January 5, 2013

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Politics – The Single Most Important Factor in Limiting Global Warming

global-warming

A new analysis finds that swift action by politicians is the single most important factor in limiting global warming. The costs of delays outweigh any possible benefits of waiting for more scientific research into the mechanisms of climate change. The scientists published their findings in two studies in the journal Nature ¹ ². This contradicts […]

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January 4, 2013

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Deepwater Horizon Disaster Payout Announced by US Justice Department

Transocean will help fund Gulf of Mexico science and restoration as part of its settlement of civil and criminal charges related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. Credit: Wikimedia

A new cash settlement will be given to the Gulf of Mexico science and restoration project, due to the federal charges related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The company that operated the drilling rig for BP, Transocean Deepwater, has agreed to pay $1.4 billion in civil and criminal fines and penalties for the […]

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January 4, 2013

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People Underestimate How Much They’ll Change in the Future

A new study suggests that people’s tastes change more than they think they will. Credit: Joshua Lott/Reuters

According to a new study, many people underestimate how much they will change in the future. The scientists published their findings in the journal Science¹. Many of the choices that people make rest on assumptions. The psychologists devised a series of online experiments, in which more than 19,000 people participated. Adults between 18 and 68 […]

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January 4, 2013

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Stubby-Tailed Oviraptors Had Tails for Courtship Displays

Artist's reconstruction of a 1.5-meter-long male oviraptor Ingenia yanshini flirting with a potential mate. Credit: Syndey Mohr

A new study indicates that a group of bipedal dinosaurs, known as oviraptors, shook their feather-adorned tails to gain attention during their courtship rituals. The scientists published their findings in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica¹. The key evidence is the structure of their relatively stubby tail, which was muscular and flexible at its base, but […]

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January 4, 2013

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Laboratory Safety Concerns: Researchers Aren’t As Safe As They Feel

An international poll provides a lens into lab workers’ attitudes to workplace welfare. Credit: Arno Burgi/DPA/Press Association

According to the results of the first international survey of researchers’ workplace attitudes and practices, scientists may have a false sense of security about the safety of their laboratories. 86% of the 2,400 scientists who responded to the survey stated that their labs are safe places to work. Yet just under half experienced injuries, ranging […]

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January 4, 2013

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Asteroid Impacts Leave Carbonaceous Material on Vesta

Carbon in Vesta's craters

New images from NASA’s reveal that large impacts of asteroids may have altered Vesta’s shape and transferred carbonaceous material to the protoplanet and inner solar system. The protoplanet Vesta has been witness to an eventful past: images taken by the framing camera onboard NASA’s space probe Dawn show two enormous craters in the southern hemisphere. […]

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January 4, 2013

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Enzyme’s Essential Role in Long-Term Memory Refuted

Credit: Thinkstock

The enzyme protein kinase M-ζ (PKM-ζ) was thought to be a fixture of long-term memory, as its inhibition could erase old memories, whilst adding it could strengthen faded ones. Two independent groups have challenged the role of this memory molecule by developing mice that completely lack it and show no detectable memory problems. The scientists […]

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January 4, 2013

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Supersonic Outflows Contain a Million Times the Energy of an Exploding Star

outflows of charged particles from the center of the Milky Way

In a newly published study, an international team of astronomers describe how they detected and mapped outflows of charged particles from the center of our Galaxy. These outflows contain about a million times the energy of an exploding star and are moving at supersonic speed, about 1000 kilometers a second. The outflows were detected by […]

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January 4, 2013

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Quantum Gas Temperature Goes Below Absolute Zero

Energy distribution of atoms in a thermal state. Positive absolute temperatures above, in blue; negative absolute temperatures below, in red. Credit: LMU/MPQ Munich

Physicists have been able to create an atomic gas that can attain a temperature below absolute zero, -273.15˚C. They were able to create this gas using negative-Kelvin materials and new quantum devices. The scientists published their findings in the journal Science¹. The absolute temperature scale dates back to Lord Kelvin, who created it in the […]

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January 4, 2013

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“Black Beauty” – Scientists Discover a Water-Rich Martian Meteorite

Water Rich Meteorite Linked To Mars

Researchers discovered a new class of Martian meteorite in the Sahara Desert that contains 10 times more water than other Martian meteorites from unknown origins, possibly providing a glimpse of the ancient surface and environmental conditions on Mars. NASA-funded researchers analyzing a small meteorite that may be the first discovered from the Martian surface or […]

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January 3, 2013

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Atmospheric River Observatories Allow Accurate Weather Prediction of Floods

Mobile AR Observatory. Credit: NOAA

Atmospheric rivers are long, narrow conveyor belts of rainstorms that stream in from the Pacific Ocean. Meteorologists have been able to predict the storms five days in advance, thanks to a new network of weather sensors recently installed in California. The network is only partially complete, and will be finished in 2014. It should allow […]

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January 3, 2013

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Controversial Psychiatry Change Could See Bereavement as a Disease

Credit: allspice1/Flickr

A change in the official psychiatric guidelines for depression has raised fears that grief over the death of a loved one could to be classified as clinical depression. The change is contained in new revisions to the DSM-5, a set of standards used to categorize mental illness, and it eliminates the bereavement exclusion, which exempts […]

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