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Showing posts from June, 2016

Rosetta spacecraft to give "final kiss" to comet on crash-landing

The European spacecraft Rosetta will crash-land on the surface of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and end its 12-year space odyssey on Sept. 30, France's National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) said on Thursday. Rosetta has helped scientists better understand how the Earth and other planets are formed. The space craft detected key organic compounds in a comet, bolstering the notion that comets delivered the chemical building blocks for life long ago to Earth and throughout the solar system.

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Scorpion Architects Build Lairs with Porches and Mating Rooms

The twists and turns of a scorpion's underground burrows are generally inaccessible to anything that isn't a scorpion — including scientists. The scientists investigated the burrow construction of three species from two different genera of the Scorpionidae family, to understand how the scorpions were benefiting from their tunnels' structural designs. The scorpions lived in three locations — the Negev desert in Israel, and the Kalahari Desert and the Central Highlands, both in Namibia — where variations in soil composition and hardness could affect the types of tunnels the critters constructed.


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Real-Life Holodeck? 'Star Trek' Tech Uses VR to Solve Global Problems

On the cult sci-fi TV show "Star Trek," crewmembers aboard the USS Enterprise could explore simulated environments or participate in interactive virtual experiences — anything from walking around lush forests to trying to solve a Sherlock Holmes-style mystery — as a way to mentally escape the confines of the starship or take a break from daily activities. While the fictional Holodeck from the hit series was mainly used by the "Star Trek" characters for recreational purposes, could such an immersive virtual-reality (VR) environment help people tackle global problems like climate change or drug policy? Researchers at New York University (NYU) think so, and they are designing their own version of the technology to create a cyberlearning environment of the future.


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Lab-Grown 'Living' Bones Could Yield Customized Implants

For the first time, pieces of living bone have been grown from the cells of patients — in this case, miniature pigs — and sculpted to replace missing anatomical structures.


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Ikea's Dresser Recall: 7 Tips to Prevent Furniture Injuries

A new recall of topple-prone Ikea dressers highlights the hazards that everyday furniture can hold for children, but there are a number of things parents can do to make their homes safer. This week, Ikea recalled 29 million chests and dressers, because they were unstable and prone to tip over if they were not anchored to a wall, thus causing possible injuries to children, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The dressers have been linked with the deaths of several U.S. children, who suffered fatal injuries after the furniture fell on them.

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Butter May Not Be Bad for Your Heart

The study found no link between consuming butter and an increased risk of heart disease or stroke, instead finding that butter might actually be slightly protective against type 2 diabetes. "Overall, our results suggest that butter should neither be demonized nor considered 'back' as a route to good health," study co-author Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Massachusetts, said in a statement.

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Who Trims? Pubic Hair Grooming Common Among Young Women

Pubic hair grooming is on the rise, especially for women who are younger, white and went to college, a new study finds. The researchers surveyed more than 3,300 women ages 18 to 64 about their grooming practices, such as shaving, waxing or trimming. And most earlier studies about pubic hair grooming failed to include women of the broad age range examined in the new study, said Dr. Tami Rowen, an OB/GYN at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center and the lead author of the study.

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Airbus, Safran finalize space launchers merger

French engine maker Safran will pay Airbus Group 750 million euros ($832 million) as they combine their space launch activities to combat growing low-cost competition. The Safran board will meet on Thursday to make a preliminary selection from a dozen offers for its Morpho biometrics and security business, sources told Reuters on Wednesday.


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Olympics will come and go but Zika is here to stay, scientists say

By Paulo Prada RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Battered by a presidential impeachment and the worst recession since the Great Depression, Brazil is getting a rare bit of relief as Rio de Janeiro prepares to host the Olympics: declining numbers of Zika infections. Since the start of the Zika outbreak, which wreaked havoc across Brazil's northeast earlier this year, many physicians and would-be visitors have worried the Games could be a catalyst to spread the virus internationally. Some athletes, including the world's top-ranked golfer, have said they will stay home to avoid infection because of concerns over health complications caused by Zika, notably microcephaly, a birth defect among babies of pregnant mothers infected by the virus.

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Jewish Escape Tunnel Uncovered at Nazi Massacre Site

A 115-foot-long escape tunnel hand-dug by Jewish prisoners has been discovered at a Nazi execution site in Lithuania, a team of archaeologists and geoscientists announced today. Using a remote-sensing technique, a group of researchers was able to relocate the narrow tunnel at Ponar without ever breaking ground. Soon afterward, the military established Jewish ghettos in the city and began periodic killings at Ponar.


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Pat Summitt's Death: Why Alzheimer's Disease Is Deadly

Hall of Fame women's basketball coach Pat Summitt died today (June 28) at age 64 after a five-year battle with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Although Alzheimer's disease shortens people's life spans, it is usually not the direct cause of a person's death, according to the Alzheimer's Society, a charity in the United Kingdom for people with dementia. Alzheimer's is a progressive brain disease in which abnormal protein deposits build up in the brain, which causes brain cells to die.

