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Scientists Measure the Accuracy of a Racism Claim

Scientists have often been accused of letting their ideology influence their results, and one of the most famous cases is that of Morton's skulls--the global collection amassed by the 19th-century physical anthropologist Samuel George Morton.

from the New York Times (Registration Required)

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How an Afghan Methadone Clinic is Fighting to Counter HIV

In the Pul-i-Sokhta neighborhood of Kabul, Afghanistan, hundreds of men gather under a bridge in the dark. They hunch over sheets of foil and breathe in the fumes from boiling heroin.

from PRI's The World

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China Starts Building World's Biggest Radio Telescope

The largest and most famous radio telescope in the world--the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico--is about to be upstaged. In a remote part of Guizhou province in southern China, construction has begun on a true behemoth of engineering, the Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), an instrument that promises to transform radio astronomy.

from New Scientist (Registration Required)

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Forest Europe Summit 'To Shape' Policy

Forestry ministers from across Europe are attending a summit to shape future policy on how woodlands are managed. Delegates from 46 nations are expected to decide whether they will go ahead and establish a legally binding agreement on forest management.

from BBC News Online

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New Dino May Be World's Smallest

A new species of carnivorous non-avian dinosaur, described in the latest issue of Cretaceous Research, could be the world's smallest known dinosaur.

from Discovery News

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Giant Viruses

The common view of viruses, mostly true, is of tiny burglars that sneak into cells, grab the biosynthetic controls and compel the cell to make huge numbers of progeny that break out of the cell and keep the replication cycle going. Viruses are supposed to be diminutive even compared to cells that are just a micrometer (1,000 nanometers) in diameter. They are supposed to travel light, making do with just a few well-adapted genes.

from American Scientist

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Researchers Call for Nuclear Data Release

Shortly after a massive tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on 11 March, an unmanned monitoring station on the outskirts of Takasaki, Japan, logged a rise in radiation levels. Within 72 hours, scientists had analysed samples taken from the air and transmitted their analysis to Vienna, Austria--the headquarters of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), an international body set up to monitor nuclear weapons tests.

from Nature News

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Human Mutation Rate Slower Than Thought

Bad news for fans of the X-Men: It may take longer to create a new class of mutant superhumans than previous estimates suggested. The first direct measurements of human mutation rates reveal that the speed at which successive generations accumulate single-letter genetic changes is much slower than previously thought.

from Science News

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