This Week in Science and Technology

High School Student Discovers Skeleton of Baby Dinosaur

Announced by the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology at The Webb Schools this week, the smallest, youngest and most complete fossil skeleton of Parasaurolophus to date was discovered by a high school student. Three-dimensional scans of almost the entire fossil are available to the public online. Nicknamed “Joe,” the fossil is the most digitally-accessible dinosaur to exist.

Link: http://sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131022091759.htm

http://dinosaurjoe.org

Mind-Reading Technology Advances

A computer at UC Berkeley was trained to decrypt brain scans using algorithms. The computer was shown patterns of brain activity produced from various images and film clips. As it learns, it can view brain scans and correctly associate them with words describing what the participant is seeing.

 Links: http://scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=mind-reading-technology-speeds-ahead

Solar System With Seven Planets Discovered

Found by two independent teams of astronomers, KIC 11442793 sets the record for most planets orbiting around a sun other than our own. The system is located 2,500 light years from Earth. Much like the planets of our own solar system, the seven planets grow larger as the distance from their star increases; however, the system is much more compact than ours. Its furthest planet orbits at the distance Earth circles the Sun.

Link: https://sciencenews.org/blog/science-ticker/solar-system-seven-planets-discovered

Largest Alzheimer’s study reveals new associated genes

In the largest study of its kind ever conducted on Alzheimer’s disease, the International Genomic Alzheimer’s Project found 11 new regions of the human genome that were shown to be involved in developing the disease. The unique worldwide effort allowed for collaboration among 15 countries and interpreting the genetic data of 74,076 patients.

Link: http://sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131027185319.htm

 Money grows on trees

In a study published in the journal Nature Communications, Australian scientists have discovered gold present in the leaves of some plants, indicating deposits buried many meters below. The researchers believe this will create a new way to find the precious metal in challenging locations.

Link: http://bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24628241

Light from farthest galaxy yet discovered reaches Earth

Researchers from the University of Texas in Austin have found a galaxy, called z8_GND_5269, 9 billion light years from our planet. It formed only 700 million years after the Big Bang, making it the closest yet observed galaxy to the era of the cosmic “dark ages.”

Link: http://nature.com/news/light-from-farthest-galaxy-yet-discovered-breaks-through-cosmic-fog-1.14017

Single electrons make waves

Researchers at the CEA Saclay nuclear research center have successfully lifted a single charged particle from a sea of electrons in a nanoscale circuit, creating an individual electron wave. This accomplishment may allow single electrons to carry quantum information.

Link: http://nature.com/news/single-electrons-make-waves-1.14015

 

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