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Could Life Exist on Newfound Alien Planet?

In a paper to be published in Astronomy & Astrophysics, researchers identified five possible planets around the star Tau Ceti. One of these alien worlds is within the star's habitable zone. Study co-author Steven Vogt discusses whether life could exist on the planet.
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Debunking Doomsday And Exploring Maya Science

The ancient Maya had many scientific accomplishments: they tracked the Moon and the planets, knew a solar year was 365 days, and even invented the concept of zero. As for the 2012 apocalypse? It's simply a misinterpretation of the Maya calendar, say archaeologists Marcello Canuto and William Saturno.
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Stem Cells Treat Lou Gehrig's Disease, In Mice

Reporting in Science Translational Medicine, researchers write that neural stem cell implants were able to slow the onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease, in mice. Study author Evan Snyder discusses the stem cells' protective effect, and why human trials may not be far behind.
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The SciFri Book Club Tours 'The Planets'

The SciFri Book Club is touring the solar system, with Dava Sobel's 2005 The Planets. Call in with a review of the book. Plus Jim Green, director of planetary science at NASA, joins the club to give an update on what's happened planet-wise since the book was published.
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Birding for the Holidays

The Audubon's 113th Christmas Bird Count is underway, and thousands of volunteers are taking part this year. Ornithologist David Bonter, and Gary Langham, Audubon's chief scientist, share tips on which species to look out for, and how even birding beginners can get involved.
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Why Some Kids Have An Inflated Sense Of Their Science Skills

A massive analysis of some 350,000 students in 53 countries has uncovered a paradox: Students in many countries that are mediocre at science have an inflated sense of good they are.
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Drought, Economics And Your Holiday Feast

The Great Drought of 2012 dominated headlines this summer, but so far, it has not had a major impact on the prices of food on your holiday table, except the dairy products. That prime rib is more expensive for other reasons.
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Big Food And The Big, Silent Salt Experiment

Food manufacturers have been quietly reducing sodium by tiny amounts in popular foods like crackers for years now. That's because if products are marked "low sodium," consumers won't buy them. But companies are also working on ways to deliver more salt taste with less sodium.
NPR

In Calif. Gold Country, A Rush That's Out Of This World

When a meteorite crashed down in April on the exact spot where gold was discovered in 1848, professional and amateur meteorite hunters alike fanned out to collect small chunks. Now more than 50 scientists have published an analysis of the rare space rock.

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