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Nobel medicine laureate Levi-Montalcini dies aged 103

Nobel medicine laureate Rita Levi-Montalcini, a neurologist and developmental biologist, died on Sunday at her home in Rome aged 103. She was the oldest living Nobel laureate at the time of her death. Levi-Montalcini shared the prize with colleague Stanley Cohen in 1986 for their ground-breaking discovery of growth factors.…

What to expect from Science in 2013

It is customary to look back at the end of the year, but we can also look ahead to what to expect in 2013 Over the festive period, I ended up watching “Most Shocking Celebrity Moments of 2012“. I didn’t want to, it’s not something I’d ever watch normally, but…

Why don’t more girls study physics?

Almost half of Britain’s co-ed schools have no female students taking A-level physics, but one London school is showing how it is possible to buck the trend. Alice Williams is 16, and her eyes are gleaming. As she speaks, her face grows pink with excitement and her hands wave around…

How NASA gave us the images that shine new light on Earth – and beyond

It’s 50 years since the first interplanetary probe, and this year’s stunning pictures from across the solar system show how far space technology has come This image gives us an unprecedented view of Earth at night. Ribbons of light from cities stretch across the shadows of the world’s great land…

Scientists pinpoint elusive itch nerves: study

A debate over the nature of itchiness has come closer to an answer, reported LiveScience. A study published in Nature Neuroscience found specific nerve cells that detect itchy sensations but do not also detect pain, helping to answer the question of whether itchiness is just a kind of pain. Some…

Light-powered magnetic levitation could create ‘new class’ of solar energy

In a breakthrough that could one day revolutionize transportation and electricity generation, scientists at the University in Kanagawa in Japan demonstrated this month a disc that spins at over 200 rotations per minute when placed over a magnet in direct sunlight, saying the discovery could help create a wholly “new…

Rebirth of the Viking warship that may have helped conquer the seas

When the sleek, beautiful silhouette of Roskilde 6 appeared on the horizon, 1,000 years ago, it was very bad news. The ship was part of a fleet carrying an army of hungry, thirsty warriors, muscles toned by rowing and sailing across the North Sea; a war machine like nothing else…

Earth’s twin will be discovered in 2013, astronomers predict

Humanity is likely to discover its first truly Earth-like planet in 2013, according to the director of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory of the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo. “I’m very positive that the first Earth twin will be discovered next year,” Abel Mendez told Space.com. Mendez is leading the…

British scientists abandon plan to drill for 2-mile deep Arctic lake

British scientists halt project to take samples from lake entombed under 3km of ice after drilling fails to go according to plan An ambitious plan by a team of British scientists at the Antarctic to look for life in a lake buried under almost 2 miles of ice was abandoned this week,…

Higgs boson theorist criticizes Richard Dawkins over anti-religious ‘fundamentalism’

Higgs boson theorist says he agrees with those who find Dawkins’ approach to dealing with believers ‘embarrassing’ As public disagreements go, few can have boasted such heavy-hitting antagonists. On one side is Richard Dawkins, the celebrated biologist who has made a second career demonstrating his epic disdain for religion. On…

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