Jena's Roots In The Tree Of Life

Ernst Haeckel created the first phylogenetic ‘tree of life’ of organisms 150 years ago in Jena...

Australopithecus Afarensis: ‘Lucy’ Was A Tree Climber?

Evidence preserved in the internal skeletal structure of the famous Lucy fossil ( Australopithecus...

No Evidence For Age-based Mammography Cut-Off

There is no clear cut-off age to stop breast cancer screening, according to a new analysis which...

Neanderthals: Not So Dumb

Neanderthals modified their survival strategies even without external influences like environmental...

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The Sun's eruptive events can change even more radically than the weather in Kentucky. Some eruptive events come just with a solar flare, while some provide additional ejection of solar material, a coronal mass ejection (CME). Some even involve complex moving structures in association with changes in magnetic field lines that loop up into the sun's atmosphere, the corona.

On July 19th, 2012, an eruption occurred on the sun that produced all three. A moderately powerful solar flare exploded on the sun's lower right limb, sending out light and radiation. Next came a CME, which shot off to the right out into space. And then, the sun treated viewers to one of its dazzling magnetic displays – a phenomenon known as coronal rain.

Sunspots on the surface of the Sun happen when magnetic fields rearrange and realign, forming dark spots Over the course of the last 48 hours, scientists watched a giant sunspot form - it has grown to over six Earth diameters across but its full extent is hard to judge since the spot lies on a sphere, not a flat disk.

The spot quickly evolved into what's called a delta region, in which the lighter areas around the sunspot, the penumbra, exhibit magnetic fields that point in the opposite direction of those fields in the center, dark area. This is a fairly unstable configuration that scientists know can lead to eruptions of radiation on the sun called solar flares.

By recording the automatic brain wave responses of 100 school-aged children to speech sounds, researchers found that the very best readers encoded the sound most consistently while the poorest readers encoded it with the greatest inconsistency.

Decades of research from laboratories worldwide have shown that reading ability is associated with auditory skills, including auditory memory and attention, the ability to rhyme sounds and the ability to categorize rapidly occurring sounds.

Understanding how and why diversification occurs is important for understanding why there are so many species on Earth.  A new study found that similar, or even identical, mutations can occur during diversification in completely separate populations of E. coli evolving over more than 1,000 generations. 

A biological marker in the immune system predicts our ability to fight off the common cold, starting at about age 22, according to a recent paper in JAMA

Can you read minds?

No, you cannot, but with some fluorescent protein and a tiny microscope implanted in a rodent's head, Stanford scientists have come close.

Their technique can observe hundreds of neurons firing in the brain of a live mouse, in real time, and they have linked that activity to long-term information storage. The researchers first used a gene therapy approach to cause the mouse's neurons to express a green fluorescent protein that was engineered to be sensitive to the presence of calcium ions. When a neuron fires, the cell naturally floods with calcium ions. Calcium stimulates the protein, causing the entire cell to fluoresce bright green.