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Science & Technology News Digest

Why do fundamental particles have flavors? … [more]

Shipwreck hunters stumble across 60 meter diameter object that resembles the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars … [more]

Was there a Stonehenge before Stonehenge? … [more]

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL, Paypal and others created DMARC to make email more secure and curtail phishing … [more]

NEOShield to investigate gravity tractors, kinetic impactors, and the explosive blast-deflection methods for reducing the threats of asteroids to Earth … [more]

More northern lights sky shows expected once-a-month for the next year or two … [more]

Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) scientists collect hundreds of meteorites in Antarctica … [more]

Flu researchers agree to pause studies on H5N1 avian flu for 60 days and evaluate public safety concerns … [more]

Researchers baffled by huge number of dolphins stranded in Cape Cod the past two weeks … [more]

Stranded whales off of New Zealand finally refloated and headed for deeper water … [more]

Mitt Romney’s and Newt Gingrich’s views on space exploration … [more]

Just lens caps? Russian scientist’s claim of life on Venus debunked … [more]

Russian scientist claims to have discovered life on Venus in pictures taken by the Venus-13 probe in 1982 … [more]

99 long-finned pilot whales stranded on at Golden Bay in New Zealand. 22 have died already, but efforts to refloat the remaining 77 are ongoing … [more]

Growing bulge of freshwater in the Arctic Ocean (Beaufort Gyre) could cool Europe if it reaches North Atlantic … [more]

Moon Colony being planned by NASA, European Space Agency, and Russian Space Agency … [more]

Highest resolution 3D map of the fruitfly genome developed with data from sequencing of 360 million DNA pairs … [more]

When it comes to climate change is natural gas from shale better or worse than coal? Two studies from Cornell University have opposing conclusions. … [more]

Debate on possible elimination of leap seconds is postponed for at least three years … [more]

University of Queensland’s Pitch Drop – The world’s longest running lab experiment … [more]

NASA breaks ground on Space Shuttle Atlantis’ permanent home, a $100 million exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex due to be completed in summer 2013 … [more]

What was life like for a Neanderthal? How did they think, live, and interact? … [more]

Can you see the “forbidden colors” of reddish green and yellowish blue? … [more]

Boa constrictors conserve energy by adjusting their squeezing according to their prey’s heartbeat, or lack thereof … [more]

Rocks collected in Morocco in December have been chemically confirmed by experts to be Martian Meteorites … [more]

Scores of long “lost” Charles Darwin fossils found in an old cabinet in the British Geological Survey … [more]

Multicellular life evolved quickly from single yeast cells in simple laboratory experiment, putting theories on the evolutions of complex life to the test … [more]

U.S. joins international efforts to develop a code of conduct for outer space … [more]

Russian paper Kommersant Daily claims that electromagnetic emissions from a powerful U.S. radar in the Marshall Islands may have accidentally disabled Phobos-Grunt … [more]

At least 20 dolphins have died after being stranded close to shore in Cape Cod, but 19 saved so far … [more]

SpaceX delays the planned rocket launch of the unmanned Dragon space capsule to the International Space Station … [more]

Scientists hope to find new life forms when they drill through 2 miles of ice to a buried Antarctic lake thought to be segregated from outside influence for the last several hundred thousand years … [more]

192 scholars answer the question “What is your favorite beautiful or elegant explanation?” … [more]

Russian Phobos-Grunt Mars probe fragments in atmosphere and crashes to Earth, most likely in the Pacific Ocean … [more]

Is carbon dioxide that important in global warming, or can reducing methane and soot make a big impact with cost and effort … [more]

Dipak Das, a University of Connecticut researcher who studied the cardiovascular health benefits of red wine and resveratrol, faked or manipulated data 145 times … [more]

Maryland man has cancerous windpipe replaced by one grown in a lab using plastic fibers and stem cells from the man’s bone marrow in operation performed by surgeons in Sweden … [more]

Rare White Chinstrap Penguin spotted in Antarctica … [more]

1,300-year-old Mayan flask contains traces of nicotine, providing the oldest chemical evidence that Maya used tobacco … [more]

IBM magnetic data storage breakthrough: Reliable storage of 1 bit of data in just 12 atoms … [more]

Intel Science Competition semifinalist is homeless teenager from Long Island … [more]

India and China join as partners in $1 Billion Hawaii Thirty Meter Telescope project … [more]

Second annual Google Science Fair will accept submissions in 13 languages with prizes including a scientific trip to the Galapagos Islands with National Geographic Explorer … [more]

Paedophryne amauensis, a tiny species of frog, is named world’s smallest vertebrate … [more]

Colorful new species of bush viper snake found in Tanzania – called Matilda’s Horned Viper … [more]

Stephen Hawking’s custom-built PC hand delivered by Intel engineer Travis Bonifield … [more]

