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Colorful potatoes may pack powerful cancer prevention punch

August 27, 2015 11:00 am | by Matt Swayne, Penn State Univ. | News | Comments

Compounds found in purple potatoes may help kill colon cancer stem cells and limit the spread of the cancer, according to a team of researchers. Baked purple-fleshed potatoes suppressed the growth of colon cancer tumors in petri dishes and in mice by targeting the cancer's stem cells.

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Egyptian Blue Takes Backseat in Mummy Portraits

August 27, 2015 10:38 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

Believed to be the first artificial pigment produced, Egyptian blue was inspired by the semiprecious stone lapis lazuli. According to Marc Walton, a research associate professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern Univ., Ancient Egyptians used the pigment on their walls and on the ceilings of tombs to replicate the night sky. The first documented appearance of the pigment was around 3200 to 3000 BC.

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Antimatter catches a wave

August 27, 2015 10:00 am | by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory | Videos | Comments

A study has demonstrated a new, efficient way to accelerate positrons, the antimatter opposites of electrons. The method may help boost the energy and shrink the size of future linear particle colliders, powerful accelerators that could be used to unravel the properties of nature’s fundamental building blocks.

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Capture sunlight with your window

August 27, 2015 9:30 am | by Nancy Ambrosiano, Los Alamos National Laboratory | News | Comments

A luminescent solar concentrator is an emerging sunlight harvesting technology that has the potential to disrupt the way we think about energy: It could turn any window into a daytime power source.

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New catalyst may hasten commercialization of fuel cell vehicles

August 27, 2015 9:00 am | by Vic Comello, Argonne National Laboratory | News | Comments

Scientists have developed a new fuel cell catalyst using earthly abundant materials with performance that is comparable to platinum in laboratory tests. If commercially viable, the new catalyst could replace platinum in electric cars powered by fuel cells instead of batteries, which would greatly extend the range of electric vehicles and eliminate the need for recharging.

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Modified bacteria become a multicellular circuit

August 27, 2015 8:00 am | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. | News | Comments

Rice Univ. scientists have made a living circuit from multiple types of bacteria that prompts the bacteria to cooperate to change protein expression. The subject of a new paper in Science, the project represents the first time the Rice researchers have created a biological equivalent to a computer circuit that involves multiple organisms to influence a population.

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Intensity of desert storms may affect ocean phytoplankton

August 27, 2015 7:30 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Each spring, powerful dust storms in the deserts of Mongolia and northern China send thick clouds of particles into the atmosphere. Eastward winds sweep these particles as far as the Pacific, where dust ultimately settles in the open ocean. This desert dust contains, among other minerals, iron, an essential nutrient for hundreds of species of phytoplankton that make up the ocean’s food base.

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Attention-Grabbing Crows

August 26, 2015 10:00 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

Researchers know about the New Caledonian crow’s ability to fashion hooked tools out of twigs and leaves, using them to harvest grubs. The areas where these grubs reside are often too narrow for the bird’s beak. Some have suggested the crow’s ability to craft tools surpasses the abilities of chimpanzees.

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New Image of Cosmic Butterfly

August 26, 2015 6:00 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

An amalgam of ghostly greens, blues and reds burst forth from the center of a bright white light, diamond-like in shape. The green emissions split off into opposite directions, forming two lobes shaped like butterfly wings. Inside, they house kaleidoscopic jet streams. As the lobes extend outwards into the vastness of space, the colors fade against the black.

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ORNL chemical sampling interface features simplicity, speed

August 26, 2015 5:30 pm | by Ron Walli, Oak Ridge National Laboratory | News | Comments

In mere seconds, a system developed at Oak Ridge National Laborator can identify and characterize a solid or liquid sample, providing a valuable tool with applications in material science, forensics, pharmaceuticals, biology and chemistry.

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Cellular contamination pathway for heavy elements identified

August 26, 2015 4:30 pm | by Julie Chao, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | News | Comments

Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have reported a major advance in understanding the biological chemistry of radioactive metals, opening up new avenues of research into strategies for remedial action in the event of possible human exposure to nuclear contaminants.

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Searching big data faster

August 26, 2015 3:30 pm | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

For more than a decade, gene sequencers have been improving more rapidly than the computers required to make sense of their outputs. Searching for DNA sequences in existing genomic databases can already take hours, and the problem is likely to get worse.

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To the Wonder: Speculating Extraterrestrial Life

August 26, 2015 3:00 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

Discovered in the 1880s in the Mediterranean Sea, the immortal jellyfish (Turritopsis dohrnii) measures about 4.5 mm across. Small as a pinky nail, its transparent body shows a glowing red stomach. Ninety tentacles wistfully float by its side in the water.

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Supercomputers enlisted to shed light on photosynthesis

August 26, 2015 2:30 pm | by Univ. of the Basque Country | News | Comments

Computing enables scientists and engineers to analyze highly complex physical processes using simulation techniques. In this case, researchers in the UPV/EHU are collaborating with researchers from various universities to analyze the photosynthesis process basing themselves on various theories because the way in which plants absorb light remains a mystery.

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Earth’s mineralogy unique in the cosmos

August 26, 2015 1:30 pm | by Carnegie Institute of Science | News | Comments

New research from a team led by Carnegie’s Robert Hazen predicts that Earth has more than 1,500 undiscovered minerals and that the exact mineral diversity of our planet is unique and could not be duplicated anywhere in the cosmos.

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