MY AMERICAN SCIENTIST
LOG IN! REGISTER!
SEARCH
 
RSS
Logo IMG
HOME > SCIENCE IN THE NEWS > BROWSE SCIENCE BY PUBLICATION TYPE

Science In The News Daily


Tropical Lakes on Saturn Moon Could Expand Options for Life

from Nature News

Nestling among the dunes in the dry equatorial region of Saturn's moon Titan is what appears to be a hydrocarbon lake. The observation, by the Cassini spacecraft, suggests that oases of liquid methane -- which might be a crucible for life -- lie beneath the moon's surface. The work is published today in Nature.

Besides Earth, Titan is the only object in the Solar System to circulate liquids in a cycle of rain and evaporation, although on Titan the process is driven by methane rather than water.

This cycle is expected to form liquid bodies near the moon's poles, but not at its dune-covered equator, where Cassini measurements show that humidity levels are low and little rain falls to the surface. "The equatorial belt is like a desert on Earth, where evaporation trumps precipitation," says astrobiologist Jonathan Lunine of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Any surface liquid there should evaporate and be transported to the cooler poles, where it should condense as rain. "Lakes at the poles are easy to explain, but lakes in the tropics are not," says Caitlin Griffith, a planetary scientist at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Indeed, Cassini has spotted hundreds of lakes and three seas in Titan's polar regions.

Read more...


Save to Library

To Cut Blood Pressure, Nerves Get a Jolt

from the New York Times (Registration Required)

In recent decades, there have been few new treatments for people with stubbornly high blood pressure. Exercise and a low-sodium diet, along with such stalwart drugs as diuretics, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers, have made up the standard regimens. But these efforts fail in a surprising number of patients. On three or more medications, many still suffer from uncontrolled hypertension and with it a heightened risk of heart attack and stroke.

Now, doctors are experimenting with an innovative but drastic new approach that may help lessen the danger in patients for whom nothing else works. During the procedure, called renal denervation, a physician threads a catheter into the arteries leading to the kidney, then delivers pulses of radio-frequency energy that interrupt the signaling in nerves to and from that organ. The damage to the nerves is probably permanent, although no one is certain.

Small clinical trials, conducted mainly outside the United States, have suggested that in combination with drugs, renal denervation may help to reduce high blood pressure in patients with so-called treatment-resistant disease. The treatment is already available in Australia and Europe.

Read more...

Save to Library

X-Ray Telescope Promises Insight into Black Holes

from the San Francisco Chronicle

Space scientists at UC Berkeley are about to train their sights on a unique telescope that will fly into orbit Wednesday to explore the violent edges of black holes at the centers of countless galaxies like our own Milky Way.

The new NASA telescope, operated by the university's Space Sciences Laboratory, will also aim its X-ray eyes at the embers of burned-out exploding stars and at the sun's bursts of high-energy flares that send solar particles streaming to Earth at 2 million mph.

The telescope's instrument chief, astrophysicist William Craig of Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory, said Monday the mission, named NuSTAR, "will open a new window into the high-energy universe."

Read more...

Save to Library

Nature vs. Nurture: Outcome Depends on Where You Live

from the Telegraph (UK)

Both nature (meaning our genes) and nurture (the environment we grow up in) are known to significantly affect traits like our height and weight, our IQ, and our chance of developing behavioural problems or autism. But how strong environmental factors are in determining each characteristic, compared with the influence of DNA, differs significantly across the country, scientists have found.

Researchers from King's College London studied 45 childhood characteristics in 6,759 pairs of identical and non-identical twins across the UK, to determine whether their genes or their environment was more important.

A new series of "nature-nurture" maps produced by the team revealed that some areas are "environmental hotspots" for particular traits, but in other places the same attribute is mainly governed by genetics.

Read more...

Save to Library

Diesel Exhausts Do Cause Cancer, Says WHO

from BBC News Online

Exhaust fumes from diesel engines do cause cancer, a panel of experts working for the World Health Organization says. It concluded that the exhausts were definitely a cause of lung cancer and may also cause tumours in the bladder. It based the findings on research in high-risk workers such as miners, railway workers and truck drivers. However, the panel said everyone should try to reduce their exposure to diesel exhaust fumes.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, a part of the World Health Organization, had previously labelled diesel exhausts as probably carcinogenic to humans.

IARC has now labelled exhausts as a definite cause of cancer, although it does not compare how risky different carcinogens are. Diesel exhausts are now in the same group as carcinogens ranging from wood chippings to plutonium and sunlight to alcohol. It is thought people working in at-risk industries have about a 40% increased risk of developing lung cancer.

Read more...

Save to Library

Obesity Ills That Won't Budge Fuel Soda Battle by Bloomberg

from the New York Times (Registration Required)

A hospital offers Zumba and cooking classes. Farmers markets dole out $2 coupons for cantaloupe and broccoli. An adopt-a-bodega program nudges store owners to stock low-fat milk. And one apartment building even slowed down its elevator, and lined its stairwells with artwork, to entice occupants into some daily exercise.

In the Bronx, where more than two-thirds of adults are overweight, the message has been unmistakably clear for a long time: Slim down now. But, if anything, this battery of efforts points to how intractable the obesity problem has become in New York's poorest borough. The number of the overweight and obese continue to grow faster in the Bronx than anywhere else in the city--nearly one in three Bronx adults is obese--leading the city's health commissioner to call it "ground zero for the obesity epidemic problem."

