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Showing posts from October, 2016

From gene editing to death traps, Seattle scientists innovate in race to end malaria

By Kieran Guilbert SEATTLE (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When Kayode Ojo first fell sick with malaria as a young boy in Nigeria, his grandfather shunned modern medicine, venturing into the bush to search for herbs and plants to treat the disease. Having succumbed to malaria a further 50 or more times in his life, the United States-based scientist, now in his forties, is determined that his research - to develop a drug to stop transmission from humans back to mosquitoes - will help to eradicate the deadly disease. "When people in Nigeria, the world's hardest-hit country, get malaria, many simply shrug their shoulders and see it as normal ... that needs to change," Ojo told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a lab at the University of Washington in Seattle.

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From gene editing to death traps, Seattle scientists innovate in race to end malaria

By Kieran Guilbert SEATTLE (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When Kayode Ojo first fell sick with malaria as a young boy in Nigeria, his grandfather shunned modern medicine, venturing into the bush to search for herbs and plants to treat the disease. Having succumbed to malaria a further 50 or more times in his life, the United States-based scientist, now in his forties, is determined that his research - to develop a drug to stop transmission from humans back to mosquitoes - will help to eradicate the deadly disease. "When people in Nigeria, the world's hardest-hit country, get malaria, many simply shrug their shoulders and see it as normal ... that needs to change," Ojo told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a lab at the University of Washington in Seattle.


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Telescope group chooses Canary Islands as alternative to Hawaii

The team behind a project to build one of the world's largest telescopes said on Monday it has chosen Spain's Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean as a possible alternative to Hawaii. The decision follows opposition from Native Hawaiians and environmentalists to plans for constructing the so-called Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), which would cost $1.4 billion, at the Mauna Kea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island. Henry Yang, chair of the TMT International Observatory Board, said in a statement the board explored a number of alternative sites for the telescope.

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Deadly Measles Complication More Common Than Doctors Thought

A deadly complication of the measles, which can occur years after a person is infected with the virus, is more common than researchers previously thought, according to a new study. The complication, called subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), is a progressive neurological disorder that involves inflammation in the brain. People with SSPE die, on average, within one or two years of being diagnosed with the disease.


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Man's Death from 'Heartland Virus' Shows Wide-Ranging Effects on the Body

The death of a 68-year-old Tennessee man in 2015 sheds light on a rare tick-borne pathogen known as the Heartland virus, according to a new report of the man's case. The Heartland virus was first found in patients in Missouri in 2009. The 68-year-old man first came to the hospital because he had pain and a rash on his leg where he thought he had been bitten by a tick, said Dr. Mary-Margaret Fill, an epidemic intelligence service officer at the Tennessee Department of Health and the lead author of the study.


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Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Can Hitch a Ride on Hospital Scrubs

Dangerous bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), can spread from sick patients in a hospital to the scrubs of health care workers, a new study finds. These pathogens can also find their way from the patient to items in their hospital room, such as the bed rail, according to the study, presented here at IDWeek 2016, a meeting of several organizations focused on infectious diseases. "We know there are bad germs in hospitals, but we're just beginning to understand how they spread," Dr. Deverick Anderson, an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina and the lead author of the study, said in a statement.


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Male Birth Control Shots Lower Pregnancy Odds, But Have Side Effects

An experimental type of male birth control that uses shots of hormones to lower men's sperm counts works relatively well to prevent pregnancy, according to a new study. However, the study had to be stopped early because of the high rate of side effects seen in men who got the shots. The findings mean that more research is needed before this method of contraception could become available to men, said study co-author Dr. Mario Philip Reyes Festin, a medical officer on the human reproduction team at the World Health Organization in Geneva.


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Ancient Bird Coughed Up 'Fishy' Pellet 120 Million Years Ago

About 120 million years ago, a bird dunked its beak into the water, caught a fish and, after digesting the meal, coughed up a pellet full of fish bones. The bird died moments later, but now its fossils are the oldest evidence of a bird pellet on record, a new study reported. The pellet — the first that is unambiguously from a bird that lived during the Mesozoic, the age of the dinosaurs — indicates that the ancient bird had a two-chambered stomach, much like birds do today, the researchers said.


