November 2, 2012

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Japanese Super Cellophane Keeps Fruit Fresh for Months

green-wise-aura-pack

A Japanese company has developed a kind of cellophane, named Aura Pack, that helps keep fruits and vegetables fresh. The freshness-preserving effect is achieved by controlling the evaporation of water and excess respiration. Vegetables have a water content of at least 90%. As long as water isn’t lost, they stay crisp and fresh. By using […]

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November 2, 2012

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Asteroid Belts and Their Potential Significance for Life

evolution of asteroid belts

A newly published study from a team of scientists suggests and explains how asteroid belts may be important both for the existence of life and perhaps even for the evolution of complex life on a planet. Solar systems with life-bearing planets may be rare if they are dependent on the presence of asteroid belts of […]

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November 2, 2012

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First All Carbon Solar Cell Made from Nanotubes and Buckyballs

all-carbon-solar-cell

Scientists at Stanford University have put together the first solar cell that’s entirely made up of carbon, which is a promising alternative to the expensive materials used in photovoltaic cells today. The scientists published their findings in the journal ACS Nano. Carbon has the potential to deliver high performance at low cost, states Zhenan Bao, […]

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November 1, 2012

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Antarctica is Home to the World’s Largest Wetland

blood-falls-antarctica

While to most observers, Antarctica is a barren wasteland, there are many who see it as something completely different. There’s a rich network of rivers and enormous lakes, which happen to be covered by ice. Thanks to radar imagery, John Priscu managed to see through the ice. The ice is several thousand meters thick at […]

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November 1, 2012

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Silicon-Based Anode Shows Significant Improvement Over Current Graphite Anodes

Porous silicon powder mixed with pyrolyzed polyacrylonitrile

Scientists at Rice University, in collaboration with Lockheed Martin, are working on next-generation battery technology, reporting the creation of a silicon-based anode that easily achieves 600 charge-discharge cycles at 1,000 milliamp hours per gram (mAh/g). Researchers at Rice University have refined silicon-based lithium-ion technology by literally crushing their previous work to make a high-capacity, long-lived […]

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November 1, 2012

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Sequencing DNA from Individual Cells Yields Dramatic New Information

single-cell-genomics

Nicolas Navin wanted to work out the sequence from individual cancer cells to see how they had mutated and diverged as the cancer grew. Back in 2010, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York and exploring the genetic changes that occur during breast cancer. Cells like to stick together […]

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November 1, 2012

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Magnesium Supplements Could Improve Memory and Cognitive Ability

brain-boost

After a decade of research hinting that magnesium supplements could potentially boost your memory and cognitive abilities, it’s finally being put into a small clinical trial. The research is being led by the biopharmaceutical company Magceutics, of Hayward, California, and they began testing the ability of their supplement Magtein to boost magnesium ion levels in […]

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November 1, 2012

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New Findings on the Birth of Distant Suns

Barnard 68

Using the Herschel Space Telescope and a method known as raytracing, a team of scientists produced a 3-D map of the dark cloud Barnard 68 in the Ophiuchus constellation, a possible future birthplace for a low-mass star. An astronomical team led by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg (MPIA) has gained […]

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November 1, 2012

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Low Arctic Snow Cover Could be Trouble for Permafrost

permafrost-arctic

June Arctic snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere dropped by almost 18% per decade over the last 30 years. This drop in snow cover will lower the amount of sunlight reflected away from the planet, which is part of a cooling effect, and result in darker, less reflective soil being exposed to the sun’s rays. […]

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November 1, 2012

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As Much as One-Third of Greenhouses Gases Come from Agriculture

sustainable-food-system

One-third of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions stem from the global food system, which encompasses the manufacturing of fertilizer, to food storage and packaging. These figures are from the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), which is a partnership of 15 research centers from around the world. Two reports were published by the CGIAR, […]

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November 1, 2012

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People with Redhead Pigment are More Susceptible to Skin Cancer

ginger-skin-cancer

Redheads with fair-skin are more susceptible to the damaging effects of the Sun. A new study indicated that the pigment responsible for this coloring has a role in the development of skin cancer. The scientists published their findings in the journal Nature. Something in the redhead genetic background is behaving in a carcinogenic fashion, independent […]

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November 1, 2012

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Titan, Possibly the World’s Most Powerful Supercomputer

titan-supercomputer-cray

Titan, the new supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Labs, may be the most powerful machine on Earth; but this won’t be confirmed for few more weeks. Titan was revealed on Monday by Oak Ridge, a Tennessee lab run by the Department of Energy, and it is a Cray supercomputer made up of nearly 19,000 processing […]

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November 1, 2012

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NASA’s Dawn Gets a Close Up View of the Canuleia Crater on Vesta

close up of part of the rim around the crater Canuleia

New data from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft shows a close up of the Canuleia Crater on the asteroid Vesta, illustrating the structure of the interior of the crater and complex details of the soil of Vesta. Like a Hollywood starlet constantly retouching her makeup, the giant asteroid Vesta is constantly stirring its outermost layer to present […]

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October 31, 2012

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New Analysis Focuses on “Pre-Feelings” & Ability to Anticipate Near Future

human-presentiment

A new study reports that presentiment without any external clues may exist. Researchers from Northwestern University analyzed the results of 26 studies published between 1978 and 2010 to figure out if the human body could prepare itself for future events. The scientists published their findings in the journal Frontiers of Perception Science. Subconscious minds sometimes […]

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October 31, 2012

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Molecular Bio-Printing of Drugs Could Result in Emailed Vaccines

3d-model-DNA

Emailing biological molecules, using 3D biological printers, might seem like science-fiction, but Craig Venter discussed the idea at the Wired Health Conference in New York. Biological printers could be used to plausibly shuttle vaccines around the globe, but their use could be problematic as vaccines could easily be used as bio-weapons. If it’s possible to […]

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October 31, 2012

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DARPA’s New Pet-Proto Robot Navigates Obstacles

Rendering of the Government-Furnished Equipment robot being developed for the DARPA Robotics Challenge

The DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) has begun and over the next two years teams will compete to develop and test hardware and software designed to enable robots to assist humans in emergency response situations. In the below video, the Pet-Proto, a predecessor to DARPA’s Atlas robot, is confronted with obstacles similar to those robots might […]

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October 31, 2012

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Reaction to Placebo Effect May Be Genetic

placebo-acupuncture

The reason why some people tend to respond to treatments that have no active ingredients might be down to genetics. A new study indicates that the placebo effect could be linked to a genetic component. The scientists published their findings in the journal PLoS ONE. The placebo effect was examined in 104 patients with irritable […]

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