April 2, 2013

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New Computer Simulations Help Reveal How Spiral Galaxies Get Their Arms

How Spiral Galaxies Get Their Arms

Using new computer simulations to follow the motions of as many as 100 million “stellar particles” as gravity and other astrophysical forces sculpt them into familiar galactic shapes, researchers reveal new insights on how spiral galaxies get their arms. Cambridge, Massachusetts – Spiral galaxies are some of the most beautiful and photogenic residents of the […]

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April 2, 2013

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Astronomers Watch as a Black Hole Feeds on a Low-Mass Object

Black Hole Feeds on a Low Mass Object

Using ESA’s Integral space observatory, astronomers discovered and watched a black hole in galaxy NGC 4845 feed on a low-mass object that strayed too close. Loading… Astronomers have watched as a black hole woke up from a decades-long slumber to feed on a low-mass object – either a brown dwarf or a giant planet – […]

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April 2, 2013

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Astronomers Get a Closer Look at Supernova Remnant 1987A

Supernova Remnant 1987A Continues to Reveal Secrets

The remnant of Supernova 1987A continues to provide a wealth of information about one of the Universe’s most extreme events and now astronomers have made the highest resolution radio images of the expanding supernova remnant at millimeter wavelengths. A team of astronomers led by the International Center for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) have succeeded in […]

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April 1, 2013

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Scientists Engineer Plants to Boost Sugar Yields for Biofuels

Researchers Engineer Plant Cell Walls to Boost Sugar Yields for Biofuels

A new study details how researchers genetically manipulated secondary cell walls in plants to reduce the production of lignin while increasing the yield of sugars for biofuels. When blessed with a resource in overwhelming abundance it’s generally a good idea to make valuable use of that resource. Lignocellulosic biomass is the most abundant organic material […]

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April 1, 2013

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Defects in Graphene Will Reduce its Strength

Defects in Polycrystalline Forms of Graphene Will Sap its Strength

A new study reveals that even graphene has weak spots, finding that junctions in polycrystalline graphene will reduce its strength. Graphene, the single-atom-thick form of carbon, has become famous for its extraordinary strength. But less-than-perfect sheets of the material show unexpected weakness, according to researchers at Rice University in Houston and Tsinghua University in Beijing. […]

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April 1, 2013

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Biodiversity and Disease Risk for Humans

Biodiversity and Disease Risk for Humans

A newly published study pokes holes in widely accepted theory that connects biodiversity abundance with a reduced disease risk for humans, finding that the links between biodiversity and disease prevalence are variable and dependent on the disease system, local ecology and probably human social context. More than three quarters of new, emerging or re-emerging human […]

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April 1, 2013

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NASA’s Swift Helps Astronomers Get a Closer Look at Comet ISON

NASAs Swift Satellite Views Comet ISON

Astronomers have used NASA’s Swift satellite to check out comet C/2012 S1 (ISON), revealing that ISON is shedding about 112,000 pounds (51,000 kg) of dust and about 130 pounds (60 kg) of water every minute. Astronomers from the University of Maryland at College Park (UMCP) and Lowell Observatory have used NASA’s Swift satellite to check […]

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April 1, 2013

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Hubble Views Planetary Nebula J 900 and a Nearby Star

Hubble Views Planetary Nebula J 900

In the above image, Hubble views planetary nebula J 900 and a nearby star. The object in this image is Jonckheere 900 or J 900, a planetary nebula — glowing shells of ionized gas pushed out by a dying star. Discovered in the early 1900s by astronomer Robert Jonckheere, the dusty nebula is small but […]

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March 29, 2013

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Using Photons for Quantum Computer Memory

Using Photons for Quantum Computer Memory

In a new study, Yale scientists describe the use of photons for a quantum computer’s memory, creating an artificial medium in which photons repel photons, allowing for efficient, non-destructive encoding and manipulation of quantum information. Scientists at Yale University have found a new way to manipulate microwave signals that could aid the long-term effort to […]

