SciTech News Digest December 2011

Slower response times in the elderly due to conscious focus on accuracy, not slowing of brain processing speed … [more]

Recycling old Christmas lights into slippers in China … [more]

Theories on the evolution of complex life upended by discovery of 600 million year old microscopic fossils of amoeba-like micro-organisms … [more]

Researchers explain how shearing causes granular materials to transform from a loose state to a solid state … [more]

Killer Whales Vs. Sharks on New Zealand Beach … [more]

Using DNA analysis, Scientists at New Mexico State University make progress on drought-tolerant alfalfa … [more]

More than ever, organic produce doesn’t mean small farms, sustainability, or environmentally friendly … [more]

Chimpanzees communications influenced by what their audience knows … [more]

According to new study, moss spreading throughout the Hawaiian Islands has cloned itself for 50,000 years … [more]

First computer model created that incorporates the influence of glia, brain cells that regulate synapses and control learning, memory, and adaptation … [more] [related]

Must-see science videos of 2011 … [more]

China’s National Space Administration plans to put a man on the moon … [more]

Farmers failure to rotate crops may have caused rootworms to develop resistance to genetically modified Bt corn … [more]

According to new skeletal evidence, Columbus’s crew brought back Syphilis from New World … [more]

VeriChip, an implantable computer chip, has been approved for humans by the FDA … [more]

Two charred planets recently found by NASA’s Kepler space telescope likely sped the transformation of the star they orbit from red giant to subdwarf … [more]

Mystery behind avian suicides of 1961, the inspiration for Hitchcock’s The Birds, solved at last … [more]

Top 10 Scientific Breakthroughs of 2011 according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science … [more]

U.S. based security think tank Stratfor hacked by “Anonymous” … [more]

Forgetting is key to sharp intellect and a sound state of mind … [more]

Little exciting new technology expected in 2012. Is American innovation dying? … [more]

Weirdest Stories of 2011 on Discovery News … [more]

Capture of Borneo Sumatran rhino in Malaysia raises hope that this highly endangered species can be saved from extinction … [more]

Prosopagnosia, aka Face Blindness, and the inability to recognize voices … [more]

Concerns that giant Asian tiger prawn may dominate Gulf of Mexico’s ecosystem … [more]

Understanding consciousness by studying the brain during general anesthesia and mapping how neural circuits change … [more]

Twin Grail probes to enter orbit around the moon over New Year’s weekend and begin study of the lunar gravity field … [more]

Observing RNA editing in real time by tracking a green glow … [more]

New technology, called the RootChip, could revolutionize root research with ability to monitor roots in real time with high precision … [more]

Best Science Pictures of 2011 … [more]

MIT neuroscientists found Npas4 gene to be master controller of new memories in the human brain … [more]

Chi_b (3P): The first new particle discovered at the Large Hadron Collider … [more]

Hollow metallic ball with a circumference of 1.1m fell out of the sky and landed in Namibia … [more]

Extremely powerful quantum computers and new states of matter may be possible by supercooling objects at the atomic level … [more]

“Sun-Believeable” – Inexpensive paint that can generate electricity from sunlight … [more]

First complex cell may have been an accidental byproduct of an attempted parasitic invasion of an archaeon by a bacterium … [more]

Evidence of complex hydrocarbon molecules spotted on the surface of Pluto by the Hubble Space Telescope … [more]

Ingredient pairing is what makes Asian food taste so different from Western food … [more]

Intense heat and pressure deep in the Earth causes iron oxide to transition into a highly conducting metal without a change to its structure … [more]

Mean Drunks: People that don’t consider future consequences when sober get very aggressive after consuming alcohol … [more]

FDA approval granted for human trials of HIV vaccine developed by researchers at the University of Western Ontario … [more]

IBM predicts 5 innovations that will change our lives in the next 5 years … [more]

In southwest Wales, researchers have located the exact source of the rocks used to build part of the 5,000 year old Stonehenge monument … [more]

Quantum Entanglement of macroscopic diamonds at room temperature … [more]

According to a study using fish, Uninformed Voters may provide value in producing democratic outcomes … [more]

U.S. DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory creates solar cell with 114% external quantum efficiency (more electrons in photocurrent than photons entering cell) … [more]

Fermilab breaks ground on Illinois Accelerator Research Center … [more]

Soldierdroids, Robot Chefs, Dragons, and other Robots of the Week … [more]

Rebel Angel, Sloshed Galaxies, Red Dragonfish, Survival Story, and other Space Pictures of the Week … [more]

British study shows that loud music and noise make Alcoholic drinks taste sweeter (and I thought it was nightclubs watering down the drinks) … [more]

Astronomers may have found the smallest known black hole using NASA’s Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer … [more]

Fluorescent molecules with a metal-organic framework developed at MIT could provide easy visual identification of pathogens, explosives, or toxins … [more]

Comet Lovejoy survives fiery plunge through sun’s corona to the surprise and delight of NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory scientists … [more]

New MRI study comparing activation of various brain regions finds roots to dehumanization that may facilitate atrocities, torture, and genocide … [more]

Russian icebreaker on mission to save more than 100 Beluga whales trapped off the Bering Sea before they die from suffocation or starvation … [more]

