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VLT looks into the eyes of the virgin

ESO's Very Large Telescope has taken a striking image of a beautiful yet peculiar pair of galaxies nicknamed The Eyes. The larger of these, NGC 4438, was once a spiral galaxy but has become badly deformed by collisions with other galaxies in the last few hundred million years. This picture is the first to come out of ESO's Cosmic Gems programme, an initiative in which ESO has granted dedicated...

Quake rattles nerves but infrastructure holds up (AP)

AP - Stones, tiles and plaster came crashing down from landmarks around Washington, D.C., and a nearby nuclear power plant shut down during Tuesday's surprisingly strong earthquake that rattled buildings over hundreds of miles along the East Coast. The region's infrastructure and communications networks were tested and generally appeared to have held up well.

Wild world: Millions of unseen species fill Earth (AP)

AP - Our world is a much wilder place than it looks. A new study estimates that Earth has almost 8.8 million species, but we've only discovered about a quarter of them. And some of the yet-to-be-seen ones could be in our own backyards, scientists...

East vs. West quakes: Way different creatures (AP)

AP - The East Coast doesn't get earthquakes often but when they do strike, there's a whole lot more shaking going on. The ground in the East is older, colder and more intact than the West Coast or the famous Pacific Ring of Fire. So East Coast quakes rattle an area up to 10 times larger than a similar-sized West Coast...

Hurricane Irene Heading Toward North Carolina Four Months After Tornado (ContributorNetwork)

ContributorNetwork - FIRST PERSON | SANFORD, N.C. -- As I write this story, I am watching the local news, which has been tightly focused on Hurricane Irene's steady approach toward North Carolina. I grew up in Virginia and attended graduate school in South Carolina, so I've seen my share of hurricanes. One thing I've noticed is that hurricanes seem particularly fond of hitting North Carolina. I...

Physicians' exposure to radiation prompt cellular changes that may protect the body from harm

Cardiologists who perform heart operations using X-ray guided catheters are exposed to ionizing radiation at levels two to three times higher per year than those experienced by radiologists. Now, new research has found the first evidence that these constant, high levels of exposure cause changes at cell level that might represent the body's way of protecting itself against the harmful effects of...

Prolonged breastfeeding does not protect against eczema, global study shows

The largest worldwide study on the association between breastfeeding, time of weaning and eczema in children has concluded that there is no clear evidence that exclusive breastfeeding for four months or longer protects against childhood eczema. The study concludes that children who were exclusively breastfed for four months or longer were as likely to develop eczema as children who were weaned...