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Fukushima Workers Tackle Highly Radioactive Water

Today [Wednesday], workers at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan tested out a system that will start cleaning up an enormous volume of radioactive water there.

from NPR

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Forecast Predicts Biggest Gulf Dead Zone Ever

NEW ORLEANS (Associated Press) -- Scientists predict this year's "dead zone" of low-oxygen water in the northern Gulf of Mexico will be the largest in history-- about the size of Lake Erie--because of more runoff from the flooded Mississippi River valley.

from the Boston Globe (Registration Required)

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Neutrino Particle 'Flips to All Flavours'

An important breakthrough may be imminent in the study of neutrinos. The multinational T2K project in Japan says it has seen indications in its data that these elementary particles can flip to any of their three types.

from BBC News Online

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Ketamine's Antidepressant Effect Explained

The anesthetic ketamine works against depression by quickly boosting levels of a brain compound that has been linked to the condition, a new study in mice shows. The research may lead to highly effective and fast-acting antidepressants that provide relief within hours instead of weeks, scientists report online June 15 in Nature.

from Science News

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Tribal Wars: DNA Testing Divides American Indians

Blasted from arid, rocky land where rattlesnakes once thrived, the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino stands like a modern castle in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Saturday night and the car park is heaving with gleaming pick-ups lured from the small towns of central California.

from New Scientist (Registration Required)

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Europe Braces for Serious Crop Losses and Blackouts

LONDON -- One of the driest spring seasons on record in northern Europe has sucked soils dry and sharply reduced river levels to the point that governments are starting to fear crop losses and France, in particular, is bracing for blackouts as its river-cooled nuclear power plants may be forced to shut down.

from Scientific American

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Twisted Structure Preserved Dinosaur Proteins

Scientists have discovered how fragments of the protein collagen might have survived in fossilized dinosaur bones. The intertwining, rope-like structure of the molecule, a major component of bone, could have shielded parts of the protein from enzymes and the elements for tens of millions of years, they say.

from Nature News

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Amazon Sees Further Logging Murder

A rural worker has been shot dead in Brazil's Amazon--the sixth murder in a month in the region, amid conflicts over land and logging. The body of Obede Loyla Souza was found in dense forest close to his home in the northern state of Para.

from BBC News Online

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PODCAST & VIDEO: Engineering Around Extreme Events

Extreme events, such as super floods and hurricanes, are becoming more common, so civil engineers are trying to adapt civil infrastructure such as bridges to these unpredictable and sometimes devastating meteorological events. Engineer Ana Barros discusses how engineering can prepare us for extreme weather events, but also how changing climate and population conditions can affect the ability of infrastructure to hold up over time.

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