Russian Phobos-Grunt satellite expected to fall into the Indian Ocean this weekend … [more]

Discovered by NASA last fall, Kepler-16b, a planet that may be orbiting two stars, could in theory host an Earthlike moon according to new computer simulations … [more]

Twin studies using gene analysis and brain scans reveal the importance of iron in white matter/myelin integrity … [more]

Data storage device created using Salmon DNA … [more]

New printer sized machine can sequence an entire genome in a single day, opening the door to inexpensive genetics at medical clinics … [more]

Middle aged surgeons are safest according to study at England’s Royal College of Surgeons … [more]

Vast one billion light-year cosmic map created by astronomers reveals intricate web of dark matter and galaxies … [more]

Carnivorous plants discovered that use adhesive leaves to trap and digest worms underground … [more]

Can global warming save us from the next Ice Age? … [more]

Traditional lectures are very poor at advancing students fundamental understanding of physics concepts … [more]

In Depth: Manufacturing complex parts using 3D printing technology … [more]

I once was blind, but now I can see — Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System to help bring eyesight to those that have retina photoreceptor cell degenera­tion … [more]

Stephen Hawking too ill to attend 70th birthday celebration at University of Cambridge, but recorded speech pushed interplanetary travel … [more]

Ancestral supersoldier ants produced in lab by applying hormones to larvae … [more]

First chimera monkeys produced by merging cells from up to six different rhesus monkey embryos … [more]

Tranquillityite, a mineral thought to only exist in meteorites and lunar rocks, discovered in Western Australia … [more]

NASA’s Intelligent Robotics Group (IRG) at Ames creates 3D Lunar Maps using images from Apollo missions … [more]

DARPA researchers successfully treat previously lethal doses of radiation using bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein (BPI) and antibiotics … [more]

The Russian Phobos-Grunt spacecraft expected to fall to Earth on January 15, 2012 … [more]

Cornell scientists work on invisibility cloak using “hole in time” instead of bending light around an object … [more]

The Unconscious Mind helps us identify our genuinely creative ideas … [more]

Political Science: How to be a dictator … [more]

4.5 billion year old meteorite the source for the only known natural quasicrystal specimen … [more]

Avoidable errors in Freakonomics, the wildly popular statistics book series … [more]

Unipolar and Bipolar Depression treated effectively and safely using deep brain stimulation (DBS) … [more]

World’s first hybrid shark found in Australian waters … [more]

Scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center developing comet harpoon to quickly collect samples from comets it space … [more]

Winning the Brazilian war on deforestation of the Amazon rainforest … [more]

Silkworms genetically engineered to make artificial spider silk, a breakthrough that could lead to incredibly strong fabric … [more]

Researchers grow sperm in laboratory by using germ cells in breakthrough that could revolutionize fertility treatment for men … [more]

Top 10 Weird Doomsday Predictions … [more]

NASA debunks 2012 doomsday predictions … [more]

Slower response times in the elderly due to conscious focus on accuracy, not slowing of brain processing speed … [more]

Recycling old Christmas lights into slippers in China … [more]

Theories on the evolution of complex life upended by discovery of 600 million year old microscopic fossils of amoeba-like micro-organisms … [more]

Researchers explain how shearing causes granular materials to transform from a loose state to a solid state … [more]

Killer Whales Vs. Sharks on New Zealand Beach … [more]

Using DNA analysis, Scientists at New Mexico State University make progress on drought-tolerant alfalfa … [more]

More than ever, organic produce doesn’t mean small farms, sustainability, or environmentally friendly … [more]

Chimpanzees communications influenced by what their audience knows … [more]

According to new study, moss spreading throughout the Hawaiian Islands has cloned itself for 50,000 years … [more]

First computer model created that incorporates the influence of glia, brain cells that regulate synapses and control learning, memory, and adaptation … [more] [related]

Must-see science videos of 2011 … [more]

China’s National Space Administration plans to put a man on the moon … [more]

Farmers failure to rotate crops may have caused rootworms to develop resistance to genetically modified Bt corn … [more]

According to new skeletal evidence, Columbus’s crew brought back Syphilis from New World … [more]

VeriChip, an implantable computer chip, has been approved for humans by the FDA … [more]

Two charred planets recently found by NASA’s Kepler space telescope likely sped the transformation of the star they orbit from red giant to subdwarf … [more]

Mystery behind avian suicides of 1961, the inspiration for Hitchcock’s The Birds, solved at last … [more]

Top 10 Scientific Breakthroughs of 2011 according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science … [more]

U.S. based security think tank Stratfor hacked by “Anonymous” … [more]

Forgetting is key to sharp intellect and a sound state of mind … [more]

Little exciting new technology expected in 2012. Is American innovation dying? … [more]

