Napping can help tired teens’ performance in school

Researchers have found a positive relationship between midday-napping and nighttime sleep. They believe it might be key to boosting neurocognitive function in early adolescents. The team examined adolescents in Jintan, China, measuring midday napping, nighttime sleep duration and sleep quality, and performance on multiple neurocognitive tasks. Habitual nappers (who napped more often) tended to have a better nighttime sleep.

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Ultrahigh-pressure laser experiments shed light on super-Earth cores

Using high-powered laser beams, researchers have simulated conditions inside a planet three times as large as Earth. The pressures achieved in this study, up to 1,314 gigapascals (GPa), allowed researchers to gather the highest-pressure X-ray diffraction data ever recorded and generate new, more robust models for the interior structure of large, rocky exoplanets.

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New link between sleep arousals and body temperature may also be connected to SIDS

What is the origin of these arousals? Scientists have discovered that brief arousals are probably triggered by the intrinsic electrical noise from wake-promoting neurons (WPN) in the brain. Their research reveals a previously unrecognized neurophysiological mechanism that links sleep arousals with temperature regulation, and may also provide an important new link between temperature and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

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World’s smallest optical implantable biodevice

Researchers have built a new optical device no bigger than the edge of a coin. The device includes a photovoltaic cell that is powered by infrared light and emits blue light. Using infrared light allows the device to be implanted several centimeters deep into the body, while the emission of blue light can be used for optogenetic control of brain patterns.

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Massive study across western equatorial Africa finds more gorillas and chimpanzees than expected

A massive decade-long study of Western Equatorial Africa's gorillas and chimpanzees has uncovered both good news and bad about our nearest relatives. The good news: there are one third more western lowland gorillas and one tenth more central chimpanzees than previously thought. The bad news: the vast majority of these great apes (80 percent) exist outside of protected areas, and gorilla populations are declining by 2.7 percent annually.

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