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February 11, 2013
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  • Curiosity drills into Martian rock for first time
    The Curiosity rover drilled a 2.5-inch-deep hole into Martian rock, successfully producing powder for laboratory analysis. Using the drill on Mars was "the biggest milestone accomplishment for the Curiosity team since the sky-crane landing last August," said John Grunsfeld, NASA's associate administrator for the science mission directorate. NASA researchers are using the rover to collect and test samples on the Red Planet to determine whether the planet can sustain microbial life. Reuters (2/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Science in the News 
  • Salty Antarctic lake offers key to understanding water on Mars
    Research that examines how the world's saltiest lake, a landlocked body of water in Antarctica, remains so salty could be used to understand how Mars once created its own lakes. The study, published in Scientific Reports, looked at 16,000 time-lapsed photos and discovered that Don Juan Pond remains high in salt because of water tracks created by salt in the soil that absorbs moisture in the air. Researchers believe the process is similar to the environment on Mars and may be how the Red Planet formed lakes in the past. RedOrbit (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Prenatal intake of omega-3s may not boost brain development
    Data from 11 clinical trials on the effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation during pregnancy on a child's brain development showed that such supplements had neither a positive nor negative effect on visual or neurological capacity. Since a majority of the trials had very few participants, excluded difficult pregnancies and failed to monitor the children long enough, Australian researchers said that more research is needed. The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Reuters (2/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Maintaining HSCs may help eliminate leukemia stem cells
    Maintaining a high level of functioning hematopoietic stem cells -- which play a role in the production of immune cells, red blood cells and platelets -- may be enough to eliminate leukemia stem cells, according to a study published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface. Researchers used computer modeling and simulations to test the viability of an HSC environment in killing LSCs. The findings indicate that maintaining an environment conducive to healthy cells may be a more effective approach at eradicating leukemia cells than targeting the cancerous cells directly, researchers said. Oncology Nurse Advisor online (2/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Stem cells could lead to better skin grafts, Canadian researchers say
    University of Calgary researchers are experimenting with stem cells to create skin grafts that perform more like natural skin. Trauma patients, cancer patients and burn survivors would benefit from better split-thickness skin grafts, researchers said. The researchers aim to create skin grafts that promote healing and allow the growth of follicles. (Canada) (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Can plants pick and choose the good genes?
    A University of Waterloo plant geneticist is hoping to prove that plants are capable of rejecting mutated genes in favor of healthier ones from their ancestors. Susan Lolle's first experiment could not be reproduced by other researchers, with many saying the original results were caused by contaminated pollen. But Lolle, in a paper published by F1000Research, says she's collected new evidence showing that cells in the adult thale cress can hold an ancestral gene rather than the gene from its parents. Nature (free content) (2/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Sponge-like fabric may increase access to water in deserts
    A team of scientists say they've created a piece of fabric that can collect water from fog and release the liquid when conditions are warmer, according to findings published in Advanced Materials. Researchers coated a piece of cotton fabric with the polymer PNIPAAm, creating sponge-like material. The fabric could be used to increase freshwater access in desert environments, though experts say more work is needed before they can commercialize the material. (2/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Report: Philippine island is a bed of reptilian, amphibian diversity
    More than 150 reptile and amphibian species are thriving on the remote Philippine island of Luzon, according to a species catalog published in the journal ZooKeys. Many of the creatures found in the Sierra Madre Mountains are native to the region, and more than one-third don't belong to a taxonomy, suggesting that they may be completely new species, researchers say. (2/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Research Policy Regulations 
The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. ... The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them."
--George Bernard Shaw,
Irish playwright

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