Tag Archives: arizona state university

Meeressäuger brachten die Tuberkulose in die Neue Welt

Forscher der Universität Tübingen entdecken bei genetischen Analysen von 1.000-jährigen Skeletten aus Peru Hinweise auf frühe Übertragung der Infektion von Robben auf Menschen

Die Tuberkulose ist offenbar nicht von den spanischen Eroberern, sondern zuvor bereits von Meeressäugern nach Amerika eingeschleppt worden. Wie ein internationales Forscherteam, koordiniert durch Professor Johannes Krause vom Institut für Naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie der Universität Tübingen, feststellen konnte, kam der Erreger deutlich vor der Ankunft der Europäer in die Neue Welt. Wahrscheinlich wurden die ersten Tuberkulosebakterien von Seelöwen und Robben auf Menschen in Südamerika übertragen. Darauf deutet die Analyse von rund 1.000 Jahre alten Skeletten hin. Darüber hinaus fanden die Forscher Hinweise darauf, dass sich die gefährliche Infektionskrankheit vermutlich erst vor rund 6.000 Jahren entwickelte. Die Forschungsergebnisse werden diese Woche von der Fachzeitschrift Nature online vorab veröffentlicht. (more…)

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In the eye of a chicken, a new state of matter comes into view

Along with eggs, soup and rubber toys, the list of the chicken’s most lasting legacies may eventually include advanced materials such as self-organizing colloids, or optics that can transmit light with the efficiency of a crystal and the flexibility of a liquid.

The unusual arrangement of cells in a chicken’s eye constitutes the first known biological occurrence of a potentially new state of matter known as “disordered hyperuniformity,” according to researchers from Princeton University and Washington University in St. Louis. Research in the past decade has shown that disordered hyperuniform materials have unique properties when it comes to transmitting and controlling light waves, the researchers report in the journal Physical Review E. (more…)

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Blind(fold)ed by Science: Study Shows the Strategy Humans Use to Chase Objects

Vision and Hearing Work Together in the Brain to Help Us Catch a Moving Target

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A new study has found that chasing down a moving object is not only a matter of sight or of sound, but of mind.

The study found that people who are blindfolded employ the same strategy to intercept a running ball carrier as people who can see, which suggests that multiple areas of the brain cooperate to accomplish the task.

Regardless of whether they could see or not, the study participants seemed to aim ahead of the ball carrier’s trajectory and then run to the spot where they expected him or her to be in the near future. Researchers call this a “constant target-heading angle” strategy, similar to strategies used by dogs catching Frisbees and baseball players catching fly balls. (more…)

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Individual Donation Amounts Drop When Givers Are in Groups, Says MU Researcher

COLUMBIA, Mo. — In December of last year the New York Post published images of a man about to be killed by a train while several bystanders did little to help him. Numerous studies have provided evidence that people are less likely to help when in groups, a phenomenon known as the “bystander effect.” Those studies examined situations where only one person was needed to take action to help another. A University of Missouri anthropologist recently found that even when multiple individuals can contribute to a common cause, the presence of others reduces an individual’s likelihood of helping. This research has numerous applications, including possibly guiding the fundraising strategies of charitable organizations.

“In our study, individuals who didn’t want to share money tended to influence others to not share money,” said Karthik Panchanathan, assistant professor of anthropology in the College of Arts and Science. “We don’t know what psychological mechanism caused that, but perhaps potential givers did not want to be ‘suckers,’ who gave up their money while someone else got away with giving nothing. Selfish behavior in others may have given individuals an opportunity to escape any moral obligation to share that they might have felt.” (more…)

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Curiosity Mars Rover Sees Trend in Water Presence

THE WOODLANDS, Texas – NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has seen evidence of water-bearing minerals in rocks near where it had already found clay minerals inside a drilled rock.

Last week, the rover’s science team announced that analysis of powder from a drilled mudstone rock on Mars indicates past environmental conditions that were favorable for microbial life. Additional findings presented on March 18 at a news briefing at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, Texas, suggest those conditions extended beyond the site of the drilling. (more…)

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What Lies Beneath: NASA Antarctic Sub Goes Subglacial

When researcher Alberto Behar from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., joined an international Antarctic expedition last month on a trek to investigate a subglacial lake, he brought with him a unique instrument designed and funded by NASA to help the researchers study one of the last unexplored aquatic environments on Earth.

Called the Micro-Submersible Lake Exploration Device, the instrument was a small robotic sub about the size and shape of a baseball bat. Designed to expand the range of extreme environments accessible by humans while minimally disturbing the environment, the sub was equipped with hydrological chemical sensors and a high-resolution imaging system. The instruments and cameras characterize the geology, hydrology and chemical characteristics of the sub’s surroundings. Behar supervised a team of students from Arizona State University, Tempe, in designing, developing, testing and operating the first-of-its-kind sub. (more…)

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Emerging Consensus Shows Climate Change Already Having Major Effects on Ecosystems and Species

Plant and animal species are shifting their geographic ranges and the timing of their life events – such as flowering, laying eggs or migrating – at faster rates than researchers documented just a few years ago, according to a technical report on biodiversity and ecosystems used as scientific input for the 2013 Third National Climate Assessment.

The report, Impacts of Climate Change on Biodiversity, Ecosystems, and Ecosystem Services, synthesizes the scientific understanding of the way climate change is affecting ecosystems, ecosystem services and the diversity of species, as well as what strategies might be used by natural resource practitioners to decrease current and future risks. More than 60 federal, academic and other scientists, including the lead authors from the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Wildlife Federation and Arizona State University in Tempe, authored the assessment. (more…)

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Archaeologists Identify Spear Tips Used In Hunting a Half-Million Years Ago

Findings suggest hunting with stone-tipped spears began much earlier than previously believed

TORONTO, ON – A University of Toronto-led team of anthropologists has found evidence that human ancestors used stone-tipped weapons for hunting 500,000 years ago – 200,000 years earlier than previously thought.

“This changes the way we think about early human adaptations and capacities before the origin of our own species,” says Jayne Wilkins, a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto and lead author of a new study in Science. “Although both Neandertals and humans used stone-tipped spears, this is the first evidence that the technology originated prior to or near the divergence of these two species,” says Wilkins. (more…)

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