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Risky teams, forged banknotes, frost-proof frogs

An eclectic mix of science snips from Sciencebase:

  • Novel algorithm cuts the risks of choosing ineffectual team members – The risky business of putting together a team
  • Counterfeit spectroscopy – Banknote counterfeiting is a growing problem for fraud investigators across the globe and criminals involved in this highly profitable system are constantly developing their techniques to stay one step ahead of the authorities and their forensic detection methods. Now, researchers in Brazil and the US have taken a mass spectrometric approach that can produce a near-instantaneous chemical profile of a banknote to check against database entries and spot counterfeit notes very quickly.
  • Frozen Frogs – Frost-proof tree frogs offer new clues as to how some animals protect themselves from the lethal effects of ice crystals forming within their tissues.
  • Latest chemistry news round-up from David Bradley – Buckyballs reach for the stars in this week's Alchemist chemistry news round-up while the oxygen levels in dead zones of the oceanic depths brings us back down to earth. An obvious contaminant explains why graphite oxides and related materials are wont to burst into flames and a prostate gel offers an improved diagnostic for a lethal disease. In the analytical arena, atomic absorption spectroscopy shows just how much iodine is present in a milk sample and could improve nutrition and nutritional studies. Finally, organic solar cells look set for a boost thanks to an NSF grant to aid their development over the next five years.
  • Plankton decline across oceans as waters warm – If you thought climate change was only about unfortunates living in extreme environments, then think again, the oceans and consequently all species are going to suffer if this turns out to be true: The amount of phytoplankton – tiny marine plants – in the top layers of the oceans has declined markedly over the last century, research suggests.
  • Science Online London 2010 – Nature, Mendeley, and the British Library are excited to present Science Online London 2010. How is the web changing the way we conduct, communicate, share, and evaluate research? How can we employ these trends for the greater good? This September, a brilliant group of scientists, bloggers, web entrepreneurs, and publishers will be meeting for two days to address these very questions.
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