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Showing posts from September 11, 2015

Social Media Use in Teens Linked to Poor Sleep, Anxiety

The pressure to be available 24/7 on social media may lead to poorer sleep quality as well as an increased risk of depression and anxiety in teens, according to a new study. In the study, researchers asked 467 teenagers ages 11 to 17 about their use of social media during the day and at night. In other tests, they examined the teens' sleep quality, self-esteem, anxiety and depression.

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3 Space Station Astronauts Safely Return to Earth

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen and Kazakhstan's Aidyn Aimbetov touched down safely on the Kazakh steppes at 8:51 p.m. EDT on Friday (0051 GMT Saturday), 3.5 hours after departing the space station. The landing marked the end of a quick mission for Mogensen and Aimbetov, who had arrived at the $100 billion orbiting complex just last Friday (Sept. 4). Padalka came up in March with fellow cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko and NASA's Scott Kelly, both of whom are now halfway through an unprecedented yearlong orbital mission.


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US dropping sale-of-secrets-to-China case against professor

Federal prosecutors sought to dismiss charges Friday against a Temple University physics professor who was accused of scheming to provide secret U.S. technology to China after being confronted with statements from physicists that investigators had misunderstood the technology.

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Record-setting cosmonaut, two visiting crewmen head home from space station

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - A Russian Soyuz capsule carrying the world’s most experienced space flier and two rookie crewmates pulled away from the International Space Station on Friday, aiming for a parachute landing in Kazakhstan, a NASA TV broadcast showed. The capsule departed the station at 5:39 p.m. EDT/2139 GMT and was slated to touch down at 8:51 p.m. EDT/0051 GMT southeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. Strapped inside the capsule was former station commander Gennady Padalka, 57, who returns from his fifth spaceflight with a record 879 days in orbit.

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Exclusive: Pentagon official cites concern about business outlook for ULA

By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A senior Pentagon official on Friday expressed concerns about Aerojet Rocketdyne Holding Inc’s reported $2 billion bid for United Launch Alliance (ULA), a 50-50 rocket launch venture of Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co, and said the deal would require a careful review. Aerojet Rocketdyne, which makes rocket engines, submitted the cash bid to buy ULA, the sole provider of launch services for U.S. military and spy satellites, in early August, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.


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'Cosmic Tsunami' Shocks Comatose 'Sausage' Galaxy Cluster Into Star Formation

A so-called "cosmic tsunami" is rousing a galaxy cluster affectionately nicknamed "Sausage," suggesting that stagnant galaxies can be rejuvenated when galactic clusters collide, scientists say. Astronomers made the discovery while studying CIZA J2242.8+5301, an ancient galaxy cluster 2.3 billion light-years from Earth. The cluster (yes, they actually call it Sausage), which is full of old red stars, is waking up as a shock wave triggers new star formation.


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Train Like 'The Martian': Movie's Mars Crew Gear for Sale by Sports Outfitter

There is now a new way to dress like an astronaut, or at least a fictional future Mars crew member, thanks to a joint marketing promotion between the movie "The Martian" and the sports outfitter Under Armour. A new teaser video released online on Wednesday (Sept. 9) not only advertised the 20th Century Fox film opening in theaters on Oct. 2, but also Under Armour's apparel as the choice of the film's NASA astronauts. In the minute and 15 second-long clip, actor Matt Damon, as Ares 3 crew member Mark Watney, is seen undergoing physical training for his journey to Mars while dressed in Under Armour's basewear, including compression leggings and shirt.


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Many Injuries in California's 2014 Quake Occurred During Cleanup

Many of the people who were injured from the 6.0-magnitude earthquake in Napa, California, last year were actually hurt during the cleanup effort, after the quake was over, according to a new study. The quake killed one person and injured 208 people, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. During the two months after the earthquake, public health officials interviewed members of about 200 households in Napa, asking about the injuries and distress that they experienced as a result of the quake.

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Eating More Fish Linked to Lower Risk of Depression

People who eat a lot of fish may have a slightly lower risk of depression, according to a new analysis of previous studies. In their analysis, researchers looked at 26 studies that involved a total of 150,278 people and examined the relationship between depression and the consumption of fish. When the researchers analyzed the studies conducted in Europe, they found that the people who consumed the most fish had a 17 percent lower risk of depression than those who ate the least amount of fish.

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'Heart in the Gut': Stomach Bacteria Shape Cardiac Health

Bacteria living in a person's gastrointestinal tract can influence the health of their heart by affecting their weight, blood lipids and cholesterol levels, a new study reports. Researchers estimated that the composition of a person's gut bacteria community could explain 4 percent of the variations seen in people's HDL "good" cholesterol levels, nearly 5 percent of the differences seen in people's body weight and up to 6 percent of the variation in people's triglycerides (blood fats). "The study provides solid evidence for a role of gut microbes in body mass index (BMI) and blood lipids," said Jingyuan Fu, an associate professor of genetics at the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands and lead author of the new study.

