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The MESSENGER spacecraft has been orbiting Mercury since March 2011 and has been revealing new information about the surface chemistry and geological history of the innermost planet in the solar system.

Weider et al. recently analyzed 205 measurements of the surface composition from MESSENGER's X-ray spectrometer, focusing on the large expanse of smooth volcanic plains at high northern latitudes and surrounding areas that are higher in crater density and therefore older than the northern plains. 

A third of UK men are so overweight they are unable to see their genitals due to a protruding midriff, so medics are encouraging men to make one potentially lifesaving resolution and weigh up their health risks.  

The worrying new research says that 33% of men in Britain aged between 35 and 60 years are unable to see their penis when standing upright and looking downwards, due to a giant belly; that increases to 44% in men aged 51-60 years. These figures highlight that more than 5.6 million men in Britain are potentially dangerously overweight, are at risk of reducing their lifespan by 9 years and of suffering from a life-threatening, weight-related illness such as stroke, diabetes and heart disease. 

The BIG check:


Like the rest of the developed world, Europe is getting a lot fatter, and public health experts in Europe have found a correlation for the upward spike in youth obesity - the low birth rate. They say only children, singletons, have a more than 50 percent higher risk of being overweight or obese than children with siblings. Over 22 million children in Europe are estimated to be overweight.
On the road to true Open Publishing, where taxpayer money isn't used to pay to publish or to read already taxpayer-funded studies at all, the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing (SCOAP) in Particle Physics has set a new waypoint, and Oxford University Press has signed up Progress of Theoretical and Experimental Physics (PTEP) for this new transparent model of open access, where members can see how the taxpayer money is being spent.  
Emotions tag our experiences and act as waypoints in how we steer our behavior, but they seem to be subjective. Avoiding danger and pursuing rewards is essential for successful navigation through a complex environment, and thus for survival, but why are some people afraid of harmless spiders yet most are not afraid of incredibly dangerous horses?

The search for the neural correlate of emotions fascinates neuroscientists and psychologists – emotions are a central part of our mental selves.
Did Sen. Barack Obama buy the election of 2008, given that he bypassed public financing and so was able to raise and spend twice as much money as Sen. John McCain?  In 2012, the concern is the high spending by PACs but the playing field is level, both campaigns can raise and spend as much as possible this election and they will; each candidate this year will spend as much as the entire 2004 election, the last time both candidates held themselves to public financing limits.