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Monday, Jul 28th

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Antarctic Lake Vostok buried under two miles of ice found to teem with life

Life under Antarctic lakeAnalysis of ice cores obtained from the basin of Lake Vostok, the subglacial lake that Russian scientists drilled down to in 2012, have revealed DNA from an estimated 3,507 organisms.

While the majority were found to be bacteria, many of which were new to science, there were also other single celled organisms and multicellular organisms found, including from fungi.

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UK astronomers to co-ordinate their search for alien signals

SETIBritish scientists are to make a concerted effort to look for alien life among the stars. Academics from 11 institutions have set up a network to co-ordinate their Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (Seti).

The English Astronomer Royal, Sir Martin Rees, will act as patron. The group is asking funding agencies for a small - about £1m a year - sum of money to support listening time on radio telescopes and for data analysis.

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'Invisibility cloak' pioneer John Pendry scoops Newton Medal

Jjohn PendryThe physicist who proposed the idea of an "invisibility cloak" has received the Newton Medal, the highest honour of the UK's Institute of Physics (IoP). Imperial College London's Prof Sir John Pendry was cited "for his seminal contributions to surface science, disordered systems and photonics".

But his work on cloaking and "metamaterials" is arguably his most famous and potentially transformative. IoP president Peter Knight called the award "our most important medal".

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NIH to retire most chimps from medical research

Medical chimpsThe government is about to retire most of the chimpanzees who've spent their lives in U.S. research labs.

The National Institutes of Health said Wednesday that it will retire about 310 chimps from medical research over the next few years, saying humans' closest relatives "deserve special respect."

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NASA finds “unprecedented” black hole cluster near Andromeda’s central bulg

black hole clusterNASA has discovered an unprecedentedly large cluster of black holes in our nearest galactic neighbor, Andromeda.

The 26 black hole candidates were spotted with the Chandra X-ray Observatory, which made more than 150 observations spread over 13 years.

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Arc protein 'could be key to memory loss', says study

Memory proteinScientists have discovered more about the role of an important brain protein which is instrumental in translating learning into long-term memories.

Writing in Nature Neuroscience, they said further research into the Arc protein's role could help in finding new ways to fight neurological diseases.

The same protein may also be a factor in autism, the study said. Recent research found Arc lacking in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

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US management of wild horses flawed, scientific report finds

Wild horse roundupA federal agency working to rein in the population of wild horses in the West should rely more on fertility control than roundups because it would be more effective, a National Academy of Sciences review said on Wednesday.

The critique of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) handling of 37,300 free-ranging horses and burros also faulted the agency for a lack of transparency and public involvement in key decisions about the federally protected animals.

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