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Snowy 'Veins' of Siberia Captured in Haunting Image from Space

The European Space Agency's (ESA) Copernicus Sentinel-2A satellite captured the detailed topography of the snowy Putorana Plateau in central Siberia on March 2. The image highlights the region's stark and branching appearance, created by the area's flat-topped mountains and intricate lake and river systems. Flat-topped mountains are formed by plume volcanism.


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Why Kids Feel the Loss of a Pet So Deeply

The new results show that kids "often see themselves as the center of their pet's affections," study author Joshua Russell, an assistant professor of environmental studies at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, said in a statement. In the study, Russell asked 12 children between ages 6 and 13 in Toronto how they felt about the deaths of animals, including the deaths of their own pets. Although some of the children said they were devastated by the deaths of their furry friends for long periods of time, others said they were able to make peace with the deaths.


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2,500-Year-Old Burial Hints at Ancient Cannabis Use

About 2,500 years ago, mourners buried a man in an elaborate grave, and covered his chest with a shroud made of 13 Cannabis plants, according to a new study. The grave is one of a select few ancient Central Eurasian burials that archaeologists have found to contain Cannabis. This particular grave, located in northwestern China, sheds new light on how prehistoric people in the region used the plant in rituals, the researchers said.


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Getting in Character: The Psychology Behind Cosplay

But for people who cosplay — dress in costumes to role-play characters from movies, TV shows, books, comics and video games — the challenge of transformation is one they happily accept at various times year-round. Cosplayers can invest considerable time, money and effort into crafting or commissioning head-to-toe presentations that are one-of-a-kind. Cosplayers and psychologists who study the phenomenon reveal the individual and community features that make dressing up so enticing and rewarding.


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Halloween Fright: The Unusual Sex Lives of Dark Fishing Spiders

Similar in size, shape and coloration to large wolf spider species, the lesser-known dark fishing spider would no doubt give anybody with arachnophobia a decent scare. Dark fishing spiders (Dolomedes tenebrosus), as you'd expect from their name, are nocturnal and live near water. "They're around, but you have to go look for them at night, with a headlight," said Steven Schwartz, a behavioral ecologist and fishing-spider researcher at Gonzaga University in Washington.


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Ancient Hebrew Papyrus Seized from Looters, But Is It Authentic?

A rare, 2,700-year-old papyrus with Hebrew script that had been looted from a cave in the Judean Desert has been seized in an elaborate operation by the Israel Antiquities Authority, archaeologists announced today (Oct. 26). The papyrus' Hebrew text translates as: "from the king's maidservant, from Na'arat, jars of wine, to Jerusalem," the capital city of the Kingdom of Judah, according to a statement from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).


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Scary Science: How Your Body Responds to Fear

For many people, fall is the spooky season. Daylight wanes as nights become longer, a chill touches the air, and trees lose their leaves and take on a skeletal silhouette.


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Italian earthquakes could go on for weeks in domino effect - scientist

By Gavin Jones ROME (Reuters) - The earthquakes that have buffeted central Italy over the last two months could continue in a devastating domino effect with one large quake leading to another along the central Apennine fault system, a leading seismologist warned on Sunday. An earthquake measuring 6.6 according to the U.S. Geological Survey struck on Sunday in the same region where a 6.2 quake on Aug. 24 killed 297 people. In between there have been thousands of smaller tremors, including a 6.1 quake on Wednesday.


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Interview: Italian earthquakes could go on for weeks in domino effect - scientist

By Gavin Jones ROME (Reuters) - The earthquakes that have buffeted central Italy over the last two months could continue in a devastating domino effect with one large quake leading to another along the central Apennine fault system, a leading seismologist warned on Sunday. An earthquake measuring 6.6 according to the U.S. Geological Survey struck on Sunday in the same region where a 6.2 quake on Aug. 24 killed 297 people. In between there have been thousands of smaller tremors, including a 6.1 quake on Wednesday.


