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September 21, 2012
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  Top Story 
  • NASA brews up carbon to imitate origin of life
    NASA researchers brewed up carbon that contains complex molecules in icy conditions in the laboratory to imitate the building blocks of life in the space. They expect their findings to help explain why polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, a class of organics, are still not found on the space's ice grains. "The very basic steps needed for the evolution of life may have started in the coldest regions of our universe. We were surprised to see organic chemistry brewing up on ice, at these very cold temperatures in our lab," said lead author Murthy Gudipati. (9/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Science in the News 
  • Gliese 163c may be habitable, researchers say
    A newfound planet called Gliese 163c, at the edge of the habitable zone of the star Gliese 163, may be a top candidate to host microbial life aside from Earth, according to a study by an international group of astronomers. Researchers used the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher, a spectograph on the telescope of the La Silla Observatory at the European Southern Observatory in Chile, to study almost 400 red dwarf stars. It is possible for scientists to gather more data about the planet since there is around a 2% chance that it will pass between its star and the sun from Earth's view. (9/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.S. a step closer to using nuclear fusion as power source
    An experiment at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico examined how a small cylinder could take a magnetic crushing force from the lab's "Z machine." The experiment's results brought the U.S. a step closer to utilizing nuclear fusion as an almost limitless source of power. "Our experiments were designed to test a sweet spot predicted by the simulations where a sufficiently robust liner could implode with a sufficiently high velocity," said researcher Ryan McBride. (9/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study finds genetic link between cheetah spots, tabby stripes
    A study by the National Laboratory for Cancer Research found that the gene behind the color patterns of cheetahs also controls the tabby cat's stripes. This is "the first connection of a gene involved in pattern formation in cats to their molecular status," said researcher Stephen O'Brien. Apart from shedding light on feline evolution, discoveries like this could also help researchers better understand human genetic development, O'Brien said. (9/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Scientists surprised by diversity of West Indian Ocean's coral species
    The West Indian Ocean's coral population, specifically around Madagascar, is more diverse than researchers previously thought, according to a study in the journal Public Library of Science ONE. Scientists spotted 369 species of coral in the ocean, but predicted that further research may bring that number up to 450 species. The figure could rival that of the Great Barrier Reef, researchers wrote. (9/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Archaeologists discover limestone coffins in Philippines
    Remnants of what archaeologists believe to be a 1,000-year-old village with limestone coffins has been unearthed near Mulanay town in the Philippine province of Quezon. The age of the remnants were estimated based on U.S. carbon-dating examinations performed on a human tooth uncovered in one of 15 graves that have been excavated since last year. The discovery is evidence that Filipinos during that time performed a more progressive burial ritual than previously believed. Houston Chronicle/The Associated Press (9/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Prenatal sleep apnea may pose health risks for mothers, babies
    Babies of obese women with obstructive sleep apnea during pregnancy had a greater risk of admission to the neonatal intensive care unit, according to a study in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. Researchers also noted that the rates of preeclampsia and cesarean delivery were higher in women with sleep apnea compared with those without the condition. (9/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Thin placenta may double risk of sudden cardiac death in adulthood
    Researchers looked at records of more than 13,000 Finnish men and women and found that those born to mothers with the thinnest placentas faced a two-fold risk of experiencing sudden cardiac death later in life. However, the findings, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, failed to establish a cause-and-effect relationship. HealthDay News (9/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Funding Watch 
  • NIH earmarks $51.4M for metabolomics research
    The NIH plans to award $51.4 million over five years through its Common Fund to boost the nation's capacity for metabolomics research. Initial grants will create comprehensive metabolomics resource cores at the University of Michigan, the Research Triangle Institute and the University of California, Davis. Another grant will create a data repository and coordination center at the University of California, San Diego, to facilitate collaboration. GenomeWeb Daily News (free registration) (9/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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