Fossil of 325-million-year-old shark-like specie sheds light on evolution of jaws

Fossil of 325-million-year-old shark-like specie sheds light on evolution of jawsWashington, Apr 17 - The skull of a newly discovered 325-million-year-old shark-like species suggests that early cartilaginous and bony fishes have more to tell us about the early evolution of jawed vertebrates-including humans-than modern sharks do, as was previously thought.

The new study, led by scientists at the American Museum of Natural History, shows that living sharks are actually quite advanced in evolutionary terms, despite having retained their basic "sharkiness" over millions of years.


'Most banned and challenged books' of 2013 revealed

'Most banned and challenged books' of 2013 revealedWashington, April 17 - Dav Pilkey's best-selling picture book series ' Captain Underpants' topped the list of the most banned and challenged books of 2013 for its "offensive language" and material unsuited for its targeted age group.

The American Library Association has released the annual 'State of the Libraries' report of works most frequently "challenged" at schools and libraries, and Nobel laureate Toni Morrison's ' The Bluest Eye' has made it to the list for its language, along with violence and sexual content, the Huffington Post reported.


Zuckerberg admits to ideas where Facebook got it wrong

Mark ZuckerbergWashington, Apr. 17 - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has for the first time spoken abut the social networking site's failures and achievements in recent years.

In an interview with the New York Times, Zuckerberg touched on a number of topics, including the company's perceived lack of innovation to his thoughts on new apps like Secret.

When asked about some of Facebook's 'failures' in recent years, Zuckerberg admitted some of the company's ideas have failed to pick up any real momentum, but he said there are valid reasons for that.

He added that the reception was much slower than the company expected, speaking of Home, the company's Android lockscreen replacement.


Google Glass to assist surgeons soon

Google Glass to assist surgeons soonNew York, April 17 : The eyewear device Google Glass can be a useful tool in surgical settings, a promising research reveals.

In a research at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital of Westchester Medical Center in New York, an attending surgeon wore Google Glass daily for four consecutive weeks.

A daily log was kept and activities with a potential applicability were identified.


Samsung set to launch Android smartwatch, Tizen smartphone this year

Samsung set to launch Android smartwatch, Tizen smartphone this yearWashington, Apr. 17 - Samsung's senior VP for product strategy reportedly revealed that the company is set to introduce a new Android smartwatch as well as a 'high end' Tizen smartphone this year.

Following the Korean company's first attempt at putting together an advanced smartwatch based on Android, the Galaxy Gear, going downhill last year, Samsung reportedly switched to their own Tizen software for the Gear2 and Gear2 Neo.

According to The Verge, Samsung has confirmed that it will release its new smartwatch in 2014 and also clarified that the watch would indeed use Android Wear.


New Google app allows users to access Mac's, PC's from Android devices

New Google app allows users to access Mac's, PC's from Android devicesWashington, Apr. 17 - Google has reportedly launched a mobile client application, which allows users to access their Mac's or PC's from their Android devices, whether they are smartphones or tablets.

The application Chrome Remote Desktop app for Android is reportedly an extension

of the search giant's previously launched Chrome Remote Desktop screen-sharing service, which allows a user to share their desktop's screen with other Chrome browser or Chromebook users.


Ancient meteors reveal Red Planet's early atmosphere

Ancient meteors reveal Red Planet's early atmosphereWashington, April 17 : In a bid to know whether life exists, or has ever existed, on Mars and and how water flowed there in the past, geologists have successfully analysed 40 meteorites that fell to earth from Mars.

The findings reveal that the atmospheres of Mars and earth diverged in important ways very early in the 4.6 billion year evolution of our solar system.


Why funk music makes people want to dance

Why funk music makes people want to danceWashington, Apr 17 - A new study suggests that rhythmic drum patterns with a balance of rhythmic predictability and complexity may influence our desire to dance and enjoy the music.

