Monday, January 31, 2011

Mixed news

Wrist bones of human ancestors reveal when humans switched from living in trees to on the ground.
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''Lasers Can Chill Stuff Super Fast
Physicists proposed the idea of laser cooling 30 years ago, but until now, experiments had been largely unsuccessful and only worked with low-pressure gases. Now, German researchers have shown that bombarding high-pressure gas with a laser can produce dramatic cooling, dropping the temperature as much as 66 degrees Celsius (about 119 degrees Fahrenheit) in a matter of seconds.
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''3D Printer'' [source]
''Computer science researchers provide insight into how we understand social networking
In most cases, social network analysis today is limited to discovering friend connections, community leaders and outlines, influential people and personal friend recommendations using a static or snap-shot method. The authors say that if new factors could be taken into consideration, specifically changes across time and space, this could help social network analysis better understand why, when and how we are "friends" with people.
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''NASA's future
Whether or not NASA launches two or three more shuttle missions, NASA's venerable hub of operations, the Kennedy Space Center will need a new mission.
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''Astronomers claim earliest galaxy yet from Hubble
An international team of astronomers say they've glimpsed the earliest galaxy yet, a smudge of light from nearly 13.2 billion years ago — a time when the cosmos was a far lonelier place.
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''Bovine bellies yield clues for new biofuels
Researchers looking for better ways to make biofuels turned to experts at breaking down grass -- cattle -- and found more than a dozen new compounds in their guts that might help make new, cheap sources of energy. They used new genetic sequencing techniques to find microbes that make enzymes that in turn can break down tough grasses into usable products.
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''First Earth-Orbiting Solar Sail Unexpectedly Unfurls'' [source, and here]

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