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West Coast's Early Warning System For Quakes Still Spotty

Japan already relies on a system that helps prevent industrial accidents and train derailments by sending warnings as much as a minute before the ground starts shaking. That much time could save lives after a major earthquake in California, but seismologists say a prototype system there lacks funding and has big gaps.

Experimental Tool Uses Light To Tweak The Living Brain

An experimental technique called optogenetics is starting to change the way researchers look at the brain. The tool allows them to switch entire brain circuits on and off using light, and may help figure out what's going wrong in brain ailments from epilepsy to depression.

With National Treasures At Risk, D.C. Fights Against Flooding

Since Superstorm Sandy, officials in Washington, D.C., have gotten a clear idea of what would happen in a worst-case storm scenario. Key government buildings and tourist sites like the Smithsonian museums are particularly vulnerable to flooding. So federal and local officials are taking steps to protect them.

Are We Genetically Inclined To Be Materialistic?

People tend to hate to lose stuff they already own. This trait, known as the endowment effect, is likely handed down to us by evolution, since it is visible cross-culturally as well as in non-human primates. However, new research suggests certain cultures place a brake on this evolutionary trait, whereas capitalistic societies put it on steroids.

Supercamera: More Pixels Than You Know What To Do With

Scientists are developing new gigapixel cameras that take extremely high-resolution images with astonishing detail. Who needs to see the world with this kind of super-eye?
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Johns Hopkins Physician On 'Nature' List Of 10 People Who Mattered

Dr. Deborah Persaud, a virologist at Johns Hopkins Children's Center, was recognized for her research into curing infants born with HIV.

More People Have More To Eat, But It's Not All Good News

In 1965, a majority of the world survived on less than 2,000 calories a day per person. Now, 61 percent of people worldwide have access to 2,500 or more calories each day.

Diabetes Gene Common In Latinos Has Ancient Roots

Scientists have found a gene that helps to explain why Mexicans are prone to Type 2 diabetes. The disease gene, like many others we humans carry, dates back to the time when humans and Neanderthals had sex thousands of years ago.

Beyond Cuteness: Scientists Deliver A Panda Baby Boom

Forty-two of the 49 panda cubs born in captivity in 2013 have survived — a record number that says a lot about how far captive breeding programs have come. But while captive pandas are faring well, panda researchers warn that much more needs to be done to protect the wild population.

Space Station Gets Fixed In Christmas Eve Space Walk

Astronauts went on a space walk to fix a broken cooling system aboard the International Space Station on Tuesday. A pump that sends coolant through the system broke earlier this month. It's a critical element and it had to be repaired for the space station to resume normal operations.