Latest Mars lander sets solar-power record on first day | Strange signals over North Pole may be caused by cosmic dust | Scientists: Cephalopods are smart but different
December 3, 2018
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Latest Mars lander sets solar-power record on first day
A solar-power record was set by the Mars InSight lander on its first full day on the planet, according to NASA officials. "The 4,588 watt-hours we produced during sol 1 means we currently have more than enough juice to perform these tasks and move forward with our science mission," said InSight Project Manager Tom Hoffman, using the term for a day on Mars.
Space (12/2) 
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Science in the News
Strange signals over North Pole may be caused by cosmic dust
Unusual signals detected over the North Pole may be caused by specks of cosmic dust spinning at extremely rapid speeds, a study published in arXiv suggests. Scientists eliminated some other possibilities using the C-Band All Sky Survey, which uses a pair of telescopes in South Africa and California to image the sky.
LiveScience (11/29) 
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Scientists: Cephalopods are smart but different
Scientists: Cephalopods are smart but different
Octopuses and other cephalopods exhibit a high degree of intelligence, but they don't have many of the behaviors associated with other intelligent creatures, such as apes and dolphins, according to findings published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution. Researchers are looking into differences such as cephalopods' relatively short life spans and their tendency to lead somewhat solitary lives.
The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (11/30) 
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Targeting transient cells induced by chemo may block leukemia relapse
Special cells that appear transiently and are induced during chemotherapy may be linked to recurrence of acute myeloid leukemia and, if targeted when they appear, may prevent a relapse of the disease, according to findings published in Cancer Cell. Researchers were able to successfully prevent relapse in mice treated with chemotherapy by suppressing a particular gene.
The Scientist online (12/1) 
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Nanoscale blood test could speed cancer detection
British researchers have developed a new technique using nanoscale blood testing to gain more information on patients' cancer by injecting and extracting liposomes and then assessing the biomolecules on the surface. "We hope this technique could be a springboard for further research, from monitoring disease progression or recurrence to identifying which treatment is best for each patient and potentially finding new biomarkers for early diagnosis," said lead author Kostas Kostarelos.
Verdict Medical Devices (UK) (11/29) 
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Pets may augment treatment for depression, study finds
Adopting a pet could ease symptoms of treatment-resistant major depressive disorder in some patients taking antidepressants, according to a small study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research. Symptoms improved significantly in more than one-third of patients who adopted a pet, and patients developed "a strong affinity and companionship that strongly contributes to mental health," researchers said.
The Independent (London) (tiered subscription model) (12/1) 
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Funding Watch
Male birth control study awarded over $900K
Dundee University has received approximately $927,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support its development of a male birth control pill. Researchers will examine a number of drugs already in existence that may also be able to act as contraceptives for men.
The Guardian (London) (11/30) 
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S.C. university to study childhood cancer with $60K grant
The St. Baldrick's Foundation has awarded a $60,000 grant to the Medical University of South Carolina to assist its research into childhood cancer. Funds will go toward clinical trials.
WCSC-TV (Charleston, S.C.) (11/30) 
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Sigma Xi News
Earn a Free Year of Membership Dues
Sigma Xi members who nominate five of the top scientists and engineers they know by December 5 have a chance to earn a year of free membership. All five nominees must accept the nominations and pay fees by December 31 in order for the nominator to earn the free year. Colleagues, faculty, postdoctoral associates, research scientists, and student researchers may all be nominated if they meet membership qualifications.
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November-December issue of American Scientist Is Published
November-December issue of American Scientist Is Published
The November-December issue of American Scientist features articles on cougars making a comeback, saving Internet infrastructure from rising seas, collecting evolution, representing our oceans in aquariums, particle physics' future, and much more! Sigma Xi members should look for their digital or print editions (additional content is exclusively available on the website). Nonmembers can find the magazine on newsstands or order a copy for $5.95 plus shipping fees by calling 1-800-282-0444 and selecting option 4.
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