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Feed Science Daily: Molecule With A Split Personality (

Researchers made a porphyrin-like ring that can do something its paper analogue can't: the new molecule can switch back and forth between the one-sided Möbius topology and a "normal" two-sided state (Hückel topology) -- without breaking the ring.

Submission + - New Theory Explains Periodic Mass Extinctions

i_like_spam writes: The theory that the dinosaurs were wiped out by an asteroid impact, the K-T extinction, is well known and supported by fossil and geological evidence. Asteroid impact theory does not apply to the other fluctuations in biodiversity, however, which follow an approximate 62 million-year cycle. As reported in Science news, a new theory seems to explain periodic mass extinctions. The new theory found that oscillations in the Sun relative to the plane of the Milky Way correlate with changes in biodiversity on Earth. The researchers suggest that an increase in the exposure of Earth to extragalatic cosmic rays causes mass extinctions. Here is the original paper describing the finding.

Feed Engadget: Deep-brain electrical stimulation brings man out of vegetative state (

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets

A 38-year-old man who had been in a near-coma for six years was recently awakened via the use of a pacemaker and two electrodes which were implanted deeply in his brain. The electrical device, manufactured by a company called Medtronics, was used to send impulses to the area of the brain regulating consciousness, and researchers believe that the stimulation may be enhancing brain circuits that are still capable of functioning. The man, the first of 12 to undergo the procedure, has gone from a vegetative state to being able to play cards, speak with family members, and take trips outside. While this isn't exactly a new technology -- as doctors have been experimenting with deep-brain stimulation in the treatment of Parkinson's, epilepsy, and brain injuries for some time -- it is a clear sign that there's hope for patients whom the medical community has been, heretofore, unable to treat.

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang