December 28, 2012

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Super-Tiger Helps Explore Cosmic Rays

It has been roughly 100 years since cosmic rays first became an object of curiosity to the science world, but now scientists are finally close to solving their mystery. Grade-school science teachers sometimes hand out “mystery boxes” containing ramps, barriers and a loose marble. By rotating the boxes and feeling the marble hang up or […]

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December 28, 2012

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SpaceX Grasshopper is First Reusable Rocket

SpaceX’s ground-breaking rocket, the Grasshopper, is still in development, but it’s designed to be reusable, meaning that it takes off and lands vertically. The rocket made its first trip in September 2012, after it traveled 2 meters up before landing safely. In November, it went up 32 meters and landed safely. This time, it traveled […]

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December 27, 2012

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X-Rays Reveal More of Fossil Record

Soft tissues, like skin and feathers, aren’t usually part of the fossil record, but a new technique has found a way to bring some of them back into the record. The technique was used to resurrect the teeth and recognize the carcass of a 50-million-year-old fossil of a lizard, long thought to be merely preserved […]

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December 27, 2012

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Comb Jellies Have Proteins to Generate & Sense Light

Comb jellies, known as the phylum Ctenophora, live in marine waters worldwide. They have a distinctive feature in their groups of cilia, which they use to swim. They are the largest animals that use cilia as a means to swim. Adults range from a few millimeters in length to 1.5 meters. Their bodies consist of […]

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December 27, 2012

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New Treatments for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

A newly published study from Yale University scientists could lead to the development of new therapies aimed at restoring the signaling balance in the pulmonary vessels in order to treat patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. Impairment of a key signaling cascade in the pulmonary blood vessels plays an important role in pulmonary arterial hypertension, a […]

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December 27, 2012

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Orangutans Learn Tool Use Through Social Observation

A new study concludes that even very young Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii) start forming ideas about their world, and how and when to use certain tools. Ape cultural traditions might not be very different from the cultural traditions of humans. The scientists published their findings in the journal Current Biology¹. Orangutans have behavioral traditions that […]

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December 27, 2012

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Cloud Forest Trees Depend on Fog

Trees in Costa Rica, as well as a number of plant species, in the tropical cloud forests quench their thirst by directly ingesting fog droplets through their leaves. These forests are in danger because of climate change, and a new study indicates that they’re even more fragile than previously thought. The scientists published their findings […]

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December 27, 2012

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Periodical Cicadas Manipulate the Populations of Predatory Birds

Periodical cicadas emerge in North America every 13 or 17 years. Scientists think that the cicadas’ cycles are timed to “engineer” the number of predatory birds. The populations of these birds drop significantly the year that cicadas emerge. Walt Koenig, a behavioral ecologist at Cornell University and the lead author of the paper, published the […]

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December 27, 2012

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UW-Madison Researchers Help Explain the Scarcity of Anti-Matter

The Daya Bay Neutrino experiment, recognized by Science magazine as a runner-up for the breakthrough of the year, is helping physicists explain why the universe is dominated by matter and not by anti-matter. A collaboration with major participation by physicists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has made a precise measurement of elusive, nearly massless particles, […]

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December 27, 2012

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Scientists Challenge Pulsar ‘Glitch’ Theory

Scientists Challenge Pulsar ‘Glitch’ Theory

Using a mathematical model, in conjunction with data from radio telescopes and recent results from nuclear physics theory, researchers at the University of Southampton challenge a 40 year-old theory explaining the ‘glitching’ of pulsars in their newly published study. Researchers from the University of Southampton have called in to question a 40 year-old theory explaining […]

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December 26, 2012

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Pound-for-Pound, Megapiranha Out Bites T. Rex

Megapiranha is an extinct genus of serrasalmid characin fish that lived 8 to 10 million years ago, in the Late Miocene. It’s estimated to have reached lengths of up to 1.3 meters, which is about four times the size of piranha alive today. These estimates are based upon fossil specimens that have been discovered. Based […]

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December 26, 2012

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Olympians Will Live Longer Than the Average Person

Most medal-winning athletes returning home from the Olympic Games can look forward to a longer life than most of us. A new study has found that Olympic medalists live an average of 2.8 years longer than everyone else, whether they’re gymnasts, golfers, runners, or athletes in any other event. The scientists published their findings in […]

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