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Showing posts from May 12, 2016

Shrinking Arctic bird suffers double hit from global warming: study

By Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) - Red knots, a type of bird that makes one of the longest annual migrations, are shrinking because climate change in their Arctic nesting grounds makes life harder during their winters in Africa, scientists say. Snows in Arctic Russia now melt earlier in spring and many red knot chicks hatch too late for the annual peak of insect food spurred by the thaw, according to their report on Thursday, one of the first to link the impact of warming to a single species. Eighty percent of the birds born in Russia with long beaks survived to adulthood against just 40 percent of the short-beaked red knots, which end up eating roots of sea grasses in Africa that are less nutritious than shellfish, the study found.

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Memory Eraser: This Trick Helps You Forget

For example, if you wanted to forget the details of a conversation you just had,  "you could push out of your mind a song playing in the background, or thoughts related to a scene happening outside your window or something like that," said study co-author Jeremy Manning, an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Although the researchers did not examine the details of the strategies people in the study employed to mentally push out certain thoughts, researchers have previously suggested two main strategies that might help in this process, Manning said. "If you don't want to think of the color blue, you think of green things instead, or red," Manning told Live Science.

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Autism Risk Linked to High Folate Levels in Pregnancy

Pregnant women who get too much folic acid may be more likely to have a child with autism, a new study suggests. The researchers found that new mothers in the study who had very high levels of folate in their blood (greater than 59 nanomoles per liter) shortly after giving birth were twice as likely to have a child who developed an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)than new mothers who had normal levels (less than 59 nm/L) of this vitamin, according to the study. The findings will be presented Friday (May 13)at the 2016 International Meeting for Autism Research in Baltimore.

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Big Gulp: Man Swallows Cellphone, Needs Surgery

A man in Ireland swallowed an entire cellphone that became lodged in his stomach and was tricky to remove, according to a new report of the case. The 29-year-old man was a prisoner who was brought to the emergency room after he claimed to have swallowed a cellphone earlier that day. X-rays showed the cellphone was in the man's stomach.

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Starfish Baby Boom Brings Hope to Population Turning to Goo

For the past two years, a mysterious wasting disease has devastated starfish living along the West Coast, turning countless individual animals into goo. The Oregon coast currently has a thriving community of juvenile starfish (or sea stars), with some places seeing populations with as many as 300 times the typical number, researchers said. The high starfish numbers don't mean the deadly disease is gone, however, the researchers said.


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Nefertiti Still Missing: King Tut's Tomb Shows No Hidden Chambers

Radar scans conducted by a National Geographic team have found that there are no hidden chambers in Tutankhamun's tomb, disproving a claim that the secret grave of Queen Nefertiti lurks behind the walls. "If we had a void, we should have a strong reflection," Dean Goodman, a geophysicist at GPR-Slice software told National Geographic News, which published a feature on the research. Live Science contacted Goodman about the research.


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Atmosphere of Early Earth May Have Been Half As Thick As Today

Bubbles in ancient Australian lava reveal that the early Earth's atmosphere might have been half as thick as it is today, scientists say. The findings contradict the decades-long belief that Earth's early atmosphere was thick and, if confirmed, would expand the list of the types of planets capable of supporting life, the researchers said in a new study. Even so, other Earth scientists say the claim is sure to be controversial.


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Nobody Saw This Volcano Erupt … Except NASA's Satellites

For the first time in 60 years, Mount Sourabaya erupted with a spectacular show of fiery lava — in fact, it erupted twice. Volcanic eruptions in far-flung places, such as the South Atlantic, used to go unnoticed. "Today, scientists can pick up signatures of events occurring far from any human observers," NASA's Earth Observatory said in a statement.


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Are We Alone? Scientists Discuss the Search for Life and Odds of E.T.

What are the odds that alien life exists elsewhere in the universe? In 1961, astronomer Frank Drake wrote an equation to quantify the likelihood of finding a technologically advanced civilization elsewhere in the universe. The so-called Drake equation took into account factors such as the fraction of stars with planets around them and the fraction of those planets that would be hospitable to life.


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