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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September 25, 2012

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Microscopic Parasite Toxoplasma Gondii Linked to Personality Changes

Toxoplasma-gondii

Toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by the microscopic parasite Toxoplasma gondii, infects about 22.5% of Americans, aged 12 and older. Researchers tested participants for T. gondii and had them complete a personality questionnaire. Both men and women infected with T. gondii were more extroverted and less conscientious than non-infected participants. The changes are thought to come […]

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September 25, 2012

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Amazon Fire Analysis Might Close Gaps in Climate Models

amazon-burning

Brazilian and British scientists have been examining the heavy smoke plumes from wildfires in the Amazon, gathering data, to understand how the burning of biomass in South America is affecting the local weather and air quality. This might help close crucial gaps in climate models about how the process changes the Earth’s radiation balance. The […]

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September 25, 2012

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SLAC Physicists Begin Work on Small X-band Photoinjector

Small X-band Photoinjector

As research into ways to accelerate electrons with “X-band” microwaves rather than the S-band waves continues at SLAC, physicists have started commissioning the world’s most compact photoinjector – a device that spits out electrons when hit by light. Accelerator physicists at SLAC have started commissioning the world’s most compact photoinjector – a device that spits […]

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September 25, 2012

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Fukushima Disaster Caused Butterflies to Mutate

fukushima-disaster

The Fukushima disaster seems to have caused three generations of butterflies near the nuclear plant to mutate. This has raised fears that it could affect other species as well. 12% of pale grass blue butterflies (Pseudozizeeria maha) were exposed to the nuclear fallout as larvae after the tsunami-sparked disaster. The mutations include abnormalities, including smaller […]

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September 25, 2012

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DNA Could Predate Existence of Life As We Know It

primordial-earth-before-life

Chemists are close to showing that DNA could form spontaneously from chemicals which were present during primordial Earth. If they succeed, the work could imply that DNA could predate the birth of life as we know it. The scientists published their findings in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. DNA is essential to all […]

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September 25, 2012

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Chandra Shows Halo of Hot Gas Surrounding the Milky Way

Galactic Halo

The Chandra X-ray Observatory has provided evidence that our Milky Way Galaxy is embedded in an enormous halo of hot gas with a radius of about 300,000 light years, although it may extend significantly further, and with a mass comparable to the mass of all the stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. Astronomers have used […]

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September 24, 2012

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Development of Inkjet-Printable LC Lasers

printable-inkjet-lc-laser

Most lasers are made up of silicon wafers using expensive processes, similar to the ones used to make microprocessors. Scientists have designed a new way to print a type of organic laser onto any surface, using technology similar to the one found in many homes. The scientists published their findings in the journal Soft Matter. […]

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September 24, 2012

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DARPA Program Takes Advantage of Floating Icebergs

arctic-ice-drifting

If the Arctic continues to melt, there could be more military and commercial activity in this environment. DARPA is working on an all-seeing network of sensors that will track what is happening in the Arctic all year long. This network will include sensors placed on icebergs. DARPA wants to leverage icebergs for electromagnetic and acoustic […]

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September 24, 2012

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Artificial-Enzyme Editing Rewrites Zebrafish DNA, Could be Useful in the Study of Diseases

zebrafish-fins

Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are a useful model for studying gene behavior and function. Researchers have been able to make custom changes in the zebrafish’s genome, using artificial enzymes to cut portions of DNA out of targeted positions in a gene sequence, which were replaced by synthetic DNA. The scientists published their findings in the journal […]

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September 24, 2012

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Artificial Intelligence Algorithm Helps Chart the Universe

a slice through the local universe

A newly published study details the artificial intelligence algorithm a team of astronomers developed to help them chart and explain the structure and dynamics of the universe around us. Astronomers in Germany have developed an artificial intelligence algorithm to help them chart and explain the structure and dynamics of the universe around us with unprecedented […]

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September 24, 2012

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Beeswax Filling Dates from 6,500 Years Ago

neolithic-dentistry-tooth

While there are plenty of new technologies going into dentistry, researchers have discovered an ancient 6,500-year-old tooth that provides one of the earliest examples of human dentistry. The scientists published their findings in the journal PLoS ONE. Ancient dentists treated toothaches with beeswax. Experts in Italy, who have been studying the 6,500-year-old jaw and tooth, […]

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