Many people find themselves unable to resist moving their bodies to the thumping beat of hip-hop, electronic, or funk music, but may feel less desire to dance when listening to a highly syncopated type of music, like free jazz.

Researchers interested in understanding how the structure of this music affects our desire to dance have studied the role of rhythm in eliciting pleasure and body movement.


US pastor says 'Blood moon' was a sign from God

US pastor says 'Blood moon' was a sign from GodLondon, Apr 17 - A church in the US has claimed that the total lunar eclipse that turned the moon a dark blood red was a "sign" from God and fulfilled an ancient prophecy foretold in the Bible.

Much of the western hemisphere witnessed the eerie sight in the sky and NASA has confirmed that a highly unusual 'Tetrad' - four successive 'blood-red' lunar eclipses each followed by six full moons - has now begun and will end on September 28, 2015.


How your nose can be a pathfinder

How your nose can be a pathfinderWashington, April 17 - Researchers have found out the process behind nose becoming a pathfinder.

Researchers at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience have said that brain connects smells to memories through an associative process where neural networks are linked through synchronised brain waves of
20-40 Hz.

Lead author, Kei Igarashi, said they know that neurons in different brain regions need to oscillate in synchrony for these regions to speak effectively to each other. Still, the relationship between interregional coupling and formation of memory traces has remained poorly understood.


How dust affects light reaching us from stars

How dust affects light reaching us from starsWashington, April 17 - Researchers have showed that the laws used since 1989 to calculate the extinction of light produced by dust had serious limitations.

Jesus Ma'z Apellaniz, researcher at the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC) in charge of the publication, said in the range of wavelengths that our eyes perceive-the visible light-of every billion photons that a star in the center of the Milky Way emits, only one reaches our eyes.

He said that this is an extreme example of how dust affects the light of stars, a phenomenon that takes place in every single environment, albeit with less intensity.


Meteorites unlock secrets of Mars' early atmosphere

Meteorites unlock secrets of Mars' early atmosphereWashington, April 17 - Geologists, who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars, have managed to unlock secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks.

Their study shows that the atmospheres of Mars and Earth diverged in important ways very early in the 4.6 billion year evolution of our solar system.

Heather Franz, a former University of Maryland research associate who now works on the Curiosity rover science team at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, led the study with James Farquhar, co-author and UMD geology professor.


2-year-olds 'surprisingly' good at understanding unfamiliar accents

2-year-olds 'surprisingly' good at understanding unfamiliar accentsWashington, April 17 - Researchers have found that by two years of age, kids are remarkably good at comprehending speakers who talk with accents they have never heard before.

Even more striking, say researchers, children as young as 15 months who have difficulty comprehending accents they've never heard before can quickly learn to understand accented speech after hearing the speaker for a short time.

Elizabeth K. Johnson, associate professor with the University of Toronto's Psychology department, said fifteen-month-olds typically say relatively few words, yet they can learn to understand someone with a completely unfamiliar accent.


How memories stick together

How memories stick togetherWashington, April 17 - Scientists have developed a new model of memory that explains how neurons retain select memories a few hours after an event.

Terry Sejnowski, holder of Salk's Francis Crick Chair and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, said previous models of memory were based on fast activity patterns, asserted that their new model of memory makes it possible to integrate experiences over hours rather than moments.

One problem scientists have had with modeling memory storage is explaining why only selective details and not everything in that 1-2 hour window is strongly remembered.


How carnivores evolved into herbivores 300 million years ago revealed

How carnivores evolved into herbivores 300 million years ago revealedWashington, April 17 - Researchers have found the earliest ancestor of land herbivores, a 300-million-year old fossilized juvenile skeleton of Eocasea martini that is less than 20 cm long.

Paleontologist Robert Reisz, a professor in the Department of Biology, said the evolution of herbivory was revolutionary to life on land because it meant terrestrial vertebrates could directly access the vast resources provided by terrestrial plants.

He said these herbivores in turn became a major food resource for large land predators.


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