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New ScienceCast Video Details Coming Sunset Solar Eclipse

October 21, 2014

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ScienceCasts Sunset Solar Eclipse

A new three minute ScienceCast video details the partial solar eclipse that will be visible in most of the United States on October 23rd. ScienceCasts: Sunset Solar Eclipse On October 23rd, the Moon will pass in front of the sun, off-center, producing a partial solar eclipse visible in most of the United States. Sunsets are […]

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Scientists Discover Processes Similar to the Ones That Possibly Sparked Life

October 20, 2014

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Researchers Create Possible Precursor to Life

Newly published research details how a team of scientists used a virtual computer experiment to discover information strings with peculiar properties. How did life originate? And can scientists create life? These questions not only occupy the minds of scientists interested in the origin of life, but also researchers working with technology of the future. If […]

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MIT Assesses the Technical Feasibility of the Mars One Mission

October 14, 2014

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Assessing the Technical Feasibility of the Proposed Mars One Mission

A new independent assessment of the Mars One Mission from MIT engineers reveals that the project may have to take a step back, at least to reconsider the mission’s technical feasibility. In 2012, the “Mars One” project, led by a Dutch nonprofit, announced plans to establish the first human colony on the Red Planet by […]

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Solid Nanoparticles Keep Their Internal Structure While Deforming Like a Liquid

October 13, 2014

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New Research Shows Solid Nanoparticles Can Deform Like a Liquid

Using a combination of laboratory analysis and computer modeling, new research shows that nanoparticles keep their internal crystal structure while deforming like a liquid. A surprising phenomenon has been found in metal nanoparticles: They appear, from the outside, to be liquid droplets, wobbling and readily changing shape, while their interiors retain a perfectly stable crystal […]

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Killer Whales Engage in Cross-Species Vocal Learning

October 8, 2014

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Killer Whales Demonstrate Cross-Species Vocal Learning

A newly published study reveals that killer whales (Orcinus orca) can engage in cross-species vocal learning, revealing that they shifted the types of sounds they made to more closely match the bottlenose dolphins they cross-socialized with. Washington, D.C. — From barks to gobbles, the sounds that most animals use to communicate are innate, not learned. […]

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Satellite Records Show Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches New Record Maximum

October 8, 2014

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Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches New Maximum

Long-term satellite records show that the five-day average of Antarctic sea ice extent reached a new record high this year. This year, Antarctic sea ice reached a record maximum extent while the Arctic reached a minimum extent in the ten lowest since satellite records began. Why are these trends going in opposite directions? Image Credit: […]

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New Research Reveals That Trade is a Major Driver of Biodiversity

October 7, 2014

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Lizard Study Shows Trade is a Force in Biodiversity

A newly published study shows that trade is one of the major drivers of biodiversity among lizard species in the Caribbean islands, finding that the amount of trade an island receives can explain to a large extent the number of invasive species on an island. It may be a cliché to say it, but the […]

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Different Environment Helps Boost Biofuel Production

October 6, 2014

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MIT Engineers Develop New Approach to Boosting Biofuel Production

By simply altering the composition of the medium in which the yeast are grown, engineers at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and MIT were able to boost yeast’s ethanol production by about 80 percent. Yeast are commonly used to transform corn and other plant materials into biofuels such as ethanol. However, large concentrations of […]

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Study Reveals the Importance of Tiny Creatures in Structure of Grasslands

October 3, 2014

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Tiny Creatures Play Key Role in Structure of Grasslands

A newly published study reveals the importance of earthworms, beetles, and other tiny creatures to the structure of grasslands and the valuable ecosystem services they provide. When asked to describe a forest or a meadow, most people would probably begin with the plants, the species diversity, or the color of the foliage. They probably wouldn’t […]

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Study Shows Greenland Ice Sheet More Sensitive to Climate Change Than Previously Thought

October 2, 2014

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Greenland Ice Sheet More Vulnerable to Climate Change Than Previously Thought

A new study from the University of Cambridge reveals that the Greenland Ice Sheet, which covers 1.7 million square kilometers and contains enough ice to raise sea levels worldwide by seven meters, is less stable and more sensitive to climate change than previously thought. A new model developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge […]

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Interactive Coding Scheme is the First to Near Optimality

October 2, 2014

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Coding Scheme for Interactive Communication is the First to Near Optimality

In a new research paper, MIT engineers describe the first interactive coding scheme to near optimality on the three classical measures: How much noise can they tolerate? What’s the maximum transmission rate they afford? And how time-consuming are the encoding and decoding processes? Error-correcting codes are one of the glories of the information age: They’re […]

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Researchers Investigated the Charge Transport Perovskite Solar Cells

October 1, 2014

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New Insights How Perovskite Solar Cells Can Be Further Optimized

New insights into the working mechanism of perovskite-based solar cells could help these solar cells play a prominent role among the renewable energy carriers in future. Conventional silicon solar cells could have an inexpensive competitor in the near future. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, together with scientists from Switzerland […]

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