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Showing posts from October 5, 2015

October's Planets on Parade: How and When to See Them

Here's a guide for October skywatchers: First catch Saturn, then Jupiter, Mars and Venus, and finally Mercury in the night sky as this month's planetary parade begins. During the first half of October, Jupiter, Mars and Venus will be readily evident in the eastern sky, 60 to 90 minutes before sunrise. Regulus, the brightest star in Leo, the Lion, will hover near Venus when a waning crescent moon passes by on the mornings of Oct. 8 and 9.


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As Privacy Fades, Your Identity Is the New Money (Op-Ed)

Rob Leslie is chief executive officer of Sedicii, which provides technology for eliminating transmission and storage of private identity data during authentication or identity verification, and reducing identity theft, impersonation and fraud. Leslie is an electronics engineer with more 25 years of experience in information technology and business. This Op-Ed is part of a series provided by the World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers, class of 2015.

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Energy Vampires: Pulling the Plug on Idle Electronics (Op-Ed)

Pierre Delforge is the director of high-tech energy efficiency for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Since the 1980s, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have implemented efficiency programs and labels, focusing on appliances that used the most energy, such as furnaces, water heaters and refrigerators. The programs have been remarkably effective at cutting energy waste and sparking innovation: For example, new clothes washers use 75 percent less energy, and new dishwashers use half as much, as they did in 1987.


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Curiosity Rover Snaps Stunning Mountain Vista on Mars (Photo)

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has beamed home a gorgeous postcard of the mountainous Red Planet landscape it's exploring. The car-size Curiosity rover has been studying the foothills of the 3.4-mile-high (5.5 kilometers) Mount Sharp since September 2014. Slowly but surely, the robot is making its way up the mountain, and the new photo — which was taken on Sept. 9 but just released Friday (Oct. 2) — shows some of the terrain Curiosity will investigate in the future.


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Will We Ever Colonize Mars? (Op-Ed)

Paul Sutter is a research fellow at the Astronomical Observatory of Trieste and visiting scholar at the Ohio State University's Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics (CCAPP). Sutter is also host of the podcasts Ask a Spaceman and RealSpace, and the YouTube series Space In Your Face. As long as those dreams involve a poisonous, tenuous atmosphere, inhospitable cold and lots and lots of red.


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Heating up hair science

"I was always wondering how we can think about this from a mechanical engineering perspective," she added.   So Reid stepped out of the salon and into her laboratory. There she teamed up with fellow researchers Amy Marconnet and Jaesik Hahn to answer this question - what is the perfect amount of heat to apply when straightening hair without causing permanent damage? Reid said too much heat applied over a long period of time could destroy the natural curve in hair leaving it permanently damaged.  "We are wanting to see the point at which hair becomes permanently straightened, it's otherwise called heat damage.

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Titanic's Last Lunch Menu Sells for $88,000 at Auction

The menu reveals that, the day before the boat sank to the bottom of the icy North Atlantic Ocean, wealthy passengers dined on "grilled mutton chops," soused herring and a variety of other delicacies. Although the identity of the buyer is unknown, he or she may be a descendent of one of the 700 or so people who survived the catastrophic shipwreck, according to Lion Heart Autographs and Invaluable.com, the auction houses that handled the sale. The salvaged menu once belonged to Abraham Lincoln Salomon, a passenger who dodged death by boarding the infamous Lifeboat No. 1.


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Plants Use Clever (but Smelly) Ruse to Spread Seeds

Plants that produce seeds that look and smell like antelope poop are able to trick unsuspecting dung beetles ? Furthermore, these nuts are larger than those of any of related species — they are four-tenths of an inch (1 centimeter) wide, about the size of antelope droppings.

