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Showing posts from April 14, 2016

DNA analysis could help improve your workout: study

By Edward Baran LONDON (Reuters) - A new study suggests that athletes using DNA-matched training improved their performance almost three times more than those on mismatched programs. The study, published in Biology of Sport and conducted at the University of Central Lancashire, reviewed the performance of 28 young sportsmen and 39 young male soccer players over eight weeks. Reigning British Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford has also used the genetically guided information from the training test used in the study, DNAFit, as he prepares to go for gold in Rio.

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Heat kills: Global warming surge may rout Great Barrier Reef's natural defenses

By Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) - A heat surge from global warming would overwhelm the natural ability of coral in Australia's Great Barrier Reef to survive seasonal temperature changes, in much the way sun bathers would burn if they did not build their tan slowly. A study released on Thursday examined 27 years of temperature data along the world's biggest reef. It found that corals were able to cope with gains in water temperatures when the heat built up step-by-step, rather than abruptly.


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Heat kills: Global warming surge may rout Great Barrier Reef's natural defences

By Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) - A heat surge from global warming would overwhelm the natural ability of coral in Australia's Great Barrier Reef to survive seasonal temperature changes, in much the way sun bathers would burn if they did not build their tan slowly. A study released on Thursday examined 27 years of temperature data along the world's biggest reef. It found that corals were able to cope with gains in water temperatures when the heat built up step-by-step, rather than abruptly.


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U.N. panel to study toughest 1.5C limit on global warming

The U.N.'s panel of climate scientists agreed on Thursday to study how to limit global warming to the toughest target set by world leaders, saying even small rises in temperatures could be harmful. The panel would look into ways to restrict the rise in temperatures to 1.5 degree Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times after a 195-nation summit in Paris agreed in December to try and phase out net greenhouse gas emissions this century. Hoesung Lee, chair of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said there were "serious risks" with even minor rises in temperatures from current levels, for instance to coral reefs and to coasts from rising sea levels.


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Beer brewers toast Australian gluten-free barley

By Colin Packham SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian scientists say they have developed the world's first WHO-approved "gluten-free" barley, a breakthrough for global beer manufacturers which have had to use alternatives to barley such as rice and sorghum to brew gluten-free beer. Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) said on Friday it had sold 70 tonnes of the new Kebari barley to Germany's largest brewer Radeberger, which has produced a beer to be sold in local supermarkets. "Gluten-free barley will be highly sought after, with European brewers particularly interested," said John O'Brien, a brewer of gluten-free beer in Melbourne.


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Light-Up Device Lets You 'Talk' to Fireflies

One of summer's most magical sights is an otherwise ordinary field or backyard illuminated by tiny, pulsing points of living light, as fireflies emerge at dusk. With the device, which resembles the insect it was built to mimic, users can communicate with fireflies by pushing a single button to emit stored patterns of light pulses that copy actual firefly signals, issuing a "come hither" message that attracts fireflies and lets users observe them up close. Scientists have found that firefly species generate unique light patterns to communicate with their own kind and to attract mates.


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Rare Collection of Shakespeare Plays Turns Up in Scottish Mansion

William Shakespeare's First Folio —the Bard of Avon's first collected edition of 38 plays, published in 1623, shortly after his death —is among the world’s rarest and most valued books. The folio was discovered in the collection of the Mount Stuart house, on Scotland's Isle of Bute, and ithas been authenticated by Emma Smith, a professor of Shakespeare at the University of Oxford. At the time of Shakespeare's death, at age 52 in 1616, only about half of his plays had been published.


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Supersonic Plane Sends Shock Waves Rippling Across the Sun (Photo)

A supersonic plane recently zoomed past the sun, and its light-bending shock waves were captured in a stunning new image. The plane, a T-38C manned by a pilot for the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, was photographed using an updated version of a 150-year-old technique called Schlieren photography. Schlieren photography typically uses a bright light source and a speckled background to reveal changes in the density of air.


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U.N. panel to study toughest 1.5C limit on global warming

The U.N.'s panel of climate scientists agreed on Thursday to study how to limit global warming to the toughest target set by world leaders, saying even small rises in temperatures could be harmful. The panel would look into ways to restrict the rise in temperatures to 1.5 degree Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times after a 195-nation summit in Paris agreed in December to try and phase out net greenhouse gas emissions this century. Hoesung Lee, chair of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said there were "serious risks" with even minor rises in temperatures from current levels, for instance to coral reefs and to coasts from rising sea levels.


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Stephen Hawking: We Probably Won't Find Aliens Anytime Soon

At the news conference, Hawking, along with Russian billionaire investor Yuri Milner and a group of scientists, detailed a new project that aims to send a multitude of tiny, wafer-size spaceships into space to the neighboring star system Alpha Centauri. If these tiny spaceships travel at 20 percent the speed of light, they'll be able to reach Alpha Centauri in just 20 years, Milner said. Once there, the spacecraft will be able to do a 1-hour flyby of Alpha Centauri and collect data that's impossible to gather from Earth, such as taking close-up photos of the star system, probing space dust molecules and measuring magnetic fields, said Avi Loeb, chairman of the Breakthrough Starshot Advisory Committee and a professor of science at Harvard University.


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Watch an Amazing Encounter Between Two Deadly Predators (Video)

A new video, captured by a wildlife photographer, provides a nonlethal answer: The video shows a wolf approaching a lynx mom and her kittens in the snowy reaches of the Carpathian Mountains in Poland. Zenek Wojtas, the wildlife photographer who caught the rare encounter, viewed the exchange as a friendly overture from one top predator to another. Both creatures were once on the brink of extinction, though their numbers have rebounded in recent years as a result of intensive efforts to protect the animals from both hunting and habitat loss.

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Jeepers, Peepers! Tully Monster's Eyes Prove It's a Vertebrate

A tiny clue hidden in the bizarre eyes of the 300-million-year-old remains of a "Tully monster" has helped scientists determine that the curious creature is a vertebrate, a new study finds. Researchers analyzed the so-called monster's eyes, and found that they held two different kinds of pigment cells. Only vertebrates have these pigment cells that resemble sausages and meatballs, indicating that Tully (Tullimonstrum gregarium) wasn't an invertebrate, but rather had a backbone, they said.


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Zika Virus Does Cause Microcephaly, Report Confirms

The Zika virus can cause microcephaly — a condition in which an infant has an abnormally small brain and head — when the infant's mother is infected during pregnancy, according to a new report, published today (April 13) in the New England Journal of Medicine. The report from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concluded that if a woman is infected with Zika during pregnancy, the result can indeed be microcephaly and other congenital problems in the babies of those women. Researchers had strongly suspected that a link existed, but they needed sufficient evidence to definitively establish that there is a direct, cause-and-effect relationship between the virus and microcephaly — not just an association between the two.

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Paralyzed Man Moves Fingers with Brain Implant

A 24-year-old man whose arms and legs were paralyzed by a spinal cord injury has regained the ability to move his hand, wrist and several fingers using an electrical device in a lab, according to a new study. Burkhart became paralyzed at age 19 after he dove into a shallow wave at a beach and hit the sandy bottom, severely injuring his spinal cord. But now, using the device, Burkhart has regained functional movements, said Chad Bouton, the division leader of neurotechnology and analytics at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in New York.

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Why People 'Lose Themselves' When They Take LSD

When people take the psychedelic drug LSD, they may feel as if the boundary that separates them from the rest of the world has dissolved, as if they are connected with everything. Ego dissolution is not a universally positive or negative experience, said Enzo Tagliazucchi, a co-author of the new study and a neuroscientist at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam.

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