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Can You 'Catch' Stress in a Classroom? Science Says Yes

Researchers found that when 4th- to 7th-grade teachers reported feeling "burned out," their students also had elevated stress levels. The study "is the first of its kind connecting teachers' stress-related experiences to students' stress physiology in a real-life setting," the researchers wrote in their study, published today (June 27) in the journal Social Science & Medicine. Teacher burnout is likely the leading reason for which teachers leave the profession, according to the study.

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More Victims of Vesuvius Eruption Found Near Pompeii

Recent excavations on the outskirts of Pompeii in southern Italy have revealed more victims of the volcanic eruption that buried the ancient city in ash nearly 2,000 years ago. The group of people seem like they tried to take shelter in the backroom of the shop when Mount Vesuvius unleashed a deadly eruption in A.D. 79. The skeletons appear to have been disturbed by looters who went digging through the ash in search of valuables some time after the volcanic eruption, according to the archaeologists' announcement.


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California Has Way More Water Than Thought

California has more water in reserve than previous estimates suggested, new research finds — but it will be expensive to pump it from the ground and treat it for use. Deep groundwater aquifers under California's Central Valley contain enough usable water to bring the Central Valley's groundwater stores to about 650 cubic miles (2,700 cubic kilometers), Stanford University researchers reported June 27 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The additional water is deep and briny, but given that California is in its fifth year of drought, it may be worth the expense to use it, the researchers said.


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Record-Breaking Electric Car Goes from 0 to 62 Mph in 1.5 Seconds

In a record-setting feat, an electric car zoomed from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 1.513 seconds last week, making it the fastest known electric car in the world. The "Grimsel" electric car took less than 98 feet (30 meters) to reach 62 mph, according to ETH Zurich, a science, technology, engineering and mathematics university in Zurich, Switzerland. The new record was set at the Dübendorf Air Base near Zurich on June 22.


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Mummified, 99-Million-Year-Old Wings Caught in Amber

About 99 million years ago, a hummingbird-size bird likely fought for its life after getting stuck in a glob of tree resin, but it couldn't tear itself away and eventually died, leaving its feathers to mummify in what became a lump of amber, a new study finds. "There appear to be claw marks in the resin, which would suggest a struggle," said co-lead study researcher Ryan McKellar, a curator of invertebrate paleontology at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Canada. Another preserved wing found in the clump of amber "appears to be a severed limb that may have been torn off by a predator, or may have floated free from the rest of the corpse due to resin flows," McKellar told Live Science in an email.


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Previous exposure to dengue may make Zika worse, scientists find

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists studying the Zika outbreak in Brazil say previous exposure to another mosquito-borne virus, dengue, may exacerbate the potency of Zika infection. The scientists said their results, published in the journal Nature Immunology, suggested that some dengue antibodies can recognise and bind to Zika due to the similarities between the two viruses, but that these antibodies may also amplify Zika infection in a phenomenon called antibody-dependent enhancement. This effect is already known with dengue, they said, and is thought to explain why, when a person gets dengue fever a second time, the infection is often more serious than the first.


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Supreme Court Abortion Ruling Explained

The Supreme Court has overturned parts of a Texas law that would have caused many abortion clinics in the state to close down. In a 5-3 decision, the court said that parts of law, which imposed a number of restrictions on abortion clinics, were unconstitutional. What did the Texas law require clinics to do?

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids Reduce Risk of Fatal Heart Attack

Eating fish, nuts, seeds and plants with omega-3 fatty acids may significantly lower your risk of dying from a heart attack, according to the most thorough study to date on this contested nutritional topic. Previous research on fish oil supplements and other sources of omega-3 fatty acids has shown mixed results, with some studies revealing heart-healthy benefits and others finding no benefit at all. The latest research, reported today (June 27) in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, was the largest of its kind to measure the actual levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the participants' blood, as opposed to relying on questionnaires in which people report what they eat.

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Magnets Make People Think of Love, Study Finds

Animal magnetism may be a more literal concept than it's given credit for, according to a new study that finds that people are more attracted to their romantic partners after playing with magnets. The idea holds that when people are "primed" or prompted to think about a particular concept — such as physical magnetic attraction — it affects their cognition in surprising ways. In this case, the magnets may make the metaphor of love as a physical force more prominent in people's minds, leading them to report closer feelings with their partners, said Andrew Christy, a graduate student in psychology at Texas A&M University and a co-author of the new study.

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Southeast Asian fires emitted most carbon since 1997 - scientists

By Beh Lih Yi JAKARTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Forest fires that blanketed Southeast Asia in thick haze last year released the greatest amount of climate-changing carbon since record blazes in 1997, producing emissions higher than in the whole of the European Union, scientists said on Tuesday. Singapore, Malaysia and northern Indonesia choked under a layer of toxic smog in September and October last year, caused by thousands of fires started in Indonesia to cheaply clear land for palm oil crops and for pulp and paper plantations. The study by scientists from the Netherlands, Britain and Indonesia, published in the online journal Scientific Reports recently, was the first scientific report calculating greenhouse gas emissions from the fires using measurements on the ground combined with satellite observations.


