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Showing posts from December, 2016

Anthropologists to examine mummified body found in Detroit garage

A body that had decomposed to the point of mummification was found in a car in the garage of a Detroit home, and medical examiners have called for an anthropologist to conduct a special autopsy of the remains, authorities said on Friday. The desiccated corpse was discovered by a man who was house shopping and ventured into the home's garage on Thursday afternoon, spotting the body inside an early 1990s-model Plymouth sedan, police and coroner's officials said. How long the body had been in the garage and the circumstances of the individual's death remained unknown, said Lloyd Jackson, a spokesman for the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office.

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Ellen Stofan, NASA's Chief Scientist, Departs Space Agency

NASA's chief scientist is leaving the agency after more than three years on the job, as NASA refreshes the leadership of its science programs. Ellen Stofan left NASA this month after serving as chief scientist since August 2013. Agency spokesman Dwayne Brown was not immediately able to provide an exact departure date, or plans to select a new chief scientist.


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'Leap Second' Will Make New Year's Eve Just a Little Bit Longer

World clocks will officially add a "leap second" at 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which is the time standard set by highly precise atomic clocks. The extra second of party time is designed to reconcile two ways of keeping time: atomic clocks, and clocks based on the Earth's rotation. "Earth is slowing down over geological time, and that can lead to a problem when you've got a ton of clocks," Demetrios Matsakis, chief scientist at the U.S. Naval Observatory's Time Service Department,  told Live Science last year.


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Cheetahs Are Racing Toward Extinction

The cheetah, the world's fastest land animal, is headed toward extinction, largely due to unprecedented habitat loss, scientists announced in a new study. The research revealed that only 7,100 cheetahs remain globally and that the speedy animal has lost 91 percent of its historic habitat range. In Zimbabwe, where the cheetah distribution is well-documented, the population has plummeted from 1,200 individuals in 2000 to about 170 individuals in 2016, according to the study.


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Ancient Stone Bowl Unearthed in Jerusalem Perplexes Experts

It's unclear whether a mysterious 2,100-year-old stone bowl fragment recently unearthed in Jerusalem belonged to royalty or a commoner, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced late last week. The fragment — made from chalk, a type of limestone — is small enough to fit in a person's hand. Although the name itself is Greek, many Jews used it during the Hellenistic period, The Times of Israel reported.


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Earth Scientists Are Freaking Out. NASA Urges Calm.

At a time when NASA earth scientists are concerned their research may be scuttled by the incoming Trump administration, the space agency's top science official is preaching pragmatism and unity. The names of the two key Trump administration figures who will have the most significant impact on NASA's future — the new NASA administrator and the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy — have not been announced. To put that in scientific terms, all the rumor and discussion swirling around the scientific community about NASA's future under a Trump presidency is noise, "not signal," said Thomas Zurbuchen, who took over as the leader of NASA's Science Mission Directorate in October.


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Debbie Reynolds' Death: Can You Die of a Broken Heart?

Actress Debbie Reynolds died from a stroke on Dec. 28, just one day after her daughter, actress Carrie Fisher, died from a heart attack, Variety reported. Reynolds, who starred in film classics such as "Singin' in the Rain," was 84. Reynolds told her son shortly before her stroke, "I miss her so much.


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Long-Sought 'Attack' Signal in Type 1 Diabetes Identified

In people with type 1 diabetes, the body wages a ruthless campaign of destruction against certain cells in the pancreas because it mistakes them for foreign invaders. The cells that are destroyed, called beta cells, normally produce certain proteins in packages called exosomes. The new study found that, when the cells are in trouble, such as after an infection or other stressful event, these packages are decorated with chemical warning signals that may act as homing beacons that lure immune cells.


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Carrie Fisher's Death: What Happens When the Heart Stops Beating?

Actress Carrie Fisher died today (Dec. 27), after suffering a heart attack while on a flight from London to Los Angeles on Dec. 23, People magazine reports. Fisher was 60 years old. Fisher, who shot to fame in her iconic role as Princess Leia in the "Star Wars" films, is reported to have had a heart attack 15 minutes before the plane landed at LAX, according to TMZ.


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Out of This World! The Most Amazing Space Discoveries of 2016

There were monumental new discoveries, including the first-ever direct detection of gravitational waves, which gives scientists access to a whole new realm of information about cosmic events. The ExoMars mission sent both an orbiter and a lander to the Red Planet, but the lander crashed into the planet's surface before it could begin its science mission. In February, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) collaboration made physics history when it announced the first direct detection of gravitational waves — ripples that stretch and compress space itself.


