May. 15th, 2009

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First comprehensive geological Arctic map published

Canada has unveiled the first comprehensive Arctic atlas, detailing geological features that point to where oil and gas, gold and diamond deposits are likely hidden beneath snow and ice.
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New weapon turns fire ants into headless zombies -

Fire ants are estimated to be costing the Texas economy as much as $1 billion annually, so the state is introducing the four species of the phorid fly, a natural predator of the fire ant, to keep their numbers in check. The fly lays eggs on the fire and that hatch, enter the ant, eat its brain, then emerge as adult flies when the ant's head falls off. The ant apparently spends two weeks wandering around as a zombie while the phorid maggot consumes its brain.
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Molecule of life emerges from laboratory slime - life - 13 May 2009 - New Scientist

University of California researchers have succeeded in generating two components of RNA using conditions believed to be present on early Earth. This accomplishment is an important step in understanding how life was formed on Earth. If the method is an accurate representation of how RNA was initially formed, it means that life emerged in warm ponds rather than a submarine vent because a strong source of UV was required as part of the process.
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Technology Review: Blogs: arXiv blog: Could All Particles Be Mini Black Holes?

Two physicists in California suggest that if gravity is strong at the Plank scale then, according to string theory, all particles may actually be different types of stabilized black holes.

January 2010

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