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Showing posts from April 26, 2016

Glitch postpones first space flight from Russia's new launch-pad

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A technical fault forced Russia's space agency on Wednesday to postpone at the last minute the inaugural launch of a rocket into space from its new Vostochny launch-pad, Russian media reported. An unmanned Soyuz rocket carrying three satellites had been scheduled to fire off into orbit from the Vostochny site, which was built to end Russia's reliance on the Baikonur cosmodrome in neighboring Kazakhstan. ...


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4,000 Sickened in Spain: How Does a Virus Get into Bottled Water?

Thousands of people in Spain were recently sickened with a virus spreading from an unlikely source: bottled water. The illnesses were linked to contaminated office water coolers that were distributed to hundreds of companies in the cities of Barcelona and Tarragona. Norovirus is a common cause of foodborne illness outbreaks, and it can also contaminate drinking water, such as water from private wells, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Obesity Rates in US Kids Still Rising, Study Says

Despite reports that childhood obesity may be declining in some parts of the United States, a new study suggests that childhood obesity is still on the rise nationwide. In particular, there has been an increase in the percentage of children with severe obesity, the study found. From 2013 to 2014, 6.3 percent of U.S. children ages 2 to 19 had a body mass index (BMI) of at least 35, which is considered to be severely obese.

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Concentration counts in mind controlled drone race

It was a test of concentration and brainwaves for students at the University of Florida during what was billed as the first mind controlled drone race. Sixteen competitors wearing special headsets measuring the electrical activity of their brains used their powers of concentration to send their drones down a 10-yard (meter) course to the finish line. The students used brain-computer interface (BCI)  which enables a person to use brainwaves to control a computer or other device.

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Heads up: intact skull sheds light on big, long-necked dinosaurs

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A beautifully preserved fossil skull unearthed in Argentina is giving scientists unparalleled insight into the sensory capabilities and behavior of a group of dinosaurs that were the largest land animals in Earth's history. Scientists announced on Tuesday the discovery of the skull as well as neck bones of a newly identified dinosaur called Sarmientosaurus that roamed Patagonia 95 million years ago. CT scans of the skull revealed its brain structure and provided close understanding of its hearing, sight and feeding behavior.


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Researchers use light to battle cancer

By Ben Gruber BOSTON (Reuters) - In an intriguing approach to the fight against cancer, researchers for the first time have used light to prevent and reverse tumors using a technique called optogenetics to manipulate electrical signaling in cells. Scientists at Tufts University performed optogenetics experiments on frogs, often used in basic research into cancer because of the biological similarities in their tumors to those in mammals, to test whether this method already used in brain and nervous system research could be applied to cancer. "We call this whole research program cracking the bioelectric code," said biologist Michael Levin, who heads the Tufts Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology.

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Battling cancer with light

Researchers have for the first time used a technique called optogenetics to prevent and reverse cancer by manipulating electrical signals in cells. Lead author on the study Brook Chernet injected frog embryos with two types of genes, an oncogene to predispose them to cancer and another gene to produce light sensitive "ion channels" in tumor-type cells. Ion channels are passageways into and out of the cell that open in response to certain signals.

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William Shatner: 'Star Trek' Tech Is 'Not That Far-Fetched'

William Shatner knows a thing or two about sci-fi tech. The 85-year-old actor is best known for his portrayal of the fictional Captain James Kirk, the courageous and willful leader of the starship Enterprise from the original "Star Trek" TV series. The show, which debuted in 1966, exposed audiences to spaceships, intergalactic space travel and a bevy of high-tech, futuristic gadgets.


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New Wearable Device Is Virtual Ski Coach Inside Your Boot

The Carv insert does not sink under pressure as memory foam does, but it does remember and record where it experiences pressure, with the help of 48 sensors, according to MotionMetrics. The sensors are designed to pick up subtle changes in pressure distribution and to track acceleration, rotation speed and location, said Jamie Grant, CEO of MotionMetrics. The insert is less than a millimeter thick and doesn’t affect the user's ability to ski, according to the company.


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Tesla Coils 'Sing' in Electrifying Performance

ArcAttack creates music using two giant structures called Tesla coils, which were invented by the eccentric genius Nikola Tesla in 1891, as part of his dream to develop a way to transmit electricity around the world without any wires. Now, more than 120 years later, a band that is described by its founding member, Joe DiPrima, as a "mad scientist-slash-rock group," has found an innovative way to use these tower-like structures for entertainment. When they are played, the Tesla coils emit a soft buzz before unleashing long tentacles of electricity.


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He Will Rock You: Decoding Freddie Mercury's Vocal Prowess

As the lead singer of the legendary rock band Queen, Freddie Mercury possessed a voice with the quicksilver qualities of his mercurial last name, soaring to seemingly impossible heights before descending to rumbling depths, and lending a signature drama to Queens' distinctive sound. During the two decades that Mercury led the band, the extent of his impressive vocal abilities were the subject of much speculation, but they were never studied in depth. Using acoustic data from sampled recordings and vocal re-enactments, they evaluated Mercury's speaking and singing voice.


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Blaze guts Delhi museum housing dinosaur fossil

A fire on Tuesday damaged a museum of natural history in the Indian capital that had scores of exhibits of plants and animals, among them a 160-million-year-old dinosaur fossil. More than a hundred firemen battled for about three hours to douse the flames that broke out early on Tuesday on the top floor of the National Museum of Natural History. "The damage is huge," said Rajesh Panwar, deputy chief of the Delhi Fire Service, adding that some part of the museum was being renovated and that its fire fighting system was out of operation.


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