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Science is Cool!
Check out all the amazing things being discovered through science!
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6 Women Scientists Who Were Snubbed Due to Sexism - National Geographic

6 Women Scientists Who Were Snubbed Due to Sexism - National Geographic | Science is Cool! | Scoop.it
National Geographic 6 Women Scientists Who Were Snubbed Due to Sexism National Geographic She was not the first woman to have endured indignities in the male-dominated world of science, but Franklin's case is especially egregious, said Ruth Lewin...
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Ancient DNA Found Hidden Below Sea Floor

Ancient DNA Found Hidden Below Sea Floor | Science is Cool! | Scoop.it

In the middle of the South Atlantic, there's a patch of sea almost devoid of life. There are no birds, few fish, not even much plankton. But researchers report that they've found buried treasure under the empty waters: ancient DNA hidden in the muck of the sea floor, which lies 5000 meters below the waves.

 

The DNA, from tiny, one-celled sea creatures that lived up to 32,500 years ago, is the first to be recovered from the abyssal plains, the deep-sea bottoms that cover huge stretches of Earth. In a separate finding published this week, another research team reports teasing out plankton DNA that's up to 11,400 years old from the floor of the much shallower Black Sea. The researchers say that the ability to retrieve such old DNA from such large stretches of the planet's surface could help reveal everything from ancient climate to the evolutionary ecology of the seas.

 

"We have been able to show that the deep sea is the largest long-time archive of DNA, and a major window to study past biodiversity," says Pedro Martinez Arbizu, a deep-sea biologist of the German Centre for Marine Biodiversity Research in Wilhelmshaven.

 

The new studies are "very exciting," says micropaleontologist Bridget Wade of the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, who was not connected to the research. Until now, it wasn't clear "how far back in time you could take these DNA studies. … These records are telling you new information that wasn't found in the fossil record."

 

The South Atlantic team went looking for DNA in plugs of silt and clay coaxed out of the ocean floor hundreds of kilometers off the Brazilian coast. The researchers were after genetic material from two related groups of marine organisms, the foraminifera and the radiolarians. Both are single-celled, and both include many species with beautiful pearly shells that fossilize nicely, making them a favorite target of researchers studying the prehistoric oceans.

 

The researchers used special pieces of DNA specific to radiolarians and foraminifera to fish out DNA from those groups. Then they sequenced the DNA and compared the results to known foraminifera and radiolarian DNA sequences. Their analysis showed they'd found 169 foraminifera species and 21 radiolarian species, many of which were unknown. What's more, many of the foraminifera species belonged to groups that don't form fossils


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Directly visible giant exoplanets around star HR8799, one containing water in its atmosphere

Directly visible giant exoplanets around star HR8799, one containing water in its atmosphere | Science is Cool! | Scoop.it

Unlike most exoplanet discoveries, which are inferred from analysis of data, the planets of the HR8799 system are directly visible from Earth. The planets were discovered in 2008 using the Keck and Gemini telescopes in Hawaii. The star HR8799, about 1.5 times the size of the sun and about five times brighter, lies 130 light years from Earth. Each of the star's four known planets is larger than any planet in our solar system. The star formed only 30 million years ago and is a variable star, meaning that its luminosity changes over a period of about half a day. By studying light reflected from planet HR8799c, astronomers have found water and carbon monoxide in its atmosphere.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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FDA warns pregnant migraine sufferers against anti-seizure drugs

FDA warns pregnant migraine sufferers against anti-seizure drugs | Science is Cool! | Scoop.it
The Food and Drug Administration is warning physicians that women who suffer migraine headaches and are pregnant or may become pregnant should not use the drugs valproate or valproic acid to prevent the severe headaches , in light of new...
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The Inspired Choreography of Irineo Cabreros - Harvard Magazine

The Inspired Choreography of Irineo Cabreros - Harvard Magazine | Science is Cool! | Scoop.it
The Inspired Choreography of Irineo Cabreros Harvard Magazine Finally, there was Cabreros himself, a dual-degree student whose range includes the practice of classical flute and, through MIT, the teaching of physics and math in Namibia; he will...
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Fermi, Swift see “shockingly bright” burst - Astronomy Magazine

Fermi, Swift see “shockingly bright” burst - Astronomy Magazine | Science is Cool! | Scoop.it
Fermi, Swift see “shockingly bright” burst
Astronomy Magazine
A record-setting blast of gamma rays from a dying star in a distant galaxy has wowed astronomers around the world.
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New evidence suggests Stone Age hunters from Europe discovered America

New evidence suggests Stone Age hunters from Europe discovered America | Science is Cool! | Scoop.it
New archaeological evidence suggests that America was first discovered by Stone Age people from Europe – 10,000 years before the Siberian-originating ancestors of the American Indians set foot in the New World.