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Southeast Asian fires emitted most carbon since 1997: scientists

By Beh Lih Yi JAKARTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Forest fires that blanketed Southeast Asia in thick haze last year released the greatest amount of climate-changing carbon since record blazes in 1997, producing emissions higher than in the whole of the European Union, scientists said on Tuesday. Singapore, Malaysia and northern Indonesia choked under a layer of toxic smog in September and October last year, caused by thousands of fires started in Indonesia to cheaply clear land for palm oil crops and for pulp and paper plantations. The study by scientists from the Netherlands, Britain and Indonesia, published in the online journal Scientific Reports recently, was the first scientific report calculating greenhouse gas emissions from the fires using measurements on the ground combined with satellite observations.

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Huge Cache of Ancient Helium Discovered in Africa's Rift Valley

Researchers in the United Kingdom and Norway say the newly discovered helium gas field, found in the East African Rift Valley region of Tanzania, has the potential to ease a critical global shortage of helium, a gas that is vital to many high-tech applications, such as the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners used in many hospitals. The researchers say the discovery is the result of a new approach to searching for helium that combines prospecting methods from the oil industry with scientific research that reveals the role of volcanic heat in the production of pockets of helium gas. By one estimate, the newly discovered helium field in the geothermally active East African Rift Valley may contain more helium than the U.S. Federal Helium Reserve near Amarillo, Texas, which holds about 30 percent of the world's helium supply.


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Gateway to Ancient Greek God's Compound Uncovered?

Archaeologists in northern Israel may have unearthed a sanctuary of the Greek god Pan in the ancient city of Hippos. Excavations by the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa have uncovered a monumental Roman gate, which may have led to a compound dedicated to the worship of Pan, the god of flocks and shepherds, who is depicted as half man and half goat in Greek mythology. The new archaeological find may help researchers better understand previous discoveries in the ancient city.


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Quantum Computer Could Simulate Beginnings of the Universe

Quantum mechanics suggest that seemingly empty space is actually filled with ghostly particles that are fluctuating in and out of existence. This research could help shed light on currently hidden aspects of the universe, from the hearts of neutron stars to the very first moments of the universe after the Big Bang, researchers said. Quantum mechanics suggests that the universe is a fuzzy, surreal place at its smallest levels.


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Aliens Attack! Invasive Lionfish Arrive in Mediterranean

Venomous lionfish are striking to look at, with bold stripes and flowing, sail-like fins. A new study shows that the first wave of a lionfish invasion has struck in the Mediterranean Sea, a region where these fish had not been established before. As ocean temperatures warm, numerous non-native fish have invaded Mediterranean waters — about 130 species since 2001, according to the study authors.


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Docs Diagnose Smartphone 'Blindness' in 2 Women

For two women in the United Kingdom, mysterious vision problems that happened only at night or early in the morning turned out to have a rather innocuous cause: looking at a smartphone in the dark. An eye exam showed her vision was normal, and she had no signs of a blood clot or other conditions that could cause short-term vision loss, the doctors said. This vision problem lasted about 15 minutes, and happened on and off for six months, the report said.

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Stomach Sucker: How Does New Weight-Loss Device Work?

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved a weight-loss device that may sound like something out of a science-fiction movie: a small tube inserted into the stomach allows patients to drain a portion of their gut's contents before the body absorbs those calories. The device, called AspireAssist, was approved by the FDA after a year-long clinical trial on 171 people, 111 of whom underwent a procedure to place the device. But not all weight-loss experts think the device is a game-changer.

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These Plant Compounds May Reduce Menopause Symptoms

Some plant-based therapies, including supplements with compounds found in soybeans, may help reduce symptoms of menopause, according to a new review of relevant research. In these studies, the women took either a planted-based therapy, such as a supplement or herbal remedy, or a placebo to treat symptoms of menopause. The plant-based therapies included a class of compounds called phytoestrogens, which are found in certain foods, like soybeans.

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Caffeine's 'Boost' Disappears When You're Extremely Sleep-Deprived

"These results are important, because caffeine is a stimulant widely used to counteract performance decline following periods of restricted sleep," the lead author of the study, Tracy Jill Doty, a behavioral biology scientist at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland, said in a statement.

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Pretty Risky: Men Would Skip Condoms with Attractive Women

Previous research has suggested that there is a link between perceived attractiveness and a person's willingness to have unprotected sex, the researchers, led by Anastasia Eleftheriou, a graduate student in computer science at the University of Southampton in England, wrote in the new study. One earlier study of women, for example, found that the more attractive they considered a man to be, the more willing they would be to have unprotected sex with that man. Fifty-one heterosexual men completed a survey in which they were asked to rate the attractiveness of 20 women in photographs on a scale from 0 to 100.

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The Kilogram May Be Redefined

The official metallic cylinder that defines the mass of a kilogram may soon be set aside in favor of a measurement that is defined by fundamental constants of nature. But researchers are making strides, and at the current pace, believe they can redefine the kilogram as soon as 2018.


