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Showing posts from November 6, 2015

Monsanto to Mexico honey farmers: Our soya seeds not to blame for woes

By P.J. Huffstutter and Tomás Sarmiento CHICAGO/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Monsanto Co on Friday denied that plantings of its genetically modified soybeans have impacted bees, led to deforestation or caused damage to the honey production industry in two Mexican states. Mexico's Supreme Court on Wednesday blocked a move to allow the planting of genetically modified soya seeds in the southern Mexican states of Campeche and Yucatan, arguing that indigenous communities that had fought the move should be consulted before it was approved.


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'Star Wars' International Trailer Is Packed with New Footage

Audiences thought they'd have to wait until December to see more scenes from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," but a newly released international trailer features as-yet-unseen footage. More droids, more ships, more Princess Leia, a cameo by C-3PO and Chewbacca blowing some stuff up are among the new bits of footage that appear in the international trailer (released today) that were not featured in the English-language trailer released in October. The villain, Kylo Ren, rasps, "I will complete our destiny," and the cryptic use of the word "our" has people speculating about his identity.


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See the Moon and 3 Planets Shine Before Dawn This Weekend

A spectacular gathering of three bright planets and a lovely waning crescent moon will be the chief celestial attraction in the predawn sky this weekend, with the moon, Venus, Mars and Jupiter all making an appearance. On Saturday (Nov. 7), three of these objects – Venus, Mars and the moon – will appear to crowd into a relatively small spot in the sky. On Saturday morning, the moon will shine less than 2 degrees to the right of Venus (your closed fist held out at arm's length covers 10 degrees of the night sky).


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Astronauts carry out marathon spacewalk to recharge cooling system

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Two U.S. astronauts spent nearly eight hours spacewalking outside the International Space Station on Friday, grappling with an escape of potentially hazardous ammonia as they switched out a cooling system, NASA said. Station commander Scott Kelly and flight engineer Kjell Lindgren left the station’s airlock around 6:30 a.m. EST for what turned out to be a spacewalk lasting nearly eight hours. A few flakes of ammonia escaped when the cooling system was being recharged, but posed no threat to the astronauts and required no decontamination before they returned to the station, said NASA mission commentator Rob Navias.

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Six Surprising Facts About 'The Martian'

Here are six surprising things you might not know about this Red Planet survival story. Based on the novel by Andy Weir, "The Martian" tells the story of astronaut Mark Watney, who, during a mission to the Red Planet, is mistaken for dead by his crewmates and left behind. In order to survive on Mars, Watney has to rely on his incredible problem-solving skills and his sense of humor.


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How to Make History as a NASA Astronaut Without Walking on Mars

But with the space agency's schedules pegging a journey to the Red Planet in the mid-2030s timeframe, it may fall to even more future recruits to become the first astronauts to walk on Mars. That's not to say there aren't opportunities to make history as a new NASA astronaut. Although there have been more than 365 NASA astronauts to date, there remains firsts to be achieved and all that you have to do to claim them is get chosen for the corps.


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Monsanto to Mexico honey farmers: Our soya seeds not to blame for woes

By P.J. Huffstutter and Tomás Sarmiento CHICAGO/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Monsanto Co on Friday denied that plantings of its genetically modified soybeans have impacted bees, led to deforestation or caused damage to the honey production industry in two Mexican states. Mexico's Supreme Court on Wednesday blocked a move to allow the planting of genetically modified soya seeds in the southern Mexican states of Campeche and Yucatan, arguing that indigenous communities that had fought the move should be consulted before it was approved.


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Spacewalking Astronauts Tackle 'High-Flying Plumbing' Job on Space Station

Two American astronauts took a marathon spacewalk on Friday, spending nearly eight hours outside the International Space Station on a truly out-of-this-world plumbing job. NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindrgren spent seven hours and 48 minutes working outside the station to perform the vital maintenance on their spacecraft. The duo's first-ever spacewalk last week, commanded by Kelly, had the two on separate tracks as they performed a variety of long-term maintenance tasks outside the station.


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Direct-to-consumer company tests FDA's resolve on gene testing

By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - Just as 23andMe has made peace with the US Food and Drug Administration, another direct-to-consumer genetics company is testing the regulatory waters with the launch of a $249 DNA test designed to predict drug response. The test, from tiny startup DNA4Life based in Mandeville, Louisiana, comes in the wake of 23andMe's two-year tussle with the FDA over its direct-to-consumer personal DNA testing service, which the FDA ordered off the market in 2013. Last month, 23andMe relaunched its service with a limited number of genetic tests for carrier screening - tests that show whether an individual carries genes associated with 36 different disorders that could be passed on to a child.

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Britain's first astronaut for 24 years hopes to inspire Mars interest

The man who will become the first British astronaut to visit the International Space Station said on Friday he hoped his mission would inspire young Britons to one day journey to Mars. Tim Peake, 43, a former army major, will blast off on a six-month mission for the European Space Agency (ESA) in December, the first Briton to go into space since Helen Sharman traveled on a Soviet spacecraft for eight days in 1991. "After a gap of 24 years since Helen Sharman flew to the Mir space station, the Union (Jack) flag is going to be flown and worn in space once again," Peake told reporters.


