October 31, 2012

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Molecular Bio-Printing of Drugs Could Result in Emailed Vaccines

3d-model-DNA

Emailing biological molecules, using 3D biological printers, might seem like science-fiction, but Craig Venter discussed the idea at the Wired Health Conference in New York. Biological printers could be used to plausibly shuttle vaccines around the globe, but their use could be problematic as vaccines could easily be used as bio-weapons. If it’s possible to […]

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October 31, 2012

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DARPA’s New Pet-Proto Robot Navigates Obstacles

Rendering of the Government-Furnished Equipment robot being developed for the DARPA Robotics Challenge

The DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) has begun and over the next two years teams will compete to develop and test hardware and software designed to enable robots to assist humans in emergency response situations. In the below video, the Pet-Proto, a predecessor to DARPA’s Atlas robot, is confronted with obstacles similar to those robots might […]

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October 31, 2012

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Reaction to Placebo Effect May Be Genetic

placebo-acupuncture

The reason why some people tend to respond to treatments that have no active ingredients might be down to genetics. A new study indicates that the placebo effect could be linked to a genetic component. The scientists published their findings in the journal PLoS ONE. The placebo effect was examined in 104 patients with irritable […]

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October 31, 2012

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Visual Repellants May Help Prevent Shark Attacks

great-white-shark

Structures in the brains of great sharks are similar to the ones found in humans, and these could be the key to prevent further shark attacks. Animal biologists at the University of Western Australia have discovered that the brains of Carcharodon carcharias have similarities in terms of the regions that are dedicated to visual input […]

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October 31, 2012

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Globular Cluster NGC 6362 Shows its Blue Stragglers

NGC 6362

Located about 25,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Ara, globular cluster NGC 6362 contains many blue stragglers, stars that appear younger and bluer than their companions. This new picture (above), along with a new image of the central region from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (below), provide the best view of this little-known […]

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October 31, 2012

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London Array is the World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm

london-array

The London Array is the world’s largest offshore wind farm, and it’s currently under construction in the outer Thames Estuary in the UK. The goal of this platform is to create a 1,000 megawatt capacity. It’s located 17.77 miles off the North Foreland on the Kent coast. It will cover 230 square kilometers. The first […]

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October 31, 2012

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Aspirin Can Extend the Life of Colorectal Cancer Patients

aspirin-can-be-effective-in-prolonging-survival-among-certain-colorectal-cancer-patients

A newly published study shows that aspirin can be effective in prolonging survival among patients whose colorectal cancer tests positive for a mutation in the gene PIK3CA. Aspirin therapy can extend the life of colorectal cancer patients whose tumors carry a mutation in a key gene, but it has no effect on patients who lack […]

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October 31, 2012

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Smartphones Are Great for Sharing Bacteria

iphone-microbe

Smartphones’ proximity to people’s ears, nose and mouth make them a good vector for transferring microbes. Bacteria and other infectious agents on smartphones can cause the flu, pinkeye, or diarrhea. Lab tests show that most phones have abnormally high levels of coliforms, a bacteria stemming from fecal contamination. For people who want to keep a […]

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October 31, 2012

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Mineralogy of Martian Soil is Similar to Soils of Volcanic Origin in Hawaii

results of the first analysis of Martian soil

Using its Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument, NASA’s Curiosity rover has completed initial experiments showing the mineralogy of Martian soil is similar to weathered basaltic soils of volcanic origin in Hawaii. The minerals were identified in the first sample of Martian soil ingested recently by the rover. Curiosity used its Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument (CheMin) to […]

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October 31, 2012

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Hurricane Sandy Viewed from Space

hurricane-sandy-space-NASA

Hurricane Sandy has been downgraded to a post-cyclone storm, and most of the devastating effects of the hurricane are past, but people in 22 states in the USA are still dealing with the effects of its landfall. Hurricane Sandy grew big enough to become an awesome visual spectacle even from space, growing to an enormous […]

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October 30, 2012

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Leopard Seals Suction Feed on Krill like Whales

leopard-seal-open-mouth

The leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx), one of Antarctica’s apex predators, kills penguins and smaller seals in a violent yet efficient manner. However, it seems that that’s not the only thing that H. leptonyx eats. A new study reports that H. leptonyx uses suction feeding to eat large amounts of krill, which is akin to how […]

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October 30, 2012

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Archer Fish Shoots Down Prey with Its Incredible Water Jet

archer-fish

Archer fish have been observed to knock down prey with a precise jet of water that is six times as powerful as the fish could generate with its own muscles. This allows the archer fish to take down aerial prey from inside the water. The scientists published their findings in the journal PLoS ONE. This […]

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