Thursday, January 31, 2013

Nature Communications ? Nanoparticles Digging the World's ...

Graphite consists of layered carbon atoms. A metal particle bores into the graphite sample from the edges of these layers. Image: KIT

Graphite consists of layered carbon atoms. A metal particle bores into the graphite sample from the edges of these layers. Image: KIT

The world?s smallest tunnels have a width of a few nanometers only. Researchers from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Rice University, USA, have dug such tunnels into graphite samples. This will allow structuring of the interior of materials through self-organization in the nanometer range and tailoring of nanoporous graphite for applications in medicine and battery technology. Results are now presented in the scientific journal Nature Communications. (DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2399)

The tunnels are manufactured applying nickel nanoparticles to graphite which then is heated in the presence of hydrogen gas. The surface of the metal particles, that measure a few nanometers only, serves as a catalyst removing the carbon atoms of the graphite and converting them by means of hydrogen into the gas methane. Through capillary forces, the nickel particle is drawn into the ?hole? that forms and bores through the material. The size of the tunnels obtained in the experiments was in the range of 1 to 50 nanometers, which about corresponds to one thousandth of the diameter of a human hair.

To furnish proof of the real existence of these graphite tunnels, the researchers have made use of scanning electron and scanning tunneling microscopy. ?Microscopes, in fact, image only the upper layers of the sample,? the principal authors of the study, Maya Lukas and Velimir Meded from KIT?s Institute of Nanotechnology, explain. ?The tunnels below these upper layers, however, leave atomic structures on the surface whose courses can be traced and which can be assigned to the nanotunnels by means of the very detailed scanning tunneling microscopy images and based on computerized simulations.? In addition, the depth of the tunnels was determined precisely by means of a series of images taken by a scanning electron microscope from different perspectives.

Porous graphite is used, for example, in the electrodes of lithium ion batteries. The charge time could be reduced using materials with appropriate pore sizes. In medicine, porous graphite could serve as a carrier of drugs to be released over longer periods of time. Replacing graphite by nonconductive materials, e.g. boron nitride,? with atomic structures similar to that of graphite,? the tunnels could serve as basic structures for nanoelectronic components such as novel sensors or solar cells.

The graphite tunnel study was carried out by the study groups headed by Pulickel M. Ajayan from Rice University, USA, and Ralph Krupke and Wolfgang Wenzel from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.

For further information on research by the KIT study groups, please refer to


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Consequence 'Talks So Loose,' Pusha T Complains

'People don't ever talk to me like that,' Pusha tells MTV News of Cons' G.O.O.D. Music beef.
By Nadeska Alexis, with reporting by Rob Markman

Pusha T
Photo: MTV News


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Tool Test: The Best Big Belt Sanders

Ranking: * * *
Price: $50 to $80
Time Trial 1: 3 minutes 24 seconds
Time Trial 2: 2 minutes 44 seconds
Weight: 6.9 pounds
Amps: 7

Likes: The Dragster, as its manufacturer calls it, provides reliable vibration-free sanding and does a good job of collecting dust. Its front handle features tool-free adjustment and its front guard can be flipped up to expose the belt for close-quarters sanding.

Dislikes: If it's power you need, look to the Hitachi or Craftsman. This machine produces a smooth surface, but it takes a while to get there, and we noticed some belt slippage along the way.


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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

TSX may open lower, FOMC eyed

(Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to open lower on Tuesday, tracking Wall Street, as investors looked to the outcome from the U.S. Federal Reserve two-day meeting to gauge the health of the world's largest economy.


* The U.S. Federal Reserve is paying close attention to risks linked to its bond buying program, including the possibility of losses on its massive portfolio that might touch off a political fire storm and harm the central bank's independence.

* Canadian Pacific Railway reported a 93 percent fall in fourth-quarter profit, but said it expects 2013 adjusted earnings per share to rise more than 40 percent.

* Anglo American Plc will take a $4 billion write-down on its Minas Rio iron ore operation in Brazil after delays and cost overruns forced the mining group to increase expenditure on the project.

* Japan's government approved a $1.02 trillion draft budget for the next fiscal year that aims to nudge tax revenues above new bond sales for the first time in four years, but still relies on borrowing to cover 46.3 percent of its spending.

* Pfizer reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results, helped by rebounding sales in emerging markets, but the drugmaker forecast earnings for 2013 that were mostly below consensus analyst expectations.

* Royal Bank of Scotland Group is close to a 500 million pounds settlement with U.S. and British authorities over claims that some of its employees submitted false Libor rates, the WSJ reported, citing people briefed on the negotiations.


* Canada stock futures traded down 0.24 percent

* U.S. stock futures,, were down around 0.22 percent to 0.35 percent <.n/>

* European shares <.fteu3>, <.stoxx> were mixed <.eu/>


* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index <.trjcrbtr>: 300.727; rose 0.02 percent

* Gold futures: $1,654.9; were unchanged

* US crude: $96.45; rose 0.01 percent

* Brent crude: $113.32; fell 0.14 percent

* LME 3-month copper: $8,045.75; fell 0.14 percent


Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.

* Agrium Inc. : Susquehanna raises target price of Agrium's U.S. listed shares to $135 from $130 after the company raised its fourth-quarter earnings estimate above its previous outlook.

* Progressive Waste Solutions : National Bank Financial cuts to sector perform from outperform and says the REIT model would not be favorable for the company and would limit its ability to grow through acquisition.

* Raging River Exploration Inc. : National Bank Financial raises target price to C$5.25 from C$4.75, after the company reported year-end 2012 reserves, showing solid growth of 80 percent, exceeding expectations.

* Sierra Wireless Inc. : Jefferies raises target price of Sierra's U.S.-listed shares to $10 from $8 after the company said it will sell assets of AirCard business to NetGear for approximately $100 million.

* TMX Group Ltd : National Bank Financial raises target price to C$58 from C$54, says robust equity financing activity and relatively strong mutual fund flows in Canada suggest a rebound in trading activity.


