07 November, 2013 – Episode 438 – This Week in Science


Science Politics Mix, Indian Mars Orbiter, Russian Asteroids, Two Mouths One Worm, Crow Poo, Monkey Brains And Arms, Kepler Findings And Calculations, Growing Better Cartilage, Cows Cure Cancer, Wireless Energy From Air, Nada Dark Matter, And Much More…

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Science Politics Mix
The FIRST Act of 2013 looks to tighten regulations on who gets money from the NSF with stipulations “to publish justification for each grant award on the foundation’s website” related to the following six goals: economic competitiveness, health and welfare, scientific literacy, partnerships between academia and industry, promotion of scientific progress and national defense. The bill will be reviewed on Nov. 13th.

India launches Mars orbiter!
Up, up, and away… India is on its way to joining the ranks of countries who have successfully reached Mars.

Russian Asteroids
Two new studies of the Chelyabinsk meteor suggest that 1) that it was a single space rock that had stress fractures from a previous altercation that made it more likely to break up on impact, and 2) that these kinds of impacts happen more often than we thought… like at least every 20 years.

Crow Poo… Harbinger of Doom
A recent study collected crow poo. Genetic analysis of the fecal samples uncovered genes for antibiotic resistance. That’s right, not only human and agricultural systems have antibiotic resistance, but wild ones, too. And, these wild ones fly.

Monkey Brains… And Arms
We have covered news of previous advances in brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) wherein monkeys controlled a robotic arm at varying distances from themselves. This time, researchers at Duke university have trained monkeys to use two arms corresponding to left and right sides.

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Space Balls!
Kepler-78B is Earth’s twin! Just a lot hotter, and probably not a haven for life.
KOI-351 could be our solar system’s twin! But, not really. They’ve found seven planets orbiting a star with rocky planets on the inside nearest the star, and gas giants toward the exterior of the system. However, the entire system exists in as much space as the distance from the Sun to Earth.
Calculations based on the Kepler mission suggest that 22% of Sun-like stars might be orbited by Earth-like planets.

It’s Dark
The LArge Underground Xenon experiment, or LUX, in South Dakota has reported no findings of dark matter after 160 days of operation. Physicists conclude that based on these results, previous dark matter sightings have been fluctuations and errors.

One Theory To Rule Them All
Texan researcher combines several current hypotheses on evolution of life and tells a tempting story of how life came to be on planet Earth.

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