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Science at the Top of the News for May 8-13

The most-viewed item by subscribers to Science in the News Daily last week was a New York Times report on what happened to Air France Flight 447, which went down in the Atlantic in June 2009. Other top stories included news of a hidden organ in the eye that controls emotions and circadian rhythms and an interview with famed physicist Stephen Hawking. Subscribe now for free daily updates.

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Youthful Ingenuity Honored at Intel ISEF

LOS ANGELES -- Cancer-killing X-rays, nuclear threat detection and a fishy new plastic were behind the projects that took top awards at the 2011 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. In addition to those top winners, hundreds of students took over $4 million in awards and prizes home from a May 13 awards ceremony.

from Science News

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Understanding the Complete Meltdown at Fukushima Unit 1

Last week, workers entered the stricken unit 1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and began work to further stabilize it. One of their first tasks was to recalibrate some of the sensors on the reactor, so that engineers had a better sense of how it was doing. That recalibration has led to a startling revelation: virtually all of the fuel inside the unit 1 reactor appears to have "melted down."

from Nature News

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Noise Pollution Hard On Heart as Well as Ears

According to a recent study, noise pollution could be costing lives. A World Health Organization report finds Western Europeans lose years to death or disability from excessive sound. Though European countries have taken steps to turn the volume down, the U.S. backed off the effort decades ago.

from NPR

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Neanderthals' Last Stand Possibly Found

A Neanderthal-style toolkit found in the frigid far north of Russia's Ural Mountains dates to 33,000 years ago and may mark the last refuge of Neanderthals before they went extinct, according to a new Science study.

from Discovery News

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Mars Landing Sites Narrowed Down to Final 4

LOS ANGELES (Associated Press) -- After years of poring through images from space and debating where on Mars the next NASA rover should land, it comes down to four choices.

from the Boston Globe (Registration Required)

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British Parakeet Boom Is a Mystery, and a Mess

STANWELL, England -- The evening started peacefully enough at Long Lane Recreation Park in the western suburbs of London, disturbed only by the occasional rumble of a distant jet landing at Heathrow Airport. But just before sunset, five bright green missiles streaked through the air toward a row of poplars at the park's edge.

from the New York Times (Registration Required)

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Is That Fish Worth Chasing? A Seal's Whiskers Know

The waters of the North Sea are among the murkiest on the planet, so dark and silty that a seal sometimes can't see its own whiskers. Even so, the harbor seals there can hunt and catch fish. Marine biologists have known for several years that a seal relies on its whiskers to follow the wake a fish leaves behind. But according to a new study, whiskers supply detailed information that the seal may use to decide which fish are most worthwhile to hunt.

from ScienceNOW Daily News

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