December 26, 2012

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Photon Devices Could Outperform Traditional Computers

Quantum computers will be able to perform tasks that silicon-based computers wouldn’t be able to do, like cracking the codes that protect bank transactions. Several research teams have revealed solid evidence that quantum physics does embody a level of complexity that classical computers could never match. The new devices these groups have built are much […]

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December 26, 2012

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Amgen to Purchase Icelandic deCODE Genetics

More than a decade after the sizzle of genomics investments has faded, Amgen, an American biotechnology giant, is buying out one of the field’s most important firms, deCODE Genetics. Amgen, based in Thousand Oaks, California, will pay $415 million for deCODE Genetics, based in Reykjavik. When genomics failed to produce the promise of new drug […]

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December 26, 2012

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All Coral Reefs May be Dying by 2100

If current carbon dioxide emission trends continue, nearly every coral reef would be decimated by 2100, according to a new review of major climate models. The only way to maintain the current chemical environment in which reefs need to live, would be to deeply cut emissions worldwide. The scientists presented their findings at the American […]

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December 26, 2012

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Plant Dye Purpurin Creates Eco-Friendly Battery

Purpurin (1,2,4-Trihydroxyanthraquinon), a nontoxic dye used to color fabric in vivid oranges, reds, and pinks, could also be used to create eco-friendly, sustainable, lithium-ion batteries. The scientists published their findings in the journal Scientific Reports¹. The dye comes from the roots of a climbing herb known as the madder plant (Rubia tinctorum). The first madder […]

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December 26, 2012

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Smoking Causes Chemical Alterations in Genes

Smoking isn’t healthy, but a new study has shown strong evidence that tobacco use can chemically modify and affect the activity of genes known to increase the risk of developing cancer. The scientists published their findings in the journal Human Molecular Genetics¹ and hope that this finding will give them a new tool to assess […]

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December 26, 2012

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HiCIAO Helps Reveal the Structure of Protoplanetary Disks

By masking the bright light from a central star, HiCIAO can detect the detailed features of a star’s disk and the objects that it contains, possibly providing the basis for another indirect method of detecting planets. An international team of astronomers has used HiCIAO (High Contrast Instrument for the Subaru Next Generation Optics) (Note 1) […]

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December 26, 2012

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FDA Approves AquaBounty Transgenic Fish

The US FDA has finally approved the first genetically engineered animals for human consumption. The fast-growing salmon has been assessed as safe by the FDA. After 60 days of public comment, the FDA may issue a final assessment and approval, at which time the company AquaBounty, of Maynard, Massachusetts, can start selling the fish. The […]

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December 26, 2012

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Stem Cells Help Restore a Man’s Vision

Taylor Binns began slowly going blind because of complications with his contact lenses. However, an innovative treatment using stem cells has allowed him to regain his sight. While on humanitarian work in Haiti, Binns developed intense eye pain and increasingly blurry vision. Over the next two years, Binns slowly went legally blind, with his doctors […]

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December 26, 2012

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Princeton’s Nanomesh Triples Solar Cell Efficiency

Researchers at Princeton University have used nanotechnology to develop a nanotechnological mesh that increases efficiency over organic solar cells nearly threefold. The scientists published their findings in the journal Optics Express¹. The team was able to reduce reflexivity and capture more of the light that isn’t reflected. The resulting solar cell is thinner, less reflective […]

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December 24, 2012

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Only About 1,000 Yangtze Finless Porpoises Remain

A six-week survey of the Yangtze River’s middle and lower stretches by the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Hydrobiology (IHB) in Wuhan and the conservation group WWF in China has concluded that the Yangtze finless porpoises (Neophocaena phocaenoides asiaeorientalis) are being driven to the brink of extinction by fishing, pollution and other human activities. […]

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December 24, 2012

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Toxic Algal Blooms Could be Boosted by Climate Change

Physical and chemical conditions in the oceans cause populations of algae to wax and wane in cycles. Harmful algae consist of only a few species of diatoms, dinoflagellates, and cyanobacteria. Researchers are wondering what the role of climate change is in the algal blooms that have been seen in the last years. Some harmful algae […]

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December 24, 2012

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Depression is the Top Disability Among US & Canadian Teens

According to a new study led by researchers at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington in Seattle, depression has surpassed asthma as the largest contributor to ‘years lived with disabilities’ for youths aged 10 -14. The scientists published their findings in the journal The Lancet¹. The estimation of […]

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