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Showing posts from September, 2016

Rosetta crash lands on comet, brings historic mission to an end

BERLIN (Reuters) - The European Space Agency said the Rosetta spacecraft has crash-landed on a comet after an historic 12 years spent chasing it across more than 6 billion kilometers of space. Scientists at the control center in Darmstadt clapped as hugged after screens showed the loss of signal as Rosetta touched down on the comet. "Thank you Rosetta," ESA Director General Jan Woerner tweeted after the landing was confirmed. (Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Michael Nienaber)


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Schedule of Nobel Prize 2016 announcements

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden's annual crop of Nobel Prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace is announced in the coming days, beginning with the medicine prize. Oct. 3 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (announced in Stockholm at 0930 GMT at the earliest) Oct. 4 Nobel Prize in Physics (announced in Stockholm at 0945 GMT at the earliest) Oct. 5 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (announced in Stockholm at 0945 GMT at the earliest) Oct. 7 Nobel Peace Prize (announced in Oslo at 0900 GMT) Oct. ...

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Rosetta spacecraft sent to crash on comet its has been chasing

By Victoria Bryan BERLIN (Reuters) - The Rosetta spacecraft is nearing the end of its historic, 12-year comet chase, slowly falling towards the surface of the dusty, icy body in a mission that has provided insight into the early days of the solar system and captured the public's imagination. The spacecraft has stalked comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko across more than 6 billion km (3.7 billion miles) of space, collecting a treasure trove of information on comets that will keep scientists busy for the next decade. On Friday morning, the European Space Agency said the "collision maneuver" started last night was on track and the point of no return had been reached, putting Rosetta on course to crash into the comet at 1038 GMT (6.38 a.m. ET).


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Rosetta sent on collision course to surface of comet

European scientists have sent the Rosetta spacecraft on its final, one-way journey to the surface of a comet, after a historic 12-year mission to discover the secrets of the dusty, icy bodies. The Rosetta spacecraft has been chasing comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko across more than 6 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles) of space, collecting a treasure trove of information on comets that will keep scientists busy for the next decade. On Thursday evening, the European Space Agency confirmed the spacecraft had started its "collision maneuver", putting it on course to crash into the comet within 20 minutes of 1040 GMT on Friday.


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Scientists: World likely won't avoid dangerous warming mark

WASHINGTON (AP) — A team of top scientists is telling world leaders to stop congratulating themselves on the Paris agreement to fight climate change because if more isn't done, global temperatures will likely hit dangerous warming levels in about 35 years.


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Global warming to breach 2C limit by 2050 unless tougher action - study

By Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) - Global warming is on track to breach a 2 degrees Celsius threshold by 2050 unless governments at least double their efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions, scientists said on Thursday. Plans by almost 200 governments to cut greenhouse gases are far too weak to match targets set in a Paris Agreement on climate change last December for a drastic shift from fossil fuels towards greener energies, they said. "We've really got a problem," Robert Watson, a British-American scientist who was among the seven authors of the study and is a former head of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), told Reuters.


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Schedule of Nobel Prize 2016 announcements

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden's annual crop of Nobel Prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace is announced in the coming days, beginning with the medicine prize. Oct. 3 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (announced in Stockholm at 0930 GMT at the earliest) Oct. 4 Nobel Prize in Physics (announced in Stockholm at 0945 GMT at the earliest) Oct. 5 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (announced in Stockholm at 0945 GMT at the earliest) Oct. 6 (possible date) Nobel Prize in Literature (according to tradition, the exact date for this prize is only announced shortly before it is presented. ...

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Schedule of Nobel Prize 2016 announcements

Sweden's annual crop of Nobel Prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace is announced in the coming days, beginning with the medicine prize. Oct. 3 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (announced in Stockholm at 1030 British time at the earliest) Oct. 4 Nobel Prize in Physics (announced in Stockholm at 1045 British time at the earliest) Oct. 5 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (announced in Stockholm at 1045 British time at the earliest) Oct. 6 (possible date) Nobel Prize in Literature (according to tradition, the exact date for this prize is only announced shortly before it is presented.

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Schedule of Nobel Prize 2016 announcements

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden's annual crop of Nobel Prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace is announced in the coming days, beginning with the medicine prize. Oct. 3 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (announced in Stockholm at 0930 GMT at the earliest) Oct. 4 Nobel Prize in Physics (announced in Stockholm at 0945 GMT at the earliest) Oct. 5 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (announced in Stockholm at 0945 GMT at the earliest) Oct. 6 (possible date) Nobel Prize in Literature (according to tradition, the exact date for this prize is only announced shortly before it is presented. ...

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Scientists fix fractures with 3D-printed synthetic bone

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists in the United States have successfully treated broken spines and skulls in animals using 3D-printed synthetic bone, opening the possibility of future personalized bone implants for humans to fix dental, spinal other bone injuries. Unlike real bone grafts, the synthetic material - called hyper-elastic bone - is able to regenerate bone without the need for added growth factors, is flexible and strong, and can be easily and rapidly deployed in the operating room. Giving details in a teleconference, the scientists said the results of their animal trials - published on Wednesday in the Science Translational Medicine journal - were "quite astounding".

