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In the ongoing quest to optimize alternative energy sources like biofuels, researchers are looking more to plants that grow in the wild, such as switchgrass. But domesticating wildgrowing plants has a downside - it could make them more susceptible to any number of plant viruses.

"Most wild plants are perennials, while most of our agriculture crops are annuals,"  Michigan State University plant biologist Carolyn Malmstrom
said in her statement regarding her talk at the AAAS meeting in Boston. "Sometimes when you mix the properties of the two, unexpected things can happen."

There are culturally appropriate ways to prevent obesity among Latino children, according to a new collection of studies from Salud America! Those might involve guided grocery store trips, menu labeling at restaurants, community gardens, and video-game-based exercise programs, they write in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Donald Wuebbles, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is going to do the thing the IPCC wishes people would not do; attribute local weather events to climate change.

The hurricanes and droughts like we had in 2012 will be more frequent in future U.S. five-day forecasts, as will other extreme weather events, and it's because of human-driven climate change he argues today at the AAAS meeting in Boston. In the 1950s, the number of days that set record high temperatures was equal to the number of days that set record low temperatures. By the 2000s, the United States was twice as likely to see a record high as a record low.

In the year 1006 a new star was seen in the southern skies and widely recorded around the world. It was many times brighter than the planet Venus and may even have rivaled the brightness of the Moon. It was so bright at maximum that it cast shadows and it was visible during the day. More recently astronomers have identified the site of this supernova and named it SN 1006. They have also found a glowing and expanding ring of material in the southern constellation of Lupus (The Wolf) that constitutes the remains of the vast explosion.

The expanding debris of exploded stars produces some of the fastest-moving matter in the universe, according to a new paper. Supernova remnants accelerate cosmic rays to incredible speeds.

Cosmic rays are subatomic particles that move through space at almost the speed of light. About 90 percent of them are protons, with the remainder consisting of electrons and atomic nuclei. In their journey across the galaxy, the electrically charged particles are deflected by magnetic fields. This scrambles their paths and makes it impossible to trace their origins directly. Through a variety of mechanisms, these speedy particles can lead to the emission of gamma rays, the most powerful form of light and a signal that travels to us directly from its sources.

Why are physicists thick-skinned but biologists run for the hills when the comment trolls invariably appear?  It may help to be arcane and complex - it's harder to troll hard sciences. Everyone feels like they know some biology but good luck to casual readers trying to debunk rare B_s decays in a high energy physics paper.