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Showing posts from February 24, 2016

Unexpected Stop for Marijuana Tourists? The Emergency Room

A phenomenon called "marijuana tourism" may be leading to an uptick in marijuana-related emergency-room visits in Colorado, one of the few states where recreational use of the drug is legal, a new report finds. Since it became legal to sell marijuana in Colorado in 2014, the number of emergency-room visits possibly related to marijuana has increased more among out-of-state residents, compared with Colorado residents, according to the report. The data match what doctors have been reporting seeing, anecdotally, in emergency rooms, said Dr. Howard Kim, an emergency medicine physician at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, and an author of the report.

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SpaceX delays launch, ocean-landing try until Thursday due to weather

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - SpaceX on Wednesday postponed for at least 24 hours the scheduled Florida launch of a Falcon 9 rocket on a satellite-delivery mission and attempted return-landing at sea because of poor weather conditions, a company official said. Blast-off of the 23-story-tall booster and its payload, a SES-9 communications satellite, was rescheduled for 6:46 p.m. EST/2346 GMT on Thursday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, SpaceX said. The flight would be the second of more than 12 planned this year by Space Exploration Technologies, the private rocket launch service owned and operated by high-tech entrepreneur Elon Musk.


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Space projects lured $1.8 billion in venture capital last year: report

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Venture capital groups invested $1.8 billion in commercial space startups in 2015, more than in the last 15 years combined, a report by aerospace consultants the Tauri Group shows. The lion’s share of the 2015 space investments was a $1 billion round of financing for Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, founded and overseen by technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, who also runs Tesla Motors Inc. “The year 2015 was a record-setting year for space ventures, with investment and debt financing of $2. ...


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Apollo 10 astronauts heard 'outer space' music during 1969 moon mission

Apollo 10 astronauts heard what they described as "outer space type music" during their historic mission around the dark side of the moon in 1969, according to a NASA audio tape. Crew members Eugene Cernan and John Young discuss the odd whistling sound in the tape that was confidential in 1969 at the height of the space race with the Soviet Union. NASA said the tape, which was featured on the U.S. Science cable network earlier this week, was made publicly available since 1973. A NASA engineer said the unusual sound was interference between the module and the mission command center's radios.

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This Sugar May Be New Weapon Against Fructose

This could be the implication of a new study on mice revealing that a natural sugar called trehalose prevents a diet high in fructose, or fruit sugar, from causing fatty liver disease. "In general, if you feed a mouse a high-sugar diet, it gets a fatty liver," said Dr. Brian DeBosch, a pediatric gastroenterologist at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, who led the study. The mice given the trehalose also had lower body weights at the end of the study and lower levels of circulating cholesterol, fatty acids and triglycerides, than the control mice not give the water, DeBosch added.

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The Science Behind Hitler's Possible Micropenis 

History buffs know that Adolf Hitler had an undescended testicle, but a new review of his medical records suggests that der Führer also had other genital problems, including a condition called a micropenis. In fact, Hitler had a slew of below-the-belt problems, according to the new book, "Hitler's Last Day: Minute by Minute," (Short Books Ltd, 2015), by historians Jonathan Mayo and Emma Craigie. After reading Hitler's medical records, they said they found evidence that Hitler had a condition called penile hypospadias, in which the opening to the urethra is not at the tip of the penis, but either somewhere along the shaft or at its base, according to news reports.

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Kalamazoo Shooting: When Is a Person Brain Dead?

But based upon the possibility that Kopf could die from her injuries, at the request of and with the permission of her parents, the team treating Kopf contacted an organ donation organization, Dr. Aaron Lane-Davies, the medical director of Bronson Children's Hospital in Kalamazoo, where Kopf is being treated, said in a statement. In the statement emailed from a hospital spokeswoman to Live Science today, Lane-Davies said that the treatment team had not yet begun to conduct a series of exams that is used to determine whether a person is brain dead. Kopf was not declared brain dead, he said.

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Bird brain? Dodos were not so dumb after all

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The dodo is an extinct flightless bird whose name has become synonymous with stupidity. Scientists said on Wednesday they figured out the dodo's brain size and structure based on an analysis of a well-preserved skull from a museum collection. The research suggests the dodo, rather than being stupid, boasted at least the same intelligence as its fellow members of the pigeon and dove family.


