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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October 29, 2012

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Atomic Level Splicing Further Establishes RNA’s Chemical and Structural Complexity

chemical processes by which RNA carries out the expression of our genes

A newly published paper from researchers at Yale University looks at the process of splicing RNA at the atomic level, establishing RNA’s chemical and structural complexity and showing that it is capable of recruiting diverse metals and orienting them to work with RNA. Scientists at Yale University have described in the greatest detail yet aspects […]

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October 29, 2012

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Sediments Suggest Lake Geneva was Devastated by an Ancient Tsunami

Swiss city of Geneva

Over a century after the Romans gave up control of what’s today Geneva, Switzerland, in 563 A.D., a deadly tsunami on Lake Geneva poured over the city’s walls. It originated from a rock fall, near the place where the River Rhône enters the opposite side of the lake. The ensuing tsunami destroyed villages, livestock and […]

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October 29, 2012

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Hubble Views a Starburst Galaxy Hard at Work

NGC 3738

Located about 12 million light-years from the sun and part of the Messier 81 group of galaxies, starburst galaxy NGC 3738 is currently converting hydrogen gas located in the galaxy’s center into stars. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has imaged the faint irregular galaxy NGC 3738, a starburst galaxy. The galaxy is in the midst […]

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October 26, 2012

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New Analysis Method Discovers Millisecond Pulsar via its Pulsed Gamma Radiation

unusual PSR J1311-3430 pulsar system

Using a new a new data analysis method, a team of scientists discovered a millisecond pulsar solely via its pulsed gamma radiation. Pulsars are the compact remnants from explosions of massive stars. Some of them spin around their own axis hundreds of times per second, emitting beams of radiation into space. Until now, they could […]

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October 26, 2012

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CuantumFuse, A Solder Paste Based on Pure Copper

revolutionary nanotechnology copper solder

With an urgent need for lead-free solder because of a worldwide effort to phase out hazardous materials in electronics, scientists at Lockheed Martin have developed CuantumFuse, a solder paste based on pure copper. Palo Alto, California – Scientists in the Advanced Materials and Nanosystems directorate at the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Advanced Technology Center (ATC) […]

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October 26, 2012

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Study Provides Picture of Human Expansion from Africa

analysis provides fuller picture of human expansion from Africa

A newly published study analyzes genetic and paleoanthropological evidence, showing that today’s human population is the result of a great demographic and geographic expansion that began approximately 45,000 to 60,000 years ago in Africa. A new, comprehensive review of humans’ anthropological and genetic records gives the most up-to-date story of the “Out of Africa” expansion […]

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October 26, 2012

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The Triangulum Stream, Remnant of a Star Cluster Being Ingested by the Milky Way

star clusters in the process of being ingested by the Milky Way

Using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, a team of scientists have discovered a band of stars, named the Triangulum stream, in the southern Galactic sky that is believed to be the remnant of an ancient star cluster slowly being ingested by the Milky Way. Yale astronomers have caught the Milky Way having a snack. Using […]

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October 26, 2012

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Space-Launched Paintballs Could Possibly Deflect an Incoming Asteroid

paint pellets could cause an asteroid to veer off course

The 2012 Move an Asteroid Technical Paper Competition winner, Sung Wook Paek, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, proposed using a paintball strategy that builds on last year’s competition winner’s idea of deflecting an asteroid with a cloud of solid pellets. In the event that a giant asteroid is headed toward […]

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