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Multinational crew leave space station and head back to Earth

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - A joint U.S., Russian and Japanese crew left the International Space Station on Saturday and headed back to Earth in a Russian Soyuz capsule, leaving behind three crew mates who arrived at the orbiting outpost just last week. Station commander Anatoly Ivanishin, with the Russian space agency, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Japan’s Takuya Onishi climbed inside the capsule and left the station at 8:35 p.m. EDT, a NASA TV broadcast showed. On the space station, you live in a very friendly, very good environment." Ivanishin turned over command of the space station, a $100 billion orbiting research lab, to newly arrived U.S. astronaut Shane Kimbrough.


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SpaceX says rocket accident probe focusing on fueling system flaw

(Reuters) - SpaceX said on Friday its investigation of the cause of a Sept. 1 explosion that destroyed a Falcon 9 rocket is focusing on a possible flaw in the fueling system. The space launch company led by billionaire Elon Musk said it has not confirmed the cause of a failure in the fueling system.


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Scientist: Breach dams to save orcas off Washington state

SEATTLE (AP) — Researchers who track the endangered population of orcas that frequent Washington state waters say three whales are believed dead or missing since summer.


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'Frankenstein' predicted concept key to modern biology: study

By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" foreshadowed a key concept in evolutionary biology formally defined by scientists a century after the man-made monster shambled across the pages of the 19th century novel, an academic study published on Friday found. The study, titled "Frankenstein and the Horrors of Competitive Exclusion" and published in BioScience, takes its inspiration from a pivotal scene in the 1816 gothic story when the monster identified only as the "Creature" asks its creator, Victor Frankenstein, to create him a mate and allow the two to go live in "the vast wilds of South America." Unlike in the 1933 movie "Bride of Frankenstein," the book's Victor Frankenstein ultimately decides against repeating his experiment, fearing the two could breed a new race of creatures that would ultimately drive humanity extinct.

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Jesus' Tomb Opened for First Time in Centuries

The original rock where Jesus Christ is traditionally believed to have been buried in Jerusalem has been exposed to the light of day for the first time in centuries. According to an exclusive report by National Geographic, a partner in the project at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the original rock surface has been covered with marble slabs since at least 1555, and possibly longer. During a conservation project to shore up the shrine surrounding the tomb, a team from the National Technical University of Athens in Greece realized that they would need to access the substructure of the shrine to restore it, said Fredrik Hiebert, the archaeologist-in-residence at the National Geographic Society.


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'Frankenstein' predicted concept key to modern biology - study

By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" foreshadowed a key concept in evolutionary biology formally defined by scientists a century after the man-made monster shambled across the pages of the 19th century novel, an academic study published on Friday found. The study, titled "Frankenstein and the Horrors of Competitive Exclusion" and published in BioScience, takes its inspiration from a pivotal scene in the 1816 gothic story when the monster identified only as the "Creature" asks its creator, Victor Frankenstein, to create him a mate and allow the two to go live in "the vast wilds of South America." Unlike in the 1933 movie "Bride of Frankenstein," the book's Victor Frankenstein ultimately decides against repeating his experiment, fearing the two could breed a new race of creatures that would ultimately drive humanity extinct.


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Robo Beer Run: Self-Driving Truck Delivers Budweiser

Well, rather than begging your designated driver to go on a beer run, you may be able to call on a self-driving truck to keep the fridge stocked. A self-driving truck, developed by the Uber-owned startup Otto, recently made the first autonomous commercial delivery by driving 120 miles (200 kilometers) across Colorado to deliver 2,000 cases of Budweiser beer. On Oct. 20, the truck departed the Anheuser-Busch facility in Loveland, Colorado, and drove itself on Interstate 25 through Denver — alongside regular car traffic — to Colorado Springs.


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NASA's Pluto Probe Beams Back Final Data from Historic Flyby

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has finally finished beaming home all of the data it gathered during its historic July 2015 flyby of Pluto. The last piece of flyby data reached mission control at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, early Tuesday morning (Oct. 25), NASA officials said.


