Science

Cocaine makes brain cells cannibalize themselves, says study on mice

Washington D.C., Jan. 19 : Researchers have contributed significant new evidence to support the idea that high doses of cocaine kill brain cells by triggering overactive autophagy (normal physiological process in the body that deals with destruction of cells), while working with mice.

This is a process in which cells literally digest their own insides. Their results, moreover, bring with them a possible antidote, an experimental compound dubbed CGP3466B.

The study at Johns Hopkins University also found signs of autophagy in the brain cells of mice whose mothers received cocaine while pregnant.

Dr. Solomon Snyder said that this information gave an immediate insight into how to use a known compound to interfere with that process and prevent the damage.

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Fires in Africa causing high ozone layers in Guam : Study

Washington D. C., Jan. 18 : A new study has found that fires burning in Africa and Asia are the main cause for the high levels of ozone in the tropical Pacific region.

University of Maryland researchers have shown that fires burning in tropical Africa and South East Asia caused pockets of high ozone and low water in the lower atmosphere above Guam, a remote island in the Pacific Ocean 1,700 miles east of Taiwan.

Lead author Daniel Anderson has expressed his astonishment to find high concentrations of ozone and chemicals that they know are only emitted by fires in the air around Guam.

Researchers have found that the polluted air that reached Guam never entered the stratosphere and instead simply dried out during its descent within the lower atmosphere.

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Dinosaurs used horns, head crests for sexual selection: study

Washington D. C., Jan. 17 : According to a new analysis, large ornamental structures in dinosaurs, such as horns and head crests are likely to have been used in sexual displays and to assert social dominance.

This is the first time scientists have linked the function of anatomy to sexual selection in dinosaurs.

Protoceratops had a large bony frill that extended from the back of the head over the neck. Study of fossils aged from babies to adults revealed the adults to have disproportionately larger frills in relation to their size.

The research shows that the frill was absent in juveniles and suddenly increased in size as the animals reached maturity suggesting that its function is linked to sexual selection.

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Astronomers detect an `enigmatic` CO-0.40-0.22 gas cloud

Washington D. C., Jan. 16 : A team of astronomers at Keio University in Japan has found an enigmatic gas cloud, called CO-0.40-0.22, only 200 light years away from the center of the Milky Way.

Researchers from National Institute of Natural Sciences have found that this mysterious feature with two radios telescopes, the Nobeyama 45-m Telescope in Japan and the ASTE Telescope in Chile, are operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

After conducting experiments, the study found that there are number of wide-velocity-dispersion compact clouds similar to CO-0.40-0.22.

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Universe's most luminous galaxy is 'ripping' itself!

Washington D. C., Jan. 16 : New observations have revealed that an obscured quasar 12.4 billion light-years away which is known as the most luminous galaxy in the Universe is so violently turbulent, that it may eventually jettison its entire supply of star-forming gas.

A team of researchers used Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to trace the actual motion of the galaxy's interstellar medium, the gas and dust between the stars.

According to Tanio Diaz-Santos from the Universidad Diego Portales, after the observation the researchers found that the galaxy is so chaotic that it is ripping itself apart.

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Mystery in Milkyway: Brightest explosion ever seen!

Washington D. C., Jan. 15 : Astronomers, though not entirely sure what it is, are viewing a ball of hot gas billions of light years away that is radiating the energy of hundreds of billions of suns.

If the gas ball is the result of a supernova, then it's the most powerful supernova ever seen.

An international team of professional and amateur astronomers spotted the possible supernova, now called ASASSN-
15lh, when it first flared to life in June 2015.

Even in a discipline that regularly uses gigantic numbers to express size or distance, the case of this small but powerful mystery object in the center of the gas ball is so extreme that the team's co-principal investigator, Krzysztof Stanek, turned to the movie 'This is Spinal Tap' to find a way to describe it.

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'Speed read' programmes might not increase your reading speed

Washington D.C., Jan. 15 : Speed read might look like an obvious strategy for making quick work of all the emails, reports and other pieces of text a person encounters every day, but a new study has showed that the claims put forth by many speed reading programs and tools are probably too good to be true.

Examining decade's worth of research on the science of reading, a team of psychological scientists from the Association for Psychological Science found out little evidence to support speed reading as a shortcut to understanding and remembering large volumes of written content in a short period of time.

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Astronomers discover most luminous supernova ever

Washington D. C., Jan. 15 : A team of astronomers including renowned names like Benjamin Shappee, Nidia Morrell and Ian Thompson has discovered the most-luminous supernova ever observed. It is being called ASAS-SN-
15lh.

