January 21, 2016

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New Research May Solve Longstanding Fusion Reactor Mystery

MIT Experiments Reveal Two Forms of Turbulence Interacting

New research from MIT shows two types of turbulence within plasma that cause significant heat loss. Solving this problem could take the world a step closer to fusion power which has the promise of limitless and relatively clean energy. One of the biggest obstacles to making fusion power practical — and realizing its promise of […]

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January 21, 2016

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Graphene Oxide Layers Deform Evenly Under Gentle Strain

New Graphene Oxide Paper Changes with Strain

New research from Rice University reveals that graphene oxide layers deform evenly under gentle strain and that the mechanical properties of the material change depending on the rate of strain. The same slip-and-stick mechanism that leads to earthquakes is at work on the molecular level in nanoscale materials, where it determines the shear plasticity of […]

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January 21, 2016

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New ISS Image of the Pacific Northwest and an Aurora

International Space Station Image of Aurora and the Pacific Northwest

This new image is from astronauts aboard the International Space Station shows an aurora and the Pacific Northwest. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and ESA astronaut Tim Peake shared a series of aurora photographs taken from the International Space Station on January 20, 2016. Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) wrote, “#goodmorning #aurora and the Pacific Northwest! #YearInSpace” and Peake […]

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January 20, 2016

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Voltage-Controlled Switchable Material Could Enable New Memory Chips

Switchable Material Could Enable New Memory Chip Design

A new thin-film material whose phase and electrical properties can be switched between metallic and semiconducting could lead to new memory chip designs. Two MIT researchers have developed a thin-film material whose phase and electrical properties can be switched between metallic and semiconducting simply by applying a small voltage. The material then stays in its […]

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January 20, 2016

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New Yale Study Links Childbearing to Accelerated Aging

New Yale Study Links Childbearing to Accelerated Aging

New research from Yale University reveals the first evidence that childbearing may cause accelerated aging in women. The researchers tested 100 healthy postmenopausal women from five rural villages in southern Poland for biomarkers associated with accelerated aging. The study, conducted in partnership with researchers from Jagiellonian University Medical College in Krakow and the Polish Academy […]

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January 20, 2016

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Cassini Spacecraft Image Shows the Difference between Janus and Tethys

New Cassini View of Janus and Tethys

This image from the Cassini Spacecraft demonstrates the main difference between small moons and large ones. It’s all about the moon’s shape. Moons like Tethys (660 miles or 1,062 kilometers across) are large enough that their own gravity is sufficient to overcome the material strength of the substances they are made of (mostly ice in […]

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January 20, 2016

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Independent Analyses Reveal 2015 Surface Temperatures Are the Warmest on Record

NASA Details Record-Shattering Global Warm Temperatures from 2015

&nbs According to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Earth’s 2015 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern record keeping began in 1880. Globally-averaged temperatures in 2015 shattered the previous mark set in 2014 by 0.23 degrees Fahrenheit (0.13 Celsius). Only once before, in 1998, has the new record been […]

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January 19, 2016

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Hubble at 25 Series: How Hubble Has Helped Pave the Way for Interplanetary Missions

Hubble at 25 Series Paving the Way

This new segment of the Hubble at 25 series discusses how the Hubble Space Telescope has not only given us a better understanding of our solar system, but it has also helped pave the way for interplanetary missions to be successful. By monitoring target destinations, Hubble has enabled spacecraft mission planners to optimize the science […]

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January 19, 2016

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NASA Probes Reveal the Changing Shape of the Van Allen Belts

Van Allen Probes Revolutionize View of Radiation Belts

New research from NASA’s Van Allen Probes reveals that the shape of the Van Allen Belts can vary from a single, continuous belt with no slot region, to a larger inner belt with a smaller outer belt, to no inner belt at all. About 600 miles from Earth’s surface is the first of two donut-shaped […]

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January 18, 2016

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Neuroscientists Identify a Protein That Allows Brain Cells to Dampen Their Sensitivity

