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Wed, 27 Aug 2014 15:17:52 EDT
Water 'thermostat' could help engineer drought-resistant crops
A gene that could help engineer drought-resistant crops has been identified by researchers. The gene, called OSCA1, encodes a protein in the cell membrane of plants that senses changes in water availability and adjusts the plant's water conservation machinery accordingly. The findings could make it easier to feed the world's growing population in the face of climate change.
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 15:17:50 EDT
First study of brain activation in MS using fNIRS
Using functional near infrared spectroscopy, researchers showed differential brain activation patterns between people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and healthy controls. This is first MS study to examine brain activation using fNIRS during a cognitive task.
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 15:17:48 EDT
Encyclopedia of how genomes function gets much bigger
A big step in understanding the mysteries of the human genome has been unveiled in the form of three analyses that provide the most detailed comparison yet of how the genomes of the fruit fly, roundworm, and human function. The analyses will likely offer insights into how the information in the human genome regulates development, and how it is responsible for diseases.
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 15:17:44 EDT
Junk food makes rats lose appetite for balanced diet
A diet of junk food not only makes rats fat, but also reduces their appetite for novel foods, a preference that normally drives them to seek a balanced diet, reports a study. "The interesting thing about this finding is that if the same thing happens in humans, eating junk food may change our responses to signals associated with food rewards," says an author. "It's like you've just had ice cream for lunch, yet you still go and eat more when you hear the ice cream van come by."
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 15:16:54 EDT
Rubber meets the road with new carbon, battery technologies
Recycled tires could see new life in lithium-ion batteries that provide power to plug-in electric vehicles and store energy produced by wind and solar, say researchers. By modifying the microstructural characteristics of carbon black, a substance recovered from discarded tires, a team is developing a better anode for lithium-ion batteries.
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:17:00 EDT
Stop and listen: Study shows how movement affects hearing
When we want to listen carefully to someone, the first thing we do is stop talking. The second thing we do is stop moving altogether. The interplay between movement and hearing has a counterpart deep in the brain. A new study used optogenetics to reveal exactly how the motor cortex, which controls movement, can tweak the volume control in the auditory cortex, which interprets sound.
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:16:09 EDT
Self-deceived individuals deceive others better
Over-confident people can fool others into believing they are more talented than they actually are, a study has found. These 'self-deceived' individuals could be more likely to get promotions and reach influential positions in banks and other organizations. And these people are more likely to overestimate other people's abilities and take greater risks, possibly creating problems for their organizations.
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:16:05 EDT
Stone-tipped spears lethal, may indicate early cognitive and social skills
Attaching a stone tip on to a wooden spear shaft was a significant innovation for early modern humans living around 500,000 years ago. However, it was also a costly behavior in terms of time and effort to collect, prepare and assemble the spear. Researchers conducted controlled experiments to learn if there was a 'wounding' advantage between using a wooden spear or a stone-tipped spear.
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:15:59 EDT
Bronze age wine cellar found: Wine residue, herbal additives found in palace cellar jars
A Bronze Age palace excavation reveals an ancient wine cellar. Wine production, distribution, and consumption are thought to have played a role in the lives of those living in the Mediterranean and Near East during the Middle Bronze Age (1900-1600 BC), but little archaeological evidence about Bronze Age wine is available to support art and documentation about the role wine played during this period.
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:15:55 EDT
Wolves susceptible to yawn contagion: Social bonds may increase yawning contagion between wolves
Wolves may be susceptible to yawn contagion, according to a new study. Researchers suggest that contagious yawning may be linked to human capacity for empathy, but little evidence apart from studies on primates, exists that links contagious yawning to empathy in other animals. Recently, researchers have documented domestic dogs demonstrating contagious yawning when exposed to human yawns in a scientific setting, but it is unclear whether this phenomenon is rooted in the evolutionary history of mammals, or has evolved in dogs as a result of domestication.
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