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Showing posts from July, 2016

Australia's tectonic speed leaves cartographers behind

By Pauline Askin SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia, which rides on the world's fastest-moving continental tectonic plate, is heading north so quickly that map co-ordinates are now out by as much as 1.5 meters (4.9 feet), say geoscientists. "There are tweets coming out saying: 'Hey does that mean my neighbors pool is in my property now?' Clearly not!" said Dan Jaksa, Australian Datum Manager at Geoscience Australia, a government body. Australia's continental tectonic plate is moving north at a rate of seven centimeters per year (almost 3 inches a year), Jaksa said, and mapping systems haven't kept pace.

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North America Has Only 1 True Species of Wolf, DNA Shows

DNA tests of wolves across North America suggest that there is just one species of the canid: the gray wolf. What's more, populations of red wolves and eastern wolves, thought to be distinct species, are actually just hybrids of gray wolves and coyotes that likely emerged in the last couple hundred years, the study found. The findings, published in the journal Science Advances on Wednesday (July 27), could have implications for the conservation of wolves considered endangered in the United States, the researchers say.


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4 Florida Zika Cases Were Likely Contracted in the US, Officials Say

Three men and a woman in Florida became infected with the Zika virus, likely after being bitten by mosquitoes in the area, officials said today (July 29). The cases, which are in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, mark the first time that anyone has caught Zika from mosquitoes in the United States. The patients did not travel to another country where Zika is spreading, and did not have sex with a person who had Zika, ruling out these routes of transmission, officials said.

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Fungal Disease 'Valley Fever' Is Often Misdiagnosed

A fungal infection called valley fever, which can cause mild to severe lung problems (including holes in the lungs), is often misdiagnosed because the symptoms can resemble those of the flu or other illness, experts say. The misdiagnoses can lead to unnecessary medications that don't treat the fungal infection, according to new guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America. The guidelines stress that primary care doctors should consider the possibility of valley fever in patients who have pneumonia or continuing flu-like symptoms if they live in or have visited the western or southwestern United States, where the fungus is found naturally in the soil.

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Putrid-Smelling Corpse Flower Finally Blooms: Watch It Live

Normally, the smell of putrefying, decaying flesh wouldn't be cause for celebration, but it is today, with the blooming of the rare but stinky corpse flower at the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). Corpse flowers bloom only once every seven to 10 years, and this is the first time that this particular plant has blossomed since the NYBG acquired it in 2007, they said. As soon as the bud began to open last night (July 28), NYBG representatives took to Twitter to announce the good news, saying, "Your eyes aren't playing tricks on you.


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Hyena Meets Tasmanian Devil: Ancient 'Hypercarnivore' Unearthed

A newfound extinct marsupial "hypercarnivore" from Australia — one that researchers say looked like a cross between a Tasmanian devil and a hyena — was about twice as big as Australia's largest living flesh-eating marsupials, a new study finds. Although scientists have so far discovered only a single lower molar tooth of this predator, they deduced from the animal's tooth that "almost certainly it was a very active predator with an extremely powerful bite," said study lead author Mike Archer, a paleontologist at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. This term "generally refers to a predator that is larger than a cat whose diet is at least 75 percent meat," Archer told Live Science.


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Death Spiral: 4th Phase of Life May Signal the End Is Near

Although most of the "death spiral" research has focused on fruit flies, scientists think these studies can offer valuable insight into the last stage of human life as well. "We believe this is part of the process of, basically, genetically programmed death," Laurence Mueller, chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Irvine, said in an interview with Live Science. Over the past decade, several studies of fruit flies have suggested this spiral toward death can be seen in the drop in reproductive rate (fecundity), according to a review of this research by Mueller and his colleagues, published earlier this year in the journal Biogerontology.


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Mysterious Purple Sea Orb Stymies Scientists

With those words, scientists aboard the Exploration Vessel Nautilus uncovered a marine mystery: a small purple orb tucked halfway under a rock off the coast of California. "None of the known species of California pleurobranch are purple," said Susan Poulton, a spokeswoman for the E/V Nautilus expeditions. It was found on July 18, during an E/V Nautilusexploration of Arguello Canyon, west of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.


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Nestle says to collaborate with Samsung to explore nutrition science

Nestle said it is teaming up with Samsung in a research project to explore the potential of nutrition science and digital sensor technologies. The companies said on Thursday they are developing a new digital health platform to provide individuals with more personalised recommendations around nutrition, lifestyle and fitness. Health has become an increasing focus for Nestle in recent years, generating estimated sales of about 4 billion Swiss francs ($4.08 billion) out of Nestle's total 88.8 billion francs in 2015.


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Facebook's Internet-Delivery Drone Completes First Test Flight

Facebook recently completed its first test flight of a solar-powered drone that is designed to beam down internet access to remote areas of the world. The Aquila drone is being developed to broaden the scope of internet connectivity around the globe. "New technologies like Aquila have the potential to bring access, voice and opportunity to billions of people around the world, and do so faster and more cost-effectively than has ever been possible before," Jay Parikh, global head of engineering and infrastructure at Facebook, wrote in a blog post about the project.


