December 11, 2012

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An Invasive Grass Species Spreads Wildfires Quicker

cheatgrass-comparison

New research indicates that an invasive species of grass is making wildfires in the western USA larger, hotter and more frequent. A variety of grasses called cheatgrass dries out quickly, and burns more rapidly that other vegetation. The scientists published their findings in the journal Global Change Biology. The researchers believe that it has fueled […]

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December 11, 2012

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Diuretic Drug Could Help Treat Autism

child-with-autism

The drug bumetanide, which has been used for decades to treat high blood pressure and other conditions, has now shown some promise in a small clinical trial for autism spectrum disorder. The drug reduced the overall severity of behavioral symptoms after 3 months of daily treatment. The scientists published their findings in the journal Translational […]

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December 11, 2012

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Black Holes Have Properties that Resemble the Dynamics of Solids and Liquids

New knowledge about the properties of black holes

New research showing that black holes have properties that resemble the dynamics of both solids and liquids may help scientists better understand black holes and the physical properties of neutron stars. Black holes are surrounded by many mysteries, but now researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute, among others, have come up with new groundbreaking theories […]

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December 11, 2012

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Radiation Exposure Could Be Countered By Ingesting Ex-Rad Pills

nuclear-bomb

The US Department of Defense has been developing pills that will protect humans from radiation. The pills are named Ex-Rad and were developed by Onconova Therapeutics in conjunction with the DoD. The scientists published their findings in the journal Radiation Research. Once humans have been exposed to radiation, there hasn’t been much they could do […]

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December 11, 2012

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First New Biological Structure Solved With a Free-Electron Laser

X-ray Laser Helps Fight Sleeping Sickness

Scientists at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory are using X-ray lasers to determine the structures of biological molecules that are important for human health, solving the first new biological structure with a free-electron laser. Menlo Park, California — An international group of scientists working at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has […]

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December 11, 2012

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Roots Show Similar Growth Patterns in Space

(Top) The root tips of space-grown plants showed a tendency to skew a bit more than their earthbound counterparts (bottom) when they encountered an object. Credit: NASA

Long periods in space can be detrimental to human biology, but it wasn’t exactly known how the lack of gravity affected plants. A new study suggests that space doesn’t seem to affect certain aspects of root growth. The scientists published their findings in the journal BMC Plant Biology. In 2010, researchers sent petri dishes loaded […]

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December 11, 2012

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Asteroid Collision Led to the Mass Extinction of Lizards and Snakes

Obamadon gracilis

A newly published study details the mass extinction of lizards and snakes that occurred after an asteroid struck the Earth 65.5 million years ago, finding that as many as 83 percent of all snake and lizard species died off including the newly named species, Obamadon gracilis. The asteroid collision widely thought to have killed the […]

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December 10, 2012

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River Formation Due to Interplay Between Incision and Soil Creep

river-formation-perron

The precise conditions that cause rivers to form branches have long been a mystery, until now. A new study pinpoints two opposing physical forces that work together to produce the intricate patterns of rivers. This could help scientists understand rivers at all scales, even on other worlds. The scientists published their findings in the journal […]

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December 10, 2012

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Maggots Secretions Suppress Immune Response

maggots-heal-wounds

Researchers have figured out how fly larvae works as a healing balm that’s been used by battlefield surgeons for centuries to close wounds. The scientists published their findings in the journal Wound Repair and Regeneration. Maggots suppress the immune system. They consume dead tissue, leaving healthy tissue practically unscathed. Physicians have been using larvae to […]

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December 10, 2012

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Using Urine to Make Brain Cells

brain-cells-induced-pluripotency

Urine could be used as a powerful source of brain cells to study some disease, and could even be used one day in therapies to study neurodegenerative diseases. Scientists have found a way to persuade the cells discarded in urine to turn into useful neurons. The scientists published their findings in the journal Nature Methods. […]

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December 10, 2012

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Lonely People Experience Vasoconstriction Making Them Colder

winter-cold

When people feel lonely, or when someone is being excluded by others, the person’s skin becomes colder. This is how people respond to exclusion and other social interactions. The scientists published their findings in the journal Acta Psychologica. Dozens of students were asked to participate in a simulated ball-tossing game with computer-generated avatars. While they […]

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December 10, 2012

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Image Shows Galaxy Cluster “Tails”

Two tails of X-ray emission have been seen trailing behind a galaxy

A composite image shows two “tails” that were created when cool gas from ESO 137-001 was stripped by hot gas as it travels towards the center of the galaxy cluster Abell 3627. Two spectacular tails of X-ray emission have been seen trailing behind a galaxy using the Chandra X-ray Observatory. A composite image of the […]

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