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Yoga as a potential therapy for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome

December 30, 2014

(Credit: iStock)

A systematic review of 37 randomized controlled trials showed promising evidence for the ability of yoga to improve cardiovascular and metabolic health, but found no significant difference in the effectiveness of yoga versus aerobic exercise.

Yoga showed significant improvement in body mass index, systolic blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; and significant changes in body weight, diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and heart rate.… read more

Pentagon says nuclear missile is in reach for North Korea

April 12, 2013

North Korean test site where a nuclear test took place February 12, 2013 (credit: Google Earth)

A new assessment by the Pentagon’s intelligence arm has concluded for the first time, with “moderate confidence,” that North Korea has learned how to make a nuclear weapon small enough to be delivered by a ballistic missile, according to The New York Times Thursday.

But late Thursday, the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., released a statement saying that the assessment did not represent a consensus of… read more

The emergence of individuality in genetically identical mice

May 13, 2013

Enrichment enclosure housing 40 mice

How do people and other organisms evolve into individuals that are distinguished from others by their own personal brain structure and behavior?

Why do identical twins not resemble each other perfectly even when they grew up together?

To shed light on these questions, the scientists observed 40 genetically identical mice that were kept in an enclosure that offered a rich shared environment with a large variety of activity… read more

Living Earth Simulator: the ultimate HPC big-data application

December 6, 2011

The European Union (EU) is pledging 1 billion euros over 10 years on a set of advanced computer technologies, including a supercomputing network designed to forecast social and economic events, in particular, crisis events.

The supercomputing side of the effort has been given the grand title of the Living Earth Simulator (LES). The LES is part of the FuturICT Knowledge Accelerator Project, which also encompasses a global sensor network… read more

BRAIN initiative report lists detailed research priorities

September 18, 2013


A scientific team has released a report that identifies research priorities for the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative, Science Insider reports.

The report lists nine top research priorities. It highlights the need for cheaper, faster technologies that can trace connections between individual brain cells and record large networks of cells acting in synchrony.

It calls for development of tools that can… read more

Solar power without solar cells: A hidden magnetic effect of light could make it possible

April 15, 2011

A dramatic and surprising magnetic effect of light discovered by University of Michigan researchers could lead to solar power without traditional semiconductor-based solar cells.

The researchers found a way to make an “optical battery,” said Stephen Rand, a professor in the departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Physics and Applied Physics.

Light has electric and magnetic components. Until now, scientists thought the effects of the… read more

New surfaces repel most known liquids

January 18, 2013

superoleophobic surface (credit: Shuaijun Pan et al./JACS)

Scientists have developed new “superomniphobic” surfaces that will lead to stain-proof, spill-proof clothing, protective garments, and other products that shrug off virtually every liquid — from blood and ketchup to concentrated acids.

Anish Tuteja and colleagues point out that scientists have previously reported “omniphobic” surfaces, the term meaning that such surfaces can cause a range of different liquids to bead up and not spread on them. But… read more

Hot-fire tests show 3D-printed rocket parts rival traditionally manufactured parts

Potential to reduce the time and cost associated with making complex parts by an order of magnitude
July 25, 2013


NASA engineers at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., have put rocket engine parts to the test and compared their performance to parts made the old-fashioned way with welds and multiple parts during planned subscale acoustic tests for the Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket.

In little more than a month, Marshall engineers built two subscale injectors with a specialized 3-D… read more

Water discovered on Mars

September 27, 2013

The Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite found water in the dust, dirt and fine soil from the Rocknest site on Mars. (This file photo shows trenches Curiosity dug in October 2012.) (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

The first scoop of soil analyzed by the analytical suite in NASA’s Curiosity rover reveals that fine materials on the surface of Mars contain several percent water by weight.

The results were published today in Science as one article in a five-paper special section on the Curiosity mission.

“One of the most exciting results from this very first solid sample ingested by Curiosity is the high… read more

Poison attacks against machine learning

Security and spam-detection programs could be affected
July 23, 2012


New results indicate that it may be easier than we thought to provide data to a learning program that causes it to learn the wrong things by by feeding it wrong data — a “poison attack,”  I Programmer reports.

Three researchers, Battista Biggio (Italy) Blaine Nelson and Pavel Laskov (Germany), have found a way to feed a Support Vector Machine (SVM) with data specially designed to increase the error rate… read more

Many billions of rocky planets in the habitable zones around red dwarfs in the Milky Way

March 29, 2012

Rocky Planet

There are tens of billions of these light planets around red dwarf stars in our galaxy alone, it has just been announced by an international team using observations with the HARPS spectrograph on the 3.6-meter telescope at ESO‘s La Silla Observatory in Chile [1].

A recent announcement [link], showing that planets are ubiquitous in our galaxy used a different method that was not sensitive to… read more

Carbon nanotube/buckyball-based solar cell harnesses infrared light

New type of photovoltaic device harnesses near-infrared radiation, which most solar cells ignore
June 22, 2012

Carbon Solar

new kind of all-carbon solar cell developed by MIT researchers could tap into unused near-infrared energy, opening up the possibility of combination solar cells — incorporating both traditional silicon-based cells and the new all-carbon cells — that could make use of almost the entire range of sunlight’s energy.

“It’s a fundamentally new kind of photovoltaic cell,” says Michael Strano, the Charles and Hilda Roddey Professor of Chemical… read more

Could dark matter cause some mass extinctions and geologic upheavals?

February 19, 2015

NGC 4565, an edge-on spiral galaxy. The stars, dust and gas are concentrated into a thin disc, much like the one in our Milky Way galaxy. (Credit: Jschulman555)

In Earth’s path around and through our Galaxy’s disc, dark matter may perturb the orbits of comets and lead to additional heating in the Earth’s core, both of which could be connected with mass extinction events, according to a research finding by New York University Biology Professor Michael Rampino.

Writing in an open-access paper published today, Feb. 19, in Monthly Notices ofread more

Nature can’t be patented: Supreme Court

June 17, 2013


In a unanimous ruling on Thursday, Supreme Court justices held that human DNA isolated from a chromosome cannot be patented because it is a product of nature, The New York Times reports.

Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the court, said “there would be considerable danger” in granting patents on natural phenomena because that approach would “inhibit future innovation” and “would be at odds with the very point… read more

Underground ocean on Titan, alien life on Phobos?

June 29, 2012


Saturn’s moon Titan likely harbors a layer of liquid water under its ice shell in a hidden ocean at depth, data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft have revealed.

The evidence is tidal, according to Luciano Iess, the paper’s lead author and a Cassini team member at the Sapienza University in Rome. Saturn’s powerful gravity stretches and deforms Titan as the moon moves around the gas giant planet. If Titan were… read more

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