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Study finds cosmic rays increased heart risks among Apollo astronauts

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Apollo astronauts who ventured to the moon are at five times greater risk of dying from heart disease than shuttle astronauts, U.S. researchers said on Thursday, citing the dangers of cosmic radiation beyond the Earth's magnetic field. The study by researchers at Florida State University and NASA found that three Apollo astronauts, including Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon, or 43 percent of those studied, died from cardiovascular disease, a finding with implications for future human travel beyond Earth. The research, published in the journal Scientific Reports, was the first to look at the mortality of Apollo astronauts, the only people so far to travel beyond a few hundred miles (km) of Earth.


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Rare Pottery Workshop Discovered in Galilee

An ancient potters' workshop dating back to Roman times has been discovered in Galilee, in northern Israel. The Israel Antiquities Authority announced that excavations in Shlomi, a town near the Lebanon border, have revealed a ceramic factory where storage jars and vessels for wine and oil would have been made 1,600 years ago. Archaeologists working at the site said this workshop is notable for its carefully constructed rock-cut kiln.


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World's Deepest Blue Hole Is in South China Sea

A new exploration of a legendary blue hole in the South China Sea has found that the underwater feature is the deepest known on Earth. According to Xinhua News, Dragon Hole, or Longdong, is 987 feet (300.89 meters) deep, far deeper than the previous record holder, Dean's Blue Hole in the Bahamas.

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Ice Bucket Challenge Cash Helped Pay for ALS Gene Discoveries

New clues about the genetics involved in Lou Gehrig's disease are revealed today in two new studies, thanks in large part to donations from the wildly popular Ice Bucket Challenge of 2014. The findings could one day lead to gene therapy treatments, in which researchers would replace faulty genes in people with the disease, or add new ones to fight the condition, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the researchers said. "The discovery of NEK1 highlights the value of 'big data' in ALS research," Lucie Bruijn, chief scientist of the ALS Association, who was not involved in the study, said in a statement.

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How to Get People to Step Up Their Exercise

But people who compare their own performance to that of average performers might be more motivated than those who compare their performance to that of top performers, the study found. we leverage individuals’ competitive drive to motivate behavior change," the researchers wrote.

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Here's the US City with the Highest Pot Use

San Francisco has a new claim to fame: The city has the highest rate of marijuana use in the country, according to a new survey. In the survey, which was conducted from 2012 to 2014 nationwide, 15.5 percent of people in San Francisco said they had used marijuana in the past month. Perhaps not surprisingly, parts of Colorado (where recreational marijuana use is legal) also had high rates of marijuana use.

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New crop of robots to vie for space in the operating room

By Susan Kelly CHICAGO (Reuters) - Even though many doctors see need for improvement, surgical robots are poised for big gains in operating rooms around the world. Within five years, one in three U.S. surgeries - more than double current levels – is expected to be performed with robotic systems, with surgeons sitting at computer consoles guiding mechanical arms. Robotic surgery has been long dominated by pioneer Intuitive Surgical Inc, which has more than 3,600 of its da Vinci machines in hospitals worldwide and said last week the number of procedures that used them jumped by 16 percent in the second quarter compared to a year earlier.


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Scientists hunt 'anti-evolution' drugs in new cancer fight

By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists are opening a new front in the war on cancer with plans to develop "anti-evolution" drugs to stop tumor cells from developing resistance to treatment. Britain's Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), one of the world's top cancer centers, said on Friday its initiative was the first to have at its heart the target of overcoming cancer evolution and drug resistance. In the same way that bacteria evolve resistance to antibiotics, cancer cells also change to evade the medicines used to fight them, leading to "survival of the nastiest".


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Brazil scientists find Zika traces in Culex mosquitoes in wild

Brazilian researchers on Thursday said they found signs of the Zika virus in a common mosquito that is a separate species from the insect known to be the primary means of transmission. The scientists, from a leading Brazilian research institute known as the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, discovered the Zika traces in Culex mosquitoes captured in and around the northeastern Brazilian city of Recife, capital of the state that was hit hardest by the Zika outbreak since last year. In March, the same researchers said they had successfully transmitted the Zika virus to Culex mosquitoes in the lab, but were not yet sure at the time whether the species could carry the virus naturally.


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'Game of Thrones' Ant Has Dragon-Like Spikes

A dragon from "Game of Thrones" has come to life — sort of. A new ant species' dragon-like appearance inspired scientists to name it for the fire-breathing star of the popular fantasy series. The Pheidole drogon's large and distinctive spine reminded researchers of Drogon, one of the dragons on the "Game of Thrones" TV show, adapted from the novels written by George R. R. Martin.

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Great Red Spot storm heating Jupiter's atmosphere, study shows

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Scientists have long wondered why Jupiter's upper atmosphere has temperatures similar to those of Earth, even though the biggest planet in the solar system is five times farther away from the sun. The answer may be The Great Red Spot, an enormous storm big enough to swallow three Earths that has been raging on Jupiter for at least three centuries, a study showed on Wednesday. Using an infrared telescope at Hawaii's Mauna Kea Observatory, scientists discovered that the upper atmosphere above the Great Red Spot – the largest storm in the solar system - is hundreds of degrees hotter than anywhere else on the planet.