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Pretty as a Princess: Disney Movies May Be Making Girls 'Girlier'

New research finds that preschoolers who watch Disney's princess movies are not only more likely to don the sparkling ultrafeminine fashion but also to internalize stereotypical gender roles. Researchers surveyed almost 200 4-year-old girls and boys, as well as the children's mothers and teachers, to learn about each kid's Disney movie- and TV-watching habits, favorite princesses and playtime routines. "Girls who were into the princess culture at the first wave were more gender-stereotyped one year later," said study lead researcher Sarah Coyne, an associate professor of family life at Brigham Young University in Utah.

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Rare Bronze Wing from Roman Sculpture Uncovered in England

The 5.5-inch-long (14 centimeters) wing is small enough to fit in a person's hand, the archaeologists said. It's meticulously covered with detailed plumage, and was likely part of a Roman bronze sculpture of a god or goddess, they said. Archaeologists from Cotswold Archaeology discovered the wing while they were investigating a site before a construction project, called the Greyfriars Development, in Gloucester, a city in southwest England.


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Rainbow-Colored Shooting Stars May Fly Overhead Someday

The Japanese company ALE plans to create and release artificial meteors into space that emit colorful trails when they burn up in Earth's atmosphere. Normally, shooting stars form when particles in space — usually much smaller than an inch (just a few millimeters long) enter the atmosphere and burn brightly, in a process known as plasma emission. The company plans to launch a satellite carrying about 500 to 1,000 "source particles," which will become the artificial meteors.

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Stinging Jellyfish Come to Jersey, But Beaches Still Safe

A dime-size jellyfish that can deliver severely painful stings has been spotted in New Jersey waters for the first time. Gonionemus vertens, commonly known as the clinging jellyfish, is responsible for the hospitalization of a man named Matt Carlo, according to a June 15 alert posted on Facebook by the Monmouth Beach Office of Emergency Management in New Jersey. Carlo was stung while swimming in the Shrewsbury River in Monmouth Beach.


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Ancient Greek 'Computer' Came with a User Guide

Thanks to high-tech scanning, 2,000-year-old inscriptions on the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient Greek "computer," can be read more clearly than ever before, revealing more information about the device and its possible uses. Ever since the first fragments of the device were pulled from a shipwreck off the coast of the Greek island Antikythera in 1901, scientists and historians have been trying to learn more about its purpose. The 82 corroded metal fragments of the Antikythera mechanism contain ancient Greek text, much of which is unreadable to the naked eye.


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Where's the Exit? Python Caught in Circle of Own Molted Skin

The serpent slithered around and around for about 3 hours until it eventually broke free, according to a reptile center in Australia. Stimson's pythons molt all the time, about once a month on average, but it's rare for one to get stuck in its sloughed-off skin, said David Penning, a doctoral fellow of biology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, who is not affiliated with the reptile center. "A young snake that's growing will shed more often than an older snake, because they're literally running out of space inside their skin," he said.

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Bat wings inspire new breed of drone

By Matthew Stock The unique mechanical properties of bat wings could lead to a new breed of nature-inspired drone. A prototype built by researchers at the University of Southampton shows that membrane wings can have improved aerodynamic properties and fly over longer distances on less power. Using a paper-thin rubber membrane, the team designed wings that mimic the physiology of the muscles in a bat's wing, changing shape in response to the forces it experiences.

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Caribbean Sea's Curious 'Whistle' Detected from Space

Bounded by South America, Central America and the Caribbean islands, the semi-enclosed basin of the Caribbean Sea acts like the body of a giant whistle, the scientists wrote in the study. "When you blow a whistle, you hear something because the air oscillates — pulses in and out of the whistle — and radiates a wave," the study's lead author Chris Hughes, a researcher at the National Oceanography Centre in Liverpool, in the United Kingdom, told Live Science. "In this case, the water is pulsing in and out of the Caribbean Sea.

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'3Doodler' Pen Lets You Draw 3D-Printed Creations in Midair

Still, using a 3D printer isn't always simple: The machine is frequently housed within a box the size of a microwave, and it requires technical software and, in some cases, a detailed knowledge of design. In 2012, Maxwell Bogue and Peter Dilworth, co-founders of 3Doodler along with Daniel Cowen, were trying to come up with the next great kids' toy. The two wished they "could just take the nozzle off the 3D printer and fill in the missing gap," Bogue, now CEO of the company, told Live Science.


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Moral Dilemma of Self-Driving Cars: Which Lives to Save in a Crash

New research has found that people generally approve of autonomous vehicles (AV) governed by so-called utilitarian ethics, which would seek to minimize the total number of deaths in a crash, even if it means harming people in the vehicle. The study, based on surveys of U.S. residents, found that most respondents would not want to ride in these vehicles themselves, and were not in favor of regulations enforcing utilitarian algorithms on driverless cars.

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Male Fiddler Crabs Entrap Females In Their Bachelor Pads

Male banana fiddler crabs take courting to a new, and pushy, level: The little Australian crab males wait for females to enter their burrows and then trap them in order to mate, scientists have found. Competition for mates is intense for banana fiddler crabs (Uca mjoebergi), the researchers said, with females often choosing between 20 or so males before saying "yes" to some fun between the sand grains. Often, during the mating season, a male will first enter his burrow, and a female will follow.