* No major Canadian economic data scheduled for release

* Major U.S. events and data include consumer confidence

(Reporting by Chandrashekhar Modi; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)


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122 Studebaker Place, Castle Rock, $1200mo, $800 deposit

Posted on January 30, 2013

Ready by March 1st. 3 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath home, attached double garage. Detached double garage that has been converted into a rec. room with it?s own furnace. Large metal barn with two horse stalls. 3 acres with approx. 2 acres field fenced. Shared well, septic system. Tenant responsible for power & garbage. Household pets permitted with additional deposit. DIRECTIONS: east on spirit lake hwy from Castle Rock. Left onto Studebaker road, right onto Studebaker Spur Rd, right onto Studebaker Place, go to end of road, turn right after the row of mailboxes in cul-de-sac.

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Bank of England should keep targeting inflation - Reuters poll

(Reuters) - Inflation targeting has served the Bank of England well and it should keep that as its main policy tool, despite the strategy's role in fuelling a credit bubble that led to the financial crisis, a Reuters poll found.

The conclusion, based on a survey of economists taken this week, also comes despite inflation being persistently above the central bank's 2.0 percent target for some years.

The Bank Governor-designate Mark Carney, who currently runs the Bank of Canada, is seen as more likely to favour a flexible inflation target rather than abandoning it.

"There's always going to be a great deal of pressure on the incoming governor to try and magic up a recovery," said Philip Shaw, chief economist at Investec. "But changing targets is not the solution. What you need is a different toolkit."

The poll results suggest that Carney, an outspoken and ambitious central banker, will not push to abandon the inflation target when he checks in to work on London's Threadneedle Street in July. Britain's government sets the target.

"Inflation targeting has served the UK well over the past 20 years but failed to address the various imbalances in the economy during the early half of the 2000s," said Shaw.

What was missing was better oversight of the financial system. Like many, he favours better macroprudential policy to prevent another boom and bust.

Carney will have that and an expanded regulatory role in his remit.

"Beyond that, our view is that expectations on what an inflation target, or any other target can achieve, are often overambitious," said Shaw.

Brian Hilliard, chief UK economist at Societe Generale, said that having another macro target would not have helped prevent the financial crisis.

A clear majority of forecasters, 38 of 51, said that the Bank should not drop inflation targeting, a view outgoing Governor Mervyn King fiercely defended in a recent speech calling instead for fine-tuning.

Only 10 economists said the bank should abandon its inflation target. The remaining three said it should change the measure of inflation it aims to keep under control.

But for most of the past decade inflation has been above target, and during every month since December 2009.

Those results suggest that any serious consideration of targeting economic growth, an argument Carney discussed at length in a speech last year but which he kept mum about in recent public appearances, is highly unlikely.

Britain's economy has barely grown at all since 2010 and is one of the few among its industrialised peers that is still smaller than where it was before the crisis began in 2007. It shrank in the last few months of 2012.

A small majority, 19 of 37, said that if the Bank were to drop inflation targeting it should instead adopt a dual mandate like the Federal Reserve, which also targets unemployment.

The bank has been widely criticised for focusing on consumer prices while letting credit expand wildly early in the last decade, triggering an unprecedented boom in house prices.

Britain's economy is still struggling to escape from the mess after that boom went bust. While printing hundreds of billions of pounds trying to reinflate the economy, the Bank has paid little heed to its inflation-fighting mandate.

"Low inflation was more the result of general global conditions than anything the Bank was able to achieve," noted Commerzbank economist Peter Dixon.

"So whilst it served a useful purpose the target may not, in retrospect, been appropriate for the conditions prevailing at the time, in which asset price inflation was a bigger problem."

Stephen Lewis at Monument Securities was more harsh.

"Inflation targeting failed to take account of the distortion of asset values and excessive credit creation in the years up to the crisis. It is a blinkered approach to policymaking."

Meanwhile, the probability of further bond purchases by the bank, or quantitative easing, has fallen to a median 40 percent from 45 percent in a poll taken earlier this month. Bank Rate was seen on hold at a record low of 0.5 percent until at least the middle of next year.

"Additional QE would provide only marginal benefits for the real economy, while increasing longer-term risks of higher inflation, bubbles and financial distortions," said David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce.

(Polling by Snehasish Das and Rahul Karunakar, Editing by Jeremy Gaunt, John Stonestreet)


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Super Bowl 2013: Is 'flag football' ahead for the NFL?

The NFL's continuing crackdown on illegal hits has left players wondering what constitutes legal play and what will have them paying steep fines.

By Barry Wilner,?AP Pro Football Writer / January 29, 2013

"I think the rules will change," San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis said Tuesday. "There's already no helmet to helmet. Might be flag football, maybe."

Charlie Riedel / AP


Making the game safer is making NFL players unsure what's a legal hit.

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Players on both Super Bowl teams say they are confused about which hits are considered clean and which ones could lead to a fine. And it's not just the guys on defense who are wondering about the future of pro football.

"I think the rules will change a lot," San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis said Tuesday. "There's already no helmet to helmet. Might be flag football, maybe."

Baltimore Ravens safety Bernard Pollard, one of the league's hardest hitters, warned against trying to take collisions out of the game, as long as they are clean.

"You can't play this game and not expect it to be physical," said Pollard, who was fined $15,250 for a hit on Patriots receiver Wes Welker in the AFC championship game that Pollard believes was within the rules. "There will be injuries in football. There's a car crash on every play."

His 49ers counterpart, All-Pro Dashon Goldson, says defenders keep this in mind when they take the field:

"Do your best and then hope you don't get a letter (with a fine) in your locker on Wednesday."

The NFL has sought to eliminate any hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players, particularly in the last three years. It also has banned players launching themselves helmet-first toward an opponent.

Yet, every week, players are fined for those actions, and there have been suspensions. Baltimore safety Ed Reed drew a one-game suspension this season that was lifted by the NFL on appeal and turned into a $50,000 fine for repeated illegal tackles. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Reed is not considered a vicious hitter.

