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March 12, 2013
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Your World of Science News

  Top Story 
  • Brown dwarfs discovered near the sun
    An astronomer has found a pair of brown dwarfs about 6.5 light years from the sun, the closest objects discovered near the sun since two star systems were found more than 95 years ago, according to a study to be published in Astrophysical Journal Letters. The scientist used data from the WISE satellite, launched in space in 2009 to detect brown dwarfs. blog (3/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Science in the News 
  • Extraterrestrial life is likely rare, scientist says
    Alien life could be more difficult to find than some may think, according to a theory presented at a conference sponsored by the Royal Society. While planets with sustainable environments may exist, that may not mean alien life also exists, says Charles Cockell, director of the U.K. Center for Astrobiology at the University of Edinburgh. "It is dangerous to assume life is common across the universe. It encourages people to think that not finding signs of life is a 'failure,' when in fact it would tell us a lot about the origins of life," he said. (3/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Scientists expect powerful telescope to unveil more on alien planets
    Though the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, dubbed the world's most powerful radio telescope, hasn't officially been introduced to the world, it's already begun to help researchers learn more about the alien planets that surround us. Scientists are still adding additional antennas to the array, but even without full completion, the telescope has captured narrow dust rings around a brown dwarf and helped measure planets around the star Fomalhaut. Scientists expect ALMA at full power to have "a view of the universe that we can't even imagine even now," said Wolfgang Wild, a project manager with ALMA. (3/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Satellite recorded infrasound waves from 2011 Japan earthquake
    Infrasound waves emanating from Japan's 2011 Tohoku earthquake were so powerful that evidence of them were recorded in space, according to a new study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The European Space Agency's GOCE satellite, designed to measure changes in the Earth's gravity field, was able to track the waves twice. It was the first time the satellite has recorded infrasound in space, leaving scientists with hope that they'll be able to use the space tool to measure future ground activity on the planet. Our Amazing Planet (3/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Scientists: Antarctica bacteria are contamination, not new life
    Bacteria reportedly discovered last week under Antarctic ice are actually contamination, not evidence of new bacterial life, according to an analysis from the laboratory at Antarctica's Lake Vostok. Some news outlets reported that the Russian team discovered a new microbe that was only 86% similar to the planet's bacteria, considered reliable enough to be new. However, further analysis proved the bacteria to be contamination, forcing the team to renege on its statement. Our Amazing Planet (3/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Studies suggest antibiotics play key role in fighting malnutrition
    Treating malnutrition with antibiotics in addition to food could help prevent fewer children from dying, according to two studies. The first study found that antibiotics given within the first seven days of treatment helped prevent more deaths, though there was little effect on how quickly they recovered. The second study found that children suffering from kwashiorkor, a type of malnutrition, had microbes in their gut that did not change with food alone. Scientists warn, however, that there are risks to widespread use of antibiotics and that a holistic treatment to malnutrition needs to be considered. (3/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Tasmanian devil disease escapes detection by going incognito
    A contagious Tasmanian devil disease is able to hide in the body by altering its genes, preventing the animal's immune system from detecting it. Devil facial tumor disease, one of two known contagious cancers, has killed off 70% of the wild Tasmanian devil population, and experts predict the species will be extinct within 20 years if the disease isn't stopped. "What we hope to do is to figure out a way to tip the balance so that the immune system does a better job of recognizing and can get rid of the tumor," said the researcher for the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (3/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Funding Watch 
  • Ala. university gets $1.42M to help study cosmic rays
    NASA has awarded the University of Alabama in Huntsville $1.42 million to study high-energy cosmic rays. The grant is part of the $4.4 million Extreme Universe Space Observatory mission, which includes various universities and research centers. For its part, UAH will work with the Marshall Space Flight Center to design a ground-based calibration system. (Alabama) (3/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Research Policy Regulations 
  • Committee votes to protect 7 species of sharks, manta rays
    The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species has voted to protect five types of sharks and two species of manta rays by restricting international trade in hopes of creating legal and social barriers to the market. The CITIES resolution, which includes three types of hammerhead sharks and oceanic white tip sharks among others, was passed in response to recent news that an average of 274,000 sharks are killed every day by fishermen. About two-thirds of the participating countries, including the U.S., voted in favor of it; China, Japan and 40 other countries voted against it. National Geographic News/Ocean Views blog (3/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Sigma Xi News 
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