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PPPL’s Popular Science Lecture Series Debuts Jan. 10 with New Name Honoring Long-Time Organizer

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Announcement of start of 2015 Science on Saturday lecture series.

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Muddy Forests, Shorter Winters Present Challenges for Loggers

A new study finds that the period of frozen ground has declined by an average of two or three weeks since 1948. During that time, wood harvests have shifted in years with more variability in freezing and thawing to red pine and jack pine — species that grow in sandy, well-drained soil that can support trucks and heavy equipment when not frozen.

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Lightweight Skeletons Of Modern Humans Have Recent Origin

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New research shows that modern human skeletons evolved into their lightly built form only relatively recently — after the start of the Holocene about 12,000 years ago, and even more recently in some human populations. The work, based on high-resolution imaging of bone joints from modern humans and chimpanzees as well as from fossils of extinct human species, shows that for millions of years, extinct humans had high bone density until a dramatic decrease in recent modern humans.

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Modern Genetics Confirm Ancient Relationship Between Fins and Hands

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Efforts to connect the evolutionary transition from fish fins to wrist and fingers with the genetic machinery for this adaptation have fallen short because they focused on the wrong fish. Now, researchers describe the genetic machinery for autopod assembly in a non-model fish, the spotted gar.

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Scientists Discover Blocking Notch Inhibition Pathway Provides a New Route to Hair Cell Regeneration for Hearing Restoration

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Scientists from Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School and Fudan University have shown that blocking the Notch pathway plays an essential role that determines cochlear progenitor cell proliferation capacity.

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TSRI Scientists Find Drug That Helps Huntington’s Disease-Afflicted Mice—and Their Offspring

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A new study from scientists at The Scripps Research Institute suggests therapies that change gene expression in parents could help their children. Research showed offspring of mice treated with a drug also had delayed onset and reduced symptoms of Huntington’s disease.

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A Particle Physics App for Your Phone

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A free app for Android and Apple devices called The Particle Adventure makes checking out the world of quarks, dark matter, and particle accelerators as easy as tapping touchscreen icons.

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Piezoelectricity in a 2D Semiconductor

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A door has been opened to low-power off/on switches in micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and nanoelectronic devices, as well as ultrasensitive bio-sensors, with the first observation of piezoelectricity in a free standing two-dimensional semiconductor by a team of researchers with Berkeley Lab.

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Scripps Research Institute Scientists Uncover New, Fundamental Mechanism for How Resveratrol Provides Health Benefits

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Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have found that resveratrol, the red-wine ingredient once touted as an elixir of youth, powerfully activates an evolutionarily ancient stress response in human cells. The finding should dispel much of and controversy about how resveratrol really works.

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Coral Reveals Long-Term Link Between Pacific Winds, Global Climate

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New research indicates that shifts in Pacific trade winds played a key role in twentieth century climate variation and are likely again influencing global temperatures. The study, led by NCAR and the University of Arizona, uses a novel method of analyzing coral chemistry to reveal winds from a century ago.

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