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World of Warcraft boosts cognitive functioning in older adults

For some older adults, the online video game World of Warcraft (WoW) may provide more than an opportunity for escapist adventure. Researchers have found that playing WoW boosted cognitive functioning for older adults – particularly those who had scored poorly on cognitive ability tests before playing the game.

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How cancer cells change once they spread to distant organs

Oncologists have known that in order for cancer cells to spread, they must transform themselves so they can detach from a tumor and spread to a distant organ. Now, scientists have revealed critical steps in what happens next — how these cells reverse the process, morphing back into classical cancer that can now grow into a new tumor.

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What can animals’ survival instincts tell us about understanding human emotion?

Can animals’ survival instincts shed additional light on what we know about human emotion? Neuroscientists pose this question in outlining a pioneering theory, drawn from two decades of research, that could lead to a more comprehensive understanding of emotions in both humans and animals.

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NASA’s Spitzer finds solid buckyballs in space

Astronomers using data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope have, for the first time, discovered buckyballs in a solid form in space. Prior to this discovery, the microscopic carbon spheres had been found only in gas form in the cosmos.

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Earth’s clouds are getting lower, NASA satellite finds

Earth’s clouds got a little lower — about one percent on average — during the first decade of this century, finds a new NASA-funded university study based on NASA satellite data. The results have potential implications for future global climate.

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From Bass Strait to the Indian Ocean: Tracking a current

Deep-diving ocean “gliders” have revealed the journey of Bass Strait water from the Tasman Sea to the Indian Ocean.

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Tiny, implantable medical device can propel itself through bloodstream

For 50 years, scientists had searched for the secret to making tiny implantable devices that could travel through the bloodstream. Engineers have now demonstrated a wirelessly powered device that just may make the dream a reality.

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New twist on nanowires: Technology can control composition and structure of these tiny wires as they grow

Nanowires — microscopic fibers that can be “grown” in the lab — are a hot research topic today, with a variety of potential applications including light-emitting diodes and sensors. Now, researchers has found a way of precisely controlling the width and composition of these tiny strands as they grow, making it possible to grow complex structures that are optimally designed for particular applications.

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This Week in Science

Enduring Tolerance | Tunnel Barriers for Graphene Transistors | Paracrystalline | Warming and Shrinking | How Dry They Were | Cashing Up | Distinguishing Ciliopathy | Death for Development | Networks of Networks | Winging It | A Fraction of Folding | Sound the Alarm | When the Rain Comes | Piercing Botulinum’s Defense | Curbing the Other Side

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Editors’ Choice

Policy: Assessing the Assessments | Biotechnology: Small Sources of Sweetness | Virology: Replication Restricted | Physiology: Fructose Sweetens the Deal | Neuroscience: The Reading Brain | Education: Getting the Rubric Right | Astrophysics: Swifter than the Sun

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