ScienceDaily: Featured - October 15, 2023
Featured research news
There is evidence that some form of conscious experience is present by birth, and perhaps even in late pregnancy, an international team of researchers has found.
In a large, multi-institutional effort researchers have analyzed more than a million human brain cells and revealed links between specific types of cells and various common neuropsychiatric disorders.
A team of researchers has created the first 'multiome' atlas of brain cell development in the human cerebral cortex across six broad developmental time points from fetal development into adulthood, shedding new light on their roles during brain development and disease.
A group of international scientists have mapped the genetic, cellular, and structural makeup of the human brain and the nonhuman primate brain. This understanding of brain structure allows for a deeper knowledge of the cellular basis of brain function and dysfunction, helping pave the way for a new generation of precision therapeutics for people with mental disorders and other disorders of the brain.
Quantum computers promise to reach speeds and efficiencies impossible for even the fastest supercomputers of today. Yet the technology hasn't seen much scale-up and commercialization largely due to its inability to self-correct. Quantum computers, unlike classical ones, cannot correct errors by copying encoded data over and over. Scientists had to find another way. Now, a new paper in Nature illustrates a Harvard quantum computing platform's potential to solve the longstanding problem known as quantum error correction.
A 13-million-year-old saber-toothed marsupial skeleton discovered during paleontological explorations in Colombia is the most complete specimen recovered in the region.
One of the greatest strengths of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope is its ability to give astronomers detailed views of areas where new stars are being born. The latest example, showcased here in a new image from Webb's Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI), is NGC 346 -- the brightest and largest star-forming region in the Small Magellanic Cloud.
A chance social media post by an eagle-eyed amateur astronomer sparked the discovery of an explosive collision between two giant planets, which crashed into each other in a distant space system 1,800 light years away from planet Earth.
An extremely supportive atmosphere for new ideas laid the foundation for an 'Aha moment' about a toggle-switch in the fruit fly brain. Do humans have one, too?
A massive computational analysis of microbiome datasets has more than doubled the number of known protein families. This is the first time protein structures have been used to help characterize the vast array of microbial 'dark matter.'
Fast radio bursts, or FRBs, are an astronomical mystery, with their exact cause and origins still unconfirmed. These intense bursts of radio energy are invisible to the human eye, but show up brightly on radio telescopes. Previous studies have noted broad similarities between the energy distribution of repeat FRBs, and that of earthquakes and solar flares. However, new research has looked at the time and energy of FRBs and found distinct differences between FRBs and solar flares, but several notable similarities between FRBs and earthquakes. This supports the theory that FRBs are caused by 'starquakes' on the surface of neutron stars. This discovery could help us better understand earthquakes, the behavior of high-density matter and aspects of nuclear physics.
Researchers created and used complex neural networks to recreate speech from brain recordings, and then used that recreation to analyze the processes that drive human speech.
Though scientists have long known through observational data that the Milky Way is warped and its edges are flared like a skirt, no one could explain why. Now, astronomers have performed the first calculations that fully explain this phenomenon, with compelling evidence pointing to the Milky Way's envelopment in an off-kilter halo of dark matter.
People who carry three gene variants that have bene inherited from Neanderthals are more sensitive to some types of pain, according to a new study.
Artificial intelligence (AI) comes with promises of helping coders code faster, drivers drive safer, and making daily tasks less time-consuming. But a recent study demonstrates that the tool, when adopted widely, could have a large energy footprint, which in the future may exceed the power demands of some countries.
An unexpectedly high number of young stars has been identified in the direct vicinity of a supermassive black hole and water ice has been detected at the center of our galaxy.
Twelve people crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a rowing boat. One of them was Ciara Burns, a scientist, who monitored her own heartbeat. Now the data was analyzed and the results were published: It turns out that the variability of the heart rate provides a lot of information about physical and mental wellbeing.
New analysis of the remains of victims of the 1918 influenza pandemic, which killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide, contradicts the widespread belief the flu disproportionately impacted healthy young adults.
An international team of scientists have discovered a huge spike in radiocarbon levels 14,300 years ago by analyzing ancient tree-rings found in the French Alps. The radiocarbon spike was caused by a massive solar storm, the biggest ever identified. A similar solar storm today would be catastrophic for modern technological society – potentially wiping out telecommunications and satellite systems, causing massive electricity grid blackouts, and costing us billions. The academics are warning of the importance of understanding such storms to protect our global communications and energy infrastructure for the future.
Geologists have reconstructed a massive and previously unknown tectonic plate that was once one-quarter the size of the Pacific Ocean. The team had predicted its existence over 10 years ago based on fragments of old tectonic plates found deep in the Earth’s mantle. To the lead researchers surprise, she found that oceanic remnants on northern Borneo must have belonged to the long-suspected plate, which scientists have named Pontus. She has now reconstructed the entire plate in its full glory.
The Gulf Stream is intrinsic to the global climate system, bringing warm waters from the Caribbean up the East Coast of the United States. As it flows along the coast and then across the Atlantic Ocean, this powerful ocean current influences weather patterns and storms, and it carries heat from the tropics to higher latitudes as part of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. A new study now documents that over the past 20 years, the Gulf Stream has warmed faster than the global ocean as a whole and has shifted towards the coast. The study relies on over 25,000 temperature and salinity profiles collected between 2001 and 2023.
If global temperatures increase by 1 degree Celsius (C) or more than current levels, each year billions of people will be exposed to heat and humidity so extreme they will be unable to naturally cool themselves, according to interdisciplinary research. Results indicated that warming of the planet beyond 1.5 C above preindustrial levels will be increasingly devastating for human health across the planet.
Scientists have developed new tools, based on AI language models, that can characterize subtle signatures in the speech of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.