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Showing posts from October 27, 2015

NASA Astronauts Making Spacewalk Debut at Space Station Today: Watch Live

American astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren plan to spend nearly six-and-a-half hours working outside the International Space Station during their spacewalk, which will be dedicated to "station upgrades and maintenance tasks," according to NASA. Both Kelly and Lindgren have said they are excited for today's spacewalk, which will include (among other tasks) the installation of a protective cover on the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a $2 billion particle physics detector that has been performing science on the station's exterior since 2011.


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Tractor beams of science fiction becoming a reality

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The tractor beam, a staple of science fiction including "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" that is employed to grab spaceships and other things remotely, is entering the realm of reality. Researchers on Tuesday said they have developed a tractor beam that uses high-amplitude sound waves to levitate, move and rotate small objects without making contact with them. "As a mechanical wave, sound can exert significant forces on objects.


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Tractor beams of science fiction becoming a reality

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The tractor beam, a staple of science fiction including "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" that is employed to grab spaceships and other things remotely, is entering the realm of reality. Researchers on Tuesday said they have developed a tractor beam that uses high-amplitude sound waves to levitate, move and rotate small objects without making contact with them. "As a mechanical wave, sound can exert significant forces on objects.

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Cutting Sugar Made Obese Kids Healthier in 10 Days

There can be no more dancing around the fact that, for children, consuming added sugar contributes to a litany of chronic diseases, particularly obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, scientists concluded in new research published today (Oct. 27). In the study, researchers closely monitored 43 obese children and found that reducing the consumption of added sugar — even while maintaining the same number of calories, and the same amount of non-sugary junk food such as potato chips — led to a dramatic improvement in a cluster of health measures in just 10 days. The kids lowered their cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar and lost a little weight, too, despite no change in their calorie intake or physical activity.

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Leading Causes of Death in the US: What's Changed Since 1969?

Five of the six top causes of death in America — including stroke, cancer and diabetes — now have lower death rates than they have in past years, according to a new report. To investigate the deadliest conditions in the United States, researchers pulled national mortality data from death certificates, looking at the period from 1969 to 2013. Deaths from stroke had the most substantial decrease, falling 77 percent (from 156 deaths per 100,000 people to 36 deaths per 100,000 people) during the study period, and heart disease was close behind, down by about two-thirds (from 520 deaths per 100,000 people to 169 deaths per 100,000 people), the researchers found.

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Real-Life 'Tractor Beam' Can Levitate Objects Using Sound Waves

It may seem straight out of "Star Trek," but it's real: Scientists have created a sonic "tractor beam" that can pull, push and pirouette objects that levitate in thin air. The sonic tractor beam relies on a precisely timed sequence of sound waves that create a region of low pressure that traps tiny objects that can then be manipulated solely by sound waves, the scientists said in a new study. Though the new demonstration was just a proof of concept, the same technique could be adapted to remotely manipulate cells inside the human body or target the release of medicine locked in acoustically activated drug capsules, said study co-author Bruce Drinkwater, a mechanical engineer at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom.


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'Let's Go Mets!' Astronaut Mike Massimino Roots for His Home Team

Attention, sports fans! Game 1 of the 2015 World Series between the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals launches tonight (Oct. 27), and not even astronauts are immune to baseball fever. "The Mets are about to begin the World Series and I want to wish them the best of luck," Massimino says in the 21-second video.


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Tractor beams of science fiction becoming a reality

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The tractor beam, a staple of science fiction including "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" that is employed to grab spaceships and other things remotely, is entering the realm of reality. Researchers on Tuesday said they have developed a tractor beam that uses high-amplitude sound waves to levitate, move and rotate small objects without making contact with them. "As a mechanical wave, sound can exert significant forces on objects.


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Private Spaceflight Industry Aims to Shake Off a Rough Year

Over the past 12 months, robotic resupply missions to the International Space Station (ISS) launched by both Orbital ATK and SpaceX failed, and Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo broke apart during a test flight, killing the vehicle's co-pilot and seriously wounding its pilot. Orbital ATK and SpaceX plan to be flying again before the year is out, for example, and Virgin Galactic is nearly finished building SpaceShipTwo number two.


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Falling Space Junk Will Burn Up In Earth's Atmosphere Next Month

A piece of space junk will fall back to Earth next month, giving researchers a chance to study how incoming objects behave when they hit the planet’s atmosphere. The object, which is known as WT1190F, is expected to enter Earth's atmosphere on Nov. 13 above the Indian Ocean, about 62 miles (100 kilometers) south of Sri Lanka. "The object is quite small, at most a couple of meters in diameter, and a significant fraction if not all of it can be expected to completely burn up in the atmosphere," Tim Flohrer, of the European Space Agency's (ESA) Space Debris Office at the European Space Operations Center in Germany, said in a statement.


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Tractor beams of science fiction becoming a reality

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The tractor beam, a staple of science fiction including "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" that is employed to grab spaceships and other things remotely, is entering the realm of reality. Researchers on Tuesday said they have developed a tractor beam that uses high-amplitude sound waves to levitate, move and rotate small objects without making contact with them. "As a mechanical wave, sound can exert significant forces on objects.

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New tech makes hybrid buses cost-effective

By Jim Drury Artemis's new Digital Displacement (DD) power system this year won the company a prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award. The company, owned by Mitsubishi, hit the headlines earlier this year when a 7MW (megawatt) wind turbine containing a Digital Displacement transmission (DDT) hydraulic system was deployed to operate as a floating wind-turbine in deep water 20 kilometers off Fukushima. Until now hydraulic pumps and motors have been controlled by varying the stroke of pistons with an adjustable mechanism, but have proved inefficient for automotive transmissions and wind turbines.

