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Jan 04,2008
WASHINGTON - Astronomers funded by NASA are monitoring the trajectory of an asteroid estimated to be 164-feet wide that is expected to cross Mars' orbital path early this year. Observations provided by the astronomers and analyzed by NASA's Near-Earth Object Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., indicate the object may pass within 30,000 miles of Mars at about 6 a.m. EST on Jan. 30, 2008. Asteroid 2007 WD5 "Right now asteroid ... [full story]
4840 times read - No comment posted

Jan 04,2008
What is phys­i­cal beau­ty, in a per­son?In re­cent years, much sci­en­tif­ic opin­ion has gath­ered in sup­port of a some­what dreary an­swer: beau­ty is just the av­er­age. There’s something to that, stud­ies show. Vol­un­teers gen­er­ally rate “av­er­age” faces, crea­ted by com­pu­ters as composites of many others, as bet­ter-look­ing than un­u­sual faces. Blend­ing even just a few faces—even un­at­trac­tive ones—tends to pro­duce sur­pris­ing im­prove­ments. (Try it your­self here). (a), composite of 60 faces; (b), of the 15 ... [full story]
2652 times read - No comment posted

Jan 04,2008
Most peo­ple would­n’t con­sid­er an­thrax tox­in to be help­ful—but this bac­te­ri­al poi­son may some­day be a can­cer ther­a­py, sci­en­tists claim. The tox­in has been shown to be fairly se­lec­tive in tar­get­ing mel­a­no­ma, or skin can­cer, cells, ac­cord­ing to Ste­phen Lep­pla of the Na­t­ional In­sti­tute of Al­ler­gy and In­fec­tious Dis­eases in Be­thes­da, Md.In a new stu­dy, Lep­pla and col­leagues mod­i­fied the tox­in to make it tar­get tu­mor cells even more pre­cise­ly, while spar­ing healthy cells. To work, ... [full story]
2824 times read - No comment posted

Jan 04,2008
Stud­y­ing an an­cient Greek ship­wreck, sci­en­tists say, they’ve found they can de­code an­cient DNA to learn about the orig­i­nal con­tents of jars sunk­en for over 2,000 years.It’s a feat “no one thought was even pos­si­ble,” wrote Ma­ria Hans­son of Lund Uni­vers­ity in Swe­den, one of the re­search­ers, in an e­mail. The disco­very “o­pens up a whole new field of mo­lec­u­lar ar­chae­o­lo­gy,” she added, as sci­en­tists could use the tech­nique to gain in­sights in­to an­cient ag­ri­cul­ture ... [full story]
11002 times read - No comment posted

Jan 04,2008
In a never-before seen event, a pow­er­ful jet from a gal­ax­y’s gi­ant, cen­tral black hole is pum­mel­ing a near­by gal­axy, ac­cord­ing to as­tro­no­mers. The beam may pro­foundly dis­turb plan­ets in its path and lat­er trig­ger a burst of star forma­t­ion, they said.  A com­pos­ite im­age from sev­er­al ob­ser­va­to­ries shows what as­tro­no­mers say is a jet from a black hole at the cen­ter of a gal­axy, strik­ing an­oth­er gal­axy. The beam is dif­fi­cult to see ... [full story]
2998 times read - No comment posted

Jan 04,2008
Think­ing and us­ing an In­ter­net search en­gine might seem to be two very dif­fer­ent ac­ti­vi­ties. But a study sug­gests they draw on si­m­i­lar prin­ci­ples. (Courtesy Google Inc.)When you type words in­to the pop­u­lar Goo­gle search en­gine, it re­turns a list of web pages con­tain­ing those words. The list is­n’t or­dered any old way: it’s or­dered based on how “im­por­tant” Goo­gle deems the pages to be. Goo­gle meas­ures a page’s “im­por­tance” us­ing a for­mu­la based on pop­u­lar­ity. ... [full story]
1979 times read - No comment posted

