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Weeds Increasingly Immune to Herbicides

Agriculture's most effective pesticides are rapidly losing their punch as weeds evolve resistance to the chemicals. With no game-changing alternatives in the pipeline, researchers warn that farmers could soon see crop yields drop and production prices climb.

from Science News

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Ecologists: Time to End Invasive-Species Persecution

They're treated as outsiders, as opportunity-stealing intruders who ought to be greeted with government crackdowns rather than open arms. They're immigrants--immigrant species, that is. And some ecologists say it's time to declare amnesty, demilitarize our environmental borders and accept the inevitable reality of non-native invasion.

from Wired Science

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Time Up for Relativity Table-Top Test?

Can the time-warping ways of Einstein's theory of general relativity be measured by the quantum 'ticking' of an atom? In 2010, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, claimed in Nature that they had used an inexpensive table-top apparatus to show how gravity had altered a fundamental oscillation of two atoms.

from Nature News

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Study: The Perils of a Heavy Bottled-Water Habit

Americans quaff nearly 10 billion gallons of bottled water each year, in large part because they assume, wrongly, that it's healthier and safer than tap water. Somewhat surprisingly, the data has suggested, underserved black and Latino families tend to spend more money than whites do on bottled water, and provide it exclusively for their kids.

from Time

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Clues to Autism Emerge in Protein Network

Autism is as puzzling for scientists as it is heartbreaking for parents. Some patients function well despite a few behavioral quirks, whereas others are profoundly disabled. The dozens of "suspect genes" are scattered among various types of the disorder and show up in only a handful of patients. Now, by shifting focus from the genes to the proteins they produce, researchers have identified a densely connected network that may help reveal how autism develops. The finding may also lay the framework for developing new treatments, even for very different types of the disorder.

from ScienceNOW Daily News

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Fukushima Deep in Hot Water

In the first hours of March's accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, workers rushed to flood three damaged reactors with sea water to prevent a catastrophic meltdown. Three months later, water is still being pumped into the cores and has become the biggest obstacle to cleaning up the site.

from Nature News

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Shooting Down Addiction: A New Breed of Vaccines

Joe Clarke [pseudonym] has lived a tough life. Almost 50 years old, he's used cocaine for more than half his life, and his habit has brought with it the ills that plague many drug addicts: depression, recurrent pneumonias, family disruption, unemployment, and repeated arrest and imprisonment as a result of illegal behavior. As soon as Joe made money--usually from selling drugs, robbery, shoplifting, or pimping out his various girlfriends--his addiction would rob him of it. He would sometimes spend several hundred dollars a day on cocaine. His life was a constant hustle of getting together enough money to support his addiction, while trying to avoid arrest for his illegal activities.

from the Scientist

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Ultrabright Supernovae Defy Explanation

From the outlook of a planet that resides next to a quiet, relatively predictable star, the circumstances that lead to dramatic stellar explosions elsewhere in the universe can sound somewhat improbable. Some such blasts, known as type Ia supernovae, occur when a small, dense star known as a white dwarf--roughly the diameter of Earth, but hundreds of thousands of times more massive--grows too large by siphoning material off a neighboring star, igniting a thermonuclear explosion. Other cataclysms, known as type II supernovae, occur when much heftier stars, some of them dozens of times as massive as the sun, implode under their own weight.

from Scientific American

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Video: A Lone Gunman? Using Statistics in Forensics

Forensic scientists are often tasked to look for verification of what police officers already suspect, making bias a big problem.... (click the link above to read more).

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