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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November 7, 2012

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New Chinese Survey Reveals Extensive Coastal Pollution

green-algae-bloom

A national marine survey of China’s marine resources paints a disturbing portrait of its current coastal environment. The survey was launched in 2004 by the Chinese State Oceanic Administration (SOA) and was finally completed last month. The unpublished survey shows that roughly 90% of coastal cities suffer from intermittent water shortages. China’s mangrove swamps have […]

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November 7, 2012

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Photons Traverse Optical Obstacles as Both a Wave and Particle Simultaneously

Mystery of Wave-Particle Duality

A photon can act as a particle one moment, following a well-defined path like a tiny projectile, and a wave the next, overlapping with its ilk to produce interference patterns, much like a ripple on the water. Wave-particle duality is one of the key features of quantum mechanics, and it’s not easily understood in layman’s […]

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November 7, 2012

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Early Treatment Triggers Significant Improvements in Children with ASD

early treatment made significant improvements in behavior of children with autism spectrum disorders

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, a team of scientists measured changes in brain activity after two five-year-olds with ASD received pivotal response treatment, finding that with early treatment, children with ASD made significant improvements in behavior, communication, and brain function. When given early treatment, children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) made significant improvements in behavior, […]

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November 7, 2012

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Genetically Modified Tomatoes Counteract Heart Disease

geneticaly-modified-tomato

Researchers have developed a genetically modified tomato that produces a certain peptide which will lower the plaque buildup in the arteries of mice. This could also work in humans. The researchers presented their findings at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012. The GM tomato produces 6F, a small peptide that mimics the action of […]

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