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No Sweat: First Half of 2012 Is U.S.'s Warmest

It won't be a news flash for the 250 million sweltering Americans east of the Rockies, but the first half of the year has been the USA's warmest on record, federal climate scientists announced Monday. Twenty-eight states and more than 100 cities have posted their warmest first six months, based on national weather data that go back to 1895, according to the report from NOAA's National Climatic...

Ocean Acidity Becomes Major Threat to Coral Reefs

Oceans' rising acid levels have emerged as one of the biggest threats to coral reefs, acting as the "osteoporosis of the sea" and threatening everything from food security to tourism to livelihoods, the head of a U.S. scientific agency said Monday. The speed by which the oceans' acid levels has risen caught scientists off-guard, with the problem now considered to be climate change's "equally...

Chrome Beta gets built-in webcam and microphone support

(Phys.org) -- A Google company blog announcement this week announced the Google Chrome Beta (of Chrome 21) and all that it brings, namely fresh ways to grant Web applications access to your camera and microphone within the browser without having to deal with plug-ins. Users can forgo having to deal with Adobe Flash and Silverlight for using the webcam in the browser. Google software engineer...

Hubble telescope unmasks ghost galaxies

Astronomers have used Hubble Space Telescope to study some of the smallest and faintest galaxies in our cosmic neighbourhood. These galaxies are fossils of the early Universe: they have barely changed for 13 billion years. The discovery could help explain the so-called “missing satellite” problem, where only a handful of satellite galaxies have been found around the Milky Way, against...

NASA's Mars chief frets over heat shield

With weeks to go until its latest mission is due to arrive on the Red Planet, the head of NASA's Mars Exploration Program says his biggest worry is that the spacecraft's heat shield will not detach as planned.

Researchers unravel secrets of parasites' replication

A group of diseases that kill millions of people each year can't be touched by antibiotics, and some treatment is so harsh the patient can't survive it. They're caused by parasites, and for decades researchers have searched for a "magic bullet" to kill them without harming the patient. Now, a team of microbiologists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has made an advance that could one day...

Toward achieving one million times increase in computing efficiency

Modern-day computers are based on logic circuits using semiconductor transistors. To increase computing power, smaller transistors are required. Moore's Law states that the number of transistors that can fit on an integrated circuit should double every two years due to scaling. But as transistors reach atomic dimensions, achieving this feat is becoming increasingly difficult. Among the most...

Waste to watts: Improving microbial fuel cells

Some of the planet's tiniest inhabitants may help address two of society's biggest environmental challenges: how to deal with the vast quantities of organic waste produced and where to find clean, renewable energy.

Secrets of parasites' replication unraveled

A group of diseases that kill millions of people each year can't be touched by antibiotics, and some treatment is so harsh the patient can't survive it. They're caused by parasites, and for decades researchers have searched for a "magic bullet" to kill them without harming the patient. Now microbiologists report the first detailed characterization of the way key proteins in the model parasite...

Caribbean Crustacean Named for Bob Marley

The late Jamaican musician Bob Marley has joined the "I have a species named after me" club, as a parasitic crustacean has been donned Gnathia marleyi, researchers announced today (July...