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Lab Daily

Today in Lab History: Leo Baekeland

November 14, 2014 7:00 am | by Today in Science History | News | Comments

Leo Baekeland, born Nov. 14, 1863, was a Belgian-American industrial chemist who invented the first thermosetting plastic, Bakelite, which did not soften when heated. His first successful invention was Velox, a photographic paper that could be used with artificial light rather than sunlight, which he sold in 1899 to George Eastman for $1 million.

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Men May Have Evolved Navigation Skills to Find Mates

November 13, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Utah | News | Comments

A study of two African tribes found evidence that men evolved better navigation ability than women because men with better spatial skills– the ability to mentally manipulate objects– can roam farther and have children with more mates.

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Next-gen Vaccine Doesn't Contain Live Virus

November 13, 2014 2:00 pm | by The Univ. of Queensland | News | Comments

A polio inoculation in use since the 1950s has all-but eradicated the crippling disease in the developed world, but “wild polio” strains are running rampant in some poorer countries. Now, vaccine technology being developed by a team could hold the key to completely eradicating polio by removing live virus from the vaccine production process.

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Pigeons May Have an Internal Gyroscope

November 13, 2014 2:00 pm | by The Company of Biologists | News | Comments

How homing pigeons find their way home is still largely a mystery. Now, researchers have found that homing pigeons are affected by disturbances in the gravity field and suggest that the birds navigate using an internal gyroscope to guide themselves home.

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Gene Study May Support Heart Drug's Claims

November 13, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Marilynn Marchione | News | Comments

Scientists have discovered gene mutations that give people naturally lower cholesterol levels and cut their risk of heart disease in half. That discovery may have a big implication: a blockbuster drug that mimics these mutations has long been sold, without evidence, that it cuts the chance of heart disease.

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GMO Controversy: Monsanto to Pay Wheat Farmers

November 13, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Sarah Sell | News | Comments

Monsanto Co. says it will pay nearly $2.4 million to settle a dispute with farmers in the Pacific Northwest over genetically modified wheat. No genetically engineered wheat has been approved for U.S. farming, but it was found in Oregon in 2013. That discovery prompted Japan and South Korea to temporarily suspend some wheat orders, and the EU called for more rigorous testing of U.S. shipments.

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Major Fracking Chemicals are as Toxic as Everyday Materials

November 13, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Colorado Boulder | News | Comments

The surfactant chemicals— used to reduce surface tension between water and oil, allowing for more oil to be extracted from porous rock underground— found in samples of fracking fluid collected in five states were no more toxic than substances commonly found in homes, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis.

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Wikipedia Forecasts Outbreaks 28 Days in Advance

November 13, 2014 2:00 pm | by PLOS | News | Comments

Analyzing page views of Wikipedia articles could make it possible to monitor and forecast diseases around the globe, according to research. A team used the site to successfully monitored influenza outbreaks in the U.S., Poland, Japan and Thailand, dengue fever in Brazil and Thailand and tuberculosis in China and Thailand.

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Digest This: Spiky Pill Delivers Drugs

November 13, 2014 11:42 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Articles | Comments

A swallowable capsule coated with tiny needles delivers drugs directly into the lining of the digestive tract as a replacement for injections.                                        

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Pocket-sized Atomic Clocks?

November 13, 2014 7:00 am | by MIT, Jennifer Chu | News | Comments

The international standard for time is set by atomic clocks— room-sized apparatuses that keep time by measuring the natural vibration of atoms in a vacuum. Now, researchers have come up with a new approach to atomic timekeeping that may enable more stable and accurate portable atomic clocks, potentially the size of a Rubik’s cube.

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Chemists Build Molecular Banister

November 13, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Basel | News | Comments

Chemists have succeeded in twisting a molecule by combining molecular strands of differing lengths. The longer strand winds around a central axis like a staircase banister, creating a helical structure that exhibits special physical properties.

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Molecule May Drug 'Undruggable' Cancer

November 13, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Cambridge | News | Comments

A trawl through a library of more than 50,000 small molecules has identified a potential candidate to inhibit the spread of cancer cells throughout the body. The molecule targets a mechanism of tumor development that had previously been considered “undruggable,” and could open the door to further promising new candidates.

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Sunspot is Back and Worse than Ever

November 13, 2014 7:00 am | by The Conversation, Paul Cally | Videos | Comments

The largest sunspot seen in 24 years is rotating back to face the Earth, and it looks to have grown even bigger. Last month, the solar active region known as AR12192 entertained the world with the sunspot clearly visible to the naked eye as it produced a series of large flares. But, after spending some time over on the far side of the sun, it hasn’t finished impressing us yet.

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Bacteria Could Be Useful in Mining

November 13, 2014 7:00 am | by ScienceNetwork WA | News | Comments

Salt- and acid-tolerant bacteria with the potential to be used in mining processing have been uncovered in Australia’s Wheatbelt. The bacteria were found during a "bio-prospecting" survey and are likely to become more important in coming decades as high-grade ore runs out.

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Vitamin B May Not Help Memory

November 13, 2014 7:00 am | by American Academy of Neurology | News | Comments

Taking vitamin B12 and folic acid supplements may not reduce the risk of memory and thinking problems after all, according to research. The study is one of the largest to date to test long-term use of supplements and thinking and memory skills.

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