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Nov 16,2007
Can you im­ag­ine liv­ing four cen­turies? Sci­en­tists say they’ve found an an­i­mal that did just that: a qua­hog clam, Arc­tica is­landica, that lived and grew in the cold wa­ters off Ice­land’s north coast for at least that long. When Shake­speare was writ­ing his great­est plays, the re­search­ers say—when Gior­da­no Bru­no was burnt at the stake in Rome for claim­ing in­fi­nite hab­it­a­ble worlds ex­ist—this mol­lusc was but a ten­der youth, ob­liv­i­ous to these de­vel­op­ments. Courtesy Bangor ... [full story]
2179 times read - No comment posted

Nov 16,2007
Do you like your name and ini­tials? Most peo­ple do. Past re­search has found that some­times we like these things enough to let them in­flu­ence ma­jor de­ci­sions. For in­stance, Jack is more likely to move to Jack­son­ville and mar­ry Jack­ie than is Philip—who is like­li­er to move to Phil­a­del­phia and mar­ry Phyl­lis. Sci­en­tists call this the “name-let­ter ef­fect.” But if you like your name too much, you might be in trou­ble. Leif Nel­son of the ... [full story]
2264 times read - No comment posted

Nov 16,2007
The most en­er­get­ic par­t­i­cles known, called ul­tra­high-en­er­gy cos­mic rays, pro­b­ab­ly come from super massive black holes in the hearts of bright near­by ga­lax­ies, a new study con­cludes. If cor­rect, that solves a dec­ades-long mys­tery: the source of these sub­a­tom­ic par­t­i­cles, which can slam in­to our at­mos­phere with the en­er­gy of a speed­ing base­ball. Centaurus A, an active galaxy. (Courtesy European Southern Observatory) “Ga­lax­ies which host vi­o­lent black holes,” also called act­ive ga­la­xies, now seem ... [full story]
2380 times read - No comment posted

Nov 16,2007
Eating little may help people live longer, a study has found, of­fer­ing sup­port for an idea that has tan­ta­lized sci­en­tists for dec­ades.Re­search­ers have long known that cut­ting an­i­mals’ food supply to near-starva­t­ion lev­els gives them—for rea­sons still un­clear—long­er lives and health­i­er old age. Stud­ies have found that in hu­mans, too, sharply re­duced eat­ing is as­so­ci­at­ed with health­i­er ag­ing, as long as nu­tri­tion­al ba­lance is main­tained. But wheth­er this prac­tice could ac­tu­ally length­en our lives has ... [full story]
2332 times read - No comment posted

Nov 16,2007
Sci­en­tists are re­port­ing the first suc­cess­ful use of cloning to pro­duce mon­key em­bryos, which they then used to pro­duce “mas­ter” or stem cells that po­ten­tially could serve to treat dis­eases.Al­though sev­er­al spe­cies have been cloned, sci­en­tists haven’t pre­vi­ously done it with pri­ma­tes. In the re­search jour­nal Na­ture this week, the re­search­ers re­ported us­ing a tech­nique called so­mat­ic cell nu­clear trans­fer to “re­pro­gram” cells from adult rhe­sus mon­keys in­to em­bry­on­ic stem cells.The tech­nique in­volved in­ject­ing the ... [full story]
2401 times read - No comment posted

Nov 09,2007
Appearances aside, outer space is not an empty vacuum but a blustery void roiled by superheated gases and unseen particles produced and propelled by the sun's sometimes manic energy.   DARK AND STORMY SPACE - Solar winds of ionized gases can damage satellites, affect electrical power grids and skew navigational data. Other effects can be harming unprotected astronauts and plane passengers on polar routes. CNS Graphic by Aaron Steckelberg. Speeding outward at millions of miles per hour, ... [full story]
2465 times read - 1 comments posted

Nov 09,2007
'TRUE FACTS'   WHAT IS IT - This is a fossil of a chitinozoan, a group of flask-shaped, organic walled marine microfossils produced by an as-yet-unknown, long-gone animal. CNS Photo.    TRUE FACTS - A new Vanderbilt University study says the human brain perceives fear in the faces of others faster than any other emotion. CNS Photo.    POETRY FOR SCIENTISTS - Tom Edison thought he was bright, he invented the electric light, then, to his chagrin, when turning in, ... [full story]
2015 times read - No comment posted

Nov 02,2007
WHAT IS IT? ANSWER   WHAT IS IT? - If you're afraid of spiders, be grateful you don't live in Australia. This is a red-headed mouse spider (Missulena occatoria), which actually reaches only about an inch in length. CNS Photo.    PRIME NUMBERS - The number of people, on average, who are airborne over the United States in any given hour is 61,000. CNS Photo.    VERBATIM - The creator of the universe works in mysterious ways. But he uses ... [full story]
1783 times read - No comment posted

Oct 26,2007
VERBATIM   ELECTRON INK - The AEGIS survey is an expansive effort to visually explore and map the visible universe, using an array of observatories. Check out the project at www.aegis.ucolick.org. CNS Photo.    KNOT A PROBLEM - Scientists remain puzzled by knots. Science, it seems, can't yet explain why garden hoses and Christmas lights invariably seem to get tangled. CNS Photo.    WHERE IN THE WORLD? - The Nardo Ring is a 7.7-mile racecar test track in rural southern ... [full story]
1967 times read - No comment posted

Oct 26,2007
CORVALLIS, Ore. – The catastrophic fires that are sweeping Southern California are consistent with what climate change models have been predicting for years, experts say, and they may be just a prelude to many more such events in the future – as vegetation grows heavier than usual and then ignites during prolonged drought periods. “This is exactly what we’ve been projecting to happen, both in short-term fire forecasts for this year and the longer term patterns ... [full story]
7300 times read - No comment posted

Sep 07,2007
VERBATIM   VERBATIM - What happens if a big asteroid hits Earth? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad. -- David Barry, Humorist. CNS Photo.    WHAT IS IT? - A leaf of the common sundew plant. CNS Photo.    NOW, IF ONLY HE'D SHAVE - ABC reportedly will soon begin airing a comedy series based on the cavemen in the Geico insurance commercials. CNS Photo.    'TRUE ... [full story]
2122 times read - No comment posted

Aug 31,2007
Fractured from the ancient ice sheets that encrust Antarctica, the bergs of the Weddell Sea may appear at first glance to be cold and sterile places, as lifeless as ice cubes bobbing in a glass of water.   MELTDOWN - Scientists are assessing the impact of global warming on the Earth's southernmost continent. CNS Illustration. But like their proverbial tips, they have much more below the surface. New research - perhaps the first of its kind - ... [full story]
2354 times read - No comment posted

Aug 31,2007
That long car drive to your favorite getaway spot can be a grueling experience. Kids go: "Are we there yet?" 34,987 times - before you even clear the first rest stop. Every time you fill the tank, your heart breaks. Public restrooms? They can take your breath away.   A LASTING IMPRESSION - Wanna play guess the dead bug on the windshield? One Florida researcher plays the game by inspecting the windshields of Greyhound buses. CNS ... [full story]
3761 times read - No comment posted

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