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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January 3, 2013

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Antiseptics Used By Health Care Workers Might Cause Infections

Credit: Flickr/Raindog

The FDA is warning that there is a possibility of health care-related infections caused by the antiseptics, which are supposed to prevent infections, used to disinfect skin before health care procedures. In the New England Journal of Medicine¹, Drs. Christina Y. Chang and Lesley-Anne Furlong of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research explain […]

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January 3, 2013

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At Least 100 Billion Planets Populate the Milky Way

100 billion planets in the galaxy

By analyzing planets orbiting a star called Kepler-32, astronomers at Caltech estimate that there are at least 100 billion planets in our galaxy. Pasadena, California —Look up at the night sky and you’ll see stars, sure. But you’re also seeing planets—billions and billions of them. At least. That’s the conclusion of a new study by […]

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January 3, 2013

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Kinder Children Are Happier & More Popular Than Bullies

CREDIT: School photo via Shutterstock

New research indicates that children who are kinder are also happier and more popular. Simple acts of kindness could help reduce bullying in schools. The scientists published their findings in the journal PLoS ONE¹. Happy people often do good for others, but being more prosocial increases people’s sense of well-being. Scientists carried out an experiment […]

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January 3, 2013

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Brainwave-Controlled Helicopter Project Funded By Kickstarter

puzzlebox-orbit-steve

A brainwave-controlled helicopter project was fully funded by Kickstarter, and is hoping to come into homes very soon. The project was initially posted as a DIY hack on Instructables two years ago, and it’s supposed to be an educational toy. The company behind the project, Puzzlebox, will release guides and software to make it easy […]

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January 3, 2013

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Birdsongs Elicit “Emotional” Response From Birds

Credit: Brandon Keim/Wired

Scientists indicate that birds listening to birdsong may be experiencing an emotional response akin to when humans listen to music. The study tracked the neural activity in sparrows. The neuroscientists from Emory University published their findings in the journal Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience¹. The scientists compared the effects of music on the human brain with […]

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