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Showing posts from March 10, 2016

Scientists find 'good' cholesterol can sometimes be bad

By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - So-called "good" cholesterol may actually increase heart attack risks in some people, researchers said on Thursday, a discovery that casts fresh doubt on drugs designed to raise it. High density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is generally associated with reduced heart risks, since it usually offsets the artery-clogging effects of the low density (LDL) form. "Our results indicate that some causes of raised HDL actually increase risk for heart disease," said lead researcher Daniel Rader of the University of Pennsylvania.

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'MyShake' app, a personal tsunami warning system

It turns out the technology in conventional seismological instrumentation exists in every smartphone on the planet.                                                                             "The idea is if we can harness the accelerometers in those smart phones then we can collect massive amounts of data. It could really revolutionize how we understand earthquakes and earthquake effects," said Richard Allen, the director of the Seismological Laboratory at the University California, Berkeley.  Allen and his team have developed a smartphone app called 'MyShake' designed to monitor a phones accelerometer data and send alerts to a central server when seismic activity registers.   He says accelerometers in phones are nowhere near as sensitive as conventional instrumentation, but what they lack in sensitivity they make up for in numbers.

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New Zika Study Finds Grave Outcomes for Some Pregnant Women

Some pregnant women with Zika virus tend not to fare well, and neither do their fetuses, a new study finds. The researchers studied 88 pregnant women in Rio de Janeiro from September 2015 through February 2016, according to the study, published Friday (March 4) in the The New England Journal of Medicine.

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'MyShake' app, a personal tsunami warning system

It turns out the technology in conventional seismological instrumentation exists in every smartphone on the planet.                                                                             "The idea is if we can harness the accelerometers in those smart phones then we can collect massive amounts of data. It could really revolutionize how we understand earthquakes and earthquake effects," said Richard Allen, the director of the Seismological Laboratory at the University California, Berkeley.  Allen and his team have developed a smartphone app called 'MyShake' designed to monitor a phones accelerometer data and send alerts to a central server when seismic activity registers.   He says accelerometers in phones are nowhere near as sensitive as conventional instrumentation, but what they lack in sensitivity they make up for in numbers.

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Scientists find 'good' cholesterol can sometimes be bad

By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - So-called "good" cholesterol may actually increase heart attack risks in some people, researchers said on Thursday, a discovery that casts fresh doubt on drugs designed to raise it. High density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is generally associated with reduced heart risks, since it usually offsets the artery-clogging effects of the low density (LDL) form. "Our results indicate that some causes of raised HDL actually increase risk for heart disease," said lead researcher Daniel Rader of the University of Pennsylvania.

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New 'LightningStrike' Plane Will Take Off, Hover & Land Vertically

DARPA, the government agency charged with developing new military technologies, awarded a contract to Aurora Flight Sciences Corp. to design a new vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft, the company announced March 3. Aurora was one of four companies competing in the first phase of DARPA's VTOL Experimental Plane (X-Plane) program. The other competing companies were The Boeing Co., Karem Aircraft Inc., and Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., according to DARPA.


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Robots welcome visitors to Berlin travel fair

By Victoria Bryan BERLIN (Reuters) - Chihira Kanae is greeting visitors to the world's biggest travel fair in Berlin this week, answering questions and guiding people in the right direction. The Marriott hotel in Ghent has been trialling Mario, using him to hand out room keys, high-five guests and liven up meetings held in the hotel by reading out presentations.


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Africa must spend more on science research to halt brain drain, lift growth - scientists

By Kieran Guilbert DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A lack of investment in science is stunting Africa's growth, driving engineers, researchers and scientists abroad and depriving the continent of billions of dollars each year, the founder of a landmark conference said on Thursday. Africa loses $4 billion a year by outsourcing jobs in science, technology, engineering and maths, the so-called STEM fields, to foreign professionals, said Thierry Zomahoun, chairman and founder of the Next Einstein Forum (NEF). ...

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How Often Do Big Fireballs Blaze Up in Earth's Sky?

A fireball exploded over the south Atlantic Ocean on Feb. 6 in the most powerful such event since February 2013, when a similar "airburst" injured more than 1,200 people in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk. Meteors burn up in Earth's atmosphere every day, but most are small and therefore fly completely under the radar. Fireballs as dramatic as the Feb. 6 event — which was caused by an object estimated to be 16 to 23 feet (5 to 7 meters) wide — occur about once every two to three years, according to Peter Brown, a professor at the University of Western Ontario in Canada and a member of the Western Meteor Physics Group.


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Ancient Roman Tavern Found Littered with Patrons' Drinking Bowls

One of France's earliest-known Roman taverns is still littered with drinking bowls and animal bones, even though more than 2,000 years have passed since it served patrons, a new archaeological study finds. The finding is a valuable one, said study co-researcher Benjamin Luley, a visiting assistant professor of anthropology and classics at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. Before the Romans invaded the south of France, in 125 B.C., a culture speaking the Celtic language lived there and practiced its own customs.


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Ripe Old Age: SeaWorld's Killer Whale Tilikum Near Death at 35

The killer whale named Tilikum, who made headlines after killing his trainer at SeaWorld in 2010, has a respiratory infection that may ultimately take the orca's life, at age 35. Tilikum's health has declined during the past few weeks, likely because of a drug-resistant bacterial infection in his lungs, officials said. "Tilikum's behavior has become increasingly lethargic, and the SeaWorld veterinary and animal care teams are concerned that his health is beginning to deteriorate," SeaWorld Cares said in the statement.


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Stephen Hawking joins 150 top scientists calling for Britain to stay in EU

Stephen Hawking has joined more than 150 top scientists in calling for Britain to stay in the European Union, saying that leaving would be "a disaster for UK science and universities". The physicist and other members of the Royal Society, including three Nobel laureates, made the case against Brexit, as leaving is widely called, in a letter to The Times on Thursday.


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Stephen Hawking joins 150 top scientists calling for Britain to stay in EU

LONDON (Reuters) - Stephen Hawking has joined more than 150 top scientists in calling for Britain to stay in the European Union, saying that leaving would be "a disaster for UK science and universities". The physicist and other members of the Royal Society, including three Nobel laureates, made the case against Brexit, as leaving is widely called, in a letter to The Times on Thursday. They argued that losing EU links would be devastating for research on two fronts. ...

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