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Memory-Boosting Trick: Exercise After Learning

Researchers found that people who did a high-intensity workout on a spinning bike 4 hours after completing a memory task had better recall when they were retested two days later than men and women who pedaled the bike immediately after the task, and those who didn't exercise after the task at all, according to the findings published today (June 16) in the journal Current Biology. The study showed that delaying exercise by 4 hours after learning has a "moderate" effect on memory, said Dr. Guillen Fernandez, a professor of cognitive neuroscience at The Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior at the Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands. The findings showed that exercise improves memory performance and changes the way memories are stored in the brain, said Fernandez, who conducted the research with Eelco van Dongen, a postdoctoral student at the institute, and other colleagues.

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Americans Are Eating a Bit Healthier, Study Says

From 1999 to 2012, the percentage of Americans who reported eating a poor-quality diet decreased from 56 percent to 46 percent, the researchers found. The percentage of Americans who ate what is considered to be an ideal diet remained low, however, increasing slightly from 0.7 percent in 1999 to 1.5 percent in 2012, according to the study, published today (June 21) in the journal JAMA. The researchers determined diet quality using a scoring system based on dietary recommendations from the American Heart Association (AHA).

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Centuries-old African soil technique could combat climate change - scientists

By Kieran Guilbert DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A farming technique practised for centuries in West Africa, which transforms nutrient-poor rainforest soil into fertile farmland, could combat climate change and revolutionise farming across the continent, researchers said on Tuesday. Adding kitchen waste and charcoal to tropical soil can turn it into fertile, black soil which traps carbon and reduces emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, according to a study carried out by the University of Sussex in England. The soils produced by the 700-year-old practice, known as "African dark earths", contain up to 300 percent more organic carbon than other soils, and are capable of supporting far more intensive farming, said the anthropologist behind the study.

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Previous exposure to dengue may make Zika worse, scientists find

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists studying the Zika outbreak in Brazil say previous exposure to another mosquito-borne virus, dengue, may exacerbate the potency of Zika infection. The scientists said their results, published in the journal Nature Immunology, suggested that some dengue antibodies can recognize and bind to Zika due to the similarities between the two viruses, but that these antibodies may also amplify Zika infection in a phenomenon called antibody-dependent enhancement. This effect is already known with dengue, they said, and is thought to explain why, when a person gets dengue fever a second time, the infection is often more serious than the first.

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Human skin cells used in animal-free cosmetic tests

By Matthew Stock A UK-based laboratory is working to eradicate animal testing in the cosmetics industry by developing alternative methods which are not only cruelty-free but more scientifically advanced than other current tests. XCellR8 uses scaffolds of cells from human skin donated by plastic surgery patients, which they say are ideally suited to testing cosmetic products. "For skin irritation testing the cells are isolated from human skin that has been donated by people who have had plastic surgery and they've said that they're quite happy for the tissue to be used for research purposes.

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Previous exposure to dengue may make Zika worse, scientists find

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists studying the Zika outbreak in Brazil say previous exposure to another mosquito-borne virus, dengue, may exacerbate the potency of Zika infection. The scientists said their results, published in the journal Nature Immunology, suggested that some dengue antibodies can recognise and bind to Zika due to the similarities between the two viruses, but that these antibodies may also amplify Zika infection in a phenomenon called antibody-dependent enhancement. This effect is already known with dengue, they said, and is thought to explain why, when a person gets dengue fever a second time, the infection is often more serious than the first.


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Previous exposure to dengue may make Zika worse, scientists find

* Findings may explain why current Zika outbreak is severe * Dengue virus is also carried by mosquitoes * Dengue antibodies attach to Zika, but only partially By Kate Kelland LONDON, June 23 (Reuters) - Scientists studying the Zika outbreak in Brazil say previous exposure to another mosquito-borne virus, dengue, may exacerbate the potency of Zika infection. The scientists said their results, published in the journal Nature Immunology, suggested that some dengue antibodies can recognise and bind to Zika due to the similarities between the two viruses, but that these antibodies may also amplify Zika infection in a phenomenon called antibody-dependent enhancement.

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Virtual Reality Could Be Film's Next 'New Wave'

Danish filmmakers Johan Knattrup Jensen and Mads Damsbo and their production company Makropol are using virtual-reality (VR) technology to explore the boundaries of movie narratives, building on traditional visual storytelling and introducing new opportunities for audiences to interact with plotlines and characters — and with one another. Their short film "Ewa: Out of Body," premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, and enabled viewers to see the world through the eyes of Ewa, the main character. The short is a brief introduction to Ewa's life.


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Hair on Demand: Researchers Create 3D-Printed Fur

3D printers aren't just for making small, rigid, plastic models — now, these figurines can have long, flowing, 3D-printed locks. "Although it is the same material, you can vary its stiffness from something like a toothbrush bristle to synthetic hair or fur," said study lead author Jifei Ou, a graduate student in the Tangible Media Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "The goal of Cilllia is not to replicate hair, but to look at the functionality of hair," Ou told Live Science.


