A new wide-field image released today by ESO has captured a large group of galaxies belonging to the massive cluster known as Abell 315. As crowded as it may appear, this assembly of galaxies is only the proverbial "tip of the iceberg", as Abell 315 — like most galaxy clusters — is dominated by dark matter. The huge mass of this cluster deflects light from background galaxies, distorting their observed shapes slightly.
Neuroscientists from the University of Southampton investigating alcohol dependency and withdrawal in C. elegans worms say they exhibit alcohol-dependent behaviors similar to humans, despite their evolutionary distance, and very simple brain consisting of just 302 nerve cells.
The research, published in PLoS One, shows that withdrawal symptoms could be relieved by small doses of alcohol. However, easing the effects can increase dependency.
In humans, the symptoms are manifested in anxiety, agitation and, in extreme cases, seizures. The worms, as video footage shows, also became overactive in alcohol withdrawal and showed spontaneous and deep body bends – a behavior rarely seen in 'teetotal' worms.
The case for so-called organic farming has always been pretty weak, and a new study in Ecology Letters isn't helping the cause.
The study found that the environmental benefits generated organic farming don't compensate for the lower yields produced. Increases in biodiversity from organic farming were found to be much lower than previously thought – averaging just over 12 percent more than conventional farming. Organic farms in the study also produced less than half of the yield of their conventional counterparts.
As concern grows after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico two weeks ago, scientists are monitoring the situation closely with ESA's Envisat radar data.
The spill still appears relatively confined around its point of origin and is still north of the Loop Current, a powerful conveyor belt that circulates clockwise around the Gulf toward Florida before being joining the powerful Gulf Stream.
Some researchers have expressed concerned that the Loop Current could soon catch the oil slick and drag it south towards coral reefs in the Florida Keys.
Researchers writing in Nature say they can have discovered how living cells use a limited number of genes to generate enormously complex organs such as the brain.
The team describes how a hidden code within DNA explains how a limited number of human genes can produce a vastly greater number of genetic messages. The discovery bridges a decade-old gap between our understanding of the genome and the activity of complex processes within cells, and could one day help predict or prevent diseases such as cancers and neurodegenerative disorders.
The researchers developed a new computer-assisted biological analysis method that finds 'codewords' hidden within the genome that constitute what is referred to as a 'splicing code'.
Children who pick up smoking may not recognize the symptoms of nicotine dependence early on in the habit, say researchers writing in Pediatrics.
Their study found that sixth-graders who started smoking in the 4-year period 2002–2006 were unable to recognize that symptoms such as irritability and desire to smoke are harbingers of addiction.
Researchers surveyed 1246 adolescent smokers every three to four months, over the four-year period. Study participants were monitored for 10 symptoms of dependence with the Hooked on Nicotine Checklist. The association between number of symptoms and smoking frequency was examined using cross-lagged analyses.