Distant star system with 8 planets discovered | Genetic map charts Irish ancestry back to Bronze Age | Dwarf planet's bright spots show evidence of geologic activity, NASA says
December 15, 2017
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Distant star system with 8 planets discovered
A star system more than 2,500 light-years away has the same number of planets as Earth's solar system, and they appear to be ordered in a similar way as well, according to observations by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope. Google engineers helped make the discovery using machine learning to find some of the star system's planets.
BBC (12/14) 
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Unleash students’ creativity with coding & STEAM
We can't prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow, but we can ensure they are future-ready. In an increasingly automated world, learning code won't be enough — what students are able to DO with code will be what matters. Learn more on how to use STEAM & coding to turn students into creative problem-solvers.
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Science in the News
Genetic map charts Irish ancestry back to Bronze Age
A new DNA map of Ireland published in Scientific Reports contains unexpected revelations about influences on the country's populations since the Bronze Age. Among the findings is evidence that at some point, the Vikings and the people of Ireland intermixed.
National Geographic online (12/14) 
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Dwarf planet's bright spots show evidence of geologic activity, NASA says
A NASA spacecraft has captured detailed images of bright spots linked to geologic activity on the dwarf planet Ceres. One spot may have been created by a cryovolcano formed by the accumulation of icy materials, and another may be related to icy lava that sent salty fluids to the surface, scientists say.
United Press International (12/13) 
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Satellites help researchers find remote Afghan archaeological sites
Drones and satellites have helped researchers find and map remote archaeological sites in Afghanistan that can't be studied on location, according to findings presented at a recent American Schools of Oriental Research meeting. Among the sites discovered so far are large mudbrick waystations known as caravanserai, which housed travelers along the Silk Road in the 17th century.
LiveScience (12/14) 
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Life in early Americas charted on unique map
A rare map dating back to 1593 offers clues about Spanish explorers and the indigenous peoples of the early Americas. The map, which is available to view on the Library of Congress website, is called the Codex Quetzalecatzin and details the lineage of a family known as "de Leon" and their property holdings.
National Geographic online (12/14) 
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Elevated maternal blood glucose in pregnancy may increase heart defect risk
Researchers linked every 10 mg per deciliter increase in maternal blood glucose levels during pregnancy to an 8% higher likelihood of having infants with cardiac malformations, even after adjusting for maternal age, pre-existing maternal diabetes and prepregnancy body mass index. The findings in the Journal of Pediatrics were based on data involving 19,107 mother-child pairs.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (12/15) 
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Drones gather details about Indonesian volcano
Scientists are using drones to gather information that may help predict eruptions at the active Agung volcano in Bali, Indonesia. The drones created a 3D map of the volcano and sent a carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide sensor through the volcano's plume.
The Conversation (US) (12/14) 
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Funding Watch
Australian government targets soil contamination with $10M program
The Australian government has committed nearly $10 million to a new research program targeting chemical substances known as PFAS that are contaminating the environment. The PFAS Remediation Research Program will look for new ways to correct soil, groundwater and other areas where PFAS contamination is found.
South Coast Register (Australia) (12/15) 
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