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Stories by Susannah F. Locke37 articles archived since 1845

Exoplanet orbiting red giant gives hints of Earth's future

Astronomers have discovered a new planet in another solar system orbiting a red giant star that provides clues into what may happen to our own solar system five billion years from now when our own, younger sun becomes a gigantic old star. 

The exoplanet (a planet in another solar system) is about six times the mass of Jupiter and orbits about 40 percent closer to its star, dubbed HD 102272, than Earth does around the sun.

December 2, 2008 — Susannah F. Locke

How did turtles get their shells?

Ever wonder how a turtle got its shell? You're not the only one. Evolutionary biologists and paleontologists have long been stumped by the question. But a recently unearthed turtle fossil, the oldest on record, may hold the answer.

November 26, 2008 — Susannah F. Locke

Smut spammer ordered to pay Facebook record $873 million

The never-ending war against spam scored a rare victory recently when a federal judge in San Jose, California ordered a prolific spammer to pay Facebook a whopping $873 million in damages for unleashing a torrent of unsavory messages on the social network's members.

November 25, 2008 — Susannah F. Locke

Ocean turning to acid at lightning speed

Increased carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is making the Pacific coast acidic far more rapidly than previously believed, potentially wreaking havoc for creatures living in it that are unable to tolerate the swiftly changing environment.  

Ecologists at the University of Chicago tracked the acidity of the Pacific off an island close to Washington state over the course of eight years.

November 24, 2008 — Susannah F. Locke

Troubled waters: striped bass moms pass on harmful pollutants to babies

The striped bass population in San Francisco Bay has been plummeting since the 1970s and now scientists know why: fish moms are passing down damaging pollutants in the water to their young, according to a new study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences .

November 24, 2008 — Susannah F. Locke

Pygmy tarsier, a tiny primate, rediscovered in Indonesia

The tiny Furby-like pygmy tarsier, presumed to be extinct, was found during a recent expedition to Indonesia. And the cuddly, huge-eyed nocturnal critter is the very definition of cute.

November 19, 2008 — Susannah F. Locke

Cancer drug cures Type 1 diabetes in mice

A new study shows that the cancer drugs imatinib (also known as Gleevec by Novartis) and sunitinib (Sutent, made by Pfizer) halt diabetes in mice.

A team from the University of California, San Francisco and Berkeley-based drug maker Plexxikon found that most of the mice manipulated to have Type 1 diabetes no longer had diabetes symptoms after just a few weeks on either of the two drugs.

November 17, 2008 — Susannah F. Locke

Dancing with the robots: Austrian hexapods

Move over, HAL, there's an entire brigade of rock 'em, sock 'em robots in town. They're dexterous, graceful, and they can . . . dance ?

This hot YouTube video features a bunch of hexapods (six-legged robots) getting down to the beat with choreographed bounces, splits and shimmies for the third annual hexapod robot dance contest.

November 17, 2008 — Susannah F. Locke

How bleach kills germs

Bleach is the king of microbe killers, but before now no one knew quite why. Researchers report today in the journal Cell that bleach – like heat – kills bacteria by making proteins fall apart.

November 13, 2008 — Susannah F. Locke

India's Chandrayaan 1 enters lunar orbit

The Indian space probe Chandrayaan 1 adjusted its orbit around the moon in one of its final maneuvers before releasing a lunar impactor.

Chandrayaan 1 entered into an elliptical orbit around the moon on Saturday, 17 days after blasting off from Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota.

November 10, 2008 — Susannah F. Locke

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