Science

Targeted nano-particles can now prevent heart attacks

Targeted nano-particles can now prevent heart attacks

Soon it may be possible to prevent heart attacks by an injection of nano-particles into the bloodstream, according to the newest research paper from the scientists at Columbia University Medical Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. A large part of that is atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. This occurs as plaques build up along the inside of the arterial wall. The research team created targeted nano-particles designed to heal atherosclerosis. This is the latest discovery in a growing field of pint-sized medical discoveries. We've seen robots that can swim inside your eyeball and smart pills, but nothing as small as this nano-treatment.

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NASA Dawn spacecraft nears Ceres orbital insertion

NASA Dawn spacecraft nears Ceres orbital insertion

NASA has announced that the Dawn spacecraft is nearing orbital insertion around the dwarf planet Ceres. The Dawn mission will be the first mission to successfully visit a dwarf planet when it enters orbit around Ceres on March 6. As the spacecraft gets ready to enter orbit and gets closer to the surface of Ceres, the probe is sending back detailed images.

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Supermassive black hole’s quasar is fastest ever formed

Supermassive black hole’s quasar is fastest ever formed

Scientists lead by Xue-Bing Wu from Peking University have spotted a quasar that dates back nearly to the beginning of time. This beast goes by the name of SDSSJ010013.021280225.8 - or if you want to be short about it, just SDSS J0100+2802. What makes this monstrous heavenly body so important is its age and its size. While it's not the largest black hole ever detected, it's still 12 billion times our own Sun's mass - and it's sitting in the center of a quasar that's very, very bright.

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Google’s AI wins Space Invaders, proves “human-level control”

Google’s AI wins Space Invaders, proves “human-level control”

A new study has been published this week which suggests that artificial intelligence can now learn "human-level control." The team of researchers come from Google's DeepMind, where they're using Space Invaders - the video game - to show how the search for truly human artificial intelligence isn't too far off. The machine learns to play the video game, learns to win at the video game, and dominates all humans at the game they've created to help us defend our planet against the alien hordes.

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NASA satellite shows how much sand from the Sahara is in the atmosphere

NASA satellite shows how much sand from the Sahara is in the atmosphere

NASA is using one of its satellites to determine how much sand from the Sahara Desert in Africa ends up helping the Amazon rainforest in South America to grow. While the two locations are on different continents, the amount of dust from the desert that makes its way to the rain forest will surprise you. NASA used one of its satellites to quantify how much dust from the desert makes it to South America for the first time.

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Gerbils replace rats as historical plague spreaders

Gerbils replace rats as historical plague spreaders

It would appear that our hatred of rats for the past several hundred years may be due to a bit of mistaken identity. Scientists this week have published a paper which suggests that it wasn't so much rats that spread the bubonic plague across the planet, but gerbils. Your best buddy, the gerbil - the one you've got in a plastic tube cage sitting in your living room right now. He may have been guilty this whole time! All these hundreds of years, keeping silent for his ancestors, the real-deal spreaders of plague.

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Unseen vintage NASA photos shown in Bloomsbury Auction house

Unseen vintage NASA photos shown in Bloomsbury Auction house

This week the folks at Dreweatts for Bloomsbury Auctions have revealed a collection previously uncirculated NASA photos from space. These photos will go up for auction after being exhibited for a period of time in London at Mallett Antiques. The photos in this collection were sourced from the archives of the Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, Texas, where many unreleased NASA photos go after a mission is complete. What we're hoping to do today is to show you the largest versions of these photos available and make them widely available so they'll never be shut away again.

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Lunar XPrize teams collaborate to put rovers on the moon

Lunar XPrize teams collaborate to put rovers on the moon

Google has been hosting the Lunar XPrize for a number of years putting up a significant amount of money as an award for any company that is able to land a rover on the surface of the moon. The prize a successful team will get for landing on the surface of the moon is $30 million. Two competing teams announced this week that they would team up in their effort to win.

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Buddha statue contains mummy in “advanced state of meditation”

Buddha statue contains mummy in “advanced state of meditation”

The man inside this statue is dead according to conventional knowledge and science - but don't tell him that. The Netherlands-based Drents Museum at the Meander Medical Centre in Amersfoort has taken to scanning this particular fellow recently. The only Chinese buddhist mummy "available in the West for scientific research," they say, and Erik Bruijn, buddhist art and culture expert, is in charge of the project. Under his care, this reliquary - as its being called - has been under close watch, and ceremonies before scans have been implemented.

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Animals grow as they evolve: so says science

Animals grow as they evolve: so says science

This week a paper has been published in the journal Science which suggests that the mean size of marine mammals has increased 150-fold in the last 542 million years. It's a massive jump, suggests postdoctoral researcher and co-author of this paper, Noel Heim, suggesting that though it may not seem like a lot when seen between one animal and its closest cousin, it's quite significant. This discovery includes word that increase in body size isn't always due to animal lineages growing bigger, but to the diversification of groups of organisms that are larger, and grow larger than their predecessors early in their line's history.

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