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'Grape' Is Key to Fossil Puzzle

A single-celled ball about the size of a grape may provide an explanation for one of the mysteries of fossil history. Writing in Current Biology, researchers say the creature leaves tracks on the seabed which mirror fossilised tracks left up to 1.8 billion years ago. Many palaeontologists believe only multi-celled organisms could have made these tracks...

from BBC News Online

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Energy: America's Top Climate Cop

Mary Nichols can take some pride in the view as she travels out of Los Angeles. The San Gabriel Mountains rise up to the north, framed by blue sky with just a touch of midday haze. The clear vista comes in large part because of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the agency that Nichols leads, which has spent decades cleaning up the city's air. Now she and her team are setting their sights even higher--with an ambitious plan to cut California's greenhouse-gas emissions...

from Nature News

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Controversial Computer Is at Least a Little Quantum Mechanical

If the experiment was meant to silence the critics, it didn't. Four years ago, an upstart tech company created a stir when it claimed to have built a quantum computer--a thing that, in principle, could solve problems ordinary computers can't. Physicists from D-Wave Systems in Burnaby, Canada, even put on a demonstration. But other researchers questioned whether there was anything quantum mechanical going on inside the device. Now, the D-Wave team has published data that they say prove quantum phenomena are at work within its chip. But even if that's true, others still doubt that, as D-Wave researchers claim, the chip can do quantum-mechanical computations.

from ScienceNOW Daily News

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Independent Study Faults Owner in W.Va. Coal Blast

BECKLEY, W.Va. (Associated Press) -- Massey Energy Co. recklessly ignored safety and allowed dangerous conditions to build inside a West Virginia mine until a blast last year killed 29 men in the deadliest U.S. coal accident since 1970, according to an independent report released Thursday...

from the Seattle Times

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A Blood Test Offers Clues to Longevity

Want to know how long you will live? Blood tests that seek to tell people their biological age--possibly offering a clue to their longevity or how healthy they will remain--are now going on sale...

from the New York Times (Registration Required)

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FDA to Pull Diabetes Drug Avandia From Pharmacy Shelves

(HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced that the controversial diabetes drug Avandia will no longer be sold at retail pharmacies beginning this November, due to the cardiovascular risks it poses to patients...

from U.S. News and World Report

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Protein Flaws Responsible for Complex Life, Study Says

Tiny structural errors in proteins may have been responsible for changes that sparked complex life, researchers say. A comparison of proteins across 36 modern species suggests that protein flaws called "dehydrons" may have made proteins less stable in water. This would have made them more adhesive and more likely to end up working together, building up complex function...

from BBC News Online

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Space Shuttle Carries Mini-Satellites into Orbit

When space shuttle Endeavour blasted off Monday morning it carried three tiny satellites--each the size of a postage stamp--along with it.

from the Los Angeles Times (Registration Required)

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Latest Multimedia

VIDEO: The Promise and Peril of Drones

CummingsDrones

The automation of tasks at work and at home is just around the corner, including driving cars, piloting planes, delivering packages, and transporting weapons. Unmanned aerial vehicles are rapidly evolving to meet both society’s and the military’s needs in automation and better efficiency.
During her time as one of the first female fighter pilots in the US Navy, Dr. Missy Cummings observed that computers could take off and land a plane more precisely than humans. Because of this breakthrough and her fascination with this growing technology, she began human–drone interaction research.

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