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Scientists find potential new antibiotic, right under their noses

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists in Germany have discovered a bacteria hiding out in peoples' noses that produces an antibiotic compound that can kill several dangerous pathogens, including the superbug MRSA. The early-stage finding, reported in the journal Nature on Wednesday, could one day lead to a whole new class of antibiotic medicines being developed to fight drug-resistant bacterial infections, the researchers said. As well as being a focal point for many viral infections, the nasal cavity is also a rich ecosystem of 50 or so different species of bacteria, lead researcher Andreas Peschel of the University of Tuebingen told reporters in a telephone briefing.

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Scientist Brian Cox holds summer master class in London for kids

British physics professor Brian Cox taught students at St. Paul's Way Trust School in London on Tuesday how to create fire with methane gas. The school is hosting a science summer school and invited the celebrity physicist, who says he hopes the project will bring in those from different backgrounds. "There is no shortage of enthusiasm for students and young people when you talk about science and engineering," Cox said.


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Scientists find potential new antibiotic, right under their noses

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists in Germany have discovered a bacteria hiding out in peoples' noses that produces an antibiotic compound that can kill several dangerous pathogens, including the superbug MRSA. The early-stage finding, reported in the journal Nature on Wednesday, could one day lead to a whole new class of antibiotic medicines being developed to fight drug-resistant bacterial infections, the researchers said. As well as being a focal point for many viral infections, the nasal cavity is also a rich ecosystem of 50 or so different species of bacteria, lead researcher Andreas Peschel of the University of Tuebingen told reporters in a telephone briefing.

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Transgender Identity Is Not a Mental Health Disorder, Study Finds

People who identify as transgender should not be considered to have a mental health disorder, according to a new study from Mexico. The World Health Organization currently lists transgender identity as a mental health disorder, and the new study is the first in a series of research aimed at finding out whether this categorization is apt. In the new study, published today (July 26) in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry, the researchers investigated whether the distress and dysfunction associated with transgender identity were the result of social rejection and stigmatization or an inherent part of being transgender.

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Dolly the Sheep's Clone 'Sisters' Are Healthy in Old Age

Four cloned sheep that are genetically identical to Dolly, the first cloned mammal, are still healthy even in old age, a new study found. The four sheep, which were derived from the same batch of cells as Dolly and could be considered her clone "sisters," have just reached their 9th birthday, which is equivalent to age 70 in human years, researchers who have been studying the sheep said. All of the sheep were free from many diseases commonly found in older sheep, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, the study showed.


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Police Killings and Race: Do the Numbers Tell the Whole Story?

Police officers in the U.S. are more likely to stop or arrest black, Hispanic and Native American people than they are to stop or arrest non-Hispanic white people, a new study finds. The researchers also found that more blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans were killed and injured by police over the study period than non-Hispanic whites. "Both blacks and white Hispanics are four times as likely to be killed by the police as white non-Hispanics are," said lead study author Ted Miller, a senior research scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Maryland.

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Prehistoric Village Likely Torched by Bronze-Age Warriors

A fire that destroyed a Bronze Age village in the marshlands of eastern England around 3,000 years ago may have been set on purpose, possibly in a raid by warriors from a hostile group, according to a new archaeological study. "We've been working with [a fire] investigator who works a lot with modern fires, and he thinks there's a good chance that the fire was set deliberately," said Selina Davenport, an archaeologist at the University of Cambridge. "For that to have spread from something like a spark off a hearth is unlikely," Davenport told Live Science.


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Huge Quake for the Himalayas? Ancient Hindu Temples Hold Clues

Past earthquakes that damaged ancient temples perched high in the Himalayas could be harbingers of dangerous quakes to come, new research suggests.


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'Grow' Your Own Glowing Flowers: The Science of Fluorescence

If you're looking for a gift to dazzle a special someone, and regular flowers just don't seem like enough to do the trick, how about creating a beautiful bouquet that can "glow" in the dark? The American Chemical Society (ACS) recently released a new video showing a fun, at-home science experiment that lets you "grow" fluorescent flowers that glow under black light. It turns out, flowers aren't picky when it comes to their water.


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These Honeybees Have Mastered Twerking: How They Do It

Honeybees are famous for their wiggling, waggling dances, which they use to communicate with others in their hives. Now, a new study reveals the anatomical limits to a honeybee's moves.


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Ancestor of All Life on Earth Had Steamy Beginning

The mysterious common ancestor of all life on Earth may have lived in hot springs that were iron-rich and oxygen-poor, a new study finds. The last universal common ancestor, or LUCA, is what scientists call the forerunner of all living things. To learn more about how and where LUCA might have lived, researchers analyzed 6.1 million genes from prokaryotes — microscopic, single-celled organisms that lack distinct cell nuclei.


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Belgian scientists make novel water-from-urine machine

By Reuters Staff A team of scientists at a Belgian university say they have created a machine that turns urine into drinkable water and fertilizer using solar energy, a technique which could be applied in rural areas and developing countries. While there are other options for treating waste water, the system applied at the University of Ghent uses a special membrane, is said to be energy-efficient and to be applicable in areas off the electricity grid. "We're able to recover fertilizer and drinking water from urine using just a simple process and solar energy," said University of Ghent researcher Sebastiaan Derese.


