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March 20, 2013
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  Top Story 
  • Genetic diversity among giant squid is low, study finds
    Though giant squid are present around the world, they're likely to all be part of the same genetic family, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Researchers examined the mitochondrial DNA of 43 soft-tissue samples and found little differences between them. The findings are extremely surprising, said study researcher Tom Gilbert. The genetic diversity of giant squid is one of the lowest of any marine animal, suggesting that the animals are capable of breeding with any other of its kind no matter where they are in the world. LiveScience.com (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Science in the News 
  • Mars rover is back in action after computer glitch
    The Mars Curiosity rover is active again after being sidelined by a computer glitch this week, NASA officials announced. The robot, which has not yet resumed normal operations, is also still recovering from its first computer error from late February. Officials expect the robot to be able to perform more analytical and sampling work by the end of the week. Space.com (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Are alien planets more habitable than we thought?
    Alien planets capable of supporting life are more common than believed, since most rocky planets develop some kind of oceanic water after forming, says researcher Lindy Elkins-Tanton of the Carnegie Institution for Science. "The ramifications of this are that, in any exoplanet system anywhere in our universe, if it's made of rocky materials with similar water contents to ours, every rocky planet would be expected to start with a water ocean," Elkins-Tanton said. Space.com (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Scientists discover origins behind Jupiter's "hot spots"
    Bright "hot spots" in Jupiter's atmosphere may actually be clearings in the planet's cloudy skies, possibly revealing a glimpse of its water clouds, according to findings published in the journal Icarus. Researchers pieced together 13-year-old images taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft to study the shape and movements of the hot spots, named because they appear as bright spots in infrared images. "This is the first time anybody has closely tracked the shape of multiple hot spots over a period of time, which is the best way to appreciate the dynamic nature of these features," said researcher David Choi. Space.com (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Bacteria can self-destruct for the good of the colony, study says
    Bacterial organisms may self-destruct as a means to prevent the spread of viruses that could kill an entire colony. The study, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, examined two strains of Escherichia coli bacteria and found that bacterium infected with a virus would kill itself before the virus had a chance to spread. Self-destruction ultimately has little effect on the rest of the colony, researchers say, meaning that a suicidal bacteria colony has a higher chance of survival than non-suicidal bacteria, which succumbs quicker to viruses. ScienceMag.org/Science Now blog (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Prenatal vitamin D not tied to bone mineral content in children
    Data on 3,960 mother-child pairs showed no substantial association between prenatal 25-hydroxyvitamin D level and offspring bone mineral content at ages 9 and 10. Researchers said the study shows no strong evidence that pregnant women should take vitamin D supplements to reduce the risk of low bone mineral content but cautioned that the "results should not be interpreted as suggesting that individual 25(OH)D concentrations are not an important determinant of bone health." The study was published in The Lancet. PhysiciansBriefing.com/HealthDay News (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study finds link between hypertension, Alzheimer's disease
    A study published in JAMA Neurology has found a link between hypertension and the development of Alzheimer's disease. Researchers used MRI and PET to measure levels of amyloid plaque, which is considered a risk factor for the disease. Patients with a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer's who were taking medication for hypertension had plaque levels that were no greater than other study subjects. The Inquisitr (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Farming may have been around in Israel before biblical times
    Agriculture in the Negev highlands of Israel began as early as 5000 B.C., according to research suggesting the land's residents may have lived in the area before biblical times. Researchers examined the radiocarbon dating of organic matter in various soil layers and were found three distinct time periods, with the earliest dating to between 5000 B.C. to 4500 B.C. LiveScience.com (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Funding Watch 
  • Thirty Meter Telescope gets $1.25M grant from NSF
    The National Science Foundation has granted the Thirty Meter Telescope observatory a $1.25 million grant to be distributed over five years toward helping the observatory plan partnerships and outreach to the larger astronomical community. While the telescope's construction is estimated to cost nearly $1 billion, backers say the NSF grant is a victory, considering the agency had announced in 2011 that no more funds would be available for building projects until the mid-2020s. ScienceMag.org/Science Insider blog (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Sigma Xi News 
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    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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