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The great ‘Mars bake-off’ begins

A look inside the lab where the Mars Rover will be assembled Continue reading ...

Is it ‘game over’ for box artwork?

is it "game over" for box art? Continue reading ...

Saving coffee from extinction

Breeding a new plant to save coffee from extinction Continue reading ...

Auroras on Mars

One day, when humans go to Mars, they might find that, occasionally, the Red Planet has green skies. NASA's MAVEN spacecraft has detected evidence of widespread auroras in Mars's northern hemisphere. Unlike Earth, Mars does not have a global magnetic field that envelops the entire planet. Instead, Mars has umbrella-shaped magnetic fields that sprout out of the ground like mushrooms, here and there, but mainly in the southern hemisphere. These umbrellas are remnants of an ancient global field that decayed billions of years ago. Continue reading ...

Mars rover’s laser-zapping instrument gets sharper vision

Tests on Mars have confirmed success of a repair to the autonomous focusing capability of the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover. Continue reading ...

Curiosity rover adjusts route up Martian mountain

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has just climbed a hill to approach an alternative site for investigating a geological boundary, after a comparable site proved hard to reach. Continue reading ...

‘Deep web search’ may help scientists

When you do a simple Web search on a topic, the results that pop up aren't the whole story. The Internet contains a vast trove of information -- sometimes called the "Deep Web" -- that isn't indexed by search engines: information that would be useful for tracking criminals, terrorist activities, sex trafficking and the spread of diseases. Scientists could also use it to search for images and data from spacecraft. Continue reading ...

Spiders strum on leaves for love

Purring spiders use leaves as microphones and speakers to transmit their purring courtship song to a female, scientists find. Continue reading ...

The element that made the 20th Century shine

The element that made the modern era gleam Continue reading ...

Birds ‘weigh’ peanuts and choose heavier ones

Mexican Jays (Aphelocoma wollweberi) distinguish between heavier and lighter peanuts without opening the nuts. The birds do it by shaking the nuts in their beaks, which allows them to 'feel' nut heaviness and to listen to sounds produced by peanuts during handling. Continue reading ...

From chicken to dinosaur: Scientists experimentally ‘reverse evolution’ of perching toe

A unique adaptation in the foot of birds is the presence of a thumb-like opposable toe, which allows them to grasp and perch.  However, in their dinosaur ancestors, this toe was small and non- opposable, and did not even touch the ground, resembling the dewclaws of dogs and cats. Remarkably, the embryonic development of birds provides a parallel of this evolutionary history: The toe starts out like their dinosaur ancestors, but then its base (the metatarsal) becomes twisted, making it opposable. Continue reading ...

Vaccines developed for H5N1, H7N9 avian influenza strains

Researchers have developed vaccines for H5N1 and H7N9, two new strains of avian influenza that can be transmitted from poultry to humans. The strains have led to the culling of millions of commercial chickens and turkeys as well as the death of hundreds of people. Continue reading ...

How meteorological partnership between US, Cuba was created over 20 years

The two-decade-long process to form an active meteorological partnership between the United States and Cuba has been described in a new article. While the U.S. and Cuba have shared meteorological information and data relating to hurricanes and other tropical storms starting as early as the mid-1800's, this is the first time a partnership of this level has been created; it included the shipping and installation of sensitive GPS monitoring equipment, something that would normally not be allowed by either government. Continue reading ...

Scientists create mice with a major genetic cause of ALS, frontotemporal dementia

A novel mouse has been developed that exhibits the symptoms and neurodegeneration associated with the most common genetic forms of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease), both of which are caused by a mutation in the a gene called C9ORF72. Continue reading ...

Proton therapy has fewer side effects in esophageal cancer patients

New research has found that esophageal cancer patients treated with proton therapy experienced significantly less toxic side effects, including nausea, blood abnormalities and loss of appetite, than patients treated with older radiation therapies. Continue reading ...

The Viking’s grave and the sunken ship: New photogrammetry method transforms archaeological sites

Mapping archaeological digs takes plenty of time and a lot of measuring, photographing, drawing and note taking. Now, most of this work can be done with a technique called photogrammetry. Photogrammetry is a method that uses two-dimensional images of an archaeological find to construct a 3D model. Continue reading ...

Starbucks gift card hack was ‘fraud’

A hacker reporting a security hole in Starbucks' website criticises the company's handling of the matter. Continue reading ...

