Many people think about science as a collection of facts: A cheetah can achieve speeds of 75 mph; the mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell; E=mc2. But all of these facts, as interesting as they are, are just the outcome of science. (more…)
Tag Archives: hypothesis
Experiments at Berkeley Lab confirm that structural defects at the periphery are key in catalyst function
Defects and jagged surfaces at the edges of nanosized platinum and gold particles are key hot spots for chemical reactivity, a team of researchers working at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel confirmed with a unique infrared probe. (more…)
A UA-led study provides some of the first evidence for the hypothesis of co-divergence between parasites and hosts acting as a major driver of biodiversity.
Say what you will about the parasitic lifestyle, but in the game of evolution, it’s a winner. (more…)
Seemingly ordinary, water has quite puzzling behavior. Why, for example, does ice float when most liquids crystallize into dense solids that sink?
Using a computer model to explore water as it freezes, a team at Princeton University has found that water’s weird behaviors may arise from a sort of split personality: at very cold temperatures and above a certain pressure, water may spontaneously split into two liquid forms. (more…)
One of the greatest mysteries facing humans is how life originated on Earth. Scientists have determined approximately when life began (roughly 3.8 billion years ago), but there is still intense debate about exactly how life began. One possibility has grown in popularity in the last two decades – that simple metabolic reactions emerged near ancient seafloor hot springs, enabling the leap from a non-living to a living world.
Recent research by geochemists Eoghan Reeves, Jeff Seewald, and Jill McDermott at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is the first to test a fundamental assumption of this ‘metabolism first’ hypothesis, and finds that it may not have been as easy as previously assumed. Instead, their findings could provide a focus for the search for life on other planets. The work is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. (more…)
Life took root more than four billion years ago on our nascent Earth, a wetter and harsher place than now, bathed in sizzling ultraviolet rays. What started out as simple cells ultimately transformed into slime molds, frogs, elephants, humans and the rest of our planet’s living kingdoms. How did it all begin?
A new study from researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and the Icy Worlds team at NASA’s Astrobiology Institute, based at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., describes how electrical energy naturally produced at the sea floor might have given rise to life. While the scientists had already proposed this hypothesis — called “submarine alkaline hydrothermal emergence of life” — the new report assembles decades of field, laboratory and theoretical research into a grand, unified picture. (more…)
Over the last three decades U.S. parents have committed filicide — the killing of one’s child — about 3,000 times every year. The horrifying instances are often poorly understood, but a recent study provides the first comprehensive statistical overview of the tragic phenomenon. The authors also suggest underlying hypotheses of motives with the hope of spurring research on filicide prevention.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Instances in which parents kill their children may seem so horrifying and tragic that they defy explanation. Published scientific and medical research, meanwhile, doesn’t offer much epidemiological context to help people understand patterns among such heinous crimes. A paper in the March edition of the journal Forensic Science International provides the first comprehensive statistical analysis of filicide in the United States, drawing on 32 years of data on more than 94,000 arrests. The study also explores possible underlying psychiatric and biological underpinnings of filicide. (more…)
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…)