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November 2007
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The Galaxy's "Most Popular" of 2007

The posts below were among the most popular of '07 and syndicated on Reuters News or featured on Digg.

Slowtime_neo_2_2 Does Time Slow Down in a Crisis?

Double_helix_nebula_2_3_3 MIT Asks: How Would Extraterrestrial Astronomers Study Earth?

Volcano_3 The Day the Seas Died: What Can the Greatest of All Extinction Events Teach Us About Climate Change?

Prehistoric_cave_art 500 Billion Tons of Prehistoric Organic Matter May Massively Accelerate Global Warming€™

Google_satellite Orbiting Eyes -Five Things You Didn't Know Satellites Are Doing

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NASA Images Reveals a "Doorway" Structure

Mars_doorway There is a strange door-like structure at the base of the mountain formation from a NASA image of that is causing a stir. The first person to notice it wasn’t a NASA scientist, however, but rather a Russian reader of the portal R&D.Cnews, Alexander Novgorodov. Taking a closer look at an image taken by the spacecraft Reconnaissance Orbiter, he noticed an unusual morphology, which looks strikingly like a manmade doorway.

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Are There Really 'Continents' of Floating Garbage?

Trashpattern_2Since stories have started surfacing more recently, many have wondered, if the rumors are true. Are there really 'continents', or massive
floating garbage patches residing in the pacific ocean? Apparently, the rumors are true, and these unsightly patches are reportedly
killing marine life and releasing poisons that enter the human food chain, as well. However, before you start imagining a plastic version of Maui, keep in mind that these plastic patches certainly aren'tsolid surfaced islands that you could build a house on! Ocean currents have collected massive amounts of garbage into a sort of plastic "soup" where countless bits of discarded plastic float intertwined just beneath the surface. Indeed, the human race has really made its mark. One enormous plastic patch is estimated to weigh over 3 million tons altogether and cover an area roughly twice the size of Texas.

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Asteroid on Target for Mars: Impact May Solve Mysteries

Mars_asteroid Ten days ago it was reported that there was a small chance of us witnessing an asteroid collision with Mars. According to NASA's Near-Earth Object Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., asteroid 2007 WD5 was on a trajectory to intersect with sometime this coming January.

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Justice at Sea: Can Dolphins & Whales Sue?

Twodolphins Can dolphins sue a Japanese Firm? A legal debate is brewing in the Philippines where two lawyers are acting in behalf of resident sea mammals. The “petitioners” include “toothed whales, dolphins, porpoises and other cetacean species” whose habitat has been disturbed by underwater blasting and drilling from a Japanese oil exploration firm.

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The 'Myth' of Fossil Fuels -The Deep, Hot

Deep__2 "No scientific subject holds more surprises for us than biology."

Freeman Dyson -Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton

Cornell University Professor Emeritus Thomas Gold, who for 20 years directed the Cornell Center for Radiophysics and Space Research, proposes the striking and controversial theory that "a full functioning... , feeding on hydrocarbons, exists deep within the earth, and that a primordial source of hydrocarbons lies even deeper."

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Earth's Weather: The Clue to Identifying Habitable Planets

Weather_panorama_2During the past two decades, astronomers have found more than 240 planets, none likely to support Earth-like life.

In a follow up to our recent post "MIT Asks: Could Extraterrestrial Astronomers Detect Life on Earth," Eric Ford, an assistant professor of astronomy at the University of Florida asks: what if aliens were hunting life outside their own planet? Armed with telescopes only a bit bigger and more powerful than our own, could they peer through the vastness of space and zero in on Earth as a likely home to life?

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Oldest Human Powered Means of Transport: Bone Skates

Reindeer Going ice-skating this winter? If so, you will be participating in the oldest known human powered means of transport. But hopefully you’ll be using more updated equipment then our ancient forebears enjoyed. Archaeological evidence shows that bone skates (skates made of animal bones) are the oldest human powered means of transport, dating back to 3000 BC. Most likely when an ancient Finn glided along on his rugged homemade bone skates, he never imagined his clever innovation was destined to evolve into a precise, competitive winter sport and art-form beloved the world over.

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Nobel Prize Winner Creates New Microscope That Can Take 4-D 'Movies' of Molecules

4d_images_3 In what will be a great boon to the fields of chemistry, biology, and physics among others sciences, a unique electron microscope has been developed that can create four-dimensional “movies” of actual molecules. This laser-lined ultrafast electron microscope is located at California Institute of Technology, and is the world’s first and only microscope that can perform such a feat, according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News. Scientists used to have to rely on models and representations for such images, but can now see actual pictures showing exactly what molecules, cells, and proteins really look like and how they move and interact.

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