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February 15, 2013
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  Top Story 
  • Exploding meteorite injures hundreds in central Russia
    A meteorite exploded over central Russia on Friday, leaving more than 500 people injured. Officials are investigating whether the meteorite was related to an asteroid expected to pass Earth at close quarters this week. "There have never been any cases of meteorites breaking up at such a low level over Russia before," said Yuri Burenko, an Emergencies Ministry official. Reuters (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Science in the News 
  • Large Hadron Collider will be shut down for 2 years for upgrades
    CERN's Large Hadron Collider will be shut down for two years for inspections and upgrades. The LHC was forced to run atom collisions at energies below 8 Tera-electron Volts after an early failure that revealed the LHC couldn't run collisions at its intended energy of 14TeV. The LHC's connectors will be completely replaced. Ars Technica (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Connection found between supernova shock waves, cosmic rays
    Research on a supernova observed in 1006 A.D. has revealed that such explosions cause shock waves that are responsible for creating cosmic rays, according to two separate studies published in the journal Science. Both studies offered evidence that "suprathermal" protons in supernova shock waves serve as the seed for creating cosmic rays. "Supernova remnants are thought to be laboratories for producing cosmic rays," said Sladjana Nikolić, an astrophysicist and lead author of one of the studies. (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Using AI models may boost patient outcomes, curb costs
    The use of artificial intelligence algorithms in health care resulted in significantly better patient outcomes at a lower cost, researchers at Indiana University found. "The framework here easily outperforms the current treatment-as-usual, case-rate/fee-for-service models of health care," said researcher Casey C. Bennett. Computerworld (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Researchers report progress with experimental dengue vaccine
    Researchers at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in New Delhi said they are making strides with a vaccine for the dengue virus, which is being developed using hepatitis B vaccine technology. Preclinical tests showed the vaccine addressed all four dengue virus strains, researchers said. They estimate being able to test the vaccine in human trials in around five years. Deutsche Welle (Germany) (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Darkness may be the cure to lazy eyes
    A study of lazy eyes in kittens found that putting the animals in complete darkness seemed to cure their condition. "When I say dark, I mean really dark," said the study's co-author Kevin Duffy. "There are zero photons of light. It's not like going and closing your windows or drapes." The findings, published in Current Biology, could translate into a treatment for millions of people who have amblyopia, or lazy eye. Scientists are working on the exact duration and timing for the treatment, which they hope can be used on children. (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Could human anti-anxiety drugs also be affecting fish?
    Traces of a common anxiety-treatment drug in waterways may be altering the social and feeding behaviors of fish, according to a study in the journal Science. Scientists in Sweden found that fish exposed to traces of Oxazepam were less social but ate faster, worrying researchers about the long-term consequences such medications could have on the ecosystem. The Environmental Protection Agency fired back, saying the levels in the study were higher than the levels found naturally in the water and that "the relevance of their study to the real world is unclear." The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Proteins causing mad cow disease serve a helpful purpose
    Prions responsible for causing mad cow disease and similar versions, including the human form Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, may actually serve a role in helping brains to develop, according to a report in Journal of Neuroscience. Researchers discovered that prion proteins could be helpful or infectious depending on whether the protein was correctly formed. Normal prion proteins were fundamental in protecting nerves, while misfolded prion proteins cause the infectious diseases. Nature (free content) (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Research Policy Regulations 
  • Leaders: Better statistics needed to track global health
    An international meeting of 60 health statistics leaders convened by the World Heath Organization is calling for better collection methods to help record and count the sick and dead. Scientists say the biggest problem is that many places where the worst diseases are rampant are often also ill-equipped to keep correct statistics on the living, infected and the dead. Participants at the meeting agreed to work together, including sharing data and software, in gathering more accurate public health statistics. Insider blog (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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