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UCLA

  1. April Fools! We May Have Overestimated the Amount of Water on the Moon

    Good thing we didn't send anybody up there first, right?

    Hey, you know how we thought there might be water somewhere on the Moon? Funny story: according to new computer model-aided research published in the March 20th issue of Science journal, the data we were using as evidence lunar water content might not have been so accurate after all.

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  2. Nanocapsule Sobers Up Mice In Record Time, Could Lead To Pills That Stop Your Drunk Cold

    Have you ever gotten that kind of drunk where all you can do is watch the room spin and wish you weren't so drunk? It's alright -- most of us have been there. But UCLA researchers may have come up with a new method of sobering up quickly -- a nanocapsule full of enzymes that help digest alcohol. It's been shown to be a promising treatment to alleviate drunkenness in mice, and could one day mean a pill that sobers you up before the hangover sets in, or at least before you start saying unpleasant things about the bouncer's mom.

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  3. Psychic Cells? Researchers Baffled By Cells That Communicate Despite Physical Separation

    Cells are amazingly complex little machines, but there are some things that even they aren't too good at -- like communicating over long distances. Generally, cells can only talk to their close neighbors through touch or send messages to the body at large by sending out chemical flares or distress signals. But researchers in California have identified a new way that cells seem to be able to communicate, and it appears this method can ignore physical barriers that would usually prevent communication, though researchers still aren't sure exactly how the mechanism works.

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  4. Litany Against Fear Nailed It: Talking Through Emotions Can Reduce Fear Response

    A study from UCLA suggests that talking about your emotions when you're feeling afraid can lessen the impact of the fear response, proving once and for all that the Bene Gesserits were exactly right about how to deal with fear. As if there were any doubt. In a study of arachnophobes -- people with a perfectly reasonable fear of spiders, because, ugh, those legs -- researchers found that subjects who articulated what they were feeling when they were exposed to a tarantula had less fear of the spider, and were able to get closer to it and touch it more often than others who did not mention their fear of spiders during the experience.

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  5. Mars Has Tectonic Plates Just Like Earth Does

    We've heard quite a bit about Mars this week, what with this whole Curiosity business and all. But today, we got some other news about the red planet that may even help us understand Earth a little better. An Yin, a professor at UCLA, recently discovered that Mars has tectonic plates similar to those that we have on Earth. Yin made this discovery when he observed that the sides of the 2,500-mile-long Martian canyon, Valles Marineris, had moved roughly 93 miles relative to each other. Make the jump to find out just how he did it and what it means for us on Earth.

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  6. Researchers Create Transparent Solar Cell, Step Closer to Windows

    A window that generates electricity simply through its very existence has long been the dream of many working on photovoltaic research. Now, thanks to researchers at University of California, Los Angeles, we are one step closer. Using a new polymer solar cell prototype, they've been able to craft a cell that converts infrared light into electrical energy with a conversion efficiency of four percent at 66 percent transparency. In other words, you can see through it and it still generates current.

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  7. Flexible Graphene Supercapacitors Can Be Made With a DVD Burner

    If it wasn't enough that graphene is photovoltaic and that it can be as strong as steel in sheets as thin as paper, it turns out that graphene has yet another useful application; graphene can be used to make thin, flexible supercapacitors that are 20 times more powerful than your average electrochemical variety. On top of that, the production process can be performed with a DVD burner. The applications, as you might imagine, are plentiful.

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  8. The Internet’s Birthplace Has Been Located

    In 1969, while NASA was landing on the moon, the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) was busy trying to link up the then rare computers that were scattered across various U.S. corporations and college campuses. The idea was that by networking these computers together, they could improve research and also develop a networked computing system that would be less vulnerable to a nuclear attack. By 1969 the idea was up and running, with the first node of the ARPA network (ARPANET) operational at the UCLA campus. On October 29, the research team sent the first message from the UCLA node to another node at Stanford. The Internet was born, and it was good. But time passed, and  technology progressed: ARPANET grew to become the background of the international digital communication network we know today, the ARPA organization became the DARPA we're so familiar with, and the room that birthed the internet was forgotten. It wasn't until Brad Fidler, a doctoral candidate at the UCLA history program used first-hand accounts and photos to track down the cradle of the net: 3420 Boelter Hall.

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