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Meter-wide dinosaur print, one of largest ever, found in Bolivia

A footprint measuring over a meter wide that was made by a meat-eating predator some 80 million years ago has been discovered in Bolivia, one of the largest of its kind ever found. The print, which measures 1.2 meters (1.3 yards) across, probably belonged to the abelisaurus, a biped dinosaur that once roamed South America, said Argentine paleontologist Sebastian Apesteguia, who is studying the find. The print was found some 64 kilometers (40 miles) outside the city of Sucre in central Bolivia by a tourist guide earlier this month.

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New Speckled Venomous Snake Discovered in Cloud Forest

A previously unknown, green-speckled species of venomous snake has been found lurking in the high, misty forests of Costa Rica. The snake, which lives in a remote, forested region of Central America, was long mistaken for a closely related species, the black-speckled palm-pitviper (Bothriechis nigroviridis). When two species look and behave nearly identically but are genetically distinct, it's called cryptic speciation.


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Goodbye, Weasels! New Zealand to Wipe Out Its Invasive Predators

The clock is ticking for the rats, possums and weasels that have invaded New Zealand over the past few hundred years. Before humans landed in New Zealand less than 800 years ago, precious few mammals lived on the islands — a vibrant archipelago that provided a home for flightless birds, such as the kiwi, takahe­ and kakapo parrot, as well as geckos and lizard-like tuataras. "While once the greatest threat to our native wildlife was poaching and deforestation, it is now introduced predators," Key said in a statement.

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Scientists caught off-guard by record temperatures linked to climate change

By Zoe Tabary LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Record temperatures in the first half of 2016 have taken scientists by surprise despite widespread recognition that extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and intense, the director of the World Climate Research Programme said. The earth is on track for its hottest year on record with June marking the 14th straight month of record heat, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said last week. Temperatures recorded mainly in the northern hemisphere in the first six months of the year, coupled with an early and fast Arctic sea ice melt and "new highs" in heat-trapping carbon dioxide levels, point to quickening climate change, it said.


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Healthy clones: Dolly the sheep's heirs reach ripe old age

By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - The heirs of Dolly the sheep are enjoying a healthy old age, proving cloned animals can live normal lives and offering reassurance to scientists hoping to use cloned cells in medicine. Dolly, cloning's poster child, was born in Scotland in 1996. Now researchers have allayed those fears by reporting that 13 cloned sheep, including four genomic copies of Dolly, are still in good shape at between seven and nine years of age, or the equivalent of 60 to 70 in human years.


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Why 5 or More Hours of TV Daily Is Bad for You

Bad news for couch potatoes: Spending hours parked in front of the TV may increase the risk of dying from a blood clot in the lung, a new study from Japan finds. People in the study who watched TV for 5 hours or more each day were 2.5 times more likely to die during the study period from a blood clot in the lung, also called a pulmonary embolism, compared with people who watched TV for less than 2.5 hours a day. A pulmonary embolism can be deadly.

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More Kids Consuming Pot by Accident in Colorado

The number of young kids in Colorado who accidentally consume marijuana has increased since buying the drug for recreational use became legal there in 2014, according to a new study. During 2009, before the recreational use of marijuana was legalized in Colorado, only nine calls were made to a regional poison center regarding kids accidentally ingesting or inhaling marijuana, researchers found. "We anticipated that the rate would likely go up" after the recreational use of marijuana was legalized in Colorado, said study co-author Dr. Genie Roosevelt, a pediatrician at Denver Health Medical Center.

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Juicy, Exotic, Decadent: Food Porn Is Actually Centuries Old

It turns out, abundance and indulgence have been popular themes in food imagery in paintings for much of the last millennium: A survey of paintings from the past 500 years suggests that artists have always preferred depicting the most beautiful, exotic and alluring foods. "Our love affair with visually appealing, decadent or status foods is nothing new," study co-author Andrew Weislogel, a curator at Cornell's Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, said in a statement.

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Belgian scientists make novel water-from-urine machine

A team of scientists at a Belgian university say they have created a machine that turns urine into drinkable water and fertilizer using solar energy, a technique which could be applied in rural areas and developing countries. While there are other options for treating waste water, the system applied at the University of Ghent uses a special membrane, is said to be energy-efficient and to be applicable in areas off the electricity grid. "We're able to recover fertilizer and drinking water from urine using just a simple process and solar energy," said University of Ghent researcher Sebastiaan Derese.


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Bizarre-Looking 'Graham' More Likely Than You to Survive Car Collision

An artist's lifelike sculpture casts the human body in a way that may look distorted and grotesque, but the odd-looking figure — scarcely recognizable as human — is uniquely designed to face deadly challenges on modern roads. "Graham" — as the sculpture has been named — has a massive skull, but his features are tiny and recessed. While Graham may not win any beauty contests, he wasn't made to be pretty — he was built for survival.