Reed admits he can't be sure what's a true tackle these days and what crosses the line.

"A lot needs to be done with it. I don't think every fine is right," he said. "You have to go back and really look at how guys play the game before you judge them, is what I'm trying to say."


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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

U.N. optimistic Syria aid meet will win major funding

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The United Nations has received promises of major donations at this week's $1.5 billion aid conference for millions of Syrians affected by nearly two years of conflict, a senior U.N. official said on Tuesday.

Wednesday's pledging conference in Kuwait will seek $1 billion of aid for Syria's neighbors sheltering 700,000 registered refugees, and another $500 million to bankroll humanitarian work for 4 million Syrians inside their country.

So far, the United Nations has received pledges covering just 18 percent of the target, unveiled last month as the scale of Syria's humanitarian crisis escalated sharply, and which aims to fund operations for the first half of this year.

"We have every reason to be optimistic that there will a very good presence and new pledges that will be coming up at this conference," said Robert Watkins, U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Lebanon, which has seen the biggest influx of refugees from the Syrian bloodshed.

"We have received preliminary pledges from a number of important donor countries that they will be making announcements of large donations."

U.S. President Barack Obama announced an additional $155 million, bringing the total U.S. humanitarian aid to the Syrian crisis to some $365 million, the State Department said.

Watkins said the fact that the conference was being held in the Gulf state of Kuwait could encourage other wealthy Gulf Arab states, who have led regional opposition to President Bashar al-Assad, to support the international aid effort.

Many Gulf states have sent assistance, but aid workers in the region say their efforts have been haphazard and rarely coordinated with other aid agencies, hampering their ability to plan a sustained relief program.

"It's important that we widen the range of donors that provide assistance," Watkins said.


Syria's main opposition coalition has criticized the U.N. appeal and its arrangements for distributing aid inside Syria, saying the organization has effectively ceded control to the Syrian government and failed to deliver all but a bare minimum of aid to areas controlled by Assad's opponents.

But Watkins said the Syrian government did not influence the aid distribution, although there were some areas of the country which could not be reached because of the violence.

"While we are not able to reach all of the people in need in Syria - because there are 4 million people who need assistance inside the country - we have been able to feed up to 1.5 million people," Watkins said.

"Of those 1.5 million people, 49 percent are in areas which are either under the control of the opposition or in contested areas," he said, adding that the main U.N. aid distribution partner in Syria - the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) - was "neutral and impartial".

The opposition says the top members of the SARC are close to Assad's government, and the organization cannot operate even-handedly. But activists say its workers on the ground have come under fire from both sides in the conflict.

Syria's uprising began in March 2011 as a peaceful protest movement, but rebels took up arms after the government cracked down on the demonstrations.

The rebellion has since become a full-scale civil war. Insurgents have taken swathes of rural territory from government forces but have failed to capture major cities and towns. More than 60,000 people have died, the United Nations says.

The number of refugees fleeing to neighboring countries has jumped sharply in the last two months, passing the 500,000 mark on December 11 and growing by more than 200,000 since then.

On Monday, 3,000 Syrians fled into Jordan.

"We have seen an unrelenting flow of refugees across all borders. We are running double shifts to register people," Sybella Wilkes, spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told Reuters in Geneva.

Jordan has 171,033 registered Syrian refugees, as well as 51,729 who await processing, many of who fled fighting around the southern Syrian town of Deraa this month. Lebanon has 158,973 Syrian refugees, and 69,963 awaiting processing.

"We are trying to clear a backlog of people because the numbers have gone up so dramatically (in Jordan and Lebanon)," Wilkes said.

Turkey has 163,161 Syrian refugees in its 15 camps while Iraq hosts 77,415, the UNHCR said. There are 14,375 in Egypt and 5,417 registered across the rest of North Africa.

(Additional reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva)


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Lenovo debunks RIM deal rumors, says CFO was just chatting

Lenovo debunks RIM deal rumors, says CFO was just chatting

Lenovo turned a few heads last week when its CFO mentioned RIM as a possible acquisition target or partner, and with many eyes peering in its direction, the company's felt the need to clarify its relationship with the BlackBerry maker. An English-language statement -- courtesy of The Next Web -- says Wong Wai Ming was "speaking broadly about M&A strategy," and only included RIM in this comment as the interviewer asked about Lenovo's interest in the company specifically. While it doesn't provide any more fuel for the speculation fire, there's no denial here, and it's worth remembering that Wong mentioned the two have talked about potential arrangements, according to the original Bloomberg report. Damage limitation statement deployed, we doubt Lenovo will be bringing this up again unless anything formal happens. In the meantime, RIM's got slightly more immediate matters to concern itself with.

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Source: Sina Tech, The Next Web


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Science & the Public: U.S. team breaks through subglacial lake

U.S. team breaks through subglacial lake

Testing should continue for a day or more, probing for life in the Antarctic depths

Testing should continue for a day or more, probing for life in the Antarctic depths

By Janet Raloff

Web edition: January 28, 2013


Down the hole

Here's a view of what researchers saw looking down the borehole toward the lake.

Credit: WISSARD program/NSF

Research teams from Russia, the United Kingdom and United States have each spearheaded drilling efforts over the past few years to pierce and sample separate subglacial Antarctic lakes. Russian scientists reported last year piercing into Lake Vostok but has so far turned up no identifiable life. Those researchers are now working to analyze a new sample of ice recently retrieved from that drill project. Last month, the British team suspended its efforts for this summer season (which ends next month) to reach Lake Ellsworth.

The just-completed borehole into Lake Whillans ?marks the first successful retrieval of clean whole samples from an Antarctic subglacial lake,? the U.S. team reported today. ?Water and sediment samples returned to the surface are now being processed to answer seminal questions related to the structure and function of subglacial microbial life, climate history, and contemporary ice sheet dynamics.?