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Scientists fix fractures with 3D-printed synthetic bone

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists in the United States have successfully treated broken spines and skulls in animals using 3D-printed synthetic bone, opening the possibility of future personalized bone implants for humans to fix dental, spinal other bone injuries. Unlike real bone grafts, the synthetic material - called hyper-elastic bone - is able to regenerate bone without the need for added growth factors, is flexible and strong, and can be easily and rapidly deployed in the operating room. Giving details in a teleconference, the scientists said the results of their animal trials - published on Wednesday in the Science Translational Medicine journal - were "quite astounding".

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Scientists fix fractures with 3D-printed synthetic bone

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists in the United States have successfully treated broken spines and skulls in animals using 3D-printed synthetic bone, opening the possibility of future personalised bone implants for humans to fix dental, spinal other bone injuries. Unlike real bone grafts, the synthetic material - called hyper-elastic bone - is able to regenerate bone without the need for added growth factors, is flexible and strong, and can be easily and rapidly deployed in the operating room. Giving details in a teleconference, the scientists said the results of their animal trials - published on Wednesday in the Science Translational Medicine journal - were "quite astounding".

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The World's Most Innovative Universities - 2016

In the fast-changing world of science and technology, if you're not innovating, you're falling behind. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (ranked #2) were behind some of the most important innovations of the past century, including the development of digital computers and the completion of the Human Genome Project.


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Billionaire Elon Musk outlines plans for humans to colonize Mars

By Irene Klotz GUADALAJARA, Mexico (Reuters) - SpaceX is developing a massive rocket and capsule to transport large numbers of people and cargo to Mars with the ultimate goal of colonizing the planet, company chief and tech billionaire Elon Musk said on Tuesday. Musk outlined his plans for the Mars rocket, capable of carrying 100 passengers plus cargo per voyage, even as SpaceX is still investigating why a different rocket carrying a $200 million Israeli satellite blew up on a launch pad in Florida earlier this month. SpaceX intends to fly to Mars about every 26 months when Earth and Mars are favorably aligned.


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Elon Musk outlines plans to put humans on Mars

By Irene Klotz GUADALAJARA, Mexico (Reuters) - SpaceX is developing an interplanetary rocket and capsule to transport large numbers of people and cargo to Mars with the ultimate goal of colonizing the planet, company chief and tech billionaire Elon Musk said on Tuesday. Musk outlined his plans for a massive Mars rocket, capable of carrying 100 passengers plus cargo per voyage, even as SpaceX is still investigating why a different rocket carrying a $200 million Israeli satellite blew up on a launch pad in Florida earlier this month. "Our goal is to get it roughly equivalent to cost of a medium house in the United States, about $200,000." SpaceX, which Musk founded specifically with the purpose of colonizing Mars, is one of several private and government funded ventures vying to put people and cargo on the red planet and other destinations beyond Earth's orbit.


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Hubble spots evidence of water plumes on Jupiter's moon Europa

Astronomers on Monday said they have spotted evidence of water vapor plumes rising from Jupiter's moon Europa, a finding that might make it easier to learn whether life exists in the warm, salty ocean hidden beneath its icy surface. The apparent plumes detected by the Hubble Space Telescope shoot about 125 miles (200 km) above Europa's surface before, presumably, raining material back down onto the moon's surface, NASA said. Europa, considered one of the most promising candidates for life in the solar system beyond Earth, boasts a global ocean with twice as much water as in all of Earth's seas hidden under a layer of extremely cold and hard ice of unknown thickness.


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Leprosy Found in California Child: How Doctors Diagnosed It

Leprosy has been confirmed in one of two California schoolchildren suspected to have the disease, according to CBS Los Angeles. Health officials were first notified in early September about the two possible cases of leprosy, now usually called Hansen's disease. The diagnosis was confirmed at the National Hansen's Disease Laboratory Research Program (NHDP) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.


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In Shift, Most Americans Now Say President Should Release All Medical Records

A majority of Americans now say that a U.S. president should release all of his or her medical information. The poll, which was conducted by Gallup last week, found that a slim majority of Americans, 51 percent, said that a president should release all medical information that might affect that person's ability to serve in office, whereas 46 percent said that a president should have the right to keep those medical records private. The new poll results are a change from the results in 2004, when just 38 percent of Americans said that a president should release all of his or her medical information, and 61 percent said that a president should be able to keep those records private, according to Gallup.

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Drug Overdose Cluster in Canada Tied to Opioid-Laced Cocaine

More than 40 people in a Canadian city were treated for an opioid overdose this summer after they smoked crack cocaine that had been contaminated with an opioid drug related to fentanyl, according to a new report. In mid-July, a hospital in the city of Surrey, British Columbia, experienced a large spike in patients needing treatment for an opioid overdose — about 11 patients per day needed treatment, up from the usual four patients per day. Most of the patients had become unconscious after smoking what they thought was crack cocaine, the report said.