Supernovae are violent stellar explosions and some of the brightest objects in the universe. Human records noting their existence date back nearly 2,000 years.

Within the past two decades a rare new category of super-luminous supernovae have been discovered, which shine one hundred to a thousand times brighter than the more-common supernovae.

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This new mechanism can play memories in fast forward

Washington, D. C. Jan. 14 - A new study has discovered a mechanism that could now explain the process by which the brain can recall nearly all that happened in the past.

University of Texas at Austin researchers has found a newly discovered mechanism, which compresses information needed for memory retrieval, imagination or planning and encodes it on a brain wave frequency that is separate from the one used for recording real-time experiences.

Laura Colgin, an assistant professor of neuroscience and Chenguang Zheng, a post-doctoral researcher have found that brain cells share different kinds of information with one another using a variety of different brain waves, analogous to the way radio stations broadcast on different frequencies.

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Early universe evolution can be perceived from 'Green pea galaxy'

Washington D.C., Jan. 14 : According to a recent study, newly formed dwarf galaxies were likely the reason that the universe heated up about 13 billion years ago.

The finding opens an avenue for better understanding the early period of the universe's 14 billion year history.

In the period of several hundred thousand years after the Big Bang, the universe was so hot and dense that matter was ionized instead of being in a neutral form. But 380,000 years later, the expansion of the universe had cooled it enough for matter to become neutral and for the first structures of the universe to form - gas clouds of hydrogen and helium.

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Science behind XY and XX chromosomes in human being

Washington, D.C., Jan. 13 : A recent study has revealed the evolution of X chromosome and why it contains an unusual mixture of genes.

In humans, males have XY chromosomes, females have XX but only one of these is active, meaning that both sexes only have one active copy of the X chromosome.

Scientists discovered in 2002 that the X chromosome is unusual because it contains very few of the most important genes needed for basic cell function, dubbed 'housekeeping' genes.

Now the team led by Professor Laurence Hurst have analysed the world's largest compendium of data on gene activity (expression) and looked at how activity on the X chromosome compares with that on other chromosomes.

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Self healing now possible courtesy SAC

Washington, D.C., Jan. 12 : An adaptive material has been invented recently which combines self-healing and reversible self-stiffening properties.

The material called SAC (for self-adaptive composite) consists of what amounts to sticky, micron-scale rubber balls that form a solid matrix.

The researchers made SAC by mixing two polymers and a solvent that evaporates when heated, leaving a porous mass of gooey spheres. When cracked, the matrix quickly heals, over and over and like a sponge, it returns to its original form after compression.

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Scientists pinpoint unbroken section of Nepal fault line

Washington, D.C., Jan. 12 ): An international team of scientists has shed new light on the earthquake that devastated Nepal in April 2015, killing more than 8,000 people.

A recent study shows that a kink in the regional fault line below Nepal explains why the highest mountains in the Himalayas are seen to grow between earthquakes. This kink has created a ramp 20km below the surface, with material constantly being pushed up and raising the height of the mountains.

The researchers led by Dr John Elliott demonstrate that the rupture on the fault stopped 11km below Kathmandu. This indicates that another major earthquake could take place within a shorter timeframe than the centuries that might be expected for the area.

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Presence of Helicobacter pylori in Ötzi's stomach detected: Study

Washington, D.C., Jan. 8 - A team of researchers have detected the presence of Helicobacter pylori in Ötzi's stomach contents, a bacterium found in half of all humans today.

The research undertaken by European Academy of Bozen/Bolzano (eurac) scientists have found that humans were already infected with this stomach bacterium at the very beginning of their history could well be true.

The scientists succeeded in decoding the complete genome of the bacterium.

Lead researcher and paleopathologist Albert Zink explains that evidence for the presence of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori is found in the stomach tissue of patients today.

"So we thought it was extremely unlikely that we would find anything because Ötzi's stomach mucosa is no longer there," he said.

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`Massive` galaxy cluster detected after 3.8 billion years of Big Bang

Washington, D. C., Jan. 8 : A massive, sprawling, churning galaxy cluster that formed only 3.8 billion years after the Big Bang has been detected.

The research undertaken by astronomers at Massachusetts institute of Technology have detected a massive galaxy cluster located 10 billion light years from Earth and potentially comprised of thousands of individual galaxies.

The mega structure, which is about 250 trillion times more massive than the sun, or 1,000 times more massive than the Milky Way galaxy, is named IDCS J1426.5+3508 (or IDCS
1426) and is the most massive cluster of galaxies yet discovered in the first 4 billion years after the Big Bang.

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