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The Lead

Neuroscientists: Quit Smoking Gradually

January 28, 2015 | by Univ. of Copenhagen | Comments

Researchers have studied the immediate reaction in the brain after quitting smoking. At just 12 hours after kicking the habit, the oxygen uptake and blood flow in the brain decrease significantly compared to never-smokers. This could explain why it is so difficult to say goodbye to nicotine once and for all.

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National Lab Scientist Gets Five Years for Spying

January 28, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Russell Contreras | Comments

A former Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist who pleaded guilty to trying to help Venezuela develop a nuclear weapon was sentenced today to five years in prison and three years of supervised release. According to a 22-count indictment, he told an undercover agent that he could help Venezuela develop a nuclear bomb within 10 years.

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Oxytocin May Help Social Skills in Autistic Mice

January 28, 2015 3:00 pm | by UCLA | Comments

People with autism spectrum disorders have difficulty with social behavior and communication, which can make it challenging to form friendships, engage in routine conversations or pick up on the social cues that are second nature to most people. Now, researchers have found that giving oxytocin to mice with autism-like symptoms restored their normal social behavior.

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Glasses Go Dark on Command

January 28, 2015 3:00 pm | by ACS | Comments

Imagine eyeglasses that can go quickly from clear to shaded and back again when you want them to, rather than passively in response to changes in light. Scientists are reporting a major step toward that goal, which could benefit pilots, security guards and others who need such control.

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Beer Compound May Fight Alzheimer's, Parkinson's

January 28, 2015 3:00 pm | by ACS | Comments

The health-promoting perks of wine have attracted the spotlight recently, leaving beer in the shadows. But, a compound in hops, which is an ingredient in beer, could help protect brain cells from damage.

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Global Vaccination Program Promised $7.5 B

January 28, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

Governments and private donors, among them the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, have pledged a record $7.5 billion to replenish a global vaccination program. Gavi is the international organization for a global vaccine alliance bringing together public and private sectors with the goal of creating access to new vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries.

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Russian Spy's Autopsy was Most Dangerous Ever

January 28, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Jill Lawless | Comments

The body of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko was so radioactive that his post-mortem was "one of the most dangerous" ever undertaken and the isotope that killed him so rare it would not have been discovered by a normal autopsy, a pathologist said today.

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Hedgehog Particles Key to Safer Paints

January 28, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Michigan | Comments

A new process that can sprout microscopic spikes on nearly any type of particle may lead to more environmentally friendly paints and a variety of other innovations. Made by a team of engineers, the "hedgehog particles" are named for their bushy appearance under the microscope.

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Fossil Alters Snake Evolution by 70 M Years

January 28, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Alberta | Comments

Fossilized remains of four ancient snakes between 140 and 167 million years old are changing the way we think about the origin of snakes, and how and when it happened. The discovery rolls back the clock on snake evolution by nearly 70 million years.

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Oversight of Gas Pipelines Has Systemic Flaws

January 28, 2015 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Joan Lowy | Comments

Three powerful accidents in recent years show systemic weaknesses in how natural gas providers maintain the largest pipelines in their networks, accident investigators said, as they issued more than two dozen safety recommendations.

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Culture Impacts Creativity

January 28, 2015 7:00 am | by Concordia Univ. | Comments

With the “creative class” on the rise, many businesses are trying to capitalize on imagination and innovation. But when it comes to creative juices, some societies have a faster flow than others. That’s because, new research suggests, creativity is tied to culture.

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Light Bursts Microcapsules to Release Fragrances

January 28, 2015 7:00 am | by Angewandte Chemie | Comments

Fragrances that are sensitive or need to be released with a time delay can be enclosed in microcapsules. Now, scientists have introduced a new type of microcapsule that can be ruptured by its ingredients when irradiated with light.

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CERN Releases Broadest Set of Data on Higgs Boson

January 28, 2015 7:00 am | by CERN | Comments

With the Large Hadron Collider preparing to restart in a few months, data from its first run has already been bearing fruit. A recent publication brings together the broadest set of results to date about the properties of the Higgs boson.

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Newly Found Solar System is Twice Our Age

January 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Marcia Dunn | Comments

A newly discovered solar system— with five small rocky planets— makes ours look like a baby. Astronomers announced today that this solar system is 11.2 billion years old. By comparison, our solar system is 4.5 billion years old.

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Drug Candidates May Halt Parkinson's Patients' Decline

January 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by The Scripps Research Institute | Comments

In a pair of related studies, scientists have shown their drug candidates can target biological pathways involved in the destruction of brain cells in Parkinson's disease. The studies suggest it is possible to design highly effective and highly selective drug candidates that can protect the function of mitochondria, which provide the cell with energy, ultimately preventing brain cell death.

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Stem Cells Can Induce Human Hair Growth

January 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute | Comments

In a study, researchers have used human pluripotent stem cells to generate new hair. The study represents the first step toward the development of a cell-based treatment for people with hair loss.

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