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A tiny box orbiting Earth is sending home big data. Built mostly by undergraduate students for less than US$1.5 million, the 10 centimetre × 10 cm × 30 cm satellite, called Firefly, is now beaming back information on terrestrial gamma-ray flashes — energetic bursts that are triggered by lightning and fired out into space.
Firefly is part of a growing band of mini satellites known as CubeSats that are now coming into their scientific own. Thanks to cheap parts and free launches, CubeSat launches are booming.
www.nature.com/news/mini-satellites-prove-their-scientific-power-1.15051?WT.mc_id=GPL_NatureNews
Proliferation of ‘CubeSats’ offers fresh and fast way to gather space data.
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Is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) losing steam? It is tackling a global problem that remains as urgent as ever. But the expert body’s latest report, released on 13 April and focused on mitigation, has left many climate experts and policy analysts unsatisfied.
"The big-picture stuff is not very helpful for decision-makers in specific countries, and it is pretty much useless for the international climate-negotiation process.”
www.nature.com/news/ipcc-report-under-fire-1.15054?WT.mc_id=GPL_NatureNews
Critics attack panel’s lack of specific guidance on how countries should lower emissions.
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The rebel scientist James Lovelock -- who is the subject of a new exhibition that opened at the Science Museum in London last week -- talked to Nature about the legacy of the Gaia Hypothesis, his views on climate change, whether peer review is necessary, and more.
www.nature.com/news/james-lovelock-reflects-on-gaia-s-legacy-1.15017?WT.mc_id=GPL_NatureNews  Nature also reviewed his latest book, a Rough Guide to the Future, here:
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v508/n7494/full/508041a.html?WT.mc_id=GPL_NatureNews
Scientist who features in an exhibition opening today in London, talks about Gaia, climate change and whether peer review is necessary.
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The Cherenkov Telescope Array is a planned array of 120 telescopes to be distributed over two sites, one in the northern and one in the southern hemisphere. But the process of selecting the sites is drawing on for longer than expected.
http://blogs.nature.com/news/2014/04/shorter-list-for-gamma-ray-telescope-sites-but-no-home-yet.html?WT.mc_id=GPL_NatureNews
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Although Mars's topography indicates that liquid water has flooded the planet in the distant past, evidence increasingly suggests that those episodes reflect occasional warm spells, not a consistently hospitable phase of the planet’s history.
www.nature.com/news/ancient-mars-probably-too-cold-for-liquid-water-1.15042?WT.mc_id=GPL_NatureNews
Planet’s atmosphere was too thin to keep its surface consistently warm, analysis suggests.
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Global warming. Damn that Bush.
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Three decades after wrestling to lower the cost of AIDS drugs (prices fell from about US$10,000 per patient per year in the 1990s to less than $100 in the mid-2000s), public-health advocates are once again asking how expensive life-saving medicines can be made affordable for patients.
http://www.nature.com/news/hepatitis-c-drugs-not-reaching-poor-1.15053?WT.mc_id=GPL_NatureNews
Treatment guidelines for virus highlight challenge of paying for expensive drugs in low-income countries.
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As researchers continue to struggle trying to reproduce a sensational method for creating stem cells, some have begun to wonder whether we will ever have complete clarity. “I would not be surprised if stress-induced reprogramming ends up being partially reproducible — an extremely rare and fickle process,” says one expert. “If this is the case, it may become increasingly difficult to determine exactly what was right in the original papers.”
www.nature.com/news/biologist-defiant-over-stem-cell-method-1.15055?WT.mc_id=GPL_NatureNews
Japanese author of controversial papers denies wrongdoing and stands by results as testing of her protocol begins.
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Trauma not only increases a person’s risk for psychiatric disorders, but can also spill over into the next generation. Its impact comes partly from social factors, such as its influence on how parents interact with their children, but also via ‘epigenetic marks’ — chemical changes that affect how DNA is expressed without altering its sequence. A new study found stress in early life alters the production of small RNAs, called microRNAs, in the sperm of mice, and the mice show depressive behaviours that persist in their progeny.
www.nature.com/news/sperm-rna-carries-marks-of-trauma-1.15049?WT.mc_id=GPL_NatureNews
Stress alters the expression of small RNAs in male mice and leads to depressive behaviours in later generations.
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Ricardo Neves's profile photoChrista Rudd's profile photoKaren M. W.'s profile photoDIANA YEDID's profile photo
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There is a "I'm gonna hit you so hard your sperm is gonna hurt" joke just waiting to happen there.
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“A high-speed mitigation train needs to leave the station soon and all of global society needs to get on board.”
The IPCC released its latest report yesterday. The short version: act now, or pay a dear price later. 
http://blogs.nature.com/news/2014/04/ipcc-report-calls-for-climate-mitigation-action-now-not-later.html?WT.mc_id=GPL_NatureNews
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Bill DeWitt's profile photoEd Eaglehouse's profile photoDaniel Junior's profile photoSeiichi KASAMA's profile photo
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+Ed Eaglehouse for what obstruction to a progress that bears no clear vision of the situation is more valuable than a blind emotional support
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Steve Horvath has created an algorithm based on epigenetic markers that provides a remarkably accurate age estimate — not of the cells, but of the person the cells inhabit. He has done so after collecting and analyzing 13,000 human tissue samples, to fulfill a pledge he made as a teenager: “to use mathematical modelling and gene networks to understand how to extend life”.
www.nature.com/news/biomarkers-and-ageing-the-clock-watcher-1.15014?WT.mc_id=GPL_NatureNews
Biomathematician Steve Horvath has discovered a strikingly accurate way to measure human ageing through epigenetic signatures.
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Science and technology news and comment from Nature magazine.
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Science and technology news and comment from Nature, the international weekly journal of science.