013 - 9:18:58 AM
Diabetes is one of the most misunderstood medical conditions. "It's not just about sugar. It's about your heart," says Nancy Ryan, RD, BC-ADM, a registered dietitian, board-certified in advanced diabetes management at Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Penn Research Helps Paint Finer Picture of Massive Cascadia Earthquake in 1700
Published May 15, 2013 - 8:20:21 AM
In 1700, a massive earthquake struck the west coast of North America. Though it was powerful enough to cause a tsunami as far as Japan, a lack of local documentation has made studying this historic event challenging.
Orion's Hidden Fiery Ribbon
Published May 15, 2013 - 8:10:02 AM
This dramatic new image of cosmic clouds in the constellation of Orion reveals what seems to be a fiery ribbon in the sky. This orange glow represents faint light coming from grains of cold interstellar dust, at wavelengths too long for human eyes to see. It was observed by the ESO-operated Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) in Chile.
Seabird bones reveal changes in open-ocean food chain
Published May 14, 2013 - 7:25:08 AM
A research team, led by Michigan State University and Smithsonian Institution scientists, analyzed the bones of Hawaiian petrels – birds that spend the majority of their lives foraging the open waters of the Pacific. They found that the substantial change in petrels' eating habits, eating prey that are lower rather than higher in the food chain, coincides with the growth of industrialized fishing.
Land management options outlined to address cheatgrass invasion
Published May 13, 2013 - 2:50:41 PM
A new study suggests that overgrazing and other factors increase the severity of cheatgrass invasion in sagebrush steppe, one of North America's most endangered ecosystems.
Lyme Disease Vaccine Shows Promise in Clinical Trial
Published May 13, 2013 - 2:47:36 PM
The results of a phase 1/2 clinical trial in Europe of an investigational Lyme disease vaccine co-developed by researchers at Stony Brook University, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and at Baxter International Inc., a U.S. based healthcare company, revealed it to be promising and well tolerated, according to a research paper published online in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. The vaccine was shown to produce substantial antibodies against all targeted species of Borrelia, the causative agent of Lyme disease in Europe and the United States. Baxter International conducted the clinical trial of the vaccine.
Carbon Dioxide at NOAA's Mauna Loa Observatory reaches new milestone: Tops 400 ppm
Published May 13, 2013 - 7:03:35 AM
On May 9, the daily mean concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Mauna Loa, Hawaii, surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time since measurements began in 1958. Independent measurements made by both NOAA and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography have been approaching this level during the past week. It marks an important milestone because Mauna Loa, as the oldest continuous carbon dioxide (CO2) measurement station in the world, is the primary global benchmark site for monitoring the increase of this potent heat-trapping gas.
Modelling the effect of climate change on iceberg production by Greenland glaciers, and its impact on sea-level rise
Published May 10, 2013 - 9:53:35 AM
While the impact of climate change on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet has been widely studied, a clear understanding of the key process of iceberg production has eluded researchers for many years. Published in Nature this week, a new study presents a sophisticated computer model that provides a fresh insight into the impact of climate change on the production of icebergs by Greenland glaciers, and reveals that the shape of the ground beneath the ice has a strong effect on its movement.
Hit a 95 mph baseball? Scientists pinpoint how we see it coming
Published May 9, 2013 - 12:43:26 PM
How does San Francisco Giants slugger Pablo Sandoval swat a 95 mph fastball, or tennis icon Venus Williams see the oncoming ball, let alone return her sister Serena's 120 mph serves? For the first time, vision scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have pinpointed how the brain tracks fast-moving objects.
Hubble finds dead stars "polluted" with planetary debris
Published May 9, 2013 - 11:30:44 AM
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has found signs of Earth-like planets in an unlikely place: the atmospheres of a pair of burnt-out stars in a nearby star cluster. The white dwarf stars are being polluted by debris from asteroid-like objects falling onto them. This discovery suggests that rocky planet assembly is common in clusters, say researchers.
Milky Way Black Hole Snacks on Hot Gas
Published May 9, 2013 - 8:46:58 AM
The Herschel space observatory has made detailed observations of surprisingly hot gas that may be orbiting or falling towards the supermassive black hole lurking at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. Herschel is a European Space Agency mission with important NASA participation.
Researchers discover world's most extreme hearing animal
Published May 9, 2013 - 8:40:22 AM
Researchers at the University of Strathclyde have discovered that the greater wax moth is capable of sensing sound frequencies of up to 300kHz – the highest recorded frequency sensitivity of any animal in the natural world.
US urban trees store carbon, provide billions in economic value
Published May 7, 2013 - 6:12:43 PM
From New York City's Central Park to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, America's urban forests store an estimated 708 million tons of carbon, an environmental service with an estimated value of $50 billion, according to a recent U.S. Forest Service study.