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Obese Preschoolers Lose Weight When Parents Do

It's no surprise when obese preschoolers have obese parents. It's actually expected. So it's not...

Heparin Ineffective At Preventing Blood Clots In Pregnant Women

For two decades, women at risk of developing placental blood clots have been prescribed the...

Not 80: Just 8.2 Percent Of Our DNA Is 'Functional', Says Study

In 2012, scientists involved in the ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) project stated that 80%...

Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 Enzyme Linked To Autistic Behavior

Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a genetic disorder that causes obsessive-compulsive and repetitive...

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Paleontologists, who use estimates based on the fossil record, and scientists who use "molecular clock" methods to study evolutionary history, have never agreed on when modern birds came into existence, because they have had conflicting results.

A new analysis by researchers at the University of Michigan, the University of Chicago, the Centre for Biodiversity Conservation Mexico and Central America, and Boston University offers the strongest molecular evidence yet for an ancient origin of modern birds, suggesting that they arose more than 100 million years ago, not 60 million years ago, as fossils suggest.

Squeeze a crystal of manganese oxide hard enough, and it changes from an electrical insulator to a conductive metal. In a Nature Materials report, researchers use computational modeling to show why this happens.

The results represent an advance in computer modeling of these materials and could shed light on the behavior of similar minerals deep in the Earth, said Warren Pickett, professor of physics at UC Davis and an author on the study.

Manganese oxide is magnetic but does not conduct electricity under normal conditions because of strong interactions between the electrons surrounding atoms in the crystal, Pickett said. But under pressures of about a million atmospheres (one megabar), manganese oxide transitions to a metallic state.

Manic depression, also known as bipolar disorder, is a psychiatric condition characterized by alternating mania and depression, affecting about one in every hundred people worldwide. Although it is known that the condition can be treated relatively effectively using the mood-stabilising drugs lithium and valproic acid, the reasons why these treatments work are poorly understood.

People with manic depression have a distinct chemical signature in their brains, according to a new study. The research may also indicate how the mood stabilisers used to treat the disorder counteract the changes in the brain that it appears to cause.

Ethylene, the world's most commonly produced organic compound, is used many types of industries. Farmers and horticulturalists use it as a plant hormone to promote flowering and ripening, especially in bananas while doctors and surgeons have long used ethylene as an anesthetic and ethylene-based polymers are found in everything from freezer bags to fiberglass.

Its current production methods result in a number of greenhouse gases. A new environmentally friendly technology created by scientists at Argonne National Laboratory may revolutionize creation of this compound by use of a high-temperature membrane that can produce ethylene from an ethane stream by removing pure hydrogen. Says senior ceramist Balu Balachandran, “This is a clean, energy-efficient way of producing a chemical that before required methods that were expensive and wasteful and also emitted a great deal of pollution.”

The elliptical galaxy NGC 1132 (Hubble picture and video below) belongs to a category of galaxies called giant ellipticals. NGC 1132, together with the small dwarf galaxies surrounding it, are dubbed a “fossil group” as they are most likely the remains of a group of galaxies that merged together in the recent past.

In visible light NGC 1132 appears as a single, isolated, giant elliptical galaxy, but this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Scientists have found that NGC 1132 resides in an enormous halo of dark matter, comparable to the amount of dark matter usually found in an entire group of tens or hundreds of galaxies.

A 'barcode' gene that can be used to distinguish between the majority of plant species on Earth has been identified.

This gene, which can be used to identify plants using a small sample, could lead to new ways of easily cataloguing different types of plants in species-rich areas like rainforests. It could also lead to accurate methods for identifying plant ingredients in powdered substances, such as in traditional Chinese medicines, and could help to monitor and prevent the illegal transportation of endangered plant species.

The team behind the discovery found that DNA sequences of the gene 'matK' differ among plant species, but are nearly identical in plants of the same species. This means that the matK gene can provide scientists with an easy way of distinguishing between different plants, even closely related species that may look the same to the human eye.