December 13, 2012

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Geneticists Grow Fish with Limbs to Duplicate Evolutionary Pressure

zebrafish-limbs

The fossil record gives clues about how limbs grew from fish fins in a series of stages, but scientists are still trying to fill in the details and determine what genetic changes might have allowed limbs to grow. The scientists published their findings in the journal Developmental Cell. In order to do so, scientists have […]

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December 13, 2012

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4.5 km Asteroid Tumbles Past Earth

Goldstone radar images of the asteroid Toutatis

NASA’s Goldstone radar is capturing new images of the 4.5 km asteroid Toutatis as it passes by Earth this month. This week, NASA’s Goldstone radar is tracking a large asteroid as it passes by Earth, and obtaining unusually clear images of the tumbling space rock. “There is no danger of a collision with Earth,” says […]

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December 13, 2012

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“Silicon Nanophotonics” Integrates Optical Components with Electrical Circuits

cross-section-nanophotonic-silicon-chip

IBM announced an advance in the ability to use light instead of electrical signals for information transmission in future computing applications. “Silicon nanophotonics” allows the integration of different optical components side-by-side with electrical circuits on a single silicon chip, using sub-100nm semiconductor technology. Dr. Solomon Assefa will present details at the IEEE International Electron Devices […]

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December 13, 2012

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X-rays Reveal Potential Drug Target for Ulcer-Causing Bacteria

potential drug target in ulcer-causing bacteria

Using X-rays from SLAC’s Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, scientists have deciphered the three-dimensional molecular structure of a very promising drug target in H. pylori, the ulcer-causing bacteria that infect half the world’s population. In 1982, Australian scientists extracted bacteria from a person’s stomach, grew them in a petri dish and identified them as the cause […]

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December 13, 2012

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Neolithic Pottery Reveals Cheese-Making from 7,500 Years Ago

feta-cheese

A team of scientists from Princeton University and the University of Bristol, UK, have discovered traces of dairy fat in ancient ceramic fragments, indicating that humans have been making cheese in Europe for up to 7,500 years. Early dairy farmers probably devised cheese-making as a way to preserve milk. The scientists published their findings in […]

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December 13, 2012

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Samarium Hexoboride Behaves Like a Topological Insulator

samarium-hexoboride

Samarium hexoboride, a compound that had been poorly understood and that can gain conducting properties at very low temperatures, may be a topological insulator in its bulk form, conducting electricity on its surface while the rest of the material behaves like an insulator. The scientists published their findings in three papers in preprints on arXiv […]

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December 13, 2012

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Hubble Reveals Seven Faraway Galaxies

Hubble reveals a previously unseen population of seven faraway galaxies

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field 2012 campaign revealed seven previously unseen populations of faraway galaxies, viewing them as they looked 350 to 600 million years after the big bang, more than 13 billion years ago. Washington — Using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have uncovered a previously unseen population of seven primitive galaxies that formed […]

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December 12, 2012

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Novel Coronavirus hCoV-EMC Infects Humans & Animals

coronavirus-bats-pigs

The novel coronavirus which was discovered this summer in the Middle East might infect more than just human patients. The pathogen is closely related to SARS, and it may also be able to infect pigs and a wide range of bat species. The scientists published their findings in the journal mBio. The findings might help […]

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December 12, 2012

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Cassini Spots a Nile Like River Valley on Titan

miniature version of the Nile River on Titan

Cassini has spotted a river valley, which scientists believe is filled with liquid, on Saturn’s moon Titan that stretches more than 400 km. The international Cassini mission has spotted what appears to be a miniature extraterrestrial version of the Nile River: a river valley on Saturn’s moon Titan that stretches more than 400 km from […]

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December 12, 2012

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Homosexuality Might Develop in the Womb Due to Epigenetic Changes

homosexual-womb

According to a newly released hypothesis, homosexuality might not lie in DNA itself. Instead, as an embryo develops, sex-related genes are turned on and off in response to fluctuating levels of hormones in the womb, produced by both mother and child. This benefits the unborn child, however if these epigenetic changes persist once the child […]

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December 12, 2012

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Ancient Fungi Discovered Deep in Ocean Floor Could Yield New Antibiotics

deep-ocean-floor-fungi

Scientists have found evidence of fungi thriving far below the floor of the Pacific Ocean, in nutrient-starved sediments more than 100 million years old. This could yield antibiotics to combat the drug-resistant bacteria. The scientists presented their findings at a meeting of American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco, California. Some of the fungi belong […]

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December 12, 2012

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ALMA Will Allow Scientists to See the Universe Like Never Before

multiwavelength image of a colliding pair of spiral galaxies

The largest ground-based radio telescope in the world, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), can detect hidden gases inside galaxies that might hold the key to star and planetary formation. At first glance, the bone-dry landscape of the Atacama Desert in Chile might seem inhospitable. But, it’s prime real estate for astronomers. This desert is […]

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December 12, 2012

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Barbed Porcupine Quills Could Help Enhance Various Biomedical Devices

Porcupine-BioDome

A porcupine quill only needs half the force of a hypodermic needle in order to pierce skin. This new study also explains why the quills are hard to remove and this discovery could improve a variety of medical instruments. The scientists published their findings in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Porcupine […]

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December 12, 2012

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NASA’s Curiosity Rover Nearing Yellowknife Bay

map traces where NASA's Mars rover Curiosity drove

NASA’s Curiosity rover continues to explore the Martian surface, approaching an area called “Yellowknife Bay,” which is a potential location for selecting the first target rock for Curiosity’s hammering drill, bringing the mission’s total driving distance to 598 meters. Pasadena, California — The NASA Mars rover Curiosity drove 63 feet (19 meters) northeastward early Monday, […]

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December 11, 2012

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Ancient Cooking Stones Help Reconstruct Earth’s Magnetic History

maori-cooking-stones

Cooking stones that line Maori steam ovens in New Zealand are helping scientists study the history of the Earth’s magnetic field. The cooking process generates so much heat that the magnetic minerals in the stones will realign themselves with the direction of the current field. The scientists presented their findings at the fall meeting of […]

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December 11, 2012

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Growth Bands Provide Exact Ages of Crustaceans

crustaceans-age-bands

Crustaceans shed their exoskeleton every year, making it hard for biologists to determine their exact age. Now researchers have found well-hidden growth bands in the animals that persist through molting and yield reliable ages. The scientists published their findings in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. This could help fishery agencies better manage […]

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December 11, 2012

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An Invasive Grass Species Spreads Wildfires Quicker

cheatgrass-comparison

New research indicates that an invasive species of grass is making wildfires in the western USA larger, hotter and more frequent. A variety of grasses called cheatgrass dries out quickly, and burns more rapidly that other vegetation. The scientists published their findings in the journal Global Change Biology. The researchers believe that it has fueled […]

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December 11, 2012

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Diuretic Drug Could Help Treat Autism

child-with-autism

The drug bumetanide, which has been used for decades to treat high blood pressure and other conditions, has now shown some promise in a small clinical trial for autism spectrum disorder. The drug reduced the overall severity of behavioral symptoms after 3 months of daily treatment. The scientists published their findings in the journal Translational […]

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