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Cold War nuclear radiation creates anti-poaching tool
Inside Science
Radioactive carbon atoms created during 20th-century nuclear bomb tests could help save elephants and other endangered species. A new study, published in this week's issue of the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that carbon-14, a radioactive version of the common carbon atom, can be used to determine when an animal died to within about one year. "We're not the first to try this, but I think we've done the most thorough proof of concept," said the study’s first author Kevin Uno, a geochemist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Observatory. The dating technique could help wildlife investigators for the first time to reliably determine if ivory was obtained legally by indicating whether it was acquired after a 1989 international ban on trade in ivory.
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For decades Thermo Fisher Scientific has worked with Geoscientists helping to achieve a greater understanding of the earth and our planets. The data provided from the innovative technologies has been documented in a wide variety of literature. This knowledge is now accessible on Learn more about instruments and applications for the analysis of elements and isotopes.


Zircon Tops Elements Survey
Between June 18-28, Elements conducted an online survey shortly after releasing its 50th issue (The Mineral-Water Interface). The survey was announced here in Geochemical News as well as broadcast across the 17 participating societies. In all, 527 responses were received. Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey and provided a wide variety of useful comments for the consideration of the editors and executive committee. Elements managing editor, Pierrette Tremblay, intends to provide a more in-depth report in a future issue of Elements, but for those who are curious, the Top 5 Favorite Issues selected in the survey were:
    1) Zircon: Tiny but Timely (Feb. 2007)
    2) Rare Earth Elements (Oct. 2012)
    3) Granitic Pegmatites (Aug. 2012)
    4) Supervolcanoes (Feb. 2008)
    5) Early Earth (Aug. 2006)

These and all Elements issues are available to members through the online archive.

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Geochemical Career Center

New! Microprobe Lab Manager (Ruhr Universitaet Bochum, Bochum, Germany)

Tenure Track Position in Stable Isotope Geochemistry (Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA)

PhD in Experimental Geochemistry (GNS Science, Taupo, New Zealand)

Job Seekers: View current openings | Post your resume | Career resources

Employers: All jobs posted in the Geochemical Career Center are cross-promoted through our Facebook page and right here in Geochemical News.

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New in GGG (v.14, May 2013)
Early Eocene to middle Miocene cooling and aridification of East Antarctica

Geochemical insight into differences in the physical structures and dynamics of two adjacent maar lakes at Mt. Vulture volcano (southern Italy)

Oceanographic variability in the South Pacific Convergence Zone region over the last 210 years from multi-site coral Sr/Ca records

Effects of permeability fields on fluid, heat, and oxygen isotope transport in extensional detachment systems

Lead isotope provinciality of central North Pacific Deep Water over the Cenozoic

Asian dust input in the western Philippine Sea: Evidence from radiogenic Sr and Nd isotopes

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AGI announces Earth Science Week Photo Contest
Since October 1998, the American Geosciences Institute has organized Earth Science Week to help the public gain a better understanding and appreciation for the Earth Sciences and to encourage stewardship of the Earth. This year's Earth Science Week will be held from Oct. 13-19 and will celebrate the theme "Mapping Our World." As part of this celebration, AGI is accepting entries from international participants through Oct. 18, 2013, for its ESW Photography Contest. The photographs will be judged by a panel of geoscientists on creativity and relevance to and incorporation of the topic.
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What caused ancient upheaval to Australian landscape?
Between about 45,000 and 50,000 years ago, Australia experienced three radical changes. The continent was once home to a menagerie of giant creatures, or megafauna, such as marsupial versions of lions, rhino-size wombats, giant kangaroos and flightless birds, but about 90 percent of that megafauna disappeared during this time.
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New insights into the early bombardment history on Mercury
The surface of Mercury is rather different from those of well-known rocky bodies like the Moon and Mars. Early images from the Mariner 10 spacecraft unveiled a planet covered by smooth plains and cratered plains of unclear origin. A team led by Dr. Simone Marchi, a Fellow of the NASA Lunar Science Institute located at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) Boulder, Colo., office, collaborating with the MESSENGER team, including Dr. Clark Chapman of the SwRI Planetary Science Directorate, studied the surface to better understand if the plains were formed by volcanic flows or composed of material ejected from the planet's giant impact basins.
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Global cooling as significant as global warming
A "cold snap" 116 million years ago triggered a similar marine ecosystem crisis to the ones witnessed in the past as a result of global warming, according to research published in Nature Geoscience. The international study involving experts from the universities of Newcastle, U.K., Cologne, Frankfurt and GEOMAR-Kiel, confirms the link between global cooling and a crash in the marine ecosystem during the mid-Cretaceous greenhouse period.
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Egyptian iron beads likely fell from the sky
The Columbus Dispatch
Iron is the most useful of all metals, but humans took a long time to learn how to use it. Even the Roman poet Lucretius understood that the Iron Age was the culmination of a long sequence of technological developments that began during the primal Stone Age.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Higher levels of stray gases found in water wells near shale gas sites (ScienceDaily)
Jets of molten rock push Earth's tectonic plates (
Study: Mars had oxygen-rich atmosphere 4 billion years ago (

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


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