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17th-Century French Ship Gets New Berth: A Texas Museum

After spending more than 300 years on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, the 17th-century French ship that went by the name La Belle, or "The Beautiful," has finally found a new resting place at a museum in Texas. Upon finding the wreck, the researchers were able to identify it as La Belle, a French-made ship that sank off the coast of Matagorda Bay (an area about 110 miles, or 177 kilometers, southwest of Houston) in 1686. "It's been exciting, a huge headache and a huge frustration at times, but I love old ships and in particular this one,” Peter Fix, a watercraft conservator at the Conservation Research Laboratory at Texas A&M University, said in the statement.


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Screwworm Sex Wins 'Golden Goose' Award for Unusual Research

The 2016 Golden Goose Award, which honors basic research that might seem silly but led to important breakthroughs, will go to Edward F. Knipling and Raymond C. Bushland. The U.S. Department of Agriculture funded the researchers' study of the reproductive behavior of screwworm flies (Cochliomyia hominivorax), a parasitic species that caused major problems for farmers and ranchers before Knipling and Bushland's work led to a new type of insect control in the 1950s. "Given the recent rise of infectious diseases like the Zika virus, developing eradication programs for carrier pests is a much-needed field of scientific research," Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Ill., a supporter of the Golden Goose Award, said in a statement.


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Sharks Near You? Global Survey Reveals Predators' Top Spots

For this huge undertaking, known as the Global FinPrint, researchers are using baited remote underwater video (BRUV) equipment to capture images of sharks and other animals as they pass by. By the end of the three-year project, which began last year, the researchers hope to have cataloged sharks and rays around 400 reefs. At least 30 species of sharks and rays have been observed in the first 100 reefs, according to FinPrint lead scientist Demian Chapman, an associate professor of marine sciences at Florida International University (FIU).


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In Shellfish, Cancer Can Be Contagious

Cancer can spread infectiously between shellfish, such as clams, in the oceans, according to a new study. Although cancer can spread to distant parts of a body, in an often-deadly process known as metastasis, it generally stays within the individual in which it originated. Recently, however, scientists discovered that cancer cells can sometimes escape an organism and spread to others.


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Solar plane lands in Spain after three-day Atlantic crossing

An airplane powered solely by the sun landed safely in Seville in Spain early on Thursday after an almost three-day flight across the Atlantic from New York in one of the longest legs of the first ever fuel-less flight around the world. The single-seat Solar Impulse 2 touched down shortly after 7.30 a.m. local time in Seville after leaving John F. Kennedy International Airport at about 2.30 a.m. EDT on June 20. The flight of just over 71 hours was the 15th leg of the round-the-world journey by the plane piloted in turns by Swiss aviators Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg.


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E.T. Phones Earth? 1,500 Years Until Contact, Experts Estimate

"Communicating with anybody is an incredibly slow, long-duration endeavor," said Evan Solomonides at a press conference June 14 at the American Astronomical Society's summer meeting in San Diego, California. Solomonides is an undergraduate student at Cornell University in New York, where he worked with Cornell radio astronomer Yervant Terzian to explore the mystery of the Fermi paradox: If life is abundant in the universe, the argument goes, it should have contacted Earth, yet there's no definitive sign of such an interaction. It takes a long time to reach anyone, even at the speed of light," he said.


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Augmented-Reality Diving Helmets Join the US Navy

New high-tech diving helmets being developed by the U.S. Navy will incorporate augmented-reality tech to keep naval divers safe on underwater missions. The U.S. Navy announced this month a "next-generation" and "futuristic" system: the Divers Augmented Vision Display (DAVD). "By building this HUD directly inside the dive helmet instead of attaching a display on the outside, it can provide a capability similar to something from an 'Ironman' movie," Dennis Gallagher, underwater systems development project engineer at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, said in a statement.


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Ancient Greek Naval Base Held Hundreds of Warships

Thousands of years ago in a bustling port near Athens, Greece, a massive structure housed hundreds of warships that likely took part in a pivotal Greek victory against the Persian Empire.


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Lost 5,000-Year-Old Neolithic Figurine Rediscovered in Scotland

A 5,000-year-old whalebone figurine, one of the oldest representations of a human form found in Britain, has been rediscovered after going missing for more than 150 years. The figurine was first discovered in the 1850s at the Skara Brae archaeological site in the Orkney Islands, at the northern tip of Scotland, and was part of the private collection of the local "laird," or landowner, in the 1860s. But it was thought lost until British archaeologist David Clark rediscovered it in a box in the archives of the Stromness Museum at Orkney in April.


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Human flights to Mars still at least 15 years off: ESA head

You'll have to wait at least 15 years for the technology to be developed, the head of the European Space Agency (ESA) said, putting doubt on claims that the journey could happen sooner. "If there was enough money then we could possibly do it earlier but there is not as much now as the Apollo program had," ESA Director-General Jan Woerner said, referring to the U.S. project which landed the first people on the moon. Woerner says a permanent human settlement on the moon, where 3D printers could be used to turn moon rock into essential items needed for the two-year trip to Mars, would be a major step toward the red planet.


