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Wednesday, Dec 17th

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Nobel Prize for Physics awarded to inventors of blue LEDs

Shuji NakamuraOver 20 years after their invention, the team of Japanese scientists behind blue colored light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, has been recognized with the Nobel Prize for Physics.

Found in everything from light bulbs to televisions to cellphones, LEDs are typically clustered in trios of red, blue and green. While the invention of red and green LEDs came easy by comparison, blue LEDs, the fundamentally necessary final ingredient to white-emitting energy efficient lights.

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3 win medicine Nobel for discovering brain's GPS

Nobel winnersA U.S.-British scientist and a Norwegian husband-and-wife research team won the Nobel Prize in medicine Monday for discovering the brain's navigation system — the inner GPS that helps us find our way in the world — a revelation that could lead to advances in diagnosing Alzheimer's.

The research by John O'Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser represents a "paradigm shift" in neuroscience that could help researchers understand the sometimes severe spatial memory loss associated with Alzheimer's disease, the Nobel Assembly said.

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Stephen Hawking admits he is an atheist

Stephen HawkingAstrophysicist Stephen Hawking doesn't believe in God, but does believe aliens and space travel are the key to the survival of the species.

In an interview with Spanish paper El Mundo, Hawking spoke on his theories behind the origin of the universe and admitted he was an atheist as his theories do not support the world being created by a deity. Hawking was attending the Starmus festival in the Canary Islands where he and his colleagues gathered for lectures and tours.

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NASA's Maven explorer arrives at Mars after year

Maven reaches MarsNASA's Maven spacecraft arrived at Mars late Sunday after a 442 million-mile journey that began nearly a year ago.

The robotic explorer fired its brakes and successfully slipped into orbit around the red planet, officials confirmed.

"This is such an incredible night," said John Grunsfeld, NASA's chief for science missions.

Now the real work begins for the $671 million mission, the first dedicated to studying Mars' upper atmosphere.

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New dinosaur species with giant nose discovered in Utah

New dinosaur As researchers from North Carolina State University and Brigham Young University have discovered, the largest aquiline nose of the Late Cretaceous period most certainly belonged to Rhinorex condrupus, a gentle giant of the duck-billed dino family, or hadrosaurs, that perused estuaries of ancient North America looking for plants and algae to slurp up.

Instead of a giant crest on its noggin, as many hadrosaurs possess, Rhinorex was graced with giant nose. The rest of the dinosaur's body was pretty big too, stretching 30 feet in length and weighing more than 8,500 pounds.

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Supermassive Black Hole Discovered Inside Tiny Dwarf Galaxy

black hole"It is the smallest and lightest object that we know of that has a supermassive black hole," Dr. Anil C. Seth, a University of Utah astronomer and the lead author of a new paper about the discovery, said in a written statement. "It's also one of the most black hole-dominated galaxies known."

The discovery suggests that supermassive black holes may be twice as numerous in the nearby universe as previously thought, Nature reported.

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Solar storm heading for Earth

solar flareA "strong" solar flare that launched off the sun Wednesday afternoon could cause some fluctuations in Earth's power grid and slight disturbances in satellites and radio transmissions on Friday and Saturday.

Major disruptions are not expected, even though the flare was classified as an "X-class" flare, which is at the high end of the solar flare scale. Wednesday's flare followed a weaker flare late Monday.

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