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Specialized Cells Host A Hitherto Unknown Cleansing System

Specialized Cells Host A Hitherto Unknown Cleansing System

The brain is a self-cleaning machine. A previously unknown plumbing system blasts out waste by flushing it with the brain’s cleaning solution — cerebrospinal fluid. Jeffrey Iliff of the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York and his colleagues watched cerebrospinal fluid flowing through the brains of living mice using an advanced imaging technique [...]

Stars Form Fast Thanks To Snoozing Black Hole

Stars Form Fast Thanks To Snoozing Black Hole

Nearly 6 billion light-years away, one of the most massive galaxy clusters ever seen is birthing stars at an incredible rate, with its central member producing more than 700 suns per year in its cold, cold heart. “It should be producing less than one, and it’s producing 740,” says Michael McDonald of MIT, coauthor of [...]

Scientists Scurry to Figure Out The Status Of Glaciers On The Roof Of The World

Scientists Scurry to Figure Out The Status Of Glaciers On The Roof Of The World

The Himalayas have gotten hot. Mercury in this mountainous region has been climbing, with more warming there in recent decades than in most other places on Earth. “Temperatures are rising fast at high elevations,” says David Molden, director general of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development in Kathmandu, Nepal. But the heat-up isn’t limited [...]

Alien-Life Hunters Focus on Moons in Outer Solar System

Alien-Life Hunters Focus on Moons in Outer Solar System

The solar system’s spotted bully and its ringed sidekick are holding some tantalizing treasures in their gravitational clutches. Circling Jupiter and Saturn are more than a hundred moons, including some of the most promising hosts for extraterrestrial life in the solar system. But not every one of these moons is an equal opportunity extraterrestrial petri [...]

Rover Sets Down in Complex Maneuver

Rover Sets Down in Complex Maneuver

Curiosity has phoned home from the dusty surface of Mars. Radio signals and images received at 10:32 p.m. PDT on August 5 by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory confirm that the rover has reached Mars’ Gale Crater, Curiosity’s intended destination after an 8.5-month journey of 567 million kilometers. Scientists and engineers packed into the JPL mission [...]

Days Before Curiosity’s Planned Martian Landing

Days Before Curiosity’s Planned Martian Landing

Though nearly empty Thursday afternoon, mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratorywill be packed with more than 100 people when the Mars rover Curiosity is set to touch down this Sunday, August 5. But for now, the control room is quiet, illuminated by a dim, soothing blue light. Data and images flash across the enormous screens [...]

The Lab Head Speaks Days Before The Mars Science Laboratory’s Scheduled Landing

The Lab Head Speaks Days Before The Mars Science Laboratory’s Scheduled Landing

Charles Elachi is busy this Friday morning. It’s three days before the Curiosity rover is set to land on Mars, and the director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is cheerfully making tracks between a NASA social media event and his office on JPL’s campus. Elachi has been at JPL for 42 years: He came to Caltech [...]

Mars Mission Will Probe Red Planet’s Past, Present

Mars Mission Will Probe Red Planet’s Past, Present

If, late in the evening of August 5, NASA’s Curiosity rover survives what might be the most daring interplanetary touchdown in history, the six-wheeled robot will find itself in a dramatic landscape ripe with research opportunities: Gale Crater, an enormous basin with a 5-kilometer-tall mountain in the middle, called Mount Sharp. There, Curiosity will look [...]

Blowing Air Through A Pachyderm’s Larynx Offers Hints To Low-Frequency Communication

Blowing Air Through A Pachyderm’s Larynx Offers Hints To Low-Frequency Communication

Elephants don’t purr so much as sing when they unleash low-frequency rumblings at friends and foes kilometers away. Too low for humans to hear, the infrasonic components of elephants’ calls have at times been attributed to a process similar to a cat’s contented thrum. But new measurements made by blowing air through the voice box, [...]

Residents Of Two Peruvian Communities Appear To Have Survived Infection

Residents Of Two Peruvian Communities Appear To Have Survived Infection

Some people living in a vampire bat–ridden part of the Peruvian Amazon seem to have developed natural resistance to the rabies virus. “Why these individuals don’t die is very intriguing,” says CDC disease ecologist Amy Gilbert, who led a study by researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Peruvian Ministry [...]

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