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Wednesday, Oct 01st

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Scientists: U.S. no longer the global leader in research

Scientific researchAn overwhelming majority of U.S. scientists in all fields say the country is no longer the global leader in scientific research, a non-profit group says.

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology's report on government-funded scientific research, titled "Unlimited Potential, Vanishing Opportunity," detailed the findings of a survey of more than 3,700 frontline scientists from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

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Astronomy student stumbles on space object called Trojan in orbit with planet Uranus

UranusIt turns out Uranus has a cosmic companion as it circles the sun from nearly 1.8 billion miles away. Scientists have detected a Trojan - an asteroid-like object that shares a planet's orbit - moving ahead of the ice giant.

The discovery of 2011 QF99 was reported this week in the journal Science. And it was found almost by accident.

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Scientists' mistake uncovers 'impossible material'

impossible materialSometimes screwing up a science experiment isn't such a bad thing. Case in point: Researchers in Sweden accidentally left their equipment running on an experiment over a weekend, and ended up creating something awesome — Upsalite, the world's most efficient water absorber, reports The Independent.

This substance, prohibitively expensive and difficult to produce until now, can potentially do everything from controlling moisture on a hockey rink to cleaning up toxic waste and oil spills, reports Science Blog.

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Forget the Rubber Ducky—Make Your Bathtub Into an IPad

Bathtub ipadClose your eyes and imagine how it would feel to go for a swim inside your iPad’s touchscreen. It could be a little like the surreal, interactive “AquaTop display” experience, created by researchers at the University of Tokyo Electro Communications Laboratory.

The prototype model is just a tank of water, but the plan is for the AquaTop to turn your everyday bathtub into an immersive touchscreen, allowing the bather to watch movies, look at photos, and play games.

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Scientists can implant false memories into mice

Memory implants in miceFalse memories have been implanted into mice, scientists say.

A team was able to make the mice wrongly associate a benign environment with a previous unpleasant experience from different surroundings.

The researchers conditioned a network of neurons to respond to light, making the mice recall the unpleasant environment. Reporting in Science, they say it could one day shed light into how false memories occur in humans.

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Colliding stars could be source of gold on Earth

gold originThe gold glinting on your wedding band was likely born in a cataclysmic merger of two exceedingly exotic stars, astronomers report Wednesday.

Dying stars billions of years ago cooked up most of the lighter elements in the universe, the oxygen in the air and calcium of our bones, and blasted it across the cosmos in their final explosive moments. We are stardust, as the singer Joni Mitchell put it.

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Death of a sun-like star captured by Hubble

Death of starNASA's Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory observed the death of a star much like the sun.

NGC 2392, located about 4,200 light years from Earth, is a dying star nicknamed the Eskimo Nebula -- what astronomers call a planetary nebula. Planetary nebulas actually have nothing to do with planets, but the objects looked like planetary disks to earlier astronomers looking through small optical telescopes.

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