January 2, 2013

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Methane Gas Leaks Undermine Shift to Natural Gas

Natural-gas wells such as this one in Colorado are increasingly important to the US energy supply. Credit: David Zalubowski/AP Photo

Scientists report that there are alarmingly high methane emissions from oil and gas fields, undermining the environmental benefits of natural gas, which is transforming the current US energy system. The scientists, who hold joint appointments with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Colorado in Boulder, reported their findings at a […]

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January 2, 2013

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Galactic Cosmic Radiation Poses Significant Threat to Astronauts, Could Accelerate the Onset of Alzheimer’s

At Work on Mars

According to a new study from researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, galactic cosmic radiation poses a significant threat to future astronauts and could accelerate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. As if space travel was not already filled with enough dangers, a new study out today in […]

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January 2, 2013

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Drug Resistant Tuberculosis On The Rise

A chest X-ray from a patient with tuberculosis (TB) in Lira, Uganda. Uganda is one of 22 countries accounting for roughly 80% of new TB cases each year. Credit: 
J. Matthews/Panos

Back in 2005, doctors at a remote hospital in the village of Tugela Ferry, South Africa, were puzzled when patients with HIV, who were initially responding well to antiretroviral drugs, began rapidly dying from tuberculosis. When patients contract ordinary TB, they start to feel better after a few weeks or months on a selection of […]

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January 2, 2013

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Hong Kong Temperatures to Rise by 2-3 Degrees Celsius in 30 Years

temperature map of Kowloon

The temperature in the inner urban areas of Honk Kong, China, is predicted to rise by two to three degrees Celsius in the next 30 years, according to researchers at the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI) of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU). The scientists used remote sensing technology as well as satellite […]

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January 2, 2013

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3D Printing Using DNA Could Make Drugs

Credit: widdowquinn/Flickr)

New technology that combines the computer-aided design software inSequio with nanoscale fabrication technology could allow for the 3D printing of drugs using DNA. The Parabon Essemblix Drug Development Platform allows for the rapid, and precise, specific placement of every atom in a compound it designs. The scientists used the inSequio software to design molecular pieces […]

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January 2, 2013

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A Unique View of a Solar Eclipse

unique portrayal of the total solar eclipse

By combining images from the SOHO satellite and Proba-2 satellite with ground-based images, scientists created this uniquely detailed view of a recent solar eclipse. The Sun appears to be eyeballing us in this unique portrayal of the total solar eclipse of 13/14 November 2012, which combines ground-based images (blue ring) with views from ESA’s Proba-2 […]

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January 1, 2013

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The Myth of Promiscuous Males & Choosy Females

A male fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) Credit: Jan Polabinski/iStockphoto

Scientists think that a study, which has been a cornerstone in evolutionary biology for the last five decades, could be wrong. Ecologist and evolutionary biologist Patricia Gowaty and her colleagues Yong-Kyu Kim and Wyatt Anderson published their findings in the journal PNAS¹. The original study was done in 1948 by geneticist A. J. Bateman, who […]

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January 1, 2013

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Steps That Enable Human Stem Cells to Develop Into Egg Cells

Human egg cell in the womb

The exact causes of infertility, which can affect around 10% of couples, are often unknown. In some cases, it may be a result of the body’s inability to produce viable gametes. A new study of the development of germ cells from humans could help scientists learn how to create them in the laboratory. The scientists […]

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January 1, 2013

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UK to Sequence Genome of 100,000 Patients

The United Kingdom will sequence the whole genomes of 100,000 people with cancer and rare diseases. Credit: U.S. Department of Energy/Office of Biological and Environmental Research

The UK has planned to fully sequence the genome of 100,000 Britons with cancer and rare diseases in an effort to decode their DNA, and hopefully find a cure for diseases. The project is unusual because it will decode the entire genome, not just parts of it. Prime Minister David Cameron has stated that the […]

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January 1, 2013

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LED Lights May Help Prevent Astronaut Insomnia Aboard the ISS

An early prototype of new LED fixtures (Solid State Lighting Module) that could help to prevent astronaut insomnia aboard the International Space Station. Credit: Kennedy Space Center

By investing $11.4 million to change out aging fluorescent lights in the ISS’s U.S. Orbital Segment, NASA hopes to prevent astronaut insomnia and to help space station crews sleep better aboard the International Space Station. Sleep medication drugs are the second-most common drug taken by astronauts after painkillers, according to NASA. Astronauts are scheduled for […]

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December 31, 2012

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A Step Closer to a Possible Treatment for ALS

Neural stem cell transplants slow progression of ALS

Studies conducted at several medical schools and institutions, shows that researchers may be closer to finding a treatment for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. When neural stem cells were transplanted into multilevels of the spinal cord of a mouse model with familial ALS, disease onset and progression slowed, motor and breathing function improved […]

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December 31, 2012

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“Molecular Levers” Accelerate Reactions

Molecular Levers May Make Materials Better

Researchers at Duke University found that a molecule made with a polynorbornene backbone can act as a lever to open a ring embedded within the molecule 1000 times faster than a similar ring being tugged at on a polybutadiene scaffold. The discovery could be used to engineer more efficient materials. Durham, North Carolina – In […]

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December 31, 2012

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New Robotic Platform Could Take Space Exploration to New Heights

spacecraft Phobos Surveyor and its 'hedgehogs'

A team of scientists from Stanford, MIT and JPL have developed an autonomous system for exploring moons and asteroids that could help take space exploration to new heights. Relying on a synergistic relationship between the mother spacecraft, the Phobos Surveyor, and the rovers it houses, the hedgehogs, the system will would work together to complete […]

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December 31, 2012

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Hubble Views Spiral Galaxy NGC 1097

A wanderer dancing the dance of stars and space

This new Hubble image shows the star-forming ring that surrounds spiral galaxy NGC 1097, a galaxy that is located 45 million light-years away from Earth and features a supermassive black hole 100 million times the mass of our sun at the center. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope provides us this week with a spectacular image […]

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December 29, 2012

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Cherenkov Radiation Effect in a Line of Point Charges

Whereas a point charge is always attracted to an underlying surface, a sideways moving line of charge can be repelled, one physicist calculates.
Credit: Primož R. Ribič, Phys. Rev. Lett. (2012)

A newly published study suggests that the interaction between a surface and a charge packet moving parallel to it can become repulsive above a critical relativistic energy. These findings could potentially impact fundamental electrodynamics, accelerator physics and electron spectroscopy. An electric charge near the surface of a material gets pulled toward the surface. If the […]

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