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As teenagers' drive for peer approval begins to eclipse their family affiliations, things change in their brains - literally.    Brain scans of teens sizing each other up reveal an emotion circuit activating more in girls as they grow older - but not in boys.

So that urban legend about girls maturing faster than boys is true, if by faster maturity we mean becoming overly emotional drama queens.  

A new study says emotion circuitry diverges in the male and female brain during a developmental stage in which girls are at increased risk for developing mood and anxiety disorders.
It is known that memory begins during the prenatal period but little has been discovered about the exact timing or for how long memory lasts. A new study done in Holland has found fetal short-term memory in babies at 30 weeks in the womb. The study provides insights into fetal development and may help address and prevent abnormalities, say researchers at Maastricht University Medical Centre and the University Medical Centre St. Radboud who published their results in Child Development.
A new study says both the tiger stripes and a subsurface ocean on Saturn's moon Enceladus are the result of the moon's unusual chemical composition and not a hot core, as previously believed.

shedding light on the evolution of planets and guiding future space exploration.

Dr Dave Stegman, a Centenary Research Fellow in the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne, led the study and says that part of the intrigue with Enceladus is that it was once presumed to be a lifeless, frozen ice ball until a water vapour plume was seen erupting from its surface in 2006. 

Australia's top models are going to be on the main stage in Cairns this week but don't get too excited.   They're only here to show new ways to understand climate change, improve air safety and enhance agricultural sustainability - the small stuff unless you care about life as we know it.  Fortunately, these numerical models understand those things much better than actual supermodels.

The gathering is the IMACS/MODSIM Congress and will attract more than 650 experts in modelling and simulation from Australia and overseas to the Cairns Convention Centre from July 13-17, 2009.
Climate science is tricky business because the atmosphere and Mother Earth are an eloborate, complex system no one understands.   So how much Earth's climate will warm due to carbon emissions is open to speculation but a new study this week suggests scientists' best predictions about global warming are likely incorrect.  Which means they could be high ... but they could also be really low.

The study in Nature Geoscience says that climate models explain only about half of the heating that occurred during a well-documented period of rapid global warming in Earth's ancient past.
It will enrage our fellow Californians, who regard the wholesomeness and warmth of the in-home hearth as akin to fratricide, but when it comes down to it, people in the Third World, like the US is becoming economically, are going to respond to the stress of rising natural gas prices in ways that activists in cozy office buildings do not like.

How they heat their homes will be at the top of the list for everyone in the upper part of North America this winter - which means out-of-fashion alternative energy options, the kind our ancestors used; wood burning stoves.