A research team led by Frank Rack, of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, recently developed and field-tested the novel hot-water drill used to cut through the roughly half-mile-deep sheet of ice to reach Lake Whillans. ?Over the whole Antarctic continent, there are more than 340 [subglacial] lakes,? he notes. ?We selected this one because we know that it goes up and down, which means that the water underneath the ice sheet is periodically filling up the lake, then draining out again.?

Researchers have monitored this cycle through a rise and fall of the surface of that portion of the ice sheet covering the lake. Each cycle can last up to a decade, Rack says.

A video camera and series of sampling instruments will be periodically lowered down the borehole in the day or two available before this portal begins freezing shut again. ?Lake Whillans has already presented surprises,? according to Doug Fox, a reporter embedded with the drill research team, which is camped out less than 400 miles from the South Pole. ?For one, the lake has turned out to be only five or six feet deep ? shallower than the 20 to 30 feet that people expected based on seismic measurements,? Fox reported in a blog on the Discover website.

When I met with the Lake Whillans research team, last month, they planned to begin analyses of retrieved water and sediment within minutes of it reaching the surface. A series of mobile research labs were recently hauled to the Lake Whillans drill site. At least one lab will be used to study the chemistry of the water. Another will focus on probing for signs of microbial life ? chiefly bacteria and viruses.


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Monday, January 28, 2013

Michigan makes case for No. 1 with 74-60 win

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) ? Trey Burke scored 19 points and No. 2 Michigan never trailed after the opening minutes of a 74-60 win Sunday over Illinois that could push the Wolverines to No. 1 in the nation for the first time since the 1992-93 season.

Duke's lopsided loss to Miami earlier in the week opened the door for a new No. 1 when the AP poll comes out Monday ? and Michigan put itself in position to take the top spot.

Nick Stauskas scored 14 points for the Wolverines (19-1, 6-1 Big Ten). Glenn Robinson III and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 12 each.

Brandon Paul led Illinois (15-6, 2-5) with 15 points but had five of Illinois' 15 costly turnovers.

Michigan forward Jordan Morgan did not return after leaving early with a sprained right ankle, but the Wolverines hardly missed him.

On Sunday, Michigan always seemed to have an answer.

Illinois fought back to within seven points with just over nine minutes to play when a Richardson steal set up Joseph Bertrand for a soft jump shot that floated into the bucket.

The wave of noise that rose from the crowd trying to will the Illini back into the game didn't last long.

First, with 8:40 to play, Mitch McGary pulled down the rebound off a miss by Burke and dropped the ball into the bucket.

Then Burke scooped the ball up off a Paul turnover at the other end and, with a dunk, put the Wolverines back up by 11 at 59-48. With 8:21 to play and shooting just 37.1 percent on the night, Illinois couldn't find a way back.

Morgan appeared to roll his right ankle as he came down under the Wolverine basket, but Michigan lost little if anything inside without the 6-foot-8, 250-pound forward.

McGary and a redshirt freshman with strong ties to Illinois, Max Bielfeldt and John Horford picked up most of Morgan's minutes, and his slack. Illinois didn't have anyone who could match up with either inside.

McGary, a 6-10, 250-pound forward, hasn't started a game this season but averages 16 minutes a night anyway. Bielfeldt, though, plays less than six minutes a night, and was all nerves in his first minutes on the court. The 6-7, 245-pound forward badly missed his first free throw, at least a foot right of the basket, and the crowd, well aware that the athletic administration building on the Illinois campus bears his big-donor family's name, let him have it.

But with another chance at the line minutes later, Bielfeldt sank both shots, finishing with four points in six minutes.

Horford had seven points and five boards in 17 minutes while McGary had six points and eight rebounds.

Illinois' big-man combination of Nanna Egwu, Sam McLaurin and Tyler Griffey wasn't much of a match for them. The Wolverines scored 42 points in the paint.

Michigan took the lead for good with 15:21 to play in the first half when Burke hit a jump shot to go up 8-7. With a 9-0 run that ended only with a 3-pointer by Paul with 10:52 left in the half, the Wolverines were up 15-10.


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'Quantum smell' idea gains ground

A controversial theory that the way we smell involves a quantum physics effect has received a boost, following experiments with human subjects.

It challenges the notion that our sense of smell depends only on the shapes of molecules we sniff in the air.

Instead, it suggests that the molecules' vibrations are responsible.

A way to test it is with two molecules of the same shape, but with different vibrations. A report in PLOS ONE shows that humans can distinguish the two.

Tantalisingly, the idea hints at quantum effects occurring in biological systems - an idea that is itself driving a new field of science, as the BBC feature article Are birds hijacking quantum physics? points out.

But the theory - first put forward by Luca Turin, now of the Fleming Biomedical Research Sciences Centre in Greece - remains contested and divisive.

The idea that molecules' shapes are the only link to their smell is well entrenched, but Dr Turin said there were holes in the idea.

He gave the example of molecules that include sulphur and hydrogen atoms bonded together - they may take a wide range of shapes, but all of them smell of rotten eggs.

"If you look from the [traditional] standpoint... it's really hard to explain," Dr Turin told BBC News.

"If you look from the standpoint of an alternative theory - that what determines the smell of a molecule is the vibrations - the sulphur-hydrogen mystery becomes absolutely clear."

Molecules can be viewed as a collection of atoms on springs, so the atoms can move relative to one another. Energy of just the right frequency - a quantum - can cause the "springs" to vibrate, and in a 1996 paper in Chemical Senses Dr Turin said it was these vibrations that explained smell.

The mechanism, he added, was "inelastic electron tunnelling": in the presence of a specific "smelly" molecule, an electron within a smell receptor in your nose can "jump" - or tunnel - across it and dump a quantum of energy into one of the molecule's bonds - setting the "spring" vibrating.

But the established smell science community has from the start argued that there is little proof of this.

Of horses and unicorns

One way to test the idea was to prepare two molecules of identical shape but with different vibrations - done by replacing a molecule's hydrogen atoms with their heavier cousins called deuterium.

