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Showing posts from March 22, 2016

3-D printer, 'Gecko Grippers' head to space station

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket loaded with supplies and science experiments blasted off from Florida on Tuesday, boosting an Orbital ATK cargo capsule toward the International Space Station. United Launch Alliance is a partnership of Lockheed Martin and Boeing. Perched on top of the rocket was a Cygnus capsule loaded with nearly 7,500 pounds (3,400 kg) of food, science experiments and equipment including a 3-D printer to build tools for astronauts and non-stick grippers modeled after gecko feet.

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New 3D View of Richard III's Humble Grave Revealed

Richard III's lost skeleton was discovered under a parking lot in Leicester in 2012. In honor of this one-year anniversary, the University of Leicester has released a digital 3D model of Richard III's original grave.


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Beetle's chemical signal tells mate, 'Honey, I'm not in the mood'

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - When a female "burying beetle" is focused on caring for babies and not making new ones, she releases a chemical signal to her libidinous mate that says in no uncertain terms, "Honey, I'm not in the mood." Scientists described on Tuesday how these females employ an anti-aphrodisiac chemical known as a pheromone during a three-day period critical for raising offspring to tell the male she is temporary infertile and prevent him from trying to copulate. It provides insight into how animals change their behavior to provide care for their young, in this instance favoring parenting over sexual activity to produce new offspring. "Our study helps to understand animal family life and how it is coordinated between family members," said biologist Sandra Steiger of Germany's University of Ulm, who led the study published in the journal Nature Communications.


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High Anxiety Risk in Adolescence Linked to One Gene

Anxiety disorders often emerge in adolescence, when the brain goes through massive changes and new genes are expressed. Now, researchers have found a gene that may be a factor in the general peak of anxiety during this time. They also found that carrying a common version of this gene may protect people from anxiety.

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New Patch Analyzes Sweat to Detect Blood Sugar Levels

A stick-on patch that tracks, and even regulates, blood sugar levels could be used by people with diabetes one day, according to a new study. Unlike finger pricking — the traditional method of monitoring levels of the blood sugar glucose — the new patch detects the levels of glucose in a person's sweat. Research has shown that glucose levels in sweat accurately reflect glucose levels in the blood, the researchers said.

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'Boaty McBoatface' Tops Poll to Name Polar Research Vessel

"Name our ship!" This was the call from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) in an online poll soliciting names for a U.K. polar research vessel. The whimsical suggestion captured the public imagination and rocketed the humorous moniker into first place, trouncing even recommendations honoring beloved British icons like Sir Richard Attenborough and recently deceased musician David Bowie. The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) currently boasts two polar research vessels — a stately pair of ships named for famed arctic explorers: the Royal Research Ship (RRS) James Clark Ross, used primarily for conducting oceanographic research, and the RRS Ernest Shackleton, which transports cargo, passengers and fuel to polar research destinations.


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Pharaoh Ramesses III Killed by Multiple Assailants, Radiologist Says

The New Kingdom Pharaoh Ramesses III was assassinated by multiple assailants — and given postmortem cosmetic surgery to improve his mummy's appearance. Those are some of the new tidbits on ancient Egyptian royalty detailed in a new book by Egyptologist Zahi Hawass and Cairo University radiologist Sahar Saleem, "Scanning the Pharaohs: CT Imaging of the New Kingdom Royal Mummies" (American University in Cairo Press, 2016). Hawass and Saleem studied royal mummies from the 18th to 20th dynasties of Egypt, spanning from about 1543 B.C. to 1064 B.C. Rulers during this period included famous names like Hatshepsut, Thutmose III, Tutankhamun, Seti I and the murdered Ramesses III. Previously, Hawass and colleagues had reported that Ramesses III's throat was slit, likely killing him instantly.


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'Boaty McBoatface' Controversy: How Ships Get Named

"Name our ship!" This was the call from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) in an online poll soliciting names for a U.K. polar research vessel. And the Internet responded in the most predictable way possible: The people have spoken — and the name they want is "Boaty McBoatface."


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DNA data storage could last thousands of years

By Matthew and Stock Researchers in Switzerland have developed a method for writing vast amounts of information in DNA and storing it inside a synthetic fossil, potentially for thousands of years. In past centuries, books and scrolls preserved the knowledge of our ancestors, even though they were prone to damage and disintegration. In the digital era, most of humanity's collective knowledge is stored on servers and hard drives. But these have a limited lifespan and need constant maintenance. ...

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