October 15, 2014

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Cassini Image of Tethys and Saturn’s Rings

Cassini Image of Tethys and Saturns Rings

Taken this past summer, this Cassini image shows Saturn’s moon Tethys through several of Saturn’s rings. Like a drop of dew hanging on a leaf, Tethys appears to be stuck to the A and F rings from this perspective. Tethys (660 miles, or 1,062 kilometers across), like the ring particles, is composed primarily of ice. […]

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October 14, 2014

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Astrophysicists Closer to Figuring Out the Mysteries of the Milky Way

Astrophysicists One Step Closer to Figuring Out the Mysteries of the Milky Way

Using data from the Russian spacecraft RadioAstron, astrophysicists are one step closer to figuring out the mysteries of our galaxy’s core. Is matter falling into the massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way or being ejected from it? No one knows for sure, but a UC Santa Barbara astrophysicist is searching for […]

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October 14, 2014

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Worst-Case Scenario 2100 Sea Level Projections

Worst Case Scenario Rising Sea Levels of Just Under two Meters

A team of scientists has calculated the risk for a worst-case scenario upper limit for sea level rise within this century, revealing that the sea level could rise 1.8 meters. The climate is getting warmer, the ice sheets are melting and sea levels are rising – but how much? The report of the UN’s Intergovernmental […]

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October 14, 2014

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Discovery Reveals How Gamma-Ray Emissions from Stellar Explosions are Produced

Astronomers View Into the Heart of an Exploding Star

By using radio telescopes from across Europe and America, an international team of astronomers has been able to see into the heart of an exploding star. Highly-detailed images produced using radio telescopes from across Europe and America have pinpointed the locations where a stellar explosion (called a nova), emitted gamma rays (extremely high energy radiation). […]

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October 14, 2014

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MIT Assesses the Technical Feasibility of the Mars One Mission

Assessing the Technical Feasibility of the Proposed Mars One Mission

A new independent assessment of the Mars One Mission from MIT engineers reveals that the project may have to take a step back, at least to reconsider the mission’s technical feasibility. In 2012, the “Mars One” project, led by a Dutch nonprofit, announced plans to establish the first human colony on the Red Planet by […]

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October 14, 2014

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Study Finds Stimulant Use Increases by 30% During the School Year

Research Shows Stimulant Use Increases by 30 Percent During the School Year

New research from Yale, NYU and the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that students are 30% more likely to take a stimulant medication during the school year than they are to take one during the summer. The authors found that school-year increases in stimulant use are largest for children from socioeconomically advantaged families. Because many children […]

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October 14, 2014

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Herschel Observations and Simulations of the Debris Disk Around Tau Ceti

Herschel Views the Debris Disc of Solar Analogue Tau Ceti

Astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics studied the debris disc around τ Ceti, revealing that a Jupiter-mass planet could not be present in this system – making it less than ideal as a Solar system analog. Although thousands of exoplanets and hundreds of planetary systems (stars with multiple exoplanets) are now known, astronomers still […]

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October 13, 2014

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New Hybrid Materials Could Far Surpass the Current Solar Efficiency Limits

New Hybrid Materials Could Smash the Solar Efficiency Ceiling

Scientists from the University of Cambridge have developed a new method for transferring energy from organic to inorganic semiconductors that could boost the efficiency of widely used inorganic solar cells. Researchers have developed a new method for harvesting the energy carried by particles known as ‘dark’ spin-triplet excitons with close to 100% efficiency, clearing the […]

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October 13, 2014

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ESA Image of the Week: Butterfly Emerges from Stellar Demise of NGC 6302

Hubble Image of the Butterfly Nebula

This ESA image of the week shows the remains of dying star that was once about five times the mass of the Sun. Known as the Butterfly Nebula, it lies within the Milky Way galaxy roughly 3,800 light-years away in the constellation Scorpius. Many celestial objects are beautiful – swirling spiral galaxies or glittering clusters […]

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October 13, 2014

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Researchers Show Embryos Receive Parent-Specific Layers of Information

Study Reveals Embryos Receive Parent Specific Layers of Information

New research from San Francisco State University sheds light on the multilayered process of how a sperm and egg pass along information needed for successful reproduction, revealing that embryos receive parent-specific layers of information. The information that interprets the genetic code in a new embryo differs depending on whether it comes from the father or […]

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October 13, 2014

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Solid Nanoparticles Keep Their Internal Structure While Deforming Like a Liquid

New Research Shows Solid Nanoparticles Can Deform Like a Liquid

Using a combination of laboratory analysis and computer modeling, new research shows that nanoparticles keep their internal crystal structure while deforming like a liquid. A surprising phenomenon has been found in metal nanoparticles: They appear, from the outside, to be liquid droplets, wobbling and readily changing shape, while their interiors retain a perfectly stable crystal […]

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October 13, 2014

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Yale Biologists Describe DNA’s Security System

Surveillance of Nuclear Pore Complex Assembly

In a newly published study, Yale biologists and colleagues describe a key quality control mechanism that protects new cells from inheriting defective nuclear pore complexes. As befitting life’s blueprint, DNA is surrounded by an elaborate security system that assures crucial information is imparted without error. The security is provided by a double membrane perforated by […]

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