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Dense Galactic Core Shows Early Construction Of Giant Galaxy

Astronomers have caught a glimpse of the earliest stages of massive galaxy construction - a dense...

Xenon Gas Can Erase Traumatic Memories

Xenon gas is commonly used for diagnostic inhalation because of its anesthetic properties but more...

Bronze Age Wine Cellar Found In Israel

A Middle Bronze Age Canaanite palace at the Tel Kabri excavation in Israel has revealed an ancient...

Brain Networks Hyper-Connected In Depressed Young Adults

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has led University of Illinois at Chicago scholars...

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Brown dwarfs, "failed stars", are a class of objects that represent the missing link between the lowest-mass stars and the gas-giant planets, such as Jupiter and Saturn. Brown dwarfs are the faintest and coolest objects that can be directly observed outside the solar system, emitting as little as 1/300,000th of the energy of the sun and having surface temperatures around 800° F - that's the temperature of a pizza oven and more than 9,000° F cooler than the surface of the sun.

Astronomers have used ultrasharp images obtained with the Keck Telescope and Hubble Space Telescope to determine for the first time the masses of the coldest class brown dwarfs. With masses as light as 3 percent the mass of the sun, these are the lowest mass free-floating objects ever weighed outside the solar system. The observations are a major step in testing the theoretical predictions of objects that cannot generate their own internal energy, both brown dwarfs and gas-giant planets. The new findings, which are being presented in a press conference today at the American Astronomical Society meeting in St. Louis, show that the predictions may have some problems.


Microscopic robots crafted to maneuver separately without any obvious guidance are now assembling into self-organized structures after years of continuing research led by a Duke University computer scientist.

Each microrobot is shaped something like a spatula but with dimensions measuring just microns, or millionths of a meter. They are almost 100 times smaller than any previous robotic designs of their kind and weigh even less, Donald added.

Formally known as microelectromechanical system (MEMS) microrobots, the devices are of suitable scale for Lilliputian tasks such as moving around the interiors of laboratories-on-a-chip.




Investigators of the University of Naples have explored the inability to express emotions (alexithymia) in panic disorder in a paper published in the third 2008 issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.

In patients with panic disorder (PD), the difficulty to identify and manage emotional experience might contribute to the enduring vulnerability to panic attacks. Such a difficulty might reflect a dysfunction of fronto-temporo-limbic circuits.

The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that drug-free patients with PD, as compared with healthy subjects (HS), show a higher prevalence of alexithymia, greater difficulty in emotional stimuli processing and poorer performance on neuropsychological tests exploring the activity of fronto-temporo-limbic circuits.

Flat screen displays currently used in computer monitors, television sets and numerous other electronic devices are all built on a glass base. Most use liquid crystal devices (LCDs), which filter light from behind to form an image.

But the glass substrate makes LCD displays rigid and fragile, limiting their use. Now display manufacturers are working to develop a new generation of robust, flexible displays that can be curved to fit the shape of a product or even rolled up like a magazine. The question is, which of the technologies under development is the best?

Big industrial names such as Nokia, Thales and Philips, as well as universities, research centres and many small and medium-sized businesses have pooled their skills and expertise to thoroughly test a large number of materials and techniques.

Astronomers have discovered an extrasolar planet only three times more massive than our own, the smallest yet observed orbiting a normal star. The star itself is not large, perhaps as little as one twentieth the mass of our Sun, suggesting to the research team that relatively common low-mass stars may present good candidates for hosting Earth-like planets.

The astronomers used a technique called gravitational microlensing (1) to find the planet, a method that can potentially find planets one-tenth the mass of our own.

The gravitational microlensing technique, which came from Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, relies upon observations of stars that brighten when an object such as another star passes directly in front of them (relative to an observer, in this case on Earth). The gravity of the passing star acts as a lens, much like a giant magnifying glass. If a planet is orbiting the passing star, its presence is revealed in the way the background star brightens. A full explanation of the technique follows this release.


The contentious debate about why insects evolved to put the interests of the colony over the individual has been reignited by new research from the University of Leeds, showing that they do so to increase the chances that their genes will be passed on.

A team led by Dr Bill Hughes of the University’s Faculty of Biological Sciences studied 'kin selection' – the theory that an animal may pass on its genes by helping relatives to reproduce, because they share common genes, rather than by reproducing itself.

The concept of ‘kin selection’ was developed in 1964 by the evolutionary biologist Bill Hamilton, first proposed by Charles Darwin to explain, for example, why sterile workers evolved in social insect groups and why a honeybee would sacrifice its life to defend the colony. Charles Darwin recognized that such altruistic behaviour in highly social insect groups was at odds with his theory of natural selection, and Bill Hamilton’s theory of kin selection showed that this behaviour can evolve because it still fulfills the drive to pass on genes - but through relatives instead.