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Scientists measure speedy electrons in silicon
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The entire semiconductor industry, not to mention Silicon Valley, is built on the propensity of electrons in silicon to get kicked out of their atomic shells and become free. These mobile electrons are routed and switched though transistors, carrying the digital information that characterizes our age.

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Organic electronics could lead to cheap, wearable medical sensors
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UC Berkeley engineers have created a pulse oximeter sensor composed of all-organic optoelectronics that uses red and green light. The device measures arterial oxygen saturation and heart rate as well as conventional, silicon-based pulse oximeters. (Image by Yasser Khan)

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People in unhappy places are depressed more than a week a month
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People in the country's unhappiest communities spend about a quarter of the month so far down in the dumps that it can harm their productivity, according to economists.

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Low-grade waste heat regenerates ammonia battery
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An efficient method to harvest low-grade waste heat as electricity may be possible using reversible ammonia batteries, according to Penn State engineers.

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New liver gives mother of three a life without pain
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The itching started when Michelle Linss, now 37, was pregnant with her third child. When she told her obstetrician, they thought it was due to the hormonal changes of pregnancy and would resolve following delivery. But the young El Paso woman was still itching a year later, launching a six-year journey of testing and treatment, worry and waiting, finally leading – with the advocacy of a UT Southwestern Medical Center physician – to a liver transplant in August 2014.

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New measurement of HDL cholesterol function provides powerful information about cardiovascular risk
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Groundbreaking research from UT Southwestern Medical Center shows that cholesterol efflux capacity (cholesterol efflux), which measures HDL cholesterol function, appears to be a superior indicator of cardiovascular risk and a better target for therapeutic treatments than standard measurements of HDL. Current measurement methods reflect only the circulating levels of HDL and not the functional properties of this lipoprotein.

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Better assessment of decision-making capacity
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Physicians often find it hard to tell if a patient suffering from dementia or depression is capable of making sound judgements. This is shown by a study conducted within the scope of the National Research Programme “End of Life” (NRP 67). The Central Ethics Committee of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences now aims to elaborate new assessment principles.

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UCLA scientists discover protein that can accelerate cancer patients’ recovery after radiation and chemotherapy
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Scientists from UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have shown for the first time how a unique protein found in human bone marrow can drive stem cells to repair our blood system after an injury.

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High blood-sugar levels may harden heart valves
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1934 drought was worst of the last millennium, study finds
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The 1934 drought was by far the most intense and far-reaching drought of the last 1,000 years in North America, and was caused in part by an atmospheric phenomenon that may have also led to the current drought in California, according to a new study.

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Massive debris pile reveals risk of huge tsunamis in Hawaii
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The researchers simulated earthquakes with magnitudes between 9.0 and 9.6 originating at different locations along the Aleutian-Alaska subduction zone, and found that the unique geometry of the eastern Aleutians would direct the largest post-earthquake tsunami energy directly toward the Hawaiian Islands. The red circles are centered on Kaua‘i and encircle the Big Island.  Credit: Rhett Butler

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