February 9, 2016

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New Yale Study Pinpoints Key Protein in Severe Vascular Disease

Key Protein in Severe Vascular Disease Revealed

New research from Yale University investigates factors that squeeze, or narrow, the aorta in a common vascular disease, revealing a target for potential new treatments. Individuals who suffer from supravalvular aortic stenosis, a condition characterized by narrowing of the aorta, have only one copy instead of the usual two copies of the gene encoding elastin. […]

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February 9, 2016

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New Research Shows Long-Term Global Warming Needs External Drivers

New Study Shows Long-Term Global Warming Needs External Drivers

New research from NASA and Duke University provides new evidence that natural cycles alone aren’t sufficient to explain the global atmospheric warming observed over the last century. A study by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, shows, in detail, the reason why global temperatures remain […]

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February 9, 2016

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Ices and Shadows – Cassini Views Saturn’s Moon Tethys

New Image of Saturn's Moon Tethys

NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft views Saturn’s moon Tethys. Saturn’s moon Tethys appears to float between two sets of rings in this view from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, but it’s just a trick of geometry. The rings, which are seen nearly edge-on, are the dark bands above Tethys, while their curving shadows paint the planet at the bottom […]

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February 8, 2016

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Scientists Characterize Nerve Cells That Detect Motion by Light Changes

Neurobiologists Characterize Nerve Cells That Detect Motion by Light Changes

In a newly published study, neurobiologists from the Max Planck Institute reveal that (in fruit flies) four classes of nerve cell are involved in calculating directionally selective signals. The ability to see the direction in which something is moving is vital for survival. Only in this way is it possible to avoid predators, capture prey […]

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February 8, 2016

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Was Frozen Mammoth or Giant Ground Sloth Served for Dinner?

Yale Researchers Put Prehistoric Mystery Meat to the Test

A famous dinner for scientists in the 1950s supposedly served meat from a woolly mammoth that was discovered frozen in the arctic. Yale scientists obtained a preserved sample of the meat, which DNA analysis proves is actually from a modern green sea turtle. The green sea turtle is an endangered species, so the flesh sample […]

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February 8, 2016

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Preliminary Reference Earth Model Shows Earth-like Planets Have Earth-like Interiors

PREM Model Shows Mass-Radius Relation for Rocky Planets

New research from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics reveals that rocky worlds share similar structures, with a core containing about a third of the planet’s mass, surrounded by a mantle and topped by a thin crust. Every school kid learns the basic structure of the Earth: a thin outer crust, a thick mantle, and a […]

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February 8, 2016

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Hubble Image of the Week – The Icy Blue Wings of Hen 2-437

The Icy Blue Wings of Hen 2-437

This newly released Hubble image shows planetary nebula Hen 2-437. In this cosmic snapshot, the spectacularly symmetrical wings of Hen 2-437 show up in a magnificent icy blue hue. Hen 2-437 is a planetary nebula, one of around 3000 such objects known to reside within the Milky Way. Located within the faint northern constellation of […]

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February 5, 2016

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Astronomers Observe Star Formation in the Outskirts of Galaxies

Star Formation in the Outer Spiral Regions of Galaxy NGC 4625

A newly published study from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics finds that the star formation processes in the outer spiral regions of the galaxy NGC 4625 generally resemble the processes at work in more normal, denser regions where molecular gas abounds. Star formation environments can be roughly grouped into three types, categorized by the density […]

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February 5, 2016

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Scientists Complete Primary Mirror for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope

Scientists Assemble NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Primary Mirror

Engineers have installed the 18th and final primary mirror segment on what will be the biggest and most powerful space telescope ever launched. The final mirror installation marks an important milestone in the assembly of the James Webb Space Telescope. “Scientists and engineers have been working tirelessly to install these incredible, nearly perfect mirrors that […]

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February 4, 2016

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Biologists Extend Lifespan in Mice by 35 Percent

