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March 7 2014

Evidence Of Marijuana's Anxiety Relief Effects Found


Researchers have found cannabinoid receptors, through which marijuana exerts its effects, in a key emotional hub in the brain involved in regulating anxiety and the flight-or-fight response, according to a recent study.

For the first time, cannabinoid receptors have been identified in the central nucleus of the amygdala in a mouse model by scientists from Vanderbilt University. They said this could explain why some marijuana users take the drug mainly to reduce anxiety.

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March 7 2014

Fat Belly? Diet Affects Where You Pack on Pounds


The type of fat you eat may affect not only your heart disease risk, but also where on your body you pack on extra pounds, new research suggests.

People who ate extra amounts of saturated fat tended to accumulate fat around their waistlines and livers. Meanwhile, people who consumed extra amounts of polyunsaturated fat, which typically comes from vegetable oils, had trimmer waistlines, a new study found.

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March 7 2014

Bright pulses of light could make space veggies more nutritious


Exposing leafy vegetables grown during spaceflight to a few bright pulses of light daily could increase the amount of eye-protecting nutrients produced by the plants, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder.

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March 7 2014

Severe 2012 solar storm narrowly missed Earth


A massive ejection of material from the sun initially traveling at over 7 million miles per hour that narrowly missed Earth last year is an event solar scientists hope will open the eyes of policymakers regarding the impacts and mitigation of severe space weather, says a University of Colorado Boulder professor.

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March 7 2014

Earth raises a plasma shield to battle solar storms


Earth can raise shields to protect itself against solar storms. For the first time, satellites and ground-based detectors have watched as the planet sends out a tendril of plasma to fight off blasts of charged solar matter. The discovery confirms a long-standing theory about Earth's magnetic surroundings and offers us a way to keep track of the planet's defences.

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March 7 2014

NASA planning to send robotic mission to Europa, Jupiter's watery moon that may harbour life


WASHINGTON - NASA is plotting a daring robotic mission to Jupiter's watery moon Europa, a place where astronomers speculate there might be some form of life.

The space agency set aside $15 million in its 2015 budget proposal to start planning some kind of mission to Europa. No details have been decided yet, but NASA chief financial officer Elizabeth Robinson said Tuesday that it would be launched in the mid-2020s.

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March 7 2014

Mystery of planet-forming disks explained by magnetism


Astronomers say that magnetic storms in the gas orbiting young stars may explain a mystery that has persisted since before 2006.

Researchers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to study developing stars have had a hard time figuring out why the stars give off more infrared light than expected. The planet-forming disks that circle the young stars are heated by starlight and glow with infrared light, but Spitzer detected additional infrared light coming from an unknown source.

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March 6 2014

WATCH LIVE NOW: Close-Shave Asteroid 2014 EC Flies Within 38,000 Miles of Earth


The 33-foot-wide (10 meters) near-Earth asteroid 2014 EC will come within 38,000 miles (62,000 kilometers) of Earth's surface this afternoon (March 6) — just 16 percent of the distance between our planet and the moon, which is about 239,000 miles (385,000 km) on average. You can see a video of asteroid 2014 EC's orbit arount the sun here.

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March 6 2014

Asteroid break-up captured on film for the first time


The break up of an asteroid has been captured on film for the first time.

Experts pictured the P/2013 R3 asteroid breaking into ten pieces using Nasa's Hubble space telescope.

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March 6 2014

Going Up: Could Partial Space Elevators Take Us Into Space?


A trip to the moon on gossamer strings? A "partial" space elevator that could carry satellites to geosynchronous orbit might be just the ticket.

A space elevator untethered to Earth, with both of its ends hanging in space, might cut the costs of space travel to high orbit by 40 percent, researchers report in a new Acta Astronautica study.

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March 6 2014

Usain Bolt Could Fly on Saturn Moon Titan: Here's How


Humans would be able to take flight off the surface of Saturn's moon Titan simply by running in a wingsuit — but only if they were as fast as sprinter Usain Bolt, a group of physics students say.

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March 6 2014

Dark matter looks more and more likely after new gamma-ray analysis


Not long after the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope took to the sky in 2008, astrophysicists noticed that it was picking up a steady rain of gamma rays pouring outward from the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

This high-energy radiation was consistent with the detritus of annihilating dark matter, the unidentified particles that constitute 84% of the matter in the universe and that fizzle upon contact with each other, spewing other particles as they go.

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March 6 2014

13-year-old builds working nuclear fusion reactor


Not many 13-year-olds would describe themselves as an "amateur nuclear scientist." That's precisely what Jamie Edwards calls himself. When most kids his age are off playing video games, Edwards stays late after school to work on a control panel for a nuclear fusion reactor. He just reached his goal of becoming the youngest "fusioneer" in history, narrowly beating out the previous record-holder, who pulled it off at 14.

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March 6 2014

20,000 megawatts under the sea: Oceanic steam engines


IF ANY energy source is worthy of the name "steampunk", it is surely ocean thermal energy conversion. Victorian-era science fiction? Check: Jules Verne mused about its potential in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea in 1870. Mechanical, vaguely 19th-century technology? Check. Compelling candidate for renewable energy in a post-apocalyptic future? Tick that box as well.

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March 6 2014

Peat soils as gigantic batteries


Researchers have described a process that suppresses the formation of methane in soils that are rich in humic substances. For this process to work, the soils need to switch between having no oxygen and having oxygen.

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March 6 2014

'Tribo-electric,' the buzzword of the future?


Out at sea, gentle waves provide power for thousands of homes. In cities, dancefloor moves generate electricity for nightclubs. In the countryside, hikers use leg power to recharge their phones.

It is an alluring goal of clean, reliable power free from geo-political risks—and scientists in the United States said Tuesday it lies within reach, thanks to a smart way to harvest energy called tribo-electricity.

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March 6 2014

Stained Glass Windows That Double As Solar Panels


Solar panels usually get placed somewhere in the sun, but out of sight. Rooftops, deserts, mausoleums. But what if they were so beautiful we wanted to put them everywhere?

That could happen! Maybe. We've at least got the groundwork laid out, thanks to a University of Michigan research team that's making solar panels like stained-glass windows: translucent, colored panels filled with solar cells.

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March 6 2014

New magnetic material could boost electronics


A highly sensitive magnetic material that could transform computer hard drives and energy storage devices has been discovered.

The metal bilayer needs only a small shift in temperature to dramatically alter its magnetism - a tremendously useful property in electronic engineering.

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