So it was to the weight-burdened Bronx that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg went last week to make the case for his controversial proposal to ban supersized sodas and sugary drinks. Standing in the lobby of Montefiore Medical Center, the borough's largest hospital, he was flanked by doctors who spoke of treating more patients than ever with diabetes, hypertension and other obesity-related diseases.

Read more...

Save to Library

Journal Offers Flat Fee for 'All You Can Publish

from Nature News

Science-publishing ventures continually battle for market space, yet most operate on one of only two basic business models. Either subscribers pay for access, or authors pay for each publication--often thousands of dollars--with access being free. But in what publishing experts say is a radical experiment, an open-access venture called PeerJ, which formally announced its launch on 12 June, is carving out a fresh niche. It is asking its authors for only a one-off fee to secure a lifetime membership that will allow them to publish free, peer-reviewed research papers.

Relying on a custom-built, open-source platform to streamline its publication process, PeerJ aims to drive down the costs of research publishing, say its founders: Peter Binfield, who until recently was publisher of the world's largest journal, PLoS ONE, and Jason Hoyt, who previously worked at the research-paper-sharing site Mendeley. Their involvement is a major reason for the buzz around PeerJ. "I thought--wow--if the people I'm hearing about are working there--that's the sign of something happening. It makes it less crazy," says John Wilbanks, an advocate of open access and a senior fellow at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri.

PeerJ is just one of a flurry of experiments, encouraged in part by the gathering momentum of open access, that might shape the future of research publishing. "We are seeing a Cambrian explosion of experiments with new publishing models. It's going to be an interesting period for the next few years," says Binfield.

Read more...

Save to Library

New Holey Material Soaks Up CO2

from BBC News Online

UK researchers have developed a porous material that can preferentially soak up CO2 from the atmosphere. NOTT-202 is a "metal-organic framework" that works like a sponge, absorbing a number of gases at high pressures.

But as the pressure is reduced, CO2 is retained as other gases are released. The development, reported in Nature Materials, holds promise for carbon capture and storage, or even for removing CO2 from the exhaust gases of power plants and factories.

Metal-organic frameworks have been considered promising structures to trap gases for a number of years. They are so named because they comprise atoms of a metallic element at their core, surrounded by scaffolds of longer, carbon-containing chains. These complex molecules can be made to join together in frameworks that leave gaps suitable for capturing gases.

Read more...

Save to Library

'Oldest Galaxy' Discovered Using Hawaii Telescope

from the Guardian (UK)

A team of Japanese astronomers using telescopes on Hawaii say they have seen the oldest galaxy yet discovered. The team calculates that the galaxy is 12.91bn light years away, and their research will be published in the Astrophysical Journal. The scientists with the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan used the Subaru and Keck telescopes on the summit of Mauna Kea.

A light year is the distance that light travels in a year, about 6 trillion miles (9.66 trillion kilometres). Seeing distant galaxies is in effect looking back in time.

Richard Ellis of the California Institute of Technology, an influential expert in cosmology and galaxy formation, said the latest work was more convincing than some other claims of early galaxies. He said the Japanese claim was more "watertight," using methods that everyone can agree on. But he said it was not much of a change from a similar finding by the same team last year.

Read more...

Save to Library

Mammoths Didn't Go Out with a Bang

from Nature News

Why are there no more woolly mammoths? The last isolated island populations of these huge beasts disappeared about 4,000 years ago--well after the Pleistocene extinction that wiped out much of the world's megafauna--but what triggered their demise remains a frustrating mystery. According to the latest study to contribute to the ongoing debate, the last mammoths disappeared after a long, slow decline in numbers rather than because of a single cause.

Woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) once roamed over cold, dry grasslands in the Northern Hemisphere called mammoth steppe. Their remains are especially common in Beringia, the bridge of land that connects eastern Russia and western Alaska. Now, palaeoecologist Glen MacDonald at the University of California, Los Angeles, and his colleagues have tracked the pattern of the Beringian mammoth's extinction. Their results are published today in Nature Communications.

MacDonald and his colleagues combined a geographical database of mammoth finds with radiocarbon dates for mammoth specimens, prehistoric plants and archaeological sites to follow how woolly mammoth ranges expanded and contracted during the past 45,000 years.

Read more...

Save to Library


Total Records : 10048


 

Connect With Us:

    Pinterest Icon Google+ Icon Twitter Icon Facebook Icon Sm


Subscribe to Our Content!

Visit our RSS Feeds page to choose among 13 customized feeds, or create a free My AmSci account to request an email notice whenever a specified author, department or discipline appears online.


Subscribe to Free eNewsletters!

  • Sigma Xi SmartBrief:

    A free daily summary of the latest news in scientific research. Each story is summarized concisely and linked directly to the original source for further reading.

  • American Scientist Update

  • An early peek at each new issue, with descriptions of feature articles, columns, Science Observers and more. Every other issue contains links to everything in the latest issue's table of contents.

  • Scientists' Nightstand

  • News of book reviews published in American Scientist and around the web, as well as other noteworthy happenings in the world of science books.

    To sign up for automatic emails of the American Scientist Update and Scientists' Nightstand issues, create an online profile, then sign up in the My AmSci area.


Subscribe to American Scientist