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Showing posts from May 11, 2016

'Hyperloop' sled speeds through U.S. desert via electromagnets

By Rory Carroll NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Reuters) - A car-sized sled powered by electromagnets rocketed to more than 100 miles (160 kph) an hour through the Nevada desert on Wednesday in what the Los Angeles company developing the technology said was the first successful test of a futurist transit system called hyperloop. Hyperloop One is among several companies competing to bring to life a technical vision by Elon Musk, the founder of rocket maker SpaceX and electric car company Tesla Motors, who suggested sending pods holding passengers and cargo inside giant vacuum tubes between Los Angeles and San Francisco.


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SpaceX Dragon returns to Earth with precious science load

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A SpaceX capsule returned to Earth on Wednesday with precious science samples from NASA's one-year space station resident.


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A breath test for malaria

Malaria kills an estimated half a million people every year, most of those children under the age of 5 in Sub Saharan Africa, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).  “We are giving almost 300 million doses of malaria treatment every year and we don’t even know if we are giving them to the right people,” said Odom, adding that over use of antimalarials increases the risk of drug resistance.  “We want to judiciously use antimicrobial and antimalarials only on the people that really need them.

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Invisible 'Second Skin' Can Smooth Out Wrinkles and Eye Bags

A new, invisible "second skin" may help to restore healthy, youthful skin to older faces, according to a new study. The artificial skin — made of a silicone polymer and applied in a two-step process of spreading two creams onto the skin — can tighten a person's real skin  and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and under-eye bags, according to the findings, published today (May 9) in the journal Nature Materials. One day, the second skin could be used to help people with certain skin conditions, such as eczema (which causes the skin to become red, rough and itchy), or people who have inflammation in their skin, by serving as a vehicle for storing and releasing drugs used to treat these conditions, the researchers said.

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Yoga May Improve Memory Better Than Brain Training

The study involved 25 adults ages 55 and over who had mild cognitive impairment, or problems with thinking and memory that sometimes precede Alzheimer's disease. The participants were randomly assigned to complete either a three-month course in yoga and meditation, or to practice memory-training exercises, consisting of skills and tricks already known to boost memory. At the end of the study, the two groups saw similar improvements in their verbal memory, which is the type of memory used when people remember names or lists of words.

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Does Driving High on Marijuana Increase Fatal Crashes?

The percentage of drivers involved in fatal crashes who had traces of marijuana in their blood has doubled since marijuana was legalized in Washington state, a new study suggests. "Marijuana use in driving is a growing, contributing factor to fatal crashes," said Jake Nelson, the director of traffic safety advocacy and research at the American Automobile Association (AAA) said. The findings, which were released by the (AAA), suggest that states that have legalized marijuana use need better rules to protect drivers on the road, Nelson said.

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The Weird History of Gender-Segregated Bathrooms

In North Carolina and other states, a new culture war has erupted. In March, North Carolina enacted a law (colloquially known as HB2) that requires that people use only bathrooms that correspond to the gender on their birth certificates. Gender-segregated public restrooms are either very old or very new, depending on how you look at the question.

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SpaceX Dragon cargo ship heads back to Earth

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - A SpaceX Dragon capsule headed back to Earth on Wednesday, filled with more than 3,700 pounds (1,678 kg) of experiment results and cargo from the International Space Station, a NASA TV broadcast showed. It was the first return load from the station in a year, following a SpaceX launch accident in June 2015 that destroyed another Dragon capsule. The company’s Dragon capsules are currently the only ships that can return cargo from the station, a $100 billion research laboratory that flies about 250 miles (400 km) above Earth.


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Egyptian Mummy's Symbolic Tattoos Are 1st of Their Kind

More than 3,000 years ago, an ancient Egyptian woman tattooed her body with dozens of symbols — including lotus blossoms, cows and divine eyes — that may have been linked to her religious status or her ritual practice. The mummy was found at a site on the west bank of the Nile River known as Deir el-Medina, a village dating to between 1550 B.C. and 1080 B.C. that housed artisans and workers who built the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Stanford University bioarchaeologist Anne Austin was examining human remains at Deir el-Medina for the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology when she first glimpsed unusual markings on a mummy's neck.


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'Breathing' Volcano: How Scientists Captured This Awesome Animation

Mount Etna seems to breathe in a NASA animation showing how changes in the volcano's magma chamber deform the ground around the mountain. Mount Etna is an active volcano on the Italian island of Sicily. The Greek historian Diodorus Siculus wrote of Etna's eruptions in his "Bibliotheca historica," a series of volumes written between 60 B.C. and 30 B.C.


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Chunks of Earth's Mantle Are 'Peeling Off'

An odd phenomenon may explain why the Southeastern United States has experienced recent earthquakes, even though the region sits snugly in the middle of a tectonic plate and not at the edges, where all the ground-shaking action usually happens. This seismicity — or relatively frequent earthquakes — may be the result of areas along the bottom of the North American tectonic plate peeling off, the researchers said. To figure out the cause of these earthquakes, Berk Biryol, a seismologist at UNC Chapel Hill, and colleagues created 3D images of the uppermost part of Earth's mantle, which is just below the crust and comprises the bottom of a tectonic plate.


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Syrian Antiquities Import Restrictions Are Law, But Will They Work?

President Barack Obama signed a bill that puts new restrictions on imports of antiquities from Syria in an effort to stem terrorists' trade in looted artifacts. Syria's archaeological sites have been heavily looted as the groups fighting in Syria's civil war, including the Islamic State group (also called ISIS) and the al- Qaida-allied "al-Nusra Front," have pillaged and sold Syrian artifacts to buy weapons and ammunition, according to news reports. Since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, more than $26 million worth of artifacts — most of which were described as "antiques" from more than 100 years ago — have been imported into the United States from Syria, according to documents from the U.S. Census Bureau.


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