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Showing posts from January 20, 2016

'Dragon thief' dinosaur thrived after primordial calamity

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In the early years of the Jurassic Period, when the world was recovering from one of the worst mass extinctions on record, a modest meat-eating dinosaur from Wales helped pave the way for some of the most fearsome predators ever to stalk the Earth. Scientists on Wednesday announced the discovery of fossil remains of a two-legged dinosaur called Dracoraptor that lived 200 million years ago and was a forerunner of much later colossal carnivores like Tyrannosaurus rex, Allosaurus and Spinosaurus. The fossil is of a 7-foot-long (2.1-meter) juvenile, with adults reaching perhaps 10 feet (3 meters), said paleontologist Steven Vidovic of Britain's University of Portsmouth.


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Prehistoric massacre in Kenya called oldest evidence of warfare

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Man's inhumanity to man, as 18th century Scottish poet Robert Burns put it, is no recent development. Scientists said on Wednesday they had found the oldest evidence of human warfare, fossils of a band of people massacred by a troop of attackers with weapons including arrows, clubs and stone blades on the shores of a lagoon in Kenya about 10,000 years ago. The remains of 27 people from a Stone Age hunter-gatherer culture were unearthed at a site called Nataruk roughly 20 miles (30 km) west of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya. ...


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10,000-Year-Old Battered Bones May Be Oldest Evidence of Human Warfare

The skeletons of 27 people who died about 10,000 years ago bear marks of blunt force trauma and projectile wounds, the researchers said in the study. The victims included men, women and children. "That scale of death — it can't be an individual murder or homicide amongst families," said study co-author Robert Foley, an anthropologist and archaeologist at the University of Cambridge in England.


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Baking-Soda Ingredient May Lower Risk of Premature Death

Older people may be at increased risk of premature death if they have low levels of bicarbonate, a main ingredient in baking soda, in their blood, a new study suggests. The reason for the link isn't exactly clear, but it may have to do with the ill effects of having slightly acidic blood, the researchers said. Bicarbonate, a base, is a natural byproduct of metabolism that the body uses to regulate the pH level of the blood.

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Don't Blame Pot for Teens' IQ Drop, Study Says

Instead, the results suggest that if teens experience a cognitive decline, other factors, such as genetics or that young person's family environment, are more likely to be responsible for the drop, the researchers said. The implications of the new findings are that "it is unlikely that the exposure to marijuana itself is causing children to show intellectual change," Isen told Live Science. Previous research on marijuana use during adolescence has yielded mixed results.

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Researchers find possible ninth planet beyond Neptune

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - The solar system may host a ninth planet that is about 10 times bigger than Earth and orbiting far beyond Neptune, according to research published on Wednesday. Computer simulations show that the mystery planet, if it exists, would orbit about 20 times farther away from the sun than Earth, said astronomers with the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. "It's a pretty substantial chunk of our solar system that's still out there to be found, which is pretty exciting,” astronomer Mike Brown said in a statement.


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Russian space agency scales back plans as crisis shrinks budget

By Dmitry Solovyov MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will spend 30 percent less on its space program in the next decade and scale back a slew of projects to save money in the face of tanking oil prices and a falling rouble, a plan presented by the country's space agency showed on Wednesday, According to the blueprint, presented to Russian media by Igor Komarov, head of space agency Roscosmos, the space program budget for 2016-2025 will be cut to 1.4 trillion roubles ($17.36 billion), down from 2 trillion roubles. "Russia is certain to implement this project, but at the moment the launch of a booster rocket with a reusable first stage is not economically viable," local media cited Komarov as saying. Russia's Cold War-era rival, the United States, has already successfully tested similar vehicles.


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Scientists: Good evidence for 9th planet in solar system

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Scientists reported Wednesday they finally have "good evidence" for Planet X, a true ninth planet on the fringes of our solar system.


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In global warming bets, record 2015 heat buoys mainstream science

By Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) - For British climate expert Chris Hope, new data showing that 2015 was the hottest year ever recorded is not just confirmation he's been right all along that the planet is getting warmer. It also won the Cambridge University researcher a 2,000 pound sterling ($2,830) wager made five years ago against a pair of scientists who reject man-made global warming and bet Hope that the Earth would be cooling by now. NASA, the U.S. ...

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Last year was hottest on record globally - U.S. science agencies

By Valerie Volcovici WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Last year’s global average temperature was the hottest ever by the widest margin on record, two U.S. government agencies said on Wednesday, adding to pressure for deep greenhouse gas emissions cuts scientists say are needed to arrest warming that is disrupting the global climate. Data from U.S. space agency NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed that in 2015, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.90 Celsius) above the 20th century average, surpassing 2014’s previous record by 0.29 F (0.16 C). “2015 was remarkable even in the context of the larger, long-term warming trend,” said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.


