September 1, 2016

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ESOcast 87 – Astronomers Discuss Proxima b

Planet Proxima b

In this six minute ESOcast video astronomers discuss the newly discovered Proxima b and the possibility of life outside our solar system. The Pale Red Dot campaign aimed to find a planet orbiting our nearest stellar neighbor, Proxima Centauri. Incredibly, the quest succeeded and the team did indeed find a planet. Even more excitingly, the […]

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August 31, 2016

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Engineers Design a New Solar Cell That is More Efficient and Costs Less

New More Efficient Solar Cell

Engineers from MIT and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology have developed a new solar cell that combines two different layers of sunlight-absorbing material to harvest a broader range of the sun’s energy. The cost of solar power is beginning to reach price parity with cheaper fossil fuel-based electricity in many parts of the […]

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August 31, 2016

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Study Reveals a Promising New Target to Treat Type 2 Diabetes

Yale Study Reveals Protein to Target in Type 2 Diabetes

Scientists at Yale University reveal promising new target for drugs to treat type 2 diabetes. When the body’s cells don’t respond normally to insulin — a condition known as insulin resistance — blood glucose levels can increase, resulting in type 2 diabetes. Researchers have long known that insulin resistance is linked to defects in the […]

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August 31, 2016

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New Horizons Image Shows Pluto’s Methane Snowcaps

New Pluto Image Shows Methane Snowcaps on the Edge of Darkness

This newly released image shows the southernmost part of Pluto that NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft could “see” during closest approach in July 2015. The image contains a range of fascinating geological features, and offers clues into what might lurk in the regions shrouded in darkness during the flyby. The area shown above is south of […]

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August 31, 2016

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Chandra Reveals Record-Breaking Galaxy Cluster

Astronomers Discover Record-Breaking Galaxy Cluster

Using Chandra and several other telescopes, astronomers have found the most distant galaxy cluster to date. This cluster, called CL J1001+0220, lies about 11.1 billion light years from Earth and may have been caught right after birth, a brief, but important stage of cluster evolution never seen before. The remote galaxy cluster was found in […]

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August 29, 2016

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New Cassini Image Shows a Glowing Spot on Saturn’s B Ring

New Cassini Image Surge in the Ring

This new image from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shows an ethereal, glowing spot on Saturn’s B ring. There is nothing particular about that place in the rings that produces the glowing effect — instead, it is an example of an “opposition surge” making that area on the rings appear extra bright. An opposition surge occurs when […]

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August 29, 2016

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NASA Probes Peculiar Age-Defying Star IRAS 19312+1950

NASA Probes Peculiar Age-Defying Star IRAS 19312+1950

New research suggests that IRAS 19312+1950 might be a protostar a star still in the making. For years, astronomers have puzzled over a massive star lodged deep in the Milky Way that shows conflicting signs of being extremely old and extremely young. Researchers initially classified the star as elderly, perhaps a red supergiant. But a […]

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August 29, 2016

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Astrophysicists Show Milky Way Had a Blowout Bash 6 Million Years Ago

New Study Shows Milky Way Had a Blowout Bash 6 Million Years Ago

New research from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics shows that the center of the Milky Way was once a very active place. The center of the Milky Way galaxy is currently a quiet place where a supermassive black hole slumbers, only occasionally slurping small sips of hydrogen gas. But it wasn’t always this way. A […]

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August 29, 2016

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Hubble Image of the Week – A New View of Alpha Centauri A and B

New Hubble Image of Alpha Centauri A and B

This newly released Hubble images shows Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B. The closest star system to the Earth is the famous Alpha Centauri group. Located in the constellation of Centaurus (The Centaur), at a distance of 4.3 light-years, this system is made up of the binary formed by the stars Alpha Centauri A […]

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August 26, 2016

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A Billion or More Jupiter-Like Worlds Could Be Orbiting Stars in the Milky Way

Scientists Compare Jupiter with Jupiter-like Planets

Using data from NASA’s Juno probe, astronomers hope to gain a better understanding of Jupiter and the the many Jupiter-like planets in our galaxy. Our galaxy is home to a bewildering variety of Jupiter-like worlds: hot ones, cold ones, giant versions of our own giant, pint-sized pretenders only half as big around. Astronomers say that […]

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August 26, 2016

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Harvard Researchers Identify a Key Instigator in Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Scientists Identify Instigator That Ignites Nerve Cell Damage in Lou Gehrig’s Disease

A team of scientists from Harvard Medical School has identified a key instigator of nerve cell damage in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive and incurable neurodegenerative disorder. Researchers say the findings of their study, published in the journal Science, may lead to new therapies to halt the progression of the uniformly fatal disease […]

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August 25, 2016

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Dragonfly 44 – A Massive Galaxy That Consists Almost Entirely of Dark Matter

Galaxy Dragonfly 44

An international team of astronomers has discovered a massive galaxy that consists almost entirely of dark matter. The galaxy, Dragonfly 44, is located in the nearby Coma constellation and had been overlooked until last year because of its unusual composition: It is a diffuse “blob” about the size of the Milky Way, but with far […]

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August 25, 2016

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Earth-Sized Planet Proxima b Might be Habitable

Planet Found in Habitable Zone Around Nearest Star

Scientists reveal that a newly discovered, roughly Earth-sized planet orbiting our nearest neighboring star might be habitable. Astronomers using ESO telescopes and other facilities have found clear evidence of a planet orbiting the closest star to Earth, Proxima Centauri. The long-sought world, designated Proxima b, orbits its cool red parent star every 11 days and […]

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August 24, 2016

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New Reserach Reveals How Zika Virus Causes Fetal Brain Damage

Yale Reserachers Discover How Zika Virus Causes Fetal Brain Damage

In a newly published study, researchers from Yale University report that infection by the Zika virus diverts a key protein necessary for neural cell division in the developing human fetus, thereby causing the birth defect microcephaly. The findings suggest that Zika virus might be susceptible to existing antiviral drugs that may prevent disruption to the […]

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August 24, 2016

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NASA Telescopes Reveal a Surprising Blazar Connection

A Surprising Blazar Connection Revealed

Using data from from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, astronomers studying distant galaxies powered by monster black holes have uncovered an unexpected link between two very different wavelengths of the light they emit, the mid-infrared and gamma rays. The discovery has enabled the researchers to uncover dozens of new […]

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August 23, 2016

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Yale Scientists Discover a New Therapy for a Chronic Brain Disease

Yale Biologists Uncover Marker for a Chronic Brain Disease

Yale scientists have discovered a new and effective therapy for cerebral cavernous malformations. A team of researchers led by Yale professor of pathology Wang Min have pinpointed a marker that contributes to a chronic condition affecting the brain. Known as cerebral cavernous malformations, the condition is characterized by a tangle of capillaries in the brain’s […]

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August 23, 2016

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New Study Shows ‘Smoke Waves’ Will Affect Millions in the Coming Decades

US Counties Risk Exposure to Pollution from Wildfires

Newly published research identifies the western U.S. counties with the highest risk of exposure to pollution from wildfires. Wildfires threaten more than land and homes. The smoke they produce contains fine particles (PM2.5) that can poison the air for hundreds of miles. Air pollution from the 2016 Fort McMurray fire in northern Alberta, Canada, sent […]

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August 22, 2016

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MIT Biological Engineers Program Human Cells to Store Complex Histories in Their DNA

Recording Analog Memories in Human Cells

Newly published research details how biological engineers from MIT developed a way to record complex histories in the DNA of human cells, allowing them to retrieve “memories” of past events by sequencing the DNA. This analog memory storage system — the first that can record the duration and/or intensity of events in human cells — […]

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