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Biologists Receive 2016 MacArthur 'Genius Grants'

Two biologists have been honored with MacArthur "Genius Grants," the MacArthur Foundation announced today (Sept. 22). The MacArthur "Class of 2016" list of 23 fellows represents exceptional achievements in the sciences and arts, as well as in the advancement of human rights and advocacy for social change.


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Early Cats Traveled with Vikings and Farmers

The early origins of domesticated cats are shrouded in mystery, but a new genetic analysis suggests that felines traveled the world with farmers and Vikings. The News section of Nature reports that the broadest genetic analysis to date of ancient cats reveals two waves of cat expansion. The second wave of expansion started in Egypt — where cats had religious significance and were often mummified — and spread by sea to Eurasia and Africa.


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Ring-Shaped Geoglyphs Found Near Ancient Town in Peru

Dozens of circular geoglyphs, some comprising several intertwined rings, have been identified and mapped near the ancient Peruvian town of Quilcapampa, revealing that these earthen designs were created near ancient pathways used for trade. Geoglyphs are designs, which often form shapes or images, on the landscape. The newly mapped geoglyphs may have had symbolic significance, possibly representing the flow of people and goods through the town at the time, according to Justin Jennings, a curator at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto who is one of the team leaders.


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U-2 Spy Plane Crash: Why 'Cold War' Aircraft Are Still Relevant Today

A U-2 spy plane that crashed in northern California earlier this week, killing one of the two pilots, focused attention on a normally clandestine aspect of the U.S. military. The U-2 plane has a long and storied history that stretches back to the late 1950s, but how is the reconnaissance aircraft used today? U-2 planes have been flown by the United States and other nations for more than 60 years, as both a spy plane and an instrument of science.


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Want a Real-Life, Full-Size Transformer? This Company Builds Them

Ever wonder what the computer-generated Transformer robots in director Michael Bay's movies would look like in real life? A Turkish company has the answer, with a fully functional Transformer prototype. In a series of videos, the company Letvision unveiled a transforming robot built from a BMW 3 Series coupe.


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Scientists find new fat clues in faeces

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists in Britain have found a new link between the diversity of bacteria in human poo - the human fecal microbiome - and levels of harmful types of body fat. In research that may help explain why excessive weight problems and obesity tend to run in families, the scientists said high levels of visceral fat - which is linked to risks of chronic disease - were linked to having a relatively small range of bacteria in faeces. People with a high diversity of bacteria in their faeces had lower levels of visceral fat, according to the study published on Monday in the journal Genome Biology.

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Scientists find new fat clues in faeces

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists in Britain have found a new link between the diversity of bacteria in human poo - the human faecal microbiome - and levels of harmful types of body fat. In research that may help explain why excessive weight problems and obesity tend to run in families, the scientists said high levels of visceral fat - which is linked to risks of chronic disease - were linked to having a relatively small range of bacteria in faeces. People with a high diversity of bacteria in their faeces had lower levels of visceral fat, according to the study published on Monday in the journal Genome Biology.

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Scientists find new fat clues in faeces

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists in Britain have found a new link between the diversity of bacteria in human poo - the human faecal microbiome - and levels of harmful types of body fat. In research that may help explain why excessive weight problems and obesity tend to run in families, the scientists said high levels of visceral fat - which is linked to risks of chronic disease - were linked to having a relatively small range of bacteria in faeces. People with a high diversity of bacteria in their faeces had lower levels of visceral fat, according to the study published on Monday in the journal Genome Biology.


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Teleported Laser Pulses? Quantum Teleportation Approaches Sci-Fi Level

While these capabilities are clearly fictional, researchers have now performed "quantum teleportation" of laser pulses over several miles within two city networks of fiber optics. Although the method described in the research will not replace city subways or buses with transporter booths, it could help lead to hack-proof telecommunications networks, as well as a "quantum internet" to help extraordinarily powerful quantum computers talk to one another. Teleporting an object from one point in the universe to another without it moving through the space in between may sound like science fiction, but quantum physicists have actually been experimenting with quantum teleportation since 1998.

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SpaceX blast investigation suggests breach in oxygen tank's helium system

By Irene Klotz DALLAS (Reuters) - A SpaceX rocket that burst into flames on its launch pad early this month likely suffered a large breach in its upper-stage helium tank, the company said on Friday. SpaceX, owned and operated by technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, was fuelling a Falcon 9 rocket on the launch pad in Florida on Sept. 1 in preparation for a routine test-firing when a bright fireball suddenly emerged around the rocket's upper stage. "At this stage of the investigation, preliminary review of the data and debris suggests that a large breach in the cryogenic helium system of the second stage liquid oxygen tank took place," SpaceX said in a statement posted on its website.


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Associating Colors with Letters: Clues to Synesthesia

People with an unusual condition called synesthesia, which makes them experience a "mixing" of their senses, may automatically form stronger mental links between the sound of a word and the image that word conjures up in their mind, according to a small new study. For example, a person with synesthesia might always perceive the letter "Y" as blue or yellow, even when that individual sees it in black print. "There's been a debate about synesthesia," study co-author Dr. Krish Sathian, a neurologist at Emory University, said in a statement.

