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Embryonic stem cells could help restore sight to blind

Scientists have shown that light-sensitive retinal cells, grown in the lab from stem cells, can successfully integrate into the eye when implanted …

Maven: Building a time machine for Mars

Our space correspondent goes behind the scenes at Nasa’s forthcoming quest to reveal how and why the red planet lost the majority of its atmosphere.<p>The high-ceilinged room resembles a brightly lit, white-walled operating theatre, and the people inside are dressed for surgery. It is impossible to …

Space

FBI hair analysis may have falsely convicted thousands, including some on death row

Over 2,000 cases up for review in 'unprecedented' internal investigation<p>The FBI will examine hair sample evidence from more than 2,000 cases dating as far back as 1985. <i>McClatchy</i> reports that under the initiative the bureau will investigate cases in which hair samples helped secure convictions, …

Waking up to the link between a faulty body clock and mental illness

Our lives are ruled by time and we use time to tell us what to do. But the digital alarm clock that wakes us in the morning and the wrist-watch that …

Dark-Matter Hunt Appears to Be Zeroing In on a Leading Contender

Pity the poor physicist searching for dark matter, the exotic substance that accounts for roughly one-quarter of all the stuff in the cosmos, yet …

Will You be Iron Man?

One Small Step For Man, One Giant Lunar Park For The U.S.?

Can astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's "giant leap for mankind" be permanently preserved? Two House Democrats want to do just that: They proposed a bill to create a national historic park for the Apollo 11 mission — on the moon. The legislation would designate a park on the moon to honor …

New to nature no 109: Anochetus hohenbergiae

At any given moment, it is estimated that there are about 10,000 trillion living individual ants. Myrmecologists Bert Hölldobler and Edward O Wilson …

A Florida Man Woke Up In A Motel Room Speaking Only Swedish. Could It Happen To You?

A cheat sheet for the strange case of Michael Boatwright, the 61-year-old who reportedly forgot his native language.<p>Michael Boatwright, a Florida man found unconscious in a California Motel 6 months ago, woke up in a Palm Springs hospital in February speaking exclusively Swedish. News of …

The Week In Numbers: New Dinosaur Discovered, The World's Largest Virus, And More

<b>2014</b>: the year this aerodynamic, flying saucer-like research station is set to open in Antarctica<p><b>15 feet</b>: the length of a new cow-like dinosaur discovered in Utah<p><b>1 week</b>: the time it would take Earth's average global surface temperature to drop below 0 degrees Fahrenheit if the sun went out<p><b>$1,350</b>: …

Curiosity rover finds evidence Mars lost its atmosphere 4bn years ago

A mysterious, catastrophic event tore away the atmosphere of Mars, according to the first detailed analysis of the make-up of the air on the Red …

When is the next supermoon?

We’ve just passed a series of 3 full supermoons. The next supermoons of 2018 will be the new moons of June, July and August.<p>A supermoon is a new or …

Astronomy

The Odd Way Beavers Impact Climate Change

It's all in the dams.<p>When the industrious beaver scurries around being its toothy self, cutting down trees and blocking up waterways, it's not just altering the lay of the land; it's out there combating climate change, a few carbon emissions at a time.<p>When beavers build a dam, impeding the natural …

APOD: Take a Picture of Saturn (2013 Jul 19) Image Credit & Copyright: Tunç Tezel (TWAN) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130719.html Explanation: Take a picture of Saturn in the sky tonight. You could capture a view like this one. Recorded just last month looking toward the south, planet Earth and ruins of the ancient temple of Athena at Assos, Turkey are in the foreground. The Moon rises at the far left of the frame and Saturn is the bright "star" at the upper right, near Virgo's alpha star Spica (picture with labels). If you do take a picture of Saturn or wave at Saturn and take a picture, you can share it online and submit it to the Saturn Mosaic Project. Why take a picture tonight? Because the Cassini spacecraft will be orbiting Saturn and taking a picture of you. http://twanight.org/Tezel Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=130719 #APOD

The 8 Cheapest Destinations In Europe

The continent has plenty on offer that won't break your bank account, but you have to know where to look.<p>If you're strapped for cash and want the best bang for your buck, here are 8 of the best value destinations in Europe.<p>Note: The prices listed here are approximate and may fluctuate considerably …

Oh, the Places You'll Go?