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March 29, 2013

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Astronomers Watch as Comet 2013 A1 Heads Towards Mars

Comet 2013 A1 May Strike Mars

Astronomers around the world are monitoring Comet 2013 A1, watching to see if it will strike Mars. In a new ScienceCast video, experts discuss what might happen if Comet 2013 A1 hits Mars. Over the years, the spacefaring nations of Earth have sent dozens of probes and rovers to explore Mars. Today there are three […]

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March 29, 2013

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Single Antibody is Broadly Effective Against a Variety of Human Cancer Tumors

Antibody Treatment Shown to be Broadly Effective Against a Variety of Human Solid Tumors

In a new study, a team of scientists have shown that a single antibody shrinks variety of human tumors transplanted into mice, finding that anti-CD47 antibodies can dramatically inhibit the growth of human solid tumors by blocking the ability of CD47 to transmit the ‘don’t-eat-me’ signal to macrophages. Human tumors transplanted into laboratory mice disappeared […]

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March 29, 2013

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Study Describes a Biological Transistor for Computing Within Living Cells

Biological Transistor Enables Computing Within Living Cells

In a newly published study, Stanford researchers describe a biological transistor that is made from genetic material (DNA and RNA) in place of gears or electrons. When Charles Babbage prototyped the first computing machine in the 19th century, he imagined using mechanical gears and latches to control information. ENIAC, the first modern computer developed in […]

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March 29, 2013

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Hubble Views the Hidden Depths of Spiral Galaxy Messier 77

Hubble Space Telescope Image of Spiral Galaxy Messier 77

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope views spiral galaxy Messier 77, also known as NGC 1068. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured this vivid image of spiral galaxy Messier 77, one of the most famous and well-studied galaxies in the sky. The patches of red across this image highlight pockets of star formation along the pinwheeling […]

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March 28, 2013

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Scientists Successfully Map Telomerase, Discover Risk of Various Cancers

Researchers Successfully Map Telomerase

For the first time, researchers have successfully mapped telomerase, finding that differences in the telomeric gene are associated both with the risk of various cancers and with the length of the telomeres. In collaboration with an international research team, University of Copenhagen researchers have for the first time mapped telomerase, an enzyme which has a […]

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March 28, 2013

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Revolutionary Laser System Composed of Massive Arrays of Thousands of Fiber Lasers

Physicists Propose a Revolutionary Laser System Inspired by Telecommunications Technology

By replacing the single monolithic rod amplifier that typically equips lasers with a network of fiber amplifiers and telecommunication components, scientists aim to harness the efficiency, controllability, and high average power capability of fiber lasers to produce high energy, high repetition rate pulse sources. An international team of physicists has proposed a revolutionary laser system, […]

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March 28, 2013

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New Cooling Technique May Be a Stepping Stone to Quantum Computing

Cooling Technique May Be a Stepping Stone to Quantum Computing

By immersing charged barium chloride molecules in an ultracold cloud of calcium atoms, UCLA physicists have pioneered a new cooling technique that may be a stepping stone to quantum computing. The next generation of computers promises far greater power and faster processing speeds than today’s silicon-based based machines. These “quantum computers” — so called because […]

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March 28, 2013

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Cassini Data Suggests Saturn’s Moons and Rings Are More Than 4 Billion Years Old

New Data Suggests That the Moons and Rings of Saturn Are More Than 4 Billion Years Old

Data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft suggests that the moons and rings of Saturn are more than 4 billion years old. A new analysis of data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft suggests that Saturn’s moons and rings are gently worn vintage goods from around the time of our solar system’s birth. Though they are tinted on the […]

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March 28, 2013

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Scientists Produce a Ceramic Paper Consisting of Conductive Nanofibers

Nanostructure Renders a Wafer Thin Paper

Scientists have developed an electrically conductive paper-like material from a vanadium pentoxide ceramic that is as hard as copper, yet flexible enough to be rolled up or folded. Scientists in Stuttgart are currently doing things to a ceramic, which would normally result in a pile of shards. They were the first to produce a paper-like […]

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