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Discovered: Hairy chested crabs, a invisibility cloak that erases time, a beautiful image of the next generation of stars, the key to dieting success, the effects of climate change are worse than we predicted

  • A new world of underwater species. We knew there was gross stuff down there. Oxford scientists have discovered a host of new creatures in the deep blue, including the "hoff" crab, which gets its name because of its hairy David Hasselhoff-esque chest. They really are as gross as they sound. See for yourself, The BBC has some disturbing, detailed non-embedable video. Beyond the crabs, the researchers also found some less threatening ocean beings including starfish, barnacles, and sea anemones, and octopus living on hydrothermal vents, where these creatures can break down chemicals for energy. The octopus is actually pretty cute. (Image via Oxford University [The Guardian
  • A real life invisibility cloak. Science has made Harry Potter magic real. By interrupting the light that normally makes us see events, Cornell University researchers made 40 trillionths of a second invisible. "You kind of create a hole in time where an event takes place," said study co-author Alexander Gaeta. "You just don't know that anything ever happened." This cloak won't last long enough to get Harry past the dementors haunting Hogwarts so he can see Hagrid. But, this is real life. [The AP]
  • The next generation of stars. The European Southern Observatory captured the sharpest image yet of the Omega Nebula, rosy gas and space dust that will grow up into the universe's next stars. This particular star nursery ranks as one of the friskiest  in the Milky Way, as an active breeding ground for massive stars. It's also very pretty.[Science Daily]
  • High calorie versus high protein diets. For your post New Year's starvation month: fewer calories, more protein. Studying a group of dieters with various high protein and high calorie diets, researchers concluded that the high calorie eaters, even with low protein diets, had a higher increase in body fat. Take it from the research: "Calories are more important than protein while consuming excess amounts of energy with respect to increases in body fat." Atkins diet time? [Eureka]
  • The effects of climate change are worse than we think. Unsettling climate change factoid of the day: Models of how the changing climate will effect plant and animal life probably underestimate the severity of future extinctions. "We have really sophisticated meteorological models for predicting climate change," says ecologist Mark Urban, the study's lead author. "But in real life, animals move around, they compete, they parasitize each other and they eat each other. The majority of our predictions don't include these important interactions." When adjusting for animal competition, things don't look so good. [Biological Sciences]

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