Continue reading the main story

?Start Quote

There are many, many problems with the shape theory of smell - many things it doesn't explain that the vibrational theory does?

End Quote Prof Tim Jacob University of Cardiff

Leslie Vosshall of The Rockefeller University set out in 2004 to disprove Dr Turin's idea with a molecule called acetophenone and its "deuterated" twin.

The work in Nature Neuroscience suggested that human participants could not distinguish between the two, and thus that vibrations played no role in what we smell.

But in 2011, Dr Turin and colleagues published a paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showing that fruit flies can distinguish between the heavier and lighter versions of the same molecule.

A repeat of the test with humans in the new paper finds that, as in Prof Vosshall's work, the subjects could not tell the two apart. But the team then developed a brand new, far larger pair of molecules - cyclopentadecanone - with more hydrogen or deuterium bonds to amplify the purported effect.

In double-blind tests, in which neither the experimenter nor the participant knew which sample was which, subjects were able to distinguish between the two versions.

Still, Prof Vosshall believes the vibrational theory to be no more than fanciful.

"I like to think of the vibration theory of olfaction and its proponents as unicorns. The rest of us studying olfaction are horses," she told BBC News.

"The problem is that proving that a unicorn exists or does not exist is impossible. This debate on the vibration theory or the existence of unicorns will never end, but the very important underlying question of why things smell the way they do will continue to be answered by the horses among us."

Tim Jacob, a smell researcher at the University of Cardiff, said the work was "supportive but not conclusive".

"But the fact is that nobody has been able to unequivocally contradict [Dr Turin]," he told BBC News.

"There are many, many problems with the shape theory of smell - many things it doesn't explain that the vibrational theory does."

And although many more scientists are taking the vibrational theory seriously than back in 1996, it remains an extraordinarily polarised debate.

"He's had some peripheral support, but... people don't want to line up behind Luca," Prof Jacob said. "It's scientific suicide."

Columbia University's Richard Axel, whose work on mapping the genes and receptors of our sense of smell garnered the 2004 Nobel prize for physiology, said the kinds of experiments revealed this week would not resolve the debate - only a microscopic look at the receptors in the nose would finally show what is at work.

"Until somebody really sits down and seriously addresses the mechanism and not inferences from the mechanism... it doesn't seem a useful endeavour to use behavioural responses as an argument," he told BBC News.

"Don't get me wrong, I'm not writing off this theory, but I need data and it hasn't been presented."


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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sipping over a healthy beverage can ensure good health in a fun way

Everybody loves to sip on a chilled beverage on a hot and sunny day or on a hot and steaming one during those cold nights. However, people including you also have to consume adequate water to remain healthy. Wouldnt it be wonderful if you could sip on a healthy and funky beverage that ensured great health in a fun way?

Not all beverages are healthy enough to be consumed every day soda drink machine. Alcoholic beverages can be fun but ought to be consumed within limits. Water, on the other hand is really a necessity for healthy life but can surely get boring once you have been drinking it since childhood. The key is to convert water into a fantastic beverage that may be consumed day after day without any problems. There are several ways to do it. You can either buy packaged flavored seltzer water from any neighborhood or web store, or may even buy bottled carbonated water or club soda to add some fizz into plain drinking water. If you want to save some money then you can definitely also learn on how to make carbonated water at home. All you need is a carbonator or soda club machine and enjoy all the advantages of drinking water right in the comfort of your own home.

Your desired fizzy beverage can be ready in seconds with the help of the correct carbonated water dispenser created by reputed companies such as sodastream. You can even infuse fruit flavors of your choice into this sparkling water and turn plain water into a tasty beverage that can be healthily sipped by old and young, including diabetics that might surely find the various flavors heavenly. You need to only make sure that these flavors are without sugar or calories and do not contain some other artificial chemicals. You and your loved ones can stay away from dehydration without turning your nose at plain water because it is this very plain and safe drinking water which can be converted to a lip-smacking beverage.

You can also buy bottled club soda or flavored seltzer water from outlets. However, if you intend to drink these on a regular basis then reading the labels for number of calories and sugar present in each bottle is mandatory. Fizzy beverages that simply contain caffeine and sugar ought to be consumed sparingly since they not only pile on those calories but could also damage teeth over time. Again bottled sodas can also add to polluting the environment since empty bottles could cause pollution when buried in landfills or burnt. Making your own personal beverage right in your own home is not only cost-effective but helps save the environment in a very tasty way too. Children and diabetics will definitely appreciate it even while you and your family and friends remain healthy and hydrated the entire day find out.

Though there are innumerable beverages that could tickle your tongue into unknown pleasures, the right beverage is one that can take good care of your taste buds together with your health even when you drink it on a regular basis. Flavored water or flavored carbonated water made without preservatives, sugar or artificial flavors can be quite a boon on a hot day while you relax with your favorite chilled drink on your own patio.

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The Insider&#39;s Guide to Social Media Consulting Success | Business ...

The Insider?s Guide to Social Media Consulting Success image x ray vision

When I have been asked for a proposal to create a social media marketing strategy for a company, I have won the business 95 percent of the time. That may seem remarkable but I?ve found there is one simple secret to connecting with companies at this early stage of engagement.

Competing agencies typically try to impress by piecing together glossy, elaborate plans spanning from Facebook promotions to blasting out a Pinterest campaign.

I do no such thing. In fact, I put together no plan at all. I simply, and truthfully, tell the client that I don?t know what they need. And neither do they. We need to start with a foundational strategy (not an action plan) that is aligned with the company?s goals, and even more important, aligned with the company?s CULTURE.

This is the difference between creating a glimmering strategy that crashes and burns on take-off, and a realistic strategy that can actually be accomplished and change the company.

In every organization there are five common hurdles to social media success. A critical step in the strategy development process is to provide a painfully honest assessment of these factors and the company?s ability to execute and sustain a social media marketing initiative. That is where the consulting process should begin ? not picking out the colors for the Facebook page!

