December 17, 2012

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X-rays From LCLS Help Explain Cosmic Phenomena

LCLS allows scientists to create and measure atomic processes in extreme plasmas in a fully controlled

An international team of scientists used X-rays from the Linac Coherent Light Source to study and dissected a process in multi-million-degree space plasmas that produces some of the brightest cosmic X-ray signals. Menlo Park, California – Scientists have used powerful X-rays from the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) […]

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December 17, 2012

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Low Water Levels Could Shut Down Mississippi River Shipping Lanes

mississippi-river-shipping

The worst drought in 50 years has brought water levels in the Mississippi River close to historic lows, and could potentially shut down all shipping in a matter of weeks. This is the second extreme event on the river in 18 months, after the flooding in the spring of 2011 forced people to flee their […]

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December 17, 2012

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Why Narcissists Seem More Attractive

dark-shadows-johnny-depp

While most people don’t consider narcissism or psychopathy desirable qualities in their romantic partners, many are still drawn towards people with these traits, which have been immortalized in fiction as the mean girls, the dangerous boys, and arrogant jerks. The scientists published their findings in the journal Social Psychological & Personality Science. The researchers were […]

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December 17, 2012

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Survey of Galaxies Reveals Supermassive Black Holes

This composite image shows the spiral galaxy NGC 3627, located about 30 million light years from Earth.

Using data from Chandra observations of 62 nearby galaxies and data from the Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxy Survey, scientists have shown that 37 of the galaxies contain X-ray sources in their centers that are most likely powered by central supermassive black holes. The spiral galaxy NGC 3627 is located about 30 million light years from […]

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December 17, 2012

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Japan Could Host International Linear Collider

international-linear-collider-rendering

As most of the world is still dealing with the worst economic crisis in decades, Japan is currently being considered as the potential host for the International Linear Collider (ILC), a multi-billion-dollar machine that will smash atoms at higher and higher energy levels. Members of the ILC team will hand over the finalized design of […]

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December 17, 2012

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US EPA Will Try to Monitor Hormone-Like Substances

water-bottle-bpa

The US EPA is initiating a new effort to see whether low doses of hormone-mimicking chemicals can harm human health and whether chemical testing should be changed. According to the EPA website, in a response to a report published by 12 scientists last March, they will collaborate with other federal agencies to assess whether the […]

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December 17, 2012

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Study Challenges the Idea that a Supernova Prompted the Formation of the Solar System

the origin of the solar system

By testing meteorites, a team of scientists discovered that levels of iron 60 were uniform and low in early solar system material, suggesting that that the low levels of iron 60 probably came from the long-term accumulation of iron 60 in the interstellar medium from the ashes of countless stars past, instead of a nearby […]

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December 16, 2012

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Homosexual Behavior Among Fish Increases Attractiveness to Females

homosexual-fish-mollies

In many species, females are attracted to large, conspicuous males. But among animals that mate with many partners, males that manage to mate with more than one female can increases their chances of attracting others, even if they aren’t as conspicuous. The scientists published their findings in the journal Biology Letters. In some species of […]

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December 16, 2012

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Pacific Fisheries Fail to Stop Tuna Overfishing

bigeye-tuna-overfishing

At a meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, which is the governing body for international fisheries agreement seeking to ensure the conservation and sustainability of highly migratory fish, complaints were issued that big fishing nations had blocked efforts to curb tuna overfishing and ignored scientific advice. Nanette Malsol, chair of the Parties […]

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December 16, 2012

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Panamanian Survey Puts Global Arthropod Species at 6 Million

white-witch-moth

For two years in the Panamanian tropics, entomologists have been laboring in cranes, gliding amongst treetops using helium-filled balloons, hiking through the jungle at night and setting traps that used light as bait in order to come up with en estimate on the biodiversity of arthropods. The scientists published their findings in the journal Science. […]

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December 14, 2012

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Unique Drug Combinations Show Positive Results in Fighting Late-Stage Melanoma

Yale scientists identify successful combination drug therapies for melanoma mutations

Using novel high-throughput screening techniques to overcome the problems of resistance and partial response to single-drug cancer therapy in patients with melanoma, Yale scientists identified several unique drug therapy combinations that show positive results in fighting late-stage melanoma. Yale Cancer Center researchers have identified several effective combinations of therapies that inhibit melanomas driven by two […]

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December 14, 2012

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Fast DNA Origami Allows Molecules to be Folded in Minutes

dna-origami-artificial

A new study indicates that DNA strands can be coaxed to fold into shapes in a matter of minutes. This could speed up progress in the field of DNA origami. The scientists published their findings in the journal Science. So far, biotechnologists have only been able to make simple forms out of DNA, like tubes, […]

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December 14, 2012

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NASA Probes Ebb & Flow Set for Mission-Ending Moon Impact

region where GRAIL mission spacecraft will impact

NASA’s GRAIL mission spacecraft, Ebb and Flow, are set to impact the moon near a crater named Goldschmidt on December 17th, hitting the surface at 3,760 mph and ending their successful endeavor to map the moon’s gravity. Pasadena, California — Twin lunar-orbiting NASA spacecraft that have allowed scientists to learn more about the internal structure […]

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December 14, 2012

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US National Ignition Facility Rethinks its Strategy for Laser Fusion

Inside the National Ignition Facility’s 10-meter-diameter target chamber. Credit: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

The failure of the US National Ignition Facility’s six-year campaign to demonstrate fusion in the lab has the government deciding on a more methodical path for harnessing the most powerful laser ever built. The government’s new plan [PDF] was revealed to Nature, and it calls for a slower, more deliberate approach to achieve ignition, the […]

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