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China says space program must help protect national security

China's space program must help protect the country's national security, but China is dedicated to the peaceful use of space and opposes a space arms race, the government said in a policy paper issued on Tuesday. President Xi Jinping has called for China to establish itself as a space power, and it has tested anti-satellite missiles, in addition to its civilian aims China has repeatedly said its space program is for peaceful purposes, but the U.S. Defense Department has highlighted its increasing capabilities, saying it was pursuing activities aimed to prevent adversaries from using space-based assets in a crisis.


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Bite the dust: meek dinosaur lost its teeth as it hit adulthood

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A modest little dinosaur that scampered across northwestern China 160 million years ago boasted a unique trait not seen in any other dinosaur or other prehistoric creature yet unearthed: it was born with teeth but became toothless by adulthood. Scientists on Thursday said fossils of 19 individuals of a dinosaur called Limusaurus, ranging in age from under a year to 10 years, showed that juveniles had small, sharp teeth but adults developed a toothless beak. This cluster of dinosaurs, found in Xinjiang Province, apparently became hopelessly trapped in a mud pit and died.


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Vera Rubin, pioneering U.S. dark matter astronomer, dies at 88

Rubin died on Sunday at an assisted living facility in Princeton, New Jersey, and had suffered from dementia for several years, Allan Rubin, a geosciences professor at Princeton University, said in an email. Rubin, a Philadelphia native, used galaxies' rotations to discover the first direct evidence of dark matter in the 1970s while working at the Carnegie Institution in Washington.

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Time of Death? Check the Body's 'Necrobiome'

It's a line you'll hear in almost any crime show after someone finds the body — the detective turns to the medical examiner and asks, "Time of death?" But in real life, medical examiners don't have a very precise method for figuring out how long ago someone died. Now, researchers say they could use the bacteria found on the body to provide a more accurate way to pinpoint the time of death, according to a new study. Currently, medical examiners estimate the time of death by physically inspecting the body for signs of early-phase decomposition and, in later stages of decomposition, by looking at the insects present on the body, the researchers wrote.


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Your Giving Brain: Are Humans 'Hardwired' for Generosity?

In one study, researchers scanned participants' brains to identify connections between generous behavior and brain activity. In the other, scientists dampened activity in areas of the brain associated with impulse control, to see if that would alter a person's empathetic actions. In addition, the findings suggest a path toward treating people with conditions that lower their ability to understand others: Someday, people whose social cognition is impaired could be helped by treatments that regulate the neural pathways that enhance or restrict their empathetic feelings, said Dr. Marco Iacoboni, a co-author of both studies and a professor of psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles.


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Piers Sellers, Space Shuttle Astronaut and NASA Climate Scientist, Dies at 61

Piers Sellers, a British-American climate scientist and former NASA astronaut who launched on three space shuttle missions to the International Space Station, died on Friday (Dec. 23). In the column, Sellers wrote about how his prognosis added a sense of urgency to his work on climate change. "I was forced to decide how to spend my remaining time," Sellers explained in the editorial.


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'Star Wars' Science: Is the Force Contagious?

In the "Star Wars" universe, a mystical power known as the Forcedrives the battles between Jedi knights and their dark counterparts, the Sith. Ahead of the release of "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," a group of real-world scientists got together over the summer to discuss the science of this mystical power. The panel of scientists, who gathered at the Dragon Con convention in Atlanta this past September, raised an intriguing possibility: that the ability to manipulate the Force could travel from one life-form to the next, rather than as a genetic mutation, just as a virus does.


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Bite the dust: meek dinosaur lost its teeth as it hit adulthood

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A modest little dinosaur that scampered across northwestern China 160 million years ago boasted a unique trait not seen in any other dinosaur or other prehistoric creature yet unearthed: it was born with teeth but became toothless by adulthood. Scientists on Thursday said fossils of 19 individuals of a dinosaur called Limusaurus, ranging in age from under a year to 10 years, showed that juveniles had small, sharp teeth but adults developed a toothless beak. This cluster of dinosaurs, found in Xinjiang Province, apparently became hopelessly trapped in a mud pit and died.


