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Lab Daily

Q&A: Susanne Renner and the History of the Watermelon

December 11, 2014 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

This week’s Scientist of the Week is Susanne Renner from Ludwig Maximilians Universität München. She and a team discovered that botanists made a mistake, over 80 years ago, when they concluded that edible watermelon came from South Africa.

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Knowing German Makes Learning English Easier

December 11, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Zurich | News | Comments

A study found that anyone who reads and writes German well is likely to carry over this advantage to English– regardless of the age of onset of foreign language learning or the biological age. The study also shows that students who are given early exposure to English do not maintain a clear advantage for more than a relatively short period over students who begin to learn the language only at secondary level.

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Modification Simplifies Standard Model of Physics

December 11, 2014 7:00 am | by UC San Diego | News | Comments

The Standard Model of particle physics is a powerful mathematical model that has guided physicists to the discovery of the Higgs boson and other particles before it. Now, scientists have found a simplified mathematical description that is entirely consistent with the mathematics of the Standard Model but is an add-on that accounts for small deviations in the expected behavior of low mass particles.

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Scientists Estimate Total Weight of Plastic in Ocean

December 11, 2014 7:00 am | by PLOS | News | Comments

Scientists from six countries contributed data from 24 expeditions collected over a six-year period to help accurately estimate the amount of plastic in the seas. According to their work, nearly 269,000 tons of plastic pollution may be floating in the world's oceans.

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App puts Chemistry in the Palm of Your Hand

December 11, 2014 7:00 am | by Beckman Institute at the Univ. of Illinois | Videos | Comments

A new app brings molecules to life in a handheld device. Through the app, people can use up to 11 fingers to examine in great detail more than 350 molecules, which they can also twist, turn and tie into knots.

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Soot, Dust Discolor the Taj Mahal

December 10, 2014 2:00 pm | by Georgia Institute of Technology | News | Comments

The Taj Mahal’s iconic marble dome and soaring minarets require regular cleaning to maintain their dazzling appearance. Researchers are pointing the finger at airborne carbon particles and dust for giving the gleaming white landmark a brownish cast. But, knowing the culprits in the discoloration is just the first step in cleaning up the Taj Mahal.

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Researchers Pinpoint Addiction in Brain

December 10, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Michigan | News | Comments

Activating the brain's amygdala, an almond-shaped mass that processes emotions, can create an addictive, intense desire for sugary foods. Rewards such as sweet tasty food or even addictive drugs like alcohol or cocaine can be extremely attractive when this brain structure is triggered.

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Method Aids Discovery of Gels for Food, Cosmetics, Biomedicine

December 10, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Strathclyde | News | Comments

Scientists have created methods that dramatically simplify the discovery of biological gels for food, cosmetics and biomedicine. Until now, discovery of new gels relied largely on chance discoveries. They developed a screening method to accurately predict how peptides– the building blocks of living systems– could combine to form stable gels.

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Congress to Ease School Lunch Requirements

December 10, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Mary Jalonick | News | Comments

Congress is taking some whole grains off the school lunch line. A massive year-end spending bill released this week doesn't allow schools to opt out of healthier school meal standards. But it would ease standards that require more whole grains in school foods.

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e-Skin 'Feels' Direction of Pressure

December 10, 2014 2:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

Touch can be a subtle sense, but it communicates quickly whether something in our hands is slipping, for example, so we can tighten our grip. For the first time, scientists report the development of a stretchable “electronic skin” closely modeled after our own that can detect not just pressure, but also what direction it’s coming from.

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Beehive Sealant Boosts Hair Growth in Mice

December 10, 2014 2:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

Hair loss can be devastating for the millions of men and women who experience it. Now, scientists are reporting that a substance from honeybee hives might contain clues for developing a potential new therapy. They found that the material, called propolis, encouraged hair growth in mice.

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Printing Yields High-tech Contacts

December 10, 2014 2:00 pm | by Princeton Univ. | News | Comments

As part of a project demonstrating new 3-D printing techniques, researchers have embedded tiny LEDs into a standard contact lens, allowing the device to project beams of colored light. The lens isn’t designed for actual use. The team created the device to demonstrate the ability to 3-D print electronics into complex shapes and materials.

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Inspection Software Suites Various User Needs

December 10, 2014 10:02 am | Product Releases | Comments

UltraVision 3.6R4 is the latest in Zetec’s suite of ultrasonic Inspection Management software. It is available in five versions, according to user needs. It ranges from a free viewer, which provides data display and features cursors to do simple measurements, to UltraVision 3D, which is a highly advanced 3-D tracing solution.

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Software Upgrades Camera’s Microscopy, Imaging Functions

December 10, 2014 9:58 am | SPOT Imaging Soutions | Product Releases | Comments

SPOT Imaging Solutions’ SPOT 5.2 software provides ongoing OS support for the proprietary camera, while expanding its capabilities with new features and enhanced functionality. Features and enhancements include: Mac OS X Mavericks (10.9) support; Windows 8 support; optimized microscopy with auto-brightness function; live image overlay module; enhance auto-exposure image types; enhanced ICC profiles for new cameras; and added macro and custom dialog functions.

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DAQ Amplifier Modules Suited for Harsh Conditions

December 10, 2014 9:56 am | Product Releases | Comments

HBM has added three amplifier modules for its SomatXR Data Acquisition System. The SomatXR MX1615B-R Amplifier has 16 individually configurable inputs for potentiometric sensors, PT 100 temperature sensors or strain gages (SG) in full-, half- or quarter-bridge configurations.

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