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Plants' ability to sprout upward using their own woody tissues has long been considered one of the characteristics separating the land kind from aquatic plants, which rely on water to support them.
A newly developed mathematical model that figures out the best strategy to win the popular board game CLUE© could some day help robot mine sweepers navigate strange surroundings to find hidden explosives.

At the simplest level, both activities are governed by the same principles, according to the Duke University scientists who developed the new algorithm. A player, or robot, must move through an unknown space searching for clues. In the case of CLUE©, players move a pawn around the board and enter rooms seeking information about the killer and murder weapon before moving on to the next room seeking more information.
Toxic nuclear waste is stored at sites around the U.S.  and debate surrounds the construction of a large-scale geological storage site at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, which critics maintain is costly and dangerous. The storage capacity of Yucca Mountain, which is would open by 2020, is set at 77,000 tons. The amount of nuclear waste generated by the U.S. is expected to exceed this amount by 2010.

A new invention could drastically decrease the need for any additional or expanded geological repositories, say physicists at The University of Texas at Austin who have designed a new system that, when fully developed, would use fusion to eliminate most of the transuranic waste produced by nuclear power plants.

If you have a 401K, you've seen what happens when confidence abandons the stock market.   If people didn't trust financial leaders and institutions before, they certainly do not now.   Paola Sapienza (Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University) and Luigi Zingales (Un iversity of Chicago Booth School of Business) have created the Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index and they have published the first set of results today.   They say their research shows just how deep America's declining trust runs and how strongly it contributes to the country's financial problems.

The results do not speak well for confidence that more government programs are the solution.

A new analysis confirms what we already knew - the evolutionary relationships among animals are not simple and the traditional idea that animal evolution has followed a trajectory from simple to complex—from sponge to chordate—had met a dramatic exception in the metazoan tree of life.

But the new study suggests that the so-called "lower" metazoans (including Placozoa, corals, and jellyfish) evolved in parallel to "higher" animals (all other metazoans, from flatworms to chordates).  They say that means Placozoans—large amoeba-shaped, multi-cellular animals—have passed over sponges and other organisms as an animal that most closely mirrors the root of this tree of life.

Mr Yohei Sasakawa, WHO Goodwill Ambassador for the Elimination of Leprosy and Japanese Government Goodwill Ambassador for the Human Rights of People Affected by Leprosy, has called for an end to the common use of the word leper.

Speaking at the launch in London of the fourth Global Appeal to End Stigma and Discrimination Against People Affected by Leprosy, held to coincide with World Leprosy Day, he said that the word carries the meaning of a pariah, or social outcast.

Mr Sasakawa said that people affected by leprosy have demanded that the term not be used.