When I was younger and read this book, my mind was filled with so much hope and anticipation of the amazing places that I would discover once I got older. The whimsical motivation from the Doctor himself urging me to explore the world around me gave me the hope that I would do exactly that.<p>I find …

If The Sun Went Out, How Long Could Life On Earth Survive?

Don't worry, you'll have time to post your goodbye selfies to Facebook.<p>If you put a steamy cup of coffee in the refrigerator, it wouldn't immediately turn cold. Likewise, if the sun simply "turned off" (which is actually physically impossible), the Earth would stay warm—at least compared with the …

The World Looks Bigger Through A Virtual Child's Eyes

A virtual reality experiment that put adults in a virtual 4-year-old's body found changes in perception.<p>To a four-year-old, the world is a pretty big place. Once we grow up, the playgrounds and classrooms of our childhood no longer seem as towering as they appear in our memories. The childish …

‘Genetic portraits’ offer view of family resemblances

By splicing together images from siblings, parents and children, one photographer is exploring the way in which we inherit our appearances.<p>“Family faces are magic mirrors looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future,” wrote US journalist and author Gail Lumet Buckley. …

Siblings

Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and Others Call for More NSA Transparency

Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft are part of a broad alliance of technology companies and civil liberties groups that will tomorrow demand …

Surveillance

Tolkien v. Orwell: Who understood modern surveillance best?

What can literary fiction teach us about recent revelations that the National Security Agency has aggressively been gathering massive amounts of data …

APOD: Hidden Galaxy IC 342 (2013 Jul 18) Image Credit & Copyright: Stephen Leshin http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130718.html Explanation: Similar in size to large, bright spiral galaxies in our neighborhood, IC 342 is a mere 10 million light-years distant in the long-necked, northern constellation Camelopardalis. A sprawling island universe, IC 342 would otherwise be a prominent galaxy in our night sky, but it is hidden from clear view and only glimpsed through the veil of stars, gas and dust clouds along the plane of our own Milky Way galaxy. Even though IC 342's light is dimmed by intervening cosmic clouds, this deep telescopic image traces the galaxy's obscuring dust, blue star clusters, and glowing pink star forming regions along spiral arms that wind far from the galaxy's core. IC 342 may have undergone a recent burst of star formation activity and is close enough to have gravitationally influenced the evolution of the local group of galaxies and the Milky Way. http://sleshin.startlogic.com/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=130718 #APOD

Will we ever... create a black hole in the laboratory?

Fears that the Large Hadron Collider could create a black hole that destroy the world may be unfounded, but if we really wanted to make one, could we actually do it, asks Matthew Francis.<p>Before the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) began operations in 2008, a small but noisy group of people were in …

Physics

What makes us extroverts and introverts?

Why do some people prefer adventure and the company of others, while others favour being alone? It’s all to do with how your brain processes rewards.<p>Will you spend Saturday night in a crowded bar, or curled up with a good book? Is your ideal holiday adventure sports with a large group of mates and, …

The heart of space weather observed in action

Two NASA spacecraft have provided the most comprehensive movie ever of a mysterious process at the heart of all explosions on the sun: magnetic …

New evidence suggests giant ocean on Mars

<b>CALTECH (US) —</b>Researchers have found signs of an ancient delta on Mars where a river might have once emptied into a vast ocean.<p>This ocean, if it …

Earth Science

Hi-res peek as visual info streams into brain

<b>UC DAVIS (US) —</b> Visual attention increases the efficiency of signaling into the brain’s cerebral cortex and boosts the ratio of signal to noise, …

Neuroscience

New Shapeshifting Biogel Could Help Heal Aging Spines

Along with cell therapy, the biomaterial could help stop or reverse the loss of material between vertebrae.<p>As we get older, the cushy material that absorbs shock between our spinal vertebrae breaks down, creating back pain and inhibiting our mobility. Injections of more nucleus pulposus (NP) …