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Showing posts from September 8, 2015

The Best Country to Live in If You're Over 60

The sunny skies of Florida and Arizona may be a draw for older Americans, but Switzerland is the best place to be if you're 60 and over, according to a new report. According to the Global AgeWatch Index 2015, which measures the social and economic wellbeing of older people across the globe, Switzerland ranks as the No. 1 country in the world to live for older people. The rankings were based on how well countries scored in four domains: older adults' income security, health status, capability (which included employment and educational status) and enabling environment (which included people's physical safety, civic freedoms and access to public transportation).

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Half of American Adults Have Diabetes or Prediabetes

About half of American adults have either diabetes or prediabetes, a new study says. In 2011 to 2012, more than 12 percent of U.S. adults had diabetes, and 38 percent had prediabetes, a condition in which blood sugar levels are abnormally high, the study found. In addition, more than one-third of people with diabetes were undiagnosed, meaning they didn't know they had the condition.

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Wow! Space Station Astronauts Awed by Dazzling Auroras (Video)

Earth's natural light show — the auroras — flared into high gear Monday (Sep. 7), creating a breathtaking display that astronaut Scott Kelly said was like no other aurora he'd ever seen. Bright-green rivers of light and a deep-crimson haze decorated Earth's atmosphere during the Labor Day light show. From his vantage point on the International Space Station, Kelly caught several snapshots of the waving green lights, as well as a vivid time-lapse video.


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Space Station Crosses Sun's Face in Spectacular New Photo

An amazing new photo shows the International Space Station crossing the sun's face. The picture, a composite of five images taken Sunday (Sept. 6) from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia by NASA photographer Bill Ingalls, captures a "transit" of the International Space Station (ISS) across the solar disk. Such transits don't last very long, because the space station zooms around Earth at more than 17,000 mph (27,000 km/h) — the $100 billion complex completes one lap around our planet once every 90 minutes or so.


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What's That Strange Bright Dot in the Morning Sky?

If you see a bright light just above the horizon at sunrise, don't panic! It's not a UFO — it's probably just Venus. But it's only the planet Venus in the opening stages of a spectacular morning apparition that will continue through September and October. In addition, Jupiter will join Venus in the early-morning sky for a gorgeous celestial tango.


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Visibility a challenge for scientists studying German U-boat

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Scientists who set out to use submersibles to study a German U-boat off the Rhode Island coast said Tuesday they were hampered by poor visibility but the mission was still a success because they were able to test new technologies that allow such expeditions to be broadcast to large audiences.


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One Size Fits Few: Artificial Hearts Leave Many Out (Op-Ed)

Dr. Mario Deng, professor of medicine and medical director of the Advanced Heart Failure, Mechanical Support and Heart Transplant program at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), contributed this essay to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights. When Nemah Kahala, a wife and mother of five, arrived at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center as one of our patients in March, her condition was the definition of critical. Over time, this reduces blood flow and can lead to heart failure.


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Guys: Before You Watch Football, Get a Prostate Checkup

Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt, co-director of The PUR Clinic — Personalized Urology & Robotics — at South Lake Hospital, in affiliation with Orlando Health in Clermont, Fla., and Austin Klise, communications manager at Men's Health Network, contributed this article to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights. Before filling out our first fantasy football lineups, before settling into our recliners or firing up the grill at our first tailgate party, let's make an appointment with the doctor. It might not surprise you that a recent survey found nearly 75 percent of men watch professional football at least once a week, but only about half could remember their last trip to the doctor.

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Creating 'Common Wealth' Spawns Health and Profits (Op-Ed)

Marc Shillum is chief experience officer of Matternet, an integrated system of smart transportation drones, secure landing stations and cloud­-based routing software for bringing medication and diagnostics samples to otherwise inaccessible locations. This op-ed is part of a series provided by the World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers, class of 2015. Shillum contributed this article to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights. In Silicon Valley, it's all too easy to get pre­occupied with the massive wealth that can be generated from a smart insight into emerging technology.

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'Synthetic' Leaves: The Energy Plants of the Future? (Kavli Roundtable)

Alan Brown, writer and blogger for The Kavli Foundation contributed this article to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights. People could store it this form of solar energy in cars' fuel tanks, distribute it through pipelines, and buy it in gas stations. Green plants and some bacteria basically do this every day, through photosynthesis, turning water and carbon dioxide into sugar.


