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Cerebral palsy - it can be in your genes

February 12, 2015 | by Univ. of Adelaide | Comments

An international research group led by a team at the University of Adelaide has made what they believe could be the biggest discovery into cerebral palsy in 20 years.                

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Breakthrough in nonlinear optics research

March 5, 2015 9:29 am | by Verity Leatherdale, Univ. of Sydney | Comments

A method to selectively enhance or inhibit optical nonlinearities in a chip-scale device has been developed by scientists, led by the Univ. of Sydney. The breakthrough is a fundamental advance for research in photonic chips and optical communications.

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Magnetic material attracts attention for cancer therapy

March 5, 2015 9:23 am | by Monash Univ. | Comments

An extraordinary self-regulating heating effect that can be achieved in a particular type of magnetic material may open the doors to a new strategy for hyperthermia cancer treatment. Temperatures that can be tolerated by healthy body cells have long been known to destroy cancerous cells. An approach that uses magnetic particles introduced into tissue and heated remotely has found some success in treating cancer. 

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El Nino finally here

March 5, 2015 9:09 am | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer, Associated Press | Comments

A long anticipated El Nino has finally arrived. But for drought-struck California, it's too little, too late, meteorologists say. The National Weather Service on Thursday proclaimed the phenomenon is now in place. It's a warming of a certain patch of the central Pacific that changes weather patterns worldwide, associated with flooding in some places, droughts elsewhere, a generally warmer globe and fewer Atlantic hurricanes.

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New way to control information by mixing light and sound

March 5, 2015 8:59 am | by Jim Shelton, Yale Univ. | Comments

For once, slower is better in a new piece of technology. A Yale Univ. lab has developed a new, radio frequency processing device that allows information to be controlled more effectively, opening the door to a new generation of signal processing on microchips. One of the keys to the technology involves slowing information down.

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Plants use water wisely—mostly

March 5, 2015 8:49 am | by Karen McNulty Walsh, Brookhaven National Laboratory | Comments

Plants trade water for carbon: Every liter of water that they extract from the soil allows them to take up a few more grams of carbon from the atmosphere to use in growth. A new global study, led by Australian researchers and published in Nature Climate Change, shows that plants trade their water wisely, with different plant species having different trading strategies depending on how much it costs them to obtain their water.

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Reducing emissions with more effective carbon capture method

March 5, 2015 8:39 am | by American Chemical Society | Comments

Trapping carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and various industries could play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the future. But current materials that can collect carbon dioxide have low capacities or require very high temperatures to work. Scientists are making progress toward a more efficient alternative, described in Chemistry of Materials, that could help make carbon capture less energy intensive.

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Sub-micrometer carbon spheres reduce engine friction as oil additive

March 5, 2015 8:31 am | by Emil Venere, Purdue Univ. | Comments

Tiny, perfectly smooth carbon spheres added to motor oil have been shown to reduce friction and wear typically seen in engines by as much as 25%, suggesting a similar enhancement in fuel economy. The researchers also have shown how to potentially mass-produce the spheres, making them hundreds of times faster than previously possible using ultrasound to speed chemical reactions in manufacturing.

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Models yield clearer picture of emissions’ true costs

March 5, 2015 7:06 am | by Duke Univ. | Comments

When its environmental and human health toll is factored in, a gallon of gasoline costs us about $3.80 more than the pump price, a new Duke Univ. study finds. The social cost of a gallon of diesel is about $4.80 more than the pump price; the price of natural gas more than doubles.

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Permafrost’s turn on the microbes

March 4, 2015 5:16 pm | by Mary Beckman, PNNL | Comments

As the Arctic warms, tons of carbon locked away in Arctic tundra will be transformed into the powerful greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane, but scientists know little about how that transition takes place. Now, scientists looking at microbes in different types of Arctic soil have a new picture of life in permafrost that reveals entirely new species and hints that subzero microbes might be active.

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Flu winds down as FDA aims for better vaccine next winter

March 4, 2015 5:10 pm | by Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer, Associated Press | Comments

The miserable flu season is winding down but not quite over yet, health officials said Wednesday, even the government picked what it hoped would be a better vaccine recipe for next fall and winter. If it seems early to worry about the next flu season, well, producing 140 million doses of vaccine requires starting months in advance.

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Why isn’t the universe as bright as it should be?

March 4, 2015 4:50 pm | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | Comments

A handful of new stars are born each year in the Milky Way, while many more blink on across the universe. But astronomers have observed that galaxies should be churning out millions more stars, based on the amount of interstellar gas available. Now researchers have pieced together a theory describing how clusters of galaxies may regulate star formation.

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Strength in numbers

March 4, 2015 4:37 pm | by Sonia Fernandez, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara | Comments

When scientists develop a full quantum computer, the world of computing will undergo a revolution of sophistication, speed and energy efficiency that will make even our beefiest conventional machines seem like Stone Age clunkers by comparison. But, before that happens, quantum physicists will have to create circuitry that takes advantage of the marvelous computing prowess promised by the quantum bit.

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Metabolic path to improved biofuel production

March 4, 2015 4:27 pm | by Lynn Yarris, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Comments

Researchers with the Energy Biosciences Institute have found a way to increase the production of fuels and other chemicals from biomass fermented by yeast. By introducing new metabolic pathways into the yeast, they enable the microbes to efficiently ferment cellulose and hemicellulose, the two major families of sugar found in the plant cell wall, without the need of environmentally harsh pre-treatments or expensive enzyme cocktails.

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Technology could cut costs of night vision, thermal imaging

March 4, 2015 4:06 pm | by LaKisha Ladson, UT Dallas | Comments

Engineers at The Univ. of Texas at Dallas have created semiconductor technology that could make night vision and thermal imaging affordable for everyday use. The engineers created an electronic device in affordable technology that detects electromagnetic waves to create images at nearly 10 THz, which is the highest frequency for electronic devices. The device could make night vision and heat-based imaging affordable.

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Fossil jaw sheds light on turning point in human evolution

March 4, 2015 3:09 pm | by Malcolm Ritter, AP Science Writer, Associated Press | Comments

A fragment of jawbone found in Ethiopia is the oldest known fossil from an evolutionary tree branch that eventually led to modern humans, scientist reported Wednesday. The fossil comes from very close to the time that our branch split away from more ape-like ancestors best known for the fossil skeleton Lucy. So it gives a rare glimpse of what very early members of our branch looked like.

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