November 13, 2012

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UK’s 90 Million Ash Trees Are Likely to be Wiped Out

ash-dieback-uk

The UK’s new plan that will deal with ash disease might not come in time, as most of the country’s 90 million ash trees are likely to be wiped out. Ash dieback is caused by the fungus Chalara fraxinea and it will probably kill 99% of the ash trees in the UK. Diseased trees will […]

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November 13, 2012

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Fungal Meningitis Has New Appetite for Human Brains

Meningitis-Outbreak

In the USA, an ongoing fungal meningitis outbreak has killed 30 people and sickened another 419. The fungus responsible has never wrecked such havoc before. Exserohilum rostratum is a plant-eating generalist fungus that has a spore-launching mechanism ideal for airborne infection. It is usually found in grasses, but it will dine on anything, including humans. […]

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November 13, 2012

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A Single Hydrogen Molecule Vibrates Macro Object

quartz-tuning-fork

Physicists have demonstrated that a hydrogen molecule dancing between two possible positions can induce regular vibration of a nearby cantilever, creating a miniature tuning fork made up of quartz. The scientists published their findings in the journal Science. A single molecule has never been shown to be able to move something on a macroscopic scale, […]

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November 13, 2012

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Zombie-Ant Fungus Faces its Own Deadly, Specialized Parasites

hyperparasite-zombie-fungus

The zombie-ant fungus is part of the Ophiocordyceps genus, and its strange way of infecting worker ants’ heads and controlling them to distribute more spores has been well documented in scientific literature. Fossil evidence suggests that this infection has been occurring for at least 48 million years. Research seems to indicate that different species of […]

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November 13, 2012

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Scientists Use Quasars to Probe Dark Energy & Measure its Role in the Evolution of the Universe

Scientists Use Quasars to Probe Dark Energy & Measure its Role in the Eevolution of the Universe

An international team of scientists are measuring the role of dark energy in the evolution of the universe by using a new mapping technique that uses quasars to probe dark energy over 10 billion years in the past. BOSS, the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey, is mapping a huge volume of space to measure the role […]

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November 13, 2012

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Neural Connection Between Infant Stress & Depressions in Teenage Girls

depressed-girl-infant

Stressful experiences in the first year of life can drive hormonal changes in girls later in childhood. These chemical changes lead to abnormal brain connectivity, signs of anxiety and depression at age 18. The researchers published their findings in the journal Nature Neuroscience. Stress in early life is a risk factor for a large variety […]

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November 13, 2012

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The Behavior of Interstellar Dust Grains

artist’s concept of the heliosphere

In a newly published study, a team of scientists report the results of their theoretical models of the behavior of interstellar dust grains as the Sun moves through space. The space between stars is not empty. It contains copious but diffuse amounts of gas and dust; in fact about 5-10% of the total mass of […]

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November 12, 2012

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Corals Emit Chemical Alarm to Summon Friendly Fish When Attacked

gobiodon-histrio-coral

When Acropora nasuta corals come into contact with the toxic seaweed Chlorodesmis fastigiata, they emit a chemical that summons gobies, inch-long fish live in the crevices and crannies of the coral. The scientists published their findings in the journal Science. They were able to summon gobies within minutes of the contact of seaweed. The researchers […]

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November 12, 2012

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Researchers Use LCLS to “Supercharge” Atoms

ultra-bright X-ray laser pulses of the Linac Coherent Light Source at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Results from a newly published study may help scientists deliberately induce the high levels of damage needed to study extreme states of matter. Menlo Park, California — Researchers using the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have found a way to strip most of the […]

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November 12, 2012

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Eggs of Superb Fairy-Wren Learn Before Hatching

superb-fairy-wren

The females of superb fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) start singing to their unhatched eggs in order to teach the embryo a “password,” a single unique note, which nestlings must later incorporate into their begging calls in order to get fed. The researchers published their findings in the journal Current Biology. This trick allows fairy-wren parents to […]

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November 12, 2012

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Presence of Hog Farms in Neighborhoods Raises Blood Pressure of People

hog-farm-odor-blood-pressure

Hog farms might be nauseating, but a new study indicates that a hog farm emissions, which include dust, irritants, allergens, hydrogen sulfides, ammonia, and other volatile compounds, could have an impact on the health of the people living nearby. Neighbors of such farms experience a rise in blood pressure when the odor of the farm […]

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November 12, 2012

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Phase III Vaccine Trial in Africa Gives Poor Results about New Malaria Drug

malaria-parasite

A phase III clinical trial in Africa of the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine has reported disappointing results. The vaccine failed to show substantial protection for infants who received their first shot between 6 and 12 weeks of age. The researchers published their findings in the New England Journal of Medicine. The development of this vaccine began […]

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November 12, 2012

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Giant Gap PDS 70’s Protoplanetary Disk May Indicate Multiple Planets

infrared image of the protoplanetary disk around PDS 70

An international team of astronomers discovered a giant gap inside in PDS 70’s protoplanetary disk, which may have resulted from the birth of multiple planets. A large international team of astronomers led by Jun Hashimoto (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan) and Ruobing Dong (Princeton University) has used the High Contrast Instrument for the Subaru Next […]

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November 12, 2012

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Prolonged Drought Contributed to Maya Civilization’s Collapse

drought-maya-civilization

The Maya civilization, which occupied much of modern-day Mexico and Central America, collapsed rapidly between 800 and 1000 AD. This collapse has often puzzled archaeologists. There hasn’t been a clear explanation for why the society collapsed, which was known for its sophisticated calendar system and pyramid construction. The scientists published their findings in the journal […]

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November 12, 2012

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Carnivorous Deep Sea Sponge Discovered Off Coast of California

chondrocladia-lyra-carnivorous-sponge

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) has unveiled footage of a new species of carnivorous sea sponge. Chondrocladia lyra was discovered using deep-diving vessels by a team of researchers off the coast of California, at depths of 3,316 to 3,399 m. The scientists published their findings in the journal Invertebrate Biology. 17 years ago, […]

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