September 27, 2012

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Film Reveals How Vampire Squids Eat

vampire-squid

Vampyroteuthis infernalis, the vampire squid, which technically isn’t a squid at all, is a cephalopod that lives 3,000 feet deep in warm waters. In the deep pelagic zone, there is little oxygen and V. infernalis reaches a size of just 30 cm in adulthood. V. infernalis feeds on corpses, feces and its own mucus and […]

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September 27, 2012

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Study Suggests that Astrocytes are Critically Important for Processing Sensory Information

astrocyte cells help the brain respond to visual stimuli

A newly published study from a team of neuroscientists at MIT is latest in a growing body of evidence suggesting that astrocytes are critically important for processing sensory information. A new study from MIT neuroscientists sheds light on a neural circuit that makes us likelier to remember what we’re seeing when our brains are in […]

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September 27, 2012

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Bearing a Male Child Can Alter a Woman’s Brain

male-cell-female-liver-tissue

A new study indicates that male DNA, left over from pregnancy with a male fetus, can persist in a woman’s brain throughout the rest of her life. Although the exact biological impact of the DNA is yet unclear, the study found that women with more male DNA in their brains were less likely to suffer […]

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September 27, 2012

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Troughs Suggest Vesta has Characteristics like a Planet or Large Moon

extensive system of troughs encircles Vesta's equatorial region

Using data from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, scientists have been working hard to determine the story behind the enormous troughs that wrap around the giant asteroid Vesta and now believe that troughs may be dropped blocks of terrain bounded by fault lines. Washington — Enormous troughs that reach across the asteroid Vesta may actually be stretch […]

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September 27, 2012

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Mira Supercomputer Will Run Simulation of Our Universe

supercomputer will run the largest, most complex universe simulation ever attempted

The advent of the Mira supercomputer, along with more powerful Sequoia and K supercomputers, marks the first time that computers have enough computational power to simulate trillions of particles on the move, running a simulation of the Universe. Mira can process quadrillions of operations every second, which is rare in the machine world. It will […]

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September 26, 2012

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3D Renderings of Carboniferous Period Insects

roachoid-insect-carboniferous

Two 305-million-year-old insect nymphs were scanned in high resolution in order to construct three-dimensional portraits. The two insects were scanned using fossils from the Carboniferous Period, which lasted from 359.2 Ma (million years ago) to the beginning of the Permian Period, at 299 Ma. The researchers published their findings in the journal PLoS ONE. One […]

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September 26, 2012

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Inhibition of MicroRNAs in Mice Can Attenuate Cardiovascular Stress

hypertrophic-cardiomyopathy

Cardiac stress that’s caused by a heart attack or high blood pressure will frequently lead to pathological heart growth and eventually lead to heart failure. Researchers have discovered that two micro-scale RNA molecules, microRNA miR-212 and miR-132 play a role in this detrimental development in mice. When these molecules were inhibited, the mice were protected […]

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September 26, 2012

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Genetic Variability Helps Sea Urchins Cope with Environmental Changes

strongylocentrotus-purpuratus

The current rising acidity in the ocean is supposed to have dire consequences for organisms like coral, but there are some sea urchins that have the genetic tools to adapt to inhospitable conditions. The results were presented at the Third International Symposium on the Ocean in a High CO2 World in Monterey, California, and are […]

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September 26, 2012

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New Image of the Seagull Nebula

Close-up view of the head of the Seagull Nebula

A close-up view of the head of the Seagull Nebula, which is located roughly 3,700 light-years away from Earth, was captured in this new image from ESO’s La Silla Observatory. Nebulae are among the most visually impressive objects in the night sky. They are interstellar clouds of dust, molecules, hydrogen, helium and other ionized gases […]

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September 26, 2012

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Extinct Animals from the Pleistocene Discovered in Mexico

megafaune-pleistocene-mexico

More than a hundred bones of animals, some which could be of human origin from the final stages of the Pleistocene period, were found in the Atontonilco de Tula, Hidalgo scattered within an area of 100 acres, between 7 and 10 meters in depth. The discovery was made during the construction of a water treatment […]

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September 26, 2012

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Short-Period Binary Stars Tend to Merge into Single Star

sirius-b

A computer simulation suggests that there are many single stars that were born as two separate suns, which eventually merged into a single star during the first million years of their existence. The scientists published their findings in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics. Double stars, like Sirius, are quite common. Studies of star-forming regions suggest […]

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September 26, 2012

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Reinventing the X-Ray Machine

tribogenics-x-ray-machine

There have been portable X-ray machines for about a century, but most are heavy and large and require as much power as an electric-fired home water heater. Tribogenics is trying to replace those clunky machines with devices no larger than laptops. The company wants to create tiny X-ray generators the length of a stick of […]

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September 26, 2012

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New Biomarker for Skin Cancer Discovered

a new biomarker for Melanoma

Scientists at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital have discovered a new biomarker for melanoma, finding that certain biochemical elements in the DNA of normal pigment-producing skin cells and benign mole cells are absent in melanoma cells. Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer and is the leading cause of death from skin disease. […]

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September 25, 2012

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New XDF Image, The Deepest-Ever View of the Universe

The Hubble eXtreme Deep Field

This new full-color XDF image offers an improved portrait of the deepest-ever view of the Universe and contains about 5,500 galaxies. The Hubble Ultra Deep Field is an image of a small area of space in the constellation of Fornax (The Furnace), created using Hubble Space Telescope data from 2003 and 2004. By collecting faint […]

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September 25, 2012

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Optimism Bias Disrupted with a Small Magnetic Field

chalkboard-brain

Humans will embrace good news and attenuate bad news. People tend to overestimate their odds in a number of different things, while underplaying the risks of cancer, divorce or unemployment. Researchers from the University of College London (UCL) have found a way of removing the optimism bias that humans suffer from by using a magnetic […]

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September 25, 2012

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Study of Korean Eunuchs Shows Castration Led to a Longer Life

korean-eunuch

There are many instances in the animal world where males have shorter lifespans than females, which scientists attribute to the deleterious effects of testosterone. However, historical scientists that have been looking at records of Korean eunuch castrated during boyhood have now discovered that they lived considerably longer. The scientists published their findings in the journal […]

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September 25, 2012

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Chemical Lift-Off Lithography Patterns Biomolecules at High Resolution

Reactive stamps remove molecules from surfaces to create precise nanoscale pattern

Using chemically treated stamps to remove molecules already in place on gold substrates, scientists have created a new process called chemical lift-off lithography (CLL) that results in higher-resolution patterning and avoids the blurring problems of earlier techniques. Fabricating precise biomolecular structures at extremely small scales is critical to the progress of nanotechnology and related fields. […]

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