December 17, 2014

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NASA’s Curiosity Rover Discovers Organic Chemistry on Mars

Rover Finds Active Ancient Organic Chemistry on Mars

Using the Tunable Laser Spectrometer instrument in Curiosity’s onboard Sample Analysis at Mars laboratory, astronomers have detected a tenfold spike in the abundance of methane in the Martian atmosphere. NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a […]

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December 16, 2014

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The Interaction Between Interstellar Dust and Our Galaxy’s Magnetic Field

Image of the Magnetic Field Along the Galactic Plane

Using data from the Planck collaboration, this newly released image portrays the interaction between interstellar dust in the Milky Way and the structure of our Galaxy’s magnetic field. While the pastel tones and fine texture of this image may bring to mind brush strokes on an artist’s canvas, they are in fact a visualization of […]

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December 16, 2014

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NASA Data Reveal New Insight into the Hidden Movements of the Greenland Ice Sheet

New Insight Into Hidden Movements of Greenland Ice Sheet

Using NASA satellite data and airborne remote sensing instruments, a newly published study reveals new insights into the movement of melt water flowing through the Greenland Ice Sheet. This animation (from March 2014) portrays the changes occurring in the surface elevation of the Greenland Ice Sheet since 2003 in three drainage areas: the southeast, the […]

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December 16, 2014

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New Mathematical Relationship for Superconductors

New Mathematical Relationship for Superconductors

Engineers from MIT have discovered a new mathematical relationship between material thickness, temperature, and electrical resistance that appears to hold in all superconductors. The result could shed light on the nature of superconductivity and could also lead to better-engineered superconducting circuits for applications like quantum computing and ultralow-power computing. The findings are described in the […]

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December 16, 2014

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Yale Study Shows Ebola Virus Spreads in Social Clusters

Researchers Reveal Ebola Virus Spreads in Social Clusters

Using both genomic and epidemiological data from the current outbreak in Sierra Leone, researchers from Yale University discovered that the Ebola virus spreads in social clusters – a finding that has ramifications for case reporting and the public health. Prior studies of Ebola transmission were based on models that assumed the spread of infection occurred […]

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December 16, 2014

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Engineers Show Tiny Liquid Drops Can Make Solids Stiffer

Engineers Stiffen Solids with Liquid Inclusions

Engineers from Yale University have strengthened solid materials by using very small embedded liquid droplets. Engineers at Yale University have discovered that the stiffness of liquid drops embedded in solids has something in common with Goldilocks: While large drops of liquids are softer than the solid that surrounds them, extremely tiny drops of liquid can […]

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December 16, 2014

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MAVEN Identifies Links to Atmospheric Loss on Mars

MAVEN Identifies Links to Atmospheric Loss on Mars

New findings from NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission reveal a new process by which the solar wind can penetrate deep into a planetary atmosphere, leading to atmospheric loss. Early discoveries by NASA’s newest Mars orbiter are starting to reveal key features about the loss of the planet’s atmosphere to space over time. […]

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December 16, 2014

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NASA’s Voyager 1 Experiences Three “Tsunami Waves” in Interstellar Space

NASAs Voyager 1 Spacecraft Experiences a New Tsunami Wave from the Sun

New data show that the shock wave that NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft began experiencing in February 2014 is still propagating outward. It is the longest-lasting shock wave that researchers have seen in interstellar space. The Voyager 1 spacecraft has experienced three “tsunami waves” in interstellar space. Listen to how these waves cause surrounding ionized matter […]

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December 15, 2014

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A New Nanoparticle-Based Sensor System for Rapidly Screening Cancer Drugs

New Nanoparticle Sensor System for Rapidly Screening Cancer Drugs

Chemists at Umass Amherst have developed a multi-channel signature-based approach to screening drugs using a gold nanoparticles with red, green and blue outputs provided by fluorescent proteins. Amherst, Massachusetts – Traditional genomic, proteomic and other screening methods currently used to characterize drug mechanisms are time-consuming and require special equipment, but now researchers led by chemist […]

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December 15, 2014

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Common Household Chemicals Linked to Lower IQ Scores in Children

Common Household Chemicals Associated with Substantial Drop in Child IQ

A newly published study from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health reveals that exposure common household chemicals during pregnancy is linked to a drop in children’s IQ score. Children exposed during pregnancy to elevated levels of two common chemicals found in the home—di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) and di-isobutyl phthalate (DiBP)—had an IQ score, on average, […]

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December 15, 2014

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Scientists Create the First 3D Maps of Entire Folded Genomes

The First High-Resolution 3D Maps of Entire Folded Genomes

A team of researchers has created the first 3D maps of entire folded genomes, identifying approximately 10,000 folding loops in the human genome. In a triumph for cell biology, researchers have assembled the first high-resolution, 3-D maps of entire folded genomes and found a structural basis for gene regulation, a kind of “genomic origami” that […]

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December 15, 2014

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Valleytronics Help Researchers Move Toward a New Kind of 2D Microchip

A New Kind of 2D Microchip

Using an approach called valleytronics, a team of researchers has cleared hurdles toward a new kind of 2D microchip that uses different electron properties. New findings from a team at MIT and other institutions could provide a pathway toward a kind of two-dimensional microchip that would make use of a characteristic of electrons other than […]

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December 15, 2014

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New Map of Mars Shows Signs of Ancient Lakes and Quakes

Signs of Ancient Mars Lakes and Quakes Seen in New Map

A new geological map based on NASA images shows signs of ancient lakes and quakes on Mars. This animation simulates a flyover of a portion of a Martian canyon detailed in a geological map produced by the U.S. Geological Survey and based on observations by the HiRISE camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The landforms […]

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December 15, 2014

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Hubble Image of the Week: Dwarf Galaxy Markarian 209

New Hubble Image of Dwarf Galaxy Markarian 209

This newly released Hubble image shows dwarf galaxy Markarian 209. This sprinkle of cosmic glitter is a blue compact dwarf galaxy known as Markarian 209. Galaxies of this type are blue-hued, compact in size, gas-rich, and low in heavy elements. They are often used by astronomers to study star formation, as their conditions are similar […]

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December 12, 2014

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Scientists Use Real Data to Measure the Cosmos

Researchers Use Real Data to Measure the Cosmos

Scientists from the Imperial College London have used data, rather than calculations related to general relativity, to measure large distances in the Universe for the first time. A research team from Imperial College London and the University of Barcelona has used data from astronomical surveys to measure a standard distance that is central to our […]

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