December 18, 2014

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Chandra Measures Massive Galaxy Cluster in Distant Universe

Chandra Weighs the Most Massive Galaxy Cluster to Date

Using Chandra data, researchers were able to accurately determine the mass and other properties of the most distant massive galaxy cluster discovered to date. Officially named XDCP J0044.0-2033, the cluster is about 9.6 billion light years from Earth. A newly discovered galaxy cluster is the most massive one ever detected with an age of 800 […]

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December 18, 2014

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Fermi Helps Study Gamma-ray Thunderstorms

Scientists Study Gamma-ray Thunderstorms

A short video details how scientists merged data on high-energy bursts seen on Earth by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope with data from ground-based radar and lightning detectors to complete the most detailed analysis to date of the types of thunderstorms producing terrestrial gamma-ray flashes. New research merging Fermi data with information from ground-based radar […]

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December 18, 2014

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NASA Satellites Show Arctic Ocean is Absorbing More of the Sun’s Energy

Satellites Measure Increase of Sun’s Energy Absorbed in the Arctic

Using data from NASA satellite instruments, astronomers have observed a marked increase in solar radiation absorbed in the Arctic since the year 2000 – a trend that aligns with the steady decrease in Arctic sea ice during the same period. While sea ice is mostly white and reflects the sun’s rays, ocean water is dark […]

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December 17, 2014

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MESSENGER Reveals Possible Source of Surge of Calcium in Mercury Exosphere

MESSENGER Observations Suggest Recurring Meteor Shower on Mercury

New data from NASA’s MESSENGER has revealed seasonal surges of calcium in the exosphere of Mercury, suggesting that a periodic meteor shower from the debris trail left by comet Encke is the source. The closest planet to the sun appears to get hit by a periodic meteor shower, possibly associated with a comet that produces […]

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December 17, 2014

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A High-Obliquity Planet Could Be Habitable

High Obliquity Planet Could Be Habitable

A newly published study from scientists at MIT reveals that even a high-obliquity planet with a nearly horizontal axis could potentially support life, so long as the planet were completely covered by an ocean. Nearly 2,000 planets beyond our solar system have been identified to date. Whether any of these exoplanets are hospitable to life […]

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December 17, 2014

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New Synthetic Molecules (SyAMs) Mimic Antibodies

New Class of Synthetic Molecules Mimics Antibodies

Researchers from Yale University have created the first synthetic molecules that have both the targeting and response functions of antibodies. The new molecules — synthetic antibody mimics (SyAMs) — attach themselves simultaneously to disease cells and disease-fighting cells. The result is a highly targeted immune response, similar to the action of natural human antibodies. “Unlike […]

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December 17, 2014

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Study Shows Hypertension Medication May Help Smokers Quit

Hypertension Medication May Help Smokers Quit

A newly published study from Yale University reveals that a hypertension medication that targets stress may help smokers quit. Smokers trying to quit often light up a cigarette to deal with stress. Now an interdisciplinary team of Yale researchers has shown that guanfacine, a medication approved for treating hypertension that reduces stress and enhances cognition, […]

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December 17, 2014

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NASA’s Curiosity Rover Discovers Organic Chemistry on Mars

Rover Finds Active Ancient Organic Chemistry on Mars

Using the Tunable Laser Spectrometer instrument in Curiosity’s onboard Sample Analysis at Mars laboratory, astronomers have detected a tenfold spike in the abundance of methane in the Martian atmosphere. NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a […]

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December 16, 2014

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The Interaction Between Interstellar Dust and Our Galaxy’s Magnetic Field

Image of the Magnetic Field Along the Galactic Plane

Using data from the Planck collaboration, this newly released image portrays the interaction between interstellar dust in the Milky Way and the structure of our Galaxy’s magnetic field. While the pastel tones and fine texture of this image may bring to mind brush strokes on an artist’s canvas, they are in fact a visualization of […]

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December 16, 2014

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NASA Data Reveal New Insight into the Hidden Movements of the Greenland Ice Sheet

New Insight Into Hidden Movements of Greenland Ice Sheet

Using NASA satellite data and airborne remote sensing instruments, a newly published study reveals new insights into the movement of melt water flowing through the Greenland Ice Sheet. This animation (from March 2014) portrays the changes occurring in the surface elevation of the Greenland Ice Sheet since 2003 in three drainage areas: the southeast, the […]

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December 16, 2014

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New Mathematical Relationship for Superconductors

New Mathematical Relationship for Superconductors

Engineers from MIT have discovered a new mathematical relationship between material thickness, temperature, and electrical resistance that appears to hold in all superconductors. The result could shed light on the nature of superconductivity and could also lead to better-engineered superconducting circuits for applications like quantum computing and ultralow-power computing. The findings are described in the […]

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December 16, 2014

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Yale Study Shows Ebola Virus Spreads in Social Clusters

Researchers Reveal Ebola Virus Spreads in Social Clusters

Using both genomic and epidemiological data from the current outbreak in Sierra Leone, researchers from Yale University discovered that the Ebola virus spreads in social clusters – a finding that has ramifications for case reporting and the public health. Prior studies of Ebola transmission were based on models that assumed the spread of infection occurred […]

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December 16, 2014

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Engineers Show Tiny Liquid Drops Can Make Solids Stiffer

Engineers Stiffen Solids with Liquid Inclusions

Engineers from Yale University have strengthened solid materials by using very small embedded liquid droplets. Engineers at Yale University have discovered that the stiffness of liquid drops embedded in solids has something in common with Goldilocks: While large drops of liquids are softer than the solid that surrounds them, extremely tiny drops of liquid can […]

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December 16, 2014

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MAVEN Identifies Links to Atmospheric Loss on Mars

MAVEN Identifies Links to Atmospheric Loss on Mars

New findings from NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission reveal a new process by which the solar wind can penetrate deep into a planetary atmosphere, leading to atmospheric loss. Early discoveries by NASA’s newest Mars orbiter are starting to reveal key features about the loss of the planet’s atmosphere to space over time. […]

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December 16, 2014

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NASA’s Voyager 1 Experiences Three “Tsunami Waves” in Interstellar Space

NASAs Voyager 1 Spacecraft Experiences a New Tsunami Wave from the Sun

New data show that the shock wave that NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft began experiencing in February 2014 is still propagating outward. It is the longest-lasting shock wave that researchers have seen in interstellar space. The Voyager 1 spacecraft has experienced three “tsunami waves” in interstellar space. Listen to how these waves cause surrounding ionized matter […]

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December 15, 2014

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A New Nanoparticle-Based Sensor System for Rapidly Screening Cancer Drugs

New Nanoparticle Sensor System for Rapidly Screening Cancer Drugs

Chemists at Umass Amherst have developed a multi-channel signature-based approach to screening drugs using a gold nanoparticles with red, green and blue outputs provided by fluorescent proteins. Amherst, Massachusetts – Traditional genomic, proteomic and other screening methods currently used to characterize drug mechanisms are time-consuming and require special equipment, but now researchers led by chemist […]

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December 15, 2014

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Common Household Chemicals Linked to Lower IQ Scores in Children

Common Household Chemicals Associated with Substantial Drop in Child IQ

A newly published study from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health reveals that exposure common household chemicals during pregnancy is linked to a drop in children’s IQ score. Children exposed during pregnancy to elevated levels of two common chemicals found in the home—di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) and di-isobutyl phthalate (DiBP)—had an IQ score, on average, […]

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