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X-Ray Telescope Promises Insight into Black Holes

Space scientists at UC Berkeley are about to train their sights on a unique telescope that will fly into orbit Wednesday to explore the violent edges of black holes at the centers of countless galaxies like our own Milky Way...

from the San Francisco Chronicle

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Nature vs. Nurture: Outcome Depends on Where You Live

Both nature (meaning our genes) and nurture (the environment we grow up in) are known to significantly affect traits like our height and weight, our IQ, and our chance of developing behavioural problems or autism. But how strong environmental factors are in determining each characteristic, compared with the influence of DNA, differs significantly across the country, scientists have found...

from the Telegraph (UK)

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Diesel Exhausts Do Cause Cancer, Says WHO

Exhaust fumes from diesel engines do cause cancer, a panel of experts working for the World Health Organization says. It concluded that the exhausts were definitely a cause of lung cancer and may also cause tumours in the bladder. It based the findings on research in high-risk workers such as miners, railway workers and truck drivers. However, the panel said everyone should try to reduce their exposure to diesel exhaust fumes...

from BBC News Online

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Obesity Ills That Won't Budge Fuel Soda Battle by Bloomberg

A hospital offers Zumba and cooking classes. Farmers markets dole out $2 coupons for cantaloupe and broccoli. An adopt-a-bodega program nudges store owners to stock low-fat milk. And one apartment building even slowed down its elevator, and lined its stairwells with artwork, to entice occupants into some daily exercise...

from the New York Times (Registration Required)

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Journal Offers Flat Fee for 'All You Can Publish

Science-publishing ventures continually battle for market space, yet most operate on one of only two basic business models. Either subscribers pay for access, or authors pay for each publication--often thousands of dollars--with access being free. But in what publishing experts say is a radical experiment, an open-access venture called PeerJ, which formally announced its launch on 12 June, is carving out a fresh niche. It is asking its authors for only a one-off fee to secure a lifetime membership that will allow them to publish free, peer-reviewed research papers...

from Nature News

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New Holey Material Soaks Up CO2

UK researchers have developed a porous material that can preferentially soak up CO2 from the atmosphere. NOTT-202 is a "metal-organic framework" that works like a sponge, absorbing a number of gases at high pressures...

from BBC News Online

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'Oldest Galaxy' Discovered Using Hawaii Telescope

A team of Japanese astronomers using telescopes on Hawaii say they have seen the oldest galaxy yet discovered. The team calculates that the galaxy is 12.91bn light years away, and their research will be published in the Astrophysical Journal. The scientists with the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan used the Subaru and Keck telescopes on the summit of Mauna Kea...

from the Guardian (UK)

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Mammoths Didn't Go Out with a Bang

Why are there no more woolly mammoths? The last isolated island populations of these huge beasts disappeared about 4,000 years ago--well after the Pleistocene extinction that wiped out much of the world's megafauna--but what triggered their demise remains a frustrating mystery. According to the latest study to contribute to the ongoing debate, the last mammoths disappeared after a long, slow decline in numbers rather than because of a single cause...

from Nature News

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