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In global warming bets, record 2015 heat buoys mainstream science

By Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) - For British climate expert Chris Hope, new data showing that 2015 was the hottest year ever recorded is not just confirmation he's been right all along that the planet is getting warmer. It also won the Cambridge University researcher a 2,000 pound sterling ($2,830) wager made five years ago against a pair of scientists who reject man-made global warming and bet Hope that the Earth would be cooling by now. NASA, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the British Met Office said on Wednesday that 2015 was the warmest year recorded since 1880, boosted by a long-term build-up of greenhouse gases and a natural El Nino event warming the Pacific Ocean.

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In global warming bets, record 2015 heat buoys mainstream science

By Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) - For British climate expert Chris Hope, new data showing that 2015 was the hottest year ever recorded is not just confirmation he's been right all along that the planet is getting warmer. It also won the Cambridge University researcher a 2,000 pound sterling ($2,830) wager made five years ago against a pair of scientists who reject man-made global warming and bet Hope that the Earth would be cooling by now. NASA, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the British Met Office said on Wednesday that 2015 was the warmest year recorded since 1880, boosted by a long-term build-up of greenhouse gases and a natural El Nino event warming the Pacific Ocean.

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Last year was hottest on record globally - U.S. science agencies

By Valerie Volcovici WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Last year’s global average temperature was the hottest ever by the widest margin on record, two U.S. government agencies said on Wednesday, adding to pressure for deep greenhouse gas emissions cuts scientists say are needed to arrest warming that is disrupting the global climate. Data from U.S. space agency NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed that in 2015, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.90 Celsius) above the 20th century average, surpassing 2014’s previous record by 0.29 F (0.16 C). “2015 was remarkable even in the context of the larger, long-term warming trend,” said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.


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Sorry, Spider-Man! You're Too Big to Scale That Wall

Like spiders, a variety of critters can scurry up walls, including some species of cockroach, lizard and beetle. "If a human, for example, wanted to walk up a wall the way a gecko does, we'd need impractically large, sticky feet — our shoes would need to be a European size 145 or a U.S. size 114," study senior author Walter Federle, a professor in the Department of Zoology at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, said in a statement. In fact, humans would need adhesive pads covering 40 percent of their body, or about 80 percent of their front, in order to climb up a vertical wall, the researchers said.


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Hundreds of Tiny Bugs Are Probably Hiding in Your Home

Entomologists from North Carolina State University conducted an investigation to find out just how many different arthropods — insects, spiders and other invertebrates that have segmented bodies and jointed legs — might share homes with people. Many arthropod species — like termites, bedbugs and roaches — are known to live alongside humans, and to seek out these living spaces, generally bringing a measure of discomfort and inconvenience to their hosts. The researchers visited and sampled homes within a 30-mile (48 kilometers) radius of Raleigh, North Carolina, collecting any living or dead arthropod that they found in attics, basements, bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms and common areas.


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Raging Fires in Australia Visible from Space

Australia rang in the new year with dangerous tidings: Parts of Western Australia have been battling large bushfires since the beginning of the month. The blazes seem to be easing off, but an Earth-observing satellite captured a dramatic view of the fires earlier this month, showing thick clouds of smoke hugging the nation's southwestern coast. Last week, NASA's Earth Observatory posted a photo taken Jan. 7 by the Suomi NPP satellite's Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS).


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Last year was hottest on record globally: U.S. science agencies

By Valerie Volcovici WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Last year’s global average temperature was the hottest ever by the widest margin on record, two U.S. government agencies said on Wednesday, adding to pressure for deep greenhouse gas emissions cuts scientists say are needed to arrest warming that is disrupting the global climate. Data from U.S. space agency NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed that in 2015, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.90 Celsius) above the 20th century average, surpassing 2014’s previous record by 0.29 F (0.16 C). This was the fourth time a global temperature record has been set this century, the agencies said in a summary of their annual report.  “2015 was remarkable even in the context of the larger, long-term warming trend,” said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

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Cardiac Arrest Deadlier in a High Rise, Study Says

People who go into cardiac arrest (their hearts stop beating) on the middle or upper floors of high-rise buildings may be less likely to survive the ordeal than those on the lowest floors, found a new study from Canada. Over the five-year study period, 4.2 percent of patients in Toronto who went into cardiac arrest while located below the third floor survived, whereas 2.6 percent of those on floors 3 and above survived, according to the study. To improve survival of people experiencing cardiac arrest in high-rise buildings, bystanders should do everything possible to reduce delays for first responders, said Ian Drennan, an author of the new study, an advanced-care paramedic and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Toronto.

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'Water Jets' May Stem Tide of Student Obesity

Inexpensive dispensers that bring cold, filtered water into New York City public schools may be putting a dent in the childhood obesity epidemic there. More than 40 percent of children in elementary or middle school in New York City are overweight or obese. "These are small but meaningful numbers, particularly for an intervention like this that was very low-cost to implement and can be done widely throughout New York City public schools," said Brian Elbel, an associate professor of population health at the Langone Medical Center of New York University, who led the study.

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Rare Case of Scurvy Seen in Infant Fed Almond Milk

In a rare case, an 11-month-old infant in Spain developed scurvy because the only food he ate was an almond-based baby formula that didn't have vitamin C, according to a new report of his case. After a few months, the child's symptoms improved, his vitamin C levels were normal and he began walking, the report said.

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