Tag Archives: cycle

Martian salts must touch ice to make liquid water, study shows

ANN ARBOR — In chambers that mimic Mars’ conditions, University of Michigan researchers have shown how small amounts of liquid water could form on the planet despite its below-freezing temperatures.

Liquid water is an essential ingredient for life as we know it. Mars is one of the very few places in the solar system where scientists have seen promising signs of it – in gullies down crater rims, in instrument readings, and in Phoenix spacecraft self portraits that appeared to show wet beads on the lander’s leg several years ago. (more…)

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Impersonating poisonous prey

Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery – especially in the predator/prey/poison cycle.

In nature, bright colors are basically neon signs that scream, “Don’t eat me!” But how did prey evolve these characteristics? When did predators translate the meaning? (more…)

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What do women want? It depends on the time of the month

UCLA researchers publish landmark meta-analysis of sexual preferences at ovulation

If she loves you and then she loves you not, don’t blame the petals of that daisy. Blame evolution.

UCLA researchers analyzed dozens of published and unpublished studies on how women’s preferences for mates change throughout the menstrual cycle. Their findings suggest that ovulating women have evolved to prefer mates who display sexy traits – such as a masculine body type and facial features, dominant behavior and certain scents – but not traits typically desired in long-term mates. (more…)

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Noble gases hitch a ride on hydrous minerals

The six noble gases do not normally dissolve into minerals, leaving earth scientists to wonder how they are subducted back into the Earth. Researchers at Brown have discovered that the lattice structure of minerals such as amphibole provides a way. Better yet, the multiple isotopes of noble gases could help scientists track volatiles like water and carbon.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — The noble gases get their collective moniker from their tendency toward snobbishness. The six elements in the family, which includes helium and neon, don’t normally bond with other elements and they don’t dissolve into minerals the way other gases do. But now, geochemists from Brown University have found a mineral structure with which the nobles deign to fraternize. (more…)

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Vicious cycle: Changes in brain chemistry sustain obesity

In a new discovery reported in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Brown University and Lifespan researchers show that in the brain cells of rats, obesity impedes the production of a hormone that curbs appetite and inspires calorie burning. The root cause appears to be a breakdown in the protein-processing mechanism of the cells. In the lab, the researchers showed they could fix the breakdown with drugs.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — With obesity reaching epidemic levels in some parts of the world, scientists have only begun to understand why it is such a persistent condition. A study in the Journal of Biological Chemistry adds substantially to the story by reporting the discovery of a molecular chain of events in the brains of obese rats that undermined their ability to suppress appetite and to increase calorie burning. (more…)

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Before Dinosaurs’ Era, Volcanic Eruptions Triggered Mass Extinction

Increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, global warming, ocean acidification killed 76 percent of species on Earth

More than 200 million years ago, a massive extinction decimated 76 percent of marine and terrestrial species, marking the end of the Triassic period and the onset of the Jurassic.

The event cleared the way for dinosaurs to dominate Earth for the next 135 million years, taking over ecological niches formerly occupied by other marine and terrestrial species.

It’s not clear what caused the end-Triassic extinction, although most scientists agree on a likely scenario. (more…)

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New Insights into the ‘Borderline Personality’ Brain

TORONTO, ON — New work by University of Toronto Scarborough researchers gives the best description yet of the neural circuits that underlie a severe mental illness called Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), and could lead to better treatments and diagnosis.

The work shows that brain regions that process negative emotions (for example, anger and sadness) are overactive in people with BPD, while brain regions that would normally help damp down negative emotions are underactive. (more…)

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Helping Patients Navigate New Cancer Drugs

As cancer treatment in pill form transforms how care is delivered, a new Michigan State University study underscores the challenges patients face in administering their own chemotherapy outside the supervised environment of a cancer clinic.

Chemotherapy pills can target specific cancers better than some traditional intravenous drugs, said Sandra Spoelstra, the MSU assistant professor of nursing who led the study. But they also can be difficult for patients to take. (more…)

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