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24-Jul-2014 19:07
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News and Features

Key: Meeting M      Journal J      Funder F

Feature Story
Earth's disappearing animals
This week, a special issue of Science highlights humans' role in the recent extinctions of many species. There have been five mass extinction events on Earth, documented by the fossil record, and researchers say that the planet is currently in the midst of a 'sixth extinction wave.'

Contact: Science Press Package
American Association for the Advancement of Science

Feature Story
How long do stars last?
Imagine how strange it would be if members of your family aged at different rates. If your brother or sister looked like they were 70 years old, but your grandparents still looked as young as teenagers. This would be very unusual for people but it is really common for stars. All stars age at different rates, depending on how massive they are at the start their lives!

Contact: Sarah Eve Roberts
Leiden University

Breaking News
Smarter than a first-grader?
In Aesop's fable about the crow and the pitcher, a thirsty bird happens upon a vessel of water, but when he tries to drink from it, he finds the water level out of his reach. Not strong enough to knock over the pitcher, the bird drops pebbles into it -- one at a time -- until the water level rises enough for him to drink his fill.

Contact: Andrea Estrada
University of California - Santa Barbara

Feature Story
NJIT wins the New Jersey Apps Challenge
A mobile app created by NJIT students that gives middle and high school basketball teams a searchable database of performance statistics is the winner of the New Jersey Apps Challenge, an innovation contest initiated two years ago by former US Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and the Federal Communications Commission.

Contact: Tanya Klein
New Jersey Institute of Technology

Breaking News
International Journal of Obesity
The 92 percent clean plate club
If you're a member of the Clean Plate Club -- you eat pretty much everything you put on your plate -- you're not alone! A new Cornell University study shows that the average adult eats 92 percent of whatever he or she puts on his or her plate. 'If you put it on your plate, it's going into your stomach,' says Brian Wansink Ph.D., author of the forthcoming book, 'Slim by Design,' professor of marketing and director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.

Contact: Sandra Cuellar
Cornell Food & Brand Lab

Breaking News
Journal of Cognition and Culture
How children categorize living things
'Name everything you can think of that is alive.' How would a child respond to this question? Would his or her list be full of relatives, animals from movies and books, or perhaps neighborhood pets? Would the poppies blooming on the front steps make the list or the oak tree towering over the backyard? The children's responses revealed clear convergences among distinct communities but also illuminated differences among them.

Contact: Hilary Hurd Anyaso
Northwestern University

Feature Story
Keeping the heart on beat
Scientists have figured out how to genetically tweak heart tissue to keep the heart beating normally. The findings appear in the July 16 issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Contact: Science Press Package
American Association for the Advancement of Science

Breaking News
Brain of world's first known predators discovered
Scientists have found the fossilized remains of the brain of the world's earliest known predators, from a time when life teemed in the oceans but had not yet colonized the land. The discovery reveals a brain much simpler than those known in some of the animal's prey and helps answer questions surrounding the evolution of arthropods.
National Natural Science Foundation of China, Leverhulme Trust, Center for Insect Science, University of Arizona, Air Force Research Laboratory

Contact: Daniel Stolte
University of Arizona

Breaking News
The Mathematical Intelligencer
Fair cake cutting gets its own algorithm
Mathematician Julius Barbanel of Union College, and political scientist Steven Brams of New York University, both in the US, published an algorithm in Springer's The Mathematical Intelligencer by which they show how to optimally share cake between two people efficiently, in equal pieces and in such a way that no one feels robbed.

Contact: Alexander K. Brown
Springer Science+Business Media

Feature Story
Amid revelations of a universe rich with planets, what's next for exoplanet hunters?
In the midst of recent and surprising revelations about planets outside our solar system, three astrophysicists -- Zachory Berta-Thompson, Bruce Macintosh and Marie-Eve Naud -- joined a live Google Hangout to consider what's next for exoplanet hunters, including the search for other Earth-like worlds.

Contact: James Cohen
The Kavli Foundation

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