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Microbial Mats May Have Given Early Animals Breathing Room

Like exhausted nightclubbers, early animals may have weathered their harsh lifestyle by squirming up to the oxygen bar...

from Science News

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Report Recommends 'National Adaptation Strategy' for Global Warming

A report by the National Research Council last week warned that not only is global warming real, but the effects are already serious and the need has become "pressing" for a strong national policy to limit emissions of greenhouse gases. ...

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Gamma-Ray Image Reveals 'Some Things We Didn't Expect to See'

Last week astronomers released the most detailed gamma-ray map of the sky--representing the Universe's most violent and extreme processes. The Fermi space telescope's newest results, as well as the map, were described at the Third Fermi Symposium in Rome. ...

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More Setbacks at Japanese Nuclear Plant

Japanese officials said last week that a reactor at the crippled nuclear plant there has been more badly damaged than originally thought, operator Tepco has said. Water is leaking from the pressure vessel surrounding reactor 1--probably because of damage caused by exposed fuel rods. Contaminated water had also entered the sea from a pit near reactor 3 but this has been stopped. ...

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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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PODCASTS: Expanding With the Cosmos

Using the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ATC), a 6.5-meter microwave collector in Chile, cosmologists are piecing together the early history of the known universe. In an exclusive American Scientist interview, Arthur Kosowsky—a member of the ATC team and a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh—discusses how he is using ATC to reach back in time billions of years to search for gravitational waves that could verify inflation and reveal unprecedented details about how the cosmos was born.

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