October 30, 2012

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Changing Gulf Stream is Destabilizing Gases Trapped in Sediments

satellite-image-gulf-stream

Methane gas is escaping from the seabed sediments somewhere off the coast of North Carolina. Researchers think that a shifting Gulf Stream, the Atlantic Ocean current that flows north from the Gulf of Mexico, is to blame since it is delivering warmer waters to areas that had previously only received colder waters. The scientists published […]

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October 30, 2012

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Image of RCW 120 Nebula Shows Expanding Bubble of Ionized Gas

composite-color-image-rcw-120

In this color composite image of the RCW 120 nebula (above), an expanding bubble of ionized gas, about ten light-years across, is revealed. It is causing the surrounding material to collapse into dense clumps where star formation occurs. RCW 120 is a nebula that was first discovered in 1960 and is an H II emission […]

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October 30, 2012

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Synthetic Molecule Destroys Key Allergy-Inducing Complexes

mast-cells

A new synthetic molecule has been used to destroy the complexes that induce allergic responses, a discovery that could lead to highly potent, rapidly acting interventions for a host of acute allergic reactions. The scientists published their findings in the journal Nature. The new inhibitor disarms IgE antibodies, which are pivotal players in acute allergies, […]

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October 30, 2012

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Antibiotics Might Contribute to the Health Problems of the Bee Colonies

antibiotics might be another suspect in honey bee die-off

A new study from Yale University shows that eight beneficial gut bacteria common in honeybees and bumblebees have acquired genes that make them resistant to tetracycline, possibly contributing to the health problems of bee colonies. The gut bacteria of honeybees have acquired several genes that confer resistance to tetracycline, a direct result of more than […]

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October 30, 2012

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Hepatitis E Vaccine Debuts Thanks to Chinese Biotech Partnership

hepatitis-e-vaccine-china

The world’s first vaccine against the hepatitis E virus began being deployed from China last week, promising to stop the propagation of a disease that infects 20 million people yearly and claims 70,000 lives. This vaccine is the result of an unusual public-private partnership in China’s biotechnology sector, and could help deliver other vaccines for […]

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October 30, 2012

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Curiosity Rover Photographs Diverse Rocks

Curiosity image of a rock called Et-Then

NASA’s Curiosity rover continues its research on Mars. The latest images were taken by its Mars Hand Lens Imager and show diverse rocks found in the “Rocknest” area. NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity on Sol 82 (October 29, 2012) used its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) to photograph the diverse rocks in the “Rocknest” area and […]

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October 30, 2012

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Scientists Work on Developing Computer Chips Made from Nanotubes

carbon-nanotube-chip

Scientists have developed new methods that could result in the production of higher-performance computer chips made from tiny straws of carbon nanotubes. It’s been known for a long time that these nanotubes have electronic properties superior to current silicon-based devices. The scientists published their findings in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. In the past, difficulties of […]

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October 29, 2012

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NASA Designing Space Habitat from Spare ISS Parts

NASA Building Deep-Space Habitat

Engineers at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Texas have been busy putting together a prototype of a deep space station, which has been essentially assembled using scrap parts from the ISS. This has the added benefit of cutting down on costs significantly. Also, the ISS is a proven design. The Deep Space Habitat project […]

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October 29, 2012

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Georgia Aquarium’s Beluga Plan Raises Concerns about Whale Culture

Georgia Aquarium’s controversial plan to move 18 wild beluga whales into captivity

The Georgia Aquarium’s controversial plan to move 18 wild beluga whales into captivity has met with fierce opposition. Opponents state that their capture was inhumane, and could be potentially destructive to a beluga clan. This idea, that whales should be seen in cultural terms, rather than grouped genetically, is new but supported by science. The […]

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October 29, 2012

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NASA Testing Helicopter Rotor System for Capsule Reentry

concept shows a capsule flying back to Earth with a rotor blade system

A team of researchers took their scale models of space capsules to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in order to test out a new rotor system that could be used instead of parachutes when capsules perform their re-entry into the atmosphere. This design could give the capsule the stability […]

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October 29, 2012

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Largest Catalog Ever of Center of the Milky Way

mosaic of the central parts of the Milky Way

An international team of astronomers created a catalog of more than 84 million stars in the central parts of the Milky Way using a nine-gigapixel image from the VISTA infrared survey telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory. This gigantic dataset contains more than ten times more stars than previous studies and is a major step forward […]

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October 29, 2012

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Priapulid Worms Highlight Need to Rename A Group of Animals

priapulus-caudatus

A new study on the development of priapulids, known colloquially as penis worms, throws doubt on a feature that has been thought to define one of the largest groups of animals for more than a century. The researchers published their findings in the journal Current Biology. Protostomes have historically been defined by the order in […]

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