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A team of researchers working on a Carnegie expedition in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has documented that coral growth rates have plummeted 40 percent since the mid-1970s. The scientists suggest that ocean acidification may be playing an important role in this perilous slowdown. 

Hydrogen is the most-abundant element in the cosmos. With only a single electron per atom, it is deceptively simple. As a result, hydrogen has been a testing ground for theories of the chemical bond since the birth of quantum mechanics a century ago. Understanding the nature of chemical bonding in extreme environments is crucial for expanding our understanding of matter over the broad range of conditions found in the universe.

Recent advances in our understanding of the quantities, movements, forms and origin of carbon in Earth are summarized in a just-published report. The research represents fast-paced progress on the depths of the biosphere, Earth, what erupts from volcanoes and leaks from sea floors, what descends back into Earth’s great depths, and the nature of carbon-bearing materials within planets.

The MESSENGER Education and Public Outreach (EPO) Team, led by Julie Edmonds, is launching a competition this week to name five impact craters on Mercury. The contest is open to all Earthlings, except for members of the mission’s EPO team. The contest runs from December 15, 2014, to January 15, 2015.

We would not expect a baby to join a team or participate in social situations that require sophisticated communication. Yet, most developmental biologists have assumed that young cells, only recently born from stem cells and known as “progenitors,” are already competent at inter-communication with other cells. New research shows that infant cells have to go through a developmental process that involves specific genes before they can take part in the group interactions that underlie normal cellular development and keep our tissues functioning smoothly.   

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