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September 17, 2012
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  • Opportunity finds distinct rock formation on Mars
    Scientists are confused by an image of spherical and odd formations at the Kirkwood rock outcrop on Mars, which was taken by NASA's Opportunity rover. The rock formations seem to be different from others in composition, concentration and structure as they appear to be softer in the middle and crunchy on the outside, said Steve Squyres, rover mission principal investigator from Cornell University. "We never have seen such a dense accumulation of spherules in a rock outcrop on Mars," Squyres said. (9/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Science in the News 
  • Study: Adult killer whales survive better with their mothers around
    Adult male orcas have a better chance of survival if they have their mothers nearby, according to a study in Science. Researchers found that young males were more likely to die a year after the death of their mothers compared with those whose mothers were still alive. They believe that the assistance offered by mothers in fighting or hunting may explain why having them around benefits daughters less than sons. Now blog (9/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Honeybees' role influences DNA alteration, study finds
    Worker honeybees' DNA changes as they transition from nursing to foraging, according to a study in Nature. Researchers found that minor epigenetic modifications are characterized by the addition of methyl molecule chemical tags in the DNA sequence. They also discovered that the alterations in the DNA are reversible: If a forager becomes a nurse again, the epigenetic pattern reverts too. Nature (9/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study identifies five genes linked to European facial structure
    Researchers from the International Visible Trait Genetics Consortium have found five genes associated with various facial features of individuals of European descent. Three of the genes were identified in previous research of skull and face development or malformations in vertebrates. The findings, published in the journal PLoS Genetics, could improve understanding of facial development, related disorders and the evolution of facial features. GenomeWeb Daily News (free registration) (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Researchers seek to develop drought-tolerant bioenergy crops
    Introducing genetic traits of drought-tolerant plants into woody plants could lead to the development of biofuel crops that better withstand high temperatures and low moisture, according to an international team of scientists supported by a five-year, $14.3 million Department of Energy grant. Poplar trees will be the first focus of study as a potential feedstock, and the methods, if successful, could be applied to food crops. (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Researchers identify the cause of color change in Van Gogh painting
    A chemical reaction between a protective varnish and the paint in Vincent van Gogh's "Flowers in a blue vase" painting caused the artwork's bright yellow flowers to turn orange-gray, according to a study by experts at the Kröller-Müller Museum in the Netherlands. Researchers used microscopic and powerful X-ray beams to identify the chemical composition and structure at the paint-varnish interface to identify the source of the color change. (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  • Updated SmartBrief privacy policy
    SmartBrief has updated its privacy policy to better reflect the state of the digital world. View the updated policy. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you won't do anything with it."
--M. Scott Peck,
American psychiatrist and author

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