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February 21, 2013
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Your World of Science News

  Top Story 
  • Video captures Italy's Mount Etna erupting
    A videographer at the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Italy released footage of this week's volcanic eruption at Mount Etna. The volcano is among the most active in the world and the tallest in Europe. Its eruptions of lava or gas have been seen from space. Our Amazing Planet (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Science in the News 
  • Astronomers discover smallest-known planet
    Scientists using the Kepler space telescope have discovered the smallest-known planet outside the solar system, according to findings published in the journal Nature. Roughly the size of our moon, it's the smallest-known planet to date and has a surface temperature of roughly 700 degrees Fahrenheit. USA Today/The Associated Press (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Mars rover prepares to analyze rock sample
    The Mars Curiosity rover is preparing to process a sample of powder retrieved after drilling a hole into rock that scientists believe was formed by water. NASA scientists are hoping to learn more about any possible organic matter that may have existed on the Red Planet. "The rocks in this area have a really rich geologic history and they have the potential to give us information about multiple interactions of water and rock," said Joel Hurowitz, a scientist working with the rover. Reuters (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • New scorpion species discovered in Ariz. mountains
    Researchers have discovered a new species of scorpions in the Santa Catalina Mountains just outside Tucson, Ariz. The Vaejovis brysoni is an inch-long small, brown creature, according to details of its discovery published in the journal ZooKeys. It is the ninth newly discovered species of mountain scorpion in the past six years in Arizona. Our Amazing Planet (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Endangered sharks stay close to protected waters
    Scientists tracking female oceanic whitetip sharks say they have been staying close to protected waters in the Bahamas, a good sign for conservationists fearing the species' demise. The shark is prized for its fins, which are used for soup, and is critically endangered in the Atlantic. Scientists published details of their tracking study in the journal PLoS ONE. "It's a key question for conservation," said a biologist not involved in the study. "It really makes a big difference whether there are parts of the population that are in protected areas." Now blog (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Could a cell phone tower double as a rain gauge?
    Areas of Africa that lack reliable technology to track rainfall could rely on cell towers, which experts say could double as a rain gauge. The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also found that the masts could provide electricity to remote areas, potentially for refrigerating vaccines. Scientists add that more studies are needed to understand the towers' effectiveness. (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Antioxidants may not help prevent stroke or dementia
    Diets rich in antioxidants may not do much to lower the likelihood of person developing a stroke or dementia, according to a study published in the journal Neurology. Scientists analyzed the health data of about 5,300 people 55 and older in the Netherlands, and found no conclusive link between the levels of antioxidants -- primarily from coffee and tea -- and their risk for a stroke or dementia. (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Are organic tomatoes better for you?
    A study from Brazil has found that organic tomatoes may have more vitamin C than its conventionally grown counterpart, contradicting a study last year that found no discernible nutritional difference between organic and conventional produce. Another study found that organic tomatoes are higher in vitamin C but lower in protein than conventionally grown crops. Researchers say the evidence isn't enough to encourage people to only eat organic foods. (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 11 researchers receive $3M each for their work in life sciences
    The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, funded by a group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, awarded 11 scientists $3 million each in recognition of their "excellence in research aimed at curing intractable diseases and extending human life." The winners range in specialties including genetics and stem cells, and include scientists from universities and research institutions from around the world. The award is more than double the amount of a Nobel Prize. Insider blog (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Research Policy Regulations 
  • Report recommends continued fusion research, with caveats
    The U.S. should continue its research in inertial confinement fusion, but only after it can successfully demonstrate ignition, or burning plasma, according to a report by experts assembled by the U.S. National Academies. The National Ignition Facility, a $3.5 billion government project based in California, was supposed to have achieved ignition by last year. "If the government decides to go ahead, there should be a well-thought out program to test approaches at the appropriate scale," said committee Co-Chairman Ronald Davidson. "But if a particular approach proves too expensive [to be commercial], one should be prepared to take it off at the next exit ramp." Insider blog (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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