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Monthly Archives: January 2008

2008: International Year of Planet Earth

This year has been designated as International Year of Planet Earth by the United Nations, backed by UNESCO and the International Union of Geological Sciences. The organizers aim to ensure greater use of the knowledge of the world’s Earth scientists, …
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Particle physics on public radio today

UC Davis physicist Robin Erbacher will be on Capital Public Radio’s Insight talk show this afternoon at 2 pm. She will be talking about her work on the Top quark and the prospects for new discoveries in fundamental physics. This …
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Cat DNA study confirms Middle East origins

A study of DNA from 11,000 cats (imagine getting cheek swabs from that many cats) confirms their origins in the “Fertile Crescent” of the Middle East, about the time people there started settling down, growing crops and looking for some …
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Mathematical genealogy: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Today’s Dateline has my story on “mathematical genealogy,” the practice of tracing family trees of mathematicians through their graduate students and doctoral advisors. This seems to have been started by topologists in the 1950s and was taken up by others, …
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Stardust samples not so starr-y

A paper out in Science tomorrow describes some detailed results from the Stardust space probe, which flew through the tail of a comet to catch dust samples and return them to Earth. Nigel Browning, a professor of chemical engineering and …
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AGU updates climate change position; Focus the Nation Jan 31

The American Geophysical Union announced today that it has updated it’s official position on human impacts on climate change. The full statement can be found here. “The Earth’s climate is now clearly out of balance and is warming,” the statement …
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FIRST Robotics revs up

FIRST Robotics, the robotics competition for high schoolers created by inventor Dean Kamen, launched its 2008 season earlier Jan 5 with the national kickoff event where teams got their first look at this year’s challenge and picked up their kit …
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Stem cell therapy for animals

LiveScience.com reports on a San Diego company offering a stem cell therapy to treat arthritis, tendon and ligament problems in dogs. A veterinarian removes some fat from the dog and ships it to the company, which extracts adult stem cells …
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Vitamin D gets a place in the Sun

Medianews group’s Suzanne Bohan writes about new research on Vitamin D. Long known to be important for strong, healthy bones, researchers are now finding that the vitamin plays a role in preventing a wide range of diseases including cancer and …
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First butterfly of the year goes to Art Shapiro, again

Evolution and ecology Professor Arthur Shapiro has been offering a pitcher of beer to the first person to bring in a newly-emerged Cabbage White (Pieris rapae) butterfly for the past 36 years. He nearly always wins himself (but had a …
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