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Showing posts from September 21, 2015

'Guevedoces': Rare Medical Condition Hides Child's Sex Until Age 12

Some children with a rare genetic condition appear female at birth but later develop a penis and testes around the time puberty begins. A new article in BBC Magazine tells the story of some children in the Dominican Republic with this condition, who are known in the country as Guevedoces, which roughly translates to "penis at 12." One child named Johnny was raised as a girl, but when he matured and neared puberty, he grew a penis and his testicles descended, according to the BBC. Because DHT is responsible for the development of male sex organs, the lack of DHT means the male organs don't develop properly, according to the National Institutes of Health.

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Doctors to FDA: Don't Call Them 'Breakthrough' Drugs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration should avoid using words like "breakthrough" and "promising" to describe new drugs when making announcements aimed at the public, some researchers argue. These researchers contend that the general public may not understand the FDA's usage of these words. "Unless patients understand the FDA's usage of 'breakthrough,' they may have unwarranted confidence in the evidence supporting drug claims," researchers wrote in the Sept. 21 issue of the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

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On Twitter, Astronaut Scott Kelly Chronicles His Yearlong Space Voyage

Scott Kelly just started the second half of the longest consecutive space mission a NASA astronaut has ever completed. To celebrate, he took to Twitter to answer questions from curious space enthusiasts on Earth. Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko launched on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Friday, March 27.


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Rare Supermoon Lunar Eclipse Is Just One Week Away

With the huge supermoon lunar eclipse just one week away, it's time to dust off your small telescopes and binoculars, track down an observatory event or webcast, or draft your invitations for a moon-cake party.


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Body parts floating in 3D space to give medicine virtual shape

By Ben and Gruber Mountain View, CA (Reuters) - New imaging technology that processes hundreds of medical scans to generate a perfect virtual 3D model of the human body will allow doctors to more accurately diagnose disease and prepare for complex surgical procedures, according to its developers. ...

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Design the Jet Engine of the Future, Win $2 Million

The U.S. Air Force is offering $2 million to whoever can design a new and improved engine to power its airplanes. The competition, known as the Air Force Prize, is open to American citizens and permanent U.S. residents age 18 and older, as well as corporations and research institutions in the United States. The goal of the contest is to speed up the development of a lightweight, fuel-efficient turbine engine, or jet engine, to power the aircraft of the future.


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Marijuana Study Reveals Teens' 'Surprising' Views of the Drug

Marijuana use continues to become legal in more places, but that doesn't mean the drug's popularity among adolescents is growing, a new study finds. Although disapproval of marijuana use has decreased dramatically among young adults — suggesting that this age group is viewing the drug less negatively — that's not the case for younger adolescents, according to the study. The researchers found that disapproval of marijuana use has actually increased among adolescents ages 12 to 14.

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Hair-Raising Experience: Baldness Drug Causes Man's Fainting

The medication minoxidil (sold under the brand name Rogaine), which is used by men and women to stop their hair from thinning further, may trigger fainting in rare instances, according to a new report of the man's case. His doctors determined that the high-strength, 12.5-percent minoxidil formulation the man had been applying to his scalp once a day was responsible for the fainting and dizziness he was experiencing, according to the report published online Sept. 7 in the journal BMJ Case Reports. This formulation is a higher concentration than men typically use, said Dr. Simon Dubrey, the cardiologist who treated the man at Hillingdon Hospital in Uxbridge, England, and the co-author of the report.

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Apples Take the Prize as Kids' Favorite

Bananas were the second most popular whole fruit, accounting for 6.8 percent of kids' total fruit intake, according to the study. The researchers found that whole fruit made up more than half of kids' fruit intake. Juice was the second most common way that kids and adolescents got their fruit, the researchers found, with 100 percent fruit juices accounting for just over one-third of kids' fruit intake, according to the study.

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Flexible Robo-Legs Could Help Helicopters Stick Tricky Landings

Helicopters of the future could use insectlike robotic legs to land in unlikely places — like the slopes of steep hills or the decks of rocking boats. Touching down on uneven surfaces is something that today's helicopters are just not equipped to do, according to the Defense Advanced Projects Agency, or DARPA, the branch of the U.S. Department of Defense that dreams up new military technologies. The new landing gear features four robotic legs with bendable "knees" that turn a normal helicopter into what looks like a giant, mechanical fly.


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Tiny 'Jellyfish' Team Up for Multi-Jetpack Swimming

The multiple jets also allow the colony to "turn on a dime," said study co-author Kelly Sutherland of the University of Oregon. To track the jets' pulses, Sutherland and colleagues needed to see how they disturbed the water.


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Eavesdropping on Arches: Rock's Internal 'Hum' Reveals Its Health

Using portable seismometers and speeding up the vibrations they detected, researchers determined that damage to the famed 88-foot-long (27 meters) Mesa Arch is not getting progressively worse. Mesa Arch is just one arch that is being studied as part of a wider examination of Utah's natural arches. While natural arches stand for thousands of years, they can sometimes collapse, the researchers said.


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Nature's GMOs: Parasites Alter Butterfly Genomes Using Viruses

Genetically modified organisms may usually be thought of as human creations, but scientists now find that monarch butterflies, silkworms, and many other butterflies and moths naturally possess genes from parasitic wasps. Butterflies and moths may have kept these wasp genes because they protect against other viruses, the researchers added. Parasitic insects known as braconid wasps lay their eggs inside the caterpillars of butterflies and moths.

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World's Oldest Sea Turtle Fossil Discovered

The world's oldest sea turtle fossil shows the ancient animal swam the oceans at least 120 million years ago, when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth, according to a recent analysis. The now-extinct Desmatochelys padillai turtle skeleton was found in Villa de Leyva, Colombia, and is 25 million years older than the Santanachelys gaffneyi turtle from Brazil that previously held the record for the world's oldest sea turtle fossil. "The cool thing about this turtle is that it's really old, but it's not very primitive," Parham told Live Science.


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Board Game Pieces Found in Settlement Built on Roman Military Fort

About 1,900 years ago, a group of Roman soldiers lived in a fort in what is now Gernsheim, a German town located on the Rhine River about 31 miles (50 kilometers) south of Frankfurt. "We now know that from the first to the third century, an important villagelike settlement, or 'vicus,' must have existed here," dig leader Thomas Maurer, an archaeologist at the University of Frankfurt, said in a statement. After excavating the fort last year, the researchers returned this summer to look for evidence of the Roman settlement.


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Giant Radio Telescope Could Detect E.T.'s Call

The Square Kilometer Array (SKA), currently planned to begin construction in 2018, could enable the search for intelligent alien life to piggy-back on other scientific observations, scouring the galaxy with unprecedented precision. "A unique aspect for the search of life in the universe is the question of whether advanced lifeevolves intelligence," Andrew Siemion said at the Astrobiology Science Conference in Chicago in June. Siemion, who holds joint appointments with the University of California, Berkeley, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy and Radbound University in the Netherlands, hunts for signs of alien technology in the universe.


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Are We Alone? Survey Finds No Sign of Advanced Alien Civilizations

Nearby galaxies in our universe show no signs of advanced alien civilizations — at least for now. A new study that examined the most promising galaxies we can see out of a collection of 100,000 found no signs of the waste energy that such alien civilizations might generate, showing that they're extremely rare, if not nonexistent. "Some of these systems definitely demand further investigation, but those already studied in detail turn out to have a natural astrophysical explanation," study author Michael Garrett said in a statement.


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