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Lab Daily

Seismic Network Records Urban Sounds

October 30, 2014 7:00 am | by Acoustical Society of America | News | Comments

Although naturally occurring vibrations have proven extremely useful to seismologists, the vibrations caused by humans haven't been explored in any real depth. Now, researchers are describing their efforts to tap into an urban seismic network to monitor the traffic of trains, planes, automobiles and other modes of human transport.

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Robots Project Thoughts

October 30, 2014 7:00 am | by MIT, Jennifer Chu | Videos | Comments

In a darkened, hangar-like space a small, Roomba-like robot is trying to make up its mind. A new visualization system combines ceiling-mounted projectors with motion-capture technology and animation software to projects the robot’s intentions in real time.

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Payment Terminals 'Poynt' Toward the Future

October 30, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Michael Liedtke | News | Comments

A Silicon Valley startup is hoping an upcoming transition to smarter credit and debit cards will persuade millions of U.S. merchants to buy savvier payment terminals for their stores, too. That's the point of Poynt, a versatile terminal built to take advantage of rules requiring stores to be equipped to handle payment cards with computer chips by October 2015 to avoid financial liability for fraudulent transactions.

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Scientist of the Week: Mary Cushman

October 30, 2014 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

Mary Cushman and a team from the Univ. of Vermont College of Medicine discovered that people with blood type AB may be more likely to develop memory loss in later years than people with other blood types.

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LEDs Boost Profits, Productivity in Factories

October 30, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Michigan | News | Comments

Switching to LED lights in factories not only saves energy, it boosts productivity and increases profits, a new study shows. LEDs create less heat than traditional lights, so they help keep factory floors cooler. When workers are more comfortable, they produce more and are less likely to be absent.

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Molecule Protects Plants from the Harsh Sun

October 30, 2014 7:00 am | by ACS | News | Comments

Plants rely on sunlight to make their food, but they also need protection from its harmful rays, just like humans do. Now, scientists have discovered a group of molecules in plants that shields them from sun damage.

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California's Drought May Impact Sushi Prices

October 29, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Terence Chea | News | Comments

California's deepening drought is shrinking its rice harvest, and that's bad news for farmers, migratory birds and sushi lovers. The $5 billion industry exports rice to more than 100 countries. Nearly all U.S. sushi restaurants use medium-grain rice grown in the Sacramento Valley.

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Liberia's Ebola Decline May Be Start of Trend

October 29, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Sarah DiLorenzo, Maria Cheng | News | Comments

The rate of new Ebola infections in Liberia appears to be declining and could represent a real trend, the World Health Organization says. There are empty beds in treatment centers, the number of burials in the country has declined and there may be as much as a 25 percent week-on-week reduction in cases in Liberia.

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Scientists Rank Thousands of Chemicals by Exposure Level

October 29, 2014 2:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

An overwhelming number of chemicals from household and industrial products are in the environment– and hundreds are in our bodies. But for most of them, scientists have yet to determine whether they cause health problems. Now, they've taken the first step toward doing that by estimating which substances people are exposed to the most.

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Scientists Make Human Stomach Tissue with Stem Cells

October 29, 2014 2:00 pm | by Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center | News | Comments

Scientists used pluripotent stem cells to generate functional, three-dimensional human stomach tissue in a laboratory– creating an unprecedented tool for researching the development and diseases of an organ central to several public health crises, ranging from cancer to diabetes.

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Lab-made Enzyme May Explain Origins of Life

October 29, 2014 2:00 pm | by The Scripps Research Institute | News | Comments

Mimicking natural evolution in a test tube, scientists have devised an enzyme with a unique property that might have been crucial to the origin of life on Earth. Aside from illuminating one possible path for life's beginnings, the achievement is likely to yield a powerful tool for evolving new and useful molecules.

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Planet-forming Gas Clumps Seen in Binary Star System

October 29, 2014 2:00 pm | by ESO | News | Comments

GG Tau-A, a multiple-star system, contains a large outer disc encircling the entire system as well as an inner disc around the main central star. Now, a team discovered gas clumps in the region between the two discs. The new observations suggest that material is being transferred from the outer to the inner disc, creating a lifeline between the two.

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Contamination Likely Caused Puzzling Study Results

October 29, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Michigan | News | Comments

Laboratory contaminants likely explain the results of a recent study claiming that complete genes can pass from foods we eat into our blood, according to a molecular biologist who reexamined data from the controversial research paper. The findings highlight an underappreciated problem— contamination of laboratory samples— with one of the most popular and powerful new tools of the discipline: high-throughput sequencing.

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Cause of Rocket Explosion Unknown

October 29, 2014 8:07 am | by Associated Press, Brock Vergakis, Marcia Dunn | News | Comments

The owners of a commercial supply ship that exploded moments after liftoff have promised to find the cause of the failed delivery mission to the International Space Station and warned residents to not touch any debris they might stumble across from the craft, which was carrying hazardous materials.

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Glaciers Sing

October 29, 2014 7:00 am | by The Geological Society of America | News | Comments

Researchers using seismic recordings, collected near Lake Gornersee in the Swiss Alps, to look for signs of water moving through fractures near the glacier bed, have found that that harmonic tremor occurs within mountain glaciers and that individual icequakes at the glacier base can exhibit harmonic properties.

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