World

Fossil footprints tell story of prehistoric parent’s journey

Hungry giant predators, treacherous mud and a tired, probably cranky toddler – more than 10,000 years ago, that was the stuff of every parent’s nightmare. Footprints found at White Sands National Park in New Mexico, from more than 11,000 years ago, of an adult carrying a child for nearly a mile, then returning along the same path without the child. Evidence of that type of frightening trek was recently uncovered, and at nearly a mile it is the longest known trackway of early-human footprints ever found. The discovery, published in…

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Tech

Klarman fellow models black hole collisions, studies effects

By Kate Blackwood |October 13, 2020 -  New and extremely sensitive instruments are allowing scientists to use a novel source of information – gravitational waves – to understand fundamental principles of nature. “Gravitational waves are the signals that carry information about gravity,” said Vijay Varma, a Klarman Postdoctoral Fellow in physics, in the College of Arts and Sciences. “If two black holes are orbiting each other, for example, gravitational waves carry information about the masses and spins of the black holes and how the black holes may have formed.” Varma…

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Lifestyle World

Studies Find Physical Activity Measurably Boosts Health

Studies Find Even Minimal Physical Activity Measurably Boosts Health Two new studies from UC San Diego find that simply standing up or walking around can provide positive health benefits; and Americans sit too much October 12, 2020 | By Jeanna Vazquez More than 5 million people around the world die from causes associated with a lack of physical activity. Two research teams at UC San Diego School of Medicine sought to understand sedentary lifestyles, with one study finding that even light physical activity, including just standing, can benefit health, and…

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Tech

Unveiling the Accuracy of Tsunami Predictions

New study validates accuracy in predicting the first wave, but weakness in forecasting ‘trailing’ waves Residents of coastal towns in Chile remember the catastrophic earthquakes that struck their country in 1960 and 2010, not always for the quakes themselves but for the tsunamis that followed. Those who survived the 9.5-magnitude 1960 quake told interviewers about the man in Maullin, Chile who, after the first wave of the tsunami, rushed into his dockside warehouse to retrieve possessions just as the second wave hit. The second wave swept the warehouse out to…

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World

Ladybugs love their leafy greens

By Krishna Ramanujan |September 28, 2020 Most predators obtain a balanced diet from their prey, but Cornell researchers recently discovered that in the case of aphid-eating ladybugs, the rule doesn’t apply. That’s because a diet consisting solely of aphids lacks an essential nutrient –sterols, like cholesterol – which all male animals need to make sperm, hormones, and to maintain cell health. As a result, farm-friendly aphid-eating ladybugs supplement their diets with sterol-rich leafy greens. “We showed that a large group of predacious lady beetles eat leaves to obtain sterols,” said…

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World

Migrations research highlights human impacts on environment

By Megan DeMint, Sheri Englund |September 24, 2020 As smoke from western wildfires blots out the sun in Northern California and drifts as far as the East Coast and Europe, locals watch daily wildfire updates for evacuation and air-quality warnings. Outside at their birdfeeders, there’s another warning: silence. Birders across the Rocky Mountain region are reporting a decline in backyard traffic and dead migratory birds – including evidence of mass bird deaths in New Mexico. Sentinel species like wild songbirds are a potent reminder that humans and wildlife depend on…

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Tech

Researchers identify new type of superconductor

By David Nutt |September 21, 2020 Until now, the history of superconducting materials has been a tale of two types: s-wave and d-wave. Now, Cornell researchers – led by Brad Ramshaw, the Dick & Dale Reis Johnson Assistant Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences – have discovered a possible third type: g-wave. Their paper, “Thermodynamic Evidence for a Two-Component Superconducting Order Parameter in Sr2RuO4,” published Sept. 21 in Nature Physics. The lead author is doctoral student Sayak Ghosh, M.S. ’19. Electrons in superconductors move together in what are…

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Tech

Robots to Help Children Touch the Outside World

UC team developing better telepresence robots, equipped with robotic arms By Ioana Patringenaru |Sep 17, 2020 A team of University of California researchers is working to improve telepresence robots and the algorithms that drive them to help children with disabilities stay connected to their classmates, teachers and communities. The effort is funded by a $1 million grant from the National Robotics Initiative at the National Science Foundation. The project is unique in that the team is working with telepresence robots equipped with an arm that will allow children at home…

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Lifestyle

Taste buds may play role in fostering obesity in offspring

By Blaine Friedlander | September 10, 2020 Cornell food scientists show in animal studies that a mother’s high-fat diet may lead to more sweet-taste receptors and a greater attraction to unhealthy food in their offspring – resulting in poor feeding behavior, obesity in adulthood. The researchers’ findings were published July 31 in Nature Scientific Reports. Maternal exposure to a high-fat diet during the perinatal period – before the animal gets pregnant – appears to induce physical, detectable changes in the taste buds for offspring, said senior author Robin Dando, associate…

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Tech

Artificial Intelligence Aids Gene Activation Discovery

By Mario Aguilera | UC San Diego Machine learning enables long-awaited code breakthrough with potential applications in biomedicine Scientists have long known that human genes spring into action through instructions delivered by the precise order of our DNA, directed by the four different types of individual links, or “bases,” coded A, C, G and T. Nearly 25% of our genes are widely known to be transcribed by sequences that resemble TATAAA, which is called the “TATA box.” How the other three-quarters are turned on, or promoted, has remained a mystery…

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