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December 18, 2012
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  Top Story 
  • CERN may have found two Higgs particles
    The long-awaited discovery of the Higgs boson could be a discovery of two particles instead of one, based on findings of scientists studying the particle through the Large Hadron Collider. Data from the Atlas experiment at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, suggests there is one Higgs boson with a mass of 123.5 gigaelectron volts and another with a mass of 126.6 GeV. The Atlas team hasn't been able to find a mistake in their analysis. The Daily Mail (London) (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Science in the News 
  • 4179 Toutatis wobbles by Earth in video footage
    NASA radar images taken of asteroid 4179 Toutatis on Wednesday and Thursday comprise a short video showing it spinning slowly as it glides by Earth just 4.3 million miles away. NASA compared the movements of the asteroid -- which scientists say poses no threat to Earth for at least 400 years -- to those of a badly thrown football. The Huffington Post (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ebb and Flow hurled intentionally into a moon mountain
    The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, a pair of NASA spacecraft also known as Ebb and Flow, crashed into a mountain not far from the moon's north pole Monday. Orbiting the moon since New Year's Day, the spacecraft gave scientists the highest-resolution gravity field map of any celestial body. Their crash site has been named the Sally K. Ride Impact Site in honor of the first woman in space, who passed away in July. (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • River on Saturn's moon Titan resembles Nile
    A massive river snaking over the surface of Titan, one of Saturn's moons, looks like the Nile River and means the moon may be geologically active. Titan -- believed to be the body most similar to Earth in the solar system -- is too cold for water, but hydrocarbons such as ethane flow in its lakes and streams. "Usually when we look at another planet, we're cautioned not to bring our Earth experience too much to bear, because we might fool ourselves," said NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory researcher Thomas Farr. "But here we look at a completely alien world and it looks just like the Earth. It's hard to believe." New Scientist (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • First high-temperature metamorphic rocks found in U.S.
    When Yale University geologist Jay Ague found deposits of garnet-laced gneiss -- a kind of metamorphic rock -- formed under temperatures of about 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit in northeast Connecticut, he concluded there was more to the East Coast's mountain formation history than previously known. "The fact that these rocks are there at all challenges all the existing models for mountain building in the area," Ague said. The findings of the group led by Ague, published Thursday in the journal Geology, mark the first discovery of high-temperature metamorphic rocks in the U.S. Our Amazing Planet (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Brain-controlled prosthetics show increasing success
    A robotic arm controlled by brain signals has allowed Jan Scheuermann, who was paralyzed by a degenerative brain disorder, to begin feeding herself and move objects with impressive dexterity. A University of Pittsburgh Medical Center research team implanted two microelectrode pieces in Scheuermann's left motor cortex after using magnetic imaging to find which area of her brain controlled arm movements. "She could think about moving her wrist and something happened," said researcher Michael Boninger. The study was published in The Lancet. Reuters (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Guinea pig heart cells provide foundation for biological pacemaker
    Scientists used heart-muscle cells from a guinea pig to create functional pacemaker cells, which create electrical activity to control the heart's rhythm. Electronic pacemakers are dependent on batteries that have a limited life, can accidentally move or break inside the heart and do not adjust well to changes in heart rates associated with physical activity. "All these problems could be solved by a biological pacemaker that is microscopic in scale and free from all hardware," said Hee-Cheol Cho, a Los Angeles-based biologist who helped develop the new pacemaker cells. (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Research Policy Regulations 
  • Glaxo receives FDA OK for flu vaccine targeting four strains
    The FDA has granted GlaxoSmithKline approval for its Fluarix Quadrivalent intramuscular injections to protect adults and children at least 3 years old from flu virus subtypes A and B. The formulation protects against four strains of influenza. Three-strain formulations "have helped protect millions of people against flu, but in six of the last 11 flu seasons, the predominant circulating influenza B strain was not the strain that public health authorities selected," said GSK's Dr. Leonard Friedland. Reuters (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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There are two things that one must get used to or one will find life unendurable: the damages of time and injustices of men."
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