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Showing posts from October 16, 2015

Modern Hunter-Gatherers Probably Get Less Sleep Than You Do

Although it might seem that the glowing lights from smartphones and other trappings of modern life reduce people's ability to get a decent amount of shut-eye, scientists now suggest that people do not get any less sleep today than they did in prehistoric times. "We find that contrary to much conventional wisdom, it is very likely that we do not sleep less than our distant ancestors," said the study's senior author, Jerome Siegel, a sleep researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles. People complain that modern life allows us less sleep than is natural, and earlier studies done on animals in captivity gave the researchers an idea for studying sleep in people, Siegel said.

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Adrian Robinson's Brain Disorder: What Is CTE?

Adrian Robinson Jr., a professional football player who died by suicide earlier this year, had a brain disease, his autopsy recently revealed. Robinson, who played for several football teams, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Pittsburgh Steelers, died on May 16. During his two years in the National Football League (NFL), he suffered several concussions.

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North Pole of Saturn's Icy Moon Enceladus Captured in Best-Ever Photos

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured its best-ever looks at the north polar region of Saturn's ocean-harboring moon, Enceladus. Cassini zoomed within 1,142 miles (1,838 kilometers) of Enceladus Wednesday (Oct. 14), performing its 20th close flyby of the icy satellite since arriving in the Saturn system in 2004. The spacecraft has already beamed home some of the new close-encounter images, and more will come down to Earth in the next few days, NASA officials said.


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NASA Manager George Mueller, 'Father of Space Shuttle,' Dies at 97

George Mueller, who led NASA's human spaceflight efforts through the first moon landing and was credited as the "father of the space shuttle," died Monday (Oct. 12) after a brief illness. NASA and sources close to Mueller's family confirmed his passing on Thursday (Oct. 15). George Mueller, as associate administrator, headed the Office of Manned Space Flight at NASA's Washington headquarters from 1963 through 1969.


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Ebola May Stay in Survivors' Semen for Many Months

Male survivors of Ebola may carry the virus in their semen even months after they recover from the infection, according to a recent study. In the study, researchers looked for genetic material from the Ebola virus in semen and found that 100 percent of the specimens sampled between two and three months following an Ebola infection showed signs of the virus. Among the samples taken four to six months after an Ebola infection, 65 percent carried signs of the virus, and 26 percent of the samples taken at the seven- to nine-month mark also tested positive for the virus.

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Supplements Send 23,000 People to ER Yearly

Dietary supplements are responsible for an estimated 23,000 visits to hospital emergency rooms, and more than 2,100 hospitalizations, in the United States each year, a new study reveals. Researchers found that more than one-quarter of these emergency visits involved young adults ages 20 to 34, and about one-fifth of them involved unsupervised children who swallowed adult supplements, according to the study, which was published online today (Oct. 14) in the New England Journal of Medicine. The visits involved people who had taken herbal, homeopathic and nutritional supplements, such as amino acids and probiotics, as well as vitamins and minerals, according to the study.

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The Doctor-Parent Disconnect: Why Are Antibiotics Overprescribed for Kids?

When children are prescribed antibiotics that they don't need, doctors often point to pressure from parents, saying that they demand the drugs for their kids. Before the parents met with the doctor, the researchers asked them about their view of antibiotics and whether they planned to ask for the drugs. None of the parents said they had planned to ask the doctor for antibiotics at the visit, the researchers found.


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Canada's frozen north feels financial burn of global warming

By Chris Arsenault YELLOWKNIFE, Northwest Territories, Canada (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Climate change is taking a heavy economic toll on Canada's far north, with buildings collapsing as melting permafrost destroys foundations, rivers running low and wildfires all a drain on the region's limited finances, senior government officials said. A sprawling area spanning the Arctic Circle with a population of less than 50,000, Canada's Northwest Territories has spent more than $140 million in the last two years responding to problems linked to global warming, the territory's finance minister said. "Our budgets are getting squeezed dramatically from climate change," Finance and Environment Minister J. Michael Miltenberger told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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Wearable Sensors Could Translate Sign Language Into English

Wearable sensors could one day interpret the gestures in sign language and translate them into English, providing a high-tech solution to communication problems between deaf people and those who don’t understand sign language. Engineers at Texas A&M University are developing a wearable device that can sense movement and muscle activity in a person's arms. After some initial research, the engineers found that there were devices that attempted to translate sign language into text, but they were not as intricate in their designs.


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Cretaceous Fur Ball: Ancient Mammal With Spiky Hair Discovered

The fossilized remains of a furry critter that once roamed the Earth alongside dinosaurs suggests that mammals have been growing hair the same way for at least 125 million years. The Spinolestes specimen is special because it was fossilized with so many of its parts intact, Luo told Live Science in an email. Before the fossil was unearthed by paleontologists in Spain, the oldest mammalian bones containing similar, hair-related microstructures dated back just 60 million years.


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Mystery of Antarctica's Strange Disappearing Snow Is Solved

Antarctica is one of the coldest, snowiest parts of the globe, but there may actually be less snow across the surface of the planet's southernmost continent than scientists originally thought. Researchers studying areas of eastern Antarctica where snow is often stripped off the surface by wind, recently found that the powerful gusts are actually vaporizing massive amounts of snow, rather than blowing and redistributing it elsewhere. Scientists knew that snow was being removed from the ice sheet, but did not know how quickly it was happening, where on the continent it was occurring or to what degree wind played a role in these processes, said lead study author Indrani Das, an associate research scientist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.


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Cold Comfort: Why People in Antarctica Are Such Boozehounds

Amid reports that scientists and contractors working in Antarctica have gotten into fights, exposed themselves and shown up to work drunk, the National Science Foundation is considering sending breathalyzers to the most southerly continent. Over a nearly 20-month period, 57 people working on the frozen continent had violated the U.S. Antarctic Program's (USAP) code of conduct, according to a July report on health and safety of the USAP. In the report, one human resources manager speculated that about 60 to 75 percent of the disciplinary action taken by her company was linked to alcohol misuse.


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If Aliens Exist, Would They Have Sex?

Sexual reproduction is costly. It requires finding a mate, convincing that mate to mingle DNA with you, and opening yourself up to the possibility of sexually transmitted disease or predation while you're busy wooing. After all, mixing and matching a genome is a crapshoot, said Sally Otto, director of the Biodiversity Research Centre at the University of British Columbia.


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Why 'Doctor Who' Still Rules Time and Space After 50 Years

"Doctor Who" fans know how important it is to take bananas to a party, and the value of coincidence. And of course, while you're around weeping angels, don't you dare blink.


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Colliding Galaxies Shock Particle Cloud Back to Life

Astronomers have found evidence that a collision between two galaxy clusters sent shock waves through a once brightly radiating cloud of electrons, bringing the cloud back to life.


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French president in Iceland to see global warming's damage

PARIS (AP) — The French president will take a few steps on an Icelandic glacier to experience firsthand the damage caused by global warming, ahead of major U.N. talks on climate change in Paris this year.


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