Scientists Identify Protein That Allows Brain Cells to Dampen Their Sensitivity

In a newly published study, neuroscientists from MIT identify a protein that allows brain cells to dampen their sensitivity. Strengthening and weakening the connections between neurons, known as synapses, is vital to the brain’s development and everyday function. One way that neurons weaken their synapses is by swallowing up receptors on their surfaces that normally […]

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January 18, 2016

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Harvard Astrophysicists Examine the Properties of Pre-Stellar Cores

Far-Infrared Dust Temperatures and Column Densities of the MALT90 Molecular Clump Sample

A new infrared study from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics examined the cores of star-forming dust clouds in various stages of development, enabling astronomers to categorize the temperatures, densities, and evolutionary characters of young stellar nurseries. Stars like the Sun begin their lives as cold, dense cores of dust and gas that collapse under the […]

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January 18, 2016

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Hubble Image of the Week – Galaxy NGC 5408

New Hubble Image of NGC 5408

This newly released Hubble image shows galaxy NGC 5408, which is located 16 million light-years away. Most galaxies possess a majestic spiral or elliptical structure. About a quarter of galaxies, though, defy such conventional, rounded aesthetics, instead sporting a messy, indefinable shape. Known as irregular galaxies, this group includes NGC 5408, the galaxy that has […]

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January 15, 2016

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Astronomers Detect Signs of an Invisible Black Hole at the Center of the Milky Way

Nobeyama Radio Telescope Detects Signs of an Invisible Black Hole

Using the Nobeyama Radio Telescope, a team of astronomers has detected signs of an invisible black hole with a mass of 100 thousand times the mass of the Sun around the center of the Milky Way. The team assumes that this possible “intermediate mass” black hole is a key to understanding the birth of the […]

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January 15, 2016

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New Horizons Spacecraft Reveals Possible Ice Volcano on Pluto

New Horizons Discovers Possible Ice Volcano on Pluto

A new image from the New Horizons Spacecraft reveals more of Pluto’s surface features. Scientists with NASA’s New Horizons mission have assembled this highest-resolution color view of one of two potential cryovolcanoes spotted on the surface of Pluto by the New Horizons spacecraft in July 2015. This feature, known as Wright Mons, was informally named […]

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January 15, 2016

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WISE Reveals Most Luminous Galaxy W2246-0526 Is Ripping Itself Apart

Astronomers View Luminous Galaxy Ripping Itself Apart

New research reveals that the distant galaxy W2246-0526 is expelling tremendously turbulent gas (a phenomenon never seen before in an object of this kind) and is tearing itself apart. In a far-off galaxy, 12.4 billion light-years from Earth, a ravenous black hole is devouring galactic grub. Its feeding frenzy produces so much energy, it stirs […]

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January 14, 2016

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XMM-Newton Reveals High-Speed Winds Around a Supermassive Black Hole

XMM-Newton Reveals High-Speed Gas Streaming from a Spiral Galaxy

ESA’s XMM-Newton reveals that winds around a supermassive black hole located 800 million light-years from Earth are moving at 23,000–33,000 km/s, about 10% the speed of light. ESA’s XMM-Newton has found a wind of high-speed gas streaming from the center of a bright spiral galaxy like our own that may be reducing its ability to […]

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January 14, 2016

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Life-Extending Hormone FGF21 Also Protects Against the Loss of Immune Function

FGF21 Hormone Protests Against the Loss of Immune Function

New research from Yale University shows that the hormone FGF21, which extends lifespan in mice by 40%, protects against the loss of immune function that comes with age. Published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on January 11, the study’s findings have future implications for improving immune function in the elderly, […]

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January 14, 2016

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Cassini Spacecraft Provides Close-up of Enceladus Terrain

Cassini Close-up of Enceladus Dalmatian Terrain

This new image taken by the Cassini Spacecraft on December 19, 2015 provides a close-up of Enceladus. This terrain is on the moon’s Saturn-facing side, a few degrees south of the equator. The view has been rotated so that north on Enceladus is up. During its final close flyby of Saturn’s moon Enceladus, NASA’s Cassini […]

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