Jan 04,2008
If there are oth­er un­iverses out there—as some sci­en­tists pro­pose—then one or more of them might be de­tect­a­ble, a new study sug­gests.Such a find­ing, “while cur­rently spec­u­la­tive even in prin­ci­ple, and probably far-off in prac­tice, would surely con­sti­tute an ep­och­al dis­cov­ery,” re­search­ers wrote in a pa­per de­tail­ing their stu­dy. The work ap­pears in the Sep­tem­ber is­sue of the re­search jour­nal Phys­i­cal Re­view D. A half-sky map of slight tem­per­a­ture vari­a­tions in the cos­mic mi­cro­wave back­ground ... [full story]
2912 times read - No comment posted

Jan 04,2008
An as­ter­oid whose fiery encounter with our atmo­sphere in­cin­er­at­ed a swath of Si­be­ri­an for­est, in 1908, was only a frac­ti­on as large as pre­vi­ously thought, new re­search sug­gests. That would mean such dev­as­tat­ing events are more com­mon than es­ti­mat­ed be­fore—and might hap­pen eve­ry two to three cen­turies, if a re­cent NASA anal­y­sis is cor­rect. Re­search­er Mark Bos­lough points out de­tails of a "fire­ball" that a sim­u­la­tion shows would re­sult from an as­ter­oid burst­ing in ... [full story]
1375 times read - No comment posted

Dec 21,2007
VERBATIM The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn't have a space program.   TRUE FACTS - To have sex, a yeast cell must reshape itself, becoming elongated like a microscopic pear. CNS Photo.    WHAT IS IT? - This is an egg case of a pirate spider attached to a plant stem. CNS Photo.    FAKING IT - Researchers say men would enjoy 'chick flick' melodrama movies more if they were told that the plot is all fake. CNS Photo.    PICKY ... [full story]
3154 times read - No comment posted

Dec 21,2007
Anyone who has ever put up Christmas lights knows the problem: Holiday strands so carefully packed away last year are now more knotty than nice. In fact, they have become an inextricable, inexplicable, seemingly inevitable mess. It happens every year, like some sort of universal law of physics.   XMASKNOT - University of California San Diego researchers Doug Smith, 38, right,who is a professor of Physics at UCSD, and Dorian Raymer, 24, left, who is a ... [full story]
7355 times read - No comment posted

Dec 14,2007
To hear him tell it, Garrett Lisi is a pretty typical surfer. "I've always been in the ocean, since before I could walk," he said by e-mail. "I turned 16 and got a VW bus, which I used to prowl the breaks around Encinitas (Calif.). I've been hunting waves ever since."   BALANCING ACT - 'Surfing acts as a great 'reset' button for whatever I'm worried about in the rest of my life,' says physicist Garrett ... [full story]
2437 times read - No comment posted

Dec 14,2007
'TRUE FACTS'   PRIME NUMBERS - There are about 3 million air hand-dryers installed in restrooms throughout the United States. CNS Photo.    WHAT IS IT? - This is the head of a water scavenger beetle larva, magnified 100 times. CNS Photo courtesy of Nikon.    TRUE FACTS - If you yelled for eight years, seven months and six days, you would produce enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee. CNS Photo.    ON A SCALE OF 1 TO 10 ... [full story]
2546 times read - No comment posted

Dec 07,2007
WHERE IN THE WORLD? ANSWER   TRUE FACTS - The Aztec word for gold is teocuitlatl, which means 'excrement of the gods.' CNS Photo.    WHERE IN THE WORLD - The stunning and colorful Grand Prismatic Spring is part of the Yellowstone caldera underlying much of Wyoming. CNS Photo.    PAPER TIGER - Chinese conservation officials have been happily disseminating two photographs purportedly depicting a rare wild South China tiger in the wilds of Shaanxi Province. CNS Photo.    PRIME NUMBERS - ... [full story]
2125 times read - No comment posted

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