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September 28, 2012
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  Top Story 
  • Curiosity discovers evidence of ancient streams on Mars
    NASA's Curiosity rover discovered evidence that strong streams once flowed on the Martian surface. Scientists believe that large stones in the outcrops called Link and Hottah, might have been carried by water and traveled 20 to 25 miles before they bumped into each other and grounded down to their present size. Los Angeles Times/Science Now blog(tiered subscription model) (9/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Science in the News 
  • X-37B space plane slated for launch in October
    The U.S. Air Force's X-37B space plane is set for its third launch in October, but the details of its mission and the timing of its space flight were not divulged. However, Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. John Dorrian said they are "considering landing [the plane] at NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida instead of the previous base" to cut costs and use readily available resources. ABC News (9/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study aims to develop drought-tolerant biofuel crops
    An international team of scientists is studying the photosynthetic mechanisms of desert-dwelling plants with the aim of adapting them to biofuel crops. "The project will develop an unprecedented level of understanding of a highly water use efficient form of photosynthesis known as crassulacean acid metabolism, which is found in agaves, cacti and succulents," said James Hartwell of the Institute of Integrative Biology at the University of Liverpool. The study is made possible through a $13.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. (U.K.) (9/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Rare sundew species traps prey through catapult system
    Drosera glanduligera, a rare kind of sundew plant found in eastern Australia, uses snap tentacles to toss prey onto glue tentacles, according to a study in the journal PLoS ONE. Researchers performed experiments of the catapult system's mechanism and found it to be very effective since the prey almost never escapes. The finding indicates how plants develop to suit their needs, said study co-author Thomas Speck of the Plant Mechanics Group of the University of Freiburg in Germany. National Geographic News (9/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Scientists visit Mars-like areas on Earth to test if planet could host life
    Scientists are visiting places on Earth similar to environments on Mars, including Antarctica and Spain's acidic Rio Tinto river, to study whether the Red Planet could host life. "In the field campaigns, we have studied ecosystems in situ and we have also brought samples back to the laboratory for further analysis. We have found a range of complex chemical processes that allow life to survive in unexpected places," said Felipe Gómez, leader of the initiative at the Centro de Astrobiologia in Spain. (9/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.S. researchers produce record-breaking laser pulse
    U.S. researchers set a record after creating the shortest laser pulse, lasting 67 attoseconds. The method that researchers used could produce even shorter bursts of up to 25 attoseconds, which could aid physicists in seeing the motion of electrons around atoms. (9/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Researchers spot outermost edge of galaxy's black hole
    Researchers have created a portrait of the outermost edge of a supermassive black hole at the center of the M87 galaxy for the first time using telescopes from four linked sites in Arizona, California and Hawaii. They also sighted the origin of large jets of material thought to come out of the interactions between the holes and the matter around them. Los Angeles Times/Science Now blog(tiered subscription model) (9/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Silk shows promise in creating implants that dissolve over time
    A team of researchers, including electronic engineers, material scientists and biophysicists, has designed nanometer-thick devices that have lifespans controlled by silk coating. The silk packaging's lifespan can be altered by differing its crystalline structure, which means that the devices can be dissolved over years, months or even minutes. The finding could eliminate the cost associated with the removal of implants. New Scientist (9/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Funding Watch 
  • Protein Potential will develop malaria vaccine using NIH grants
    Protein Potential received from the NIH three Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grants worth $1.8 million for three-stage development of a malaria vaccine against Plasmodium falciparum. The first stage will involve development of a dual-component vaccine that induces antibodies and protective T-cell mechanism against the parasite's asymptomatic liver stage. The second stage will develop a vaccine that prevents the parasite's infection of red blood cells. The third stage will develop a recombinant protein-based vaccine to prevent against three parasite life cycle stages. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (9/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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