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Showing posts from March 25, 2016

You're Surrounded: New Tech Unleashing 3D Audio

David Pedigo is the senior director of learning & emerging trends at CEDIA. With movies like "Mockingjay: Part 2," "Sicario" and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," we're becoming genuinely immersed in the action of these films through a new approach to audio.


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6 of the World's Best Cities to Be a Scientific Genius

More than a backdrop to innovation, certain cities in the United States and around the world have emerged as active innovation centers, where forward-thinking public and private-sector investment is focused on attracting scientists and other innovators to live and work in the region. Do you live in a global innovation hub?

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With the Right 'Words,' Science Can Pull Anyone In (Op-Ed)

Paul Sutter is an astrophysicist at The Ohio State University and the chief scientist at COSI Science Center. Sutter is also host of the podcasts Ask a Spaceman and RealSpace, and the YouTube series Space In Your Face. The language that physicists and astronomers use to describe the natural world around us and the vast cosmos above us is just that — mathematics.


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Isaac Newton's Recipe for Magical 'Philosopher's Stone' Rediscovered

One of Isaac Newton's 17th-century alchemy manuscripts, buried in a private collection for decades, reveals his recipe for a material thought to be a step toward concocting the magical philosopher's stone. The "philosopher's stone" was a mythical substance that alchemists believed had magical properties and could even help humans achieve immortality. The manuscript turned up at an auction at Bonhams in Pasadena, California, on Feb. 16, where the Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) in Philadelphia bought it.

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Tiny Artificial Life: Lab-Made Bacterium Sports Smallest Genome Yet

An artificial bacterial genome with the smallest number of genes needed for life has been created in a lab, opening the way for creating synthetic organisms with customized sets of genes aimed at specific tasks, such as eating oil. The newly created bacterium, which can metabolize nutrients and self-replicate (divide and reproduce), brings the team one step closer to building custom artificial life with particular functionalities, they said. The artificial bacterium has only 473 genes, compared with the thousands that exist in wild bacteria.


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Couples' Caffeine Use Linked to Higher Risk of Miscarriage

Couples who wish to get pregnant may want to avoid caffeine because it's associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, a new study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests. But women's caffeine consumption wasn't the only factor: Among couples in which the male partner drank more than two caffeinated beverages daily before conception, there was a 73 percent higher risk of a miscarriage, according to the study.

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Heart Attack Patients Are Getting Younger, and Sicker

People who experience the most severe type of heart attack have become younger and more obese in the past two decades, according to a new study. This group is also increasingly more likely to smoke, and to have high blood pressure and diabetes, all of which are preventable risk factors for a heart attack, the researchers found. "On the whole, the medical community has done an outstanding job of improving treatments for heart disease, but this study shows that we have to do better on the prevention side," study co-author Dr. Samir Kapadia, an interventional cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic, said in a statement.

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Zika Virus Was in Brazil a Year Before It Was Detected

The Zika virus was likely circulating in Brazil for more than a year before it was detected, according to a new genetic analysis of a small number of Zika samples from Brazil. Airline data from that time show an upsurge in the number of people traveling to the country, particularly from areas where Zika was circulating. The findings suggest that, contrary to previous speculations, fans who attended the FIFA World Cup or a championship canoe race, held in Brazil in 2014, aren't to blame for bringing the virus into the country.

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Women with Oral HPV Also Usually Have Vaginal HPV

Infections with the human papillomavirus (HPV) in the mouth or throat are not common, but a new study finds that about three-quarters of women who do have an oral HPV infection also have a vaginal HPV infection. The study also found that women who'd had two or more oral sex partners in the past year were three times more likely to have both oral and vaginal infections with the same strain of HPV (called a concordant infection) than women who'd had no oral sex partners in the past year. The findings support the "genital-oral transmission theory," the researchers said, in which an HPV infection of the genitals is transmitted to the mouth or throat through oral sex.

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Exercise May Stave Off Cognitive Decline

Older people who exercise may experience a slower rate of cognitive decline than those who don't exercise, according to a new study. The people in the study who did not exercise at all or who exercised very little experienced a decline in their memory and thinking skills equal to 10 extra years of cognitive aging compared with the people who were more physically active. "More and more evidence is suggesting that exercise is good for the brain, and in this observational study, we found that people who were more active declined less on certain tests than people who were less active," said study co-author Dr. Clinton B. Wright, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Miami in Florida.

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Is 'Cat Litter' Parasite Making You a Rageaholic?

Uncontrollable, explosive bouts of anger such a road rage might be the result of an earlier brain infection from the toxoplasmosis parasite, an organism found in cat feces, a new study finds. In the study of more than 350 adults, those with a psychiatric disorder called Intermittent Explosive Disorder, or IED, were twice as likely to have been infected by the toxoplasmosis parasite compared with healthy individuals with no psychiatric diagnosis. The study adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that toxoplasmosis — usually a mild or nonsymptomatic infection from a protozoan parasite called Toxoplasma gondii — may somehow alter people's brain chemistry to cause long-term behavior problems.

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Debris Belongs to Doomed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, Experts Say

Two pieces of plane debris discovered in Mozambique very likely belong to the doomed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which went missing two years ago en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, the Australian government announced today (March 24). The Malaysian investigation team for MH370 reported that the pieces, which were discovered Feb. 27, are consistent with panels from a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft, said Darren Chester, the Australian minister for infrastructure and transport. "The analysis has concluded the debris is almost certainly from MH370," Chester said in a statement.


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Print Your Hike! 3D Keepsakes Memorialize Mountain Conquests

Hikers who have conquered some of the most challenging trails and want to show off these accomplishments can now memorialize their impressive feats in stunning 3D-printed sculptures made from their GPS tracks. Nice Trails, a project started by Oscar Ardaiz, a computer science Ph.D. candidate based in Barcelona, Spain, creates models, or "trophies," that visualize GPS-tracked hiking trails, cycling trails or other mountainous routes in three dimensions. A user can simply upload and save a GPS track to the project's website, and Nice Trails will create a 3D-printed replica of the path and the surrounding terrain.


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Dracula Science: How Long Does It Take for a Vampire to Drain Blood?

A team of university students recently combined vampire lore with the study of fluid dynamics — the physics of how liquid behaves — to find out. Their findings, timed to commemorate the 85th anniversary of the classic vampire film "Dracula" (1931), were published online in the 2015 issue of the University of Leicester's Journal of Physics Special Topics. The student researchers considered how long a vampire could sip from a human host — easily accessed by a bite to the neck — before blood loss would trigger changes in heart rate, based on average blood pressure and the velocity of blood flow in the external carotid artery, the main avenue for blood traveling away from the heart.


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Live Sumatran Rhino Captured in Indonesia

A live Sumatran rhinoceros has been captured in the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo, a region where these critically endangered animals were thought to be extinct. A single camera-trap image and telltale footprints found in 2013 had previously revealed that Sumatran rhinos (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) still survived in Kalimantan, which makes up the southern 73 percent of Borneo. Conservation groups estimate that fewer than 100 Sumatran rhinos are left in the wild, most of which live on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, located west of Borneo.


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Mystery of Long-Lost Navy Tugboat Is Solved

The disappearance of the U.S. Navy tugboat USS Conestoga 95 years ago has stymied experts for nearly a century. The tugboat and its crew of 56 officers and sailors were last seen on March 25, 1921, when the Conestoga departed Mare Island Naval Shipyard in California on its way to American Samoa. But yesterday (March 23), the location of the Conestoga finally came to light.


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