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Ancient Battle Left 'Sea Monster' With Tooth Stuck in Its Face

About 75 million years ago, a mosasaur — a dolphin-like, predatory, marine reptile that lived during the dinosaur age — bit another mosasaur so hard that it left its tooth behind, embedded in its foe's face, new research finds. Now, paleontologists are studying the remains of the victim, a creature that sustained not one, but two attacks on its face, likely from different adversaries, said paleontologist Takuya Konishi, an assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati. "The specimen represents the first direct, unequivocal evidence of nonlethal biting, and not predation, between mosasaurs," Konishi told Live Science, here at the 76th annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.


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Hairy Liaisons: Ancient Chimps and Bonobos Hooked Up

Chimpanzees and bonobos are two species separated by about 2 million years and one impassible river that divides their range. Chimps and bonobos split off from a common ancestor between 1.5 million and 2 million years ago, and the two species share about 99.6 percent of their DNA, making them close relatives. The finding echoes the recent discoveries that ancient humans sometimes interbred with their close relatives Neanderthals and Denisovans, said study co-author Christina Hvilsom, who studies great-ape genetics and conservation at the Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark.


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Ancient Bird Coughed Up 'Fishy' Pellet 120 Million Years Ago

About 120 million years ago, a bird dunked its beak into the water, caught a fish and, after digesting the meal, coughed up a pellet full of fish bones. The bird died moments later, but now its fossils are the oldest evidence of a bird pellet on record, a new study reported. The pellet — the first that is unambiguously from a bird that lived during the Mesozoic, the age of the dinosaurs — indicates that the ancient bird had a two-chambered stomach, much like birds do today, the researchers said.


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European space lander left crater on surface of Mars in crash-landing

Images taken by a NASA Mars orbiter indicate that Europe's ill-fated Mars lander left a small crater on the Red Planet's surface, backing up scientists' theory that the craft hit the ground at high speed. The disc-shaped, 577-kg (1,272 lb) Schiaparelli probe, part of the Russian-European ExoMars program to search for evidence of life on Mars, was destroyed last week when its thrusters stopped firing too soon during its descent to the surface. Scientists believe that the Schiaparelli lander plummeted to the ground from a height of 2 to 4 km (1.2 to 2.5 miles), hitting the ground at more than 300 km/h instead of touching down softly as it was supposed to.


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Scientists identify fossilized dinosaur brain tissue for first time

British and Australian scientists have identified an unassuming brown pebble, found more than a decade ago by a fossil hunter in southern England, as the first known example of fossilized dinosaur brain tissue. The fossilized brain, found by fossil enthusiast Jamie Hiscocks near Bexhill in Sussex in 2004, is most likely from a species similar to Iguanodon - a large herbivore that lived during the early cretaceous period, some 133 million years ago. In a report of their analysis in a Special Publication of the Geological Society of London, the researchers said they believed this piece of tissue was so well-preserved because the dinosaur's brain was "pickled" in a highly acidic and low-oxygen body of water – like a bog or swamp – shortly after it died.


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Scientists identify fossilised dinosaur brain tissue for first time

British and Australian scientists have identified an unassuming brown pebble, found more than a decade ago by a fossil hunter in southern England, as the first known example of fossilised dinosaur brain tissue. The fossilised brain, found by fossil enthusiast Jamie Hiscocks near Bexhill in Sussex in 2004, is most likely from a species similar to Iguanodon - a large herbivore that lived during the early cretaceous period, some 133 million years ago. In a report of their analysis in a Special Publication of the Geological Society of London, the researchers said they believed this piece of tissue was so well-preserved because the dinosaur's brain was "pickled" in a highly acidic and low-oxygen body of water – like a bog or swamp – shortly after it died.


