October 24, 2012

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US Concerns about Biosecurity Could Hamper Collaborations in Viral Research

virologist_using_a_protective_suit

U.S. Federal health agencies have started to tighten security surrounding the research on deadly pathogens. The move is to enhance public safety, but some fear that this might hamper research. Earlier this month, US health agencies added SARS to the list of select agents that pose a sever threat to public health and safety. The […]

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October 24, 2012

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Controversy Sparked by Ocean Fertilization Project off Canada’s Coast

haida-trawler-iron-ocean-fertilization

Last July, a chartered fishing boat strewed 100 tonnes of iron sulphate into the ocean, off the western coast of Canada. The goal was to supercharge the marine ecosystem. The iron was supposed to fertilize plankton, boost salmon population and sequester carbon. Currently, it’s still unclear whether the ocean responded as hoped, but this project […]

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October 24, 2012

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Keck II Telescope Peers into Uranus’ Depths Using Adaptive-Optics

saturn-hexagonal-pole

These images showcase the fine-scale structure of the atmosphere of Uranus, and contain vastly more detail than other images. The images were taken by the adaptive-optics-equipped telescope, the Keck II, which employed its NIRC2 camera. Near the equator, there is a rhythmic wave structure in a cloud belt. Near the north pole, the mottled texture […]

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October 24, 2012

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Cooking Fueled the Growth of the Human Brain

eating-gorilla

A new study has calculated the energetic cost of growing a bigger brain. If humans had been eating a raw food diet exclusively, they would have had to spend more than 9 hours a day eating in order to get enough energy from unprocessed raw food alone to support their large brains. The scientists published […]

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October 24, 2012

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New Technique Views Breast Tumors in 3-D with Better Clarity & Reduced Radiation

technique images breast tumors in 3-D

Using phase contrast tomography to X-ray a human breast from multiple angles and by then applying equally sloped tomography, or EST, an international team of scientists were able to produce 3-D images of breast tissue that are sharper than those made using current CT scanners and have a lower dose of X-ray radiation than a […]

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October 24, 2012

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Easter Island Moai Statues Could Have “Walked” Out of Quarries

moai-rano-raraku

A controversial new claim made by archaeologists states that the Easter Island moai statues could have walked out of the quarries in which they were made. The archaeologists demonstrated this feat with a 4.4-tonne model. The scientists published their findings in the Journal of Archaeological Science. There are nearly 1,000 statues littering Easter Island’s 163 […]

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October 24, 2012

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Scientists Search for Quasar’s “Missing” Galaxy

one of the most distant and brightest quasars in the universe

Scientists are exploring the mystery of a distant and very bright quasar that dates to less than one billion years after the big bang. Hubble astronomers have looked at one of the most distant and brightest quasars in the universe and are surprised by what they did not see: the underlying host galaxy of stars […]

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October 23, 2012

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Human Obsession with Orchids Goes as Far Back as Roman Times

orchid-roman-times

A careful study of ancient artifacts in Italy has pushed back the earliest documented appearance of orchids from the Renaissance to Roman times. The orchid’s popularity in public art seemed to decrease with the advent of Christianity, perhaps because of its associations with sexuality. The scientists published their findings in the Journal of Cultural Heritage. […]

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October 23, 2012

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Analyzing a Mouse Brain with “Block-Face” Electron Microscopy

analyzing a whole mouse brain under the electron microscope

A team of Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research has developed a method for preparing the whole mouse brain for “block-face” electron microscopy, a crucial step towards obtaining a complete circuit diagram of the brain of the mouse. What happens in the brain when we see, hear, think and remember? To be […]

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October 23, 2012

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Ankle Bone Fossil of Earliest Primate Implies That It Was Arboreal

purgatorius-tree

It’s always been contentious when primates started climbing trees. The discovery of some new ankle bones is now making it look like primates have always been arboreal. The scientists presented their findings at the annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in Raleigh, North Carolina, last week. The earliest primate, Purgatorius, a genus of […]

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October 23, 2012

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Common Pesticides Are Severely Affecting Bees

bumblebee-close-up-flower

Bees are the world’s most important pollinator, and without them the planet would quickly go hungry. All of over the world, their populations are quickly decreasing, and scientists are trying to find out why. With the widely reported Colony Collapse Disorder, which was due to a disease, finally ebbing down, new research indicates that pesticides […]

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October 23, 2012

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Graphene Membranes May be Used to Filter Water & Biological Samples

graphene membranes

Finding that large membranes engineered from single sheets of grapheme allow small molecules to pass through, researchers are now looking to use the graphene membranes as filters for microscopic contaminants in water and to separate specific types of molecules from biological samples. Much has been made of graphene’s exceptional qualities, from its ability to conduct […]

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