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How Small Can Life Get? These Ultra-Small Bacteria May Be At The Limit

There is microbiology and then there is micro-micro-microbiology.The existence of ultra-small bacteria...

Arctic Apple Gets USDA Approval, Then Gets Acquired

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Better Genes Mean Better Beans

New transcriptome data for underutilized legumes means underappreciated crops could soon become...

It's Life, Jim, But Not As We Know It

A new type of methane-based, oxygen-free life form that can metabolize and reproduce similar to...

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Have you ever wondered why it seems like the littlest things make people angry?   University of Minnesota marketing professor Vladas Griskevicius says he can explain in three words why people may be inclined to make a mountain out of molehill: aggression, status and sex.  He makes an unfortunate correlation-causation jump to  the colloquial term 'evolution' too, but let's forget that for a moment, because we'd never get any articles written if we stopped every time a non-biologist calls something Evolution.

A key challenge of nanotechnology research is investigating how different materials behave at lengths of merely one-billionth of a meter. When shrunk to such tiny sizes, many everyday materials exhibit interesting and potentially beneficial new properties.

Magnetic behavior is one such phenomenon that can change significantly depending on the size of the material. However, the sheer challenge of observing the magnetic properties of nanoscale material has impeded further study of the topic. 

Bling, foreclosures, rising credit card debt, bank and auto bailouts, upside down mortgages and perhaps a mid-life crisis new Corvette---all symptoms of compulsive overspending.   University of Michigan researcher Daniel Kruger says the answer lies in evolution and mating. He theorizes that men overspend to attract mates.

It all boils down, as it has for hundreds of thousands of years, to making babies. 

Kruger, an assistant research scientist in the School of Public Health, tested his hypothesis in a community sample of adults aged 18-45 and found that the degree of financial consumption was directly related to future mating intentions and past mating success for men but not for women.
In the rainforests of equatorial Asia, a link between drought and deforestation is fueling global warming, finds an international study that includes a UC Irvine scientist.

The study, analyzing six years of climate and fire observations from satellites, shows that in dry years, the practice of using fire to clear forests and remove organic soil increases substantially, releasing huge amounts of climate-warming carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

In 2006, the climate on the fast-developing islands of Borneo and Sumatra and in New Guinea and other parts of equatorial Asia was three times drier than in 2000, but carbon emissions from deforestation were 30 times greater – exceeding emissions from fossil fuel burning.
When it comes to the world of the very, very small — nanotechnology — we may have a big problem: Nano and its capacity to alter the fundamentals of nature could be failing the moral litmus test of religion.

In a report published today in Nature Nanotechnology, survey results reveal some sharp contrasts in the perception that nanotechnology is morally acceptable. Those views, according to the report, correlate directly with aggregate levels of religious views in each country surveyed.
Scientists from Monash University, Melbourne have shown that infants born prematurely have lower blood pressure during sleep in the first six months of life, compared to healthy, full-term infants. 

Scientists at the Ritchie Centre for Baby Health Research, Monash Institute of Medical Research, believe this may be one reason premature infants are at an increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which causes about 2,500 deaths per year in the United States and thousands more throughout the world..