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Preview: PhysOrg.com - latest science and technology news stories

Phys.org - latest science and technology news stories



Phys.org internet news portal provides the latest news on science including: Physics, Nanotechnology, Life Sciences, Space Science, Earth Science, Environment, Health and Medicine.



 



Expedition eyes sunken mini sub on Pearl Harbor anniversary

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 16:19:36 EST

Federal archaeologists and scientists used a remotely operated vehicle Wednesday to document the condition of a mini submarine used in the attack on Pearl Harbor 75 years ago.



Thousands of geese die after landing in toxic US water

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 16:11:36 EST

Thousands of migrating geese have died after taking refuge from a snowstorm in toxic mine waters in the western United States, mine officials have said.



SpaceX's 1st launch since rocket blast now bumped to January

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 16:03:51 EST

SpaceX's first launch since a rocket explosion at the pad has slipped to January.



Scientists develop 'programmable' cement particles to attain enhanced properties

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:58:19 EST

Bringing order to disorder is key to making stronger and greener cement, the paste that binds concrete.



Mars One puts back planned colonisation of Red Planet

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:55:50 EST

A British-Dutch company planning to install a community of humans on Mars admitted on Wednesday that it's project will be delayed by several years.



NASA sees Tropical Cyclone 05B form

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:54:52 EST

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured an image of newly formed Tropical Cyclone 05B in the Bay of Bengal, Northern Indian Ocean.



Common insecticides are riskier than thought to predatory insects

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:54:13 EST

Neonicotinoids—the most widely used class of insecticides—significantly reduce populations of predatory insects when used as seed coatings, according to researchers at Penn State. The team's research challenges the previously held belief that neonicotinoid seed coatings have little to no effect on predatory insect populations. In fact, the work suggests that neonicotinoids reduce populations of insect predators as much as broadcast applications of commonly used pyrethroid insecticides.



Despite evolutionary inexperience, northern sockeye manage heat stress

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:51:54 EST

Sockeye salmon that evolved in the generally colder waters of the far north still know how to cool off if necessary, an important factor in the species' potential for dealing with global climate change.



East Greenland ice sheet has responded to climate change over the last 7.5 million

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:47:15 EST

Using marine sediment cores containing isotopes of aluminum and beryllium, a group of international researchers has discovered that East Greenland experienced deep, ongoing glacial erosion over the past 7.5 million years.



Researchers reveal 3-D structure of cell's inflammation sensor and its inhibitors

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:42:55 EST

Inflammation is a good thing when it's fighting off infection, but too much can lead to autoimmune diseases or cancer. In efforts to dampen inflammation, scientists have long been interested in CC chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2)—a protein that sits on the surface of immune cells like an antenna, sensing and transmitting inflammatory signals that spur cell movement toward sites of inflammation. Researchers at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of California San Diego have now determined the 3D structure of CCR2 simultaneously bound to two inhibitors. Understanding how these molecules fit together may better enable pharmaceutical companies to develop anti-inflammatory drugs that bind and inhibit CCR2 in a similar manner.



Big data approach to water quality applied at shale drilling sites

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:42:29 EST

A computer program is diving deep into water quality data from Pennsylvania, helping scientists detect potential environmental impacts of Marcellus Shale gas drilling.



New discovery may lead to the development of super premium gasoline

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:40:49 EST

In contradicting a theory that's been the standard for over eighty years, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have made a discovery holding major promise for the petroleum industry. The research has revealed that in the foreseeable future products such as crude oil and gasoline could be transported across country 30 times faster, and the several minutes it takes to fill a tank of gas could be reduced to mere seconds.



Saturn's bulging core implies moons younger than thought

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:39:26 EST

Freshly harvested data from NASA's Cassini mission reveals that Saturn's bulging core and twisting gravitational forces offer clues to the ages of the planet's moons. Astronomers now believe that the ringed planet's moons are younger than previously thought.



Time runs out for smartwatch pioneer Pebble

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:34:46 EST

Smartwatch pioneer Pebble announced Wednesday it was shutting down, with tech wearables giant Fitbit acquiring some of its assets including key personnel.



New stamping technique creates functional features at nanoscale dimensions

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 14:00:07 EST

The next time you place your coffee order, imagine slapping onto your to-go cup a sticker that acts as an electronic decal, letting you know the precise temperature of your triple-venti no-foam latte. Someday, the high-tech stamping that produces such a sticker might also bring us food packaging that displays a digital countdown to warn of spoiling produce, or even a window pane that shows the day's forecast, based on measurements of the weather conditions outside.



Atlas of the RNA universe takes shape

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 14:00:07 EST

As the floor plan of the living world, DNA guides the composition of animals ranging from unicellular organisms to humans. DNA not only helps shepherd every organism from birth through death, it also plays an essential role in the development of many human diseases.



