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Showing posts from March 21, 2016

A vegetarian world would be healthier, cooler and richer - scientists

By Megan Rowling BARCELONA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - By eating less meat and more fruit and vegetables, the world could avoid several million deaths per year by 2050, cut planet-warming emissions substantially, and save billions of dollars annually in healthcare costs and climate damage, researchers said. A new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, is the first to estimate both the health and climate change impacts of a global move towards a more plant-based diet, they said. Unbalanced diets are responsible for the greatest health burden around the world, and our food system produces more than a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, said lead author Marco Springmann of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food.


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Why You Probably Can't Trust Fitness Tracker Calorie Estimates

If you think your fitness tracker isn't telling you the truth about how many calories you've burned, you're probably right — a new study finds that the devices can vary widely in their calorie estimates and tend to underestimate the number of calories burned. The findings "suggest that most wearable devices do not produce a valid measure of total energy expenditure," the researchers wrote in their article. In the study, conducted in Japan, researchers had each of the 19 healthy people wear a whopping 12 fitness trackers (all at the same time) at various places on their waist, chest and wrist.

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This week's space station delivery rich in science and tech

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A space station supply ship is set to blast off Tuesday night with a commercial-quality 3-D printer for astronaut as well as public use — for a price — and the makings for a large-scale fire.


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A vegetarian world would be healthier, cooler and richer: scientists

By Megan Rowling BARCELONA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - By eating less meat and more fruit and vegetables, the world could avoid several million deaths by 2050, cut planet-warming emissions substantially, and save billions of dollars in healthcare costs and climate damage, researchers said. A new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, is the first to estimate both the health and climate change impacts of a global move towards a more plant-based diet, they said. Unbalanced diets are responsible for the greatest health burden around the world, and our food system produces more than a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, said lead author Marco Springmann of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food.

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Sticky, Eagle-Eyed, Explosive Science Prepped for Space Station Launch

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — An unmanned Cygnus cargo spacecraft launching tomorrow (March 22) is ready to lug more up to the International Space Station than ever before, including experiments primed to spy on meteors, 3D print rare parts and start a huge fire. The commercial spacecraft, built by Orbital ATK, is scheduled for launch at 11:05 p.m. EST (0305 on March 23 GMT) and will approach the station for three days before it's snapped up by the space station's robotic arm. Then, the space station crew will begin to unload the fresh crop of supplies and experiments - nearly 3.5 tons of new gear for the orbiting laboratory.


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Hand Jive: High-Tech Glove Turns Gestures into Music

The glove, called the Remidi T8 wearable instrument, is loaded with pressure-sensitive sensors along the fingertips and palm. Users of the glove will be able to compose music, play and perform on the go, said Mark DeMay, co-founder and chief technology officer at Remidi. It can be thought of as a wearable MIDI controller, DeMay said, referring to the music synthesizers found in recording studios that let producers combine tracks, tweak vocals and adjust tempos.

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Carbon emissions highest in 66 million years, since dinosaur age

By Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) - The rate of carbon emissions is higher than at any time in fossil records stretching back 66 million years to the age of the dinosaurs, according to a study on Monday that sounds an alarm about risks to nature from man-made global warming. Scientists wrote that the pace of emissions even eclipses the onset of the biggest-known natural surge in fossil records, 56 million years ago, that was perhaps driven by a release of frozen stores of greenhouse gases beneath the seabed.


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Male Birth Control: What's Known, What's Not Known, What's Next (Op-Ed)

Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt is co-director of The Personalized Urology & Robotics (PUR) Clinic at South Lake Hospital, in affiliation with Orlando Health. In the next few years, men may have more options for birth control than  ever before. Researchers are developing, and already testing, a number of new methods in China and India, and in Europe, an implantable on/off switch developed by a German carpenter is generating a lot of buzz.


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Stop Attacking Scientists for Reporting the Truth on Climate Change (Op-Ed)

Rush Holt is CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and executive publisher of Science and its family of journals. Chris Field is director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology and a professor for interdisciplinary environmental studies at Stanford University. In response, the world's nations came together late last year at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris with a commitment to fix the problem.


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The Gravitational Wave Crests: Big Discoveries are Worth the Wait (Op-Ed)

Fleming Crim is assistant director for the NSF Directorate of Mathematical and Physical Sciences. Crim leads a staff of nearly 180 and oversees an annual budget of $1.3 billion, with the directorate supproting core research in astronomy, chemistry, physics, material science and mathematics. Late last month, I testified before the U.S. Congress alongside three leading physicists about a topic largely unknown on Capitol Hill: gravitational waves.


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Exercise May Help Young People with Severe Mental Health Disorders

For young adults who have experienced severe mental health disorders, exercise may help reduce the severity of their symptoms, a new, small study suggests. In the study, researchers looked at 38 adults, ages 18 to 35, who had experienced an episode of psychosis — a serious mental disorder in which a person loses touch with reality and may experience delusions and hallucinations. All of the people were receiving antipsychotic medications and mental health care through early-intervention mental health services in England.

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NY's New Zika Plan Will Include 'Protection Kits' for Pregnant Women

New York state officials have announced a new plan aimed at preventing the transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus or limiting an outbreak if the virus were to arrive in the area. Part of the plan involves trapping and testing thousands of mosquitoes in New York for Zika. Specifically, researchers will monitor the Aedes group of mosquitoes, which are the major carriers of the virus in Central and South America, where the virus is currently spreading.

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Snakes on Planes? Serpents Accelerate Faster Than Fighter Pilots

Snakes can strike faster than the blink of an eye and can reach cheek-jiggling accelerations that would cause a fighter pilot to black out, new high-speed video reveals. Instead, ordinary, nonvenomous constrictors such as rat snakes can often strike as fast as their deadly counterparts. "I was quite shocked to see the short strike durations and high strike accelerations coming from an unassuming, easily found rat snake," said study lead author David Penning, a functional morphology doctoral candidate at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

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DNA from Mysterious 'Denisovans' Helped Modern Humans Survive

Genetic mutations from extinct human relatives called the Denisovans might have influenced modern human immune systems, as well as fat and blood sugar levels, researchers say.


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Goths vs. Greeks: Epic Ancient Battle Revealed in Newfound Text

Fragments of an ancient Greek text telling of an invasion of Greece by the Goths during the third century A.D. have been discovered in the Austrian National Library. The text includes a battle fought at the pass of Thermopylae. Researchers used spectral imaging to enhance the fragments, making it possible to read them.


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