Our editors pick of this weeks Top 10 STEM News:

Desert elephants pass on knowledge — not mutations — to survive

Despite reported differences in appearance and behavior, DNA evidence finds that Namibian desert elephants share the same DNA as African savanna elephants. However, Namibian desert-dwelling elephants should be protected so they can continue to pass on their unique knowledge and survival skills to future generations.

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Reach in and touch objects in videos

A new technique called Interactive Dynamic Video (IDV) lets you reach in and ‘touch’ objects in videos. IDV has many possible uses, from filmmakers producing new kinds of visual effects to architects determining if buildings are structurally sound.

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Physicists reach lowest temperature ever recorded in solids using laser cooling

When most people think about lasers, they usually imagine them generating heat and even setting something on fire. But, for a group of scientists in The University of New Mexico’s Department of Physics & Astronomy, lasers are actually being used to reach temperatures colder than the arctic circle.

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Simulations show a single photon can simultaneously excite two atoms

A small team of researchers with affiliations to institutions in Italy, Japan and the U.S. has created a simulation that suggests that it should be possible for a single photon to simultaneously excite two atoms. In their paper published in the open access journal Physical Review Letters, the team describes the process leading to their simulation, what it showed and why they believe their findings have applications in quantum computers.

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Scientists discover light could exist in a previously unknown form

New research suggests that it is possible to create a new form of light by binding light to a single electron, combining the properties of both. According to the scientists behind the study, from Imperial College London, the coupled light and electron would have properties that could lead to circuits that work with packages of light Рphotons Рinstead of electrons.

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Towards the T-1000: Liquid metals propel future electronics

How can we move beyond solid state electronics towards flexible soft circuit systems? New self-propelling liquid metals could be the answer. The advance opens the potential for creating makeshift and floating electronics, bringing science fiction – like the shape-shifting liquid metal T-1000 Terminator – one step closer to real life.

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Brains of overweight people ‘ten years older’ than lean counterparts at middle-age

From middle-age, the brains of obese individuals display differences in white matter similar to those in lean individuals ten years their senior, according to new research.

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Scientists convert carbon dioxide, create electricity

Scientists have developed an oxygen-assisted aluminum/carbon dioxide power cell that uses electrochemical reactions to both sequester the carbon dioxide and produce electricity.

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Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, may aid healing after heart attack

Taking a high dose of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil daily for six months after a heart attack improved the function of the heart and reduced scarring in the undamaged muscle, according to a new study.

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‘Second skin’ protects soldiers from biological, chemical agents

In work that aims to protect soldiers, a team of scientists has created a material that is highly breathable yet protective from biological agents. This material is the first key component of futuristic smart uniforms that also will respond to and protect from environmental chemical hazards.

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