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Computer Failure Shut Down London's Airspace Today

December 12, 2014 2:58 pm | by Associated Press, Danica Kirka, Gregory Katz | News | Comments

The airspace over London was briefly closed Friday afternoon because of what authorities said was a computer failure at one of Britain's two air traffic control centers. The British government demanded an investigation into the "unacceptable" disruption. The 35-minute shutdown caused flight delays in and out of London and flight slowdowns in other parts of Europe that officials said would linger into Saturday.

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Greener Deicers Still Damaging

December 12, 2014 2:41 pm | by Inside Science News Service, Brian Owens | News | Comments

Every year, as winter closes in, transportation authorities prepare to deploy their stockpiles of salt and sand to keep the roads and highways safe and ice-free for drivers. In the U.S., roughly 18 million metric tons of road salt are spread on the roads each year. All that salt does not just disappear along with the ice in the spring; it sticks around, and can have major effects on the surrounding ecosystems and even drinking water.

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World's Oldest African Penguin Underwent Chemo

December 12, 2014 2:00 pm | by Colorado State Univ. | Videos | Comments

The world’s oldest African penguin, a Zoo resident named Tess, dove effortlessly into her pool this week and swam for the first time since veterinarians used specialized radiation to treat an aggressive form of skin cancer on the penguin’s face. Making her dip more meaningful, Tess represents an endangered species expected to vanish from the wild within two decades.

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Isotopes May Shed Light on Origins of Life-supporting Planets

December 12, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Surrey | News | Comments

New research has described how recreating isotopes that occur when a star explodes can help physicists understand where life-supporting elements may be found in space. Researchers were able to observe the isotopes of certain elemental chemicals formed as a star explodes.

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Real Data, Not Theory, Used to Measure Cosmos

December 12, 2014 2:00 pm | by Imperial College London | News | Comments

For the first time, researchers have measured large distances in the Universe using data, rather than calculations related to general relativity. The team used data from astronomical surveys to measure a standard distance that is central to our understanding of the expansion of the universe.

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Poor Vaccine Fuels California's Whooping Cough Epidemic

December 12, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Julie Watson | News | Comments

California officials are battling the worst whooping cough epidemic to hit the state in seven decades. Doctors emphasize that the inoculation has led to fewer deaths than in the past and in instances where people do get sick, their illnesses aren't as severe. But officials say the limited protection of the vaccine introduced in the 1990s has led to the rise in cases.

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This Week @ NASA, December 12, 2014

December 12, 2014 11:00 am | Podcasts | Comments

“Here’s some of the stories trending This Week at NASA!” Orion is back! The hugely successful first flight test on Dec. 5 of NASA’s Orion spacecraft took it farther than any spacecraft designed for astronauts has been in more than 40 years – with people around the country keeping a close eye on its spaceflight.

Volcanoes May Have Killed the Dinosaurs

December 12, 2014 8:07 am | by MIT, Jennifer Chu | News | Comments

Sixty-six million years ago, an asteroid more than five miles wide smashed into the Earth at 70,000 miles per hour, instantly vaporizing upon impact. The strike obliterated most terrestrial life, including the dinosaurs, in a geological instant. But now scientists have found evidence that a major volcanic eruption began just before the impact, possibly also playing a role in the extinction.

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Pluto-sized Objects Create Dust around Adolescent Star

December 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics | News | Comments

Astronomers may have detected the dusty hallmarks of an entire family of Pluto-size objects swarming around an adolescent version of our own Sun. By making detailed observations of the protoplanetary disk surrounding the star, the astronomers detected an unexpected increase in the concentration of millimeter-size dust grains in the disk's outer reaches.

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Sleep Problems Linked to Obesity in Kids

December 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Albert Einstein College of Medicine | News | Comments

Sleep-related breathing problems and chronic lack of sleep may each double the risk of a child becoming obese by age 15, according to new research. The good news is that both sleep problems can be corrected.

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Insights into Early Farming May Shape Future of Food

December 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Sheffield | News | Comments

Agricultural decisions made by our ancestors more than 10,000 years ago could hold the key to food security in the future, according to new research that looked at why the first arable farmers chose to domesticate some cereal crops and not others.

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Scientists Find Possible Signal from Dark Matter

December 12, 2014 7:00 am | by EPFL | Videos | Comments

Could there finally be tangible evidence for the existence of dark matter in the Universe? After sifting through reams of X-ray data, scientists believe they may have identified the signal of a particle of dark matter.

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DNA shows 40-million-year Battle Between Primates, Pathogens

December 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Utah | News | Comments

Examination of DNA from 21 primate species— from squirrel monkeys to humans— exposes an evolutionary war against infectious bacteria over iron that circulates in the host's bloodstream. Supported by experimental evidence, these findings demonstrate the vital importance of an increasingly appreciated defensive strategy called nutritional immunity.

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UN Urges Polluters to Present Climate Pledges

December 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Karl Ritter | News | Comments

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged governments to listen to scientists "shouting from the roof tops" and accelerate talks on a global pact to fight climate change. He also called on big carbon polluters to follow the examples of China, the U.S. and the EU and announce emissions targets for a planned deal next year in Paris. India, Russia and Japan and other major carbon emitters haven't made pledges.

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Invasive Species Dramatically Alter Landscapes

December 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Purdue Univ. | News | Comments

A review of studies on how life forms interact with and influence their surroundings concluded that invasive species can alter landscapes in myriad ways and with varying degrees of severity. These changes can be quick, large-scale and extremely difficult to reverse.

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