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Scientists See Cosmic Burst of Radio Waves

January 20, 2015 7:00 am | by Niels Bohr Institute, Univ. of Copenhagen | News | Comments

A strange phenomenon has been observed by astronomers right as it was happening — a “fast radio burst.” The eruption was described as an extremely short, sharp flash of radio waves from an unknown source in the universe.


Snail Produces Weaponized Insulin

January 20, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Utah | News | Comments

As predators go, cone snails are slow-moving and lack the typical fighting parts. They’ve made up for it by producing a vast array of fast-acting toxins that target the nervous systems of prey. And, a new study reveals that some cone snails add a weaponized form of insulin to the venom cocktail they use to disable fish.


Breakthrough Key to New Anesthetics

January 20, 2015 7:00 am | by American Society of Anesthesiologists | News | Comments

While physician anesthesiologists have improved the safety of anesthesia over the years, there are still many risks associated with general anesthesia. And yet, no new anesthetics have been developed for more than 40 years. Now, for the first time since the 1970s, researchers are on the verge of developing a new class of anesthetics.


Researchers Study Quasars in the Early Universe

January 19, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Cambridge | News | Comments

Two teams of astronomers have looked back nearly 13 billion years, when the Universe was less than 10 percent its present age, to determine how quasars— extremely luminous objects powered by supermassive black holes— regulate the formation of stars and the build-up of the most massive galaxies. They found that a quasar spits out cold gas at speeds up to 2,000 kilometers per second, and across distances of nearly 200,000 light years.


BPA Affects Hearts of Male, Female Mice Differently

January 19, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Cincinnati Academic Health Center | News | Comments

Heart function and blood pressure in mice exposed to bisphenol A (BPA) from birth though young adulthood are affected differently in males and females, with females at greater risk of damage from stress.


Sleep Issues Can Predict Specific Drinking, Drug Problems

January 19, 2015 7:00 am | by Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research | News | Comments

Sleep difficulties and insufficient sleep are common among American youth. A new study has found that sleep difficulties and hours of sleep can predict a number of specific problems, including binge drinking, driving under the influence of alcohol and risky sexual behavior in a nationally representative sample.


Multiple Teams Agree: 2014 Warmest Year on Record

January 19, 2015 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Seth Borenstein | News | Comments

For the third time in a decade, the globe sizzled to the hottest year on record, federal scientists announced. Both the NOAA and NASA calculated that in 2014 the world had its hottest year in 135 years of record-keeping. Earlier, the Japanese weather agency and an independent group out of UC Berkeley also measured 2014 as the hottest on record.


How Cells Stay Organized

January 19, 2015 7:00 am | by Johns Hopkins Medicine | Videos | Comments

Organization is key to an efficient workplace, and cells are no exception to this rule. New evidence suggests that, in addition to membranes, cells have another way to keep their contents and activities separate: with ribbons of spinning proteins.


New Maps Help Find Global Farmland

January 19, 2015 7:00 am | by International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis | News | Comments

Knowing where agricultural land is located is crucial for regional and global food security planning, and information on field size offers valuable insight into local economic conditions. Two new global maps provide a significant step forward in global cropland information on these two topics.


Laughs from Lab: Jan. 19, 2015

January 19, 2015 7:00 am | News | Comments

The editors of Laboratory Equipment want you to start your week with a smile of your face. With years of science experience, we've heard every science joke there is. So, here’s a science joke you might like. Q: What did the chemist take when he was told his breath was awful?


Algorithm Knows the Odds, Gives You Options

January 19, 2015 7:00 am | by MIT, Larry Hardesty | News | Comments

New planning algorithms evaluate probability of success and suggest low-risk alternatives. If you want to drive one hundred and fifty miles in four hours and stop for lunch at an Applebee’s at 12:30, you might only have a 66 percent chance of meeting those criteria— but an algorithm can tell you that that if you can wait until 1:00 for lunch, or if you’re willing to eat at TGI Friday’s, the chance of arriving on time goes up to 99 percent.


Mosquitoes Stymied Ming Dynasty Invasion Attempts

January 16, 2015 2:00 pm | by Pennsylvania State Univ. | News | Comments

Chinese rulers spent hundreds of years and sacrificed countless lives building a meandering 5,500-mile earth, stone and brick wall along the country's northern border, designed to keep invaders from attacking the empire. Meanwhile, tiny germs and bugs were one brick in a wall that restrained China's own ambitions to conquer and incorporate parts of what is now called Vietnam and the empire's other southern neighbors.


Tiny Sample of Plutonium Traced to Manhattan Project

January 16, 2015 2:00 pm | by UC Berkeley | News | Comments

A tiny speck of plutonium on the UC Berkeley campus is making news for its connection to a momentous point in history. The plutonium, safely secured, has been identified with near certainty by nuclear scientists as a sample created through the Manhattan Project, led by the late Berkeley physics professor J. Robert Oppenheimer.


Lost Lander Found on Mars After 11 Years

January 16, 2015 2:00 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

The Beagle-2 Mars lander, which has been lost on Mars since 2003, has been found in images taken by a NASA orbiter at the Red Planet. Beagle-2 was released from its mother craft on Dec. 19, 2003, and was due to land six days later. But nothing was heard from the lander after its scheduled touchdown, and searches for the lander were fruitless.


Environment Shapes Immune System More than Genes

January 16, 2015 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Lauran Neergaard | News | Comments

How your immune system does its job seems to depend more on your environment and the germs you encounter than on your genes, says new research that put twins to the test to find out. And, while young children's immunity may be more influenced by what they inherit from mom and dad, the study shows genetic influences wane in adulthood.



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