Assessing the social media ?engine?

Here are the five critical components I assess before even thinking about creating a social media plan:

Budget and resources ? Is the company willing to commit the proper financial and human resources to execute the right way, or are they just checking a box to create an image? Do they seem committed to adopting ?digital? as a business philosophy? How will they make this transformation?

Technology ? I look at this very broadly. Is this a tech-savvy company eager to embrace new platforms or are they stuck in the 1990s? Are they fast and flexible, or ponderous in their approach to development? Have they erected security firewalls that will jeopardize success? Is the IT department a fortress resisting change or an agent propelling progress?

ROI and measurement ? Does the company have a realistic view of the social media opportunity, or are they looking for immediate gratification? Are they willing to consider qualitative, as well as quantitative, measures of success? Do they even have measurement processes in place that we can build upon? Are they looking at this as a band-aid or a long-term strategy?

Legal ? Can the Legal Department adjust to the new demands of the social web? Are they willing to push accountability down through the organization or will they have to approve every tweet? Are they also willing to make the cultural adjustment necessary or will they ?review? an initiative into oblivion?

Corporate culture/leadership ? I mention this last, but it is not the least. In fact, it is most important of all. A corporate culture is very complex but is largely determined by the leadership of the organization. If the leadership does not understand, embrace, and become actively involved in the change, a social media initiative will never move past checking a box. There is no such thing as a grassroots cultural change in a company> The leader has to be actively on board. Is the company culture customer-centric? Conservative? Slow to change? Nimble?

Now what?

Once you do this analysis, what do you do with it?

Creating an actionable and sustainable social media initiative requires all five of these building blocks to be in place. Think of these elements as integral parts of an engine. If even one part is not working, the car may start quickly, limp along for awhile, but ultimately sputter and stop.

So the strategy must be created in the context of the political reality of the company. Perhaps the first step toward social media success is not starting a blog or Facebook page, but hosting a series of social media workshops to get everybody on the same page. Or maybe it?s one-on-one counseling with a leader, or creating an internal social media council.

Strategy doesn?t start with a Facebook page, it begins (and perhaps ends) with corporate culture. Agree? Do you see these landmines and opportunities at your companies too?

Mark Schaefer is a educator and marketing consultant specializing in social media workshops. He blogs at {grow} and is the author of several best-selling markting books including Return On Influence.

The Insider?s Guide to Social Media Consulting Success image


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Olympia Fencing Center Open House | Belmont Sports & Recreation ...

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Depression-era drainage ditches emerge as sleeping threat to Cape Cod salt marshes

Jan. 24, 2013 ? Cape Cod, Massachusetts has a problem. The iconic salt marshes of the famous summer retreat are melting away at the edges, dying back from the most popular recreational areas. The erosion is a consequence of an unexpected synergy between recreational over-fishing and Great Depression-era ditches constructed by Works Progress Administration (WPA) in an effort to control mosquitoes.

The cascade of ecological cause and effect is described by Tyler Coverdale and colleagues at Brown University in a paper published online this month in ESA's journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

"People who live near the marshes complain about the die-off because it's not nice to look at," said Coverdale. "Without cordgrass protection you also get really significant erosion, retreating at sometimes over a meter a year." The die-back is ugly, but it is also a substantial loss of a valuable ecological resource.

When fishermen hook too many predatory fishes out of the marsh's ecosystem, the fishes' prey go on fruitfully multiplying, unchecked. The reverberations down the food chain can result in uncomfortable environmental changes for human residents. The problem for Cape Cod is the native purple marsh crab (Sesarma reticulatum), which burrows in the mud along the inner shorelines of the marshes, and dines almost exclusively on the tall and fast-growing low marsh cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) that lines the marsh edges.

The tall and sturdy cordgrass is an essential buffer against the friction of tides and storms. Without it, soft banks erode out from under the other plants and the water line retreats farther and farther back into the marsh. The unchecked multitudes of purple marsh crabs have taken a visible toll on the developed areas of the Cape. By 2008, 50 percent of the creek banks in the marsh had worn back. Old drainage ditches have expanded from nearly invisible threads to open channels -- some nearly 30-40 meters wide -- with muddy, exposed edges.

The purple marsh crabs need tidal creek edge habitat to thrive, and do not venture into the inner heart of the marsh, where a shorter cordgrass species (the closely related, but squattier Spartina patens) and other high marsh plants dominate. The old WPA mosquito ditches also fulfill the crabs' habitat requirements. Once benign, the ditches nucleated dramatic reconstruction of the landscape with the loss of blue crab, striped bass, and smooth dogfish, and the subsequent boom of purple marsh crabs.

One of the remarkable features of the cordgrass die-off is its tight locality. Some areas of undeveloped marsh as close as a kilometer to the denuded banks around private residences and public docks appear healthy and unaffected. Mosquito ditches that can only be reached by a hard slog through undeveloped marshland do not display the striking die-off and bank erosion. The pattern cued the researchers to the possibility that recreational fishing was the trigger, Coverdale says. Few people wade into the swamp to fish.

Marshes are excellent model systems for observing the intersection of human impacts that can trigger environmental degradation, the authors say, because they have been exploited by humans for centuries, if not thousands of years, and are easily studied from aerial and satellite images.

"Marshes are one of the most heavily utilized resources worldwide," said Coverdale. "They are easily accessible, and provide shellfish, fuel, baitfish and opportunities for recreational anglers. A lot of those harvests are probably sustainable."But he is interested in the tipping points at which use of the marsh becomes unsustainable. The revelation of the slumbering menace of the mosquito ditches raises the prospect of other submerged impacts that may surface under the influence of new, contemporary pressures.

