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February 20, 2013
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  Top Story 
Implementing A District-Wide Science Success
Veteran education leader Mike Dillon has helped his school district continue on a steady path of success in science. The Smithsonian’s Science and Technology Concepts program and kits, available through Carolina Biological, have ensured that an entire district maintains a culture of high academic achievement. Read the case study.
  Science in the News 
  • Scientists predict end of universe -- billions of years from now
    After discovering the Higgs boson particle last year, scientists analyzing the results say the initial conclusions indicate a catastrophic end for our universe tens of billions of years from now. "If you use all the physics that we know now and you do what you think is a straightforward calculation, it's bad news," said theoretical physicist Joseph Lykken, who presented his findings at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Experts predict the Earth will likely be consumed once the sun burns out in about 4.5 billion years and be long gone before the universe's end. Reuters (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Could large telescopes scope out oxygen on exoplanets?
    Massive telescopes such as the Extremely Large Telescope under construction in Chile are expected to be sensitive enough to detect the presence of oxygen on alien planets, as their atmospheres are lit up by the stars they pass. The process won't be easy; the exoplanet would have to pass its star several times to collect data, and that could take anywhere from 4 to 400 years. New Scientist (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Gravity influences volcanic eruptions and landslides, study says
    Volcanic eruptions may be linked to how gravity causes the structures to deform, according to research published in the journal Geology. Researchers used small models made of silicone, sand and gypsum to simulate the different ways gravity causes volcanoes to sink or spread out. Based on their experiment, scientists concluded that "a volcano that's more likely to spread than sag is at greater risk of suffering landslides or a full-blown flank collapse, and vice versa for a sagging volcano," said researcher Paul Byrne. Our Amazing Planet (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Cardiac-arrest risk may increase with elevated ozone levels
    Elevated ozone levels could increase the risk of cardiac arrest, according to a study published in the journal Circulation that analyzed more than 11,600 people in Houston who had a cardiac arrest between 2004 and 2011. Researchers found that an increase in ozone levels at 20 parts per billion over three hours was linked to an increase of 3% to 4% in the risk of cardiac arrest and was greatest for African-Americans, men and the elderly. (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Do your chromosomes determine your likelihood of getting a cold?
    People with shorter telomeres, or caps at the end of chromosomes that protect the DNA structure, may be more likely to catch the common cold than those with longer ones, according to preliminary findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers studied the chromosomes of 152 healthy people who were infected with nose drops containing the rhinovirus. They found that 13% of those with the longest caps developed the cold, compared with 26% of those with shortest ones. (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Milk and yogurt may strengthen the hip bone
    Milk and yogurt could be the best types of dairy to increase bone density in a person's hip, according to a study sponsored by a yogurt-maker and published in the journal Archives of Osteoporosis. The research suggests that dairy products vary in their usefulness in strengthening different bone types. For example, while milk and yogurt work best for hip-bone density, they are not linked to increasing spinal bone density. (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Plant cell-wall discovery may unlock future of biofuels
    Discovery of a possible connection between two types of cell-wall glycans and the arabinogalactan wall protein may offer biofuels a significant step forward. Researchers Li Tan and Debra Mohnen hope their discovery will lead to further research of plant cell walls and open up access to the sugars inside that can be used to economically create biofuels. (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Research Policy Regulations 
  • Families push researchers to share rare disease data
    Families of children with a rare genetic disorder called Sanfilippo syndrome are joining the chorus of voices asking researchers to open access to data on rare diseases. Three family foundations have offered to raise $550,000 to pay for a national natural-history study on the condition that researchers would make data available to other qualified researchers. The families hope that sharing data would cut down on the number of studies on the disease and spare families the fatigue and difficulty involved in participating in multiple studies. The Wall Street Journal (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Sigma Xi News 
  • Membership in Sigma Xi is an honor worth sharing
    Take a look at our website today and learn more about the honor of membership in Sigma Xi. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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    Are you taking advantage of everything Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society has to offer? American Scientist is the premier interdisciplinary magazine for science and research. Act now and receive a one-year subscription for only $30. Subscribe today. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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--John Berryman,
American poet and scholar

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