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Male Doctors, Female Nurses: Subconscious Stereotypes Hard to Budge

The conscious mind is quick to adapt to information that flies in the face of stereotype, but the subconscious may ignore even the most glaring of facts, new research finds. When people are given two names, Jonathan and Elizabeth, and asked who is a doctor and who is a nurse, the respondents typically say that each is equally likely to be in either profession. This kind of implicit association, or subconscious pairing based on stereotype, is well-known in psychology.


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Bizarre, Long-Headed Woman from Ancient Kingdom Revealed

The woman was part of the ancient Silla culture, which ruled much of the Korean peninsula for nearly a millennium. The ancient Silla Kingdom reigned over part of the Korean Peninsula from 57 B.C. to A.D. 935, making it one of the longest-ruling royal dynasties. "The skeletons are not preserved well in the soil of Korea," Shin told Live Science in an email.


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Rays Don't Stray: Giant Mantas Stick Close to Home

Until recently, manta rays — which sail through tropical and temperate ocean waters, looking much like enormous kites — were thought to migrate great distances across ocean basins, as do many of the largest marine animals. Researchers investigated data gathered from tracking devices on the manta rays, as well as chemical and DNA analysis of the rays' muscle tissues. The discovery radically changes scientists' understanding of mantas' habits and carries dramatic implications for their conservation.


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India launches 20 satellites at one go; most to serve U.S. customers

India successfully launched 20 satellites in a single mission on Wednesday, with most of them set to serve international customers as the South Asian country pursues a bigger share of the $300 billion global space industry. It was the most satellites India has put in space at one go, though Russia set the record of 37 for a single launch in 2014. Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the launch as "a monumental accomplishment" for the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

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Centuries-old African soil technique could combat climate change - scientists

By Kieran Guilbert DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A farming technique practised for centuries in West Africa, which transforms nutrient-poor rainforest soil into fertile farmland, could combat climate change and revolutionise farming across the continent, researchers said on Tuesday. Adding kitchen waste and charcoal to tropical soil can turn it into fertile, black soil which traps carbon and reduces emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, according to a study carried out by the University of Sussex in England. The soils produced by the 700-year-old practice, known as "African dark earths", contain up to 300 percent more organic carbon than other soils, and are capable of supporting far more intensive farming, said the anthropologist behind the study.

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Europe's robots to become 'electronic persons' under draft plan

By Georgina Prodhan MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) - Europe's growing army of robot workers could be classed as "electronic persons" and their owners liable to paying social security for them if the European Union adopts a draft plan to address the realities of a new industrial revolution. The motion faces an uphill battle to win backing from the various political blocks in European Parliament.


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Centuries-old African soil technique could combat climate change - scientists

By Kieran Guilbert DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A farming technique practised for centuries in West Africa, which transforms nutrient-poor rainforest soil into fertile farmland, could combat climate change and revolutionise farming across the continent, researchers said on Tuesday. Adding kitchen waste and charcoal to tropical soil can turn it into fertile, black soil which traps carbon and reduces emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, according to a study carried out by the University of Sussex in England. The soils produced by the 700-year-old practice, known as "African dark earths", contain up to 300 percent more organic carbon than other soils, and are capable of supporting far more intensive farming, said the anthropologist behind the study.

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Tour Secret WWII Lab with Manhattan Project App

The efforts during World War II to develop an atomic bomb were once shrouded in secrecy, but today, the story of the so-called Manhattan Project isn't just public — you can now visit the project on your smartphone. A new app called "Los Alamos: Secret City of the Manhattan Project" takes users back to New Mexico in the 1940s, to the facilities where scientists, government administrators and the U.S. military convened to create the most devastating weapons known to humankind. "The new app provides a virtual tour of a Manhattan Project property that no longer exists," Jennifer Payne, leader of the Resource Management Team at Los Alamos' Environmental Stewardship Group, said in a statement.


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Brain Tumor Risk Linked with Higher Education, Study Finds

People with higher levels of education may be more likely to develop certain types of brain tumors, a new study from Sweden suggests. Researchers found that women who completed at least three years of university courses were 23 percent more likely to develop a type of cancerous brain tumor called glioma, compared with women who only completed up to nine years of mandatory education and did not go to a university.

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British astronaut Tim Peake would return to space station 'in a heartbeat'

Britain's first official astronaut said on Tuesday he would join another trip to the International Space Station "in a heartbeat" and would love to explore the moon. Tim Peake was one of three astronauts to return to earth on Saturday after spending half a year on the space station. It was "extremely important" for Britain to be involved in the advancement of human space flight, Peake, said on Tuesday.


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Blame the Parents? Child Tragedies Reveal Empathy Decline

A similar pattern occurred in late May after a preschooler slipped away from his mother and fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. Melissa Fenton, a writer for the parenting site Scary Mommy, wrote a plea for compassion on Facebook, arguing that in the past, child-in-peril stories engendered support, not judgment. Researchers reporting in 2013 in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience examined the brains of psychopaths (who have stunted empathy for others) and found multiple brain regions involved, including the anterior insula, the anterior cingulate cortex, the supplementary motor area, the inferior frontal gyrus, the somatosensory cortex and the right amygdala.


