Susannah F. Locke

How Your Body Packs Two Meters of DNA Into a Six-Micron Cell Nucleus

I can't seem to manage to keep my iPod in my bag for a day without creating an awful tangle of headphones, but my body's cells can work with two meters of stringy DNA into a tiny nucleus without making a knot. The secret is a structure called a fractal globule, according to a research paper to be published tomorrow in the journal Science.

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Cheap Artificial Hymens: the Easy Way to Revirginate

It only takes about 20 minutes after the last time you had sex to become a "virgin" again. That's if you've shelled out $29 for the Artificial Virginity Hymen.

The product has been getting some press, after conservative Egyptian politicians said they want the product banned. They're concerned that brides might use the product to fake their virginity, according to a report by the Associated Press.

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Cocaine Vaccine Nullifies the Effect, Helps Abusers Quit

Researchers have shown for the first time today that a vaccine can help reduce drug abuse. There's currently no FDA-approved treatment to get people off of cocaine (or crack), so this could really help out the 2.5 million Americans dependent on cocaine.

Thirty-eight percent of drug abusers who were given the vaccine produced anti-cocaine antibodies. Over the course of seven weeks, these subjects were 45 percent likely to have a cocaine-free pee test, as opposed to 35 percent for those who got placebo vaccine instead.

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Nasal Spray for Better Memory

Snort your way to perfect health? Just last week, we heard that snorting stem cells might be the best way to get them into your noggin. And this week, scientists have declared that a nasal spray can help your memory.

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Hello, Ardi: New Oldest Humanoid Fossil A Million Years Older Than Lucy

The new fossil indicates that our ancestors were less chimplike than heretofore thought

This morning, scientists revealed an analysis of a female skeleton that seems to be the best example of early hominids around, about a million years older than the famous Lucy specimen that has been a prime example of early humanoids for about 40 years. New species Ardipithecus ramidus, which scientists nicknamed "Ardi," lived in the woodlands of present-day Ethiopia and had a blend of human and chimplike features.

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Augmented Google Earth Gets Real-Time People, Cars, Clouds

Researchers from Georgia Tech have devised methods to take real-time, real-world information and layer it onto Google Earth, adding dynamic information to the previously sterile Googlescape.

They use live video feeds (sometimes from many angles) to find the position and motion of various objects, which they then combine with behavioral simulations to produce real-time animations for Google Earth or Microsoft Virtual Earth.

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Three Lunar Spacecraft Agree: There's Water On the Moon

Caches of H2O could serve as fuel depots for future lunar bases

Although science news is often muddied by qualifiers, the news today is clear. After decades of believing that the moon was a dry, dusty wasteland, we now know that there is water on the moon's surface. This discovery means that colonizing the moon could be a bit easier, since water could be used to produce oxygen and fuel, not to mention a delicious glass of refreshment.

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Gaydar Algorithm Outs Facebook Users

A pair of MIT students claim that they have created an algorithm that outs gay members of Facebook by analyzing the sexual orientations of their networks of friends.

The students first analyzed the networks of people who publicized their sexual orientation on Facebook. Turns out that statistically speaking, gay men have more gay friends than straight guys do. So then, they used an algorithm to run the stats on men who kept mum about their sexual orientation on the site. Their computer program was able to correctly identify 10 men whom the students personally knew to be gay in the real world but who hadn't shared that fact on Facebook.

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The Cheapest Way To Curb Carbon Dioxide: Contraception

According to a new report from the prestigious London School of Economics, birth control is a less expensive way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions than most green energy strategies.

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Study Finds Purchasing Green Products Increases Your Likelihood to Lie, Cheat

Small acts of eco-kindness can make people more likely to cheat and steal.

In a recent paper by a pair of researchers at the University of Toronto, entitled "Do Green Products Make Us Better People?" the answer seems to be, eh, not completely. Although you may have done Mother Earth a favor, your unconscious might sway you to be less ethical with your fellow man.

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Robots That Eat Bugs and Plants for Power

Robots devour trash to gain energy independence

No matter how intelligent a robot might be, it’s nice knowing you can pull its plug to halt the anti-human insurrection. Whoops, not anymore. A new cohort of ’bots that make energy by gobbling organic matter could be the beginning of truly autonomous machines.

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NASA Levitates a Mouse With Magnetic Fields

Scientists working on behalf of NASA have successfully levitated a mouse using a strong magnetic field. I pay taxes so that stuff like this can happen. I don't hate animals. It's for understanding microgravity better, ok?

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China Plans World's Largest Solar Power Plant

First Solar just signed an agreement with China to build the biggest solar power plant yet, according to a statement released today by the company. The 2-gigawatt plant in the Mongolian desert will generate enough electricity to power three million homes.

That's a heck of a lot of cadmium telluride, the semiconductor they use for their thin film cells.

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Have Scientists Finally Found the Elusive Magnetic Monopole?

A long-hypothesized particle, stuff of tantalizing detection attempts and thrilling sci-fi novels, may have finally been sighted.

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The Race to the Higgs Boson: LHC Versus Tevatron

It's on!

While the LHC's in the shop for repairs from its massive breakdown last September, an older particle accelerator might beat them to finding the Higgs boson, the fundamental particle thought to give matter mass.

At a conference last week, Tevatron physicists threw down the gauntlet, vowing that by 2011, the Tevatron accelerator (located at Fermi National Accelerator Lab outside Chicago) will be able to definitively prove or disprove the existence of the Higgs boson.

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