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Showing posts from March 15, 2016

One boy, two girls win Intel U.S. Talent Search

The winners in three categories - basic research, global good and innovation - will each receive $150,000, it said in a statement. Amol Punjabi, 17, of Marlborough, Massachusetts, won the basic research category for developing software that may help drug makers to create new cancer and heart disease therapies.

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Baby seal bred at Japanese aquarium

A newborn baby seal has won over a legion of fans, wriggling its way to the hearts of visitors at an aquarium in Japan. Born on Feb. 21, the seal is the second ringed seal to be bred at Kamogawa Sea World. "I wish I could just keep on watching it here for a long time," teacher Yuka Matsuoka, 38, said during a visit to the aquarium.

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Drone meets blimp for crowd-friendly

A new breed of unmanned aerial vehicle that is safe to fly at close proximity to crowds has been developed by a spin-off team from Swiss university ETH Zurich. The helium-filled flying machine, known as Skye, combines the manoeuvrability of a traditional quadcopter with the energy efficiency of a blimp.     The makers say their safe and 'friendly' drone offers a new and innovative way for brands to interact with their audiences in public settings. Where current advertising is often limited to displays and billboards, Skye can float safely around and interact with people.     "It's a unique flying machine which is safe enough to interact with.

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Squirrels show flexibility and persistence when foraging

University of Exeter researchers have found that grey squirrels foraging for food are happy to take their time if it means getting a more nourishing meal.     The study showed that the medium-sized rodents demonstrate persistence and flexibility in order to find nourishment, while higher behavioural selectivity -  the proportion of effective behaviours used - is directly related to more efficient problem solving among the creatures. Study authors suggest that the squirrels demonstrate distinct personality traits in their food finding behaviour.     Co-author Dr Lisa Leaver told Reuters the successful invasion of the grey squirrel across Europe make it a fascinating creature for animal behaviourists to observe.     "They're interesting to us because they have particular specialisations for catching food," she said.

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Spines and Genital Warfare: How Neil deGrasse Tyson Got Sex Wrong

On March 11, astrophysicist and "Cosmos" host Neil deGrasse Tyson tweeted what was perhaps meant as an amusing quip, but instead served up a dismaying animal biology fail. "If there were ever a species for whom sex hurt, it surely went extinct long ago," Tyson tweeted. The idea that sex must be pleasurable in order for a species to be successful is, quite simply, not how evolution works, as a number of science writers and biologists on Twitter were quick to point out.


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Trump's Broken Speech Appeals to the Masses

But there may be a good reason why this seeming incoherence hasn't hurt Trump in the Republican run for the presidential nomination: Trump's talk mirrors typical conversation, bolstering his status as an honest outsider. "[Trump's] unique rhetorical style may come off as incoherent and unintelligible when we compare it with the organized structure of other candidates' answers," Georgetown University linguist Jennifer Sclafani told Live Science. In a December post, Liberman excerpted a sample of an interview with Trump in which he was asked how to defeat the Islamic State group.

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Toad-Eating Spider Named for Famed Physicist

A spindly toad-eating spider that creates vibrational waves on the water's surface in order to navigate and capture prey has been discovered in Brisbane, Australia, scientists announced at the World Science Festival last week. They named the fish-eating spider Dolomedes briangreenei after theoretical physicist Brian Greene, who is also co-founder of the World Science Festival where the spider was described. "It's wonderful that this beautiful native spider, which relies on waves for its very survival, has found a namesake in a man who is one of the world's leading experts in exploring and explaining the effects of waves in our universe," Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in an emailed statement, referring to gravitational waves, or ripples in the very fabric of space-time.


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From Brains to Brawn: How T. Rex Became King of the Dinosaurs

The skull of a horse-size dinosaur, a distant relative of the colossal Tyrannosaurus rex, suggests that braininess was behind the beast's rise to dominance millions of years ago. The dinosaur fossils, discovered in the desert of Uzbekistan, suggest that although early tyrannosaurs were small animals, they had advanced brains, said study lead researcher Steve Brusatte, a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom. "Tyrannosaurs got smart before they got big, and they got big quickly right at the end of the time of the dinosaurs," Brusatte told Live Science.


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