December 11, 2012

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Roots Show Similar Growth Patterns in Space

(Top) The root tips of space-grown plants showed a tendency to skew a bit more than their earthbound counterparts (bottom) when they encountered an object. Credit: NASA

Long periods in space can be detrimental to human biology, but it wasn’t exactly known how the lack of gravity affected plants. A new study suggests that space doesn’t seem to affect certain aspects of root growth. The scientists published their findings in the journal BMC Plant Biology. In 2010, researchers sent petri dishes loaded […]

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December 11, 2012

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Asteroid Collision Led to the Mass Extinction of Lizards and Snakes

Obamadon gracilis

A newly published study details the mass extinction of lizards and snakes that occurred after an asteroid struck the Earth 65.5 million years ago, finding that as many as 83 percent of all snake and lizard species died off including the newly named species, Obamadon gracilis. The asteroid collision widely thought to have killed the […]

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December 10, 2012

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River Formation Due to Interplay Between Incision and Soil Creep

river-formation-perron

The precise conditions that cause rivers to form branches have long been a mystery, until now. A new study pinpoints two opposing physical forces that work together to produce the intricate patterns of rivers. This could help scientists understand rivers at all scales, even on other worlds. The scientists published their findings in the journal […]

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December 10, 2012

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Maggots Secretions Suppress Immune Response

maggots-heal-wounds

Researchers have figured out how fly larvae works as a healing balm that’s been used by battlefield surgeons for centuries to close wounds. The scientists published their findings in the journal Wound Repair and Regeneration. Maggots suppress the immune system. They consume dead tissue, leaving healthy tissue practically unscathed. Physicians have been using larvae to […]

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December 10, 2012

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Using Urine to Make Brain Cells

brain-cells-induced-pluripotency

Urine could be used as a powerful source of brain cells to study some disease, and could even be used one day in therapies to study neurodegenerative diseases. Scientists have found a way to persuade the cells discarded in urine to turn into useful neurons. The scientists published their findings in the journal Nature Methods. […]

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December 10, 2012

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Lonely People Experience Vasoconstriction Making Them Colder

winter-cold

When people feel lonely, or when someone is being excluded by others, the person’s skin becomes colder. This is how people respond to exclusion and other social interactions. The scientists published their findings in the journal Acta Psychologica. Dozens of students were asked to participate in a simulated ball-tossing game with computer-generated avatars. While they […]

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December 10, 2012

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Image Shows Galaxy Cluster “Tails”

Two tails of X-ray emission have been seen trailing behind a galaxy

A composite image shows two “tails” that were created when cool gas from ESO 137-001 was stripped by hot gas as it travels towards the center of the galaxy cluster Abell 3627. Two spectacular tails of X-ray emission have been seen trailing behind a galaxy using the Chandra X-ray Observatory. A composite image of the […]

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December 10, 2012

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Shallow Undersea Methane Hydrate Deposit Found in Arctic

arctic-drilling-beaufort

In the Arctic Circle, on the continental slope off Canada in the Beaufort Sea, the shallowest known deposit of methane hydrate has been discovered. The crystalline solid is comprised of methane molecules trapped in an ice-lattice structure. The scientists presented their findings at the annual meeting of the Geophysical Union in San Francisco, California. The […]

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December 10, 2012

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Brain Pacemaker Implanted to Treat Alzheimer’s

Brain Pacemaker

In November, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine implanted a pacemaker-like device into the brain of a patient in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. This device provides deep brain stimulation and has been used in thousands of people with Parkinson’s disease. It is seen as a possible way of boosting memory and reversing cognitive decline. […]

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December 10, 2012

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Disk Around Protostar L1527 IRS Behaves like a Proto Solar-System

the disk around this young star behaves just like a proto solar-system

Using the Submillimeter Array and another radio telescope to study the disk around protostar L1527 IRS, astronomers were able to measure properties of the circumstellar disk, discovering that the disk behaves just like a proto solar-system. Astronomers estimate that once the Sun began to shine it took the Earth another 50-100 million years to grow […]

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December 8, 2012

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Changes in the Andes Cause Flood Risks for South American Cities

bogota-skyline-andes

At more than 11,000 feet above sea level, very important ecosystems known as páramos exist. These kinds of ecosystems are only found in Central and South America and resemble a sort of alpine archipelago, each a link between distinct island ecosystems that exist nowhere else on the planet. These páramos play a crucial role in […]

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December 7, 2012

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Hubble Views Spiral Galaxy NGC 922

hubble views spiral galaxy NGC 922

This new Hubble image shows spiral galaxy NGC 922, which is located about 157 million light years from Earth and was formed by the collision between two galaxies. Bright pink nebulae almost completely encircle a spiral galaxy in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of NGC 922. The ring structure and the galaxy’s distorted spiral […]

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