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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.


Google launches new Helpouts app for iOS

Google launches new Helpouts app for iOSWashington, Apr 16 : Google has reportedly launched Helpouts app for iOS.

According to TC, Helpouts for iOS works like Helpouts on the web, offering users the ability to connect to any of the free video chats made available on the Google-powered platform.

Helpouts was introduced last year by Google to let people connect with experts for paid or free video chats that are about solving a specific problem.

Meanwhile, Google had launched Helpouts for Android back in November last year, the report added. (ANI)


Unearthed! Tilting planets can harbour life too

Unearthed! Tilting planets can harbour life tooWashington, April 16 - Do planets have to have a stable tilt like earth to nurture life? Perhaps not as a fluctuating tilt in a planet’s orbit does not prohibit the possibility of life. In fact, sometimes, it helps, a promising research say.

Further, expanding the habitable zone might almost double the number of potentially habitable planets in the galaxy, according to astronomers from University of Washington, Utah-based Weber State University and NASA.


World's best pizza comes from Australia, not Italy!

World's best pizza comes from Australia, not Italy!Washington, Apr 16 : The world's best pizza may not be from its country of origin, but from Australia.

Judges at last weekend's Campionato Mondiale Della Pizza (Pizza World Championship) held in Parma, Italy, awarded the world's top margherita pizza title to Australian chef Johnny Di Francesco, owner of the 400 Gradi restaurant in Brunswick, a Melbourne suburb.

36-year-old Di Francesco beat more than 600 competitors from 35 countries to take home the Specialita Traditionale Garantita pizza prize in the annual competition, CNN reported.


How mothers help children differentiate between right and wrong

How mothers help children differentiate between right and wrongWashington, April 16 : Researchers have said that many mothers talk to their children in ways that helps them understand moral missteps.

The study - co-written by Cecilia Wainryb, Stacia Bourne and Monisha Pasupathi from the University of Utah - observed 100 pairs of mothers and children were aged seven, 11 or 16. Each child was asked to describe one incident where they had helped a friend, and one incident where they had hurt a friend, and subsequently spoke to their mums about the experience.


Now, composite materials that can self-heal repeatedly

composite materials that can self-heal repeatedlyWashington, April 16 i Researchers have created a 3D vascular system that allows for high-performance composite materials such as fiberglass to heal autonomously, and repeatedly.

Researchers in the Beckman Institute's Autonomous Materials Systems (AMS) Group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, led by professors Nancy Sottos, Scott White, and Jeff Moore created 3D vascular networks-patterns of microchannels filled with healing chemistries-that thread through a fiber-reinforced composite.


Girls' mental health suffers when romances play out differently than they imagined

Girls' mental health suffers when romances play out differently than they imaginedWashington, April 16 - Researchers have revealed that adolescent girls' risk of severe depression, thoughts of suicide, and suicide attempt increase after their relationships unfold differently than what they imagined.

The study used data on more than 5,300 high school students from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and examined the mental health consequences of mismatches between adolescents' ideal and actual relationships.


How electrical energy naturally produced at sea floor may have given rise to life

How electrical energy naturally produced at sea floor may have given rise to lifeWashington, April 16 - Researchers have described how electrical energy naturally produced at the sea floor might have given rise to life.

According to the findings, which also can be thought of as the "water world" theory, life may have begun inside warm, gentle springs on the sea floor, at a time long ago when Earth's oceans churned across the entire planet.


New York Police ends spying on Muslims

New York Police ends spying on MuslimsWashington, April 16 - New York Police Department has disbanded a controversial surveillance unit started after the September 11, 2001, attacks to catalogue information on Muslim businesses and mosques across the New York region.

Developed with the CIA's help after 9/11, the so-called Demographics Unit-or Zone Assessment Unit-has been the target of controversy and civil lawsuits.

"Understanding certain local demographics can be a useful factor when assessing information regarding potential threats coming to the attention of the New York City Police Department," the department said in a statement Tuesday.


US Treasury declines to name China as currency manipulator

US Treasury declines to name China as currency manipulatorWashington, April 16 - The US Treasury Department said Tuesday that China cannot be ruled as a currency manipulator, but said the pace of China's currency appreciation has been insufficient.

"China's currency (RMB) appreciated on a trade-weighted basis in 2013 but not as fast or by as much as is needed," Xinhua quoted the US Treasury as saying in the latest semi-annual report to Congress on International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies.

It noted that "the recent widening of the trading band gives China the opportunity to reduce intervention and allow the market to play a greater role in determining the exchange rate".


Microsoft set to update Office Online

Microsoft set to update Office OnlineWashington, Apr 15 : Microsoft is reportedly planning to update its Web-based Office Online suite.

The move will narrow Office Online's features gap with the main Office 365 and Office 2013 suites installed on users' devices, PC World reports.

Following the update, users will be free to shuttle between Office Online and the desktop.

Kaberi Chowdhury, an Office Online technical product manager, in a blog post that the company knows that users want features that allow them to move as seamlessly as possible between Office Online and the desktop.


Samsung Galaxy S5 launch day sales surpass Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S5 launch day sales surpass Galaxy S4Washington, Apr 15 : The launch day sales of Samsung Galaxy S5 have reportedly surpassed that of Galaxy S4 by almost 30 percent.

While Samsung is yet to report its launch-day sales, sellouts in several markets around the world were recorded.

Meanwhile, ZDNet Korea claimed that it spoke with an unnamed Samsung representative who said that Galaxy S5 sales so far are in the millions, Cnet reported.

The report added that last year Samsung said that it sold more than 10 million Galaxy S4 smartphones to retailers and wireless operators less than a month after that handset's debut. (ANI)


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