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Saturday, Nov 22nd

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NASA finds “unprecedented” black hole cluster near Andromeda’s central bulg

black hole clusterNASA has discovered an unprecedentedly large cluster of black holes in our nearest galactic neighbor, Andromeda.

The 26 black hole candidates were spotted with the Chandra X-ray Observatory, which made more than 150 observations spread over 13 years.

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Arc protein 'could be key to memory loss', says study

Memory proteinScientists have discovered more about the role of an important brain protein which is instrumental in translating learning into long-term memories.

Writing in Nature Neuroscience, they said further research into the Arc protein's role could help in finding new ways to fight neurological diseases.

The same protein may also be a factor in autism, the study said. Recent research found Arc lacking in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

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US management of wild horses flawed, scientific report finds

Wild horse roundupA federal agency working to rein in the population of wild horses in the West should rely more on fertility control than roundups because it would be more effective, a National Academy of Sciences review said on Wednesday.

The critique of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) handling of 37,300 free-ranging horses and burros also faulted the agency for a lack of transparency and public involvement in key decisions about the federally protected animals.

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Moon being pushed away from Earth faster than ever

Moon pushed away from earthEarth is pushing the moon away faster now than it has for most of the past 50 million years, mostly a result of tides, a U.S. researcher says.

Matthew Huber of Purdue University says his models of the influence of tides on the moon's orbit help solve a longstanding mystery concerning the moon's age, NewScientists.com reported Wednesday.

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Climate research nearly unanimous on human causes, survey finds

Climate changeA survey of thousands of peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals has found 97.1% agreed that climate change is caused by human activity.

Authors of the survey, published on Thursday in the journal Environmental Research Letters, said the finding of near unanimity provided a powerful rebuttal to climate contrarians who insist the science of climate change remains unsettled.

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Scientists successfully create human stem cells through cloning

Stem cells clonedAfter more than 15 years of failures by scientists around the world and one outright fraud, biologists have finally created human stem cells by the same technique that produced Dolly the cloned sheep in 1996: They transplanted genetic material from an adult cell into an egg whose own DNA had been removed.

The result is a harvest of human embryonic stem cells, the seemingly magic cells capable of morphing into any of the 200-plus kinds that make up a person.

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What's a monster hurricane doing on top of Saturn?

Saturn hurricaneNASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured images of a monster hurricane at Saturn's north pole – a storm so vast and powerful it makes tropical cyclones on Earth look tame by comparison.

The storm's eye alone spans some 1,250 miles – about the distance from North Carolina's Outer Banks to central Kansas. Wind speeds at the inner eye wall have been clocked at 330 miles an hour. The storm extends for another 600 to 700 miles beyond the eye.

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