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The Lead

Holiday Decorations Light Up Space

December 18, 2014 | by NASA | Comments

Satellite data shows that around many major U.S. cities, nighttime lights shine 20 to 50 percent brighter during Christmas and New Year's when compared to light output during the rest of the year. And, in some Middle Eastern cities, nighttime lights shine more than 50 percent brighter during Ramadan, compared to the rest of the year.


Tinsel Has a Rich History

December 19, 2014 7:00 am | by ACS | Comments

It's been a holiday decoration staple for decades, and it turns out that silver stuff hanging from your tree has quite a storied past. Tinsel has been made out of everything from real silver to lead.


Do Carrots Really Aid Eyesight?

December 18, 2014 7:00 am | by ACS | Comments

It's something your mother told you time and time again at the dinner table: "Eat your carrots, they'll help you see better!" So, was she right?


Study Sheds Light on How Greenland’s Ice is Vanishing

December 17, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. at Buffalo | Comments

New research provides what the authors think is the first comprehensive picture of how Greenland’s ice is vanishing. It suggests that current ice sheet modeling studies are too simplistic to accurately predict future sea level rise, and that Greenland may lose ice more rapidly in the near future than previously thought.


Research Yields Biodegradable Food Packaging

December 16, 2014 7:00 am | by | Comments

Nowadays, most of food packaging is derived from petrochemicals and not always biodegradable. Moreover, consumers often find that there is more packaging than content. To address these problems, researchers are producing packaging made from PBS, which is based on vegetable biomass.


Dogs Process Speech the Same Way We Do

December 15, 2014 7:00 am | by The Conversation, Victoria Ratcliffe, David Reby | Comments

Human speech is complex, communicating not only words but also tone, as well as information about the speaker such as their gender and identity. To what extent can a dog pick up on these different cues? Sometimes it may seem like your dog doesn’t want to listen. But, in a new study, researchers found that he may understand more than he lets on.


World's Oldest African Penguin Underwent Chemo

December 12, 2014 2:00 pm | by Colorado State Univ. | Comments

The world’s oldest African penguin, a Zoo resident named Tess, dove effortlessly into her pool this week and swam for the first time since veterinarians used specialized radiation to treat an aggressive form of skin cancer on the penguin’s face. Making her dip more meaningful, Tess represents an endangered species expected to vanish from the wild within two decades.


Scientists Find Possible Signal from Dark Matter

December 12, 2014 7:00 am | by EPFL | Comments

Could there finally be tangible evidence for the existence of dark matter in the Universe? After sifting through reams of X-ray data, scientists believe they may have identified the signal of a particle of dark matter.


App puts Chemistry in the Palm of Your Hand

December 11, 2014 7:00 am | by Beckman Institute at the Univ. of Illinois | Comments

A new app brings molecules to life in a handheld device. Through the app, people can use up to 11 fingers to examine in great detail more than 350 molecules, which they can also twist, turn and tie into knots.


Researchers Visualize DNA Double-strand Break for First Time

December 10, 2014 7:00 am | by Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO) | Comments

Scientists have developed a method for producing biological crystals that has allowed scientists to observe, for the first time, DNA double chain breaks. They have also developed a computer simulation that makes this process, which lasts in the order of millionths of a second, visible to the human eye.


Bioluminescence Assesses Fish Stocks

December 9, 2014 9:03 am | by National Oceanography Centre | Comments

Research is exploring a promising new method of forecasting bioluminescence, which may improve the monitoring of movements in the ocean, such as fish shoals and internal waves.


Quantum Dots Move Us Closer to Spray-on Solar Cells

December 8, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Toronto | Comments

Pretty soon, powering your tablet could be as simple as wrapping it in cling wrap. Researchers have just invented a new way to spray solar cells onto flexible surfaces using miniscule light-sensitive materials known as colloidal quantum dots– a major step toward making spray-on solar cells easy and cheap to manufacture.


Bat Study Points to Directional Neurons

December 5, 2014 7:00 am | by Weizmann Institute | Comments

Coming up out of a subway station can produce confusion: for a few moments, you are unsure which way to go, until regaining your sense of direction. The disorientation is thought to be caused by a temporary malfunction of a brain circuit that operates as a 3-D compass. Now, for the first time, scientists have demonstrated the existence of such a 3-D compass in the mammalian brain.


Time Restrictions on Diet Helped Control Weight in Mice

December 3, 2014 7:00 am | by Salk Institute for Biological Studies | Comments

These days, with the abundance of artificial light, TV, tablets and smartphones, adults and children alike are burning the midnight oil. What they are not burning is calories: with later bedtimes comes the tendency to eat. A new study cautions against an extended period of snacking, suggesting instead that confining caloric consumption to an eight to 12-hour period might stave off high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity.


Slow-motion Film Sheds Light on Magnetic Memory

December 2, 2014 7:00 am | by DESY | Comments

Researchers have used high-speed photography to film one of the candidates for the magnetic data storage devices of the future in action. The film was taken using an X-ray microscope and shows magnetic vortices being formed in ultrafast memory cells.


Future of Energy Storage Will Be Shaped with Clay

December 1, 2014 7:00 am | by Drexel Univ. | Comments

In the race to find materials of ever increasing thinness, surface area and conductivity to make better performing battery electrodes, a lump of clay might have just taken the lead. Materials scientists have invented the clay, which is both highly conductive and can easily be molded into a variety of shapes and sizes.



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