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Showing posts from April 7, 2016

Scientists Nuke a Fake Comet to Create Ingredients for Life

By cooking up a faux comet, scientists have produced the first formation of a key sugar required for life as we know it. By creating ices similar to those detected by the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission, which made the first landing on a comet, scientists were able to produce ribose, a sugar that serves as an important ingredient in RNA, an essential ingredient for life. "There is evidence for an 'RNA world' — an episode of life on Earth during which RNA was the only genetic material," Cornelia Meinert, an associate scientist at the University Nice Sophia Antipolis, told Space.com by email.


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Bad Touch: Intimate Robot Interactions Cause Discomfort

Li and his colleagues Wendy Ju and Byron Reeves at Stanford University will present their findings on June 13 at the annual conference of the International Communication Association in Fukuoka, Japan. Follow us @livescience, Facebook & Google+.


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To help curb climate change, stop wasting food - scientists

By Megan Rowling BARCELONA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Reducing food waste around the world would help curb emissions of planet-warming gases, lessening some of the impacts of climate change such as more extreme weather and rising seas, scientists said on Thursday. Up to 14 percent of emissions from agriculture in 2050 could be avoided by managing food use and distribution better, according to a new study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). "Agriculture is a major driver of climate change, accounting for more than 20 percent of overall global greenhouse gas emissions in 2010," said co-author Prajal Pradhan.


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One Question Could Help Spot Drinking Problems in Teens

One simple question may reveal a lot about a teen's risk of developing an alcohol problem, a new study finds. The study focused on teen alcohol screening, or questions that doctors can ask to flag those who may be at risk for problem drinking. Results showed that one question — how many days they drank in the past year  — was particularly good at spotting those at risk for a drinking problem, which researchers call alcohol use disorder.

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Street Heroin Use Could Be Curbed with Morphine-Like Drug

Heroin addiction is notoriously difficult to overcome, but a new study finds that some people with particularly serious addictions may benefit from treatment with a drug related to morphine. The study, from researchers in Canada, focused on the small portion of people with heroin addiction who have tried and failed to treat their addiction multiple times with existing medications — mainly, the oral medications methadone and buprenorphine — and who continue to use street drugs and engage in illegal activity to obtain the drugs. Among this specific group, treatment with medical-grade heroin has been shown to be effective in reducing illegal heroin use and getting people to stick with treatment.

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Are You Impulsive? Maybe Your Brain Is to Blame

Some people's brain structures may lower their inhibitions and make it easier for them to engage in risky or impulsive behavior, according to a new study. Researchers examined more than 1,200 healthy young adults with no history of psychiatric disorders or substance dependence. "The findings allow us to have a better understanding of how normal variation in brain anatomy in the general population might bias both temperamental characteristics and health behaviors," said Avram Holmes, an assistant professor of psychology and psychiatry at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, who led the study.

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SpaceX's Dragon Is Launching a Huge Science Haul to Space Station Friday

Packed in the Dragon cargo ship, among supplies for the crew, will be a group of fungi that could help scientists develop new medicines, as well as the latest installment in a series of experiments to grow vegetables in space. The cargo also will include live mice that will be part of an experiment that could help scientists develop drugs to prevent muscle degeneration in astronauts or people on Earth. Friday's launch will be SpaceX's eighth mission to the station, as part of NASA's Commercial Resupply Mission.


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Sit Up Straight! How Good Posture Benefits Your Health

Unless you are a ballet dancer or in the military — occupations where poor posture is readily noticed — you probably don't pay much attention to your posture. Posture refers to the preferred biomechanical alignment of the body, said Eric Robertson, director of graduate physical therapy education at Kaiser Permanente of Northern California and a spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association. Good posture is important because it minimizes the excessive force that muscles and joints need to absorb, he said.

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Fetal Tissue Controversy: How These Cells Are Used in Research

Congress wants to know the names of researchers who study fetal tissue, and what exactly they are doing: A House committee has subpoenaed a number of medical organizations for a list of people involved in this research. The committee says it wants "to find out ‘what is going on?’" at organizations that procure and use fetal tissue for research purposes. "This is an invasion of academic freedom, a serious government overreach, and an effort to intimidate scientists who have devoted their careers to helping patients and improving lives," Dr. Mark DeFrancesco, president of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said in a statement on March 30.

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To help curb climate change, stop wasting food: scientists

By Megan Rowling BARCELONA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Reducing food waste around the world would help curb emissions of planet-warming gases, lessening some of the impacts of climate change such as more extreme weather and rising seas, scientists said on Thursday. Up to 14 percent of emissions from agriculture in 2050 could be avoided by managing food use and distribution better, according to a new study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). "Agriculture is a major driver of climate change, accounting for more than 20 percent of overall global greenhouse gas emissions in 2010," said co-author Prajal Pradhan.

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To help curb climate change, stop wasting food: scientists

By Megan Rowling BARCELONA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Reducing food waste around the world would help curb emissions of planet-warming gases, lessening some of the impacts of climate change such as more extreme weather and rising seas, scientists said on Thursday. Up to 14 percent of emissions from agriculture in 2050 could be avoided by managing food use and distribution better, according to a new study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). "Agriculture is a major driver of climate change, accounting for more than 20 percent of overall global greenhouse gas emissions in 2010," said co-author Prajal Pradhan.

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Scientists look at hangers-on amid mass die-off of bats

ALTAMONT, N.Y. (AP) — As white-nose syndrome kills millions of bats across North America, there's a glimmer of hope at hibernation spots where it first struck a decade ago: Some bats in some caves are hanging on.


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