Weirdest Stories of 2011 on Discovery News … [more]

Capture of Borneo Sumatran rhino in Malaysia raises hope that this highly endangered species can be saved from extinction … [more]

Prosopagnosia, aka Face Blindness, and the inability to recognize voices … [more]

Concerns that giant Asian tiger prawn may dominate Gulf of Mexico’s ecosystem … [more]

Understanding consciousness by studying the brain during general anesthesia and mapping how neural circuits change … [more]

Twin Grail probes to enter orbit around the moon over New Year’s weekend and begin study of the lunar gravity field … [more]

Observing RNA editing in real time by tracking a green glow … [more]

New technology, called the RootChip, could revolutionize root research with ability to monitor roots in real time with high precision … [more]

Best Science Pictures of 2011 … [more]

MIT neuroscientists found Npas4 gene to be master controller of new memories in the human brain … [more]

Chi_b (3P): The first new particle discovered at the Large Hadron Collider … [more]

Hollow metallic ball with a circumference of 1.1m fell out of the sky and landed in Namibia … [more]

Extremely powerful quantum computers and new states of matter may be possible by supercooling objects at the atomic level … [more]

“Sun-Believeable” – Inexpensive paint that can generate electricity from sunlight … [more]

First complex cell may have been an accidental byproduct of an attempted parasitic invasion of an archaeon by a bacterium … [more]

Evidence of complex hydrocarbon molecules spotted on the surface of Pluto by the Hubble Space Telescope … [more]

Ingredient pairing is what makes Asian food taste so different from Western food … [more]

Intense heat and pressure deep in the Earth causes iron oxide to transition into a highly conducting metal without a change to its structure … [more]

Mean Drunks: People that don’t consider future consequences when sober get very aggressive after consuming alcohol … [more]

Mean Drunks: People that don’t consider future consequences when sober get very aggressive after consuming alcohol … [more]

FDA approval granted for human trials of HIV vaccine developed by researchers at the University of Western Ontario … [more]

IBM predicts 5 innovations that will change our lives in the next 5 years … [more]

In southwest Wales, researchers have located the exact source of the rocks used to build part of the 5,000 year old Stonehenge monument … [more]

Quantum Entanglement of macroscopic diamonds at room temperature … [more]

According to a study using fish, Uninformed Voters may provide value in producing democratic outcomes … [more]

U.S. DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory creates solar cell with 114% external quantum efficiency (more electrons in photocurrent than photons entering cell) … [more]

Fermilab breaks ground on Illinois Accelerator Research Center … [more]

Soldierdroids, Robot Chefs, Dragons, and other Robots of the Week … [more]

Rebel Angel, Sloshed Galaxies, Red Dragonfish, Survival Story, and other Space Pictures of the Week … [more]

British study shows that loud music and noise make Alcoholic drinks taste sweeter (and I thought it was nightclubs watering down the drinks) … [more]

Astronomers may have found the smallest known black hole using NASA’s Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer … [more]

Fluorescent molecules with a metal-organic framework developed at MIT could provide easy visual identification of pathogens, explosives, or toxins … [more]

Comet Lovejoy survives fiery plunge through sun’s corona to the surprise and delight of NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory scientists … [more]

New MRI study comparing activation of various brain regions finds roots to dehumanization that may facilitate atrocities, torture, and genocide … [more]

Russian icebreaker on mission to save more than 100 Beluga whales trapped off the Bering Sea before they die from suffocation or starvation … [more]

New suite of statistical tools called MINE provides new way to mine vast data sets and analyze a broad spectrum of patterns … [more]

Four Eras of Astrobiology from the Big Bang to intelligent life: Physical, Chemical, Biological, Cognitive … [more]

Google is working around the clock to release its Apple Siri competitor, codenamed Majel—a Star Trek reference, for the Android platform … [more]

NASA considers using 3D printing on the International Space Station to build spare parts and tools on demand … [more]

High-energy physicists from Caltech set record with sustained network data transfer rate of 186 gigabits per second … [more]

New chemical process developed that can create a range of complex metallic nanoparticles with potential uses in the medical industry … [more]

MIT researchers create extremely high speed camera: One Trillion Frames Per Second … [more]

Paul Allen’s new company, Stratolaunch Systems, plans to build giant airplane with a 385 foot wingspan to launch rockets into space … [more]

Longevity researchers believe that the secret to immortality, or at least extending human life spans to thousands of years, may be just around the corner … [more]

NASA’s Mars-Bound Curiosity Rover begins research in space with its Radiation Assessment Detector … [more]

CERN Scientists close in on “God Particle,” but cannot make any conclusive statement on the existence of Higgs boson … [more]

400 billion particles modeled in largest-ever simulation of the universe … [more]

Study of African lungfish offers clues on the evolution of walking … [more]

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