December 7, 2012

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European Catfish Learn to Catch Pigeons

predatory-catfish-pigeons

A group of European catfish in Southwestern France have learned to catch pigeons, as they get close to the River Tarn. European catfish (Silurus glanis) can grow up to 1 to 1.5 meters long and are the largest freshwater fish in Europe. The scientists published their findings in the journal PLOS ONE. S. glanis accomplishes […]

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December 7, 2012

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Study Shows that Genetics Play an Important Role in Anti-Tobacco Policies

smokers have biological resistance to anti-tobacco policies

A newly published study from Yale University suggests that genetics play an important role in whether a person responds to tobacco-control policies, finding that people who are genetically predisposed to tobacco addiction were not dissuaded from smoking despite concerted government efforts to curtail tobacco use. Despite concerted government efforts to curtail tobacco use, the number […]

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December 7, 2012

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WISE Spots Massive Distant Galaxy Cluster

WISE Finds a Galaxy cluster

Using NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), astronomers discovered a distant galaxy cluster, MOO J2342.0+1301, which is located 7.7 billion light-years away and is hundreds of times more massive than our Milky Way. Our solar system, with its colorful collection of planets, asteroids and comets, is a fleck in the grander cosmos. Hundreds of billions […]

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December 6, 2012

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Scattered Silver Cubes Scale Up Light Absorption for Solar Power

silver-nanocube-sprinkles

Nanoscale cubes of silver could help make more efficient solar panels, heat detectors and specialist cameras. The randomly scattered cubes were placed on pieces of polymer-coated metals to form a device that absorbs nearly all light that hits it. The scientists published their findings in the journal Nature. Unlike other light absorbers, it’s relatively simple […]

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December 6, 2012

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Urban Birds Use Cigarette Butts to Get Rid of Pests

A house finch pair. Credit: Robert Shantz

A team of ecologists discovered that city birds may be inserting cigarette butts into the lining of their nests in order to repel arthropods. The scientists published their findings in the journal Biology Letters. Chemicals in the tobacco leaves are known to repel parasitic mites. Researchers examined the nests of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and […]

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December 6, 2012

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VLT Survey Telescope Image of the Carina Nebula

star-forming Carina Nebula

ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope captured this new image of the Carina Nebula, a huge stellar nursery lying about 7,500 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Carina. A spectacular new image of the star-forming Carina Nebula has been captured by the VLT Survey Telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory and released on the occasion of the […]

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December 6, 2012

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Saturn-Like Rings May Have Formed Solar System’s Moons

Moons of Solar System Might Have Been Formed From Saturn-Like Rings

Earth’s moon might have emerged from a long-vanished ring system, akin to the rings still encircling Saturn, and this could apply to many of the satellites orbiting other planets. The bulk of the regular satellites in the Solar System might have formed this way, instead of taking shape simultaneously with the planet as a direct […]

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December 6, 2012

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Genetic Trickery Coaxes Heart to Heal Itself

damaged-heart-muscle-repair

Two new studies suggest that heart muscle cells can make copies of themselves at a very low rate, but researchers have developed a genetic trick that prompts them to improve their efficiency. The scientists published their findings in two papers in the journal Nature (1, 2). This could imply that hearts may be coaxed into […]

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December 6, 2012

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New 3D Form of Graphene May Lead to Flexible Electronics

super-elastic-graphene-synthesized

Graphene can support 50,000 times its own weight and can spring back into shape after being compressed by up to 80%. Graphene also has a much lower density than comparable metal-based materials. A new super-elastic, three-dimensional form of graphene can conduct electricity, and will probably pave the way for flexible electronics. The scientists published their […]

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December 6, 2012

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Nanoparticle Blast Could Help Make Microscopic Matter

nanoparticle-combustion

Scientists were able for the first time to capture on film a process that makes homogeneous metal oxide nanoparticles. This could pave the way for faster and cheaper ways to develop nanoparticles. The scientists presented their film at a meeting of the Materials Research Society (MRS) in Boston, Massachusetts last week. Lutz Mädler, a process […]

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December 6, 2012

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GRAIL Generates High Resolution Gravity Field Map of the Moon

porosity of the lunar surface

New data from NASA’s Ebb and Flow probes was used to generate a high resolution gravity field map of the moon, showing that the moon’s gravity field is unlike that of any terrestrial planet in our solar system and revealing an abundance of features never before seen in detail. Pasadena, California — Twin NASA probes […]

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December 5, 2012

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Astronomers Identify a New Kind of Galaxy, “Green Bean Galaxies”

J2240

Located in the constellation of Aquarius, roughly 3.7 billion years from Earth, galaxy J2240 has been identified as part of a new class of galaxies nicknamed “green bean galaxies.” A new galaxy class has been identified using observations from ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), the Gemini South telescope, and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT). Nicknamed “green […]

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