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Submission + - Advanced Review of Ghost Story (Dresden Files #13) (wordpress.com)

mmmscience writes: Dresden Files fans have a longer-than-normal wait for their next hit of Dresden crack—but according to this review, the wait was well worth it. Ghost Story picks up right where the last book left off, with Harry Dresden in more trouble than normal and completely without magic.

Submission + - How A US Debt Default Will Affect IT (itworld.com)

jfruhlinger writes: "As the US Congress plays a game of chicken, American IT needs to start planning for scenarios where the debt ceiling isn't raised. Once the limit has been reached, techies will quickly confront a number of consequences, some immediate (like not getting paid) and some tied to the ripple effects that will roil the economy in case of a default. Sadly, with two economic disasters in the past decade, we've become familiar with economic fallout."

Submission + - Triceratops and Torsaurus Were Same Dinosaur (sciencedaily.com)

mmmscience writes: Scientists from Montana State University have suggested that the Triceratops and Torsaurus are actually the same species at different stages of development. The Triceratops, with its three horns and small frill, may be the adolescent form of Torsaurus, which has much bigger frill with two large holes through it. If true, the research shows just how drastically a dinosaur's physiology can change in the course of its lifetime. And the fact that so few Torsaurus remains have been discovered suggests that the triceratops rarely lived all the way to maturity.

Submission + - Your Feces is a wonderland... of viruses (sciencemag.org) 1

sciencehabit writes: Thanks to an anlaysis of fecal samples from four sets of Missouri-born female identical twins and their mothers, researchers have concluded that human guts harbor viruses as unique as the people they inhabit; the viral lineup differs even between identical twins. Even more surprising? These viruses may be doing good work inside of us.

Submission + - Whale with big bite named for Moby Dick's author (earthmagazine.org)

mmmscience writes: Scientists have discovered the remains of a long-extinct sperm whale that calls to mind all sorts of horrors: the creature had teeth 12 centimeters in diameter and 36 centimeters long. The fossils were found in a Peruvian desert, the same general region where the whale’s contemporary monster, the great shark Carcharocles megalodon, would have swam some 13 million years ago. With a head five meters across, it is thought to have the largest mammalian bite on record. It has been dubbed Leviathan melvillei after Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick.

Submission + - What if the Gulf oil spill can't be stopped? (scienceblogs.com)

2muchcoffeeman writes: Sharon Astyk of Scienceblogs.com brings up an ongoing discussion of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill at The Oil Drum, a site for industry professionals. A comment in that discussion brings up a frightening scenario: that the Gulf oil spill is past the point of no return or very close to that point, there's no such thing as a "cap dome" that can be put in place to shut it off, the relief wells can't be brought online soon enough and the structure of the originally-drilled well is degrading and will eventually collapse ... meaning that entire underground oil reserve BP and its subcontractors were trying to extract will leak out into the Gulf of Mexico via the damaged equipment and underwater well site.

Submission + - Geologists to be charged for not predicting quake? (earthmagazine.org)

mmmscience writes: In 2009, a series of small earthquakes shook the region of L'Aquila, Italy. Seismologists investigated the tremors, but concluded that there was no direct indication of a big 'quake on the horizon. Less than a month later, a magnitude-6.3 earthquake killed more than 300 people. Now, the chief prosecutor of L'Aquila is looking to charge the scientists with gross negligent manslaughter for not predicting the 'quake.

Submission + - Journal retracts original MMR vaccine-autism study (examiner.com)

mmmscience writes: Over ten years ago, Andrew Wakefield published one of the most controversial papers in modern medicine. Today, the journal Lancet has withdrawn that article, stating in a press release that they "fully retract this paper from the published record." The article in question was the very first to suggest a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. When it was published in 1998, the number of vaccines administered in the UK sharply declined leading the inevitable increase of fatal cases of the measles. Lancet's official retraction after Britain's General Medical Council hearing that found Wakefield acted unethically.

