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17-Sep-2014 03:35
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News and Features

Key: Meeting M      Journal J      Funder F

Feature Story
The universe's lost lithium
Recent studies of star clusters beyond our galaxy have provided new insight into the mystery of the universe's lost lithium -- a chemical created just minutes after the birth of the universe in the Big Bang.

Contact: Sarah Eve Roberts
Leiden University

Feature Story
Younger species cope better with changing land
Researchers studying birds in Costa Rica have made an interesting discovery: older species, which have been evolving for a long time, go extinct much quicker than newer species, which haven't had as long to evolve, when forests are converted to farmland. This discovery shows how changing a landscape can actually change the tree of life by favoring certain species over others -- and it may help with conservation efforts in the future.

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

Feature Story
Preparing students for Mars research goal of UH workshop
This year marks the 13th anniversary of the Mars Rover Model Celebration and Exhibition at the University of Houston. In September, UH will host workshops to prepare teachers for coaching their students through the planning and completion of operational rover models. Designed for Houston-area students in grades three through eight, this competition invites kids to design and construct Mars rover models.

Contact: Lisa Merkl
University of Houston

Breaking News
Researchers discover 3 extinct squirrel-like species
Paleontologists have described three new small squirrel-like species that place a poorly understood Mesozoic group of animals firmly in the mammal family tree. The study supports the idea that mammals -- an extremely diverse group that includes egg-laying monotremes such as the platypus, marsupials such as the opossum, and placentals like humans and whales -- originated at least 208 million years ago in the late Triassic, much earlier than some previous research suggests.
National Basic Research Program of China, National Science Foundation of China, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Contact: Kendra Snyder
American Museum of Natural History

Breaking News
14th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research
Video game teaches kids how to code
Computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego have successfully funded on Kickstarter a new and improved version of CodeSpells, a first-person player game they developed that teaches players how to code.

Contact: Ioana Patringenaru
University of California - San Diego

Feature Story
National Drug Facts Week 2015 to begin Jan. 26
National Drug Facts Week, which brings together teens and scientific experts to shatter persistent myths about drug use and addiction, will be held Jan. 26 through Feb. 1, 2015. Ideas for community-based events, as well as success stories from previous years, are highlighted on the National Drug Facts Week Web portal. The fifth National Drug Facts Week is sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Contact: NIDA Press Office
NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse

Breaking News
Psychological Science
Food craving is stronger, but controllable, for kids
Children show stronger food craving than adolescents and adults, but they are also able to use a cognitive strategy that reduces craving, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
National Institutes of Health

Contact: Anna Mikulak
Association for Psychological Science

Feature Story
Greenland's ancient temperatures revealed
Researchers studying the last deglaciation, when Earth's ice sheets were beginning to melt, now know more about the temperature of Greenland at that time, thanks to a new report. For years, studies have suggested that Greenland started warming up later than the rest of the Northern Hemisphere -- about 14,700 years ago instead of about 19,000 years ago, when the deglaciation began.

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

Breaking News
Speaking of Chemistry: Rethinking football head injuries (video)
This week's Speaking of Chemistry focuses on a brain disorder called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), whose symptoms include memory loss, depression and aggressive or violent behavior. Current detection methods can only identify CTE after a patient has died, leaving many NFL players with a diagnosis that came too late. Now doctors are developing a way to spot CTE in its early stages and hopefully develop a treatment before tragedy strikes. Find out more at

Contact: Michael Bernstein
American Chemical Society

Breaking News
Royal Society B
Cockatoos go to carpentry school
Goffin's cockatoos can learn how to make and use wooden tools from each other, a new study has found.

Contact: University of Oxford News Office
University of Oxford

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