November 2, 2012

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Flashes of Light Can Break Habits

rat-maze-light

The addition of a light-sensitive protein to a small part of a rat’s brain allowed researchers to silence the neurons in the infralimbic cortex (ILC) with a flash of yellow light, delivered to the rat’s brain via an optic fiber. The light flashes for three seconds and the habit disappears. The scientists published their findings […]

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November 2, 2012

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Berkeley Lab Video: Looking to the Skies – Modern Cosmology and the Maya

Looking to the Skies

At just under seven minutes, this video, “Looking to the Skies,” briefly explores the connections between Mayan astronomers and modern cosmologists. In this video, Berkeley Lab astrophysicists and Nobel laureates, George Smoot and Saul Perlmutter — joined by Berkeley Lab physicist Eric Linder and UC anthropologist Gerardo Aldana — explore the cultural and scientific connections […]

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November 2, 2012

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People in Less Affluent Neighborhoods Breathe More Hazardous Particles

smog-inner-city-disparity

People living in non-white and low-income communities breathe in more hazardous particles than in affluent white ones. This new study isn’t intended to speak on the racial disparity, but on the widening economic gap when it comes to air pollution. The findings are by Yale University and were published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. […]

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November 2, 2012

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Daily Multivitamin Usage Cut Cancer Risk By 8% in Men

dean-rising-antarctica-multivitamin

A new study following men has shown that taking multivitamins daily reduced the total risk of cancer by 8%. The study used Centrum Silver multivitamin, and included nearly 15,000 male doctors older than 50 and followed them for up to 13 years. There appears to be a modest reduction in cancer among middle-aged and older […]

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November 2, 2012

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The Most Comprehensive Catalog of Human Genome Variations

integrated map of genetic variation from 1,092 human genomes

An international team of more than 1,000 scientists participated in a new study showing an integrated map of genetic variation from 1,092 human genomes. A newly published compendium of the genetic alphabets of more than 1000 individuals from around the world illustrates how similar humans are – but also how crucial genetic variations can be. […]

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November 2, 2012

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Why Children Believe Hiding Their Eyes Makes Them Disappear

boy-hiding-eyes

Young children think that they can hide themselves from others by covering or closing their eyes. This is something that most parents and teachers quickly discover, but why exactly do children believe this? A research team at the University of Cambridge set out to discover why and published their findings in The Journal of Cognition […]

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November 2, 2012

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NASA’s Fermi Measures Extragalactic Background Light

gamma rays through space and time

Using data from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, a team of astronomers have made the most accurate measurement of starlight in the universe and used it to establish the total amount of light from all of the stars that have ever shone. “The optical and ultraviolet light from stars continues to travel throughout the universe […]

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November 2, 2012

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Japanese Super Cellophane Keeps Fruit Fresh for Months

green-wise-aura-pack

A Japanese company has developed a kind of cellophane, named Aura Pack, that helps keep fruits and vegetables fresh. The freshness-preserving effect is achieved by controlling the evaporation of water and excess respiration. Vegetables have a water content of at least 90%. As long as water isn’t lost, they stay crisp and fresh. By using […]

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November 2, 2012

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Asteroid Belts and Their Potential Significance for Life

evolution of asteroid belts

A newly published study from a team of scientists suggests and explains how asteroid belts may be important both for the existence of life and perhaps even for the evolution of complex life on a planet. Solar systems with life-bearing planets may be rare if they are dependent on the presence of asteroid belts of […]

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November 2, 2012

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First All Carbon Solar Cell Made from Nanotubes and Buckyballs

all-carbon-solar-cell

Scientists at Stanford University have put together the first solar cell that’s entirely made up of carbon, which is a promising alternative to the expensive materials used in photovoltaic cells today. The scientists published their findings in the journal ACS Nano. Carbon has the potential to deliver high performance at low cost, states Zhenan Bao, […]

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November 1, 2012

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Antarctica is Home to the World’s Largest Wetland

blood-falls-antarctica

While to most observers, Antarctica is a barren wasteland, there are many who see it as something completely different. There’s a rich network of rivers and enormous lakes, which happen to be covered by ice. Thanks to radar imagery, John Priscu managed to see through the ice. The ice is several thousand meters thick at […]

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November 1, 2012

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Silicon-Based Anode Shows Significant Improvement Over Current Graphite Anodes

Porous silicon powder mixed with pyrolyzed polyacrylonitrile

Scientists at Rice University, in collaboration with Lockheed Martin, are working on next-generation battery technology, reporting the creation of a silicon-based anode that easily achieves 600 charge-discharge cycles at 1,000 milliamp hours per gram (mAh/g). Researchers at Rice University have refined silicon-based lithium-ion technology by literally crushing their previous work to make a high-capacity, long-lived […]

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November 1, 2012

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Sequencing DNA from Individual Cells Yields Dramatic New Information

single-cell-genomics

Nicolas Navin wanted to work out the sequence from individual cancer cells to see how they had mutated and diverged as the cancer grew. Back in 2010, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York and exploring the genetic changes that occur during breast cancer. Cells like to stick together […]

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November 1, 2012

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Magnesium Supplements Could Improve Memory and Cognitive Ability

brain-boost

After a decade of research hinting that magnesium supplements could potentially boost your memory and cognitive abilities, it’s finally being put into a small clinical trial. The research is being led by the biopharmaceutical company Magceutics, of Hayward, California, and they began testing the ability of their supplement Magtein to boost magnesium ion levels in […]

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November 1, 2012

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New Findings on the Birth of Distant Suns

Barnard 68

Using the Herschel Space Telescope and a method known as raytracing, a team of scientists produced a 3-D map of the dark cloud Barnard 68 in the Ophiuchus constellation, a possible future birthplace for a low-mass star. An astronomical team led by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg (MPIA) has gained […]

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