Conservation effort spreads seeds of destruction across the Midwest

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 13:18:25 EST

Weed scientists in at least two Midwestern states have been reporting for years that a conservation program meant to provide habitat for pollinating insects is sowing bad seeds - including seeds of the potentially devastating agricultural weed Palmer amaranth - along with the good. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois have traced the weed seeds to at least one source: pollinator habitat seed sold by a company in the Midwest.



Critical zone, critical research

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 13:17:39 EST

The Earth's critical zone isn't called critical for nothing. Known as our planet's outer skin, it is essential for human survival.



Photonic crystal enhanced microscope sheds light on wound healing and cancer metastasis

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 13:17:09 EST

University of Illinois Electrical & Computer Engineering and Bioengineering Professor Brian Cunningham's Nano Sensors group has invented a novel live-cell imaging method that could someday help biologists better understand how stem cells transform into specialized cells and how diseases like cancer spread. Their Photonic Crystal Enhanced Microscope (PCEM) is capable of monitoring and quantitatively measuring cell adhesion, a critical process involved cell migration, cell differentiation, cell division, and cell death.



Studies open deep history of Greenland's ice sheet—and raise new questions about its stability

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 13:00:06 EST

The ice sheet covering Greenland is four times bigger than California—and holds enough water to raise global sea-level more than twenty feet if most of it were to melt. Today, sea levels are rising and the melting of Greenland is a major contributor. Understanding how fast this melting might proceed is a pressing question for policymakers and coastal communities.



Fishy Caribbean 'juveniles' to be recognized as a new species, the Hourglass basslet

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 12:55:16 EST

Living in deep reefs in the Atlantic Ocean, the banded basslet, a small and colorful species with a wide range of distribution, has long been thought to undergo significant changes during its growth into an adult. Suspiciously, the juveniles appeared much more heavily banded. Recently, however, American scientists figured out that the 'juveniles' were in fact a new species.



Maths explored in new London gallery by Zaha Hadid

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 12:53:43 EST

London's Science Museum called upon the genius of late architect Zaha Hadid for the "huge challenge" of bringing life to its new gallery dedicated to mathematics, which opens on Thursday.



Final rules for K-12 standardized testing released

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 12:17:59 EST

Aiming to reduce test-taking in America's classrooms, the Obama administration released final rules Wednesday to help states and school districts take a new approach to the standardized tests students must take each year.



Why keep the raw data?

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 12:17:32 EST

The increasingly popular subject of raw diffraction data deposition is examined in a Topical Review in IUCrJ. Building on the 2015 workshop organised by the IUCr Diffraction Data Deposition Working Group (DDDWG), the authors bring the story up to date with accounts of new subject-specific and institutional data repositories, and of growing policy pressures on research data management such as the European Open Science initiative.



New studies take a second look at coral bleaching culprit

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 12:14:45 EST

Scientists have called superoxide out as the main culprit behind coral bleaching: The idea is that as this toxin build up inside coral cells, the corals fight back by ejecting the tiny energy- and color-producing algae living inside them. In doing so, they lose their vibrancy, turn a sickly white, and are left weak, damaged, and vulnerable to disease.



Six ways to keep phone charges low during international travel

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 11:40:01 EST

It's a sure-fire way to dampen the holiday cheers: Spend a week on a dream vacation abroad, then come back to find an additional several hundred dollars on your cellphone bill.



Do thoughts of death change our shopping habits?

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 11:27:07 EST

It's that time of year again: when festive ads command consumers to BUY! BUY! BUY! for their friends and family. But despite this holiday cheer, negative news marches on.



Toward opioid vaccines that can help prevent overdose fatalities

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 11:26:20 EST

In 2014, the number of deaths from opioid overdoses in the U.S. jumped to its highest level on record. The spike brought national attention to the epidemic and the awareness that new interventions are needed. Now researchers are developing opioid vaccines that could one day help protect people from dying of overdoses. Their study, which tested the vaccines on mice, appears in the journal ACS Chemical Biology.



Partnership at a distance: Deep-frozen helium molecules

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 11:04:36 EST

Helium atoms are loners. Only if they are cooled down to an extremely low temperature do they form a very weakly bound molecule. In so doing, they can keep a tremendous distance from each other thanks to the quantum-mechanical tunnel effect. As atomic physicists in Frankfurt have now been able to confirm, over 75 percent of the time they are so far apart that their bond can be explained only by the quantum-mechanical tunnel effect.



Uncovering the secrets of water and ice as materials

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 11:03:48 EST

Water is vital to life on Earth and its importance simply can't be overstated—it's also deeply rooted within our conscience that there's something extremely special about it. Yet, from a scientific point of view, much remains unknown about water and its many solid phases, which display a plethora of unusual properties and so-called anomalies that, while central to water's chemical and biological importance, are often viewed as controversial.