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Water 'thermostat' could help engineer drought-resistant crops

August 27, 2014 3:51 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Duke University researchers have identified a gene that could help scientists engineer drought-resistant crops. The gene, called OSCA1, encodes a protein in the cell membrane of plants that senses changes in water availability and adjusts the plant's water conservation machinery accordingly....

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NASA completes key review of world’s most powerful rocket in support of journey to Mars

August 27, 2014 3:18 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

NASA officials Wednesday announced they have completed a rigorous review of the Space Launch System (SLS) -- the heavy-lift, exploration class rocket under development to take humans beyond Earth orbit and to Mars -- and approved the program's progression....

When blinding someone with a laser is better than killing them

August 27, 2014 2:57 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

Sometimes, it’s better to shine a bright light in someone’s face than riddle them with bullets (shocking, I know). And for troops in a warzone following very specific Escalation of Force (EOF) procedures, not killing someone is always the best possible outcome....

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University of Utah biologist wins Turkey's top science prize

August 27, 2014 2:37 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

University of Utah biologist Çagan Sekercioglu, who campaigns to save wetlands in his native Turkey, has won that nation's highest science prize, which is similar to the U.S. National Medal of Science. Sekercioglu is among five researchers picked for 2014 the top awards by TUBITAK, the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey....

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Detecting neutrinos, physicists look into the heart of the sun

August 27, 2014 2:31 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Using one of the most sensitive neutrino detectors on the planet, an international team of physicists including Andrea Pocar, Laura Cadonati and doctoral student Keith Otis at the University of Massachusetts Amherst report in the current issue of Nature that for the first time they have directly detected neutrinos created by the "keystone" proton-proton (pp) fusion process going on at the sun's core....

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Scientist uncovers red planet's climate history in unique meteorite

August 27, 2014 2:21 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Was Mars — now a cold, dry place — once a warm, wet planet that sustained life? And if so, how long has it been cold and dry? Research underway at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory may one day answer those questions — and perhaps even help pave the way for future colonization of the Red Planet....

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Witnessing the early growth of a giant

August 27, 2014 2:18 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Elliptical galaxies are large, gas-poor gatherings of older stars and are one of the main types of galaxy along with their spiral and lenticular relatives. Galaxy formation theories suggest that giant elliptical galaxies form from the inside out, with a large core marking the very first stages of formation....

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New smartphone app can detect newborn jaundice in minutes

August 27, 2014 2:12 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Newborn jaundice: It's one of the last things a parent wants to deal with, but it's unfortunately a common condition in babies less than a week old. Skin that turns yellow can be a sure sign that a newborn is jaundiced and isn't adequately eliminating the chemical bilirubin. But that discoloration is sometimes hard to see, and severe jaundice left untreated can harm a baby....

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Educated consumers more likely to use potentially unreliable online healthcare information

August 27, 2014 2:08 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

The last time you experienced worrisome medical symptoms, did you look for advice online before consulting a health-care professional? If so, you're not alone. Consumers are increasingly turning to forums, video-sharing sites, and peer support groups to gather anecdotal information and advice, which may distract them from more reliable and trustworthy sources....

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MU researchers develop more accurate Twitter analysis tools

August 27, 2014 2:06 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

"Trending" topics on the social media platform Twitter show the quantity of tweets associated with a specific event. However, trends only show the highest volume keywords and hashtags, and may not give qualitative information about the tweets themselves....

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NASA sees massive Marie close enough to affect southern California coast

August 27, 2014 2:03 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Two NASA satellites captured visible and infrared pictures that show the massive size of Hurricane Marie. Marie is so large that it is bringing rough surf to the southern coast of California while almost nine hundred miles west of Baja California....

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Scientists plug into a learning brain

August 27, 2014 1:59 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Learning is easier when it only requires nerve cells to rearrange existing patterns of activity than when the nerve cells have to generate new patterns, a study of monkeys has found. The scientists explored the brain's capacity to learn through recordings of electrical activity of brain cell networks. The study was partly funded by the National Institutes of Health....

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New study throws into question long-held belief about depression

August 27, 2014 11:01 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

New evidence puts into doubt the long-standing belief that a deficiency in serotonin — a chemical messenger in the brain — plays a central role in depression. In the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience, scientists report that mice lacking the ability to make serotonin in their brains (and thus should have been "depressed" by conventional wisdom) did not show depression-like symptoms....

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Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center awarded $18 million grant

August 27, 2014 10:58 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Outstanding basic research, a growing focus on translating discoveries into treatments, and a dedication to patient care have earned the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC) of Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital an $18 million, five-year Cancer Center Support Grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI)....

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EuropeanPioneers: 4.5 million Euros of EU funds for startups

August 27, 2014 10:54 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Berlin/Sankt Augustin, 27th August 2014 – Over the next two years, the EU funding pogramme "EuropeanPioneers" will support 25 startups and SMEs in the European Union with a total of 4.5 million Euros. The scheme targets businesses active in the fields of Smart City Services, Social Connected TV, Pervasive Gaming and E-Learning....

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