Girls as Good at Math as Boys : Discovery News : Discovery Channel

Girls as Good at Math as Boys : Discovery News : Discovery Channel

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Darwin series: Baboons benefit from strong social networks, expert says

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Darwin series: Baboons benefit from strong social networks, expert says
2:07 p.m., May 6, 2009—-Monkey communication expert Robert Seyfarth began his lecture on May 5, the kick-off of the University of Delaware’s Year of Darwin celebration, with a true story, documented in 1961, about a female baboon that herded goats in an African village.
The baboon knew all of the relationships between the goats so well that at night she would carry a bleating kid from one barn directly to its mother in another barn.
“For all the centuries we’ve bred dogs, no dog has exhibited this knowledge of kids and mothers,” said Seyfarth, who is a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania. “The question is where does this mind come from?”

Seyfarth transported an audience of about 200 people into the fascinating world of the baboons of Botswana’s Okavanga Delta, which he and Dorothy Cheney, his research partner, fellow Penn professor, and spouse, studied from 1992 to 2008.

Sea Shells Used To Clean Up Heavy Metals

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Technique could save millions of lives in coastal cities in developing world

By Michael Reilly

On the banks of the Saigon River in Vietnam, researchers have just completed tests on a new way to combat water pollution that could save millions of lives in coastal cities throughout the developing world.

In factories on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City, Stephan Kohler of the Graz University of Technology in Austria and a team of researchers have cleansed water tainted with toxic metals like cadmium, zinc, lead and iron. And they’ve done it using nothing but one of the cheapest, most abundant material around: seashells.

Kohler’s team has found that pouring metal and acid-laden water over a bed of crushed clam or mussel shells provides an easy fix. The shells are made of aragonite, a form of calcium carbonate (CACO3) that readily swaps out its calcium atoms in favor of heavy metals, locking them into a solid form. The shells are naturally basic, too — when dissolved they have a pH of 8.3.

T Rex’s Dino Ancestors Unearthed

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A model of a life-size Tyrannousaurus Rex
Dinosaur fossils found in China have got scientists pretty excited as they say they’ll help them learn loads more about the ferocious Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Found near the city of Jiayuguan, the remains are from a type of tyrannosaur being called Xiongguanlong baimoensis.
The name may be a bit of a mouthful, but it’s thought the fossils could provide the missing link between the huge T Rex and its smaller ancestors.
They date from part of the Cretaceous period – about 100 million years ago.

Image pinpoints all 5 million atoms in viral coat

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Researchers decipher protective shield used by hundreds of viruses

Rice News staff

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Rice University’s precise new image of a virus’ protective coat is seriously undervalued. More than three years in the making, the image contains some 5 million atoms — each in precisely the right place — and it could help scientists find better ways to both fight viral infections and design new gene therapies.

The stunning image, which appears online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveals the structure of a type of protein coat shared by hundreds of known viruses containing double-stranded RNA genomes. The image was painstakingly created from hundreds of high-energy X-ray diffraction images and paints the clearest picture yet of the viruses’ genome-encasing shell called a “capsid.”

“When these viruses invade cells, the capsids get taken inside and never completely break apart,” said lead researcher Jane Tao.

Scientists Discover A Nearly Earth-Sized Plant

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By JENNIFER QUINN, Associated Press Writer
HATFIELD, England – In the search for Earth-like planets, astronomers zeroed in Tuesday on two places that look awfully familiar to home. One is close to the right size. The other is in the right place. European researchers said they not only found the smallest exoplanet ever, called Gliese 581 e, but realized that a neighboring planet discovered earlier, Gliese 581 d, was in the prime habitable zone for potential life.

NASA Program Shows Math & Science Can Be Fun

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NASA Program Shows Math & Science Can Be Fun
Job opportunities in the science and math-related fields are expected to grow five times faster than other sectors over the next decade.
But the number of students pursuing those types of careers continues to decline.
In response, NASA and Honeywell have developed an inter-active program to get students excited about careers in those fields.