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Scientists have completed the first study of microbes that live within the plumbing of deep-sea mud volcanoes in the Gulf of Mexico, where conditions may resemble those in extraterrestrial environments and early Earth. The study was conducted in an area where clusters of seafloor vents spew mud, oil, brine and gases that support food chains independently of the Sun.

And it's about time.  Only about five percent of the world's oceans have been explored but the dark side of the moon has been throughly mapped.

Specialized Microbes Thrive in Harsh Environments

A new Hubble image highlights striking swirling dust lanes and glittering globular clusters in oddball galaxy NGC 7049.

The NASA/ESA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured this image of NGC 7049, a mysterious looking galaxy on the border between spiral and elliptical galaxies. NGC 7049 is found in the constellation of Indus, and is the brightest of a cluster of galaxies, a so-called Brightest Cluster Galaxy (BCG). Typical BCGs are some of the oldest and most massive galaxies. They provide excellent opportunities for astronomers to study the elusive globular clusters lurking within.
Video may have killed the radio star(*) but violent video games may save the vision of teens who play them, according to a new Tel Aviv University study.

Dr. Uri Polat of Tel Aviv University's Goldschlager Eye Institute and his collaborators compared the effects of playing violent action games like "Unreal Tournament 2004" and "Call of Duty 2" to other video games which do not require high levels of visual-motor coordination, like "The Sims."

A new, simpler programming language for wireless sensor networks, written with the novice programmer in mind, can be used by geologists for monitoring volcanoes and biologists who rely on them to understand birds' nesting behaviors.

Finding an embedded systems expert to program a sensor network is difficult and costly and can lead to errors because the person using the network is not the person programming it. The cost and disconnect associated with the situation means these networks aren't being used to their full potential.

Candy Gunther Brown, an associate professor in the Indiana University Bloomington Department of Religious Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been awarded a $150,000 grant to pursue research on divine healing practices and their involvement in globalization. 

The grant comes from the Flame of Love Project, funded by the John Templeton Foundation. It complements a $64,500 in research funding that Indiana University has provided Brown in the past year.

The legend is that the great rulers of Canaan, the ancient land of Israel, were all men. But a recent dig by Tel Aviv University archaeologists at Tel Beth-Shemesh uncovered possible evidence of a mysterious female ruler.

Tel Aviv University archaeologists Prof. Shlomo Bunimovitz and Dr. Zvi Lederman of the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations have uncovered an unusual ceramic plaque of a goddess in female dress, suggesting that a mighty female "king" may have ruled the city. If true, they say, the plaque would depict the only known female ruler of the region.