November 8, 2012

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Proteins Engineered With Predictable Structures

protein-folidng

Proteins fold spontaneously into precise conformation, time after time, optimized by evolution. Yet given the number of contortions possible for chains of amino acids, dictating how a sequence will fold itself into a predicable structure has been a daunting task. Researchers have been able to accomplish this feat. The scientists published their findings in the […]

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November 8, 2012

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New Earth-Like Planet HD 40307g May Be Capable of Supporting Life

artist's impression shows HD40307g

An international team of astronomers has discovered a new Earth-like planet, known as HD 40307g, that may be capable of supporting life and is located forty-two light years from Earth. A new super-Earth planet that may have an Earth-like climate and be just right to support life has been discovered around a nearby star by […]

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November 8, 2012

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Stone Blades Suggest that Early Humans Passed on Technological Skills

native-american-microlith

Archaeologists have discovered some new stone blades from a cave from South Africa that seem to indicate that early humans were already quite adapt at crafting blades. The scientists published their findings in the journal Nature. The tiny blades are no longer than 3 cm in length were used as tips for throwable spears or […]

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November 8, 2012

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Methane Consuming Microorganisms Exhibit a Strange Diet

methane consuming microorganisms

Scientists at MARUM and the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology explore the unique diets of methane consuming microorganisms. Methane is formed under the absence of oxygen by natural biological and physical processes, e.g. in the sea floor. It is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Thanks to the activity of microorganisms […]

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November 8, 2012

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Smilodon’s Distinctive Fangs Still Puzzling to Paleontologists

smilodon-utah-fangs

The extinct genus Smilodon encompasses three species, and they are part of North American’s vanished megafauna. While the carnivore broadly resembles other Felidae, its fangs have been somewhat of a mystery for paleontologists, especially in the family’s largest species, Smilodon populator, which had 12 inch canines. Smilodon lived in North and South America during the […]

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November 8, 2012

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Study Links Dietary Glycemic Load and Colon Cancer

high-carb diet and recurrence of colon cancer

A newly published study found that a diet heavy in complex sugars and carbohydrate-rich foods is likely to lead to a recurrence of colorectal cancer in previous patients. Colon cancer survivors whose diet is heavy in complex sugars and carbohydrate-rich foods are far more likely to have a recurrence of the disease than are patients […]

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November 8, 2012

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Lab-Made Gel Mimics Molecular Motors Inside Living Cells

artificial-polymer-structure

Researchers have developed a lab-made material that can move itself using the building blocks found inside of cells. The scientists published their findings in the journal Nature. They started by making a gel containing microtubules, which are stiff polymer filaments that act as guiding tracks for kinesin inside cells. Kinesin is propelled along the microtubule […]

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November 8, 2012

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Waveguide Nanoscale Device Makes Light Travel Infinitely Fast

waveguide-light-speed

A team of scientists and engineers report that within a nanometer-scale device, visible light can travel infinitely fast. While this won’t lead to instantaneous communication, since it would violate causality, such a device could be used as an element of optical circuitry. The scientists published their findings in the journal Physical Review Letters. In space, […]

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November 8, 2012

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Star Cluster Cygnus OB2

Cygnus OB2

The above composite image of star cluster Cygnus OB2, which is located about 5,000 light years from Earth, contains X-rays from Chandra, infrared data from Spitzer and optical data from the Isaac Newton Telescope. The Milky Way and other galaxies in the universe harbor many young star clusters and associations that each contain hundreds to […]

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November 7, 2012

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Database Will Integrate Data from Clinical Testing Labs & Literature

genome-cgi

This week, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched a new database known as ClinVar, which will make physicians’ jobs much easier. The NIH is located in Bethesda, Maryland, and ClinVar integrates dozens of existing databases. It also provides a central place for clinical testing laboratories to deposit their data, since most of this […]

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November 7, 2012

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First Sighting of the Spade-Toothed Whale

gray-beaked-whale

The spade-toothed whale (Mesoplodon traversii) is a little known species of beaked whales. They were first discovered in 1872 when bone fragments were found on Pitt Island, in New Zealand. The scientists published their findings in the journal Current Biology. In the last 140 years, the only signs of the existence of these whales were […]

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November 7, 2012

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US Ignition Facility Will Spend Less Time on Energy Research

Laser lab shifts focus

The world’s most powerful laser ignition facility is set to emphasize its nuclear weapons research after unsuccessfully campaigning to demonstrate the principles of a fusion power plant. At the US National Ignition Facility (NIF), scientists and engineers have been working on how to focus the 192 laser beams on a gold lined “hohlraum” capsule, just […]

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