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September 19, 2012
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Your World of Science News

  Top Story 
  • Study: Neanderthals used dark feathers for body decoration
    Neanderthals may have used dark feathers from creatures such as eagles and vultures for art and body creations, according to a study in the journal Public Library of Science One. Researchers examined 604 bird bones from the Vanguard, Gorham's and Ibex caves in Gibraltar, and discovered that some of the bones have clear cut-marks caused by Neanderthal tools. They also discovered that 337 were wing bones, suggesting that the ancient humans were intentionally collecting the animals to use their feathers. (9/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Science in the News 
  • Roman statues used as building material found in Turkey
    Two headless Roman-era statues representing an imperial office-holder and a local notable were excavated at the ancient city of Aphrodisias in modern Turkey. The statues, one dating to about 200 A.D. and the other from around 450 A.D., were believed to be reused as a building material to hold up a medieval platform. "Preliminary study of the pottery associated with the deposition of the statues suggests they were built into the platform already in the seventh century," said R.R.R. Smith, who directs the New York University Excavations at the site. (9/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Curiosity uses 1909 Lincoln Cent as MAHLI's calibration target
    NASA's Mars spacecraft Curiosity has used a 1909 "VDB" Lincoln Cent as a calibration target when it tested the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager tool. The coin serves as a reference in close-up images of objects such as rocks on the Red Planet. Other calibration targets that will be used by the rover include a metric bar graphic and color references. (9/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • World's highest-resolution camera takes first pictures of space
    The highest-resolution camera in history took its first galaxy photograph Sept. 12 for the Dark Energy Survey, a project that will document 300 million galaxies, 100,000 galaxy clusters, and 4,000 supernovae over the next five years. "This will be the largest galaxy survey of its kind, and ... will tell us a great deal about the nature of the physical process that we call dark energy, but do not currently understand," said collaborator Will Percival. The 570-million-pixel camera at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, will go through testing before the official survey begins in December. BBC (9/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • NASA astronaut finishes first-ever "spaceathlon"
    Sunita "Suni" Williams, a U.S. astronaut and Navy captain, completed the first-ever "spaceathlon" aboard the International Space Station. Williams did a version of the Malibu triathlon with the help of specialized exercise equipment on the ISS, completing the event in 1:48:43. She became commander of the ISS over the weekend -- only the second female commander in history. Popular Science (9/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study IDs genes key to Acinetobacter baumanni growth in humans
    Researchers have identified a set of genes linked to the development of a drug-resistant bacteria called Acinetobacter baumanni that is responsible for some hospital-acquired infections. Researchers looked for genes necessary for the growth of the bacteria in human peritoneal fluid, according to findings published in the journal mBio. The study may offer new drug targets. (9/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Diatoms hold potential for biofuel and materials production
    A team of scientists at Oregon State University has secured a $2 million, four-year grant from the National Science Foundation to study the potential for diatoms to produce biofuel and other products. Diatoms have the ability to produce lipids for biofuels, as well as semiconductor materials and chitin fibers for industrial uses, said Greg Rorrer, who leads the university's School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering. "We believe that we can produce all of these products in one facility at the same time and move easily from one product to the other," Rorrer said. (9/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Funding Watch 
  • NASA offers $2.7M in funding to advanced robotics initiatives
    NASA is set to award funds of $2.7 million to eight projects focusing on advanced robotics to help with the creation and use of robots in space exploration. "Selected through our participation in the National Robotics Initiative, these new projects will support NASA as we plan for our asteroid mission in 2025 and the human exploration of Mars around 2035," said NASA Chief Technologist Mason Peck. (9/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Research Policy Regulations 
  • USDA will form a network of 10 agriculture research sites
    The Department of Agriculture is pursuing plans to form a partnership of 10 experimental sites to boost long-term agriculture research, despite Congress' decision to reject a $9.5 million funding for the agency. The initiative aims to enable researchers to examine environmental conditions at the sites while assessing phenomenon such as alteration in soil carbon. The Scientist online (9/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Featured Content 

The well bred contradict other people. The wise contradict themselves."
--Oscar Wilde,
Irish writer

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