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Scientists identify fossilised dinosaur brain tissue for first time

British and Australian scientists have identified an unassuming brown pebble, found more than a decade ago by a fossil hunter in southern England, as the first known example of fossilised dinosaur brain tissue. The fossilised brain, found by fossil enthusiast Jamie Hiscocks near Bexhill in Sussex in 2004, is most likely from a species similar to Iguanodon - a large herbivore that lived during the early cretaceous period, some 133 million years ago. In a report of their analysis in a Special Publication of the Geological Society of London, the researchers said they believed this piece of tissue was so well-preserved because the dinosaur's brain was "pickled" in a highly acidic and low-oxygen body of water – like a bog or swamp – shortly after it died.

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New 3D printed microscope lets kids 'play' microbiology

By Ben Gruber PALO ALTO (Reuters) - Playing classic video games like Pac-Man with living single-celled microbes thinner than a human hair is now possible thanks to an interactive microscope developed by bioengineers at Stanford University. “It’s a microscope that you can 3D print and build yourself,” Ingmar Riedel-Kruse, an assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford, told Reuters. After it is assembled, tiny, light-responsive organisms called Euglena swim on a microscope slide surrounded by four LED lights.

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Huge Magma Chamber Created Enormous Dome in Central Andes

A massive magma chamber in South America that pumps melted rock into the Earth's crust created an enormous dome in the central Andes, within the second-highest continental plateau in the world, according to a new study. Researchers studying the seismology and topography of the Altiplano-Puna plateau have connected the existence of a huge, underlying magma body to the plateau's great heights. The Altiplano-Puna plateau, which has an altitude of 13,000 feet (4,000 meters), includes parts of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, and encompasses vast plains punctuated by volcanoes.


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Encoded Bling: Diamonds Could Store Huge Amounts of Data

"We are the first group to demonstrate the possibility of using diamond as a platform for the superdense memory storage," said study lead author Siddharth Dhomkar, a physicist at the City College of New York. The scientists detailed their findings online today (Oct. 26) in the journal Science Advances.


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Original Emoji Will Go on Display at Museum of Modern Art

Before the "hearts-for-eyes" face, the praying hands and the notorious eggplant, there was the very first set of emoji — an assortment of small and now-primitive pictographs that include a green coffee mug, a blue airplane and a purple face with two carets for eyes and a tiny rectangle for a mouth. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City announced yesterday (Oct. 26) that it has acquired the original 176 emoji for its permanent collection, reported The New York Times. MoMA will feature the emoji in the museum's lobby starting in December, as part of an exhibit that includes other graphics and animations.


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Men's Resting Heart Rates May Be Linked with Their Mental Health

Young men with elevated heart rates and high blood pressure may have an increased risk of developing certain mental health disorders later in life, a new study from Sweden finds. The men's resting heart rates and blood pressure were recorded during a medical exam they underwent at age 18 when they registered for the Swedish Armed Forces, which was mandatory until 2010. To determine which of these men developed a mental illness at any point after their exam, the researchers looked at Sweden's National Patient Register, which contains information about all psychiatric inpatient admissions in Sweden since 1973 and both inpatient and outpatient treatments since 2001.


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HIV's 'Patient Zero' Wrongly Blamed for AIDS Epidemic

A man who was believed to have introduced HIV to North America — the man sometimes referred to as "Patient Zero" — was actually not the initial source of the virus on this continent, new research shows. Rather, this man was one of the thousands of people in North America who were infected with HIV in the years before the virus was officially recognized, according to the new findings published today (Oct. 26) in the journal Nature. The man, GaĆ©tan Dugas, was a Canadian flight attendant, and was thought to have introduced HIV into one or more major U.S. cities by infecting his sexual partners, setting off the AIDS crisis that struck the U.S. in the 1980s, the researchers said.


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ER Visits for Alcohol Intoxication Are Going Up

Visits to the emergency room for alcohol intoxication in the United States have increased by more than 50 percent over the past decade, a new study finds. What's more, ER visits tied to alcohol are taking up an increasing portion of hospital resources, and are requiring longer hospital stays than in the past, the researchers said. There is a need for more attention to efforts to identify and reduce problematic drinking, which could also help to reduce alcohol-related ER visits, they said.


