28 July 2010

Links: Smart Tortoises, Distant Planets, AIDS Research

Once a week, eventually every Saturday, we will find a few news stories so you can learn about the newest in science from the source without having to deal with our writing. Well… much of it.

First up, is one of the blogs from scienceblogs.com, which inspired some of what we are doing. It is a long read, but if you wonder how tortoises learn, it's worth a look.

The Thoughtful Animal at Scienceblogs.com

Next is something extra interesting for me. I have been keeping an eye on the Kepler Mission since it launched a year and a half ago. It is a telescope used to look for planets around other stars. Way back in high school I wrote my senior thesis on finding extraterrestrial life. I think I will use a post to write about that topic pretty soon. The Kepler Mission is the biggest leap in that area in 30 years, so I have been waiting for the results. The first batch of data was collected in January, and was scheduled to be made public next January, but apparently someone couldn't wait and "leaked" some of the results during a talk in the UK. They are very interesting and look like the first step in proving what astronomers have suspected for years. Planets like Earth may be very common in the galaxy.

Discovery News: Kepler Scientist: "Galaxy is rich in Earth-like planets"

Finally, quite a bit of news on AIDS research in the past couple days. The first link looks like an early step to a breakthrough, but is still some time off. The second link is something more immediate, but the article is largely focused on the controversial aspects. Take a look.

Singularity Hub: Antibody Neutralizes 91% of HIV Strains  
New York Times: Advance in AIDS Raises Questions as Well as Joy

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