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The Lead

Astronaut, Cosmonaut Set for Record-breaking ISS Stay

March 27, 2015 | by NASA | Comments

This afternoon, Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko will launch to the ISS, beginning a one-year mission in space, testing the limits of human research, space exploration and the human spirit. While Scott Kelly is in space, his identical twin brother, retired NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, will participate in a number of comparative genetic studies. A number of spaceflight endurance records will be broken during the mission.

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Technology Fails to See Inside Fukushima

March 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Yuri Kageyama | Comments

Cutting-edge technology was billed as a way to decipher where exactly the morass of nuclear fuel might sit at the bottom of reactors in the Japanese power plant that went into multiple meltdowns four years ago. But the technology went wrong today during a simple demonstration for reporters. It’s a sobering reminder of the enormous challenges that lie ahead for the decommissioning of Fukushima Dai-ichi.

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Earliest Humans Had Diverse Bodies

March 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Cambridge | Comments

One of the theories of evolution is that our genus, Homo, evolved from small-bodied early humans to become the taller, heavier and longer-legged Homo erectus that was able to migrate beyond Africa and colonize Eurasia. New research suggests our genus has come in different shapes and sizes since its origins over two million years ago, and adds weight to the idea that humans began to colonize Eurasia while still small and light.

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84 Out of 85 College Students Can't Draw Apple Logo

March 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by UCLA | Comments

Could you draw the ubiquitous Apple computer logo from memory? Probably not. In a new study, psychologists found that almost none of their subjects could draw the logo correctly from memory. We don’t notice much of what we see, the study indicates.

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Monsanto Fined for Failing to Report Chemical Release

March 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Keith Ridler | Comments

Monsanto Co. has agreed to pay $600,000 in fines for not reporting hundreds of uncontrolled releases of toxic chemicals at its eastern Idaho phosphate plant. The EPA and the U.S. DOJ announced the agreement involving the biotechnology company's Soda Springs facilities.

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Projects Aims to Reintroduce Wild Wood Bison

March 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Dan Joling | Comments

A hundred wood bison that will be the foundation for the first wild herd on U.S. soil in more than a century have been safely delivered to a rural Alaska village, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. They likely will be released from Shageluk into the Innoko Flats in one or two weeks.

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Pre-Dino Predator Found

March 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Toronto | Comments

What do butterflies, spiders and lobsters have in common? They are all surviving relatives of a newly identified species called Yawunik kootenayi, a marine creature with two pairs of eyes and prominent grasping appendages that lived as much as 508 million years ago— more than 250 million years before the first dinosaur.

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Sugar Molecule Key to Cancer Diagnosis Sans Biopsies

March 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Johns Hopkins Univ. | Comments

Imaging tests like mammograms or CT scans can detect tumors, but figuring out whether a growth is or isn't cancer usually requires a biopsy to study cells directly. Now, results of a study suggest that MRI could one day make biopsies more effective or even replace them altogether by noninvasively detecting telltale sugar molecules shed by the outer membranes of cancerous cells.

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Today in Lab History: Great Alaskan Earthquake

March 27, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | Comments

On March 27, 1964, at 5:36 PM AST the most powerful recorded megathrust earthquake in North American history occurred. Falling on Good Friday, it lasted for four minutes and 38 seconds and had a moment magnitude of 9.2, making it the third strongest earthquake in recorded history.

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Climate Target 'Utterly Inadequate'

March 27, 2015 7:00 am | by BioMed Central | Comments

The official global target of a 2 C temperature rise is “utterly inadequate” for protecting those at most risk from climate change, says a lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, writing a commentary in the open access journal Climate Change Responses. The commentary presents a rare inside-view of a two-day discussion at the Lima Conference of the Parties.

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HIV Can Evolve in Brain Early in Illness

March 27, 2015 7:00 am | by National Institutes of Health | Comments

The AIDS virus can genetically evolve and independently replicate in patients' brains early in the illness process. An analysis of cerebral spinal fluid, a window into brain chemical activity, revealed that, for a subset of patients, HIV had started replicating within the brain within the first four months of infection.

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Graphene Makes Square Water

March 27, 2015 7:00 am | by The Univ. of Manchester | Comments

Researchers have created a transparent nanoscale capillary out of graphene to investigate the atomic structure of water trapped inside. They used high magnification electron microscopy that allowed them to see individual water molecules. To their surprise, the scientists found small square crystals of ice at room temperature, provided the graphene capillaries were narrow enough, allowing no more than three atomic layers of water.

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Tissue Samples Can Be Painted with Light

March 27, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Illinois | Comments

One infrared scan can give pathologists a window into the structures and molecules inside tissues and cells, enabling fast and broad diagnostic assessments, thanks to an imaging technique. Using a combination of advanced microscope imaging and computer analysis, the new technique can give pathologists and researchers precise information without using chemical stains or dyes.

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Method Yields Quality-control Tool for Nanocomposites

March 27, 2015 7:00 am | by Purdue Univ. | Comments

Layered nanocomposites containing tiny structures mixed into a polymer matrix are gaining commercial use, but their complex nature can hide defects that affect performance. Now, researchers have developed a system capable of detecting such defects using a "Kelvin probe" scanning method with an atomic force microscope.

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Entanglement Technique May Aid Atomic Clocks

March 26, 2015 3:00 pm | by MIT, Jennifer Chu | Comments

Physicists have developed a new technique that can successfully entangle 3,000 atoms using only a single photon. The results represent the largest number of particles that have ever been mutually entangled experimentally.

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Coyotes Are Filling in for Wolves

March 26, 2015 3:00 pm | by NC State Univ. | Comments

It’s believed that wolves once roamed the southeastern U.S. before they were eliminated by overhunting and habitat loss. Now, the region has a new top dog, the coyote, which may fill the role once played by wolves.

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