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A Look at Holiday Weight Gain in 3 Countries

Holiday weight gain isn't unique to the United States: A new analysis finds that people in Germany and Japan also pack on pounds during festive seasons. In the study, which was published today (Sept. 21) in the New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers gave wireless digital scales to nearly 3,000 participants in Germany, Japan and the United States. People in all three countries gained weight, on average, around Christmas, according to the study.

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Eggo Waffle Recall: How To Find Listeria

Kellogg announced on Monday that it is recalling approximately 10,000 cases of Eggo Nutri-Grain Whole Wheat Waffles due to possible contamination with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. There are several ways that bacteria such as Listeria can get into food products, said Benjamin Chapman, a food safety specialist and an associate professor at North Carolina State University. One way is if the bacteria make their way into the food-processing plant, Chapman said.

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Men with Vasectomies Can Still Spread Zika Via Sex, Report Suggests

A man in Spain may have passed the Zika virus to his wife through sex, even though he'd previously had a vasectomy, according to a new report of the case. The 53-year-old man and his 51-year-old wife had gone on vacation to the Maldives islands in the Indian Ocean in early February this year, the report said. In men who've undergone a vasectomy, sperm from the testes cannot make their way into semen.

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Fat Flora? Gut Bacteria Differ in Obese Kids

Obese children have a different population of microorganisms living in their intestinal tracts, compared with lean children, researchers have found. The study is the first to find a connection between the gut microbiota and fat distribution in children. The gut microorganisms in obese children are similar to those seen in previous studies of obese adults, providing evidence that bacteria play a role in excess weight gain starting at an an early age.

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The Science of Boredom

Although boredom is as familiar a feeling as excitement or fear, science has only begun to understand what makes people bored. Recently, six scientists who emerged after living for a year in isolation on the Mauna Loa volcano as part of the HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) experiment, which simulated the isolation that future space travelers might experience traveling to and living on Mars, said that boredom was their biggest challenge. Boredom "has been understudied until fairly recently, but it’s [worth studying] because human experience has consequences for how we interact with each our and our environment," said James Danckert, professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University of Waterloo in Ontario in an interview with Live Science.

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Earth's Atmospheric Oxygen Levels Continue Long Slide

Atmospheric oxygen levels have declined over the past 1 million years, although not nearly enough to trigger any major problems for life on Earth, a new study finds. Atmospheric oxygen levels are fundamentally linked to the evolution of life on Earth, as well as changes in geochemical cycles related to climate variations. As such, scientists have long sought to reconstruct how atmospheric oxygen levels fluctuated in the past, and what might control these shifts.


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Chromium-6 in Tap Water: Why the 'Erin Brockovich' Chemical Is Dangerous

Nearly 200 million Americans across all 50 states have been exposed through their tap water to higher-than-recommended levels of chromium-6, a cancer-causing chemical, according to a new report. Chromium-6 was made famous in the 2000 biographical film "Erin Brockovich," starring Julia Roberts as the titular activist. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the two most common forms of chromium found in water are trivalent chromium (chromium-3) and hexavalent chromium (chromium-6).

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Male Widow Spiders Survive Sex by Mounting Immature Virgins

Scientists recently discovered that widow spider males Latrodectus hasselti and Latrodectus geometricus prefer to mate with females that are not yet sexually mature but which still have internal structures that are capable of storing sperm, which the males access by piercing the female's exoskeleton. Sexual cannibalism is common in widow spiders, but males mating with immature females to avoid being cannibalized is behavior that was previously unheard of, the researchers wrote in a new study. Study co-author Maydianne C. B. Andrade, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Toronto, Scarborough, has studied widow spiders for nearly two decades, but had never observed this behavior until recently.


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Work on sex life of rats, life as a badger honored at Ig Nobel Prizes

By Scott Malone CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Reuters) - Scientific research into how polyester pants affect the sex life of rats, what it's like for a human to live like a badger and how different the world looks when viewed through your legs was honored at this year's Ig Nobel spoof awards. The group also took a dig at Volkswagen AG, lauding it in chemistry for engineering its vehicles to produce fewer emissions "whenever the cars are being tested." The prizes will be awarded for a 26th straight year at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Thursday by a group of actual Nobel Prize winners, and are intended to honor accomplishments in science and humanities that make one laugh, then think. "The prizes are for something pretty unusual," said Marc Abrahams, editor of the Annals of Improbable Research, and host of the awards.


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Hard-headed: prehistoric Texas reptile boasted bony domed skull

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a warm, lush region of West Texas crisscrossed with rivers, a bizarre reptile roamed the Triassic Period landscape about 228 million years ago, boasting a bony domed head unlike almost any creature that ever appeared on Earth. Scientists on Thursday described the reptile, named Triopticus primus, based on a fossilized partial skull dug up in 1940 near Big Spring, Texas, that had long languished in a drawer in a University of Texas paleontology collection. The only other animals with comparable craniums were dinosaurs called pachycephalosaurs that appeared about 90 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period and were only distantly related to Triopticus.