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Prescription Testosterone Gets New Warning

The labels on prescription testosterone will now carry a new warning about the serious health risks that have been linked with abuse of these products. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the new labels today (Oct. 25), saying that some people abuse testosterone drugs. For example, the agency said, athletes and body builders have been known to take doses that are higher than those prescribed, and to use testosterone together with other anabolic steroids.


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Astronauts' Back Pain Has Surprising Cause

Astronauts may have no trouble moving heavy objects in the weightlessness of space, but that doesn't mean that the experience isn't hard on their backs. Astronauts on long-duration spaceflights routinely report back pain, both during and after the flight. In a new study, researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to observe the spines of six NASA astronauts before they landed, at the time of landing and about two months after they had spent upward of seven months on the International Space Station.


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Heart-Healthy Cities: These Spots Have the Least Heart Attacks

Communities in the U.S. range widely in the percentage of residents who've had heart attacks, a new report shows. Less than 2 percent of the residents of Boulder, Colorado, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, reported having had heart attacks, according to new findings from a Gallup-Healthways survey of people living in 190 U.S. metro areas, conducted in 2014 and 2015. The community with the highest rate of heart attacks was Charleston, West Virginia, according to the survey.


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New Plastic-Based Textile Helps Cool You Off

A new type of fabric could keep people cool in hot climates and reduce the need for expensive and energy-consuming air conditioning, a new study finds. Just as sweating is one way the body cools off, the new clothing could help people reduce body heat. Heating and cooling spaces contribute to 12.3 percent of total energy consumption in the U.S., according to the researchers.


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Recovered WWI German U-Boat Revives 'Sea Monster' Tales

The wreck of a World War I German submarine has been discovered off the coast of Scotland by marine engineers surveying the route of an undersea power cable. Researchers said they think the wreck is one of two German U-boats sunk by British patrol ships in the Irish Sea in 1918 — including one that was supposedly attacked by a sea monster, according to an internet legend. Marine archeologist and historian Innes McCartney, from Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom, said the submarine wreck was in reasonably good shape, considering it has spent almost 100 years on the seafloor at a depth of 340 feet (about 100 meters).


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Picture This: Startup Satellite Fleet Will Image Planet Daily

The company, known as Planet, is aiming to make global change visible, accessible, and actionable for everyone, Will Marshall, the startup's co-founder and CEO, said during an address to the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on Sept. 27, 2015. The company has deployed large fleets of small, inexpensive satellites designed solely to capture images of the planet. "We miniaturized these little satellites, and we put them up [in space] in large fleets in order to image the planet, with their little cameras going around the Earth," Marshall said during a talk at the Bloomberg Technology Conference in June.


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No, 'Honeycomb' Clouds Don't Explain Bermuda Triangle Mystery

A satellite image showing peculiar hexagonal clouds over the ocean area known as the Bermuda Triangle is prompting speculation about whether they may represent a recurring phenomenon responsible for decades of unexplained disappearances in the region. The photo appeared in the Science Channel's "What on Earth"? According to the Science Channel, similar cloud formations in the North Sea near the U.K. have been associated with so-called "air bombs" — powerful downdrafts of air that could overpower and destroy ships and airplanes.


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Tweet #SnailLove to Help Lonely Mollusk Find a Mate

Most snails have right-spiraling, or dextral, shells, said Angus Davison, an associate professor and reader in evolutionary genetics at the University of Nottingham's School of Life Sciences in the United Kingdom. Davison, who has studied the snail, said that unfortunately for Jeremy, his sinistral shell means that his genitals are on the opposite side of his body compared with most garden snails, making it very difficult for him to mate with dextral snails.


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Mysterious 'Dark Energy' May Not Exist, Study Claims

The universe may not be expanding at an accelerating rate after all, meaning that mysterious "dark energy" might not actually exist, according to a new study. In 2011, three cosmologists from two research teams won the Nobel Prize in physics for independently showing that distant Type Ia supernovas, which are a kind of exploding star, are moving away from Earth faster than nearby ones are. This hypothetical dispersive force came to be known as dark energy, because astronomers didn't really know what it was (and still don't, as a matter of fact).


