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Showing posts from September 22, 2015

Saving Prostate Cancer Patients from Collateral Damage

Dr. Edward Soffen is a board-certified radiation oncologist and medical director of the Radiation Oncology Department at CentraState Medical Center's Statesir Cancer Center in Freehold, New Jersey. We are living during a remarkable age in the battle against cancer. Just a few decades ago, cancer was considered a terminal illness.

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Drones Save Lives in Disasters, When They're Allowed to Fly (Op-Ed)

Robin Murphy directs the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue at Texas A&M University. Hurricane Katrina saw the first deployment of drones in a disaster, setting the stage for such drone deployments worldwide — from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident to the Nepal earthquake. The last decade has seen an evolution in small unmanned aerial vehicles (or UAVs, the preferred name agencies use for civilian, as opposed to military, drones).


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Hail Hydra! A Monstrous Constellation Explained

Huw James is a science communicator, fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and guest lecturer at the University of South Wales. Follow James on Twitter @huwmjames and keep an eye on his website for more info on his upcoming "Constellation Series" book. Llyn y Fan Fawr is Welsh for "lake of the big peak," at the foothill of Fan Brycheiniog in Wales.


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Eyes in the Sky: How Satellite Images Help People on the Ground

The benefits of spaceflight extend far beyond the borders of countries capable of launching satellites, NASA officials say. On Thursday (Sept. 17), officials with NASA and the U.S. Agency For International Development (USAID) showcased the ways space science connects to developing countries as well. The two organizations hosted a panel discussion in Washington, D.C. called "Connecting Space to Village: Observing Earth from Space and How This Supports USAID Development Goals," which involved astronauts, USAID officials and scientists.


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Sunday's 'Supermoon' Total Lunar Eclipse: When and Where to See It

As with all lunar eclipses, the region of visibility for Sunday's blood-moon lunar eclipse will encompass more than half of our planet. The lunar eclipse will also feature the "biggest" full moon (in apparent size) of 2015, since the moon will also be at perigee on the very same day ? Almost everyone in the Americas and Western Europe will have a beautiful view of this eclipse.


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Common Pregnancy Complications Tied to Heart Disease Deaths Later On

Pregnant women who experience certain complications related to their pregnancies may have an increased risk of dying from heart disease later in life, a new study suggests. Researchers found that the women in the study who had high levels of sugar in the urine during pregnancy were about four times more likely to die from heart disease over the 50-year study, compared with the women who did not have high levels of sugar in their urine when they were pregnant. The investigators also found that the women who experienced a decline in their levels of hemoglobin during pregnancy were about twice as likely to die from heart disease later in life, compared with the pregnant women who did not experience the decline.

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Sex After a Heart Attack? Doctors Give the All Clear

Sex does not increase heart attack survivors' risk of having another attack, except in rare cases, a new study finds. The finding may provide comfort for countless heart attack survivors. Many are unsure whether the vigorous activity of sex can trigger another heart attack, and there is limited and some contradictory data on the issue, the researchers said.

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Sainthood for Missionary Priest Is Disputed by Native Tribes

Pope Francis is set to canonize the Rev. Junípero Serra, a Franciscan priest who founded the first missions in the state of California, on Sept. 23. Several American Indian tribes oppose the canonization, saying that Serra was responsible for the enslavement and death of tens of thousands of indigenous tribespeople and the destruction of their culture. Some tribes are circulating petitions to protest the canonization.

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Shades of 'Star Trek'? Quantum Teleportation Sets Distance Record

A record-breaking distance has been achieved in the bizarre world of quantum teleportation, scientists say. The scientists teleported photons (packets of light) across a spool of fiber optics 63 miles (102 kilometers) long, four times farther than the previous record. This research could one day lead to a "quantum Internet" that offers next-generation encryption, the scientists said.


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3D Computer Chips Could Be 1,000 Times Faster Than Existing Ones

The new method, which relies on materials called carbon nanotubes, allows scientists to build the chip in three dimensions. The 3D design enables scientists to interweave memory, which stores data, and the number-crunching processors in the same tiny space, said Max Shulaker, one of the designers of the chip, and a doctoral candidate in electrical engineering at Stanford University in California. Reducing the distance between the two elements can dramatically reduce the time computers take to do their work, Shulaker said Sept. 10 here at the "Wait, What?" technology forum hosted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the research wing of the U.S. military.


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Walk with Elephants: Explore African Sanctuary on Google Street View

Thanks to Google, it's now possible to frolic with elephants in your living room (or anywhere else your Internet-connected device happens to be). Save the Elephants, a research and conservation organization operating in Samburu National Reserve in Kenya, recently teamed up with Google to help share the story of Africa's imperiled elephants. Using truck- and airplane-mounted cameras inside the wildlife preserve, as well as photos taken by satellites in space, Google captured images of Samburu's elephant herds doing elephant things — like splashing in the mud and hanging out in the shade.