New computational technique advances color 3D printing process

A technique has been developed that enables hydrographic printing, a widely used industrial method for transferring color inks on a thin film to the surface of 3D objects, to color these surfaces with the most precise alignment ever attained. This new computational method, which simulates the printing process and predicts color film distortion during hydrographic immersion, generates a colored film that guarantees exact alignment of the surface textures to the object. Continue reading ...

Plant biosecurity course combats wheat blast

Wheat blast, an emerging disease that threatens worldwide food security, is the focus of a plant biosecurity course at an American university. The course is designed to help participants learn how to contain and exclude a plant pathogen. Continue reading ...

Robot masters new skills through trial and error

Researchers have developed algorithms that enable robots to learn motor tasks through trial and error using a process that more closely approximates the way humans learn, marking a major milestone in the field of artificial intelligence. Continue reading ...

Best and safest blood pressure treatments in kidney, diabetes patients compiled

The first definitive summary of the best and safest blood pressure lowering treatments for kidney disease and diabetes patients has been compiled by clinicians. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of kidney disease around the world, and people often have both. Chronic kidney disease caused by diabetes always affects both kidneys and generally gets worse over time, often leading to kidney failure requiring dialysis treatment or a kidney transplant. Continue reading ...

Study uses farm data to aid in slowing evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds

Although researchers and industry personnel have made recommendations to slow the evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds, an understanding of the patterns and causes of the resistance has been limited. A recently published study looking at glyphosate-resistant waterhemp is providing valuable evidence that points to management practices as the driving force behind herbicide resistance, and that herbicide mixing, as opposed to herbicide rotation, is the most effective tool in managing resistance. Continue reading ...

An evolutionary heads-up: The brain size advantage

Animals with large brains are considered to be more intelligent and more successful than those with smaller brains. Researchers have now provided the first experimental evidence that large brains provide an evolutionary advantage. Large-brained female fish have a higher survival rate than those with small brains when faced with a predator, although brain size surprisingly did not influence male survival. Continue reading ...

Ledipasvir plus sofosbuvir: Hint of added benefit in further patient group

Documents subsequently submitted by the manufacturer show an advantage in sustained virologic response also for hepatitis C infection of genotype 1 with HIV coinfection without cirrhosis of the liver, reviewers report. Continue reading ...

Physicists develop efficient method of signal transmission from nanocomponents

Physicists have developed an innovative method that could enable the efficient use of nanocomponents in electronic circuits. To achieve this, they have developed a layout in which a nanocomponent is connected to two electrical conductors, which uncouple the electrical signal in a highly efficient manner. Continue reading ...

Estuaries protect Dungeness crabs from deadly parasites

Parasitic worms can pose a serious threat to the Dungeness crab, a commercially important fishery species found along the west coast of North America. The worms are thought to have caused or contributed to the crash of the crab fishery of central California during the last half century. New research shows that infected crabs can rid themselves of parasites by moving into the less salty water of estuaries. Low salinity kills the worms creating a parasite refuge for the crabs. Continue reading ...

Go fish! Ancient birds evolved specialist diving adaptations

A new study of some primitive birds from the Cretaceous shows how several separate lineages evolved adaptations for diving. Living at the same time as the dinosaurs, Hesperornithiform bird fossils have been found in North America, Europe and Asia in rocks 65-95 million years old. This research shows that separate lineages became progressively more adept at diving into water to catch fishes, like modern day loons and grebes. Continue reading ...

How a schizophrenia risk gene affects the brain

Brain imaging studies have already revealed that mental illnesses involve alterations in both the structure and connectivity of the brain. Scientists have now, for the first time, shown how the disruption of a key gene involved in mental illness impacts on the brain. Continue reading ...

From reverberating chaos to concert halls, ‘good acoustics’ is culturally subjective

Play a flute in Carnegie Hall, and the tone will resonate and fill the space. Play that same flute in the Grand Canyon, and the sound waves will crash against the rock walls, folding back in sonic chaos. The disparity is clear – to the modern listener, the instrument belongs in an auditorium. The response of audiences and performers to acoustic characteristics is a function of their worldview, and it is as fluid as the environment they inhabit, researchers say. Continue reading ...

Warning over Android reset systems

Using the "factory reset" option to wipe Android phones may not remove all valuable data, warn security experts. Continue reading ...