Submission + - Dinosaurs dominated because of lung power (examiner.com)

mmmscience writes: For all the research done on one of the dinosaur's closest-living relative, it turns out scientists didn't know how alligators breathe. New research published in Science shows a surprising twist: alligator's lungs work by unidirectional airflow, the same trick that birds use to pull oxygen out of the air at high altitudes. The fact that both dinosaurs' descendants have the same lung system suggests that dinosaurs did as well, and it may answer the question of how dinosaurs rose to power. During the Triassic period when archosaurs were first hitting it big, the oxygen level was only 12%, much too low for any large mammalian creature to survive. This evidence suggests that dinosaurs won out because they had the better lung.

Nintendo Wii To Get Netflix Streaming 213

motang writes "Netflix and Nintendo is set to announce Netflix streaming service for the Wii soon. Subscribers who have the unlimited streaming service can watch non-HD version of the movies on their Wii with a special Netflix disc inserted." The thing I can't understand is why the PS3 and Wii have to require a disc. Both are capable of downloading applications and executing them. Why should I be required to dedicate my disc slot to stream a movie? Of course, my netflix queue is half-filled with Ken Burns documentaries, so if I lost the disc, I think that would just make the wife happier.

Submission + - New sensory system found in the skin (examiner.com)

mmmscience writes: Researches have found a new sensory system in the skin that is completely separate from the traditional nerve network that gives us the sense of touch. The new system, comprised of sensory nerves found on blood vessels and sweat glands, is not nearly as potent, but does allow people to sense temperatures and textures. The research suggests that the system may play a role in chronic pain disorders such as migraines and fibromyalgia, conditions whose causes remain a mystery.

Submission + - Heart disease plagued the ancient Egyptians (examiner.com)

mmmscience writes: CT scans of mummies have revealed that heart disease was also a common problem 3500 years ago. The scans show calcification of arterial pathways, a preserved sign of atherosclerosis, the heart disease caused by hardening arteries. Of the 16 mummies that had intact arteries, nine showed signs of significant calcification. Dr. Gregory Thomas, co-lead author on the study, stated, "The findings suggest that we may have to look beyond modern risk factors to fully understand the disease."

Submission + - Accidental discovery of near-perfect blue pigment. (labspaces.net)

ACKyushu writes: An accidental discovery in a laboratory at Oregon State University has apparently solved a quest that over thousands of years has absorbed the energies of ancient Egyptians, the Han dynasty in China, Mayan cultures and more – the creation of a near-perfect blue pigment.

Submission + - Giant Nomura's Jellyfish Sink Japanese Trawler

Hugh Pickens writes: "The Telegraph reports that the trawler, Diasan Shinsho-maru, has capsized off the coast of China as its three-man crew dragged their net through a swarm of giant jellyfish which can grow up to six feet in diameter and travel in packs and tried to haul up a net that was too heavy. The crew was thrown into the sea when the vessel capsized, but the three men were rescued by another trawler. The local Coast Guard office reported that the weather was clear and the sea was calm at the time of the accident. Relatively little is known about Nomura's jellyfish, such as why some years see thousands of the creatures floating across the Sea of Japan on the Tsushima Current, but last year there were virtually no sightings. In 2007, there were 15,500 reports of damage to fishing equipment caused by the creatures. Experts believe that one contributing factor to the jellyfish becoming more frequent visitors to Japanese waters may be a decline in the number of predators, which include sea turtles and certain species of fish. "Jellies have likely swum and swarmed in our seas for over 600 million years," says "jellyologist" Monty Graham of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama. "When conditions are right, jelly swarms can form quickly. They appear to do this for sexual reproduction.""

Submission + - Reverse Orbit Planet Found 1,000 Light Years Away (examiner.com)

JoshuaInNippon writes: Our sun and the planets that revolve around it all move in the same direction. Since 1995, over 400 planets outside our solar system have been found, and many of them are strikingly different than that of us. To explain these differences, a variety of planetary evolution models have been proposed, including the theoretical possibility that some planets orbit in the opposite direction to that of their star rotation. On November 4th, researchers from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) announced they have found such a retrograde orbit planet for the first time, around HAT-P-7, a star about 1,000 light years away.

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