New suite of statistical tools called MINE provides new way to mine vast data sets and analyze a broad spectrum of patterns … [more]

Four Eras of Astrobiology from the Big Bang to intelligent life: Physical, Chemical, Biological, Cognitive … [more]

Google is working around the clock to release its Apple Siri competitor, codenamed Majel—a Star Trek reference, for the Android platform … [more]

NASA considers using 3D printing on the International Space Station to build spare parts and tools on demand … [more]

High-energy physicists from Caltech set record with sustained network data transfer rate of 186 gigabits per second … [more]

New chemical process developed that can create a range of complex metallic nanoparticles with potential uses in the medical industry … [more]

MIT researchers create extremely high speed camera: One Trillion Frames Per Second … [more]

Paul Allen’s new company, Stratolaunch Systems, plans to build giant airplane with a 385 foot wingspan to launch rockets into space … [more]

Longevity researchers believe that the secret to immortality, or at least extending human life spans to thousands of years, may be just around the corner … [more]

NASA’s Mars-Bound Curiosity Rover begins research in space with its Radiation Assessment Detector … [more]

CERN Scientists close in on “God Particle,” but cannot make any conclusive statement on the existence of Higgs boson … [more]

400 billion particles modeled in largest-ever simulation of the universe … [more]

Study of African lungfish offers clues on the evolution of walking … [more]

Russian scientists astonished by volume of methane release from the seabed of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf in the Arctic Ocean … [more]

Two new species of frogs found in the forests of southeastern Papua New Guinea are world’s smallest tetrapods (PDF) … [more]

Quantum Computers Breakthrough: Reconfigurable photonic chip can generate, manipulate and measure entanglement … [more]

Environmental Protection Agency report shows clear link between hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and contaminated ground water … [more]

Patents on how doctors treat to their patients? Supreme Court Looks at Medical Patents … [more]

Innovative learning method improves performance on high-performance visual tasks with little or no conscious effort … [more]

Intrasexual Competition Experiment Results: Almost all women were aggressive toward an attractive female … [more]

Antenna proteins, chlorophyll coherence, quantum effects, and room temperature photosynthesis … [more]

NASA lists over 500 moon rock samples as missing or stolen and much more may be missing … [more]

Swarms of bees make decisions using very similar mechanisms to human brain neurons … [more]

Accelerated ice loss in Greenland during 2010 caused lifted bedrock up to 0.79 inches … [more]

NOAA Administrator – Predicting and Managing Extreme Events … [more]

Self Cleaning Glass – New coating made of superamphiphobic glass repels water and oil … [more]

Columbia University Medical Center researchers discover that worms can pass a trait down for 100 generations, without using DNA … [more]

Giant dinosaur bones discovered in New Mexico belong to North America’s biggest dinosaur, the sauropod Alamosaurus … [more]

New Apple Headquarters may have 500,000 square feet of solar panels generating over 5MW of power … [more]

How the voices of our ancestors sounded, back when humans still had air sacs … [more]

Pristinely detailed fossils show that the ancient predator Anomalocaris had compound eyes and keen vision … [more]

Scientists at King’s College London produce ‘clinical-grade’ human embronic stem cells without using any animal products … [more]

More rumors that evidence of Higgs Boson found at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, with results expected to be released Tuesday, December 13 … [more]

Mineral vein deposited by water found on Mars by NASA Rover Opportunity … [more]

New color images from NASA Dawn show that Vesta’s rock and mineral composition make it different than other asteroids and more like a planet … [more]

Researchers from NASA and Ohio State University find that a Merging Tsunami caused by ocean ridges pushing two wave fronts together doubled the destruction in Japan … [more]

40 gallons of highly radioactive waste water containing 26 billion becquerels of radioactive materials has leaked into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima nuclear power plant … [more]

Almost half of cancer cases in the UK caused by lifestyle choices … [more]

Canada switching to Polymer Money to thwart counterfeiters … [more]

The Yeti Crab, a species that live in the deep sea, grows its food, extremophile bacteria, on its own claws … [more]

Rate of deforestation in the Amazon region of Brazil is at the lowest level in 23 years … [more]

Newly discovered black hole is around 20 billion times the mass of our sun and 3 times as massive as the largest previously known black hole … [more]

California high school student wins $100,000 scholarship at the Siemens Foundation’s annual science competition … [more]

Studying animal growth rates by comparing dinosaurs and ancient crocodiles … [more]

According to rumors, physicists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are ready to announce the discovery of the Higgs boson with a mass of 125 GeV … [more]

Search for the Higgs boson “God Particle” at the Large Hadron Collider disrupted by “UFOs” … [more]

Is global warming causing a reduction in oceanic dissolved oxygen? … [more]

Researchers at the University of East Anglia say that global carbon emissions have reached a new high … [more]

Flerovium and Livermorium are the new names proposed for elements 114 and 116 on the periodic table … [more]

Animals may sense impending earthquakes through chemical changes in groundwater (PDF) … [more]

Outside our solar system, Voyager Probes now able to see Milky Way’s ultraviolet glow … [more]

Scientists studying algae believe drop in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels triggered formation of Antarctic Ice Sheet 34 million years ago … [more]

Just for fun: Sci-Fi Ballistic Weapons … [more]


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