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1,000 mile wide magnetic super tornadoes rage on the Sun

1,000 mile wide magnetic super tornadoes rage on the Sun | Alto Science News | Scoop.it

The discovery of "super-tornadoes" rising above the surface of the sun may help solve the mystery of how our home star heats it wispy outer atmosphere to a million degrees. There is plenty of energy below the 5780° visible surface to do the job, but solar physicists have long argued about how that energy heats the corona, seen as an encircling crown of light that emerges during a total solar eclipse. Now a group reports online today in Nature that, using both spaceborne and ground-based telescopes, it has detected 1500-kilometer-wide swirls of solar atmosphere rising from the surface into the corona. Each lasts 10 to 15 minutes, and there are about 11,000 of them on the sun at a time. Computer simulations (picture) show how similar-looking the twisting magnetic field lines of a solar tornado are to real tornadoes. Now solar physicists must figure out how much energy super-tornadoes deliver compared with other proposed energy sources.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Jim Doyle's curator insight, August 21, 2013 6:19 AM

That is what you call a storm

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Scientists breed glow-in-the-dark rabbits - The Guardian

Scientists breed glow-in-the-dark rabbits - The Guardian | Alto Science News | Scoop.it
The Guardian
Scientists breed glow-in-the-dark rabbits
The Guardian
As part of an effort to improve treatments for life-threatening illnesses, a team of scientists have created rabbits that glow in the dark.
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Researchers develop technique to remotely control cockroaches

Researchers develop technique to remotely control cockroaches | Alto Science News | Scoop.it
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a technique that uses an electronic interface to remotely control, or steer, cockroaches.

 

The new technique developed by Bozkurt's team works by embedding a low-cost, light-weight, commercially-available chip with a wireless receiver and transmitter onto each roach (they used Madagascar hissing cockroaches). Weighing 0.7 grams, the cockroach backpack also contains a microcontroller that monitors the interface between the implanted electrodes and the tissue to avoid potential neural damage. The microcontroller is wired to the roach's antennae and cerci. The cerci are sensory organs on the roach's abdomen, which are normally used to detect movement in the air that could indicate a predator is approaching – causing the roach to scurry away. But the researchers use the wires attached to the cerci to spur the roach into motion. The roach thinks something is sneaking up behind it and moves forward. The wires attached to the antennae serve as electronic reins, injecting small charges into the roach's neural tissue. The charges trick the roach into thinking that the antennae are in contact with a physical barrier, which effectively steers them in the opposite direction.

 

 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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LSD and other psychedelics not linked with mental health problems

LSD and other psychedelics not linked with mental health problems | Alto Science News | Scoop.it
The use of LSD, magic mushrooms, or peyote does not increase a person’s risk of developing mental health problems, according to an analysis of information from more than 130,000 randomly chosen people, including 22,000 people who had used...
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Genes for face shape identified

Genes for face shape identified | Alto Science News | Scoop.it
Scientists identify five genes that determine the form of the human face in a find that could lead to sketches based solely on DNA findings.

 

Understanding the genes that determine human facial shape could one day provide valuable information about person's appearance using just their DNA.

 

The discovery of five genes involved in facial form could have applications in forensics, say the authors of a study.

 

Virtually nothing was known about the genes responsible for facial shape in humans.

 

The study of almost 10,000 individuals is published in the journal Plos One.

 

Lead author Manfred Kayser from the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, said: "These are exciting first results that mark the beginning of the genetic understanding of human facial morphology.

 

"Perhaps some time it will be possible to draw a phantom portrait of a person solely from his or her DNA left behind, which provides interesting applications such as in forensics."

 

The researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of people's heads together with portrait photographs to map facial landmarks, from which facial distances were estimated.

 

They then conducted what is known as a genome-wide association study, which is designed to search for small genetic variations that occur more frequently in people with particular facial types.

 

Prof Kayser and his colleagues identified five candidate genes associated with different facial shapes - known as PRDM16, PAX3, TP63, C5orf50, and COL17A1.

 

These associations mean the likelihood of a certain face shape can be estimated, and a full DNA-to-portrait mapping still remains a distant prospect.

 

But together with recent findings that suggest DNA can also be used to predict hair and eye colour and a 2010 study in which age can be inferred from blood, forensics is set to add a suite of powerful new DNA-based tools to its arsenal.

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