Posts

October 26, 2014

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6:29 PM | Molecular beacons shine light on how cells "crawl"
Adherent cells, the kind that form the architecture of all multi-cellular organisms, are mechanically engineered with precise forces that allow them to move around and stick to things. Proteins called integrin receptors act like little hands and feet to pull these cells across a surface or to anchor them in place. When groups of these cells are put into a petri dish with a variety of substrates they can sense the differences in the surfaces and they will “crawl” toward […]
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6:22 PM | NASA identifies ice cloud above cruising altitude on Titan
NASA scientists have identified an unexpected high-altitude methane ice cloud on Saturn's moon Titan that is similar to exotic clouds found far above Earth's poles. This lofty cloud, imaged by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, was part of the winter cap of condensation over Titan's north pole. Now, eight years after spotting this mysterious bit of atmospheric fluff, researchers have determined that it contains methane ice, which produces a much denser cloud than the ethane ice previously […]

October 25, 2014

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5:57 PM | World first: Australian surgeons transplant a dead heart
In a world first, Australian researchers and surgeons have successfully transplanted a heart that had stopped beating. The donor heart was dead for 20 minutes before it was resuscitated with ground breaking preservation fluid and then transplanted. Researchers say up to 30 per cent more lives will be saved as a result of this new technique. It was developed by the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute and Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital. READ MORE Subject:  […]
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5:49 PM | Elon Musk speaks at MIT Oct. 24, 2014
The founder of Tesla and SpaceX spoke at MIT for an event marking the 100th anniversary of its Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

October 24, 2014

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10:06 PM | When parallel worlds collide … quantum mechanics is born
Parallel universes – worlds where the dinosaur-killing asteroid never hit, or where Australia was colonised by the Portuguese – are a staple of science fiction. But are they real? Subject:  Technology
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9:56 PM | New compounds reduce debilitating inflammation
Six Case Western Reserve scientists are part of an international team that has discovered two compounds that show promise in decreasing inflammation associated with diseases such as ulcerative colitis, arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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5:50 PM | MRI detects a single atom for the first time
For the first time, researchers have succeeded to detect a single hydrogen atom using magnetic resonance imaging, which signifies a huge increase in the technology's spatial resolution. In the future, single-atom MRI could be used to shed new light on protein structures. Subject:  Technology
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5:41 PM | The end of pregnancy and the inevitable rise of the artificial womb
Sigmund Freud famously maintained that boys grow up with “castration anxiety,” or the fear of losing their penises, while girls suffer from “penis envy,” or a longing to have penises of their own. But what if pregnancy envy, not penis envy, has been the central driver of human history? Several years ago, feminist political scientist Jacqueline Stevens offered a fascinating, contrary theory of childhood sexual development that made exactly that point. […]
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5:29 PM | The very first photo of Earth from space
These days we see photos of our planet taken from space literally every day. Astronauts living aboard the International Space Station, weather and Earth-observing satellites in various orbits, even distant spacecraft exploring other planets in our Solar System… all have captured images of Earth from both near and far. But there was a time not that long ago when there were no pictures of Earth from space, when a view of our planet against the blackness of the cosmos was limited […]
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4:27 PM | Ebola's evolutionary roots are more ancient than previously thought
A new study is helping to rewrite Ebola's family history. The research shows that filoviruses — a family to which Ebola and its similarly lethal relative, Marburg, belong — are at least 16-23 million years old. Filoviruses likely existed in the Miocene Epoch, and at that time, the evolutionary lines leading to Ebola and Marburg had already diverged, the study concludes. Subject:  Evolution
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3:47 PM | Is telekinesis real?
Telekinesis, the ability to manipulate matter with the mind alone, is a trait exhibited by some of the most iconic fictional characters, including Neo, Yoda, and, of course, Carrie. But is this mind control actually possible in real life? Emma Bryce subjects telekinesis to the scientific method.
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3:21 PM | Infection projections: how the spread of Ebola is calculated
The number of reported Ebola cases is doubling roughly every five weeks in Sierra Leone, and in as little as two to three weeks in Liberia. Subject:  Health & Medicine