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Moonlight sonata: fish's nocturnal 'singing' secrets revealed

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In one of the marvels of nature, males of a fish species called the plainfin midshipman that dwells in Pacific coastal waters from Alaska to Baja California court females during breeding season using a nocturnal "love song" with an otherworldly sound. "They are among the vocal champions of the marine environment along with whales and dolphins," said Cornell University professor of neurobiology and behavior Andrew Bass. "The production and hearing of vocal signals plays a central role in their social interactions and reproductive behavior." The plainfin midshipman, up to 15 inches (38 cm) long, generally has an olive-brown color.


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Scientists Look Back in Time at 'Golden Age' of Star Formation

Researchers have looked at a famous sliver of sky with new eyes, revealing clues about galaxies' star-forming potential over time and verifying the early "golden age" of rapid star formation. Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an enormous radio telescope in Chile, an international team of astronomers has pinpointed star-forming gas interspersed among the ancient galaxies of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field — a region first observed in detail by the Hubble Space Telescope. Although researchers have examined the region at radio wavelengths before, this is the most detailed and sharpest view, and it lets researchers see how star-forming potential has changed over the universe's life span.


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Brangelina Breakup: What Social Science Says About Divorce

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie fans were left reeling Tuesday morning after news broke that the couple is getting divorced. According to the Associated Press, in the divorce papers she filed, Jolie Pitt cited "irreconcilable differences," a vague term that could apply to any number of reasons. The most common cause for divorce, however, comes down to communication differences, said Nicholas Wolfinger, a professor of family and consumer studies at the University of Utah.


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Feeding Kids Peanuts & Eggs Early May Lower Allergy Risk

Having kids eat eggs and peanuts early in life may reduce their risk of developing allergies to these foods later, a new analysis suggests. The results showed that kids who were fed eggs when they were ages 4 to 6 months old were 40 percent less likely to develop an egg allergy, compared with those who were introduced to eggs later, the study found. In addition, kids who were fed food that contained peanuts (such as peanut butter) when they were 4 to 11 months old were 70 percent less likely to develop a peanut allergy, compared with those who were introduced to peanuts later.

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Jim Carrey Drug Accusations: What to Do in Opioid Overdose

Actor Jim Carrey is being sued for the wrongful death of his ex-girlfriend, Cathriona White, who died of a drug overdose in 2015, USA Today reports. The Los Angeles County coroner reported that White was found alone, in a home owned by Carrey, with a combination of drugs in her body, including prescription opioids, according to USA Today. Officials ruled her death a suicide, NBC News reported.

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How Much Fuel Is Inside Earth?

By determining how much energy Earth has left, scientists will better understand the building blocks of the planet and its energy-spending processes. When all of the energy is used up, that means Earth will "die" in the sense that the moon is "dead" because it does not have the energy for mantle convection, volcanism, and other planetary processes. These planetary processes run on two types of energy: primordial energy, which is the heat left over from Earth's violent formation, and nuclear energy, or the heat produced during natural radioactive decay.


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Rattlesnake Ancestor Was Venom Factory

The ancestor of today's rattlesnakes was a serpent to be feared: It had genes to make venoms that would target the blood, the muscle and the nervous system. The eastern diamondback and the western diamondback both have venom that damages muscles, while the Mojave rattlesnake's toxins target the nerves. "This wholesale loss is unusual," study researcher Sean Carroll, a professor of molecular biology and genetics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, said in a statement.

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No More Fires? MRI Scans of Batteries Show Explosive Potential

What looks like the liquid android from 1991's "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" stuck in the spin cycle is actually the insides of a lithium-ion battery. It might be a way to monitor rechargeable batteries in real time, preventing loss of performance and runaway explosions. "We believe these methods could become important techniques for the development of better batteries," study researcher Alexej Jerschow, a chemistry professor at New York University, said in a statement.


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Ottoman-Era Fisherman's House Unearthed in Israel

An Ottoman-era fisherman's house filled with metal fishhooks and lead weights has been discovered in the city of Ashkelon, Israel. The unprecedented find was dated back to the Ottoman Empire by archaeologists with the Israel Antiquities Authority. The Ottoman Empire ruled what is now Israel from 1517 until the end of World War I.


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DARPA's 'Aerial Dragnet' Will Monitor Drones in Cities

In recent years, small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), such as commercial quadcopters and hobby drones, have become less expensive and easier to fly — adding traffic to airspace that's already congested. Drones are also more adaptable for terrorist or military purposes, and because they are currently flying unmonitored, U.S. forces want to be able to quickly detect and identify UAVs, especially in urban areas. A new project launched by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon's research arm, wants to map all small drone activity in urban settings.


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Ancient Cult Site in Rugged Mountains Revealed with Drones

Ancient Roman ruins that lie hidden below the surface at the Apennine Mountains of Italy have largely escaped discovery because the rugged terrain makes them difficult to spot by foot and dangerous to find by airplane. Now, using small airborne drones, archaeologists have found that an ancient settlement in the Apennines was much more dense and organized than previously thought, a new study reveals. "The way this mountain society was organized remains poorly understood," said study author Tesse Stek, a Mediterranean archaeologist at Leiden University in the Netherlands.


