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Planetary Resources’ Crazy Plan to Mine an Asteroid May Not Be So Crazy

The asteroid Vesta In a widely anticipated announcement today, the new company Planetary Resources revealed their plans for near-Earth asteroid domination. The group has mapped out a multi-stage process to map, observe, capture, tow and eventually mine asteroids for valuables. “A single 500-meter platinum-rich asteroid contains the equivalent of all the platinum group metals mined in history,” reads the company’s press release .

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The UVA Bay Game

Online game informs researchers and policy makers about caring for watershed areas [More]

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Genome Run: Andean Shrub Is First New Plant Species Described by Its DNA

A flowering shrub from the Andean cloud forests made taxonomic history last month. The plant--now dubbed Brunfelsia plowmaniana --had puzzled botanists for decades as they endeavored to determine whether or not it was truly an evolutionary newcomer

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Is water on the public’s mind? Not really. Not yet.

This is the question that bounced around my head after I read through the results of the latest Energy Poll out of The University of Texas at Austin . Every six months the poll asks a sample of Americans their views towards energy technologies and policies

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Cocaine Habit Ages Brain Prematurely

Image courtesy of iStockphoto/fotokon Although cocaine makes people feel more alert and on top of things in the moment, it can leave users vulnerable to a much slower brain in the long run.

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African Big Game Poaching Surges on Asian Affluence

By Jonny Hogg and Ed Stoddard KINSHASA/KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, South Africa (Reuters) - The hit job was done by professionals who swooped over their quarry in a helicopter before opening fire. The scene beneath the rotor blades would have been chilling: panicked mothers shielding their young, hair-raising screeches and a mad scramble through the blood-stained bush as bullets rained down from the sky. When the shooting was over, 22 elephants lay dead, one of the worst such killings in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo in living memory

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The Importance of Being Social

Guest Blog by Leonard Mlodinow* Belonging to a group is good for your health. Courtesy of joncandy via Flickr.

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Slight Genetic Variations Can Affect How Others See You

When we meet new people, we assess their character by watching their gestures and facial expressions. Now a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA suggests that those nonverbal cues are communicating the presence of a specific form of a gene that makes us more or less responsive to others’ needs. [More]

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Open Science and Access to Medical Research

It is rather odd how often I hear the expression paradigm shift during contemporary scientific presentations and seminars. The expression was popularized by Thomas Kuhn s book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions .

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Cassini spots snowballs punching through one of Saturn’s rings

Six images of the mini-jets taken by Cassini between 2005 and 2008. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/QMUL Objects half a mile in diameter have been spotted punching through Saturn’s outermost ring, the F ring, and leaving glittering trails as they drag icy particles behind them. Scientists are calling these trails mini-jets.

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