Science

Discrimination, alcohol, tobacco tied to panic attacks in minorities

Washington D. C, Jan 24 : A new study has linked discrimination, alcohol and tobacco to panic attacks among minority Americans.

Researchers from the University of Alabama studied demographic and socioeconomic variables in relation to panic attacks among African-Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, Hispanics and Asians.

Although there is a body of research on the harmful effects of negative altercations on mental health, knowledge gaps persist around immigrant health, said Assistant Professor Henna Budhwani.

Budhwani added that immigrants, particularly those who are undocumented, are often resistant to speak to researchers for fear of deportation or police engagement. Furthermore, some may not speak English fluently, making communication difficult.

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Volunteer programmers help find mysterious black holes

Washington D. C, Jan 24 : Russian volunteer programmers are bringing an international team of astronomers close to understanding the so-called intermediate-mass black holes (IMBH).

The term "black holes" was first used in the mid-20th century by theoretical physicist John Wheeler. This term denotes relativistic supermassive objects that are invisible in all electromagnetic waves, but a great number of astrophysical effects confirms their existence.

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Now, a `de-icing` concrete to make winter roads safer

Washington D. C, Jan 24 : Conductive concrete is here and it can clear your driveway all by itself, making snow shovels and salt a history.

A 200-square-foot slab of seemingly ordinary concrete sits just outside the Peter Kiewit Institute as snowflakes begin parachuting toward Omaha on a frigid afternoon in late December.

The snow accumulates on the grass surrounding the slab and initially clings to the concrete, too. But as the minutes pass and the snow begins melting from only its surface, the slab reveals its secret: Like razors, stoves and guitars before it, this concrete has gone electric.

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Zebra stripes aren't for camouflage

Washington D. C, Jan 23 : A team of researchers has found that zebras don't use their black and white stripes as some sort of camouflaging protection against predators.

The most longstanding hypothesis for zebra striping is crypsis, or camouflaging, but until now the question has always been framed through human eyes, said lead author Amanda Melin from the University of Calgary, Canada.

Melin added "We, instead, carried out a series of calculations through which we were able to estimate the distances at which lions and spotted hyenas, as well as zebras, can see zebra stripes under daylight, twilight, or during a moonless night."

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Nuclear race can imperil strategic stability:US report

Washington, Jan. 23 : A congressional report sent to United States lawmakers has warned that continued Indian and Pakistani nuclear weapons development could jeopardise strategic stability between the two countries.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS), which prepared the report, notes that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is 'designed to dissuade India from taking military action against the country'.

The report notes that both India and Pakistan 'continues to expand its nuclear arsenal' but since the report is about Pakistan, it focuses on the Pakistani nuclear programme, reports Dawn.

The report claimed that Pakistan has approximately 110-130 nuclear warheads.

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Greenland ice melt putting global ocean circulation at risk

Washington D. C, Jan 23 : Due to melting ice caps caused by global warming, the world saw a rise in sea levels and now, a new study revealed that those glaciers in Greenland can also affect the global ocean circulation and the future climate.

The University of South Florida scientists, along with colleagues in Canada and the Netherlands, have determined that the influx of fresh water from the Greenland ice sheet is "freshening" the North Atlantic Ocean and could disrupt the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), an important component of global ocean circulation that could have a global effect.

Researchers say it could impact the future climate in places such as portions of Europe and North America.

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Rodents empathise, just like you

Washington D. C, Jan 22 - A new study has pointed out that empathy is more common in animals than previously believed.

The study reveals that prairie voles console loved ones who are feeling stressed and it appears that the infamous "love hormone" oxytocin is the underlying mechanism.

Until now, consolation behavior has only been documented in a few nonhuman species with high levels of sociality and cognition, such as elephants, dolphins and dogs. Prairie voles are particularly social rodents, causing them to be the focus of many studies. This led James Burkett and colleagues to explore their potential for empathy-motivated behaviors.

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Fast typing is killing your writing skills

Washington D. C, Jan 22 - You may want to slow down your typing in order to improve your writing as a new study suggests so.

The quality of your writing will likely get better if you simply type slower, according to the researchers from the University of Waterloo, who asked study participants to type essays using both hands or with only one.

Using text-analysis software, the team discovered that some aspects of essay writing, such as sophistication of vocabulary, improved when participants used only one hand to type.