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Sofia Rises: Baby Name Takes Over the World

A new analysis of baby name statistics from naming expert Laura Wattenberg finds that Sofia (along with its variants) is the top baby name in nine countries — nations as far-flung as Mexico, Italy and Russia. In fact, Sophia/Sofia and other local spellings are among the top 25 baby names in two-thirds of the countries (mostly in Europe and the Americas) that report baby name statistics, Wattenberg found. "It just blew me away that so many different languages and cultures would arrive at the same sound at the same time," Wattenberg told Live Science.

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Watch Jetpack-Wearing Daredevils Zoom Past a Jumbo Jet (Video)

Move over, George Jetson — a new rocket-propelled duo is giving you a run for your money! For instance, in 2012, Rossy flew alongside a B-17 bomber, and in 2013, he flew over Mount Fuji. Earlier this year, the team flew over Dubai.


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Spotted! Elusive Snow Leopard Caught on Camera in Kyrgyzstan

Scientists have captured new images of a snow leopard being collared in Kyrgyzstan. The move marks the first time that one of these elusive creatures has been collared in the remote Central Asian nation.


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Mooooove Over, Cows! Kangaroo Farts Warm the Earth, Too

Since the 1970s, it has been suggested that kangaroos don't fart — or rather, the (ahem!) gas they emit contains very little, if any, methane. Methane is naturally created by bacteria in an animal's gut. Kangaroos, cows and many other plant eaters use these bacteria to help them digest grass and leaves.


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Swallowed Bobby Pin Ends Up in Child's Kidney

After a medical team operated to remove the pin, the boy recovered without further complications, according to the doctors who treated the boy and wrote the report of his case. "Children actually start exploring the world using their mouth as soon as they are able to pick up objects," said Dr. Yasmin Abdulaziz Yousef, of the department of surgery at KAMC-JD, National Guard Health Affairs in Jeddah, who treated the boy and co-authored the report of his case.

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A 'Natural' Herb Can be Poisonous, Woman Learns

Once the woman was admitted to the hospital and treated for her symptoms, she told her doctors that she had recently purchased an herbal remedy made from the poisonous plant Atropa belladonna, commonly named deadly nightshade, to combat her insomnia. On the label of the product the woman purchased, it is called "Atropa belladonna Belladonna Leaf," and it can be legally purchased online.

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Garcinia Cambogia: Supplement Often Lacks Active Ingredient, Study Finds

Consumers who buy Garcinia cambogia, a weight-loss supplement made popular by Dr. Oz, may not be getting what they expect, recent laboratory testing show. Laboratory tests found 21 of 29 of the top-selling Garcinia cambogia supplements sold online contain substantially less of the active ingredient, called hydroxycitric acid (HCA), than the label claims. The results were released by an independent supplement testing company, called LabDoor, and have not been subject to peer review, the primary process for vetting scientific results.

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Death from Above: Mass Extinctions Tied to Comet Strikes

Many of Earth's mass extinctions over the eons have been caused by comet strikes, a new study suggests. Over the past 260 million years, cratering rates on Earth have peaked every 26 million years or so, in tune with a previously noted cycle of mass-extinction events, researchers found. Furthermore, five of the six largest impact craters known from the last quarter-billion years — including the 112-mile-wide (180 kilometers) crater associated with the demise of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago — were gouged out at roughly the same time that a mass extinction occurred.


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Will Private Moon Race's First Contract Spur Snowball Effect?

Last month, Israel-based SpaceIL announced it had signed a deal to launch its lander to the moon aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in the second half of 2017, becoming the first entrant in the Google Lunar X Prize (GLXP) competition to secure a "verified" launch contract. GLXP representatives said they hope other teams follow SpaceIL's lead.


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Supersized scanner to explore the body and hunt down disease

By Ben Gruber When they were kids, Simon Cherry and Ramsey Badawi both wanted to be astronomers, unlocking mysteries in far off galaxies. The pair still plan on unlocking mysteries but this time inside the human body.  They've received a $15.5 million grant to build the world's first full body PET scanner. Positron emission tomography, or PET, images function on a molecular level.    "We are able to say something about what the cells in the body are doing," said Simon Cherry a professor of radiology and biomedical engineering at the University of California, Davis.

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Astronauts Taking Walk in Space Today: Watch It Live

American astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren are venturing outside the International Space Station this morning (Nov. 6) for their second spacewalk mission in two weeks — and you can watch their orbital action online as it happens. The 33rd U.S. spacewalk outside the station began at 6:22 a.m. EST (1122 GMT), and the astronauts will be reconfiguring a station cooling system after an attempt to stop a leak in 2012, and topping off its liquid ammonia. The astronauts are scheduled to be outside for 6.5 hours to make the changes, although they can stay out longer if necessary.


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