Researchers Extend Lifespan in Mice by as Much as 35 Percent

A team of biologists from the Mayo Clinic have shown that senescent cells – cells that no longer divide and accumulate with age – negatively impact health and shorten lifespan by as much as 35 percent in normal mice. The results, which appear today in Nature, demonstrate that clearance of senescent cells delays tumor formation, […]

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February 4, 2016

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New Energy-Friendly Chip Can Perform Powerful AI Tasks

Energy-Friendly Chip Can Perform Powerful AI Tasks

Engineers from MIT have designed a new chip to implement neural networks. It is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run powerful artificial-intelligence algorithms locally, rather than uploading data to the Internet for processing. In recent years, some of the most exciting advances in artificial intelligence […]

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February 4, 2016

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Astronomers Discover Unexpectedly Cold Grains in a Planet-Forming Disc

Unexpectedly Cold Grains in Planet-Forming Disc Discovered

Using the ALMA and IRAM telescopes, a team of astronomers has made the first direct measurement of the temperature of the large dust grains in the outer parts of a planet-forming disc around a young star. By applying a novel technique to observations of an object nicknamed the Flying Saucer they find that the grains […]

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February 4, 2016

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NASA’s Juno Spacecraft Adjusts Flight Path for Jupiter

NASA’s Juno Spacecraft Burns for Jupiter

Launched in 2011, the Juno spacecraft will arrive at Jupiter in 2016 to study Jupiter from an elliptical, polar orbit. NASA’s solar-powered Juno spacecraft successfully executed a maneuver to adjust its flight path today, February 3. The maneuver refined the spacecraft’s trajectory, helping set the stage for Juno’s arrival at the solar system’s largest planetary […]

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February 3, 2016

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Asteroid 2013 TX68 to Pass Earth on March 5

Small Asteroid 2013 TX68 to Pass Close to Earth March 5

Asteroid 2013 TX68 (which flew past Earth at a comfortable distance of about 1.3 million miles two years ago) will safely fly by our planet again in a few weeks, though this time it may be much closer. During the upcoming March 5 flyby, asteroid 2013 TX68 could fly past Earth as far out as […]

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February 3, 2016

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Cassini Reveals Saturn’s Rings Less Dense Than They Appear

Saturn's B Rings Less than Meets the Eye

New data from NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft reveals that there is little correlation between how dense the rings of Saturn might appear to be — in terms of its opacity and reflectiveness — and the amount of material they contain. It seems intuitive that an opaque material should contain more stuff than a more translucent substance. […]

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February 2, 2016

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MIT Study Shows Tiny Plankton Have a Big Effect on the Ocean’s Carbon Storage

Tiny Plankton May Have a Big Effect on the Ocean’s Carbon Storage

New research from MIT and Bristol University reveal that microscopic, mixotrophic organisms may have a large impact on the ocean’s food web and the global carbon cycle. How do you find your food? Most animal species, whether they rummage through a refrigerator or stalk prey in the wild, obtain nutrients by consuming living organisms. Plants, […]

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February 2, 2016

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Chandra Observations Confirm a Counterjet from Pictor A

Pictor A Blast from Black Hole Far Away

Astronomers have discovered a giant jet spanning continuously for over 300,000 light years blasting out of the galaxy Pictor A. In addition to the main jet, they also discovered evidence for a jet moving in the opposite direction. The Star Wars franchise has featured the fictitious “Death Star,” which can shoot powerful beams of radiation […]

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February 2, 2016

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New Study Shows Even Moderate Alcohol Consumption Can Harm People with HIV

New Study Shows Moderate Alcohol Consumption Can Harm People with HIV

A newly published study from Yale University shows that moderate alcohol consumption is more harmful to people with HIV than uninfected individuals, raising the risk of both mortality and other negative health effects. The Yale study is the first to demonstrate the increased harm among patients who have suppressed HIV with modern antiretroviral treatment (ART). […]

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