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Great Pyramid of Giza Is Slightly Lopsided

The Great Pyramid of Giza may be a Wonder of the Ancient World, but it's not perfect: Its base is a little lopsided because its builders made a teensy mistake when constructing it, new research reveals. The west side of the pyramid is slightly longer than the east side, scientists have found. Although the difference is very slight, it's enough that a modern-day research team, led by engineer Glen Dash and Egyptologist Mark Lehner, was able to detect the small flaw in a new measuring project.


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Deadly Degrees: Why Heat Waves Kill So Quickly

An intense heat wave that sent temperatures in Phoenix to 118 degrees Fahrenheit (47.7 degrees Celsius) this weekend has killed four people — and the heat could be worse today. Those killed so far were all hiking or biking outdoors, but heat waves can kill close to home, too. In 2003, during a major European heat wave, 14,802 people died of hyperthermia in France alone.


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Frog Embryos Speed-Hatch to Escape Danger

A developing frog embryo in its jelly-like egg mass can be quite the escape artist: When predators come calling, the red-eyed tree frog embryo can detect the threat and drop out of its egg to safety in a matter of seconds, even though it normally wouldn't be ready to hatch for several more days. Karen Warkentin, study co-author and a biology professor at Boston University, reported the unusual behavior in red-eyed tree frog embryos in an earlier study published in 2005 in the journal Animal Behavior. Warkentin recorded the embryos' responses to different types of vibrations.


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When Lemurs Sing, Young Males Follow a Different Beat

Researchers have found that indris, a type of lemur native to Madagascar, are not only accomplished singers but also use rhythmic techniques when singing together to coordinate vocal performances and define their roles in the troop. Leaping Lemurs! Amazing Primates Roam North Carolina Copyright 2016 LiveScience, a Purch company.


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ISIS Plays 'Evolutionary Game' to Avoid Online Shutdown

"We were interested in how support for particular extreme ideas or extreme organizations develops online, and then if we could understand that, what the implications would be for then what happens in the real world," study researcher and physicist Neil Johnson of the University of Miami told Live Science. In the new research, published today (June 16) in the journal Science, Johnson and his colleagues identified and studied 196 pro-ISIS aggregates, ad hoc online groups formed via linkage to a social media page. The researchers found that though the pro-ISIS groups consisted of members who have likely never met and have no direct way of contacting one another, the aggregates were able to mutate and reincarnate to avoid detection.


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Sex with 2 Partners Before Marriage Raises Divorce Risk

"In short: If you're going to have comparisons to your husband, it's best to have more than one," study author Nicholas Wolfinger, a professor in the University of Utah Department of Family and Consumer Studies and an adjunct professor in the university's Department of Sociology, said in a statement. To see if the changing attitudes toward premarital sex affected the risk of divorce, Wolfinger looked at data from three waves of the National Survey of Family Growth, a survey on marriage and sexual behavior. The findings confirmed what many would believe by simply looking around: Women are much more likely to have premarital sex today than 50 years ago.


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Myth Busted: Taking Photos Doesn't Ruin Your Experiences

The next time your friends roll their eyes when you're snapping a selfie or taking a photo of your dessert, tell them that according to new research, photographing everyday things can actually make people happier. For example, when people in the study took a virtual safari and watched a pride of lions attack a water buffalo, the people who took photos of the bloody event reported a lower enjoyment of the activity than those who didn't take photos, the researchers said.

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Hang Glider Aims to Break Long-Distance Flight Record

A daring hang glider known for his extreme stunts and record-setting flights will soon attempt to set another record for the longest open-distance flight. On or soon after Monday (June 20), Jonny Durand will attempt to glide from Zapata, in southern Texas, to Lorenzo, in northern Texas, a distance of about 475 miles (764 kilometers). Aiding him on his journey — on (or around) the summer solstice, the longest day of the year — are what may be the most ideal atmospheric conditions for long-distance hang-gliding on Earth.


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'Cosmic Watch' App Lets You Track Stars and Planets in Real Time

The app, named the Cosmic Watch, can tell you what the solar system was like when you were born, or set the scene for the next solar eclipse. The app provides a vivid view of the cosmos to show how time reflects our position in the solar system, said Markus Humbel, co-founder of the app. Along with his colleagues, he obtained data on planet movements from NASA and other organizations with open-source data, and incorporated information on gravity, planet size and planets' orbital paths into the Cosmic Watch.


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Solar plane takes on Atlantic as part of round-the-world bid

The spindly, single-seat Solar Impulse 2 left John F. Kennedy International Airport at about 2:30 a.m. EDT on a trip expected to take up to 90 hours, the 15th leg of its round-the-world journey. Swiss aviators Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg have been taking turns piloting the plane, which has more than 17,000 solar cells built into wings whose span exceeds that of a Boeing 747, with Piccard at the controls for the transatlantic flight. Solar Impulse 2 is due to land sometime on Thursday in Spain or France, with the precise location to be determined later depending on weather conditions, said Elizabeth Banta, a spokeswoman for the project team.


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