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13 Dead Bald Eagles Prompt Investigation, $10,000 Reward

Thirteen bald eagles were found dead recently in Maryland, prompting officials to offer a reward of up to $10,000 for information about what happened to the federally protected birds of prey. Bald eagles were listed as an endangered species in the lower 48 states after the birds nearly went extinct in the 1960s.

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To Make a Moon Village, Think Beyond Science and Engineering (Op-Ed)

Tomoya Mori is a senior at Brown University pursuing interdisciplinary studies in space exploration, multimedia and education. "Been there, done that." President Barack Obama famously used that line to help shift the world's attention from the moon to Mars as a space destination in recent years, though the debate on where to go next continues. It goes beyond the realm of science and engineering, the two fields often considered the core of space exploration, and include politics, law, architecture, business and design.


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Body Bioelectronics: 5 Technologies that Could Flex with You

As "smart" electronics get smaller and softer, scientists are developing new medical devices that could be applied to — or in some cases, implanted in — our bodies. We want to solve the mismatch between rigid wafer-based electronics and the soft, dynamic human body, said Nanshu Lu, an assistant professor of aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics at the University of Texas at Austin. Lu, who previously studied with John Rogers, a soft-materials and electronics expert at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, focuses her research on stretchable bioelectronics.


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How Cuckoos Lay Deceptive Blue Eggs: It's in Their Genes

Now, scientists at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have solved one piece of the egg puzzle: The gene that causes cuckoos to lay blue eggs is determined by the mother alone. "The enigma for scientists is the distinct colors and patterns of eggs mimicking different host species," said lead study author Frode Fossøy, a research scientist in the Department of Biology at NTNU. Male birds have ZZ and females have ZW, and so the gene for blue eggs could be carried on the Z chromosome, the researchers said.


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Kinky Spiders: Males Tie Up Partners During Sex

By restraining their partners, male spiders reduce their chances of falling victim to sexual cannibalism, a new study finds. Prior studies described the male spider's unusual mating behavior — wrapping silk around the female's legs before and during copulation — and the scientists wondered if longer legs would help males restrain their hungry mates, leaving the guys more likely to survive cannibalism sparked during the throes of passion. In some insect and spider species, sex can be a deadly roll of the dice for males, carrying the possibility that their female partners may suddenly identify them as a convenient postcoital snack.


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Dodo Birds Weren't 'Dodos' After All

Dodos weren't as dumb as their reputation suggests. New research finds that these extinct, flightless birds were likely as smart as modern pigeons, and had a better sense of smell. Dodos (Raphus cucullatus) had gone extinct by 1662, less than 100 years after their island home of Mauritius became a destination for Dutch explorers.


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SpaceX set to launch satellite, then try to land rocket on ocean platform

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was being readied for launch from Florida on Wednesday on a mission to thrust a European satellite toward orbit and then attempt a return touchdown on an ocean platform, company officials said. The 23-story-tall rocket, carrying a commercial communications satellite for Luxembourg-based SES SA, was scheduled to blast off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 6:46 p.m. EST/2346 GMT. The flight would be the second of more than 12 planned this year by Space Exploration Technologies, the private rocket launch service owned and operated by high-tech entrepreneur Elon Musk.


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'Warm Blob' Caused Wild Climate Swings During Last Ice Age

A "warm blob" of surface water played a role in Greenland's wild climate swings during the last ice age, a new study finds. Greenland's climate flipped quickly and brutally from cold to warm and back again 25 times between about 20,000 and 70,000 years ago, ice cores and ocean sediments show. The abrupt climate swings, called Dansgaard-Oeschger events, involved extreme changes in average temperature.


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Powerful Laser Could Blast Spacecraft to Mars in 3 Days (Video)

It sounds like science fiction, but it's eminently possible, researchers say: Robotic spacecraft could get to Mars after a journey of just three days. The key to making this happen is photon propulsion, which would use a powerful laser to accelerate spacecraft to relativistic speeds, said Philip Lubin, a physics professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. "There are recent advances which take this from science fiction to science reality," Lubin said at the 2015 NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) fall symposium last October.


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