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Man Dies of Flesh-Eating Bacteria from Ocean: What Is Vibrio Vulnificus?

A man in Maryland died just days after he developed a rare infection from a type of flesh-eating bacteria that live in ocean water. The man, Michael Funk, 67, had a cut on his leg that came into contact with the salty water in a bay near his home in Ocean City, according to Nature World News. The cut allowed a type of bacteria called Vibrio vulnificus to enter his bloodstream.


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Lies Breed Lies: Brain May Get Desensitized to Dishonesty

Dishonesty is a slippery slope: If you behave dishonestly once, you may become more likely to do so again in the future, a new study from England shows. In several of the trials, conditions made it so that dishonesty benefited the participant. People's dishonesty escalated over the course of these trials, found the study, published online today (Oct. 24) in the journal Nature Neuroscience.


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High-Potency Pot Doubles Risk of Marijuana Dependence

People in the study who used "high-potency" marijuana were twice as likely to become dependent as those who used lower-potency forms of the drug, according to new findings presented today (Oct. 21) at the International Early Psychosis Association meeting in Milan. People are considered to be dependent on marijuana if they experience withdrawal symptoms — such as irritability, mood and sleep problems, and decreased appetite — when they are not using the drug, according to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The potency of marijuana refers to how much tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is found in the plant.


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Coral 'Twilight Zone' Reveals New Type of Photosynthesis

Now, researchers have discovered that the corals that inhabit this "twilight zone" have a never-before-seen adaptation that enables them to eke out enough light energy to survive. The photosynthetic algae that live on and power these corals have unusual cellular "machinery" that enables them to conduct photosynthesis more efficiently than species that live at shallower depths, the researchers reported Oct. 17 in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science. "It's unlike anything we've seen on land, or anything we've even seen in the shallow reefs," said David Gruber, a marine biologist at the City University of New York and one of the researchers on the study.


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New Millipede Species Has 414 Legs and 4 Penises

A pale, thread-like creature found lurking in a California cave is a brand-new species of millipede. The stringy arthropod has 414 legs and four "penises," limbs that were converted over evolutionary time into structures that transfer sperm. Only a single specimen of the new species has been found, a male, so researchers don't know what the females look like.


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'Spiders' on Mars: Citizen Scientists Investigate Strange Martian Terrain

These prominent surface features are found near Mars' south pole, and are believed to be linked to seasonal changes. "The trapped carbon dioxide gas that carves the spiders in the ground also breaks through the thawing ice sheet.


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What's Up with 'Niku'? Object's Weird Orbit Puzzles Scientists

A mysterious object in the outer reaches of the solar system is revolving around the sun in an abnormal way, and scientists currently cannot explain why. The object has been nicknamed Niku, a Chinese adjective that means "rebellious," by the group of researchers who announced its discovery in August. This name was chosen because the object's orbit is retrograde, meaning it moves in the opposite direction of nearly everything else in the solar system.


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U.S. scientist dies in snowmobile plunge in Antarctica

(Reuters) - A U.S.-based scientist was killed in Antarctica when the snowmobile he was driving plunged into a crevasse on Saturday, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) said in a statement on Monday. Gordon Hamilton, 50, a University of Maine professor in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences, and a researcher with the Climate Change Institute, fell 100 feet (30.48 metres) into the crevasse, the NSF statement said. Hamilton was part of a team camped in a heavily crevassed area known as the Shear Zone, around 25 miles (40.23 km) south of McMurdo Station, the largest of the three U.S. research stations in Antarctica.

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Embryo Fish Face, Cow Dung & Beetle Feet Win Small World Photo Contest

In your face! A 4-day-old zebrafish embryo's dour mug nabbed the top prize in the annual Nikon Small World photo competition, which showcases often-unseen wonders of the natural world that can be viewed only through a microscope. Nikon Small World revealed the first-place photo today (Oct. 19) on Instagram — a first for the contest — at @NikonInstruments. Captured by senior research scientist Oscar Ruiz, at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the image reveals incredible detail in the embryo's face.


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