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3 Pioneers Win Nobel Prize in Medicine for Parasite-Fighting Drugs

The 2015 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine has been awarded to a trio of scientists for discoveries that led to new treatments for some of the most devastating parasitic diseases, the Nobel Foundation announced this morning (Oct. 5). Half of the Nobel Prize was awarded jointly to William C. Campbell and Satoshi ?mura for discovering a new treatment for infections caused by roundworm parasites. The other half went to Youyou Tu for discovering a drug to fight malaria, the mosquito-transmitted disease that takes some 450,000 lives each year globally, according to the Nobel Foundation.

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50 Graves Uncovered at Medieval Pilgrimage Site in England

The human remains, which have been exhumed, may help archaeologists learn more about the medieval era, according to Archaeology Warwickshire, an archaeology and excavation firm. The company plans to study each skeleton to determine its sex and approximate age, and to identify evidence of injuries or diseases preserved in the bones, said Stuart Palmer, the business manager of Archaeology Warwickshire. "The teeth will give us a lot of information about diet, as well," Palmer told Live Science.


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Anxiety In Children May Be Prevented With Family Therapy

Therapy sessions that involve the whole family may help prevent anxiety in children whose parents suffer from an anxiety disorder, according to a recent study. Researchers found that 9 percent of children whose families participated in a year-long therapy intervention developed an anxiety disorder during the study period, whereas 21 percent of children in a control group, who received a pamphlet about anxiety disorders, developed an anxiety disorder during the study. The study included 136 families that had at least one parent with an anxiety disorder, and at least one child between ages 6 and 13.

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Beating parasites wins three scientists Nobel prize for medicine

By Simon Johnson and Ben Hirschler STOCKHOLM/LONDON (Reuters) - Three scientists from Japan, China and Ireland whose discoveries led to the development of potent new drugs against parasitic diseases including malaria and elephantiasis won the Nobel Prize for Medicine on Monday. Irish-born William Campbell and Japan's Satoshi Omura won half of the prize for discovering avermectin, a derivative of which has been used to treat hundreds of millions of people with river blindness and lymphatic filariasis, or elephantiasis. China's Youyou Tu was awarded the other half of the prize for discovering artemisinin, a drug that has slashed malaria deaths and has become the mainstay of fighting the mosquito-borne disease.


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Futuristic-Looking Solar Cars to Race Through Australian Outback

The competition, called the World Solar Challenge, will be held from Oct. 18 to Oct. 25, and will involve racing about 1,900 miles (nearly 3,000 kilometers) from Darwin to Adelaide. The rest of the energy must be reaped from the sun or be harnessed from the kinetic energy of the car (i.e., energy produced by the motion of the car). "The climate is no easy task," said Alex Lubkin, a materials science student at Stanford University in California, who is part of the Stanford Solar Car Project, one of the teams that will compete in the upcoming World Solar Challenge.


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Tracking Cats from Space: Satellites Estimate Feral Ranges

How far feral cats roam can now be estimated from space, a new study finds. This matters because feral cats (domesticated cats that live in the wild) are major predators for native birds and small mammals the world over. But feral cats are hard to control, because they behave very differently depending on where they live, said Andrew Bengsen, a research scientist in the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries Vertebrate Pest Research Unit in Australia, and lead author of the new study.

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Beating parasites wins three scientists Nobel prize for medicine

By Simon Johnson and Ben Hirschler STOCKHOLM/LONDON (Reuters) - Three scientists from Japan, China and Ireland whose discoveries led to the development of potent new drugs against parasitic diseases including malaria and elephantiasis won the Nobel Prize for Medicine on Monday. Irish-born William Campbell and Japan's Satoshi Omura won half of the prize for discovering avermectin, a derivative of which has been used to treat hundreds of millions of people with river blindness and lymphatic filariasis, or elephantiasis. China's Youyou Tu was awarded the other half of the prize for discovering artemisinin, a drug that has slashed malaria deaths and has become the mainstay of fighting the mosquito-borne disease.


