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Jan 18,2008
BUDAPEST, Hungary - Hungarian scientists have developed software that can classify dog barks according to various situations, even identifying barks from individual dogs.Csaba Molnar and colleagues at Eotvos Lorand University, reporting in the journal Animal Cognition, tested a computer algorithm's ability to identify and differentiate acoustical features of dog barks. The software analyzed more than 6,000 barks from 14 Hungarian sheepdogs in various situations. The barks were recorded, digitized and transferred to the computer, where they ... [full story]
1439 times read - No comment posted

Jan 18,2008
Re­search­ers re­port that they have ar­ti­fi­cially cre­at­ed a beat­ing rat heart, with help from na­ture. Through a pro­cess called whole or­gan de­cel­lu­lar­iz­a­tion, Uni­vers­ity of Min­ne­so­ta sci­en­tists said they grew the or­gans by tak­ing dead ani­mal hearts and re-seed­ing them with live cells. The re­sults are de­scribed in the Jan­u­ary 13 on­line is­sue of the re­search jour­nal Na­ture Med­i­cine.  Al­though re-cre­ating hu­man hearts may be years away, the work seems to be a prom­is­ing start, said the prin­ci­pal ... [full story]
2680 times read - No comment posted

Jan 18,2008
A bi­zarre dis­cov­ery has bot­a­nists puz­zled: a new spe­cies of enor­mous palm tree that flow­er’s it­self to death.Al­though it’s not the first type of plant or tree known to do this, it’s mys­ti­fy­ing re­search­ers for sev­er­al rea­sons. One ques­tion is how such huge trees went un­no­ticed be­fore; an­oth­er is how they evolved and got to Mad­a­gas­car, where they grow. t. spectabilis, leaving only a thin skeletal structure at the top. (Courtesy J. Dransfield) Not ... [full story]
1459 times read - No comment posted

Jan 18,2008
MEMPHIS - U.S. medical scientists have identified the gene that's responsible for retinal development.St. Jude Children's Research Hospital investigators said their genetic discovery helps answer a long-standing question about the eyes of vertebrates, and might translate into a deeper understanding of how genes coordinate the complex process of eye formation and how a rare pediatric eye cancer progresses.Working with mice, the researchers found a gene called N-myc coordinates the growth of the retina and other ... [full story]
2811 times read - No comment posted

Jan 11,2008
ELECTRON INK   WHAT IS IT? - This is an empty shark egg case, which ancient mariner's sometimes called 'a mermaid's purse.' CNS Photo.    PRIME NUMBERS - The Sahara Desert is 80 percent exposed rock. CNS Photo.    ELECTRON INK - National Geographic's best pictures of 2007 can be seen at uniontrib.com/more/top10pictures. CNS Photo.    OUR IGNOBEL HISTORY - The popularity of medicinal leeches has risen and fallen over the centuries. CNS Photo. National Geographic's best pictures of 2007 uniontrib.com/more/top10pictures Check out ... [full story]
1740 times read - No comment posted

Jan 11,2008
AUSTIN, Texas - NASA scientists and a space shuttle astronaut today outlined details of a challenging mission that will repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope in 2008. The Hubble servicing mission, designated STS-125, will equip the orbiting observatory with far greater capabilities than ever had before to explore the nature and history of our universe. NASA Updates Shuttle Target Launch Date for Hubble Mission NASA managers officially are targeting August 07, 2008, for ... [full story]
2455 times read - No comment posted

Jan 11,2008
Ex­po­sure to air pol­lu­tion sig­nif­i­cantly re­duces fe­tus size dur­ing preg­nan­cy—which bodes ill for the af­fect­ed chil­dren’s life­long health, sci­en­tists are re­port­ing.Adri­an Bar­nett of Aus­trali­a’s Queens­land Un­ivers­ity of Tech­nol­o­gy and col­leagues com­pared fe­tus sizes as shown in more than 15,000 ul­tra­sound scans, to air pol­lu­tion lev­els in the ar­ea of Bris­bane, Aus­tral­ia. Major roadways can be sources of air pollution. (Image courtesy NSF) “Moth­ers with a high­er ex­po­sure to air pol­lu­tion had fe­tuses that were, ... [full story]
2208 times read - No comment posted

Jan 11,2008
A long string of ex­pe­ri­ments over dec­ades have re­peat­edly found that an­i­mals aren’t as dumb as hu­mans tra­di­tion­ally thought they were and far from it. But are they act­ually con­scious? Stud­ies have giv­en only vague glimpses of an an­swer. But some sci­en­tists have said an or­gan­ism must be con­scious if it has “ep­i­so­dic mem­o­ry.” This is ba­sic­ally the mem­o­ry of the “what, where and when” of events in life.New re­search has found that some an­i­mals ... [full story]
5410 times read - No comment posted

Jan 11,2008
Eating little may help people live longer, a study has found, of­fer­ing sup­port for an idea that has tan­ta­lized sci­en­tists for dec­ades.Re­search­ers have long known that cut­ting an­i­mals’ food supply to near-starva­t­ion lev­els gives them—for rea­sons still un­clear—long­er lives and health­i­er old age. Stud­ies have found that in hu­mans, too, sharply re­duced eat­ing is as­so­ci­at­ed with health­i­er ag­ing, as long as nu­tri­tion­al ba­lance is main­tained.  Less food on the plate could mean a longer ... [full story]
3054 times read - No comment posted

Jan 11,2008
Helium, the el­e­ment that lifts things like bal­loons, spir­its and voice ranges, is be­ing de­plet­ed so quickly that the world’s larg­est re­serve of it is ex­pected to run out by 2015, sci­en­tists say. That would de­flate more than the Good­year blimp and par­ty fa­vors. Its larg­er im­pact is on sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy, ac­cord­ing to Lee So­bot­ka of Wash­ing­ton Un­ivers­ity in St. Lou­is. Courtesy Washington University in St. Louis “He­li­um’s use in sci­ence is ex­tremely broad, but its ... [full story]
2955 times read - 1 comments posted

Jan 04,2008
VERBATIM   BRAIN SWEAT - When are the best odds of winning a game of chance: 12:50 p.m. or 12:55 p.m.? CNS Photo.    WHAT IS IT? - This is a scanning electron micrograph of a melting snowflake. CNS Photo.    JUST ASKING - If a pig loses its voice, it is disgruntled? CNS Photo.    TRUE FACTS - Too much snow can drive you crazy, a condition the Inuit call pibloktoq. Symptoms include hysteria, senseless repeating of words and a desire ... [full story]
2796 times read - No comment posted

Jan 04,2008
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Asteroid impacts or massive volcanic flows might have occurred around the time dinosaurs became extinct, but a new book argues that the mightiest creatures the world has ever known may have been brought down by a tiny, much less dramatic force – biting, disease-carrying insects. Tick found in Burmese amber. (Photo Courtesy OSU) An important contributor to the demise of the dinosaurs, experts say, could have been the rise and evolution ... [full story]
2989 times read - No comment posted

Jan 04,2008
PORTLAND, Ore. – Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University’s Neurological Sciences Institute have uncovered the system that tells the body when to perform one of its most basic defenses against the cold: shivering. The scientists have discovered the brain’s wiring system, which takes temperature information from the skin and determines when a person should start shivering. Their findings are published in the advance online edition of the journal Nature Neuroscience.“Shivering, which is actually heat ... [full story]
3123 times read - No comment posted

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