October 23, 2014

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9:21 PM | Can general anesthesia trigger dementia?
Scientists try to untangle the relationship between a temporary effect and a permanent condition. Sanfra Anastine had surgery at age 42 and couldn’t speak for about 12 hours afterward. The next time she was operated on she was 56 and it took three months for her speech to return. Now 61, Anastine says that she doesn’t have difficulty forming words anymore but is still more forgetful than before her second surgery. She’s afraid of what will happen if she has to go […]
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8:31 PM | Missing link found between vitamin D and prostate cancer
A University of Colorado Cancer Center study recently published in the journal Prostate offers compelling evidence that inflammation may be the link between Vitamin D and prostate cancer. Specifically, the study shows that the gene GDF-15, known to be upregulated by Vitamin D, is notably absent in samples of human prostate cancer driven by inflammation. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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8:07 PM | Sunshine may slow weight gain and diabetes onset
Exposure to moderate amounts of sunshine may slow the development of obesity and diabetes, a study suggests. Scientists who looked at the effect of sunlight on mice say further research will be needed to confirm whether it has the same effect on people. The researchers showed that shining UV light at overfed mice slowed their weight gain. The mice displayed fewer of the warning signs linked to diabetes, such as abnormal glucose levels and resistance to insulin. Subject:  […]
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6:16 PM | Researchers record sight neurons in jumping spider brain
For the first time, a team of interdisciplinary researchers have made recordings of neurons associated with visual perception inside the poppy seed-sized brain of a jumping spider (Phidippus audax). Though neurobiologists have tried for half a century to better understand the brains of jumping spiders, no one has succeeded. The liquid in spiders’ bodies is pressurized, as they move with hydraulic pressure and muscles, so they don’t tolerate previous research techniques. […]
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6:02 PM | Genomic data support early contact between Easter Island and Americas
People may have been making their way from Easter Island to the Americas well before the Dutch commander Jakob Roggeveen arrived with his ships in 1722, according to new genomic evidence showing that the Rapanui people living on that most isolated of islands had significant contact with Native American populations hundreds of years earlier. Subject:  Anthropology
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5:55 PM | Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron" - Teaser Trailer
Get your first look at Ultron trying to tear apart Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and the rest of the world in the first official teaser trailer for Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron," in theaters May 1, 2015!
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5:48 PM | New clues to how weight loss is regulated
A hormone seen as a popular target to develop weight-loss drugs works by directly targeting the brain and triggering previously unknown activity in the nervous system, UT Southwestern Medical Center obesity researchers have found. The fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) hormone has been a key target for developing weight-loss drugs because the protein increases energy expenditure, causing the body to burn calories. But how the hormone worked wasn't known until now. Subject:  […]
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2:07 AM | Elon Musk on SpaceX winning multi-billion contract from NASA
Elon Musk is looking happy following the $2.6B bid the SpaceX just won from NASA - against all odds! "Free education and increased space program fundings will guarantee our success in progression towards a better future and as of now we are doing the opposite" - Elon Musk
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1:58 AM | Two families of comets discovered around nearby star
Biggest census ever of exocomets around Beta Pictoris. Subject:  Astronomy/Cosmology
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1:53 AM | Is dark matter coming from the sun?
For decades, astronomers and cosmologists have postulated that the Universe is filled with an invisible, mysterious mass known as “dark matter.” For decades, the search for this elusive matter has dominated the field of cosmology. Precise measurements were obtained over 20 years ago when dark matter was first mapped in galaxy halos. Only recently has the existence of dark matter over much larger scales than even galaxy clusters been detected. Subject:  […]
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1:46 AM | Earliest modern human genome sequenced
Researchers discover fragments of Neandertal DNA in the genome of a 45,000-year-old modern human from Siberia. A research team led by Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, has sequenced the genome of a 45,000-year-old modern human male from western Siberia. Subject:  Genetics
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1:37 AM | Original Star Wars movie models revealed
Before the days of computer graphics, film industry model makers constructed incredibly detailed, hand-made spaceship models for science fiction films. These models helped shape our collective vision of the future, and continue to do so today. Here are 140 up-close photos of ship and vehicle models constructed by ILM for the Original Star Wars Trilogy (1977-1983). Subject:  Technology
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12:48 AM | Removing the salt from fracking
The boom in oil and gas produced through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is seen as a boon for meeting U.S. energy needs. But one byproduct of the process is millions of gallons of water that's much saltier than seawater, after leaching salts from rocks deep below the surface. Subject:  Technology
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12:42 AM | 'Woz' to teach robotics at UTS
Apple Computer co-founder Steve "Woz" Wozniak has joined UTS as adjunct professor – the first adjunct appointment he has accepted at any university. The pioneer inventor, electronics engineer and computer programmer is working with staff and students in the Magic Lab (Innovation and Enterprise Research Laboratory), School of Software and Centre for Quantum Computation and Intelligent Systems in UTS's Faculty of Engineering and IT. "Woz loves the energy, the vibe and the robots […]
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12:13 AM | The autonomous Google car may never actually happen
A good technology demonstration so wows you with what the product can do that you might forget to ask about what it can't. Case in point: Google's self-driving car. There is a surprisingly long list of the things the car can't do, like avoid potholes or operate in heavy rain or snow. Yet a consensus has emerged among many technologists, policymakers, and journalists that Google has essentially solved—or is on the verge of solving—all of the major issues involved with […]

October 22, 2014

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10:24 PM | Love machines
From Pygmalion to Bladerunner, we keep falling for our robot creations. But then, what else is AI good for? Subject:  Artificial Intelligence
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10:18 PM | Titan glowing at dusk and dawn
New maps of Saturn's moon Titan reveal large patches of trace gases shining brightly near the north and south poles. These regions are curiously shifted off the poles, to the east or west, so that dawn is breaking over the southern region while dusk is falling over the northern one. The pair of patches was spotted by a NASA-led international team of researchers investigating the chemical make-up of Titan's atmosphere. Subject:  Astronomy/Cosmology
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8:43 PM | 'I’m scared I’m going to die'
Axl Goode recently discovered that he was sitting only three seats away from Ebola patient Amber Vinson while flying from Cleveland to Dallas on October 13th. Here is his courageous story. The incessant buzzing of my cell phone woke me, text after text pouring in. Rolling over in bed, I saw that the messages were from my dad. Our text conversation was as follows: Dad, “2nd healthcare worker tests positive for Ebola...you know, the ones wearing hazmat suits.” […]
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