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A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 4/28/2014 11:00 AM EDT

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Astronomical Forensics Uncover Planetary Disks in Hubble Archive

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Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have applied a new image processing technique to obtain near-infrared scattered light images of five disks in images of young stars in the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes database. These disks are telltale evidence for newly formed planets.

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Study Finds Accelerated Soil Carbon Loss, Increasing the Rate of Climate Change

Research published in Science found that increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere cause soil microbes to produce more carbon dioxide, accelerating climate change.Two Northern Arizona University researchers led the study, which challenges previous understanding about how carbon accumulates in soil.

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Researchers Build New “Off Switch” to Shut Down Neural Activity

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scientists have used an analysis of channelrhodopsin’s molecular structure to guide a series of genetic mutations to the ion channel that grant the power to silence neurons with an unprecedented level of control.

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You May Have Billions and Billions of Good Reasons for Being Unfit

Although our chromosomes are relatively stable within our lifetimes, the genetic material found in our mitochondria is highly variable across individuals and may impact upon human health, say researchers at the University of Montreal and its affiliated CHU Sainte-Justine Hospital.

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University of Utah Biochemist Awarded Prestigious Herbert Sober Lectureship

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The prestigious honor is awarded by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology to a scientist who has shown outstanding biochemical and molecular biological research, with particular emphasis on development of methods and techniques to aid in research.

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Syriac Gazetter Preserves Endangered Middle East Cultures, Including Early Christian

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The cultural heritage of Syriac, an important language in the spread of early Christianity in the Middle East, is being preserved through the international collaboration known as Syriaca.org.

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Presidential Initiative Creates Team of Engineers, Plant Scientists to Develop Smart Plants

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Iowa State University engineers and plant scientists are working together to study and develop better crops. The research team has organized an International Workshop on Engineered Crops April 28-29 in Des Moines, Iowa.

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Three-Banded Panther Worm Debuts as a New Model in the Study of Regeneration

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The lab of Whitehead Institute Member Peter Reddien is introducing the scientific community to the three-banded panther worm (Hofstenia miamia), a small organism with the ability to regenerate any missing body part. As a model, Hofstenia could help further our understanding of regeneration, how its mechanisms have evolved over millennia, and what limits regeneration in other animals, including humans. Intriguingly, Hofstenia and the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea—long the mainstay of Reddien’s research—rely on similar molecular pathways to control regeneration despite having evolved separately over the course of roughly 550 million years.

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