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Pacific trade winds stall global surface warming … for now

Heat stored in the western Pacific Ocean caused by an unprecedented strengthening of the equatorial trade winds appears to be largely responsible for the hiatus in surface warming observed over the past 13 years. The strongest trade winds have driven more of the heat from global warming into the oceans; but when those winds slow, that heat will rapidly return to the atmosphere causing an abrupt rise in global average temperatures, scientists say.
 
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Posted by on February 9, 2014 in Blog

 

Cochlear implants—with no exterior hardware

Cochlear implants—medical devices that electrically stimulate the auditory nerve—have granted at least limited hearing to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide who otherwise would be totally deaf. Existing versions of the device, however, require that a disk-shaped transmitter about an inch in diameter be affixed to the skull, with a wire snaking down to a joint microphone and power source that looks like an oversized hearing aid around the patient's ear.
 
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Posted by on February 9, 2014 in Blog, Technology

 

‘Oldest star’ found from iron fingerprint

Australian astronomers on Sunday said they had found a star 13.6 billion years old, making it the most ancient star ever seen.
 
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Posted by on February 9, 2014 in Astronomy & Space, Blog

 

New Microsoft CEO’s collegial style sparks hope

It was a fleeting moment once the camera had gone off, but some say it's indicative of the leadership style Satya Nadella brings to his new job as CEO of Microsoft Corp.
 
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Posted by on February 9, 2014 in Blog, Technology

 

Pacific trade winds stall global surface warming—for now

Heat stored in the western Pacific Ocean caused by an unprecedented strengthening of the equatorial trade winds appears to be largely responsible for the hiatus in surface warming observed over the past 13 years.
 
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Posted by on February 9, 2014 in Blog, Earth

 

Genome editing goes hi-fi: Technique in stem cells to boost scientists’ ability to study genetic disease

Sometimes biology is cruel. Sometimes simply a one-letter change in the human genetic code is the difference between health and a deadly disease. But even though doctors and scientists have long studied disorders caused by these tiny changes, replicating them to study in human stem cells has proven challenging. But now, scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have found a way to efficiently edit the human genome one letter at a time—not only boosting researchers' ability to model human disease, but also paving the way for therapies that cure disease by fixing these so-called 'bugs' in a patient's genetic code.
 
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Posted by on February 9, 2014 in Biology, Blog

 

Scientists invent advanced approach to identify new drug candidates from genome sequence

In research that could ultimately lead to many new medicines, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have developed a potentially general approach to design drugs from genome sequence. As a proof of principle, they identified a highly potent compound that causes cancer cells to attack themselves and die.
 
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Posted by on February 9, 2014 in Blog, Chemistry

 

Danish zoo kills giraffe to prevent inbreeding

Saying it needed to prevent inbreeding, the Copenhagen Zoo killed a 2-year-old giraffe and fed its remains to lions as visitors watched, ignoring a petition signed by thousands and offers from other zoos and a private individual to save the animal.
 
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Posted by on February 9, 2014 in Biology, Blog

 

Envisioning Swansea energy plant powered by tides in lagoon

(Phys.org) —What about building five "tidal energy" plants in the UK, as a source of clean and reliable energy? Can such a resource be harnessed in a way that makes economic, environmental and social sense? That is the vision of a UK company, Tidal Lagoon Power, promoting such tidal plant installations as a beneficial energy initiative. On Friday, the Cheltenham-based company submitted an application for a Development Consent Order under the Planning Act 2008 for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon. This would be the largest tidal power plant in the world. The project, along with four others, could meet 10 per cent of the UK's electricity needs from the tides by 2023. "Our intention is to supply 10 percent of the UK's domestic electricity by building at least five full-scale tidal lagoons in UK waters by 2023," said Mark Shorrock, chief executive of Tidal Lagoon Power. The current application represents the first step in deploying the lagoon technology that would enable renewable power. But what exactly is a tidal lagoon? This is a harbor structure that can close off a tidal sea area. Turbines are used through which the sea moves to generate electricity.
 
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Posted by on February 9, 2014 in Blog, Technology

 

Taiwan’s Foxconn to invest up to $1 bn in Indonesia

Taiwan technology giant Foxconn group has signed a letter of intent to invest up to $1 billion in Indonesia as it seeks to diversify production away from China, officials said Sunday.
 
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Posted by on February 9, 2014 in Blog, Technology