Typing can be too fluent or too fast and can actually impair the writing process, said lead author Srdan Medimorec, adding that it seems that what we write is a product of the interactions between our thoughts and the tools we use to express them.

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Kids of controlling parents grow up to be `mean`

Washington D. C, Jan 22 - So, what makes mean college kids so mean? According to a new study, it may be their controlling parents.

College students whose parents lay on the guilt or try to manipulate them may translate feelings of stress into similar mean behavior with their own friends, the study by a University of Vermont psychologist has found.

Those students' physical response to stress influences the way they will carry out that hostility - either immediately and impulsively or in a cold, calculated way, concluded Jamie Abaied.

Her study involved 180 mostly female college students and was a collaboration with Abaied's graduate research assistant, Caitlin Wagner, the lead author on the paper.

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Lasagne-like dark `noodle` spotted in Milky Way

Washington D. C, Jan 22 (ANI): What if, there were noodles, lasagne sheets or hazelnuts or, at least, invisible structures shaped like them floating around in our galaxy? Yes, it is a possibility.

According to a new study, invisible structures shaped like noodles, lasagne sheets or hazelnuts could be floating around in our Galaxy radically challenging our understanding of gas conditions in the Milky Way.

First author Keith Bannister of CSIRO said that the structures appear to be 'lumps' in the thin gas that lies between the stars in our Galaxy, adding that they could radically change ideas about this interstellar gas, which is the Galaxy's star recycling depot, housing material from old stars that will be refashioned into new ones.

Tree frogs thought extinct rediscovered in India

Washington D. C, Jan 21 - A new genus of tree hole-breeding frogs that was thought to have died out more than a century ago has been rediscovered in India.

The Old World tree frog family currently contains over 380 species and includes some frogs with ambiguous classifications based on shared characteristics. During fieldwork in four northeastern Indian states, the authors of this University of Delhi study discovered several populations of tree hole breeding frogs with unusual characteristics, including tadpoles that feed on the mother's eggs.

To investigate the phylogenetic relationship of these new frogs, the authors compared molecular data with known tree frog genera.

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How 2 degree C rise can up temperatures where we live

Washington D. C, Jan 21 : According to a new study, a two degree Celsius rise means even higher temperatures where we live.

Regions around the Arctic may have passed a 2 degree C temperature rise as far back as 2000 and, if emissions rates don't change, areas around the Mediterranean, central Brazil and the contiguous United States could see 2degree C of warming by 2030.

This is despite the fact that under a business as usual scenario the world is not expected to see global average temperatures rise by 2degreeC compared to preindustrial times until the 2040s.

The ETH Zurich study has quantified the change in regional extremes in a world where global average temperatures have risen by 2degreeC.

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India's first new bird species in a decade discovered

Washington D. C, Jan 21 : The find of a new species of bird in northeastern India and adjacent parts of China has marked the first discovery in a decade and the fourth since 1949.

The team from Sweden, China, the U. S., India and Russia named the bird as Himalayan forest thrush Zoothera salimalii. The scientific name honors the great Indian ornithologist Salim Ali, in recognition of his contributions to the development of Indian ornithology and nature conservation.

The discovery process for the Himalayan forest thrush began in 2009 when it was realized that what was considered a single species, the plain-backed thrush Zoothera mollissima, was in fact two different species in northeastern India, said Pamela Rasmussen of Michigan State University.

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Faces and their emotions matter to dogs

Washington D. C., Jan. 20 : A new study has revealed that like humans, dogs too have social gazing behavior and so, emotional expressions do have an effect on their behavior.

Researchers from University of Helsinki have shown that in dogs, the facial expression alters their viewing behavior, especially in the face of threat.

The study showed that threatening faces evoked attentional bias, which may be based on an evolutionary adaptive mechanism: the sensitivity to detect and avoid threats represents a survival advantage.

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Explosive volcanism drove major changes in 'Snowball Earth'

Washington D. C., Jan. 19 - According to a new research, around 720-640 million years ago, much of the Earth's surface was covered in ice during a glaciation that lasted millions of years. Explosive underwater volcanoes were a major feature of this 'Snowball Earth'.

Many aspects of this extreme glaciation remain uncertain, but it is widely thought that the breakup of the supercontinent Rodinia resulted in increased river discharge into the ocean. This changed ocean chemistry and reduced atmospheric CO2 levels, which increased global ice coverage and propelled Earth into severe icehouse conditions.

The Southampton-led research now offers an explanation for these major changes in ocean chemistry.

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