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Erich Feldmeier

Strassmann & Queller: Close family ties keep cheaters in check: Why almost all multicel... - 0 views

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    ""Experiments with amoebae that usually live as individuals but must also join with others to form multicellular bodies to complete their life cycles showed that cooperation depends on kinship.

    If amoebae occur in well-mixed cosmopolitan groups, then cheaters will always be able to thrive by freeloading on their cooperative neighbors. But if groups derive from a single cell, cheaters will usually occur in all-cheater groups and will have no cooperators to exploit. A multicellular body like the human body is an incredibly cooperative thing," Queller says, "and sociobiologists have learned that really cooperative things are hard to evolve because of the potential for cheating.

    "It's the single-cell bottleneck that generates high relatedness among the cells that, in turn, allows them to cooperate, " he says."
thinkahol *

Astronomers discover complex organic matter in the universe | KurzweilAI - 1 views

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    Organic compounds of unexpected complexity exist throughout the universe, Prof. Sun Kwok and Dr. Yong Zhang of the University of Hong Kong have discovered, suggesting that complex organic compounds can be synthesized in space even when no life forms are present.
    The organic substance they found contains a mixture of aromatic (ring-like) and aliphatic (chain-like) components that are so complex, their chemical structures resemble those of coal and petroleum. Since coal and oil are remnants of ancient life, this type of organic matter was thought to arise only from living organisms.
    Unidentified radiation from the universe
    The researchers investigated an unsolved phenomenon: a set of infrared emissions detected in stars, interstellar space, and galaxies, known as "Unidentified Infrared Emission features." From observations taken by the Infrared Space Observatory and the Spitzer Space Telescope, Kwok and Zhang showed that the astronomical spectra have chemical structures that are much more complex that previously thought. By analyzing spectra of star dust formed in exploding stars called novae, they show that stars are making these complex organic compounds on extremely short time scales of weeks, and ejecting it into the general interstellar space, the region between stars.
    "Our work has shown that stars have no problem making complex organic compounds under near-vacuum conditions," says Kwok. "Theoretically, this is impossible, but observationally we can see it happening."
    Most interestingly, this organic star dust is similar in structure to complex organic compounds found in meteorites. Since meteorites are remnants of the early Solar System, the findings raise the possibility that stars enriched the early Solar System with organic compounds. The early Earth was subjected to severe bombardments by comets and asteroids, which potentially could have carried organic star dust. Whether these delivered organic compounds played any role in the development of l
thinkahol *

BBC News - Mum's stress is passed to baby in the womb - 1 views

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    Babies born to mothers who were stressed during pregnancy grow up less able to cope with stress themselves, researchers believe.
thinkahol *

Light propagation controlled in photonic chips: Major breakthrough in telecommunication... - 2 views

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    ScienceDaily (July 11, 2011) - Researchers at Columbia Engineering School have built optical nanostructures that enable them to engineer the index of refraction and fully control light dispersion.
thinkahol *

New MRSA superbug discovered in cows' milk - health - 03 June 2011 - New Scientist - 1 views

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    A new strain of MRSA has been identified in cows' milk and in people, but don't stop drinking milk - the bug is killed off in pasteurisation.
    However, the strain evades detection by standard tests used by some hospitals to screen for MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), potentially putting people at risk.
    Laura Garcia Alvarez, then at the University of Cambridge, and colleagues were studying infections in British cows when they discovered antibiotic-resistant bacteria that they thought were MRSA. However, tests failed to identify the samples as any known strains of the superbug.
    Sequencing the mystery bacteria's genomes revealed a previously unknown strain of MRSA with a different version of a gene called MecA. The new strain was also identified in samples of human MRSA, and is now known to account for about 1 per cent of human MRSA cases.
thinkahol *

Children learn language in moments of insight, not gradually through repeated exposure,... - 2 views

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    ScienceDaily (May 23, 2011) - New research by a team of University of Pennsylvania psychologists is helping to overturn the dominant theory of how children learn their first words, suggesting that it occurs more in moments of insight than gradually through repeated exposure.
thinkahol *

The Loneliest Plant In The World : Krulwich Wonders… : NPR - 1 views

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    When a cycad is ready to reproduce, it grows a large colorful cone, rich with pollen or seed. It signals its readiness by radiating heat or sending out attractive odors to pollinators, who travel back and forth. Once fertilized, the seed-rich cone is ripped apart by hungry seed carriers (who've included over the years, not just birds and insects, but dinosaurs, pterosaurs, bats; these trees have been eaten by just about everybody).
    But what if you can't find a mate? The tree in London (and its clones that are now growing in botanical gardens all over the world) is a male. It can make pollen. But it can't make the seeds. That requires a female.
    Researchers have wandered the Ngoya forest and other woods of Africa, looking for an E. woodii that could pair with the one in London. They haven't found a single other specimen. They're still searching. Unless a female exists somewhere, E. woodii will never mate with one of its own. It can be cloned. It can have the occasional fling with a closely related species. Hybrid cycads are sold at plant stores, but those plants aren't the real deal. The tree that sits in London can't produce a true offspring. It sits there, the last in its long line, waiting for a companion that may no longer exist.
thinkahol *

Toward optical computing in handheld electronics: Graphene optical modulators could lea... - 1 views

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    Graphene-based modulators could soon allow consumers to stream full-length, high-definition, 3-D movies onto a smartphone in a matter of seconds, the researchers said.
thinkahol *

In a genetic research first, researchers turn zebrafish genes off and on - 1 views

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    ScienceDaily (May 9, 2011) - Mayo Clinic researchers have designed a new tool for identifying protein function from genetic code. A team led by Stephen Ekker, Ph.D., succeeded in switching individual genes off and on in zebrafish, then observing embryonic and juvenile development. The study appears in the journal Nature Methods.
thinkahol *

Effects of climate change in Arctic more extensive than expected, report finds - 2 views

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    ScienceDaily (May 4, 2011) - A much reduced covering of snow, shorter winter season and thawing tundra: The effects of climate change in the Arctic are already here. And the changes are taking place significantly faster than previously thought. This is what emerges from a new research report on the Arctic, presented in Copenhagen this week. Margareta Johansson, from Lund University, is one of the researchers behind the report.
Janos Haits

Science Daily: News & Articles in Science, Health, Environment & Technology - 4 views

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    Roll over headlines to view top news summaries:
    Making Skinny Worms Fat and Fat Worms Skinny
    'Exploratory' Butterflies Genetically Different
    Spiders Target Insects' Mate-Luring Signals
    Huge Natural Arch Found In Afghanistan
    Warm Water For Cold Winters in Northeast
    Ocean and River Water for Electricity
    Blood-Testing Device Can Spot Cancer, HIV
    Continuing Winter Ice Loss in Arctic Sea
    Plants Optimize Before Spinning Off New Species
    Hidden Code Reveals Brain Activity
thinkahol *

Researchers close in on technology for making renewable petroleum - 0 views

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    ScienceDaily (Mar. 29, 2011) - University of Minnesota researchers are a key step closer to making renewable petroleum fuels using bacteria, sunlight and carbon dioxide.
thinkahol *

How much information is there in the world? - 3 views

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    ScienceDaily (Feb. 11, 2011) - Think you're overloaded with information? Not even close.
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