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Showing posts from April 29, 2016

Simulating Mars exploration, British astronaut guides rover from space

British astronaut Tim Peake drove a rover on Mars on Friday -- or at least pretended to by test-driving the exploration vehicle on earth remotely from space. From the International Space Station (ISS) some 250 miles above earth, the European Space Agency astronaut guided rover prototype "Bridget" around a cave set up in an area simulating Mars's sandy and rocky surface in Stevenage, England. The experiment was part of the Multi-Purpose End-To-End Robotic Operation Network (METERON) program looking at how astronauts can work robots from space.


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Astronomers find a tailless comet, first of its kind

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Astronomers have found a first-of-its-kind tailless comet whose composition may offer clues into long-standing questions about the solar system's formation and evolution, according to research published on Friday in the journal Science Advances. The so-called "Manx" comet, named after a breed of cats without tails, was made of rocky materials that are normally found near Earth. Most comets are made of ice and other frozen compounds and were formed in solar system's frigid far reaches.

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Pop went the weasel and down went the Large Hadron Collider

GENEVA (AP) — It's one of the physics world's most complex machines, and it has been immobilized — temporarily — by a weasel.


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Spanking Makes Kids More Defiant, Studies Suggest

In fact, kids who were spanked were more likely to defy their parents, have mental health problems and be anti-social, the research finds. "Our analysis focuses on what most Americans would recognize as spanking and not on potentially abusive behaviors," Elizabeth Gershoff, an associate professor of human development and family sciences at the University of Texas at Austin, said in a statement. A 2014 UNICEF study found that about 80 percent of parents spank their children worldwide.


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'Lost' Medieval Music Performed for First Time in 1,000 Years

The language of music is universal, but can be lost over time. After a 20-year reconstruction effort, a researcher and a performer of medieval music have brought "lost" songs from the Middle Ages back to life. The "Songs of Consolation" were recently performed at the University of Cambridgein the United Kingdom.


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Power Up with Pee: New Fuel Cell Could Generate Cheap Electricity

Researchers have developed a way to create affordable and renewable electricity with a fuel cell that runs on urine. The new device relies on natural biological processes of so-called electric bacteria, essentially living cells that eat and breathe electricity. "These electric bacteria are a fascinating type of bacteria that are capable of transferring electrons generated by the breaking down of organic compounds extra-cellularly," said study co-author Mirella Di Lorenzo, a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath, in the United Kingdom.


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Did Opioids Kill Prince? Why It's So Easy to Overdose

Exactly what caused Prince's sudden death last week is still unknown, but there have been reports that prescription painkillers were found with the singer-songwriter when he died. Experts say there are a number of ways in which prescription opioids can be lethal, particularly if they are taken in combination with other drugs, or if someone starts using the drugs again after a period of sobriety. What's more, people are often not aware of just how easy it can be to overdose on these drugs, said Dr. Scott Krakower, assistant chief of psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in New Hyde Park, New York.

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Teens Who Do Jell-O Shots More Likely to Binge Drink

About 20 percent of underage drinkers in the United States consume alcoholic Jell-O shots, and these youth are also more likely to engage in binge drinking and other risky behaviors, a new study finds. On average, Jell-O shot users consumed 31 alcoholic drinks per month, compared with 19 alcoholic drinks among nonusers. About 73 percent of Jell-O shot users were binge drinkers, meaning they consumed five or more alcoholic drinks in a row, compared with 48 percent of nonusers.

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Having More Friends May Mean Feeling Less Pain

People in the study who had larger social networks appeared to have a higher tolerance for pain, according to the findings, which were published today (April 28) in the journal Scientific Reports. In the study, the researchers wanted to see if people with larger social networks had higher levels of chemicals in the brain called endorphins. Endorphins are linked to feelings of pleasure, as well as reduced feelings of pain.

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China aims for manned moon landing by 2036

China wants to put astronauts on the moon by 2036, a senior space official said, the latest goal in China's ambitious lunar exploration program. China in 2003 became the third country to put a man in space with its own rocket after the former Soviet Union and the United States. It has touted its plans for moon exploration and in late 2013 completed the first lunar "soft landing" since 1976 with the Chang'e-3 craft and its Jade Rabbit rover.


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Repairs to keep ULA rocket grounded until summer, company says

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - United Launch Alliance's workhorse Atlas 5 rocket will remain grounded until this summer while engineers fix a problem that triggered an early engine shutdown during its last flight, the space venture said on Friday. The Atlas 5 rocket that blasted off from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on March 22 successfully delivered an Orbital ATK cargo ship to the International Space Station for NASA. United Launch Alliance, or ULA, is a partnership of Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co.. Engineers have traced the problem to a fuel control valve in the RD-180 engine that reduced the amount of kerosene delivered during the boost phase of the flight, ULA said in a statement.


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Do Australian Dragons Dream? Sleep Discovery Surprises Scientists

Maybe, according to new research that finds rapid eye movement (REM) and slow-wave sleep in a lizard, the Australian dragon, for the first time. REM sleep is characterized by brain waves that look similar to waking brain activity. In mammals, the large muscles of the body are immobile, but the eyes twitch randomly during REM sleep.


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