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Scientists caught off-guard by record temperatures linked to climate change

By Zoe Tabary LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Record temperatures in the first half of 2016 have taken scientists by surprise despite widespread recognition that extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and intense, the director of the World Climate Research Program said. The earth is on track for its hottest year on record with June marking the 14th straight month of record heat, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said last week. Temperatures recorded mainly in the northern hemisphere in the first six months of the year, coupled with an early and fast Arctic sea ice melt and "new highs" in heat-trapping carbon dioxide levels, point to quickening climate change, it said.

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Belgian scientists make novel water-from-urine machine

A team of scientists at a Belgian university say they have created a machine that turns urine into drinkable water and fertilizer using solar energy, a technique which could be applied in rural areas and developing countries. While there are other options for treating waste water, the system applied at the University of Ghent uses a special membrane, is said to be energy-efficient and to be applicable in areas off the electricity grid. "We're able to recover fertilizer and drinking water from urine using just a simple process and solar energy," said University of Ghent researcher Sebastiaan Derese.

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Great White Shark Dangles Seal Meal from Its Maw

The predator, with a partially eaten seal carcass hanging from her teeth, was caught on video by biologist Greg Skomal of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (MA DMF), working with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy (AWSC). Measuring an estimated 11 feet (3.4 meters) in length, the shark — and its gruesome mouthful — was spied in Atlantic waters near Massachusetts, approximately 300 yards from the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. Researchers are currently conducting a five-year shark population study in the area, AWSC representatives wrote in a Facebook post describing the video.


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Smelly 'Corpse Flower' About to Bloom in NYC: How to Watch It Live

The stench of rotting flesh will soon permeate the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), possibly today (July 25), when a rare plant known as a corpse flower blooms and releases an odor similar to that of putrefying flesh, botanists say. Despite the stench, horticulturalists and the public are flocking to see it, partly because the corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum — a scientific name that translates to "giant misshapen phallus") blooms only for a few days once every seven to 10 years, representatives from the NYBG said. "Perhaps [people come] because it is one of the largest flowers in the world, and its blooming cycle is unpredictable," NYBG representatives said in a statement.


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Vibrantly Colored 'Starburst' Scorpionfish Discovered in the Caribbean

A riotously colorful new species of scorpionfish has been found deep in the Caribbean near Curaçao. Its scientific name is Scorpaenodes barrybrowni, after nature photographer Barry Brown, who works with the Smithsonian Institution mission that discovered the deep-sea-living fish. Researchers discovered the new species during the Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP), a Smithsonian Institution mission to explore reefs deeper than scuba divers can go.


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Solar-powered plane circles globe, returns to UAE

By Stanley Carvalho ABU DHABI (Reuters) - A solar-powered aircraft successfully completed the first fuel-free flight around the world on Tuesday, returning to Abu Dhabi after an epic 16-month voyage and demonstrating the potential of renewable energy. The plane, Solar Impulse 2, touched down in the United Arab Emirates capital at 0005 GMT (0405 local time) on Tuesday. It first took off from Abu Dhabi on March 9, 2015, beginning a landmark journey of about 40,000 km (24,500 miles) around the globe and nearly 500 hours of flying.


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Fish can recognise human faces, study finds

By Matthew Stock Scientists have shown for the first time how a species of tropical fish can distinguish between human faces. The archerfish used in experiments could demonstrate the ability to a high degree of accuracy; despite lacking the crucial neocortex part of the brain which other animals use for sophisticated visual recognition. ...

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What If the Moon Disappeared Tomorrow?

That's right, it was the moon! The moon makes some pretty nice tides, but the Earth is also spinning on its axis. By the way, the moon is slowly getting farther away from Earth. The Earth's axis is tilted, and that tilt can change with time.


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How Your Sandwich Could Be Hurting Your Diet

The study found that on the days that people ate sandwiches, they consumed nearly 100 more calories, as well as more sodium, fat and sugar, compared to the days when they didn't eat sandwiches. The sandwiches that Americans typically consume tend to be high in calories, fat and sodium, and low in produce, study co-author Ruopeng An, an assistant professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, told Live Science. The finding suggests that people should pay attention to the nutrition content of their sandwiches.

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Depressed Patients Do Well with Cheaper Treatment

Many people with depression struggle to get treatment for the condition, in part because "talk therapy" can be expensive, and there aren't enough qualified therapists to deliver it. But now, a new study suggests that a simple and relatively cheap type of talk therapy may work just as well at treating depression as the current "gold standard" treatment. The findings suggest that using this simpler therapy — called behavioral activation — on a wide scale could improve access to treatment for depression and reduce health care costs, the researchers said.

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Bartender, Beware: Squeezing Limes Can Cause 'Margarita Burn'

Just ask Justin Fehntrich, who developed second-degree burns on his hand after spending a sunny afternoon squeezing limes for margaritas last month. The "margarita burn" phenomenon, known as phytophotodermatitis, occurs when a person gets a compound called psoralen on his or her skin, said Dr. Doris Day, a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Once activated, it makes the skin "exquisitely sensitive" to light, she told Live Science.

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Do Your Ears Ring? How to Deal with Tinnitus

About one in 10 American adults has a persistent ringing or roaring in the ears or head, a condition called chronic tinnitus, a new study suggests. The study also found that the rates of tinnitus are higher among Americans who are regularly exposed to noisy environments, either at work or during their free time. But the study's estimated prevalence of tinnitus may be on the low side because "other similar studies have reported even higher rates of tinnitus," said lead author Dr. Harrison Lin, an ear, nose and throat specialist at the University of California, Irvine.

