September 25, 2012

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DNA Could Predate Existence of Life As We Know It

primordial-earth-before-life

Chemists are close to showing that DNA could form spontaneously from chemicals which were present during primordial Earth. If they succeed, the work could imply that DNA could predate the birth of life as we know it. The scientists published their findings in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. DNA is essential to all […]

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September 25, 2012

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Chandra Shows Halo of Hot Gas Surrounding the Milky Way

Galactic Halo

The Chandra X-ray Observatory has provided evidence that our Milky Way Galaxy is embedded in an enormous halo of hot gas with a radius of about 300,000 light years, although it may extend significantly further, and with a mass comparable to the mass of all the stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. Astronomers have used […]

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September 24, 2012

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Development of Inkjet-Printable LC Lasers

printable-inkjet-lc-laser

Most lasers are made up of silicon wafers using expensive processes, similar to the ones used to make microprocessors. Scientists have designed a new way to print a type of organic laser onto any surface, using technology similar to the one found in many homes. The scientists published their findings in the journal Soft Matter. […]

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September 24, 2012

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DARPA Program Takes Advantage of Floating Icebergs

arctic-ice-drifting

If the Arctic continues to melt, there could be more military and commercial activity in this environment. DARPA is working on an all-seeing network of sensors that will track what is happening in the Arctic all year long. This network will include sensors placed on icebergs. DARPA wants to leverage icebergs for electromagnetic and acoustic […]

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September 24, 2012

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Artificial-Enzyme Editing Rewrites Zebrafish DNA, Could be Useful in the Study of Diseases

zebrafish-fins

Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are a useful model for studying gene behavior and function. Researchers have been able to make custom changes in the zebrafish’s genome, using artificial enzymes to cut portions of DNA out of targeted positions in a gene sequence, which were replaced by synthetic DNA. The scientists published their findings in the journal […]

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September 24, 2012

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Artificial Intelligence Algorithm Helps Chart the Universe

a slice through the local universe

A newly published study details the artificial intelligence algorithm a team of astronomers developed to help them chart and explain the structure and dynamics of the universe around us. Astronomers in Germany have developed an artificial intelligence algorithm to help them chart and explain the structure and dynamics of the universe around us with unprecedented […]

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September 24, 2012

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Beeswax Filling Dates from 6,500 Years Ago

neolithic-dentistry-tooth

While there are plenty of new technologies going into dentistry, researchers have discovered an ancient 6,500-year-old tooth that provides one of the earliest examples of human dentistry. The scientists published their findings in the journal PLoS ONE. Ancient dentists treated toothaches with beeswax. Experts in Italy, who have been studying the 6,500-year-old jaw and tooth, […]

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September 24, 2012

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Bypass Surgery Results in Long Term Health Benefits and Weight Loss

gastric-bypass-surgery

There are more than 30 million Americans that are classified as obese or extremely obese. A new study shows that they might benefit from surgery that reconstructs the stomach to accommodate less food. Gastric bypass surgery leads to weight loss and improvement of health related problems, and may yield long-term health benefits. The scientists published […]

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September 24, 2012

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Hubble Views Glowing Gas and Dark Dust in Spiral Galaxy NGC 4634

spiral galaxy NGC 4634

Located roughly 70 million light-years from Earth in the constellation of Coma Berenices, spiral galaxy NGC 4634 is seen in great detail in this new photo from the Hubble Space Telescope. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has produced a sharp image of NGC 4634, a spiral galaxy seen exactly side-on. Its disk is slightly warped […]

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September 24, 2012

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Cancer-Fighting DNA Nanorobots Could Target Specific Cells for Repair

drug-delivering nanorobots

Nanites and nano-scale robots have been found mostly in the realm of science-fiction, but scientists at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biological Inspired Engineering are working on making them a reality. The goal is to track down and destroy a patient’s cancer cells, without having adverse effects on patients. The scientists published their findings in the […]

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September 21, 2012

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Geographically Close Neighbors Have Been Genetically Isolated for Thousands of Years

khoisan-family

Hunter-gatherer and pastoralist tribes in sub-Saharan Africa, where humans are thought to have originated, even though linguistically close, belong to two different distinct genetic clusters. Two new studies exploring their genetics were published in Science and Nature Communications (preprint available through arXiv). Both teams looked at single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the DNA of the […]

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September 21, 2012

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Dawn Spacecraft Finds Traces of Water on Vesta

vesta-crater

Vesta, the second most massive asteroid in the Solar System, after the dwarf planet Ceres, was thought to be a dry place, but the most recent evidence from NASA’s spacecraft Dawn has found that smaller, water-rich asteroids once implanted themselves in Vesta’s surface. The water is locked up in hydrated minerals until subsequent impacts create […]

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