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Astrospace Selected Headlines

the sun

Weakest Solar Max in 100 Years
The sunspot number has dropped to its lowest level of the year.The quiet spell is a bit strange because 2013 is supposed to be a year of solar maximum, with lots of flares and sunspots. Supporting this view are data from NASA-supported observatories which show that the sun's magnetic field is poised to flip--a long-held sign that Solar Max has arrived. Nevertheless, solar activity is low. [click to continue]

Curiosity Rover Detects No Methane On Mars
Data from NASA's Curiosity rover has revealed the Martian environment lacks methane. This is a surprise to researchers because previous data reported by U.S. and international scientists indicated positive detections."This important result will help direct our efforts to examine the possibility of life on Mars," said Michael Meyer, NASA's lead scientist for Mars exploration. [click to continue]

Hubble Uncovers Largest Known Population of Star Clusters
Ten years ago, astronomer John Blakeslee spotted dots of light peppered throughout images of a giant cluster of galaxies, called Abell 1689. Each dot was not one star, but hundreds of thousands of stars crowded together in groupings called globular clusters. Now, a new Hubble census of globular clusters in Abell 1689 reveals that an estimated 160,000 such groupings are huddled near the galaxy cluster's core. [click to continue]

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TechnoScience Selected Headlines

In Water as In Love, Likes Can Attract
At some point in elementary school you were shown that opposite charges attract and like charges repel. This is a universal scientific truth – except when it isn’t. A research team led by Berkeley Lab chemist Richard Saykally and theorist David Prendergast, working at the Advanced Light Source (ALS), has shown that, when hydrated in water, positively charged ions (cations) can actually pair up with one another.[click to continue]

Invention jet prints nanostructures with self-assembling material
A multi-institutional team of engineers has developed a new approach to the fabrication of nanostructures for the semiconductor and magnetic storage industries. This approach combines top-down advanced ink-jet printing technology with a bottom-up approach that involves self-assembling block copolymers, a type of material that can spontaneously form ultrafine structures. [click to continue]

SLAC Scientists Create Twisted Light
Scientists at SLAC have found a new method to create coherent beams of twisted light – light that spirals around a central axis as it travels. It has the potential to generate twisted light in shorter pulses, higher intensities and a much wider range of wavelengths, including X-rays, than is currently possible. [click to continue]

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BioMedical Selected Headlines

Red grapes, blueberries may enhance immune function
In an analysis of 446 compounds for their the ability to boost the innate immune system in humans, researchers in the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University discovered just two that stood out from the crowd – the resveratrol found in red grapes and a compound called pterostilbene from blueberries. Both of these compounds, which are called stilbenoids, worked in synergy with vitamin D ... [click to continue]

Toxoplasma infection permanently shifts balance in cat and mouse game
The Toxoplasma parasite can be deadly, causing spontaneous abortion in pregnant women or killing immune-compromised patients, but it has even stranger effects in mice. Infected mice lose their fear of cats, which is good for both cats and the parasite, because the cat gets an easy meal and the parasite gets into the cat's intestinal track, the only place it can sexually reproduce and continue its cycle of infection. [click to continue]

New islet cell transplant procedure offers improved outcomes for patients with type 1 diabetes
The latest approach to islet transplantation, in which clusters of insulin-producing cells known as islets are transplanted from a donor pancreas into another person's liver, has produced substantially improved results for patients with type 1 diabetes, and may offer a more durable alternative to a whole pancreas transplant. [click to continue]

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EnviroNature Selected Headlines

Seismologists puzzle over largest deep earthquake ever recorded
A magnitude 8.3 earthquake that struck deep beneath the Sea of Okhotsk on May 24, 2013, has left seismologists struggling to explain how it happened. At a depth of about 609 kilometers (378 miles), the intense pressure on the fault should inhibit the kind of rupture that took place. "It's a mystery how these earthquakes happen.
[click to continue]

'Cascade of events' caused sudden explosion of animal life
The explosion of animal life on Earth around 520 million years ago was the result of a combination of interlinked factors rather than a single underlying cause, according to a new study. Dozens of individual theories have been put forward over the past few decades for this rapid diversification of animal species in the early Cambrian period of geological time.
[click to continue]

Orangutans plan their future route and communicate it to others
Male orangutans plan their travel route up to one day in advance and communicate it to other members of their species. In order to attract females and repel male rivals, they call in the direction in which they are going to travel. Anthropologists at the University of Zurich have found that not only captive, but also wild-living orangutans make use of their planning ability. [click to continue]

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Other News Selected Headlines

Scientists claim to have found proof of alien life
Scientists from the University of Sheffield believe they have found life arriving to Earth from space after sending a balloon to the stratosphere. The team, led by Professor Milton Wainwright, from the University’s Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology found small organisms that could have come from space after sending a specially designed balloon to 27km into the stratosphere during the recent Perseid meteor shower. [click to continue]

Why parents think your partner isn't good enough
It is common for parents to influence mate choice — from arranged marriages to more subtle forms of persuasion — but they often disagree with their children about what makes a suitable partner. A new study has found an evolutionary explanation for why some parents try to control who their children pair up with. [click to continue]

iPad app teaches students key skill for success in math, science, engineering
Engineers at the University of California, San Diego, have developed an iPad app that helps students learn spatial visualization, an essential skill for doing well in science, math and engineering. They have been testing the app during a high school summer program at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, as well as on undergraduate students at the school. [click to continue]

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