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Ultrathin Electric 'Tattoo' Can Monitor Muscles and More

It's a temporary tattoo more advanced than anything you'll ever find in a Cracker Jack box: Researchers have developed a thin, flexible electrode that can measure electrical signals on the skin after being applied like a temporary tattoo. The technology was designed to make long-term, stable recordings of muscle activity without inconveniencing the person wearing it. "The key innovation is making the electrodes extremely thin," study leader Yael Hanein, an associate professor of electrical engineering at Tel Aviv University in Israel, told Live Science in an email.


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That's Insane! Daring Skydiver 'Surfs' on Storm Clouds

Earlier this month, MacCormac, a member of the Red Bull Air Force's collection of skydivers and pilots, strapped a board to his feet and "surfed" down the edge of a storm cloud over central Florida. "It's one of those things that's so wrong," MacCormac told Live Science. What may be even more unreasonable is that this wasn't MacCormac's first jump into a thunderstorm.


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Bloody Leaves from King Albert's Deadly Fall Are Authentic, DNA Shows

Using DNA tests, scientists have confirmed the authenticity of a morbid souvenir: bloodstained leaves that were taken from the death site of Belgium's King Albert I more than 80 years ago. The results of the new study might help put to bed some conspiracy theories that claim Albert was the victim of murder, not a climbing accident. Albert, who ruled from 1909 until his death, was celebrated for his role in World War I, as he refused to let German troops through Belgium to attack France.


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Nectartini? This Little Lemur Has a Taste for Alcohol

In the new study, the researchers wanted to investigate whether alcohol was part of the aye-ayes' regular diet. But aye-ayes also use this finger to probe for nectar in a plant called the traveler's tree, also native to Madagascar. Previous observations of aye-ayes showed that they spend as much as 20 percent of their feeding time during the rainy season searching for and devouring the liquid treat.


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Mysterious Green Foam Spews from Drain in Utah

This month has brought flora troubles to Utah, with a green foam bubbling through a street vent and a poop-fueled algae bloom covering the state's third-largest lake. Residents in Bluffdale, Utah, located about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City, were shocked to find a green, foam-like substance coming out of a roadway drain on Thursday (July 21). Bluffdale city officials were concerned that the mysterious green blob was related to the toxic algae bloom currently affecting the Utah Lake area, and called the Salt Lake County Health Department to investigate.


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Scientists capture rare images of wolverine in Sierra Nevada

Scientists following up on a rare wolverine sighting in the Sierra Nevada set up cameras and captured video of the animal scurrying in the snow, scaling a tree and chewing on bait. They believe the wolverine ...


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Solar plane takes off from Egypt on final leg of world tour

By Lila Hassan CAIRO (Reuters) - An aircraft powered by solar energy left Egypt on Sunday on the last leg of the first ever fuel-free flight around the globe. Solar Impulse 2, a spindly single-seat plane, took off from Cairo in darkness en route to Abu Dhabi, its final destination, with a flight expected to take between 48 and 72 hours. The plane, which began its journey in Abu Dhabi in March 2015, has been piloted in turns by Swiss aviators Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard in a campaign to build support for clean energy technologies.


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China completes world's largest amphibious aircraft: Xinhua

China has completed production of the world's largest amphibious aircraft after seven years of work, which it plans to use to perform marine rescue missions and fight forest fires, the Xinhua news agency reported. The AG600, which is about the size of a Boeing 737 and was developed by state aircraft maker Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), rolled off a production line in the southern city of Zhuhai on Saturday, Xinhua said quoting the firm. AVIC deputy general manager, Geng Rugang, said the plane was "the latest breakthrough in China's aviation industry." A plan for the development and production of the AG600 received government approval in 2009.

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Fast swimmers make fast pools, but science lends a hand

By Alan Baldwin LONDON (Reuters) - To those who dip into swimming only when the Olympic Games come around, it may seem odd to hear a pool described as 'fast' when it looks much like any other large rectangle filled with water. In 2013, after British swimmers had flopped at the London Games and that year's world championships, head coach Bill Furniss suggested Sheffield's Ponds Forge Olympic standard pool was hampering their development because it was too fast. Rio's new 50-metre Olympic pool, where records may be set as dreams and duels play out, should stand out like a gleaming Ferrari among functional family runabouts.


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Fast swimmers make fast pools, but science lends a hand

By Alan Baldwin LONDON (Reuters) - To those who dip into swimming only when the Olympic Games come around, it may seem odd to hear a pool described as 'fast' when it looks much like any other large rectangle filled with water. In 2013, after British swimmers had flopped at the London Games and that year's world championships, head coach Bill Furniss suggested Sheffield's Ponds Forge Olympic standard pool was hampering their development because it was too fast. Rio's new 50-metre Olympic pool, where records may be set as dreams and duels play out, should stand out like a gleaming Ferrari among functional family runabouts.


