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The Sciences

News Roundup: Real-Life Blood Spatter Analysis Catches Up to “Dexter”

80beatsBy Andrew MosemanMarch 2, 2011 1:55 AM

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  • Materials violence: NASA will use a million pounds of force to crush a 20-foot-tall aluminum-lithium rocket fuel tank outfitted with sensors (all in the name of science, of course). The idea is to test out how modern composite materials buckle under incredible pressure, in the hope of finding out where the weaknesses might be.

  • Real-life forensic science is rarely as easy or glamorous as its TV counterpart. Actual blood spatter experts, for example, don't operate with quite the ease of the title character in "Dexter." But a new study proposes a way to use simple trigonometry to calculate not only the point of origin for blood but also the height above the ground, which previously couldn't be determined.

  • You knew this day would come: The United States has approved the first deepwater offshore drilling permit given out since the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

  • As strong as metal and as moldable as plastic: Yale scientist Jan Schroers' new super-alloys.

  • Half of adult males may be carrying the human papillomavirus (HPV), according to a study in The Lancet. It often lingers quietly but is transmitted sexually and is the cause of most cervical cancers in women.

  • "Strictly speaking, there should be no blue whales." So begins DISCOVER blogger Carl Zimmer as he explores the curious question of why blue whales, with so many more cells than human beings and so many chances for those cells to go wrong, are not killed by cancer at an astounding rate.

Image: NASA

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