A groundbreaking study of popularity by a Michigan State University scientist has found that genes elicit not only specific behaviors but also the social consequences of those behaviors. According to the investigation by behavioral geneticist S. Alexandra Burt, male college students who had a gene associated with rule-breaking behavior were rated most popular by a group of previously unacquainted peers.
It's not unusual for adolescent rule-breakers to be well-liked – previous research has made that link – but Burt is the first to provide meaningful evidence for the role of a specific gene in this process. The study appears in the latest issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Scientists report that human gene mutations expressed in yeast cells can predict the severity of Batten Disease, a fatal nervous system disorder that begins during childhood. The new study published in Disease Models&Mechanisms (DMM) describes how the extent of changes in mutated cells paralleled the severity of symptoms seen in humans.
Researchers in Nevada are reporting that waste coffee grounds can provide a cheap, abundant, and environmentally friendly source of biodiesel fuel for powering cars and trucks. Their study appears in the current online issue of ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a bi-weekly publication.
In the new study, Mano Misra, Susanta Mohapatra, and Narasimharao Kondamudi note that the major barrier to wider use of biodiesel fuel is lack of a low-cost, high quality source, or feedstock, for producing that new energy source. Spent coffee grounds contain between 11 and 20 percent oil by weight. That's about as much as traditional biodiesel feedstocks such as rapeseed, palm, and soybean oil.
Researchers say they have discovered an entirely new mechanism for making common electronic materials emit laser beams. The finding could lead to lasers that operate more efficiently and at higher temperatures than existing devices, and find applications in environmental monitoring and medical diagnostics.
Premature infants who need intensive care or surgery are less sensitive to thermal (hot and cold) sensations later in life, according to research conducted at UCL (University College London). The study, published in the journal Pain, suggests that pain and injury related to major medical interventions in early development may alter how children respond to painful stimuli much later in life.
Even 60,000 years ago men had the wanderlust more than women. Or they left families behind until they knew what they would find.
For one reason or another, the modern humans left Africa in a migration that many believe was responsible for nearly all of the human population that exist outside Africa today didn't have men and women as equal equal partners in that exodus. By tracing variations in the X chromosome and in the non-sex chromosomes, researchers from Harvard say they have found evidence that men outnumbered women in that migration.