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Swimming-Fast swimmers make fast pools, but science lends a hand

By Alan Baldwin LONDON, July 23 (Reuters) - To those who dip into swimming only when the Olympic Games come around, it may seem odd to hear a pool described as 'fast' when it looks much like any other large rectangle filled with water. In 2013, after British swimmers had flopped at the London Games and that year's world championships, head coach Bill Furniss suggested Sheffield's Ponds Forge Olympic standard pool was hampering their development because it was too fast. Rio's new 50-metre Olympic pool, where records may be set as dreams and duels play out, should stand out like a gleaming Ferrari among functional family runabouts.

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Alcohol Can Cause Certain Cancers, Study Says

Drinking alcohol may cause seven different types of cancer, a new meta-analysis finds. Previous studies have found an association between drinking alcohol and a higher risk of developing certain cancers, according to the study. In the new meta-analysis, published today (July 21) in the journal Addiction, researchers looked at the major review studies done over the last decade on alcohol and cancer, including reviews from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

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Human Gut Microbes Took Root Before We Were Human

The relationship between humans and the bacteria in our guts extends far back into the past — to the time before modern humans even existed, a new study finds. Microbes in two bacterial families — Bacteroidaceae and Bifidobacteriaceae, which are present in humans and African apes — likely colonized the guts of a shared ancestor of both groups around 15 million years ago, the researchers discovered. The researchers' genetic data also tell a story of parallel evolution — in the microbes, and in the primate hosts they inhabited.


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Food for Thought: Americans Just Can't Stop Throwing Out Food

Food waste is piling up in America, and although the vast majority of Americans feel bad about throwing out food, most of us also think it would be hard to reduce the amount of food we throw away, a new survey finds. The survey of 500 people in the U.S. found that 77 percent of respondents said they felt guilty about throwing away food. In addition to being a waste of resources, throwing away food has a negative impact on the environment, according to the study, published today (July 21) in the journal PLOS ONE.

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Why the 'Heat Dome' Will Scorch Nearly the Entire US This Weekend

A blast of sweltering heat will sweep across the United States over the next four days, and some places will see temperatures as much as 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit (5.6 to 8.3 degrees Celsius) above average for this time of year, according to the National Weather Service. Hot weather in July is to be expected, of course — after all, it's the middle of summer — but a so-called heat dome is kicking these hot and humid temperatures up a notch. A heat dome happens when a "dome" of high pressure traps hot air underneath it, said Mike Musher, a meteorologist at the NWS' Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.


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Mighty Viking Ax Discovered in Tomb of Medieval 'Power Couple'

Archaeologists have discovered one of the largest Viking axes ever found, in the tomb of a 10th-century "power couple" in Denmark. Kirsten Nellemann Nielsen, an archaeologist at the Silkeborg Museum who is leading excavations at the site near the town of Haarup, said Danish axes like the one found in the tomb were the most feared weapons of the Viking Age. It would have had a very long handle, and it took both hands to use it," Nielsen told Live Science.


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Children's Doodles Found in Margins of Medieval Manuscript

The margins of a medieval manuscript from a convent in Naples, Italy, are decorated with doodles of what are apparently devils, a farm animal and a person that were likely drawn by children, a new study finds. Children probably scribbled these doodles on the 14th-century manuscript a few hundred years after the book was made, said the study’s author, Deborah Thorpe, a research fellow at the Centre for Chronic Diseases and Disorders at the University of York in the United Kingdom. "I was looking through a database of medieval manuscripts online, and I found images of these beautiful doodles in the margins, and to me they looked like they were done by children," Thorpe said in a statement.


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Why Did NASA Send a DNA Sequencer to Space?

A DNA sequencer that was just delivered to the International Space Station can test not just known Earthly organisms. Turns out, the little device may also be able to analyze samples taken from alien life, NASA said. Among the goods delivered was the MinION — a palm-sized sequencer with a lot of promise that weighs just 120 grams (0.27 pounds).


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Parasite Evolution: Here's How Some Animals Became Moochers

Nobody likes a mooch, but new research finds that grifting off others is a sound evolutionary strategy. Parasitism — a survival strategy that involves hijacking a host's nutrients for one's own benefit — has emerged in the animal kingdom at least 223 times, according to a study published July 19 in the journal Biology Letters. The estimate of 223 independent origins of parasitism is nearly four times higher than the previous estimate of around 60.


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'Earthquake' in Florida Was Actually a Naval Explosion

A tremor reported on July 16 off the coast of Florida was not an earthquake, but a Naval test explosion. The U.S. Geological Survey now lists the event on its earthquake hazards page as an "experimental explosion by the U.S. Navy." According to DefenseNews.com, the 10,000-pound explosion was set off to test the resilience of a combat ship, the USS Jackson. USGS instruments measured the blast as a magnitude-3.7 earthquake, which would have been a rare seismic event in the tectonically quiet region.


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Scientists hunt 'anti-evolution' drugs in new cancer fight

By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists are opening a new front in the war on cancer with plans to develop "anti-evolution" drugs to stop tumour cells from developing resistance to treatment. Britain's Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), one of the world's top cancer centres, said on Friday its initiative was the first to have at its heart the target of overcoming cancer evolution and drug resistance. In the same way that bacteria evolve resistance to antibiotics, cancer cells also change to evade the medicines used to fight them, leading to "survival of the nastiest".

