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WASP-12b is the hottest known planet in the Milky Way galaxy, and it may also be the shortest-lived. The planet is being eaten by its parent star, according to observations made by a new instrument on NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS). The planet may only have another 10 million years left before it is completely devoured. The discovery has been documented in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

WASP-12 is a yellow dwarf star located approximately 600 light-years away in the winter constellation Auriga. The exoplanet was discovered by the United Kingdom's Wide Area Search for Planets (WASP) in 2008. The automated survey looks for the periodic dimming of stars from planets passing in front of them, an effect called transiting.
Scientists have developed the first cell controlled by a synthetic genome which may allow them to probe the basic machinery of life and engineer bacteria specially designed to solve environmental or energy problems.

The research team, led by Craig Venter, has already chemically synthesized a bacterial genome, and transplanted the genome of one bacterium to another. Now, the scientists have put both methods together, to create what they call a "synthetic cell," although only its genome is synthetic.
Albert Einstein said scientists would never be able to observe the instantaneous velocity of tiny particles as they randomly shake and shimmy, so called Brownian motion, but physicist at the University of Texas say they have done so.

In 1907, Einstein likely did not foresee a time when dust-sized particles of glass could be trapped and suspended in air by dual laser beam "optical tweezers." Nor would he have known that ultrasonic vibrations from a plate-like transducer would shake those glass beads into the air to be tweezed and measured as they moved in suspension.
Heavy alcohol consumption carries a lot of significant health risks, and researchers from the University of Texas say men who drink too much face a higher risk of pancreatic cancer.

In a study published in Cancer Causes and Control, researchers found that the more alcohol a man consumed, the higher his risk of pancreatic cancer compared with those who drank little or no alcohol.

Men who consumed alcohol increased their risk of pancreatic cancer by 1.5 to 6 times compared with those who didn't consume alcohol or who had less than one drink per month. The increased risk depended on the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption. Researchers found that the risk was greater no matter when in the past heavy drinking occurred.
Data from the ESA's Envisat radar satellite shows that the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill has entered the Loop Current, a powerful conveyor belt that flows clockwise around the Gulf of Mexico towards Florida.

"With these images from space, we have visible proof that at least oil from the surface of the water has reached the current," said Dr Bertrand Chapron of Ifremer, the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea.

Dr Chapron and Dr Fabrice Collard of France's CLS have been combining surface roughness and current flow information with Envisat Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) data of the area to monitor the proximity of the oil to the current.

The global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978 is +0.14 C per decade, according to scientists from the Earth System Science Center (ESSC) at The University of Alabama in Huntsville

April temperatures (preliminary)

Global composite temp.: +0.50 C (about 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) above 20-year average for April.

Northern Hemisphere: +0.80 C (about 1.44 degrees Fahrenheit) above 20-year average for April.

Southern Hemisphere: +0.21 C (about 0.38 degrees Fahrenheit) above 20-year average for April.

Tropics: +0.63 C (about 1.34 degrees Fahrenheit) above 20-year average for April.

March temperatures (revised):

Global Composite: +0.66 C above 20-year average