In the early twentieth century, Cape Cod was a very different place from the summer vacation destination it is today. As land use shifted from agriculture toward tourism, the local chamber of commerce funded an effort to draw off standing water through drainage ditches to suppress the mosquito population. The program was probably not very effective at controlling mosquito-borne disease, Coverdale says, but it did put a lot of people to work, and they were industrious. Over 2400 kilometers of old ditches stripe the marshes of the long, low-lying peninsula. The Cape Cod Mosquito Control Project continues ditch-dredging under the Barnstable County Department of Health and the Environment.

The ditching program had a relatively minor impact on the marshes compared to other forms of development, however. Following the Second World War, Cape Cod developed rapidly, nearly tripling in permanent human population between 1940 and 1976, when a new awareness of the ecological and economic benefits of the marsh brought strict limitations on further development. Ditches claimed only 2 percent of the marsh, compared with the 70 percent affected by roads, houses, restaurants, marinas, and other hallmarks of a modern coastal community. Alone, the ditches did not fundamentally alter the marsh ecosystem. The species that colonized the ditches were already present in the marsh; the WPA's remodeling project just moved them around. The additional pressure of recreational fishing changed that equilibrium.

How do Cape Cod residents and local fishing enthusiasts feel about this news? Coverdale says the area has a strong conservation ethic. People remember what the Cape looked like when their parents lived there, and are unhappy with the changes. As a fishing enthusiast himself, Coverdale does not see ecologists and fishermen as opposing forces.

"People enjoy catching fish today, but they come back year after year. They want to see the fish there tomorrow," Coverdale said. He has faith that the tendency of residents and long-time visitors to take the long view will make a solution possible. A system of catch and release could make fishing the Cape sustainable and allow the local community to retain its fishing heritage.

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Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by Ecological Society of America. The original article was written by Liza Lester.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

Journal Reference:

  1. Tyler C Coverdale, Nicholas C Herrmann, Andrew H Altieri, Mark D Bertness. Latent impacts: the role of historical human activity in coastal habitat loss. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 2013; : 130117050902007 DOI: 10.1890/120130

Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.


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The GOP's Two (Completely Opposite) Comeback Plans

The Republican Party has two comeback plans after the 2012 election, and they are total opposites: Plan A is to win presidential elections by appealing to broader audience that reflects America's "changing demographics." Plan B is to just change the rules of presidential elections so that rural white voters get a disproportional vote.

RELATED: RNC Asks Justice Department to Investigate Obama Campaign Video

In a speech accepting a second term as Republican National Committee chairman on Friday, Reince Priebus will talk about appealing to new voters, The New York Times' Jeff Zeleny reports. "To those who have left the party, we want to earn your trust again," Priebus will say. "To those who have yet to join us, we welcome you, with open doors and open arms." At the RNC's winter meeting Thursday, GOP leaders were clear about who those people are. The RNC's Glenn McCall was even more explicit about who the GOP needs to target, telling?The Wall Street Journal, "There are large portions of the population?African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, young voters?who simply don't know us. We have to change that." McCall is not alone. "The demographic changes in America are real, and they are a wake-up call to the Republican Party," said Henry Barbour, the nephew of former RNC chair and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who decided against a 2012 presidential run?after spending months trying to explain his way around comments praising segregationists.? The younger Barbour is on the Growth and Opportunity Project, the RNC's five-member panel that's supposed to figure out a comeback plan.?

RELATED: Reince Priebus Is Right: The GOP Doesn't Have a Woman Problem

But the RNC must know that appealing to those groups will be difficult, and changing their minds could take a long time. In the meantime, Priebus is backing a plan that would massively dilute the voting power of the exact same people he says he'll greet with open arms.?Virginia's state legislature is working on apportioning its presidential election votes by congressional district, instead of giving them all to the candidate who wins the most votes statewide. With the old rules, President Obama won a majority of votes in the 2012 election, and therefore won all of Virginia's 13 electoral votes. With the proposed new rules, Mitt Romney would have won more than twice as many electoral votes as Obama -- nine to the president's four -- despite losing by almost 150,000 votes. This means the votes?of rural white people -- the GOP's current core voting bloc -- would be worth far more than the votes of people in cities and suburbs, the people?the GOP says it wants to peel off from Democrats.?

RELATED: GOP Hammers Obama on His Midwestern Jobs Tour

For all his talk about reaching out to voters "who have yet to join" the GOP, this is something Priebus is cheering on. Virginia's proposed rule change is something "a lot of states that have been consistently blue that are fully controlled red ought to be looking at," Priebus told The Washington Post's Nia-Malika Henderson and Errin Haines. That would include Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

RELATED: Gingrich Will Suspend His Campaign Tuesday



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Curiosity Rover Snaps 1st Photos of Mars at Night

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has captured its first nighttime view of the Red Planet using a camera and ultraviolet light on its robotic arm.

Curiosity snapped the?Mars night photos?in visible and ultraviolet light on Wednesday (Jan. 22) to take an up-close look at a rock called "Sayunei," which the rover had scuffed with a wheel to scratch off surface dust, NASA announced Thursday. One goal was to seek out any fluorescent minerals, they added.

The rover took the photos with the help of small light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that serve as lights for the Mars Hand Lens Imager ? or MAHLI ? a microscope-like camera at the end of Curiosity's robot arm. The camera has an adjustable focus and several LED light sources for its Martian photography.

"The purpose of acquiring observations under ultraviolet illumination was to look for fluorescent minerals," MAHLI principal investigator Ken Edgett of Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego, Calif., said in a statement Thursday. "These data just arrived this morning. The science team is still assessing the observations. If something looked green, yellow, orange or red under the ultraviolet illumination, that'd be a more clear-cut indicator of fluorescence."

The MAHLI camera is one of?10 science instruments on Curiosity, which is a car-size rover capable of examining the surface of Mars in unprecedented detail.

This image of a Martian rock illuminated by white-light LEDs (light emitting diodes) is part of the first set of nighttime images taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera at the end of the robotic arm of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity. MAHLI took the images on Jan. 22, 2012 (PST).

Curiosity is currently exploring a shallow depression on Mars that mission scientists have named Yellowknife Bay. The nighttime photo target Sayunei is near the site of where the rover is expected to use its drill for the first time on Mars.

