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Searching for traces in the atmosphere

March 24, 2015 10:27 am | by SWISS FEDERAL LABORATORIES FOR MATERIALS SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (EMPA) | Comments

The latest generation of halogenated coolants is a big step forward: these substances decay more quickly in the atmosphere hence their lifetimes are considerably shorter. That is why they do not add nearly as much to the greenhouse gas effect as their stable predecessors. 

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Brain tumor cells decimated by mitochondrial 'smart bomb'

March 24, 2015 10:25 am | by Houston Methodist | Comments

An experimental drug that attacks brain tumor tissue by crippling the cells' energy source called the mitochondria has passed early tests in animal models and human tissue cultures, say Houston Methodist scientists.

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Building shape inspires new material discovery

March 24, 2015 10:20 am | by Australian National University | Comments

Physicists inspired by the radical shape of a Canberra building have created a new type of material which enables scientists to put a perfect bend in light. The creation of a so-called topological insulator could transform the telecommunications industry's drive to build an improved computer chip using light.

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Scientists coax stem cells to form 3-D mini lungs

March 24, 2015 10:17 am | by University of Michigan Health System | Comments

Scientists have coaxed stem cells to grow the first three-dimensional mini lungs. Previous research has focused on deriving lung tissue from flat cell systems or growing cells onto scaffolds made from donated organs.

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Quantum experiment verifies Einstein's 'spooky action at a distance'

March 24, 2015 10:14 am | by Griffith University | Comments

An experiment devised in Griffith University's Centre for Quantum Dynamics has for the first time demonstrated Albert Einstein's original conception of "spooky action at a distance" using a single particle.

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Research suggest solar system may have once harbored super-Earths

March 23, 2015 4:22 pm | by Kimm Fesenmaier, Caltech | Comments

Long before Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars formed, it seems that the inner solar system may have harbored a number of super-Earths, planets larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune. If so, those planets are long gone, broken up and fallen into the sun billions of years ago largely due to a great inward-and-then-outward journey that Jupiter made early in the solar system's history.

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New technique could bring quality-control tool for nanocomposites

March 23, 2015 4:10 pm | by Emil Venere, Purdue Univ. | Comments

Layered nanocomposites containing tiny structures mixed into a polymer matrix are gaining commercial use, but their complex nature can hide defects that affect performance. Now researchers have developed a system capable of detecting such defects using a "Kelvin probe" scanning method with an atomic force microscope. The ability to look below the surface of nanocomposites represents a potential new quality-control tool for industry. 

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Artificial intelligence systems more apt to fail than destroy

March 23, 2015 1:52 pm | by David Stauth, Oregon State Univ. | Comments

The most realistic risks about the dangers of artificial intelligence are basic mistakes, breakdowns and cyber attacks, an expert in the field says—more so than machines that become super powerful, run amok and try to destroy the human race.

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Catching and releasing tiny molecules

March 23, 2015 1:47 pm | by Paul Karoff, Harvard Univ. | Comments

Employing an ingenious microfluidic design that combines chemical and mechanical properties, a team of Harvard Univ. scientists has demonstrated a new way of detecting and extracting biomolecules from fluid mixtures. The approach requires fewer steps, uses less energy, and achieves better performance than several techniques currently in use and could lead to better technologies for medical diagnostics and chemical purification.

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Chemical fingerprints of ancient supernovae found

March 23, 2015 12:03 pm | by Carnegie Institute | Comments

A Carnegie Institute-based search of nearby galaxies for their oldest stars has uncovered two stars in the Sculptor dwarf galaxy that were born shortly after the galaxy formed, approximately 13 billion years ago. The unusual chemical content of the stars may have originated in a single supernova explosion from the first generation of Sculptor stars.

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Air pollutants could boost potency of common airborne allergens

March 23, 2015 11:43 am | by American Chemical Society | Comments

A pair of air pollutants linked to climate change could also be a major contributor to the unparalleled rise in the number of people sneezing and wheezing during allergy season. The gases, nitrogen dioxide and ground-level ozone, appear to provoke chemical changes in certain airborne allergens that could increase their potency. That, in combination with changes in global climate, could explain why airborne allergies are more common.

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Genomewide screen of learning in zebrafish identifies enzyme important in neural circuit

March 23, 2015 11:37 am | by Karen Kreeger, Univ. of Pennsylvania | Comments

Researchers at the Univ. of Pennsylvania describe the first set of genes important in learning in a zebrafish model in Neuron. Using in-depth analysis of one of the genes, the team has revealed an important signaling pathway. According to the researchers, the proteins in this pathway could provide new insights into the development of novel pharmacological targets.

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Have researchers discovered the sound of stars?

March 23, 2015 10:32 am | by David Garner, Senior Press Officer, Univ. of York | Comments

A chance discovery by a team of researchers, including a Univ. of York scientist, has provided experimental evidence that stars may generate sound. The study of fluids in motion goes back to the Egyptians, so it isn’t often that new discoveries are made. However when examining the interaction of an ultra-intense laser with a plasma target, the team observed something unexpected.

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Even at a molecular level, taking it slow helps to cope with stress

March 23, 2015 10:08 am | by Sarah Yang, Media Relations, UC Berkeley | Comments

Univ. of California, Berkeley, scientists have identified a new molecular pathway critical to aging, and confirmed that the process can be manipulated to help make old blood like new again. The researchers found that blood stem cells’ ability to repair damage caused by inappropriate protein folding in the mitochondria, a cell’s energy station, is critical to their survival and regenerative capacity.

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Artificial sweetener could lead to new treatments for aggressive cancers

March 23, 2015 9:58 am | by American Chemical Society | Comments

Saccharin, the artificial sweetener that is the main ingredient in Sweet 'N Low, Sweet Twin and Necta, could do far more than just keep our waistlines trim. According to new research, this popular sugar substitute could potentially lead to the development of drugs capable of combating aggressive, difficult-to-treat cancers with fewer side effects.

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