November 22, 2012

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Scientists Reverse Autism Symptoms in Mice

autism-spectrum-disorders

A newly published paper describes two ways of reversing autism-like symptoms in a new mouse model of the condition. The scientists published their findings in the journal Nature. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can affect up to 1 in 110 people and although a few drugs have shown promise in mouse models, none of them have […]

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November 22, 2012

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Self-Assembling Polymer Increases Hard Drive Capacity Fivefold

block-copolymer-dots

Synthetic chemists have designed self-assembling polymers, which require heat in order to rearrange themselves. This technology has the potential of increasing hard drive storage capacity fivefold. The scientists published their findings in the journal Nanotechnology. Currently, information is stored by printing the 1s and 0s of binary data as magnetic dots onto a metal surface. […]

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November 22, 2012

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WASP-12 b, A Planet Being Consumed By its Own Sun

Planet devoured by its own sun

A newly published study takes a closer look at WASP-12 b, a planet that is being consumed by its own star. A planet roughly 1.4 times the size of Jupiter is being consumed by its own star behind a shroud thanks to a magnesium veil absorbing all of certain light wavelengths, according to new observations […]

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November 21, 2012

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European Union’s Initiative to Clean Up Waterways Faces Opposition

dead-fish-europe-waterways

The EU is about to stop a precedent-setting initiative that was designed to tackle a common side effect of drugs, their impact on aquatic life. The landmark regulations intended on cleaning up Europe’s waterways of pharmaceuticals is likely to be quashed when it reaches a key vote in the EU Parliament next week. The proposal […]

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November 21, 2012

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Crystal Meth Could Reduce Susceptibility to the Common Flu

methamphetamine-flu

Researchers suggest that a small dose of methamphetamine, i.e. crystal meth, could reduce the replication of the human influenza virus. The scientists published their findings in the journal PLoS ONE. Scientists from the National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan and the University of Regensburg in Germany have been working together to see how methamphetamine interacts […]

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November 21, 2012

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IBM Supercomputer Simulates 530 Billion Neurons & 100 Trillion Synapses

A Network of Neurosynaptic Cores

At the Supercomputing 2012 conference last week, IBM Research-Almaden presented its next milestone towards fulfilling DARPA’s cognitive computing program, Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE). DARPA’s SyNAPSE program was announced in 2008, and it calls for developing an electronic neuromorphic machine technology, which is basically a brain simulation that scales to biological levels […]

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November 21, 2012

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Laboratory-Based Astrophysics Leads to Dedicated Discipline

tokamak-generates-solar-wind

The gigantic orange magnets at MIT were originally built decades ago to confine hydrogen nuclei in the search for nuclear fusion. However, since 1998 plasma physicist Jan Egedal has been using them to simulate magnetic fields in the thin wind of charged particles emanating from Sol. Egedal hopes to figure out how the solar wind […]

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November 21, 2012

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Children Exposed to Nicotine in Utero Have Lower Reading Scores

Smoking during pregnancy tied to lower reading scores

A newly published study found that on average children exposed to high levels of nicotine in utero scored 21 percent lower in areas such as reading speed, single-word identification, spelling, accuracy, real and non-word reading, and reading as compared to classmates born to non-smoking mothers. Yale School of Medicine researchers have found that children born […]

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November 21, 2012

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MDMA Provides Prolonged Relief from Severe Stress

ecstacy-pills

A new study indicates that the benefits of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) persist years after the first treatment of the drug. The scientists published their findings in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. This could help patients with PTSD who do not respond to traditional treatments. However, the results come from a […]

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November 21, 2012

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Truant Particles Dash Hopes of Clues to Supersymmetry from LHC

supersymmetry-no-clues-lhc

While Sherlock Holmes might have stated that the absence of any evidence is evidence itself, theoretical physicists haven’t yet been able to find any inkling to confirm supersymmetry (SUSY), a theory which predicts that every Standard-Model particle has a heavier partner. The reason why SUSY is so important is because it would be a step […]

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November 21, 2012

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Planck Spots a Bridge of Hot Gas Connecting Galaxy Clusters

a bridge of hot gas that connects galaxy clusters

Using the Planck space telescope, scientists discovered a bridge of hot gas connecting galaxy clusters Abell 399 and Abell 401. The temperature of the gas in the bridge is similar to the temperature of the gas in the two clusters, roughly 80 million degrees Celsius. ESA’s Planck space telescope has made the first conclusive detection […]

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November 20, 2012

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Swallows & Homing Pigeons Monitor Environmental Factors

homing-pigeons-china

A new study indicates that nesting birds that feed on insects that hatch in lake or stream-bed sediments make good biological monitors for pollution. The scientists published their findings in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. This could help track environmental changes. The contamination in the sediments will make its way into the food web, […]

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