01 March, 2012 – This Week in Science

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Elsevier Jumps, Antimatter Hunt, Neander Pirates, Asteroid Itokawa Update!, New Improved Marijuana, TWIWRD, Hunting Ancient Ohio’ns, An Interview W/ Carl Zimmer About Viruses, And Much More!

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The greatest moments in scientific history occurred first in the mind of a child.
It is in the moment of recognition…
A thrilling excitement of the mind while viewing something you know to be truly new…
A hypothesis followed that works itself out on paper, and again in the lab, or in the stars…
An observation that unlocks the inner workings of a world who’s locks have been picked at for generations…
It is our never ending novelty of new-ness, and the exhilaration of discovery that keeps the human mind searching for more knowledge…
It is a natural curiosity of the human spirit that we are born with…
As infants immersed in a continual state of fearless exploration …
Of constant discovery and expanding recognition.
So much information is acquired seemingly effortlessly in such a short period of time, and again and again as we race towards adulthood…
that it is impossible to separate our humanity from the pursuit of knowledge…
The nature of our vitality is so rooted in our infant curiosity… that without it… if we lose the desire to know more… we fail to measure up to courage of a child.
And brave children are we all
Here on this week in science
Coming up next

Following the news…
Elsevier abandons RWA: Elsevier no longer supports the Research Works Act, which reverts the requirement that research funded by public funds be freely available to the public. This is a big win for open science!

Search for Missing Antimatter: Where is all the antimatter? There should be matching numbers of matter and antimatter particles, but there appears to be an asymmetry. New research has suggested that antimatter decays faster than matter, causing the imbalance that allows our universe to exist.

Neander Pirates! Neanderthals may have sailed the salty seas 50,000 years before modern man. Neanderthal tools have been found in conspicuous locations that could most likely only be reached by boat.

Asteroid Itokawa Update – This asteroid’s size gives it a small gravitational pull, which allowed scientists to pull samples from it but orbiting equipment around it. It turns out Itokawa has seen a lot of action – they found fracture points, melted areas, and puncture sites. This asteroid is quite the battle-worn soldier!

New, Improved Weed! Can we make marijuana more memory-friendly? It turns out that weed’s medicinal property is unrelated to its memory-deficient property, and that it might be possible to develop pot that works medicinally without memory-loss side-effects.

This Week in World Robot Domination!
Pop-up Robots Are On the Way! Inspired by pop-up children’s books, engineers at Harvard have created rapid-fabrication processes for microbots and other electromechanical devices.

Hunting the Ancient Ohioans Scientists have found the earliest evidence of prehistoric hunting in Ohio. Ancient Ohio’ns could have hunted giant sloths, indicated by slash marks on sloth bones around 13,000 years old. Did people cause the extinction of Ice Age animals like the giant sloth or mammoth?

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Are you reading along with the TWIS Bookclub? This month, check out ‘A Planet of Viruses’ by Carl Zimmer

Interview with Carl Zimmer about his latest book: A Planet of Viruses
“In A Planet of Viruses, science writer Carl Zimmer accomplishes in a mere 100 pages what other authors struggle to do in 500: He reshapes our understanding of the hidden realities at the core of everyday existence.”–The Washington Post

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