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A new study in Earth and Planetary Science Letters analyzed seismic waves that bombarded Earth's core and indicates that two or more continent-sized chunks of rock are colliding as they move at the bottom of Earth's thick mantle, atop the thicker core some 1,800 miles beneath the Pacific. That is creating a Florida-sized zone of partly molten rock that may be the root of either of two kinds of massive eruptions far in the future:

  • Hotspot plume supervolcano eruptions like those during the past 2 million years at Wyoming's Yellowstone caldera, which covered North America with volcanic ash.

The moribund western economy has not doomed global health care just yet. Donations to health projects in developing countries are holding steady, according to a new paper from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. 

After reaching a historic high during the Bush presidency and with previous commitments allowing it to climb to $28.2 billion by 2010, developing nation health funding dropped in 2011 and stabilized in 2012, say the findings announced today at the Center for Global Development and published online as part of the fourth annual edition of IHME's financing series, Financing Global Health 2012: The End of the Golden Age? 

Ever since Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger simultaneously killed and did not kill his unfortunate cat, fellow scientists have been using quantum theory to explain and understand the nature of waves and particles.

Up to six percent of red dwarf stars have habitable, Earth-sized planets. Red dwarfs are the most common stars in our galaxy, so that means the closest Earth-like planet could be just 13 light-years away.

Red dwarf stars are smaller, cooler, and fainter than our Sun. An average red dwarf is only one-third as large and one-thousandth as bright as the Sun. From Earth, no red dwarf is visible to the naked eye but we are surrounded by a swarm of red dwarf stars. About 75 percent of the closest stars are red dwarfs, and so, since 6 percent of those should host habitable planets, they arrived at 13 light years as the closest Earth-like planet. 

Bt corn, which is engineered to produce the bacterial toxin, Bt, that organic farmers spray on foods all of the time, is better than a pesticide because is naturally resists attack by the corn rootworm, a pest that feeds on roots and can cause losses of up to $1 billion annually.

It also resulted in an unexpected benefit; the Bt trait has also boosted corn yields. But why?

Celiac disease is not controversial, some people have always had it. But belief that it is on the rise - some claims are that the disease is four times more common today - rather than being diagnosed better, is controversial. And there is confusion created by marketing people who want to increase awareness of their products for dietary fashion reasons. 

But one claim by concerned consumers merited scientific curiosity: that if there was an increase in celiac disease it may be caused by farmers growing strains of wheat that contain more gluten.