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Showing posts from October 31, 2015

Fitful Sleep Is Worse Than Staying Awake

It's the first question anyone asks when someone has a new baby: Are you getting enough sleep? Several nights of interrupted sleep may be tougher to deal with than getting less sleep, new research suggests. "When your sleep is disrupted throughout the night, you don't have the opportunity to progress through the sleep stages to get the amount of slow-wave sleep that is key to the feeling of restoration," study lead author Patrick Finan, a professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, said in a statement.

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Fall Back? Why Daylight Saving Time Is So Confusing

There is mixed research on whether daylight saving time causes an uptick in car accidents as a result of groggy drivers. More objective measures of timekeeping go way back: Ancient Egyptians divided the day into 12 hour-long segments, and used both astronomy and devices called water clocks to track the hours. Other ancient timekeeping methods included sundials and candle clocks, which worked like water clocks except by melting wax rather than by dripping water.

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Aftermath of Gargantuan Landslide Captured in Space Image

A huge chunk of rock and ice slid down the flanks of Canada's Mount Steele on Oct. 11, at a dizzying speed — one estimate suggests a whopping 123 mph (nearly 200 km/h). The aftermath of the gargantuan landslide — about 50 million tons (45 million metric tons) tumbled down the mountain — was captured in a stunning satellite image, released last week by NASA's Earth Observatory. The fifth tallest mountain in Canada, Mount Steele is a major peak in the Saint Elias Mountains, towering over part of the southwestern Yukon Territory.


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Scared to Death: Can You Really Die of Fright? 

There's no question about it, the answer is yes, said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. This response likely benefited early humans when they faced a menacing beast or aggressor, giving them the necessary adrenaline to either fight the attacker or flee the scene, Glatter said. The rush of adrenaline is an involuntary response controlled by the autonomic nervous system.

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Always 'Z' Prepared: When Zombies Attack, Look for a Scout

The upcoming horror-comedy film "Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse," opening today (Oct. 30), provides a seemingly unlikely answer: the kid on your block with a sash full of badges. "I was never a Boy Scout, but it's actually a terrific guide for survival," said Mat Mogk, founder of the Zombie Research Society (ZRS), which promotes studies relevant to the (hypothetical) zombie threat. Zombie societies and fictional Scouts aside, some very sober experts have taken the idea of zombie survival at least semiseriously.


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Insight - MERS, Ebola, bird flu: Science's big missed opportunities

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Anyone who goes down with flu in Europe this winter could be asked to enrol in a randomised clinical trial in which they will either be given a drug, which may or may not work, or standard advice to take bedrest and paracetamol. Scientists are largely in the dark about how to stop or treat the slew of never-seen-before global health problems of recent years, from the emergence of the deadly MERS virus in Saudi Arabia, to a new killer strain of bird flu in China and an unprecedented Ebola outbreak in West Africa. "Research in all of the epidemics we have faced over the past decade has been woeful," said Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust global health foundation and an expert on infectious diseases.


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Halloween in Space: A Vampire Astronaut and Nightmare in Orbit

You might masquerade as an astronaut for Halloween, but what about when astronauts dress up? In search of eerie holiday cheer, Space.com caught up with retired astronaut Clayton Anderson to hear about his dedication to Halloween garb. "It was Halloween," Anderson recounted.


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Boo! Halloween Asteroid Looks Just Like a Creepy Skull

NASA has called it a "Great Pumpkin." Others have called it "spooky." But this image of a huge asteroid making a Halloween flyby of Earth today looks so much like a skull, it's scary. The radar image of the stadium-sized asteroid 2015 TB145 was captured on Friday, Halloween eve (Oct. 30), by scientists using the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. This radar view - while fitting for today's Halloween asteroid flyby - is actually just one of several images of 2015 TB145 that show it rotating in space, with pitted surface scarred by time.  The National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center overseeing Arecibo released the skull-shaped view, as well as another image showing a series of views of the asteroid over time.


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