Kepler spots small comets orbiting ancient dwarf star | Newly discovered ancient species resembles spider with tail | Dinosaurs likely in decline before asteroid wiped them out, researchers say
February 6, 2018
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Kepler spots small comets orbiting ancient dwarf star
Small comets have been detected orbiting an alien bright-yellow dwarf star, according to findings scheduled to be published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The tiny comets circled KIC 3542116 about 800 years ago and have been detected by the Kepler Space Telescope in much the same way that it finds exoplanets.
LiveScience (2/5) 
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Science in the News
Newly discovered ancient species resembles spider with tail
An ancient new species of arachnid that lived about 100 million years ago has been found encased in amber from Myanmar, helping to clarify the fossil record. Chimerarachne yingi looks similar to modern spiders except for its long tail and is described in two papers published in Nature Ecology & Evolution.
The Scientist online (2/5) 
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Dinosaurs likely in decline before asteroid wiped them out, researchers say
Dinosaurs' spread throughout the world may have put them in decline well before the asteroid that wiped them out hit Earth, according to findings published in Nature Ecology & Evolution. "They'd filled the Earth, there was nowhere to move to and they were really specialized in their habitat so they couldn't produce new species," said study author Ciara O'Donovan.
BBC (2/6) 
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Cheetahs' inner ears help them keep heads stable while chasing prey
Cheetahs can keep their heads still as they run to catch their prey with help from their unique inner ears, a study published in Scientific Reports suggests. "This distinctive inner ear anatomy reflects enhanced sensitivity and more rapid response to head motions," said study co-author John Flynn.
National Geographic online (2/5) 
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Researchers zeroing in on similarities between placental and cancer cells
Placental cells and cancer cells affect the immune system in similar ways, according to scientists. Researchers are hoping to figure out what's behind the similarities to create better ways to detect and treat cancer.
Undark (2/5) 
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CSF reference values may help interpret lumbar puncture results in young babies
A study in Pediatrics showed that infants ages 28 days or younger had increased white blood cell counts and protein concentrations, but significantly lower glucose concentrations in their cerebrospinal fluid, compared with those ages 29 days to 60 days. The findings suggest that CSF reference values and centile curves can help interpret the results of lumbar puncture for bacterial meningitis in babies 60 days of age or younger.
Medscape (free registration)/Reuters (2/5) 
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Funding Watch
Startup raises $11M to develop photonic chips for AI
Startup Lightmatter has raised $11 million in Series A funding to continue its work making super-fast photonic chips to improve performance of artificial intelligence. "At Lightmatter, we are augmenting electronic computers with photonics to power a fundamentally new kind of computer that is efficient enough to propel the next generation of AI," said company CEO Nick Harris.
TechCrunch (2/5) 
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