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Lab Daily

Gasoline Use Hits 30 Year Low

March 25, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Michigan | News | Comments

Average fuel consumption by American drivers is at its lowest level in at least 30 years. A study found that gallons of gasoline consumed per person, driver, vehicle and household are below 1984 levels and down 14 percent to 19 percent from peak levels a little more than a decade ago (2003-2004).

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Industrial Metal Harms Honey Bees

March 25, 2015 3:00 pm | by Washington Univ. in St. Louis | News | Comments

Scientists have looked at the effect of low levels of manganese, a common industrial pollutant, on the behavior of honey bees. At levels considered safe for human food, the metal seemed to addle bees. The bees advanced through age-related work assignments faster than normal, yet completed fewer foraging trips than their sisters who were not exposed to manganese.

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Problematic Algae May Aid Biofuels, Farm Soil

March 25, 2015 3:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

Water-borne algal blooms from farm fertilizer runoff can destroy aquatic life and clog rivers and lakes, but scientists are working on a way to clean up these environmental scourges and turn them into useful products. The algae could serve as a feedstock for biofuels, and the feedstock leftovers could be recycled back into farm soil nutrients.

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Archeologists Uncover Aztec Empire's Complex Geopolitics

March 25, 2015 3:00 pm | by North Carolina State Univ. | News | Comments

New findings from an international team of archeological researchers highlight the complexity of geopolitics in Aztec era Mesoamerica and illustrate how the relationships among ancient states extended beyond warfare and diplomacy to issues concerning trade and the flow of goods.

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Food Additive May Be Safer, Greener Antifreeze

March 25, 2015 3:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

The sweet taste and smell of antifreeze tempts children and animals to drink the poisonous substance, resulting in thousands of accidental poisonings in the U.S. every year. But today, researchers are describing a new, nontoxic product based on a common food additive that could address this health issue and help the environment at the same time.

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Supreme Court to Consider EPA's Mercury Limits

March 25, 2015 8:56 am | by Associated Press, Mark Sherman | News | Comments

The Supreme Court is taking up a challenge by industry groups and Republican-led states that want to roll back Obama administration environmental rules aimed at reducing power plant emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants that contribute to respiratory illnesses, birth defects and developmental problems in children.

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'Minor Glitch' is a Big Setback for Large Hadron Collider

March 25, 2015 7:00 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Officials say a minor glitch will delay the restart of Europe's multi-billion dollar Large Hadron Collider either a couple of days or more than a month. A small metallic piece near a magnet has to be removed before the machine fires its circulating beam.

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Recalls Issued for Spinach, Ice Cream Because of Listeria

March 25, 2015 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Kristin Bender, David Warren | News | Comments

Three organic food companies that use spinach in their food have recalled hundreds of thousands of items over listeria concerns. And, Blue Bell is expanding the recall of some ice cream products to include 3-ounce cups of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice cream that have tab lids because of possible exposure to the listeria bacteria.

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Today in Lab History: Dame Mary Douglas

March 25, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

Dame Mary Douglas (nee Margaret Mary Tew) was a British anthropologist born to colonial parents in Italy on March 25, 1921. Raised as a Roman Catholic, she was a supporter of structural analysis with an interest in comparative religion.

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Cleaning Could Remove 95% of Contaminates from Wastewater

March 25, 2015 7:00 am | by Lappeenranta Univ. of Technology | News | Comments

Improving the efficiency of the current wastewater cleaning process, using membrane filtration and oxidation, can remove more than 95 percent of contaminants, such as drug residues and pesticides, from water. The results show that these technologies remove up to 99 percent of contaminants and nutrients.

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Brain Sees Known Words as Pictures

March 25, 2015 7:00 am | by Georgetown Univ. Medical Center | News | Comments

When we look at a known word, our brain sees it like a picture, not a group of letters needing to be processed. That's the finding from a study that showed the brain learns words quickly by tuning neurons to respond to a complete word, not parts of it.

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Internet Breast Milk is Dangerous

March 25, 2015 7:00 am | by BMJ | News | Comments

The nutritional benefits of breast milk for babies are widely documented, but many new mothers find it difficult or are unable to breastfeed. This pushes some mothers to purchase human breast milk on the Internet. Despite appearing as healthy and beneficial products, many new mothers— and even some healthcare workers— are not aware that this market is dangerous because it is not regulated.

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Air Pollution Linked to Anxiety, Stroke

March 25, 2015 7:00 am | by BMJ | News | Comments

Two separate studies have found that air pollution is linked to a higher risk of stroke, particularly in developing countries, and is associated with anxiety. Stroke is a leading cause of death and kills around 5 million people each year worldwide. Anxiety is the most common psychiatric disorder and globally affects around 16 percent of people at some point in life.

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Microscope Upgrade Allows Deeper Biological Imaging

March 25, 2015 7:00 am | Product Releases | Comments

Olympus has added two new configurations in its FLUOVIEW FVMPE-RS multiphoton laser scanning microscope series—a Gantry microscope system and an inverted microscope system. The microscope series is used in life science research.

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Hunters Were in North America 13,300 Years Ago

March 24, 2015 3:00 pm | by Texas A&M Univ | News | Comments

By studying the skeletal remains of seven horses and one camel found in an area called Wally’s Beach, located about 80 miles south of Calgary in Canada, researchers found that prehistoric Ice Age people hunted the animals 13,300 years ago in North America, much earlier than previously believed.

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