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Inflammation & sleep, Kepler, common Earth, healing factor, wi-fi power

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Late night inflammation (Science)

Biologists at University of Texas have found that some of the genes that control the immune system are also involved in the body's daily rhythms, which may be why interrupted or inadequate sleep makes inflammation worse.

Autistic hookups (Discover)

You might suppose people on the autism spectrum, with their difficulty with social interaction, are lacking some brain connections. But it turns out they have extra ones, too many presumably, particularly in the visual areas. This may relate to the discovery already made by psychologists, that autistic people use visual thinking more than usual.

Kepler returns (New Scientist)

The Kepler orbital telescope turned in a wealth of data they are still analyzing, but then lost control in its gyroscopes some months ago, ending its career. Now, though, it can make a comeback. The telescope needs to stare fixedly at a small patch of sky, but lacking its gyroscopes, it was being thrown off by the tiny pressure of the sunlight on it. Now, though, they've figured a way to maneuver the telescope so the light falls on it more evenly. It can work again, though without its former sensitivity.

The odds on Earth (NPR)

Poring over the Kepler data, astronomers have a preliminary answer to one of the questions Kepler was built to answer: How common are Earth-like planets. Answer: pretty common. It looks like 22% of the sunlike stars have an Earth-sized planet at an Earth-like temperature.

Hair restorer (Science Daily)

Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital have found the gene that makes healing run so quickly in children. Well, in young mice, anyway. And it can be reactivated in older mice, who then can repair skin, cartilage, bone, and hair just as they could when they were young.

Wi-fi power (

Engineers at Duke University have invented the equivalent of solar cells for wi-fi. That is, these little chips can soak up power from stray wi-fi signals and similar broadcasts. Not a lot of power, but it adds up, and could be used to power small devices.


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