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Showing posts from February 18, 2016

Branson's Virgin Galactic moves to return to space race

By Irene Klotz LONG BEACH, Calif. (Reuters) - Richard Branson said on Thursday his Virgin Galactic venture is eager to rejoin the race among rival billionaire entrepreneurs to send passengers and satellites into space, following a deadly accident 16 months ago. “To have three or four people who are fairly entrepreneurial competing with each other means we’ll be able to open up space at a fraction of the price that governments have been able to do so in the past,” Branson told Reuters as he toured Virgin Galactic’s 150,000-square-foot LauncherOne rocket design and manufacturing plant in Long Beach, California. On Friday, Virgin Galactic plans to unveil its new SpaceShipTwo, a six-passenger, two-pilot winged space plane designed to take thrill-seekers, researchers and commercial customers on five-minute hops into suborbital space, reaching altitudes of about 62 miles (100 km).


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Here's How Many Americans Actually Sleep 7 Hours

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which conducted the study, recommends that adults ages 18 to 60 get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Too little sleep increases the risk for a number of health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and frequent mental distress, the CDC said. The new findings suggest "an ongoing need for public awareness and public education about sleep health," the report said.

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Medieval Shipwreck Hauled from the Deep

The boat was likely deliberately sunk by maritime engineers more than 600 years ago in an effort to alter the flow of the Ijssel River, an offshoot of the mighty Rhine River that flows through six European countries. The trading ship sailed at a time when the Hanseatic League, a group of guilds that fostered trade across Europe, dominated the seas. The boat was first discovered in 2012 at the river bottom during efforts to widen the flow of the Ijssel River.


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Fertile Crescent? Neanderthals & Humans Likely Bred in the Mideast

Neanderthals and modern humans may have interbred much earlier than thought, with ancient liaisons potentially taking place in the Middle East, researchers say. This finding supports the idea that some modern humans left Africa long before the ancestors of modern Europeans and Asians migrated out of Africa, scientists added. The Neanderthals were once the closest relatives of modern humans, living in Europe and Asia until they went extinct about 40,000 years ago.


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1st Case of Cancer in Naked Mole Rats Confirmed

Naked mole rats are renowned for their ability to live cancer-free, even when researchers try to induce the disease artificially. For the first time on record, researchers have diagnosed two naked mole rats (Heterocephalus glaber) with cancer. "These cases represent the first formal reports of cancer in the naked mole rat, a rodent species best known for its extreme longevity and apparent resilience to typical health-span-limiting diseases, including cancer," the researchers wrote in the report, published online today (Feb. 17) in the journal Veterinary Pathology.


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Out of Africa, and into the arms of a Neanderthal

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Research showing that our species interbred with Neanderthals some 100,000 years ago is providing intriguing evidence that Homo sapiens ventured out of Africa much earlier than previously thought, although the foray appears to have fizzled. Scientists said on Wednesday an analysis of the genome of a Neanderthal woman whose remains were found in a cave in the Altai Mountains in southern Siberia near the Russia-Mongolia border detected residual DNA from Homo sapiens, a sign of inter-species mating. Previous research had established that Homo sapiens and our close cousins the Neanderthals interbred around 50,000 to 60,000 years ago, said geneticist Sergi Castellano of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany.


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