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Poor Sleep May Increase Heart Disease Risk

Getting too much or too little sleep may increase a person's risk of heart disease, according to a new study from South Korea. Men and women in the study who snoozed for 9 or more hours per night had more calcium in their arterial walls and stiffer arteries — two factors that put them at risk for heart disease — than those who slept 7 hours a night. The researchers found that the people who said they slept poorly were more likely to have these two early signs of heart disease than those who said they slept better, according to the study, published today (Sept. 10) in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

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What Americans Know (and Don't Know) About Science

Do you understand the relationship between elevation and the boiling point of water? If so, than you likely know more about science than most Americans, the majority of whom got these questions wrong on a recent survey by the Pew Research Center. The people who fared the best on Pew's questionnaire were those with the most education.


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Europe launches two more Galileo satellites, aiming for GPS rival

Europe came a step closer to setting up its own satellite navigation system on Friday after successfully launching two Galileo satellites from French Guyana. The European Space Agency's Galileo project is meant as a European Union alternative to the U.S. Global Positioning System, or GPS. Friday's launch, in Europe's early hours, took the number of satellites sent up to 10 out of a planned total of 30.

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Massive Dust Storm Swirls in New Photo from Space

The Middle East is known to experience dust storms, but new satellite images captured dramatic aerial views of a dust storm that recently blanketed and rolled across Iran, Iraq and the Persian Gulf. The veil of dust first appeared in satellite photos along the Iraq-Syria border on Aug. 31, according to NASA, and by the next day, it took on a cyclonic shape, similar to a tropical storm. By Sept. 2, the dust cloud reached the Persian Gulf and began to spread out across the gulf's basin the following day.


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Early Humans Climbed Down from Trees Gradually

The last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees may have had shoulders that were similar to those of modern African apes, researchers say. The finding supports the notion that the human lineage shifted to a life away from trees gradually. Knowing the characteristics of the last common ancestor of humans and chimps would shed light on how the anatomy and behavior of both lineages evolved over time, "but fossils from that time are rare," said lead author of the new study Nathan Young, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, San Francisco.


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Laser Weapon Melts Test Drone in Midair

A new laser weapon that can burn up targets in just a few seconds recently melted and destroyed a test drone flying over California. Known as the Compact Laser Weapons System, the futuristic, drone-shooting weapon is a smaller, more versatile version of the High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD), a system developed by Boeing to be mounted on top of U.S. Army vehicles. Both weapons forgo conventional bullets for "directed energy"— a focused beam of energy that heats up and damages a target.


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Surprise! Newfound Venomous Spider Drops in on Scientists

Many species of funnel-web spiders, named for their funnel-shaped webs, are indigenous to Australia, but only one of these species, the Sydney funnel-web spider, is known to live in Booderee National Park. Sydney funnel-webs (Atrax robustus) are ground-dwelling spiders with highly venomous bites that, before the development of an anti-venom, posed a serious medical risk to humans. Funnel-webs, including Atrax robustus, were believed to be responsible for at least 13 deaths in Australia before the anti-venom became available, in 1981.


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Cosmic Hourglass Reveals Tricky Birth of Giant Stars

For the research, an international team of astronomers studied the birthplace of massive stars, called IRAS 16547-4247, using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an enormous, powerful radio telescope in Chile. Because high-mass stars form in complex environments with multiple protostars — the clouds of dust and gas that ultimately form stars — that lie far from the Earth, the region has remained a mystery that only ALMA could solve.


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Evolution of Video-Game Spaceships Traced in 'Guinness World Records 2016 Gamer's Edition'

This awesome new image from the folks behind the Guinness World Records traces the evolution of video-game spaceships, from the simple dots and dashes of "Spacewar!" in 1962 to the hyperrealistic Anaconda craft of "Elite: Dangerous" in 2014. Fresh from the newly published "Guinness World Records 2016 Gamer's Edition" — released today (Sept. 10) along with "Guinness World Records 2016" — this "Evolution of Spaceships" feature hits the highlights of galactic transportation and combat through the ages. The very first video-game shooter also featured the first video-game spaceship: "Spacewar!" players in 1962 faced off in ships titled "The Needle" and "The Wedge" in a game "having less detail than a cave painting," according to the infographic.


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African scientists funded to seek cures for AIDS, Ebola at home

By Katy Migiro NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - An African research fund launched in Kenya on Thursday aims to raise the quality of Africa's scientific output and tackle diseases primarily affecting the world's poorest continent, such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and Ebola. The Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA), based at the African Academy of Sciences in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, aims to draw increased funding from the West and African governments to set up centres of scientific excellence on the continent.


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