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To Preserve the Earth, Rethink Our Relationship with Nature (Op-Ed)

Justin Adams, global managing director, lands, at The Nature Conservancy contributed this article to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights. Just last week, the global community saw the launch of the U.N.'s new and ambitious 15-year Sustainable Development Goals. In the run-up to COP21, more conversations have shifted to the nexus of food, water and energy, and about poverty, climate change and risk.

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What's the Next Network? The Lighting All Around You (Op-Ed)

Hugh Martin is chairman and chief executive officer of Sensity Systems. In 2011, he was named CEO for Fortune magazine's "Executive Dream Team: The startup edition." Martin created the vision for the light sensory network and for Sensity Systems, which capitalizes on conversions to LED lighting to create high-speed, sensor-base, multiservice, open networking platforms.  This Op-Ed is part of a series provided by the World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers, class of 2015. The next time you drive past a street light or walk under a light pole as you cross a parking lot to your car, take a moment to ponder this: that same lighting fixture illuminating your path might someday also keep you safer, guide you to where you're headed, lead you to an open parking space, and even make your business more profitable and your customers more loyal.

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Relativity's Legacy: Your Guide to Traveling the Galaxy in Only 20 Years

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.

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Would You Rather Be Stranded on Mars or the Moon? XPrize CEO Answers (Video)

Chanda Gonzales, senior director, Google Lunar XPrize, contributed this article to Space.com's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights. The moon is not only our nearest neighbor in space but also an essential stepping-stone to the rest of the universe, and the opportunity to learn from our closest neighbor  can provide the necessary experience to further humanity's presence in the solar system and beyond.


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Lions Are Disappearing Across Africa

Lions are disappearing from most of the African continent, and the decline is especially evident in West Africa, according to new research. The lion population has has been in decline since 1992, largely because of conflicts with native herders and declines in lions' prey species, the new survey found. Almost two-thirds of the more than 8,000 lions studied live in populations facing decline.


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Diabetes Blood Test Urged for All Overweight US Adults

All overweight and obese adults in the United States should be routinely screened for abnormal blood glucose levels as part of a heart disease risk assessment, according to new government recommendations. It's the first time the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), a panel of medical experts that makes recommendations on the effectiveness of preventive health services, has advised that American adults ages 40 to 70 who are overweight or obese undergo a blood test for diabetes, even if they have no symptoms of the disease. Excess weight is a known — but modifiable — risk factor for Type 2 diabetes.

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Pediatricians Unveil Game Plan for Safer Youth Football

Parents who may be having second thoughts about allowing their children to strap on a helmet or score a touchdown may get some comfort from a new policy statement on youth football injuries from the American Academy of Pediatrics. In its statement, the AAP outlined a series of recommendations to improve children's safety while participating in youth football leagues, such as USA Football and Pop Warner.

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Microbe Masterpieces: Scientists Create Cool Art from Bacteria

What do Vincent van Gogh's painting "The Starry Night," a map of New York City and a countryside harvest landscape have in common? Perhaps not much, but all of these images can be re-created by growing colorful microbes in petri dishes — and they were for this year's Agar Art Contest, an unusual annual competition sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology. First place went to Mehmet Berkmen of New England Biolabs, who worked with artist Maria Penil to create piece called "Neurons." The petri dish was painted to look like nerve cells using the yellow-tinged bacteria called Nesterenkonia and the orange-colored bacteria called Deinococcus and Sphingomonas.


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Ancient Super-Predators Could Take Down Young Mammoths

"The probable role these large predators played in maintaining stable ecosystems hasn't been recognized until now," said the study's lead author, Blaire Van Valkenburgh, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. This brings up the question of what prevented widespread habitat destruction in the Pleistocene epoch, which lasted from about 1 million to 11,000 years ago. Back then, a much greater diversity of megaherbivores — plant-eaters 1,760 lbs. (800 kilograms) and larger — roamed the Earth.


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Chemicals in Personal Products May Stimulate Cancer More Than Thought

A group of chemicals commonly used in cosmetics and other personal-care products may stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells at doses much lower than previously thought, a new study finds. The study was done on human breast cancer cells growing in lab dishes, and it's unclear whether these chemicals, called parabens, act the same in the human body.

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Milky Way's Monster Black Hole Belches Big, But Why?

When the monster back hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy belched out an exceptionally high number of powerful X-ray flares last year, it made astronomers wonder — is this a sign that the beast chowed down on a passing gas cloud, or is this lack of cosmic etiquette typical for black holes? The black hole at the center of the Milky Way, known as Sagittarius A* (Sgr A* for short), is typically very quiet – it doesn't eat a lot of material, and there is relatively little light that radiates from the region around it. Could the bright flares seen in August 2014 have been caused by a gas cloud that passed too close to the black hole, and become an unsuspecting snack?


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Astronaut's #spacerocks Contest to Award Space Patches for Song Titles

Astronaut Tim Peake will challenge his Twitter followers to do just that during his upcoming stay on the International Space Station. A few times each week while he is in orbit, Peake plans to tweet lines from the lyrics of his favorite songs. The first person to reply to each tweet with the song's correct title and artist will win a special patch flown in space.


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