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Improbable Science Reigns at the Ig Nobel Prize Awards

This offbeat yearly event — celebrating somewhat strange scientific studies from around the world — is the brainchild of Marc Abrahams, editor of the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research (AIR). The presentation is officially identified as both the 26th and the first of its kind because "every year is a new beginning," Abrahams told Live Science in an email. The ceremony will be webcast live on Live Science starting at 5:40 p.m. ET.


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1,700-Year-Old Dead Sea Scroll 'Virtually Unwrapped,' Revealing Text

Archaeologists found the scroll in 1970 in En-Gedi, where an ancient Jewish community thrived from about the late 700s B.C. until about A.D. 600, when a fire destroyed the site, the researchers said. The En-Gedi scroll is different than the original Dead Sea Scrolls, which a young shepherd discovered in caves near Qumran in the Judean Desert in 1947.


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Climate change could cross key threshold in a decade - scientists

By Laurie Goering OXFORD, England (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The planet could pass a key target on world temperature rise in about a decade, prompting accelerating loss of glaciers, steep declines in water availability, worsening land conflicts and deepening poverty, scientists said this week. Last December, 195 nations agreed to try to hold world temperature rise to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius, with an aim of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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Climate change could cross key threshold in a decade: scientists

By Laurie Goering OXFORD, England (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The planet could pass a key target on world temperature rise in about a decade, prompting accelerating loss of glaciers, steep declines in water availability, worsening land conflicts and deepening poverty, scientists said this week. Last December, 195 nations agreed to try to hold world temperature rise to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius, with an aim of 1.5 degrees Celsius.


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Europe's Rosetta to wave goodbye in crash-landing on comet

By Maria Sheahan and Victoria Bryan FRANKFURT/BERLIN (Reuters) - After 12 years chasing a comet across more 6 billion km of space, European scientists will end the historic Rosetta mission by crash-landing the spacecraft on the surface of the dusty, icy body at the end of the month. Data collected by Rosetta, which has captured the public's imagination thanks in part to the European Space Agency's cartoon depictions of it and lander Philae, is helping scientists better understand how the Earth and other planets formed. The spacecraft has managed several historic firsts, including the first time a spacecraft has orbited a comet rather than just whizzing past to snap some fly-by pictures, and the first time a probe has landed on a comet's surface.


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To Be or Not To Be? Monkeys Type Shakespeare Using Brain Waves

Monkeys with brain implants are able to type out sections of the Shakespeare play "Hamlet," new research shows. What's more, the macaques are able to type at a relatively fast 12 words per minute, with fewer typos than past brain-computer interfaces. The new brain implants could one day improve communication for those who are almost completely paralyzed, such as the polymath Stephen Hawking.


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Modern Alligator Looks a Lot Like Its 8-Million-Year-Old Cousin

Modern American alligators crawling around today in the swampy grounds of the Southeast U.S. don't look much different than their ancient ancestors did, recent research suggests. With the exception of sharks and a few other animal species, there are not many other living vertebrates that have changed as little as the gators have, the researchers said. "If we could step back in time 8 million years, you'd basically see the same animal crawling around then as you would see today in the Southeast," study co-author Evan Whiting, a former undergraduate student at the University of Florida, said in a statement.

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Earth Wobbles May Have Driven Ancient Humans Out of Africa

Ancient human migrations out of Africa may have been driven by wobbles in Earth's orbit and tilt that led to dramatic swings in climate, a new study finds. Modern humans first appeared in Africa about 150,000 to 200,000 years ago. Recent archaeological and genetic findings suggest that migrations of modern humans out of Africa began at least 100,000 years ago, but most humans outside of Africa most likely descended from groups who left the continent more recently — between 40,000 and 70,000 years ago.


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Pigeons Can Read — Sort of, Study Finds

Pigeons may be sometimes likened to "flying rats," but these birds are no dummies, according to a new study. Scientists recently taught pigeons to read — kind of.


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Bomb Squad: How Cops Safely Move Explosives

New York police used an incredibly strong chamber to safely move an undetonated explosive Saturday night (Sept. 16), shortly after one explosion rocked New York City's Chelsea neighborhood, news sources reported. But what exactly is this device, known as a total containment vessel (TCV), and how does it protect people from explosives? In essence, a TCV is a chamber that fully contains the pressures and fragments released by an explosive, according to experts.


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'Last Shipwreck' from WWI's Battle of Jutland Found Near Norway

The wreck of the British warship HMS Warrior — the "last shipwreck" from the Battle of Jutland during World War I — has been discovered near Norway. The marine exploration team that found the shipwreck also recently located the wreck of a World War II-era British submarine in the same region. The HMS Warrior is the last of the Jutland wrecks to be located, out of 14 British and 11 German warships that were sunk on May 31 and June 1, 1916, as the Imperial German High Seas Fleet tried to break out from the Royal Navy blockade of the North Sea.


