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February 12, 2013
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  Top Story 
  • Asian stinging ants mount increasing invasion on U.S. soil
    Stinging needle ants, originally from Asia, are becoming a menace in the U.S., experts say. The insect, which causes painful and itchy welts, is beginning to overtake Argentine ant populations in the country. According to research in the journal PLoS ONE, stinging ants can tolerate cooler temperatures than Argentine ants, and the more aggressive nature of the Asian ant allows the species to overtake the once-reigning Argentine ones. NBC News (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Science in the News 
  • Scientists send Landsat satellite into space
    Scientists launched a Landsat satellite from California this week, the eighth sent to space so far. The Landsat Data Continuity Mission will join 14-year-old Landsat 7 in space to continue the 40-year mission of photographing Earth's changing landscape. "LDCM will continue to describe the human impact on Earth and the impact of Earth on humanity, which is vital for accommodating 7 billion people on our planet," said an official with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Reuters (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Following sodium limits would save thousands of lives
    Cutting back on salt intake from current levels to 2,300 milligrams a day -- the upper end of the federal guideline -- could save 500,000 to 850,000 lives over the next 10 years, according to research published in the journal Hypertension. Even a more gradual reduction in salt content among restaurant and processed foods could save 280,000 to 500,000 lives in 10 years, largely by reducing the risks of heart attack and stroke. U.S. News & World Report/HealthDay News (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Research supports screening for amblyopia before age 3
    Photoscreening before age 3 was linked to a positive-predictive value of 86.6% for detecting amblyogenic risk factors, according to a study in the journal Pediatrics. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends vision screening at age 3, but the findings suggest that such screening is accurate and reliable enough to be extended to children as young as 1 year old. News (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Daylight hours linked to myopia progression in children
    Myopia, or nearsightedness, among children progressed faster during the months with the least daylight compared with the sunniest months, according to a study in the journal Ophthalmology. Researchers looked at more than 200 nearsighted 8- to 14-year-olds in Denmark and found that the length of their eyeballs from front to back increased more during the winter than the summer months. Reuters (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Lightning increases risk of headaches and migraines
    Researchers have established a link between lightning and the onset of migraines and headaches in humans, according to a study published in the journal Cephalalgia, which found that days with lightning increased the risk of headaches by nearly one-third and migraines by 28 percent. One of the study's co-authors speculated that the electromagnetic waves that lightning emits could trigger the headaches, though the exact cause remains unknown. National Geographic News/Weird & Wild blog (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Computer program can decode dead languages
    A computer algorithm may be the next step to systematically unlocking how dead "protolanguages" sound spoken aloud, according to a study. Historically, using human linguists have been the only method for reconstructing languages, but the study's authors believe this new software could be key to speeding up language analysis on a larger scale. (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Editor's Note 
  • Correction
    An item in the Feb. 11 Sigma Xi SmartBrief mischaracterized the Philippine island of Luzon. A study was conducted in a remote part of Luzon's Sierra Madre mountains. SmartBrief regrets the error. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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--John Steinbeck,
American author

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