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Middle Schoolers' Views on Pot May Forecast Later DUIs

Kids who have positive views of marijuana in sixth grade may be at increased risk of driving while intoxicated when they reach high school, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed more than 1,000 middle schoolers in Southern California about their use of alcohol and marijuana, and their views of these drugs. Then, when the kids were 16 years old and in high school, they were asked how often they had driven a vehicle after drinking alcohol or using drugs (also called "driving under the influence"), and how often they had ridden in a car with someone who was driving under the influence.

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Listening for Alien Life: Could New Tech Detect Microbe Movements?

Spacecraft may one day be able to detect alien life by listening to the sounds microbes make. Scientists are testing a new microphone technology called the remote acoustic sensor (RAS), which is capable of capturing sounds within extreme and often inaccessible aerospace environments. "If there's life, and if it moves, it may make RAS-detectable sounds," said RAS lead technologist Dan Slater, an independent consultant based in La Habra Heights, California.


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Oxygen on Exoplanets May Not Mean Alien Life

Although scientists have long considered oxygen a sign that life exists on an alien planet, new research suggests the element could be produced without it. Oxygen may function as a sign of life on Earth, but that's not necessarily the case for planets around other stars. The new research shows that the interaction of titanium oxide with water could produce oxygen in the atmosphere of an exoplanet without the involvement of living organisms.


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Biofuel from whisky byproducts better than ethanol, says maker

By Jim Drury A Scottish company has developed a commercial scale method of producing biofuel capable of fuelling cars from the unwanted residue of the whisky fermentation process. Edinburgh-based Celtic Renewables developed its process of producing biobutanol at industrial scale in Belgium and was recently awarded a £11 million ($16.7 million USD) grant by the British government to build a bespoke facility of its own in central Scotland. Professor Martin Tangney founded Celtic Renewables in 2012 as a spin-off company from Edinburgh Napier University.

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Beating parasites wins three scientists Nobel prize for medicine

By Simon Johnson and Ben Hirschler STOCKHOLM/LONDON (Reuters) - Three scientists from Japan, China and Ireland whose discoveries led to the development of potent new drugs against parasitic diseases such as malaria and elephantiasis won the Nobel Prize for Medicine on Monday. Irish-born William Campbell and Japan's Satoshi Omura won half of the prize for discovering avermectin, a derivative of which has been used to treat hundreds of millions of people with river blindness and lymphatic filariasis, or elephantiasis.


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Japanese, Chinese, Irish scientists win 2015 Nobel medicine prize

William Campbell, Satoshi Omura and Youyou Tu jointly won the 2015 Nobel prize for medicine or physiology for their work against parasitic diseases, the award-giving body said on Monday. "This year's Nobel Laureates have developed therapies that have revolutionized the treatment of some of the most devastating parasitic diseases," the Nobel Assembly at Sweden's Karolinska Institute said in a statement in awarding the prize of 8 million Swedish crowns ($960,000). Medicine is the first of the Nobel prizes awarded each year.

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Welsh stem cell firm wins fast-track filing path in Europe

A biotech company founded by a Nobel prize winner has won the go-ahead from European regulators to begin the application process for conditional marketing authorization of a stem cell-based regenerative heart treatment. Conditional approval, if granted, would allow Cardiff-based Cell Therapy to start selling its Heartcel product for regenerating damaged areas of heart while continuing to collect further clinical evidence about its effectiveness. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is keen to test such conditional approval procedures as part of a drive to evaluate promising life-saving treatments more swiftly than in the past.

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Post-apocalyptic 'beaver' thrived after dinosaurs died

An asteroid impact in Mexico compounded by colossal volcanism in India 66 million years ago had killed about three-quarters of Earth's species including the dinosaurs. Scientists on Monday announced the discovery in northwestern New Mexico's badlands of the fossil remains of Kimbetopsalis simmonsae, a plant-eating, rodent-like mammal boasting buck-toothed incisors like a beaver that lived just a few hundred thousand years after the mass extinction, a blink of the eye in geological time.


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