October 12, 2012

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Researchers Estimate the Price of Global Biodiversity at $76 Billion

global-diversity-hands

Researchers have estimated that protecting all of the world’s threatened species will cost $4 billion a year. Effectively conserving the significant areas that these species live in will cost more than $76 billion a year. The scientists published their findings in the journal Science. Stuart Butchart, conservation scientist at BirdLife International in Cambridge, UK, admits […]

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October 12, 2012

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Satellites Monitor the Colliding Winds of O-Type Stars

rendering of a colliding wind binary

The combined effort of NASA’s Swift satellite, the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton observatory and several ground-based facilities has allowed scientists to X-ray the colliding stellar winds of two massive stars racing in orbit around each other. The hottest and most massive stars don’t live long enough to disperse throughout the galaxy. Instead, they can be […]

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October 12, 2012

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New Genome Interpreter Aims to Address Privacy Concerns and Aid Clinicians

raw-genetic-code

DNA sequencing is getting faster and cheaper, and clinicians are now finding uses for it in their practices. A test for malfunctioning genes might show how to treat a tumor or help diagnose the underlying cause of disease. However, raw sequencing data is too complex for most clinicians to directly analyze, and medical institutions are […]

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October 12, 2012

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High Energy Cosmic Rays Could Give Clues to Whether Our Universe is a Simulation

lattice-simulation

Quantum chromodynamics is the theory that describes the strong nuclear force, how it binds quarks and gluons into protons and neutrons, and how these form nuclei. Simulating quantum chromodynamics on computers is a way to examine what kind of complexity arises from it. The premise is that simulating physics on such a fundamental level is […]

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October 12, 2012

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Genetically Modified Maize Study Faces Even More Scrutiny

gm-maize

There is more and more scientific criticism over a study that claims that genetically modified maize causes severe diseases in rats, and this controversy shows no signs of abating any time soon. Gilles-Éric Séralini, molecular biologist at the University of Caen, France, is under intense scrutiny to report the full data behind his team’s findings […]

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October 12, 2012

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Samuel Arbesman Explains The Half-Life of Facts

half-life-facts

In Samuel Arbesman’s new book The Half-Life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date, the applied mathematician examines why in the modern world, facts change all of the time. Arbesman is a senior scholar at the Kaufmann Foundation and an expert in scientometrics. He also writes for Wired Science’s Social Dimension and […]

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October 12, 2012

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Mars Rock is a Close Match in Chemical Composition to Rocks Found on Earth

Jake Matijevic Rock

Using Curiosity’s arm-mounted Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) instrument and the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument, scientists examined the chemical makeup of the football-size rock called “Jake Matijevic” on Mars, finding that the rock is a close match in chemical composition to a type of igneous rock found in many volcanic provinces on Earth. Pasadena, […]

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October 11, 2012

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American Online News Consumption Finally Surpasses Radio & Print

where-americans-get-news

The conclusion of Pew Research Center’s latest study is that a new generation of consumers is getting their news from online sources, and no longer relies on radio or print. Even television is increasingly vulnerable. Web-based content has surpassed newspapers and radio to become the second most popular news source for Americans, just after TV. […]

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October 11, 2012

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Spending Time Online Lowers Self-Control and is Linked to Higher Debt

facebook-lowers-impulse-control

People tend to have less self-control when dealing with online problems and issues, whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, message boards or websites. They tend to say things that would never be said face to face. Anonymity seems to be a powerful force, but many websites no longer allow this since sites like Facebook usually connect […]

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October 11, 2012

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French Bees Producing Blue and Green Honey Due to Unusual Taste Preference

odd-colors-honey

Bees in a cluster of beehives in northeastern France have been making honey in shades of blue and green, alarming bee keepers and leaving scientists to discover the reason of the occurrence. It’s now been determined that the bees have developed a taste preference for the residue from containers of the candy M&M’s processed at […]

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October 11, 2012

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Well-Preserved Mammoth Discovered in the Permafrost of Northern Siberia

zhenya-siberia-mammoth

An 11-year old boy, Zhenya Salinder, discovered a well-preserved mammoth carcass in the permafrost of Northern Siberia, 3,500 km northeast of Moscow in Sopochnaya Karga. A team of experts from the St Petersburg Zoology Institute excavated the mammoth in five days, extracting it from the frozen mud. They sent it to Moscow for further study. […]

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October 11, 2012

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MIT Team Uses Carbon Nanotubes to Draw Gas Sensors

drawing-carbon-nanotubes

A team of MIT chemists revealed how they developed a method for drawing gas sensors on paper using a tailor-made, super-conductive carbon nanotube pencil. The scientists published their findings in the German journal Angewandte Chemie. Electrically charged carbon nanotubes, about 50,000 times thinner than human hair, make for great sensors. When a gas molecule disturbs […]

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October 11, 2012

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Cosmic Spiral Around Red Giant Star R Sculptoris Could Elucidate Stellar Evolution

unexpected spiral structure in the material around the old star R Sculptoris

R Sculptoris, an elderly star, located 1,500 light-years from Earth, has been observed in the final stages of stellar life, slowly shedding the outer layers of its atmosphere. There are intensely high temperatures at the star’s core, which create a powerful stellar wind that drive these layers out. They usually accumulate into planetary nebulae over […]

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October 11, 2012

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New Infrared Obscurants Will Cloak Battlefields in Greener Fog of War

New Infrared Obscurants

Obscurants, which are basically metallic dust clouds, have been in use for years in order to protect troops from heat-seeking missiles. These obscurants have never been environmentally friendly or easy to control. The army has just handed out financial awards to private companies in hopes that they might develop better obscurants. Most large military hardware […]

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October 11, 2012

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Humans Are Less in Control of Their Brains Than Previously Thought

brain-processes-visual-information

Most of the actions that people take for granted are the result of a set of complex decisions that the brain deals with. The decisions about how to aim the body, how hard to hold handles, and how to raise cups are something that no one often consciously thinks of, yet the brain does all […]

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October 11, 2012

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Researchers Calculate That DNA Has a 521 Year Half-Life

dino-feathers-clumped-barbs-amber

A new study of fossils in New Zealand has discovered that cloning dinosaurs or organisms that have been extinct for millions of years is highly improbable, since the half-life of DNA is 521 years. The scientists published their findings in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. After cell death, enzymes start to break […]

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October 11, 2012

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Distant Exoplanets form Planetary Syzygy Celestial Alignment

exoplanetary-system

Astronomers have discovered that two exoplanets are overlapping in the skies as they cross their star. The phenomenon is new enough that it doesn’t have a name, but it’s related to a syzygy, which is when a straight line configuration of three celestial bodies is formed in a gravitational system. Astronomers used data from the […]

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