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Mar 23,2007
Oregon researcher may have found key to plate-mantle interactions After years of results that repeatedly dogged him, University of Oregon geologist Douglas R. Toomey decided to follow the trail of data surfacing from the Pacific Ocean. In doing so, he and his collaborators may have altered long-held assumptions involving plate tectonics on the ocean floor. Reporting in the March 22 issue of Nature, Toomey and co-authors from four other institutions propose that, one, the flow ... [full story]
2317 times read - No comment posted

Mar 23,2007
The 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earth­quake and re­sult­ing tsu­na­mi are in­fa­mous for the de­struc­tion they wrought. But at the time, many sci­en­tists thought the ar­ea un­like­ly to wit­ness a quake of such size. Now, a geophys­i­cist is urg­ing the pub­lic and pol­i­cy­mak­ers to treat as “locked, load­ed, and dan­ger­ous” all ge­o­log­i­cal struc­tures like the one that spawned that quake.These dan­ger zones are at tec­ton­ic bound­aries, bor­ders be­tween seg­ments of Earth’s crust that grad­u­al­ly move rel­a­tive to each ... [full story]
3270 times read - No comment posted

Mar 23,2007
Dental enamel is the hardest tissue produced by the body. It cannot regenerate itself, because it is formed by a layer of cells that is lost by the time the tooth appears in the mouth. The enamel spends the remainder of its lifetime vulnerable to wear, damage, and decay. For this reason, it is exciting to consider the prospect of artificially growing enamel, or even whole teeth, using culturing and transplantation techniques. In the emergent ... [full story]
2914 times read - No comment posted

Mar 23,2007
The Expedition 14 crew was busy this week moving trash into the ISS Progress 23 cargo ship, installing a new window on the space station and preparing for upcoming missions to the station. The new window was installed on Wednesday on the port side hatch of the Unity node. It is fitted with a berthing camera system that includes target markings on the outside of the hatch. This will help robotic operators align and dock ... [full story]
2674 times read - No comment posted

Mar 16,2007
TRUE FACTS Rhabdophis tigrinus - a venomous snake found in Asia - appears to bulk up its store of venom by eating poisonous toads. Researchers found that snakes with a steady diet of such toads boasted venom glands filled with bufadienolides, a family of toxic chemicals found in the skin secretions of poisonous toads. VERBATIM You could perhaps change the flavor (of eggs) or add something interesting for health. WHAT IS IT? - This ... [full story]
2264 times read - No comment posted

Mar 15,2007
New measurements of Mars' south polar region indicate extensive frozen water. The polar region contains enough frozen water to cover the whole planet in a liquid layer approximately 36 feet deep. A joint NASA-Italian Space Agency instrument on the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft provided these data. This new estimate comes from mapping the thickness of the ice. The Mars Express orbiter's radar instrument has made more than 300 virtual slices through layered deposits ... [full story]
3453 times read - No comment posted

Mar 16,2007
Plant and animal diseases can play a major and poorly appreciated role in allowing the invasion of exotic species, which in turn often threatens biodiversity, ecological function and the world economy, researchers say in a new report. In particular, a plant pathogen appears to have opened the gate for the successful invasion of non-native grasses into much of California, one of the world's largest documented cases of invading species and one that dramatically changed the ... [full story]
1636 times read - No comment posted

Mar 16,2007
As­tro­no­mers have found a math­e­mat­i­cal prin­ci­ple that they say sur­pris­ing­ly fits all gal­ax­ies, from the state­ly spi­ral-shaped ones to the messy “train wrecks.” This could re­veal some­thing deep about the evo­lu­tion of the un­i­verse, they claim.In a new study us­ing the W.M. Keck Ob­serv­a­to­ry in Ha­waii, the sci­en­tists found that this com­mon­al­i­ty has linked all galax­ies for eight bil­lion years, near­ly half the age of the Uni­verse. An im­age of col­lid­ing galax­ies cap­tured in ... [full story]
1762 times read - No comment posted

Mar 16,2007
It’s well known that some spe­cies of birds lay their eggs in oth­er spe­cies’ nests, to force oth­ers to raise their off­spring. Now, re­search­ers have iden­ti­fied a new low in the be­hav­ior of some of these “par­a­site” birds: they re­tal­i­ate mafia-style against those that re­ject their im­po­si­tion, by ran­sack­ing their nests. Many spe­cies, no­ta­bly cuck­oos, are brood par­a­sites that lay their eggs among un­wit­ting hosts.  A warbler next parasitized with cowbird eggs. (Courtesy PNAS) Some of ... [full story]
2652 times read - No comment posted

Mar 16,2007
NASA's Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) spacecraft arrived Saturday at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., for a targeted April 25 launch aboard a Pegasus XL rocket.The AIM spacecraft will fly three instruments designed to study polar mesospheric clouds located at the edge of space, 50 miles above the Earth's surface in the coldest part of the planet's atmosphere. The mission's primary goal is to explain why these clouds form and what has caused ... [full story]
2170 times read - No comment posted

Mar 16,2007
Instruments on NASA's Cassini spacecraft have found evidence for seas, likely filled with liquid methane or ethane, in the high northern latitudes of Saturn's moon Titan. One such feature is larger than any of the Great Lakes of North America and is about the same size as several seas on Earth. Cassini's radar instrument imaged several very dark features near Titan's north pole. Larger than similar features seen before on Titan, the largest dark feature ... [full story]
3023 times read - No comment posted

Mar 16,2007
The Expedition 14 crew members this week prepared for upcoming additions to the station and performed experiments related to human adaptation to space.Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer Suni Williams completed the last of the internal assembly tasks for the startup later this year of the new Oxygen Generation System in the Destiny laboratory. The astronauts installed sound-deadening equipment and an electrical cable and reconnected a wastewater hose for the hardware delivered last summer on ... [full story]
1965 times read - No comment posted

Mar 09,2007
ANTHROPOLOGY 101 In some regions of India, it was believed the fruit of a mango tree could not be eaten until the tree was married, usually to a tamarind or jasmine tree. VERBATIM BRAIN SWEAT - Would you rather a crocodile attack you or an alligator? CNS Photo. WHAT IS IT? - This is an electron micrograph of flu virus particles, coincidentally shaped in the form of a question mark. CNS Photo. ... [full story]
9633 times read - No comment posted

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