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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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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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PODCASTS: From Balloons to Space Stations: Studying Cosmic Rays

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Cosmic rays have mysterious qualities about them that scientists continue to research in order to better understand their origins and composition. Dr. Eun-Suk Seo, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and her colleagues, fly enormous balloons as large as a football stadium and a volume of 40-million-cubic feet for extended periods over Antarctica to study particles coming from cosmic rays before they break up in the atmosphere.

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