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September 27, 2012
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  Top Story 
  • Buddhist statue samples match space rocks in Chinga meteorite field
    An iron Buddhist statue, brought by the Nazi party of Germany to Europe, was made from a meteorite that likely fell along the Mongolian and Siberian border 10,000 years ago, according to a study by a team of researchers including Elmar Bucher of Stuttgart University. An analysis of statue samples showed they closely match the known space rocks that scattered from the border's Chinga meteorite field. (9/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Science in the News 
  • Astronomers release sky's deepest image
    Astronomers unveiled Tuesday a portrait that integrates images of the Hubble eXtreme Deep Field that were captured by the Hubble Space Telescope over a decade. The image shows a tiny portion of the farthest universe with a pattern of different celestial objects including galaxies. "XDF is the deepest image of the sky ever obtained," said astronomer Garth Illingworth of the University of California at Santa Cruz. "It allows us to explore further back in time than ever before." Reuters (9/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Indian Ocean quakes indicate fracturing tectonic plates
    A pair of earthquakes April 11 in the eastern part of Indian Ocean indicates tectonic plate breakups, according to three studies in the online version of the journal Nature. Scientists who conducted one of the studies found that the killer earthquake in Sumatra, Indonesia, in 2004, and nearby quakes in 2005 and 2007, affected the recent event as they increased the stress on the faults in the ocean's southwest and northeast areas. Researchers in another study discovered that this year's quake freed four faults, perpendicular to each other, in less than two minutes. Science News (9/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ancient oak tree trunk found in England will be made into a table
    Researchers working in a field in Norfolk, England unearthed the trunk of a Fenland Black Oak tree believed to be more than 5,000 years old. The bog oak is being taken to London to be dried and will be used to create a 44-foot table for public display. Researchers expect the finding to offer a view on the grandeur of ancient huge forests. BBC (9/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Missing data prompt researchers to retract study on GM cassava
    Researchers retracted a study that claimed to have boosted the protein content in cassava through gene modification. In the paper, published last year in the journal PLoS ONE, researchers said they developed genetically modified cassava that expressed the zeolin gene, allowing it to have 12.5% higher protein content. The authors, however, couldn't find the zeolin gene in cassava during subsequent studies. According to the retraction notice, "an institutional investigation revealed that significant amounts of data and supporting documentation that were claimed to be produced by the first author could not be found" and "the validity of the results could not be verified." (9/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • DNA extraction uncovers lessons from the Irish potato famine
    Scientists at Rothamsted Research in the U.K. used DNA extraction on potato samples from the 1840s through the 1870s and found that the potato blight that caused a famine in Ireland "survived between cropping seasons." The 19th-century scientists who gathered those samples "didn't have the tools to investigate that but we can now use modern techniques to answer questions they couldn't have dreamt of," said lead researcher Bruce Fitt. The team expects the findings to prove useful in better understanding potato blight, which remains a problem today, as well as other crop diseases. BBC (9/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Scientists confirm ununtrium's synthesis
    A group of Japanese scientists confirmed Wednesday that they successfully synthesized the element 113, also known as ununtrium. The team said it collided bismuth, which has 83 protons, with zinc, which has 30 protons, to come up with an atom, which has 113 protons in its nucleus. Los Angeles Times/Science Now blog(tiered subscription model) (9/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Generic diabetes therapy might treat cancer
    Researchers are studying the effects of metformin -- approved in 1958 to treat diabetes -- on breast, ovarian, colon, prostate and other cancers. The drug is safe and cheap, and it appears to improve survival in pancreatic cancer patients, says Donghui Li, an epidemiologist and professor of medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Bloomberg (9/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Research Policy Regulations 
  • Scientists wrestle with reproducibility
    The Reproducibility Initiative aims to validate published research through independent third parties, but critics say the initiative will do little to solve problems with reproducibility. Kent Anderson, CEO and publisher of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, questioned the cost and value of an approach that may get only weak support from major publishers. RI advisory board member Elizabeth Iorns says that the initiative will be cost-effective and needs to be part of a bigger effort to improve research. The Scientist online (9/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Sigma Xi News 
  • 2012 Assembly of Delegates will be hosted virtually in November
    We look forward to working with our chapters and members worldwide as we come together on the Internet to share ideas and chart a course for the bright future of Sigma Xi. Won't you join us? Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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