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More than 300 scientists warn over Trump's climate change stance

By Ian Simpson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hundreds of top scientists warned on Tuesday against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's vow to pull the United States out of the Paris climate-warming accord if elected in November. The 375 members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, including 30 Nobel Prize winners, said in an open letter that a U.S. abandonment of the agreement would make it far harder to develop global strategies to lessen the impact of global warming. "Thus it is of great concern that the Republican nominee for President has advocated U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Accord," the letter said.


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Just going on vacation may change gene activity

By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) - In a new study comparing a meditation retreat with just relaxing in the same locale, both options improved stress regulation, immune function and other cellular markers in the blood. For those who continued meditating, benefits were seen even 10 months later. “Vacation in a relaxing, resort-like environment takes you away from your day-to-day grind, which may be high stress in which your body is in a more defensive-like posture, with pressures to meet deadlines, dealing with angry customers, ‘battling’ with colleagues for resources to accomplish your mission or whatever,” said senior author Dr. Eric Schadt, founding director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at Mount Sinai in New York.

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More than 300 scientists warn over Trump's climate change stance

By Ian Simpson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hundreds of top scientists warned on Tuesday against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's vow to pull the United States out of the Paris climate-warming accord if elected in November. The 375 members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, including 30 Nobel Prize winners, said in an open letter that a U.S. abandonment of the agreement would make it far harder to develop global strategies to lessen the impact of global warming. "Thus it is of great concern that the Republican nominee for President has advocated U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Accord," the letter said.


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Dinosaur's Dark Coloring Helped It Hide in the Shadowy Forest

The 120-million-year-old dinosaur, a Triceratops relative known as Psittacosaurus, had a dark-colored backside and a light underside, along with a splash of spots and stripes on its body, including its back legs, the researchers said. Creatures with countershading can use their coloring as camouflage when they're in a shadowy area, such as a forest. Given the Psittacosaurus's coloring, it's likely that the beast lived in an area with "diffuse illumination" such as a forest, the researchers wrote in the study.


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Could Massive White Cliffs Be Forming Beneath Antarctica's Ocean?

The White Cliffs of Dover, the steep, chalky cliffs that fringe England's southeastern coastline, formed about 100 million years ago thanks to a "Goldilocks" set of ocean conditions, new research suggests. What's more, a massive new set of cliffs could be forming right now in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica as tiny algae shed their calcium-laden shells. "While we don't have the great cliffs of the Southern Ocean, there is solid evidence that the calcite is making it to the seafloor," William Balch, a biological oceanographer at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, Maine, and lead author of the new study, said in a statement.


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How Astrophysicist Neil Tyson Got His Kid to Test the Tooth Fairy

It's A-OK to captivate your child with the story of the tooth fairy, right? Nope, not if it entails telling a big, fat whopper, astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson told "The Late Late Show with James Corden" early Thursday morning (Sept. 15). "We're not going to lie to them," Tyson said to Corden.

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Rare Sea Life Found in Mysterious Underwater 'Mountains'

Scientists recently traveled thousands of miles below the ocean's surface to explore underwater mountain ranges of cone-shaped dormant and active volcanoes with peaks rising 9,843 feet (3,000 meters) above the seafloor off the coast of Hawaii. Living along these seamounts, Conservation International researchers spied enough quirky and unusual marine life to fill a Dr. Seuss book. Their findings provide a window into some of the most mysterious spots in the ocean: Tens of thousands of seamounts extend across the world's oceans, but many have never been explored, and scientists are only just beginning to discover the complexity of the ecosystems they support, one of the expedition scientists told the Conservation International (CI) blog Human Nature.


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'Fault in Our Stars' Couple: Why Cystic Fibrosis Shortens Lives

Dalton Prager, a young man who received national attention because both he and his wife had cystic fibrosis, died this weekend of the disease at age 25. Because they both had cystic fibrosis, they were warned against ever meeting in person, since two people with the condition can spread bacteria to each other, which can result in life-threatening infections. But the pair met anyway, and had a five-year marriage before Dalton's death on Saturday (Sept. 17), CNN said.

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Depression During Pregnancy Linked to Gestational Diabetes

Women in the study who reported feeling depressed early in pregnancy were more likely to develop gestational diabetes later in pregnancy compared with those who did not report depression early in pregnancy, according to the study, from researchers at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The findings suggest that "depression and gestational diabetes may occur together," Stefanie Hinkle, a population health researcher at the NICHD and the lead author of the study, said in a statement. In addition, the researchers found that having gestational diabetes may increase women's risk for developing depression after pregnancy: Women in the study who had gestational diabetes were more likely to develop postpartum depression compared with those who did not have gestational diabetes, according to the study.

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Addiction's Not Adorable: Babies Less Cute to Opioid Users

In the study, people with an opioid dependence who viewed images of cute babies didn't show any activity in the part of the brain linked to reward. However, when the same individuals were given medications to block the effects of opioids and then asked to repeat the experiment, the individuals' reward centers lit up, according to the study, presented today (Sept. 19) at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Congress in Vienna, Austria. People's perceptions of cuteness may have effects that go beyond how those individuals feel about babies.

