CFLs, galaxies, dexterity genes.

Compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) save lots of energy, but improper disposal of the bulbs can lead to toxic emissions of mercury. Electric power plants are by far the largest source of mercury released into the environment by humans; however, chemical engineer Julie Zimmerman and her colleagues found that in areas of the country where the power plants don't emit mercury, improper CFL disposal raised the mercury emissions. The study appeared online on September 24 in Environmental Science and Technology.


Segue 1, a small, dim galaxy with only a few hundred stars, is the least luminous galaxy yet discovered. But astronomer Marla Geha and her team have found that it is almost 1,000 times more massive than could be predicted from its stars alone. The missing mass, the Geha team reports in an upcoming paper in the Astrophysical Journal, must come from invisible dark matter.


The factors that make humans so dexterous may lie in the vast stretches of our genome that don't contain code for any known protein. Yale School of Medicine geneticist James Noonan and colleagues identified an area of so-called "junk" DNA different from that of chimps and rhesus macaques. When the human material was inserted into mouse embryos, it switched on genes that regulated the development of the thumb, wrist, and ankle. The work appeared in the September 5 Science.


Psychologists have found a clue as to why self-control and intelligence are linked. Psychology professor Jeremy Gray and his colleagues reported on September 9, in Psychological Science online, that students who performed well both on memory tests and in delaying acceptance of a reward exhibited more activity in an information management area called the anterior prefrontal cortex. 

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