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December 2, 2016

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Mice Can Sense Oxygen Levels in the Environment Using Specialized Neurons

Mice Can Sense Oxygen Levels in the Environment

New research from the Max Planck Institute shows that mice can sense oxygen levels in the environment using specialized neurons in their noses that are present in the olfactory mucosa. The genome of mice harbors more than 1000 odorant receptor genes, which enable them to smell myriad odors in their surroundings. Researchers at the Max […]

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December 2, 2016

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AIM Spacecraft Observes Early Noctilucent Ice Clouds Over Antarctica

NASA Observes Early Noctilucent Ice Clouds Over Antarctica

Data from NASA’s Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere spacecraft shows the sky over Antarctica is glowing electric blue due to the start of noctilucent, or night-shining, cloud season in the Southern Hemisphere – and an early one at that. Noctilucent clouds are Earth’s highest clouds, sandwiched between Earth and space 50 miles above the […]

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December 2, 2016

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Astronomers Reveal Colliding Galaxy Clusters

Galaxy 3C438

A team of astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have concluded that the hot gas in the cluster around galaxy 3C438 is the result of a collision between two clusters of galaxies. Galaxy clusters contain a few to thousands of galaxies and are the largest bound structures in the Universe. Most galaxies are members […]

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December 1, 2016

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Astronomers Reveal Potential Localized Dust Enrichment from Massive Star Clusters

ALMA Reveals Potential Localized Dust Enrichment from Massive Star Clusters in II Zw 40

New observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array are helping to confirm a long-standing theory that stars are copious producers of heavy elements. Galaxies are often thought of as sparkling with stars, but they also contain gas and dust. Now, a team led by UCLA astronomers has used new data to show that stars are […]

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December 1, 2016

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Astronomers Probe Mystery of Pluto’s Icy Heart

Researchers Probe Mystery of Pluto’s Icy Heart

New research looks to solve the many mysteries of Pluto’s icy heart-shaped feature. Was Pluto’s frozen heart formed in an ancient impact basin and was it once closer to the north pole? And does the icy heart conceal a subsurface ocean? Scientists are offering several new scenarios to explain the formation of Pluto’s frozen heart-shaped […]

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November 30, 2016

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New Study Links Zika and Glaucoma

Zika and Glaucoma Linked for First Time

A newly published study demonstrates for the first time that the Zika virus can cause glaucoma in infants who were exposed to the virus during gestation. Exposure to the Zika virus during pregnancy causes birth defects of the central nervous system, including microcephaly. Brazilian and Yale School of Public Health researchers had reported early during […]

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November 30, 2016

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VLT Observations Reveal First Signs of a Strange Quantum Effect

First Signs of Weird Quantum Property of Empty Space?

Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope, astronomers may have found the first observational indications of a strange quantum effect, first predicted in the 1930s. The polarization of the observed light suggests that the empty space around the neutron star is subject to a quantum effect known as vacuum birefringence. A team led by Roberto Mignani from […]

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November 29, 2016

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New Technique Reveals Internal Characteristics of Photonic Crystals

A New Method for Analyzing Crystal Structure

Scientists at MIT have developed a new technique that reveals the inner details of photonic crystals, synthetic materials whose exotic optical properties are the subject of widespread research. Photonic crystals are generally made by drilling millions of closely spaced, minuscule holes in a slab of transparent material, using variations of microchip-fabrication methods. Depending on the […]

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November 29, 2016

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New Yale Study Points to a Possible Treatment for a Rare Vascular Disease

Study Reveals a Possible Treatment for a Rare Vascular Disease

New research from Yale University points to a possible treatment for a rare genetic disorder that affects blood vessels. In individuals with a rare genetic disorder that affects blood vessels, arteries and veins develop abnormal connections, causing bleeding in the skin, nose, and other organs. In most cases, the condition — hereditary hemorraghic telangiectasia, or […]

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November 28, 2016

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New Study Shows Individual Lifespans Are Becoming More Similar

The Emergence of Longevous Populations

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research have discovered a novel regularity for vastly different human societies and epochs. On average, as lives get longer, the difference in the age at which people die becomes smaller. By analyzing data from 44 countries, researchers have now proven that life expectancy and the variation of […]

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November 28, 2016

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New Cassini Image Shows a Tiny Mimas, Huge Saturn Rings

Cassini Sees Tiny Mimas Huge Rings

In this new image from the Cassini Spacecraft, Saturn’s icy moon Mimas is dwarfed by the planet’s enormous rings. Because Mimas (near lower left) appears tiny by comparison, it might seem that the rings would be far more massive, but this is not the case. Scientists think the rings are no more than a few […]

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November 28, 2016

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NASA’s Chandra Views a Stellar Circle of Life, Cygnus X-3

Chandra Views a Stellar Circle of Life

A newly published study reveals that the supernova explosion that formed either the black hole or neutron star in Cygnus X-3 kicked the binary system away from its original birthplace, estimating that Cygnus X-3 must have been thrown out at speeds between 400,000 and 2 million miles per hour. A snapshot of the stellar life […]

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November 28, 2016

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Hubble Image of the Week – Irregular Galaxy IC 3583

Hubble Views Irregular Galaxy IC 3583

This newly released Hubble image shows a delicate blue group of stars — actually an irregular galaxy named IC 3583 — located 30 million light-years away in the constellation of Virgo (The Virgin). It may seem to have no discernible structure, but IC 3583 has been found to have a bar of stars running through […]

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November 18, 2016

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New Image of Ceres from NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft

New View of Ceres from Dawn Spacecraft

NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft views the shadowy, cratered terrain of Ceres in a dramatic new view of the dwarf planet. Dawn snapped this image on October 16, from its fifth science orbit, in which the angle of the sun was different from that in previous orbits. Dawn was about 920 miles (1,480 kilometers) above Ceres when […]

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November 18, 2016

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New Horizons Reveals an Ocean Beneath Pluto’s Heart-Shaped Basin

Slushy Ocean Beneath Pluto’s Surface

New data from NASA’s New Horizons Mission reveals evidence of any icy, slushy ocean beneath Pluto’s heart-shaped basin. Beneath Pluto’s “heart” lies a cold, slushy ocean of water ice, according to data from NASA’s New Horizons mission. In a paper published today in the journal Nature, the New Horizons team, including researchers from MIT, reports […]

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November 18, 2016

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Do Community Factors Affect Your Weight?

Does Where You Live Affect What You Weigh

A newly published study from Yale University shows that community-level factors may be associated with reduced adult obesity rates in counties within states that have a high adult obesity rate. Adult obesity rates in the United States have reached epidemic proportions, with one in four people considered obese. Yet, obesity rates vary considerably across states […]

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November 18, 2016

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No Change in Global Star Formation Process

Star Formation in the Early Universe

New research of the gas content in galaxies so distant their light has been traveling for about ten billion years suggests that the processes converting gas into stars is about the same back then as in the local universe. The first stars appeared about one hundred million years after the big bang, and ever since […]

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November 17, 2016

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MIT Engineers Create Synthetic Cells to Isolate Genetic Circuits

Engineers Create Synthetic Cells to Isolate Genetic Circuits

Engineers from MIT have developed a way to isolate genetic circuits within individual synthetic “cells,” preventing the circuits from disrupting each other. Synthetic biology allows scientists to design genetic circuits that can be placed in cells, giving them new functions such as producing drugs or other useful molecules. However, as these circuits become more complex, […]

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