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Freezer Failure at Brain Bank Hampers Autism Research

A freezer malfunction at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital has severely damaged one-third of the world's largest collection of autism brain samples, potentially setting back research on the disorder by years, scientists say.

from the Boston Globe (Registration Required)

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U.S. Astronomers Discover It, Then It's Outsourced

When three U.S. astronomers won the Nobel Prize in physics last year, for discovering that the expansion of the universe was speeding up in defiance of cosmic gravity--as if change fell out of your pockets onto the ceiling--it reaffirmed dark energy, the glibly named culprit behind this behavior, as the great cosmic surprise and mystery of our time.

from the San Francisco Chronicle

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Records of Birds from a Time Gone By

At first glance, the contents of the 15 glass jars in Sam Droege's collection do not look like much--bivalve shells, twigs, a fishhook. But they hint at a story that would fill a vast ornithological library. In fact, they once did.

from the San Francisco Chronicle

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Cholera Vaccine Deployed to Control African Outbreak

For the first time, health officials in West Africa have begun a vaccination campaign to try to control cholera during an active epidemic.

from Nature News

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Turning Saltwater from Earth and Sea into Water Fit to Drink

SAN ANTONIO -- Drilling rigs in the midst of cow pastures are hardly a novelty for Texans. But on a warm May day at a site about 30 miles south of San Antonio, a rig was not trying to reach oil or fresh water, but rather something unconventional: a salty aquifer. After a plant is built and begins operating in 2016, the site will become one of the state's largest water desalination facilities.

from the New York Times (Registration Required)

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N.R.C. Nomination Shines Spotlight on Waste-Disposal Issue

WASHINGTON -- When the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee meets on Wednesday to consider President Obama's choice to head the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, three themes are likely to dominate the questioning: waste, waste and earthquakes.

from the New York Times (Registration Required)

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China to Carry Out Manned Space Flight

China has announced it will carry out a manned space flight at some point in the middle of June.

from BBC News Online

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Lack of Sleep Increases Stroke Risk

The 30% of working adults who routinely sleep less than six hours a night are four times more likely to suffer a stroke, says a new study. The findings are the first to link insufficient sleep to stroke; they're also the first to apply even to adults who keep off extra pounds and have no other risk factors for stroke, says Megan Ruiter, lead author of the report. It will be presented Monday at the 26th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Boston.

from USA Today

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PODCASTS: From Balloons to Space Stations: Studying Cosmic Rays

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Cosmic rays have mysterious qualities about them that scientists continue to research in order to better understand their origins and composition. Dr. Eun-Suk Seo, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and her colleagues, fly enormous balloons as large as a football stadium and a volume of 40-million-cubic feet for extended periods over Antarctica to study particles coming from cosmic rays before they break up in the atmosphere.

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