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Swat team: scientists track humongous number of flying bugs

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Counting the number of bugs whizzing high overhead annually may seem all but impossible, but researchers in Britain have completed the most comprehensive tally ever conducted. "High-altitude aerial migration of insects is enormous," said University of Exeter entomologist Jason Chapman, whose research was published in the journal Science. In terms of biomass, the insects greatly exceeded migratory birds in Britain.


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Swat team - scientists track humongous number of flying bugs

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Counting the number of bugs whizzing high overhead annually may seem all but impossible, but researchers in Britain have completed the most comprehensive tally ever conducted. "High-altitude aerial migration of insects is enormous," said University of Exeter entomologist Jason Chapman, whose research was published in the journal Science. In terms of biomass, the insects greatly exceeded migratory birds in Britain.

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Gravitational-Wave Hunters Surf to Top Science Magazine Award

One of the world's top scientific magazines has awarded its highest yearly honor to an experiment searching for ripples in the fabric of the universe. Science magazine bestowed its 2016 Breakthrough of the Year Award upon the collaboration of scientists who built and operate the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO), the journal announced today (Dec. 22). Gravitational waves were first predicted by Albert Einstein in 1915, but it took a century to procure the first-ever direct detection of this cosmic phenomena.


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Happy Birthday, Colo! World's Oldest Gorilla Celebrates 60th

The first gorilla born in human care turned 60 today (Dec. 22) at her home in the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio. Colo, whose name is a combination of "Columbus" and "Ohio," is a western lowland gorilla, and is the oldest gorilla in the world. Now entering her seventh decade, Colo's birth and subsequent reproductive success represent years of progress in the care and breeding of captive gorillas, the Columbus Zoo said in a statement.


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Pot-Shop Employees May Recommend Wrong Strain of Marijuana

Many staff members at marijuana dispensaries have not had any formal training for their positions, according to a small new study. Researchers found that 30 people of the 55 dispensary staff members surveyed in the study (55 percent) had received any sort of formal training for their current positions. Only 20 percent had received any medical training on the health effects of marijuana, and just 13 percent had received any training on the science of the drug, the researchers found.


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Deaths from Fentanyl Overdoses Double in a Single Year

The report, from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, used a new method to examine drug overdose deaths in the United States. Traditionally, government researchers have used specific codes that are placed on death certificates to analyze causes of death in the population. So in the new report, the researchers developed a way to analyze the actual text on death certificates, including notes written by the medical examiner or coroner.


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China launches carbon-tracking satellite into space: Xinhua

China launched a satellite to monitor its greenhouse gas emissions early on Thursday, the latest step in efforts to cut its carbon footprint, the official Xinhua news agency said. The launch follows the United States joining China in formally ratifying the Paris agreement to curb climate-warming emissions. It also comes as large sections of northern China have been shrouded in near-record levels of air pollution for most of the past week, disrupting flights, closing factories and schools, and forcing authorities to issue red alerts.


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Gravitational Wave, Proxima b Scientists Nab Year-End Awards

Two of the 10 most important scientists of 2016 are space researchers, according to the prestigious journal Nature. In February, LIGO spokeswoman Gonzalez and the rest of the team announced the first-ever direct detection of gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of space-time first predicted by Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity a century ago.


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The Longest Night: Do We Sleep Better on the Solstice?

There's a long night coming, literally — the winter solstice comes on Wednesday (Dec. 21), making it the shortest day and longest night of the year. "I would say that, yes, the changing day length [over the year] does influence sleep," said Brant Hasler, a sleep expert and assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. "[It's] probably not enough to notice a day-to-day difference with regard to the winter solstice and the days before and after, but certainly in comparison to the summer solstice," Hasler told Live Science.


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Mysterious 'Ghost Shark' Found for 1st Time in Northern Hemisphere

An elusive "ghost shark" has come out of hiding, as video has captured footage of the fish — whose face looks as if it were stitched together in a Frankenstein-like manner — for the first time in the Northern Hemisphere. "It's a bizarre-looking fish with a pointed snout," said Lonny Lundsten, a senior research technician at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in California. The rare, deep-sea fish — called a "ghost shark" for its appearance, but also known as the pointy-nosed blue ratfish — made its video debut after researchers recorded the animal via remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) off the coasts of Hawaii and California.