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NASA's Europa Mission May Land on Ocean-Harboring Moon

NASA's upcoming mission to Europa may actually touch down on the potentially life-harboring Jupiter moon. While the main thrust of the Europa mission, which NASA aims to launch by the mid-2020s, involves characterizing the icy satellite from afar during dozens of flybys, the space agency is considering sending a small probe down to the surface as well. "We are actively pursuing the possibility of a lander," Robert Pappalardo, Europa project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, said last week during a panel discussion at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' Space 2015 conference in Pasadena.


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Could the HPV Vaccine Treat Warts?

The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is intended to prevent people from getting infected with the virus, but in some cases, it may actually work as a treatment, clearing warts in people who are already infected, a new report suggests. The report describes several cases of people who had persistent oral warts that went away soon after they received the HPV vaccine. While it's too early to say for certain whether the HPV vaccine treated the warts, the researchers said formal studies should look at this question.

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The Science of Essential Oils: Does Using Scents Make Sense?

More and more Americans may have heard some buzz about essential oils, and may be experimenting with them in hopes of improving their moods or feeling better. People may turn to essential oils as part of aromatherapy, an alternative-medicine approach in which these highly concentrated, aromatic plant oils are used in small amounts in hopes of improving someone's physical or emotional health. Essential oils are mixtures, sometimes containing almost 300 substances, said Gerhard Buchbauer, a professor of pharmaceutical chemistry at the University of Vienna in Austria, who has researched and written about the chemical compounds used in aromatherapy.

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Recreated Pit Roast Offers a Taste of Stone Age Life

And in the spirit of the Stone Age, archaeologists on the Mediterranean island recreated a prehistoric pit feast this summer — feeding 200 people with pig and goat, slow-roasted underground — to test the cooking methods of Neolithic chefs. A 9,000-year-old barbecue pit was recently discovered at Prastio Mesorotsos, a site in the Diarizos Valley outside of Paphos, which has been almost continuously occupied from the Neolithic era to the present. It took three years of excavations before archaeologists from the University of Edinburgh got to the bottom of the stone-lined, ash-covered pit, and only last summer could they say with some certainty that they were looking at an ancient oven.


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Was Ancient Jerusalem Podium a Lost-and-Found?

A mysterious podium has been uncovered in the ruins of ancient Jerusalem. The pyramidal structure, which has a small set of stairs made of finely cut rectangular stones, may have once been a public venue where street preachers spoke, or it may have been a public lost-and-found, researchers said. The strange structure actually juts out into a 2,000-year-old walkway that led pilgrims up to the Temple Mount from the Pool of Siloam, an ancient ritual bath mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments.


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Low emission biogas also produces fertilizer

By Jim Drury TORONTO, CANADA (Reuters) - A Canadian chemical engineer has devised a product that transforms the waste generated by biogas production into fertilizer. Andrew White says his SulfaCHAR system eliminates chemical waste from the biogas process, while increasing renewable gas plants' profitability and stopping the degradation to gas engines caused by hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Biogas can help create electricity or be used as a replacement for natural gas and is often cited as a clean and carbon-neutral alternative to fossil fuels.

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Hot Superblobs at Earth's Core Feed Rivers of Molten Rock

The searing-hot plumes, which feed volcanoes on the surface, are likely themselves fed by two "superblobs" beneath Africa and the Pacific Ocean, the researchers said. The new results may settle a long-standing debate about whether these molten jets of magma, called mantle plumes, trigger volcanic eruptions. For decades, scientists have debated the existence of mantle plumes, or hot columns of magma that rise in the Earth's mantle, the layer between the crust and the molten iron and nickel outer core.


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No Organs, No Problem: Weird Animal Hunts Without Nerves or Muscles

This tiny multicellular animal — only a millimeter across — has nothing recognizable as muscle or nerve cells. Trichoplax "behaves as if it has a nervous system, yet lacks typical nerves and synapses," the connections between brain cells over which information travels, said study senior author Thomas Reese, a senior investigator at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Maryland. Trichoplax adhaerans (or Trix, as the researchers call it) is found worldwide, crawling capably across shallow seafloors on a belly covered in hairlike cilia, and feeding on algae.


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Kermit the Cannibal? Frogs Sometimes Eat Each Other

While it may seem like frogs are insectivores (a long tongue snatching a fly comes to mind), these amphibians are actually "generalist" carnivores. "You would be more likely to find frogs eating other frogs in the Amazon than you would in New York state.


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California Faces Threat of Earthquake-Triggered Tsunamis

Californians may be used to hearing about the threat of potentially deadly earthquakes, but a new study finds that quake-triggered tsunamis pose a greater risk to Southern California than previously thought. Tsunamis are monster waves that can reach more than 100 feet (30 meters) high. Tsunamis increase in size as the depth of water in which they occur decreases.


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