Via SIN JONES
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Why did European DNA suddenly change 4,000 years ago? Experts reveal evolutionary mystery - and say the makers of Stonehenge may hold the key

Why did European DNA suddenly change 4,000 years ago? Experts reveal evolutionary mystery - and say the makers of Stonehenge may hold the key | Science is Cool! | Scoop.it
Researchers say the rapid expansion of the Bell Beaker culture, which is believed to have been instrumental in building the monoliths at Stonehedge, could hold the key to why the genetic lineage of Europe mysteriously transformed about 4000 years...
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Strange Binary Star System Reveals Einstein's Theory of Gravity Holds True

Strange Binary Star System Reveals Einstein's Theory of Gravity Holds True | Science is Cool! | Scoop.it
We may have some new answers when it comes to Einstein's gravity theory.
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Herschel completes its “cool” journey in space - Astronomy Magazine

Herschel completes its “cool” journey in space - Astronomy Magazine | Science is Cool! | Scoop.it
BBC News Herschel completes its “cool” journey in space Astronomy Magazine Astronomy News · Cosmic Adventures · Dave's Universe videos · StarDome Plus · Intro to the Sky · Astronomy for Kids · Urban Skies · Astronomy Myths · The Sky this Week · The...
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Sea Ice Loss Could Alter Arctic Air Chemistry - Wunderground.com (blog)

Sea Ice Loss Could Alter Arctic Air Chemistry - Wunderground.com (blog) | Science is Cool! | Scoop.it
Eureka! Science News Sea Ice Loss Could Alter Arctic Air Chemistry Wunderground.com (blog) Now, a team of scientists have found evidence that the Arctic warming and melting sea ice could be changing the chemistry of the Arctic atmosphere through...
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Last member of 65,000-year-old tribe dies, taking one of world's earliest languages to the grave

Last member of 65,000-year-old tribe dies, taking one of world's earliest languages to the grave | Science is Cool! | Scoop.it
Boa Sr, who died last week aged about 85, was the oldest member of the Great Andamanese, a group of tribes that are the descendants of early humans.
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Kepler discovers smallest "habitable zone" planets to date - Astronomy Magazine

Kepler discovers smallest "habitable zone" planets to date - Astronomy Magazine | Science is Cool! | Scoop.it
NASA's Kepler spacecraft has discovered three super-Earth-sized planets inside their stars' habitable zones, locations that could be suitable for sustaining life.
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Once Upon a Time, the Universe Was Really Weird : From 2 dimensions to 5

Once Upon a Time, the Universe Was Really Weird : From 2 dimensions to 5 | Science is Cool! | Scoop.it
Just after the Big Bang, the Universe's dimensions may have been completely different to the four-dimensional space-time we know and love today.

 

Shortly after the Big Bang, the Universe possessed only one dimension of space and one dimension of time. It was basically a straight line. As the Universe began to cool, and expanded, this one dimension of space became “wrapped up” in such a way to create two dimensions of space and one of time — a plane, like a sheet of flat paper.

 

The transition from one to two dimensions of space was calculated by the researchers to occur when the Universe “cooled” to an energy level of 100 TeV (tera-electron volts, a measurement of energy commonly used in particle physics). A period of time after that, the Universe continued to expand and cool until it reached an energy of 1 TeV. At this point, the Universe got promoted to a higher dimension; three dimensions of space and one dimension of time, i.e., the Universe we live in today.

 

Mureika and Stojkovic think the Universe will eventually be promoted again, to a five-dimensional state, at some point in the future.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Harvard researchers find GDF11 protein turns old hearts into young hearts

Harvard researchers find GDF11 protein turns old hearts into young hearts | Science is Cool! | Scoop.it

Two Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers — a stem cell biologist and a practicing cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital — have identified a protein in the blood of mice and humans that may prove to be the first effective treatment for the form of age-related heart failure that affects millions of Americans.

 

When the protein, called GDF-11, was injected into old mice, which develop thickened heart walls in a manner similar to aging humans, the hearts were reduced in size and thickness, resembling the healthy hearts of younger mice.

 

Even more important than the implications for the treatment of diastolic heart failure, the finding by Richard T. Lee, a Harvard Medical Schoolprofessor at the hospital, and Amy Wagers, a professor in Harvard’sDepartment of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, ultimately may rewrite our understanding of aging.

 

“The most common form of heart failure in the elderly is actually a form that’s not caused by heart attacks but is very much related to the heart aging,” said Lee, who, like Wagers, is a principal faculty member at HSCI. 

“In this study, we were able to show that a protein that circulates in the blood is related to this aging process, and if we gave older mice this protein, we could reverse the heart aging in a very short period of time,” Lee said. “We are very excited about it because it opens a new window on the most common form of heart failure.”

 

“The blood is full of all kinds of things,” the biologist said, “and trying to narrow down what might be the responsible factor was going to be a big challenge.  I think that’s where the collaboration was so wonderful, in that we could take advantage of the expertise in both of our laboratories to really home in on what might be the responsible substance.”

 

Lee explained, “We thought it was interesting right away, and we repeated it right away. But we had to show that this was not a blood pressure effect, that the young mice didn’t just cause the old mice to have lower blood pressure. We had to build a custom device to measure blood pressures off their tails. It took a year to do the analysis to show that it was not a blood pressure effect.