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Bizarre Antimatter Emits Same Light As Regular Matter

For the first time, physicists have shown that atoms of antimatter appear to give off the same kind of light that atoms of regular matter do when illuminated with lasers, a new study finds. More precise measurements of this emitted light could unearth clues that might finally help solve the mystery of why there is so much less antimatter than normal matter in the universe, researchers say. A gram of antimatter annihilating a gram of matter would release about twice the energy as the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.


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Sci-Fi Gets Science Right: 'Passengers' Nails the Physics

The new science fiction film "Passengers" takes viewers on a journey to the future, when glitzy interstellar starships can transport thousands of hibernating passengers to planets in neighboring star systems. "Passengers" is the story of two space travelers (played by Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence) on an interstellar spaceship who wake up from an induced state of hibernation, or stasis, 90 years ahead of schedule. While the story is set way ahead of the current time and features technology that either doesn't exist yet or seems entirely out of reach, the makers of "Passengers" clearly took their science seriously.


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Artificial leaf copies nature to manufacture medicine

Dutch scientists have developed an artificial leaf that can act as a mini-factory for producing drugs, an advance that could allow medicines to be produced anywhere there is sunlight. The work taps into the ability of plants to use sunlight to feed themselves through photosynthesis, something industrial chemists have struggled to replicate because sunshine usually generates too little energy to fuel chemical reactions. The leaf-inspired micro factory mimics nature's efficiency at harvesting solar radiation by using new materials called luminescent solar concentrators with very thin channels through which liquid is pumped, exposing molecules to sunlight.


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Obama Bans Arctic Drilling Ahead of Trump Inauguration

The Obama administration on Tuesday put vast swaths of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans off limits to oil and gas drilling to protect marine life, address climate change and safeguard the areas from development after President-elect Donald Trump takes office in January. At the same time, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada will designate all Arctic Ocean waters under Canadian control as indefinitely off limits to future offshore oil and gas development. The Obama administration is leaving 2.8 million acres of the Beaufort Sea open to drilling.


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Israel's Spacecom buys Boeing satellite for $161 million, to launch in 2019

Israeli satellite operator Space Communications said on Wednesday it would launch a new telecommunications satellite in 2019 after losing a prior one in an explosion. Spacecom said it was buying a satellite from Boeing Satellite Systems International for $161 million. The new satellite, Amos-17, is aimed at expanding and strengthening Spacecom's coverage of growing satellite service markets in Africa, the Middle East and Europe, it said.

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Mouthwash May Kill Gonorrhea Bacteria

The bacteria that cause gonorrhea can be found in a person's throat, but stopping the growth of these germs may be as simple as gargling with mouthwash, a small new study from Australia finds. The idea that mouthwash could kill certain strains of bacteria is not new — in fact, as far back as 1879, Listerine advertised that it could "cure" gonorrhea, according to the new study. The rates of gonorrhea, which is caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae, have more than doubled in men in Australia over the past five years, the researchers, led Eric Chow, a research fellow at the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre in Australia, wrote in the study.


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El Nino-linked cyclones to increase in Pacific with global warming: research

By Umberto Bacchi LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Small Pacific island states could be hit by more tropical cyclones during future El Nino weather patterns due to climate change, scientists said on Tuesday. El Nino is a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific occurring every two to seven years which can trigger both floods and drought in different parts of the world. Its opposite phase, a cooling of the same waters known as La Nina, is associated with the increased probability of wetter conditions over much of Australia and increased numbers of tropical cyclones.

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El Nino-linked cyclones to increase in Pacific with global warming - research

By Umberto Bacchi LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Small Pacific island states could be hit by more tropical cyclones during future El Nino weather patterns due to climate change, scientists said on Tuesday. El Nino is a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific occurring every two to seven years which can trigger both floods and drought in different parts of the world. Its opposite phase, a cooling of the same waters known as La Nina, is associated with the increased probability of wetter conditions over much of Australia and increased numbers of tropical cyclones.

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El Nino-linked cyclones to increase in Pacific with global warming - research

By Umberto Bacchi LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Small Pacific island states could be hit by more tropical cyclones during future El Nino weather patterns due to climate change, scientists said on Tuesday. El Nino is a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific occurring every two to seven years which can trigger both floods and drought in different parts of the world. Its opposite phase, a cooling of the same waters known as La Nina, is associated with the increased probability of wetter conditions over much of Australia and increased numbers of tropical cyclones.


