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Showing posts from January 15, 2016

Cruz’s Birthplace Debated: Here’s Where Most US Presidents Were Born

At the Republican debates last night, Donald Trump argued that fellow Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz might be ineligible to be U.S. president, given that the Constitution requires the president to be a "natural born citizen" of the country. One man, Houston attorney Newton Schwartz Sr., has even filed a suit against Cruz, aiming to settle the question before the primaries or party conventions get under way, Bloomberg Business reported. Whatever your opinion may be, it is true that all of the presidents to date have been born in one of the 50 U.S. states.

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Largest Giraffe Relative Found

"This is certainly the largest giraffid [a member of the giraffe family] that ever existed," said study lead author Christopher Basu, a doctoral student in the Structure and Motion Laboratory at the Royal Veterinary College in London.


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Real Heavy Metal: Fans Want Motörhead Singer on Periodic Table

Motörhead fans still mourning the death of the band's singer, songwriter and bassist, Ian 'Lemmy' Kilmister, in December are seeking commemoration for the rock icon in an unusual location — the periodic table. A petition launched on Change.org by John Wright of York, United Kingdom, proposed "Lemmium" as a name for element 115, quickly gathering thousands of signatures. The element holds the cumbersome temporary working name "ununpentium" and the temporary symbol Uup, according to a statement issued by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) on Dec. 30, 2015.

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SpaceX success launches space startups to new heights

By Heather Somerville SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - SpaceX's successful landing of a reusable rocket booster last month opens a new frontier for commercial space startups by offering tremendous cost savings and attracting venture capitalists who once shied away from spatial ventures. Space startups include nano-satellite makers, earth-imaging and weather-tracking technology developers, and ventures with ambitious plans to mine asteroids. If this fledgling industry can reuse rockets, that will save money and accelerate the pace of launches, enabling startups to more quickly test and update their technology, and replace old satellites more frequently - all critical for growing revenue.


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Ex-army major becomes first British astronaut to take a space walk

Tim Peake became the first astronaut representing Britain to carry out a space walk when he left the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday, generating huge interest back in his homeland. "Good luck to @astro_timpeake on today's space walk. The country will be watching you make history," Prime Minister David Cameron wrote on Twitter.


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Magnetic Device Lets Smartphones Test Your Blood

Smartphones equipped with portable devices that magnetically levitate cells might one day help diagnose diseases in the home, clinic or lab, researchers say. Nowadays, smartphones are incredibly powerful portable computers that include handy devices such as multimegapixel cameras, and they can be found in both developing and developed countries. Increasingly, researchers are exploring ways for smartphones to be used not only for posting selfies and playing video games, but also to help save lives by rapidly performing medical tests anywhere there are smartphones — that is, virtually anywhere around the world.


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Why Are Venomous Sea Snakes Washing Up on California Beaches?

A beachgoer got quite the slithery surprise when a 20-inch-long (50 centimeters) venomous sea snake washed ashore at Coronado Dog Beach near San Diego Tuesday (Jan. 12). The yellow-bellied sea snake (Pelamis platura) is very uncommon in California, but three (including this latest sighting) have washed ashore in Southern California in the past few months. The beachgoer who found the yellow-bellied sea snake Tuesday alerted lifeguards to the serpent at around 2:30 p.m. local time, according to a statement from the city of Coronado.


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122-Foot Titanosaur: Staggeringly Big Dino Barely Fits into Museum

An incredibly long-necked dinosaur, with leg bones the size of couches, is so massive that is has invaded not one, but two rooms at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City. The enormous titanosaur — an herbivorous beast that weighed 70 tons (64 metric tons) when alive some 100 million years ago — is the newest permanent exhibit to join the museum.


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China to land probe on dark side of moon in 2018: Xinhua

China plans to land the first probe ever on the dark side of the moon in 2018, marking another milestone in its ambitious space program, the official Xinhua news agency reported. China has launched a new round of work focused on lunar exploration, coming about two years after it made the first "soft landing" on the moon since 1976 with the Chang'e-3 craft and its Jade Rabbit rover. Previous spacecraft have seen the far side of the moon, that is never visible from earth, but none has landed on it.


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Virus Linked to Birth Defects Requires Action, Doctors Say

The rapid spread of a disease called Zika virus urgently requires attention, two leading researchers say. Zika virus is the most recent in a list of viruses that were formerly confined to remote niches of the world but are now expanding their reach into the Northern Hemisphere. Much about these viruses is still poorly understood, wrote Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and Dr. David Morens, senior scientific advisor for the NIAID, in an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday (Jan. 14).


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Future Diabetes Treatment? Human Skin Cells Coaxed to Make Insulin

Human skin cells can be reprogrammed to produce the hormone insulin, which could one day help patients better control their diabetes. Additionally, the researchers noted, the cells are not completely identical to the human pancreatic cells that normally produce insulin in the body. What's more, although the cells could potentially help people with type 2 diabetes someday, their current design would not help people with type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune disorder, said Matthias Hebrok, director of the University of California, San Francisco Diabetes Center.

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Hidden Plague? New Theory on How Disease Spread So Perilously

One reason the plague was able to spread so massively across Europe during the Middle Ages may have been that the bacteria that caused the disease lay hidden, in some unknown animal reservoir, for centuries, a new study reports. In the study, researchers in Germany hypothesize that the bacteria Yersinia pestis, which causes plague and killed millions of people, may have survived in Europe in an unknown host during the second plague pandemic, which lasted from the 14th to the 17th century. The idea came after the researchers analyzed the DNA from the skeletal remains of 30 plague victims who were buried at two grave sites in Germany.

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