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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October 30, 2012

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Honeybees Have a Bite that Stuns

apis-mellifera-flying

Honeybees are well known for their sting, but scientists have discovered that they also have a bite that stuns. Bees resort to biting when faced with pests, such as parasitic mites, that are too small to sting. The scientists published their findings in the journal PLoS ONE. A close study of the biting behavior has […]

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October 30, 2012

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Filamentous Bacteria Act as Living Power Cables

desulfobulbus-seafloor-power-cable

The filamentous bacteria Desulfobulbus can function as living power cables in order to transmit electrons thousands of cell lengths away. The bacteria, which are only a few thousandths of a millimeter in length and are invisible to the naked eye, can form a multicellular filament that can transmit electrons across a distance as large as […]

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October 30, 2012

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Changing Gulf Stream is Destabilizing Gases Trapped in Sediments

satellite-image-gulf-stream

Methane gas is escaping from the seabed sediments somewhere off the coast of North Carolina. Researchers think that a shifting Gulf Stream, the Atlantic Ocean current that flows north from the Gulf of Mexico, is to blame since it is delivering warmer waters to areas that had previously only received colder waters. The scientists published […]

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October 30, 2012

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Image of RCW 120 Nebula Shows Expanding Bubble of Ionized Gas

composite-color-image-rcw-120

In this color composite image of the RCW 120 nebula (above), an expanding bubble of ionized gas, about ten light-years across, is revealed. It is causing the surrounding material to collapse into dense clumps where star formation occurs. RCW 120 is a nebula that was first discovered in 1960 and is an H II emission […]

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October 30, 2012

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Synthetic Molecule Destroys Key Allergy-Inducing Complexes

mast-cells

A new synthetic molecule has been used to destroy the complexes that induce allergic responses, a discovery that could lead to highly potent, rapidly acting interventions for a host of acute allergic reactions. The scientists published their findings in the journal Nature. The new inhibitor disarms IgE antibodies, which are pivotal players in acute allergies, […]

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October 30, 2012

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Antibiotics Might Contribute to the Health Problems of the Bee Colonies

antibiotics might be another suspect in honey bee die-off

A new study from Yale University shows that eight beneficial gut bacteria common in honeybees and bumblebees have acquired genes that make them resistant to tetracycline, possibly contributing to the health problems of bee colonies. The gut bacteria of honeybees have acquired several genes that confer resistance to tetracycline, a direct result of more than […]

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October 30, 2012

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Hepatitis E Vaccine Debuts Thanks to Chinese Biotech Partnership

hepatitis-e-vaccine-china

The world’s first vaccine against the hepatitis E virus began being deployed from China last week, promising to stop the propagation of a disease that infects 20 million people yearly and claims 70,000 lives. This vaccine is the result of an unusual public-private partnership in China’s biotechnology sector, and could help deliver other vaccines for […]

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October 30, 2012

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Curiosity Rover Photographs Diverse Rocks

Curiosity image of a rock called Et-Then

NASA’s Curiosity rover continues its research on Mars. The latest images were taken by its Mars Hand Lens Imager and show diverse rocks found in the “Rocknest” area. NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity on Sol 82 (October 29, 2012) used its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) to photograph the diverse rocks in the “Rocknest” area and […]

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