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A Cosmic Wikipedia: Massive Digital Sky Survey Is Unveiled for Scientists

The Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System, or Pan-STARRS, began observing the night sky in 2010, using a 1.8-meter telescope at the summit of Haleakala, on the island of Maui in Hawaii. The newly released catalog is the world's largest digital sky survey to date, according to a statement from the University of Hawaii Institute of Astronomy, the project's headquarters. In addition to making the data freely available, the project collaborators have spent years making the catalog easy for other scientists to use.


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Real Science Inspires Voyage to the Stars in 'Passengers'

The new space flick "Passengers" takes place in a far-off, science-fiction future, but modern-day science is laying the groundwork to turn some of those fictional elements into reality. At a panel discussion Sony Pictures held earlier this month, two real-world scientists talked about two key scientific elements that were portrayed in the film: the search for Earth-like planets around other stars, and placing humans into temporary stasis (a state that's like hibernation) for trips through space. The scientists were joined by "Passengers" screenwriter John Spaights, who talked about some of the real science that inspired the movie.


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Dozens Dead in Siberia from Drinking Bath Oil: How Methanol Kills

Authorities in Irkutsk, the sixth-largest city in Russia, declared a state of emergency today (Dec. 19) after at least 49 people died from drinking the apparently mislabeled bath oil, according to the Washington Post. The label on the bath oil said it contained ethanol, and people drank the product as a cheap alternative to alcohol, which is a common practice in Russia, the Post reported. When people consume methanol, the body metabolizes it first into formaldehyde, and then into a compound called formic acid, which is highly toxic to cells, according to the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology.


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Patients Treated by Female Docs Have Lower Risk of Death

More research is needed to understand why exactly patients treated by female doctors have lower mortality rate, study co-author Dr. Ashish Jha, a professor of health policy at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said in a statement. But previous research has suggested that there are differences between how male and female physicians practice medicine, Jha said.


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Marijuana Use on the Rise Among Pregnant Women

Marijuana use among pregnant women in the U.S. increased by 62 percent from 2002 to 2014, a new study finds. Researchers found that 3.9 percent of pregnant women reported on a 2014 government survey that they had used marijuana during the past month, up from 2.4 percent who said the same on a 2002 survey, according to the study. Although this 3.9 percent rate "is not high, the increases over time and potential adverse consequences of prenatal marijuana exposure suggest further monitoring and research are warranted," the researchers, led by Qiana Brown, an epidemiologist at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York City, wrote in their report.


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Japan successfully launches solid fuel rocket

Japan's space agency said on Tuesday it had successfully launched a solid fuel rocket named Epsilon-2, the latest in Tokyo's effort to stay competitive in an industry that has robust growth potential and strong security implications. The 26-meter-long rocket, launched at about 8 p.m. (1100 GMT) from the Uchinoura Space Center in southern Japan, released a satellite for studying radiation belts around the earth soon after the lift-off, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said. The Epsilon-2 three-stage rocket is part of a new generation of solid propellant rockets and makes it possible for launch costs to be reduced up to one third, according to JAXA.


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Scientists discover 163 new species in Greater Mekong region: WWF

A rainbow-headed snake and a dragon-like lizard are among 163 new species that scientists recently discovered in the Greater Mekong region, conservation group WWF said on Monday, adding rapid development in the area, from dams to mines, was threatening wildlife survival. The Greater Mekong is home to some of the world's most endangered species. In June, Thai wildlife authorities raided the Tiger Temple west of Bangkok, a popular tourist attraction.


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Climate scientists adjust as Trump builds team of oil allies

By Peter Henderson SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Climate scientists worried that President-elect Donald Trump will slash their budgets and sideline their research are entering survival mode, trimming the words "climate change" from study proposals, emphasizing business applications of their work, and safeguarding data that shows global warming is real.     The early reactions, gathered by Reuters in more than a dozen interviews, may foretell a broader shift in the U.S. climate science community, which had enjoyed solid political and financial support under President Barack Obama but could be isolated under a new administration skeptical of climate change and committed to expanding oil drilling and coal mining. "I think it is maybe really necessary to refocus what you are doing and how you are labeling it," said Andreas Prein, a scientist at the federally funded National Center for Atmospheric Research, who previously had changed the term "climate change" in a…

Undersea mystery - seahorse genetic secrets unveiled

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Scientists have unlocked some of the genetic secrets of the weird and wondrous seahorse including its exotic eccentricity of male pregnancy. Researchers said on Wednesday they sequenced the genome of a seahorse species for the first time and identified the genetic underpinning for certain peculiarities in this equine-looking fish group that inhabits coastal waters around the world. Seahorses boast a host of oddities.


