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Showing posts from March 18, 2016

Homo sapiens' sex with extinct species was no one-night stand

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Our species, Homo sapiens, has a more adventurous sexual history than previously realized, and all that bed-hopping long ago has left an indelible mark on the human genome. People living on the remote equatorial islands of Melanesia represented the only population found to possess an appreciable level of Denisovan genetic ancestry. Many are involved in the immune system and likely helped protect against pathogens, and some play important roles in skin and hair biology, said University of Washington evolutionary geneticist Joshua Akey, who helped lead the study published in the journal Science.


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Homo sapiens' sex with extinct species was no one-night stand

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Our species, Homo sapiens, has a more adventurous sexual history than previously realized, and all that bed-hopping long ago has left an indelible mark on the human genome. People living on the remote equatorial islands of Melanesia represented the only population found to possess an appreciable level of Denisovan genetic ancestry. Many are involved in the immune system and likely helped protect against pathogens, and some play important roles in skin and hair biology, said University of Washington evolutionary geneticist Joshua Akey, who helped lead the study published in the journal Science.


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U.S., Russian crew blast off toward space station

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - A NASA astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts blasted off on Friday for a six-hour ride to the International Space Station, a NASA TV broadcast showed. A Russian Soyuz capsule carrying U.S. astronaut Jeff Williams and cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 5:26 p.m. EDT (2126 GMT).


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Guinea No Longer Free of Ebola: 2 New Cases

Two new cases of Ebola have been confirmed in Guinea, the first in the country since it was declared Ebola-free in late December, according to the World Health Organization. Family members of the deceased were tested for Ebola, and two people — a woman and her 5-year-old son — tested positive for the disease, WHO said in a statement. Guinea's Ebola outbreak was declared over on Dec. 29, 2015, but officials said they expected that additional, small outbreaks of the disease would still occur in Guinea and the two other West African countries — Liberia and Sierra Leone — where the outbreak raged for two years.

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Over 100 Zika Cases Confirmed in US, CDC Says

More than 100 cases of Zika virus have been confirmed in the United States, a new report finds. The 116 residents who have now tested positive for the virus include one infant who was born with severe microcephaly, according to the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All 116 cases of Zika were confirmed by lab tests at the CDC.

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U.S., Russian crew poised to launch to space station

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - A NASA astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts were preparing to head for the International Space Station in a Russian Soyuz rocket on Friday as replacements for a crew that ended a year-long flight earlier this month. U.S. astronaut Jeff Williams and cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin are scheduled to blast off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 5:26 p.m. EDT (2126 GMT). NASA and Russia have not yet assigned crews for additional year-long missions following the March 1 return of astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko from a 340-day spaceflight.


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Homo sapiens' sex with extinct species was no one-night stand

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Our species, Homo sapiens, has a more adventurous sexual history than previously realized, and all that bed-hopping long ago has left an indelible mark on the human genome. People living on the remote equatorial islands of Melanesia represented the only population found to possess an appreciable level of Denisovan genetic ancestry. Many are involved in the immune system and likely helped protect against pathogens, and some play important roles in skin and hair biology, said University of Washington evolutionary geneticist Joshua Akey, who helped lead the study published in the journal Science.


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Roaring & Soaring: New Exhibit Explores the Dinosaur-Bird Connection

"With this new exhibition, we invite visitors to question what they think they know about dinosaurs — how they looked and behaved and even whether all of them actually became extinct," Ellen Futter, president of the AMNH, said in a statement. Their research shows that the roughly 18,000 known species of birds belong to the group Dinosauria, which includes extinct dinosaurs and their living descendants.


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Drawn to Safety: Doodles Could Secure Your Phone

Soon, you might be able to ditch all of them and unlock your phone, apps and accounts with a doodle. Researchers have found that doodle passwords created on touch screens using free-form gestures were easier to remember than typed-out passwords. Researchers tested software that allowed users to create passwords by drawing any type of shape on their phones' touch screens, using either one or two fingers.


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Alien of the Deep: 'Winged' Green-Eyed Creature Stuns Fishermen

Some fish look odd, but a mysterious, green-eyed fish recently pulled out of Nova Scotia's waters is downright bizarre. Scott Tanner was about 30 days into a 42-day fishing trip when he spotted the freaky fish. "Everybody was just like, 'Wow, that's weird, never seen one of those before,'" said Tanner, who is a fisherman from Nova Scotia.


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Marijuana May Help Cancer Patients, But Questions Remain

Marijuana could potentially help cancer patients who have nausea or pain, and could possibly even be used as a treatment for certain cancers, but much more research is needed before any of these uses could be recommended, a new review article said. There is promising research on marijuana use in the field of cancer medicine, but many of the studies that have been done are outdated, looked at only a small number of people or were conducted in animals, said Dr. Tina Rizack, a co-author of the review and an oncologist at Women & Infants Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. For now, the drug isn't recommended as a first-line treatment for any cancer or cancer-related side effect, but as legalization of, access to and research on marijuana increases, this may change, the researchers said.

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Living with Your Partner? No Problem, More Americans Say

The survey reflects changes in behavior that have been going on for some time, said Paula England, a professor of sociology at New York University. Wendy Manning, a professor of sociology at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, agreed. These results are not entirely surprising, because they're following general trends, Manning told Live Science.

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Do Sit-Stand Desks Improve Workers' Fitness?

Desks that let you sit down or stand up to work may be a trendy piece of office furniture, but the health benefits of these desks are largely unproven, a new Cochrane Review study suggests. The researchers found that there's not yet much high-quality evidence to support the widespread use of these popular desks, which let you adjust the height of the work surface so that you can either sit or stand. From the six studies done on sit-stand desks included in the review, the researchers concluded that workers who used them logged from 30 minutes to 2 hours less sitting time per day than their colleagues who used conventional desks.

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Watch 6 Teensy Robots Pull a 2-Ton Car

"They use a synthetic gecko adhesive that is turned on when a shear force is applied, and then turned off as soon as it released," said David Christensen, a mechanical engineering doctoral candidate at Stanford University in California, who helped design the robots. The "μ-tugs" (pronounced MicroTugs) are named after the Greek letter "mu" that denotes the coefficient of friction in physics. The robots' adhesive force "behaves more like friction from a user perspective, except the force available is much, much, much larger than friction would be," Christensen told Live Science in an email.


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