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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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Stopping a Migraine Before It Starts

A migraine is among the most debilitating conditions in medicine--a blinding, throbbing pain that typically lasts between four and 72 hours. There is no cure.

from the Wall Street Journal

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Military Camouflage: That Old Razzle Dazzle

In the Second World War, many Allied ships were painted with dark and light stripes, and other contrasting shapes, making them look a bit like zebra. The idea was to distort an enemy submarine commander's perception of the ship's size, shape, range, heading and speed, so as to make it harder to hit with the non-homing torpedoes of the period. These had to be pointed not at the target directly but, rather, at the place where the commander thought the target would be when the torpedo arrived.

from the Economist

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Male Birth Control Pill: Are We There Yet?

Preventing unwanted pregnancy is a shared responsibility between both sexes, but what if men had the same contraceptive options as women?

from Discovery News

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Egyptian Mummies Hold Clues of Ancient Air Pollution

Ancient Egyptians may have been exposed to air pollution way back when, according to new evidence of particulates in the lungs of 15 mummies, including noblemen and priests.

from Live Science

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Plant Origami Shows How Dead Things Can Move

By determining how a desert plant's seed pods unfurl when they get wet, biologists discovered new principles for designing materials that respond to their environments. Eventually, the insights may help engineers improve satellites or develop artificial muscles.

from Wired Science

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U.S. Is Falling Behind in the Business of 'Green'

LEICESTER, England -- The Mark Group started hunting for a new untapped market when it realized that its core business--insulating old homes using innovative technology--would drop off in coming years. Based in this rust-belt city, the company had grown rapidly over the last decade largely because of generous and mandatory government subsidies for energy conservation that impelled the British to treat their homes.

from the New York Times (Registration Required)

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PODCAST & VIDEO: 3D Printing Replacement Body Parts

Regenerative medicine, a fledgling field with the aim of regrowing parts from a person’s own cells, is being amplified with 3D-printing technology, which can now use organic materials to create scaffolds that cells need to grow into their final forms. Richard Wysk, a professor of industrial and systems engineering at North Carolina State University, discusses the latest successes with this research, and the timeline for creating more complicated structures.

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