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Mars liquid water: Curiosity confirms favorable conditions

April 14, 2015 11:37 am | by Fernanda Pires, Univ. of Michigan | Comments

NASA's Curiosity rover, which is exploring the Gale crater on Mars, confirms that conditions for liquid water on the Red Planet are favorable. And in a detail that surprised researchers, the measurements were made in the tropical region of the planet: one of the driest regions.

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Recruiting the entire immune system to attack cancer

April 14, 2015 11:30 am | by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office | Comments

The human immune system is poised to spring into action at the first sign of a foreign invader, but it often fails to eliminate tumors that arise from the body’s own cells. Cancer biologists hope to harness that untapped power using an approach known as cancer immunotherapy. Orchestrating a successful immune attack against tumors has proven difficult so far, until now.

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Why skin is resistant to tearing

April 14, 2015 8:21 am | by Ioana Patringenaru, Univ. of California, San Diego | Comments

Skin is remarkably resistant to tearing and a team of researchers from the Univ. of California, San Diego and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory now have shown why. Using powerful x-ray beams and electron microscopy, researchers made the first direct observations of the micro-scale mechanisms that allow skin to resist tearing.

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Researchers find protein that may signal more aggressive prostate cancers

April 14, 2015 8:13 am | by Nicole Casal Moore, Univ. of Michigan | Comments

Univ. of Michigan researchers have discovered a biomarker that may be a potentially important breakthrough in diagnosing and treating prostate cancer. Biomarkers in the body are analogous to the warning lights in cars that signal something might need repairing. In our bodies, they indicate if something's wrong or if we're about to get sick or if we're predisposed to certain illnesses.

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Taking aircraft manufacturing out of the oven

April 14, 2015 8:03 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | Comments

Composite materials used in aircraft wings and fuselages are typically manufactured in large, industrial-sized ovens: Multiple polymer layers are blasted with temperatures up to 750 F, and solidified to form a solid, resilient material. Using this approach, considerable energy is required first to heat the oven, then the gas around it, and finally the actual composite.

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On the road to spin-orbitronics

April 14, 2015 7:55 am | by Lynn Yarris, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Comments

Few among us may know what magnetic domains are, but we make use of them daily when we email files, post images or download music or video to our personal devices. Now a team of researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found a new way of manipulating the walls that define these magnetic domains and the results could one day revolutionize the electronics industry.

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Gold by special delivery intensifies cancer-killing radiation

April 14, 2015 7:47 am | by Kevin Stacey, Brown Univ. | Comments

Researchers have demonstrated a promising new way to increase the effectiveness of radiation in killing cancer cells. The approach involves gold nanoparticles tethered to acid-seeking compounds called pHLIPs. The pHLIPs (pH low-insertion peptides) home in on high acidity of malignant cells, delivering their nanoparticle passengers straight to the cells’ doorsteps.

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Dark Energy Survey creates detailed guide to spotting dark matter

April 14, 2015 7:39 am | by Andre Salles, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory | Comments

Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey have released the first in a series of dark matter maps of the cosmos. These maps, created with one of the world's most powerful digital cameras, are the largest contiguous maps created at this level of detail and will improve our understanding of dark matter's role in the formation of galaxies.

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Violent methane storms on Titan may solve dune direction mystery

April 14, 2015 7:28 am | by Peter Kelley, Univ. of Washington | Comments

With its thick, hazy atmosphere and surface rivers, mountains, lakes and dunes, Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, is one of the most Earth-like places in the solar system. As the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft examines Titan over many years, its discoveries bring new mysteries. One of those involves the seemingly wind-created sand dunes spotted by Cassini near the moon’s equator, and the contrary winds just above.

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Washington state school district gets tough about vaccines

April 14, 2015 12:03 am | by Nicholas K. Geranios, Associated Press | Comments

Spokane school district officials on Monday removed from class 143 students who could not prove they had legally required vaccinations. More than 700 students in the state's second-largest district lack complete vaccination documents, so that number was expected to rise, district spokesman Kevin Morrison said. The crackdown began Monday morning.

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Research under way to test marijuana extract for epilepsy

April 13, 2015 4:05 pm | by Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer, Associated Press | Comments

Even as some states are allowing use of certain marijuana extracts to treat severe epilepsy, the rigorous research needed to prove if one of these compounds really works is just getting under way. Monday, researchers said new findings from a small safety study suggest the extract cannabidiol should be put to the real test.

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Touch sensing neurons are multitaskers

April 13, 2015 2:12 pm | by Johns Hopkins | Comments

Two types of touch information — the feel of an object and the position of an animal’s limb — have long been thought to flow into the brain via different channels and be integrated in sophisticated processing regions.

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New ebola study points to potential drug target

April 13, 2015 2:04 pm | by Michael C. Purdy, WUSTL | Comments

Opening the door to potential treatments for the deadly Ebola virus, scientists have found that a protein made by the virus plays a role similar to that of a coat-check attendant.

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Researchers grow cardiac tissue from 'Spider Silk'

April 13, 2015 1:50 pm | by Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology | Comments

Genetically engineered fibers of the protein spidroin, which is the construction material for spider webs, has proven to be a perfect substrate for cultivating heart tissue cells.

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Limber lungs: one type of airway cell can regenerate another lung cell type

April 13, 2015 1:41 pm | by UPenn | Comments

A new collaborative study describes a way that lung tissue can regenerate after injury. 

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