The $2.5?billion?Mars rover Curiosity?landed inside the vast Gale Crater on Aug. 5 to begin a two-year primary mission aimed at determining if the region could have ever supported microbial life. After leaving Yellowknife Bay, the rover will continue on toward a destination called Glenelg, which is located near the base of a 3-mile (5 kilometers) mountain rising up from the center of Gale Crater.?

You can follow Managing Editor Tariq Malik on Twitter?@tariqjmalik.?Follow for the latest in space science and exploration news on Twitter?@Spacedotcom?and on?Facebook.

Copyright 2013, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Disaster Preparedness Kit - Survival Course - Extreme Survival ...


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Friday, January 25, 2013

Doctors Save Toddler After Pencil Pierces Skull

Jan 24, 2013 5:02pm

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Credit: ABC News

A New Hampshire toddler is on the mend after she impaled herself with an orange colored pencil, which lodged between her eye and the back of her skull two weeks ago.

Susie Smith was with her 20-month old daughter, Olivia, who was coloring with a set of new colored pencils, sitting on a chair, when the toddler fell off. ?At first, Smith didn?t realize her daughter was injured, she told WMUR, the ABC News Affiliate in New Hampshire.

?I remember my 3-year-old saying, ?The pencil is in her head,?? Smith told WMUR. ?And I said, ?No, it?s not.??

She didn?t notice the orange colored pencil sticking out of her daughter?s eye. That?s because four inches of the pencil were lodged inside her head, and only two inches of it were sticking out.

Smith called 9-1-1, and Fire Chief Dan McDonald arrived to see the pencil sticking out at a 45 degree angle, but didn?t know how long it was.

PHOTOS: X-Ray Oddities

Olivia traveled via helicopter to Children?s Hospital in Boston, where neurosurgeons removed the pencil. It somehow missed the optic nerve and major arteries, but Olivia suffered three strokes during the ordeal.

Although the toddler had difficulty moving her right side because of the strokes, Smith said she kept placing things in her daughter?s right hand. It was on an attempt to get Olivia to drink from a sippy cup that she was finally successful.

?All of a sudden, she moved her right hand all the way up ? shaking, shaking, just like that ? and she started drinking,? Smith told WMUR.

Olivia is expected to make a full recovery.

SHOWS: World News


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Thursday, January 24, 2013

The New ARM Juggernaut Is A Server On A Chip

Tell me what a server is these days. Applied Micro Circuit CEO Paramsh Goti says that it's on an ARM chip, a tiny microprocessor that does what the big old servers would once do on PC-style machines.

Goti has the company's sights on Intel and AMD, which have dominated the data center market for the last several years.


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Family of ex-football star Junior Seau sues NFL over suicide

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The family of former San Diego Chargers star Junior Seau, who killed himself last year, sued the National Football League on Wednesday, saying that brain damage he suffered during his 20 years in the league led to his suicide.

Seau's children and ex-wife, along with the trustee of his estate, also claim in the San Diego Superior Court lawsuit that the NFL has long concealed from its players and the public the risks of neurological injury in the sport.

"We know this lawsuit will not bring back Junior," the Seau family said in a statement. "But it will send a message that the NFL needs to care for its former players, acknowledge its decades of deception on the issue of head injuries and player safety, and make the game safer for future generations."

An NFL spokesman, Greg Aiello, told Reuters in an email that the league's attorneys would review the lawsuit and respond to the claims appropriately in court.

Seau, a 12-time Pro Bowl linebacker for the Chargers and two other NFL teams during his two-decade career, died last May after shooting himself in the chest at his beachfront home in Oceanside, California.

The lawsuit filed by his family, which claims fraud, negligence and wrongful death, seeks unspecified damages from the league and several football helmet makers.

It comes seven months after some 2,000 ex-NFL players sued the league in federal court in Philadelphia over similar allegations, consolidating more than 80 lawsuits.

A study by independent researchers found that Seau, 43, suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE - the same debilitating brain disease diagnosed in at least two other former NFL players who committed suicide.

The NFL has said the findings about Seau's brain underscored "the recognized need for additional research to accelerate a fuller understanding of CTE." League teams have donated $30 million to the National Institutes of Health for research.


Concerns over the risk of brain injury from repeated concussions suffered by players in the NFL are growing. Football is America's most popular television sport and a $9 billion a year industry.

The league has attempted to institute rule changes protecting player safety while still preserving the spectacle fans enjoy, which is partly based on the speed and power of colliding athletes.

The Seau family says in their lawsuit that the NFL has long known that head trauma suffered by professional football players carried the risk of brain injury, while at the same time marketing the ferocity and brutality of the game.

"Instead of being honest about the dangers and working with both players and the medical community to minimize them, the league repeatedly asserted that professional football players were at no greater risk of brain or neurological injury than the public at large," the family says.

The complaint also details in grim terms Seau's battle with what the family believes were symptoms of CTE, including dizziness, depression, anxiety and insomnia.

"His increasing emotional instability resulted in uncharacteristically self-destructive, aggressive and violent behavior," the lawsuit says, adding that he became a compulsive, manic gambler and lost significant amounts of money.

Seau shot himself just weeks after former Atlanta Falcons safety Ray Easterling committed suicide at age 62. Easterling's family described a long descent into dementia following his retirement from the NFL, and an autopsy revealed indications of CTE.

In February 2011, four-time Pro Bowl safety Dave Duerson, who played most of his career with the Chicago Bears, shot himself in the chest. In a suicide note, he donated his brain for study, and it was found to exhibit signs of CTE.

CTE, once known as boxer's dementia, is caused by repeated impacts to the brain, and has been found in athletes who suffered head injuries as well as in members of the armed forces with concussive injuries from blast waves.

Because the mild and moderate brain injuries do not show up on CT scans or other imaging, the condition can be definitively diagnosed only through an autopsy.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Claudia Parsons and Prudence Crowther)


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