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Updated: 1 hour 54 min ago

A Graduate Program Works To Diversify The Science World

Thu, 01/02/2014 - 11:11am

Women and African-Americans are underrepresented among science and engineering graduate students. The Bridge Program, a collaboration between Fisk and Vanderbilt Universities, is working on changing this. And other programs are learning from its approach.

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How Scarcity Trap Affects Our Thinking, Behavior

Thu, 01/02/2014 - 4:18am

A Harvard economist finds there are psychological connections between the bad financial planning of many poor people and the poor time management of busy professionals. In both cases, he finds the experience of scarcity causes biases in the mind that exacerbate problems.

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Why The Cod On Cape Cod Now Comes From Iceland

Thu, 01/02/2014 - 2:56am

Order cod fish in a restaurant on Cape Cod, and you might assume you were buying local. But the fish that gave the Cape its name are now so depleted that restaurants are serving cod imported from Iceland. Some activists think it's time America developed a taste for the less popular fish still present in the waters off the Cape.

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How Mass-Produced Meat Turned Phosphorus Into Pollution

Thu, 01/02/2014 - 2:55am

Phosphorus is one of the nutrients that plants need to grow, and for most of human history, farmers always needed more of it. But excess phosphorus, either from manure or manufactured fertilizer, can runoff into streams and lakes and become an ecological disaster.

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More Than 300 Sharks In Australia Are Now On Twitter

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 7:43pm

Government researchers tagged the sharks with transmitters, triggering an automatic tweet when they swim close to a beach. This comes after several high-profile shark attacks, some of them fatal.

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More Than 300 Sharks In Australia Are Now On Twitter

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 7:43pm

Government researchers tagged the sharks with transmitters, triggering an automatic tweet when they swim close to a beach. This comes after several high-profile shark attacks, some of them fatal.

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Researchers Create New 'Memory' Metals That Could Improve Safety

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 1:13pm

Some metal alloys will "remember" a shape when you heat them to the same temperature they were originally shaped at. So a straight wire made from one of these "shape memory alloys" might change back into a spring when heated, or vice versa. But the alloys that exist today change shape at low temperatures. Materials scientists at Sandia National Laboratory have developed new alloys that don't change shape until they reach hundreds of degrees, opening the door to thousands of new applications.

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Archeologists Race Against Time In Warming Arctic Coasts

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 1:13pm

Archeologists who study the people who lived in the Arctic thousands of years ago are in a race against time. Coastal settlements are being washed away by erosion, storm surges and other climate changes related to global warming. Clues to the past that were frozen intact in permafrost for thousands of years are melting and being destroyed by the elements. Archeologists are looking to climate scientists to predict where the erosion will be the fastest so they can pinpoint their research on the places that will disappear the soonest. Until now the predictions have largely been too coarse to provide much guidance. But the National Park Service is trying to change this. It's funding research that supposed to forecast the threats that more than 100 coastal national parks face from sea level rise and storm surges due to climate change.

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Editing Your Life's Stories Can Create Happier Endings

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 1:00pm

Psychologists have found a simple way to improve academic performance and even health. When people sit down and write about a negative experience and they revise their story to see it in a more positive way, it changes their behavior and helps them succeed.

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RoboCop? How About RoboPenguin!

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 2:06am

When physicist Flavio Noca first saw penguins zooming around underwater, he was blown away by their speed and maneuverability. Now, his team has built a robotic arm that perfectly mimics the flippers in action — and he says the device could someday propel underwater craft.

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Malawian Farmers Say Adapt To Climate Change Or Die

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 2:04am

A local Christian aid group is trying to help villages adapt by planting drought-tolerant crops and setting up pumps for irrigation. But even with new methods and crops, farmers still need to know: When is it safe to plant?

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Federal Flood Insurance Program Drowning in Debt. Who Will Pay?

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 2:03am

Congress has tried to boost premiums on the cheap, subsidized insurance FEMA offers. But property owners in flood zones protested the rate hikes, and legislators backed-off in 2013, calling for "further study." Meanwhile, a string of bad storms has left the program $24 billion in debt — so far.

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Florida's Mangroves Move North As Temperatures Rise

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 3:08pm

Mangroves, those luxurious coastal thickets of exotic forest and nurseries for fish, are moving north. Satellite images show the mangroves along the Florida coast are thriving in areas to the north that used to be too cold. It's another result of higher temperatures, and especially a lack of freezing temperatures farther north. It's good news for mangroves, which are disappearing in many parts of the world, but bad for the northern salt marshes they replace.

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Does Champagne Actually Get You Drunk Faster?

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 1:13pm

Search for "Champagne, bubbles and drunk," and you'll get headlines like "Why Bubbles Make You More Giggly." But when we took a close look at the science supporting the urban legend, we weren't impressed. The effect doesn't happen to everyone, and when it does, it's just temporary.

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Animal Loses Head But Remembers Everything

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 6:42am

They look like fettuccine come to life — little flatworms that glide along river beds and perform miracles. Chop off their tails, they grow them back. Split them in half, they grow whole again. But chop off their heads, and not only do they grow new heads, those new heads contain old memories! Whoa!

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Nothing Focuses The Mind Like The Ultimate Deadline: Death

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 2:28am

A Swedish inventor came up with a wristwatch that counts down the seconds left in your life. He calls it a happiness watch because he believes living with the reality of one's mortality can enhance how we value our lives.

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Bon Voyage Voyager — Old Friends Take Stock

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 2:27am

Long gone, but never forgotten, Voyager 1 is about 12 billion miles from home and now sailing through interstellar space, scientists were thrilled to confirm in 2013. The spacecraft carries with it a generation's dreams.

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Lost Images Come To Life A Century After Antarctic Expedition

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 5:08pm

A clump of 22 negatives taken during Ernest Shackleton's 1914-1917 expedition to the South Pole, are recovered and processed by New Zealand conservators.

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On Evolution, A Widening Political Gap, Pew Says

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 3:36pm

The latest poll shows that a growing number of Republicans reject the scientific theory of evolution, while three-quarters of Democrats accept it.

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Mapping Emotions On The Body: Love Makes Us Warm All Over

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 3:04pm

How do you know you're in love? Angry? Or sad? Emotions start off in the brain, then ripple through the whole body. Now scientists have charted where we consciously feel specific emotions. They hope these sensation maps will one day help diagnose and treat mood disorders.

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