 

“After about 2½ years we were convinced, and said, ‘We really have to identify this factor.’ It took about six months to find something, and another year to be convinced that it was real,” Lee said. “We looked at lipids; we looked at metabolites. Then we set up a collaboration with a startup company in Colorado, called SomaLogic, that had an interesting technology for analyzing factors in blood. And by working closely with SomaLogic, we found the likely factor.”

 

What the researchers found was that at least one of the factors causing the rejuvenation of the hearts was GDF-11, “a member of a very important family of proteins called TGF-beta proteins, for transforming growth factor. There are around 35 members of the family,” Lee said. “Some have been very well studied, and this is one that is relatively obscure.”

 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Biosciencia's curator insight, May 10, 2013 1:40 PM

A finding by Richard T. Lee, a Harvard Medical School professor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Amy Wagers, a professor in Harvard’s Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, ultimately may rewrite our understanding of aging.

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Neptune has a Giant Blue Spot, just like Jupiter has a Giant Red Spot

Neptune has a Giant Blue Spot, just like Jupiter has a Giant Red Spot | Science is Cool! | Scoop.it

This is how Neptune's Great Dark Spot and rings may have looked in 1989 from a position just beneath Neptune's ring plane. The outermost Adams ring is near the top of the frame, and beneath that is the much broader and diffuse Lassell ring. Further in toward Neptune and abutting the Lassell ring is the thin LeVerrier ring, and beyond that is the diffuse Galle ring.

The Great Dark Spot is believed to be a storm similar to, but only half the size of, Jupiter's Great Red Spot. While Jupiter's Great Red Spot has been raging for at least 400 years, subsequent observations of Neptune's Great Dark Spot in 1994 by the Hubble Space Telescope revealed that this storm has since disappeared.

 

The Great Dark Spot was a very dynamic weather system, generating massive, white clouds similar to high-altitude cirrus clouds on Earth. Unlike cirrus clouds on Earth however, which are composed of crystals of water ice, Neptune's cirrus clouds are made up of crystals of frozen methane. Neptune's clouds are driven by winds of 1,200 mph, the fastest winds of any planet in the Solar System. How such high-velocity winds come to be on a planet so far from the Sun is still a mystery.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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'Dark genome' is involved in Rett Syndrome

Researchers have described alterations in noncoding long chain RNA sequences in Rett syndrome. ('Dark genome' is involved in Rett Syndrome - Science Daily: Researchers have described alterations in noncodin...
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European and Asian languages traced back to single mother tongue - EducationGuardian.co.uk

European and Asian languages traced back to single mother tongue - EducationGuardian.co.uk | Science is Cool! | Scoop.it
EducationGuardian.co.uk European and Asian languages traced back to single mother tongue EducationGuardian.co.uk The claim, by scientists in Britain, points to a common origin for vocabularies as varied as English and Urdu, Japanese and Itelmen, a...
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Unearthing History: How Technology Is Transforming Archaeology : NPR

Unearthing History: How Technology Is Transforming Archaeology : NPR | Science is Cool! | Scoop.it
For centuries, explorers tried to find la Ciudad Blanca, a fabled city in the rain forests of Central America. Dense jungle impeded efforts to uncover it.
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Science News, Discoveries and Breakthrough Scientific Research - HuffPost Science

Science News, Discoveries and Breakthrough Scientific Research - HuffPost Science | Science is Cool! | Scoop.it
Join the discussion with top scientists on the latest news in spaceflight, brain/body research, evolution and the influence of science on culture.
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The Evil Brain: What Lurks Inside a Killer’s Mind | TIME.com

The Evil Brain: What Lurks Inside a Killer’s Mind | TIME.com | Science is Cool! | Scoop.it
As tragedies like Boston and Newtown mount, scientists and criminologists are trying harder than ever to understand the minds behind the crimes
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Make a Fist: Clenching Your Hand Can Improve Memory of Events

Make a Fist: Clenching Your Hand Can Improve Memory of Events | Science is Cool! | Scoop.it
New research reveals that clenching your fist can help you form a stronger memory of an event or action and allow you to recall the memory later.
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Richard III gravesite may include medieval knight - NBCNews.com (blog)

Richard III gravesite may include medieval knight - NBCNews.com (blog) | Science is Cool! | Scoop.it
NBCNews.com (blog)
Richard III gravesite may include medieval knight
NBCNews.com (blog)
By Megan Gannon, LiveScience. The lost English church where the body of King Richard III was discovered may still yield more treasures, researchers say.
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New species of dinosaur discovered: the lonely small bandit - Telegraph

New species of dinosaur discovered: the lonely small bandit - Telegraph | Science is Cool! | Scoop.it
A new species of dinosaur called the "lonely small bandit" has been discovered in Madagascar.
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Giant Predatory Ichthyosaur Discovered in Nevada | Wired Science | Wired.com

Giant Predatory Ichthyosaur Discovered in Nevada | Wired Science | Wired.com | Science is Cool! | Scoop.it
An enormous marine predator lurked in the Triassic seas covering Nevada: a sea monster big enough to eat reptiles its own size.
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