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Graphene is a carbon-based material used extensively in electronics, biomedical devices, semiconductors, and space and aerospace industries. What makes graphene unique and useful is its structure. It forms very thin sheets in a “honeycomb” pattern, which can efficiently conduct heat and electricity and are also…

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What do gene sequencing, catching criminals with DNA evidence, and “designer babies” all have in common? Forty years ago, these were all considered science fiction topics. Today, they are fields of serious study. All three of these fields, and many more, were made possible by a very important discovery in 1986: a…

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Poliomyelitis is the name of the disease caused by the poliovirus, and it mostly affects children under the age of 5, causing paralysis in a small percent of cases. The disease had been around since the 1800s at low levels, but became an epidemic in multiple countries between the 1910s-1960s. Because polio was killing…

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As world news about the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold, society’s collective knowledge and interest in viruses has increased. But who discovered the first virus? How did they know what to look for? Why are viruses so good at what they do?  Viruses are very curious creatures. They are extremely small…

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The one of the largest land predators to have ever lived, the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex, just crowned a new king. On March 21st, a team of University of Alberta scientists described the oldest and largest T. rex ever found. Scotty’s unearthed fossils reveals a fairly complete set of bones including a hips, limbs, and…

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An international team of scientists recently detected a new cavity in the 4000 year old Great Pyramid of Egypt! The detection method, muon tomography, is non-intrusive and so the discovery still awaits confirmation using more traditional techniques that involve (minimally invasive) drills and flashlights. But let’s…

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Tsunami are among the most destructive natural events that happen on our planet. From the Japanese term meaning “harbor wave”, tsunami occur when large volumes of water are quickly moved about in the ocean, which can be driven by events like earthquakes and glacial calving (when pieces of a glacier break off and…