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Psychology of Immigration: Why Responses to Migrant Crisis Vary

There's also a gulf of difference between how European citizens and their governments are responding to the influx of asylum seekers from Syria, North Africa and other Middle Eastern nations. "One of the first things to appreciate is that the anti-immigrant reactions are really natural, and in some ways fundamental to who we are," said Steven Neuberg, a psychologist at Arizona State University who researches prejudice and in-group/out-group relations. Evolutionarily, the brain is primed for specific threats that would have loomed over our earliest relatives, such as dangers to physical safety, infectious disease and threats to resources, Neuberg told Live Science.

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Life-Hunting Mission Would Bring Samples Back from Saturn Moon Enceladus

In the not-too-distant future, a spacecraft could deliver samples from an alien ocean to Earth, where scientists would scrutinize the material for signs of life. The mission, known as Life Investigation for Enceladus (LIFE), would collect samples of this stuff, then send it winging back to Earth in a return capsule. "Getting a sample from Enceladus would be phenomenal," said LIFE leader Peter Tsou, of Sample Exploration Systems in La Canada, California.


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A Cosmonaut's Bad Dream: Don't Miss Your Space Shuttle Trip

Space travelers don't have to dream of flying, but Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, up on the International Space Station, revealed his own bad dream of missing the flight back to space in a recent televised interview. Kornienko and NASA astronaut Scott Kelly are halfway through their one-year mission living on the space station, and they took the time to talk remotely with TIME magazine Thursday (Sept. 17), discussing life on the station and what they miss about home. In response to a question about wishing he were back on Earth, the mostly silent Kornienko opened up: "Of course I'd like to go to Earth.


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Welcome to Pluto! Dramatic Flyover Video Takes You There

A new video takes armchair explorers on a flyover tour of Pluto's stunning and varied landscapes. The new Pluto tour animation stitches together photos captured by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft during its historic flyby on July 14, which returned the first-ever up-close looks at the faraway dwarf planet. During the close encounter, New Horizons discovered, among other things, 2-mile-high (3.2 kilometers) ice mountains, a vast plain of ice dubbed Sputnik Planum and a dark area called Cthulhu Regio. All those features are highlighted in the new video, which was created by Stuart Robbins, a research scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado.


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Space Twins: Genetic Science Meets Space Travel on One-Year Mission

Does spaceflight affect the human body all the way down to the genetic level? Scientists working on NASA's one-year mission are taking the first steps toward answering those questions. Astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko are living on the International Space Station for just shy of one Earth year.


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Forget Fingerprints: You Can Be Identified by Your 'Microbial Cloud'

The results "demonstrate for the first time that individuals release their own personalized microbial cloud," James Meadow, the lead author of the study, said in a statement. Together, these bacteria make up what researchers call the human microbiome.

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Long-Lost Tomb of Jewish 'Maccabee' Rebels Possibly Found

An "unusual" new archaeological find could be the long-lost Tomb of the Maccabees, a burial site of leaders of a band of Jewish rebels from the second century B.C. First excavated 150 years ago, this site was thought to be the mausoleum of a priest named Mattathias the Hasmonean and his five sons, who led a rebellion against Greek rule of Judea. The new excavations haven't fully solved the mystery, but archaeologists say they can't rule out that the Maccabees were buried there.


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Craig Venter's company in deal for whole exome tests at new low cost

A company formed by genome pioneer Craig Venter will offer clients of a South Africa-based insurance company whole exome sequencing - sequencing all protein-making genes in the human genome - at a price that marks yet another dramatic decline in the cost of gene sequencing, the two companies said on Tuesday. Venter's company, Human Longevity Inc, will provide the tests at a cost of $250 each through a special incentive program offered by Discovery Ltd, an insurer with clients in South Africa and the United Kingdom. Venter, the U.S. scientist who raced the U.S. government to map the human genome 15 years ago for a cost of $100,000, said the $250 price point per whole exome marks a new low in the price of gene sequencing.

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Craig Venter's company in deal for whole exome tests at new low cost

A company formed by genome pioneer Craig Venter will offer clients of a South Africa-based insurance company whole exome sequencing - sequencing all protein-making genes in the human genome - at a price that marks yet another dramatic decline in the cost of gene sequencing, the two companies said on Tuesday. Venter's company, Human Longevity Inc, will provide the tests at a cost of $250 each through a special incentive program offered by Discovery Ltd, an insurer with clients in South Africa and the United Kingdom. Venter, the U.S. scientist who raced the U.S. government to map the human genome 15 years ago for a cost of $100,000, said the $250 price point per whole exome marks a new low in the price of gene sequencing.


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AstraZeneca taps crowd sourcing to find cancer drug cocktails

Drugmaker AstraZeneca is harnessing the wisdom of crowds to help mix tomorrow's cancer drug cocktails. The company said on Tuesday its decision to release preclinical data from more than 50 of its medicines was unprecedented in scale and would help accelerate the hunt for synergistic tumour-fighting drug combinations. The crowd sourcing initiative is being run as part of the DREAM Challenge, an open innovation non-profit biology project in which scientists pool ideas and crunch data.


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