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Want to Quit Drinking? Abstinence Works Best

Some people with alcohol dependence may want to try to learn to control their drinking, with the help of a treatment program, rather than give it up entirely. An estimated 15.7 million Americans ages 12 and up had an alcohol use disorder in 2015, according to a recent federal report. People are considered to have an alcohol use disorder if, for example, they have a difficult time controlling drinking, continue to drink even when it causes problems, develop a tolerance to alcohol or experience withdrawal when they stop drinking, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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'Super Sleepers' May Actually Be Sleep Deprived

However, the new results show that these people's real-life functioning may actually be affected by the shortage of sleep even though they report feeling just fine, said study co-author Paula Williams, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Utah. Originally published on Live Science.

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New Electric Bus Can Travel 350 Miles on Single Charge

Set for release next year from the startup Proterra, the Catalyst E2 Series electric vehicle debuted last week at the American Public Transit Association (APTA) Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. Proterra named the new bus for its unprecedented battery, which can store up to 660 kWh. With a nominal range of 194 to 350 miles (310 to 560 km), Proterra claims that the Catalyst E2 series is capable of fulfilling a full day's mileage on one charge for nearly every U.S. mass transit route.


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'Wild Sex' Author Dishes on Weird World of Animal Mating

Dating and mating in the animal kingdom aren't just complicated — they can be fraught with violence and danger. The prospect of exploring mating positions in frogs, porcupines' use of sex toys or hermaphroditic sea slugs' penis spines might seem daunting to some, but not so for biologist and writer Carin Bondar. From finding a mate, to procreating, to dealing with the successful outcome of mating — offspring — "Wild Sex" investigates the often-harsh realities of sexual behaviors practiced by animals large and small.


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'Smart Textile' Turns Body Movements Into Power Source

A fabric designed to power wearable devices by harvesting energy from both sunlight and body movements can be produced on a standard industrial weaving machine, according to a new study. Scientists in China and the United States have demonstrated how a glove-size piece of the "smart textile" could continuously power an electronic watch or charge a mobile phone using ambient sunlight and gentle body movements. The fabric is based on low-cost, lightweight polymer fibers coated with metals and semiconductors that allow the material to harvest energy.


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China launches second experimental space lab module

China launched its second experimental space laboratory on Thursday, part of a broader plan to have a permanent manned space station in service around 2022. Advancing China's space program is a priority for Beijing, with President Xi Jinping calling for the country to establish itself as a space power, and apart from its civilian ambitions, Beijing has tested anti-satellite missiles. China insists its space program is for peaceful purposes, but the U.S. Defense Department has highlighted its increasing space capabilities, saying it was pursuing activities aimed to prevent adversaries from using space-based assets in a crisis.


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DNA Sequencing in Space Could Protect Astronaut Health

NASA astronauts are opening new doors in the worlds of science and medicine by sequencing DNA in all sorts of extreme environments, including, for the first time, the microgravity of the International Space Station. NASA astronaut and biologist Kate Rubins has sequenced DNA in space, marking the first time this has been done. "Welcome to systems biology in space," Rubins said in a statement after the first few DNA molecules had been sequenced successfully.


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Japan's Hinode Sun Observatory Celebrates 10 Years of Solar Science

Japan's Hinode sun-observing satellite has delivered spectacular imagery and invaluable measurements of the sun since it launched into space 10 years ago on Sept. 23, 2006. Hinode is part of an international mission led by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in collaboration with NASA and other partners. Over the course of a decade, the spacecraft has provided remarkable views of violent solar flares, eruptions, transits across the sun and much more.


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Childhood Cancer Deaths: Brain Cancer Overtakes Leukemia as Top Cause

Leukemia is no longer the No. 1 cause of cancer deaths in children, but brain cancer has taken it's place, according to a new report. All pediatric cancer death rates have been dropping since the mid-1970s, according to the report released today (Sept. 16) from the National Center for Health Statistics. "The shift from leukemia to brain cancer as the leading site of cancer death is a noteworthy development in the history of childhood cancer as it was always leukemia until quite recently," said lead author Sally Curtin, demographer and statistician at the NCHS, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in an email interview with Live Science.

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Heart Found in Plastic Bag: How Officials Could Test if It's Human

Officials in Ohio said more tests are needed to determine whether a heart found on the ground, in a zip-close bag, is actually a human organ, or if it comes from another animal. The heart was discovered about three weeks ago on a patch of grass near a gas station in Norwalk, Ohio, according to The New York Times. Experts can't always tell whether a heart is from a human or another animal just by looking at it, said Dr. Gregory G. Davis, a professor of pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, and chief coroner for Jefferson County, Alabama, who is not involved in the investigation.

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'Pokémon Go' Risks: Drivers and Pedestrians Warned on Traffic Dangers

'Pokémon Go' could be a source of distracted driving and other traffic-related incidents, a new study finds.


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