August 31, 2012

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New Nano-Scale Device Can Weigh Individual Molecules

first-ever mechanical device that measures the mass of a single molecule

A gold particle five nanometers in width weighs just a few megadaltons, a tiny unit of measure used in biochemistry that is equivalent to the atomic mass unit. However, researchers at the California Institute of Technology and CEA-Leti, a government-funded research organization in Grenoble, France, have built a scale that weighs single objects, including nano-particles and […]

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August 31, 2012

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The Counterintuitive Behavior of the Cucumber Tendril

plant’s tendrils leads researchers to unusual spring

A new study from scientists at Harvard University describes the mechanism by which coiling occurs in the cucumber plant and suggests designs for biomimetic twistless springs with tunable mechanical responses. Harvard researchers, captivated by a strange coiling behavior in the grasping tendrils of the cucumber plant, have characterized a new type of spring that is […]

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August 31, 2012

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Natural Color View of Saturn and Titan

natural color view of Titan and Saturn from NASA's Cassini spacecraft

Created from by combining six images from the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera, this mosaic shows a natural color view of Saturn and Titan. A giant of a moon appears before a giant of a planet undergoing seasonal changes in this natural color view of Titan and Saturn from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, […]

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August 31, 2012

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Tuberculosis Resistance to Backup Drugs Increases

drug-resistant-tuberculosis

According to a new study, more than 40% of tuberculosis infections that are resistant to front-line antibiotic treatments have also become resistant to some common backup drugs. Efforts to control tuberculosis are being hindered by the emergence of multi drug-resistant (MDR) strains, making it harder to combat. Researchers published their findings in the journal The […]

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August 31, 2012

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Ancient Genome Reveals Relationships between Denisovans and Present-Day Humans

researchers describe Denisovan genome

A newly published study compares the Denisovan genome with those of the Neandertals and eleven modern humans from around the world, finding that modern populations from the islands of southeastern Asia share genes with the Denisovans and that the genomes of people from East Asia and South America include slightly more genes from Neandertals than […]

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August 31, 2012

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LRO Radar Data Indicates that the Walls of Shackleton Crater May Hold Ice

data indicate that the walls of Shackleton crater may hold ice

Using the Mini-RF radar on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a team of scientists have estimated that as much as five to ten percent of material, by weight, could be patchy ice in the walls of Shackleton crater. Scientists using the Mini-RF radar on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) have estimated the maximum amount of ice […]

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August 31, 2012

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A Superbubble in NGC 1929

NGC 1929

Using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the Max-Planck-ESO telescope, this composite image shows a superbubble in NGC 1929, which is a star cluster embedded in the N44 nebula found in the Large Magellanic Cloud. This composite image shows a superbubble in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a small satellite […]

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August 30, 2012

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Extra Gaits in Horses Traced to Single Mutation

icelandic-horse-pacing

In horses, unusual gaits have been traced to a single mutation. This endows them with a wider repertoire of gaits, showing that some seemingly complex physical traits can have a simple genetic basis. This could also elucidate the genes behind movement disorders in humans. The researchers published their findings in the journal Nature. Horses typically […]

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August 30, 2012

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Scientists Use Light from an Exploding Star to Study Distant Galaxy

stellar explosion helps understand distant galaxy

A recently published study details how scientists used light from an exploding star as a probe to study the gas conditions in the space between the host galaxy’s stars, revealing that the distant galaxy‘s interstellar conditions appear “reassuringly normal.” Nature hath no fury like a dying star – and astronomers couldn’t be happier… An international […]

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August 30, 2012

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230 Million Year Old Arthropods Found Preserved in Amber

amber-preserved-arthropods-triassic

Arthropods from the Triassic period have been discovered preserved in amber. They are 100 million years older than previous amber inclusions. The two mites and one fly were found in millimeter-scale droplets of amber from northeastern Italy. Researchers published their findings in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Arthropods are invertebrate animals […]

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August 30, 2012

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Light Activated Muscle Cells May Advance Biorobotics

genetically engineered muscle cells to flex in response to light

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and MIT have genetically engineered muscle cells to flex in response to light, which may one day enable highly articulated, flexible robots. Many robotic designs take nature as their muse: sticking to walls like geckos, swimming through water like tuna, sprinting across terrain like cheetahs. Such designs borrow properties […]

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August 30, 2012

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Genetics and Healthy Diets Are More Important for Longevity than Calorie Restriction

rhesus-monkey-feeding

Drastically cutting back on calorie intake doesn’t seem to lengthen the lifespan in primates. This conclusion comes from a 25-year study in rhesus monkeys fed 30% less than control animals, and represents a setback for the notion that a simple, diet-triggered switch could slow aging. The study actually indicates that genetics and overall dietary composition […]

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