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Scientists hunt 'anti-evolution' drugs in new cancer fight

By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists are opening a new front in the war on cancer with plans to develop "anti-evolution" drugs to stop tumor cells from developing resistance to treatment. Britain's Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), one of the world's top cancer centers, said on Friday its initiative was the first to have at its heart the target of overcoming cancer evolution and drug resistance. In the same way that bacteria evolve resistance to antibiotics, cancer cells also change to evade the medicines used to fight them, leading to "survival of the nastiest".

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Brazil scientists find Zika traces in Culex mosquitoes in wild

Brazilian researchers on Thursday said they found signs of the Zika virus in a common mosquito that is a separate species from the insect known to be the primary means of transmission. The scientists, from a leading Brazilian research institute known as the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, discovered the Zika traces in Culex mosquitoes captured in and around the northeastern Brazilian city of Recife, capital of the state that was hit hardest by the Zika outbreak since last year. In March, the same researchers said they had successfully transmitted the Zika virus to Culex mosquitoes in the lab, but were not yet sure at the time whether the species could carry the virus naturally.


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Newly developed wheel converts any bicycle into an electric vehicle

Right off the bat, Michael Burtov said he and his team at technology startup GeoOrbital did not re-invent the wheel. After two years and five prototypes, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup has developed a new type of electric bicycle wheel that steered the company into crowdfunding stardom raising more than $1.2 million at a record-setting pace on Kickstarter.   The newly developed bicycle wheel has the major components of an electric vehicle – a 500 watt motor, a lithium battery and a suit of electronics, all arranged to fit perfectly into the radial of a wheel made out of high density foam to avoid a flat. “The unique thing about this wheel is that we rearranged it," Michael Burtov, the CEO & Founder of GeoOrbital said.

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Chickens May Help Repel Malaria-Carrying Mosquitoes

In a perhaps unexpected finding, the smell of live chickens could help in the fight against malaria, new research shows. Researchers looked at the behavior of the malaria-carrying mosquito Anopheles arabiensis in three villages in western Ethiopia, where people commonly share their living quarters with their livestock. BecauseAnopheles mosquitoes primarily use their sense of smell to find hosts, the scientists collected hair, wool and feathers from the cattle, sheep, goats and chickens in the villages, identified scent compounds known as odorants that were unique to each and then investigated how well these odorants repelled the mosquitoes.

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Was Zika Contracted in Florida? How the Virus Could Spread Locally

Health officials in Florida are investigating a case of Zika that may have been acquired locally rather than in another country. For someone to acquire Zika in Florida, a person infected with Zika would have to spread the virus to a mosquito, which then would spread it to another human. For example, a new chain of "locally acquired" cases of Zika could happen if a Florida resident were to travel to a country where Zika is spreading, become infected with the virus and then return to Florida, where they would be bitten by a mosquito while the Zika virus was in their blood.

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Why Comparing Yourself to Others Is Normal

That's because people automatically compare their own performance with that of others, according to the study, published today (July 20) in the journal Neuron. When they're cooperating with another person, they perceive that person's performance as a reflection on their own: A better partner makes people feel better about their own abilities, while a worse partner makes them feel incompetent, too.

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Robot with Sea Slug Parts Makes Hybrid Debut

Researchers have developed a hybrid robot built with body parts from a novel source: sea slugs. The new robot combines a Y-shaped muscle from the mouth of a California sea hare (Aplysia californica) with a 3D-printed skeleton. The robot was modeled after the way sea turtles crawl, because the researchers wanted to create something that could move with only one Y-shaped muscle, study lead author Victoria Webster, a graduate student at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, told Live Science in an email.


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Create 3D Animations with the Stroke of a Pen

With just the stroke of a pen or the click of a mouse, you can now transform your 2D sketches into 3D animations. New computer software, known as Mosketch, allows anyone to try their hand at 3D animation without toiling away at numerous sketches. Now available in beta, Mosketch was developed by Moka Studio and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), a research institute in Switzerland that specializes in physical sciences and engineering.

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Scientists looking for invisible dark matter can't find any

WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists have come up empty-handed in their latest effort to find elusive dark matter, the plentiful stuff that helps galaxies like ours form.


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'Witch' Prison Revealed in 15th-Century Scottish Chapel

An iron ring set in the stone pillar of a 15th-century chapel in the Scottish city of Aberdeen may not look like much, but historians say it could be a direct link to a dark chapter in the city’s past — the trial and execution of 23 women and one man accused of witchcraft during Aberdeen's "Great Witch Hunt" in 1597. "I was skeptical, to be honest — the ring is not all that spectacular, but it is actually quite genuine," said Arthur Winfield, project leader for the OpenSpace Trust in the United Kingdom, which is restoring the chapel as part of a community-based redevelopment of the East Kirk sanctuary at the historic Kirk of St Nicholas, in central Aberdeen. Winfield told Live Science that two places within the kirk (the Lowland Scots word for "church") had been equipped as a prison for witches snared in the Aberdeen witch hunt: the stone-vaulted chapel of St Mary, and the tall steeple of the kirk, which was at that time the tallest structure in the c…