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Exclusive - If Trump skews science, researchers must raise the alarm: Obama official

By Patrick Rucker WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Scientists must confront climate change deniers and speak up if U.S. President-elect Donald Trump tries to sideline climate research, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is due to say on Wednesday. "If you see science being ignored or compromised, speak up," Jewell will tell a meeting of earth and space scientists in San Francisco, according to a draft of the speech seen by Reuters. Trump has called climate change a hoax and sought to fill his cabinet with oil industry allies like Texas Governor Rick Perry, the Energy Department nominee.


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GSK boosts board-level science as new CEO prepares to take over

Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline is bolstering scientific expertise on its board by establishing a new science committee, charged with overseeing research, as a new chief executive prepares to take over. Incoming CEO Emma Walmsley, the first woman to lead a top global drugmaker, stands out among Big Pharma bosses as a consumer brands specialist rather than a prescription medicines expert. Since her appointment in September she has spent much of her time learning about GSK's prescription drug research and development (R&D), according to company insiders.


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Scientists get antimatter excited, see first light

BERLIN (AP) — Scientists have used a laser to tickle atoms of antimatter and make them shine, a key step toward answering one of the great riddles of the universe.


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GSK boosts board-level science as new CEO prepares to take over

Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline is bolstering scientific expertise on its board by establishing a new science committee, charged with overseeing research, as a new chief executive prepares to take over. Incoming CEO Emma Walmsley, the first woman to lead a top global drugmaker, stands out among Big Pharma bosses as a consumer brands specialist rather than a prescription medicines expert. Since her appointment in September she has spent much of her time learning about GSK's prescription drug research and development (R&D), according to company insiders.


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GSK boosts board-level science as new CEO prepares to take over

Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline is bolstering scientific expertise on its board by establishing a new science committee, charged with overseeing research, as a new chief executive prepares to take over. Incoming CEO Emma Walmsley, the first woman to lead a top global drugmaker, stands out among Big Pharma bosses as a consumer brands specialist rather than a prescription medicines expert. Since her appointment in September she has spent much of her time learning about GSK's prescription drug research and development (R&D), according to company insiders.


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'Very Dangerous' Powdered Gloves Banned for Doctors

At your next doctor's exam, one thing will be certain: Your physician won't be using powdered medical gloves. That's because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just issued a ban on powdered medical gloves, calling them dangerous. The ruling marks only the second time in history that the FDA has banned a medical device.


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'Nightmare' Superbug May Have Spread Outside Hospitals

Six people in Colorado recently became infected with a "nightmare" superbug that until now, has mostly been limited to people in hospitals, according to a new report. The new cases suggest the superbug may have spread outside of health care facilities. The superbug is known as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, a family of bacteria that are difficult to treat because they are resistant to powerful antibiotics.


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How Researchers Tapped into Brain Activity to Boost People's Confidence

There may be a way to tap into people's brain activity to boost their confidence, a new study suggests. In the study, the researchers used a technique called decoded neurofeedback, which involves scanning people's brains to monitor their brain activity, and using artificial intelligence to detect activity patterns that are linked with feelings of confidence. What's more, the same technique could be used to decrease confidence, if people were rewarded when their brain activity showed a pattern that was linked to low confidence, according to the researchers.


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Aging May Be Reversible: Researchers Rejuvenate Older Mice

The researchers also used the method to treat mice with a rare disease that causes them to age prematurely and die early, and found that the method increased the animals' lifespan by 30 percent. "Our study shows that aging may not have to proceed in one single direction," study researcher Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a professor in Salk Institute's Gene Expression Laboratory in La Jolla, California, said in a statement. "Obviously, mice are not humans and we know it will be much more complex to rejuvenate a person," Izpisua Belmonte said.


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Imaging Advance May Soon Show Unborn Babies in 3D

Someday, a mother-to-be may be able to put on a virtual reality headset and get a clear, 360-degree look at her own fetus in the womb. Although 3D imaging of fetuses is already available to a great extent — and in fact there are portrait studios that offer it — the images that are obtained from current techniques are static, and still rather unclear. With the new virtual reality technique, the images of a fetus are clearer and can be rotated 360 degrees.


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