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Showing posts from September 14, 2015

Double Whammy: 2 Meteors Hit Ancient Earth at the Same Time

It's not altogether uncommon to hear about double rainbows, but what about a double meteor strike? It's a rare event, but researchers in Sweden recently found evidence that two meteors smacked into Earth at the same time, about 458 million years ago. Researchers from the University of Gothenburg uncovered two craters in the county of Jämtland in central Sweden.


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Partial Solar Eclipse 2015: See Photos from Space, Skywatchers

When the moon blocked the sun in a partial solar eclipse on Sunday (Sept. 13) a European satellite managed to catch the celestial event on camera not once but three different times. Meanwhile, back on Earth, viewers in South Africa saw it just once, but were still able to enjoy the view. The European Space Agency's (ESA) satellite Proba-2, which focuses on the sun, captured three times as much eclipse as Earth did by dodging in and out of the moon's shadow as it orbited the planet.


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'Star Trek' Fan's Chief O'Brien Book Beams onto Kickstarter

While fans of "Star Trek" love to talk about "away missions" to the surface, a new Kickstarter campaign asks you to consider the lonely crewmember left behind who must beam the crew to and from the planet. Chief O'Brien, played by Colm Meaney in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (TNG) and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine", was responsible for the crew's Transporter needs, and he seemed to spend most of his time in the TV series standing on the TNG transporter room, waiting for instructions. After running a parody Web comic on the topic called "Chief O'Brien At Work" since 2014, author Jon Adams is creating a graphic novel based on the Chief's workday in the "Star Trek" universe.


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Mediterranean Diet May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

The Mediterranean diet may be able to add "reduces risk of breast cancer" to its long list of health benefits, according to a new study from Spain. In the study, 4,152 post-menopausal women who had never had breast cancer were asked to follow one of three diets: One was a Mediterranean diet rich in extra-virgin olive oil (extra-virgin olive oil accounted for 15 percent of their daily calories), the second was a Mediterranean diet rich in nuts, and the third was a control diet, in which the women were advised to reduce the amount of fat they ate. After about five years, 35 women in the study had developed breast cancer.

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A devide to zap away motion sickness

By Matthew Stock A new treatment being developed by scientists from Imperial College London could end the misery of motion sickness. Research from Imperial College London, recently published in the scientific journal Neurology, explained how motion sickness occurs when what the eyes see and what the inner ear senses are confused. Clinical scientist Dr Qadeer Arshad hit upon the idea for treating motion sickness when investigating what can influence a person's sense of balance.

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U.S., China, UK experts to tackle vexed issue of gene editing

By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists from the United States, China and Britain will come together to discuss the future of human gene editing, which holds great promise for treating diseases but also has the potential to create "designer babies". The Chinese Academy of Sciences and Britain's Royal Society said on Monday they would join the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in co-hosting an international summit on the topic in Washington on Dec. 1-3. CRISPR has excited academic researchers and drug companies alike, since it may allow them to rewrite the DNA of diseased cells.

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The Cute and Complicated Science of Raising Twin Pandas

Veterinarians are unsure whether the cub got the condition during a bottle-feeding blunder or from formula it regurgitated, said Dr. Donald Neiffer, the chief veterinarian at Smithsonian's National Zoo. "Whether or not the baby aspirated some of that [regurgitated] material or whether he aspirated material earlier in the day, we don't know, and we will never know," Neiffer told Live Science. The pink and fuzzy cubs are part of a delicate plan, orchestrated on an international level, to preserve the giant panda species and, one day, introduce captive-bred pandas back into the wild.


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Mercury's Speedy Spin Hints at Planet's Insides

Mercury is a spinning faster than scientists had thought: New research shows that the planet completes a rotation on its axis roughly 9 seconds more quickly than scientists previously charted — and that data will help scientists understand more about the planet's molten core. Based on the data collected from NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft, scientists think most of Mercury contains a molten core that takes up 70 percent of the planet's mass. "One possible explanation for Mercury's faster rotation is that Jupiter influences its orbit," study participant Alexander Stark, of the German Space Agency (DLR) Institute of Planetary Research, said in a statement.


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Why Pluto's Big Moon Charon Has a Red Polar Cap

The north pole of Pluto's big moon Charon likely gets its reddish color from radiation-altered shreds of Pluto's atmosphere, scientists say. Charon's surface is dominated by water ice, and the 750-mile-wide (1,200 kilometers) moon is mostly a solid grayish-white as a result. New Horizons found that Pluto's surface is reddish-brown as well, and that's no coincidence: The red on both bodies is likely caused by complex compounds called tholins, researchers say.


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Ancient Peru Tar Pools Trapped Hundreds of Songbirds

A dusty, windy desert in extreme northwestern Peru was once a grassland, replete with hundreds of songbirds. But this grassland, which may have been dotted with seasonal dry forests, was also a trap. Now, researchers have analyzed 625 bird fossils and identified 21 species of birds, including three that are now extinct, which also succumbed to the sticky seeps.


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Weird Microscopic Animal Inspires New Kind of Glass

A really weird, really tiny animal — the microscopic tardigrade — is the inspiration behind a new material that could improve the efficiency of things like LED lights and solar cells. "When you remove the water, they quickly coat themselves in large amounts of glassy molecules," Juan de Pablo, professor of molecular engineering at the University of Chicago and one of the authors of a recent study on the tardigrade-inspired glass, said in a statement. The glassy molecules help the microscopic animals stay in a deathlike state of suspended animation as they float through harsh environments, he added.


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Could Physics' Reigning Model Finally Be Dethroned?

New evidence from the world's largest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland, suggests that certain tiny subatomic particles called leptons don't behave as expected. A single model, called the Standard Model, governs the bizarre world of the teensy tiny. It dictates the behavior of every subatomic particle, from ghostly neutrinos to the long-sought Higgs boson (discovered in 2012), which explains how other particles get their mass.


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How Armored Dinosaur Got Its Bone-Bashing Tail

Armored, squat, and built like a tank, ankylosaurs were a type of dinosaur known for their bony, protective exterior and distinct, sledgehammer-shaped tails. "Ankylosaur tail clubs are made of two parts of the body," said study lead author Victoria Arbour, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Biological Sciences at North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Arbour was interested in examining what part of this weapon evolved first.


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