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Thaw at Brain Bank Deals Setback to Autism Research

The details sound like something out of a bad science-fiction movie. A freezer storing human brains for research went on the fritz, and nobody at the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center knew for days. Two separate alarms that should have alerted staff to the problem failed to sound late last month...

from NPR

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Choosing a Sugar Substitute

White. Pink. Blue. Yellow. On restaurant tables everywhere, the colors of the sweetener packets instantly identify the contents. Sugar. Saccharin. Aspartame. Sucralose...

from the New York Times (Registration Required)

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New Wyoming Supercomputer Expected to Boost Atmospheric Science

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Here in the shortgrass prairie, where being stuck in the ways of the Old West is a point of civic pride, scientists are building a machine that will, in effect, look into the future...

from the Los Angeles Times (Registration Required)

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The Electric Flour Voltage Test

Ordinary baking flour isn't the most electrifying substance, but spilling a box of the stuff yields a jolt of voltage that has scientists excited about their prospects for sensing catastrophic events like earthquakes and industrial accidents...

from Science News

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Putting the Brakes on the Immune System

Your immune system protects you from bacteria and viruses, but you need specialized cells to protect you from your immune system. Overaggressive immune responses can cause everything from autoimmune diseases to organ rejection. Now, scientists have identified a new group of these specialized cells that seem to keep the immune system in check--at least in the short term...

from ScienceNOW Daily News

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Our Dying Forests: Beetles Gnaw Through Utah, West

Bozeman Pass, Mont. -- A gray-whiskered former fly-fishing guide waded through a horse pasture whacking weeds for his neighbor, the rumbling machine in his hands slicing thistles and sparing a robust tangle of grass and wildflowers, while on mountain ridges all around him, the trees silently died. Beetles...

from the Salt Lake Tribune

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Tabletop X-Rays Light Up

The pressurized, cylindrical chamber fits in the palm of Margaret Murnane's hand. Yet out of one end of the device comes an X-ray beam that packs almost as much punch as the light generated by massive particle accelerators...

from Nature News

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Evidence That Man Cured of HIV Harbors Viral Remnants Triggers Confusion

Only one person ever has been cured of an HIV infection, and a presentation about the man at a scientific meeting in Sitges, Spain, last week has caused an uproar about the possibility that he's still infected...

from ScienceNOW Daily News

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At Home in the Universe

When Lewis and Clark started exploring the West, they didn't know much about what lay beyond St. Louis. Neither, at first, did astronomers know much about cosmic realms beyond Uranus...

from Science News

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Microbes Beam Electrons to Each Other Via Mineral "Wires"

Bacteria can use minerals in soil as electrical grids, which helps the microbes generate chemicals they need to survive, a new study says. The process involves different bacterial species trading electrons--negatively charged subatomic particles....

from National Geographic News

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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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