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Showing posts from May 25, 2016

Biotech Regeneron replaces Intel as sponsor of Science Talent Search

By Ransdell Pierson NEW YORK (Reuters) - Biotechnology company Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc on Thursday became the title sponsor of the most prestigious U.S. science competition for high school students, taking the baton from chipmaker Intel Corp. Regeneron pledged $100 million to support the Science Talent Search and related programs through 2026, and doubled awards for the top 300 scientists and their schools, to $2,000 each. Regeneron's two top executives competed in the annual event during the 1970s and went on to build one of the world's biggest biotech companies, with cutting-edge drugs for fighting macular degeneration, cancer and cholesterol. The fast-growing biotech company will take over as named sponsor from Intel, whose chips were helping build the personal computer industry in 1998 when it took over as sponsor from Westinghouse.

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Enigmatic French cave structures show off Neanderthal skills

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Mysterious ring-shaped structures fashioned about 176,000 years ago by Neanderthals using broken stalagmites deep inside a cave in southwestern France indicate that our closest extinct relatives were more adept than previously known. Scientists on Wednesday described six rock structures discovered about 1,100 feet (336 meters) inside Bruniquel Cave in France's Aveyron region. The scientists attributed the work to Neanderthals, who thrived in Europe at the time but vanished roughly 40,000 years ago, after our species Homo sapiens, which first appeared in Africa about 200,000 years ago, trekked into Europe.


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Swallow This Robot: Foldable Droid Could Mend Stomachs

A team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has proposed a new, minimally invasive way of using biocompatible and biodegradable miniature robots to carry out tasks inside the human body. The researchers have already demonstrated origami-inspired robots capable of swimming, climbing and carrying a load twice their weight, but creating an ingestible device that can operate inside a stomach presented a whole new set of challenges, said Shuhei Miyashita, who was part of the MIT team that developed the robot but is now a lecturer of intelligent robotics at the University of York in the United Kingdom. "The toughest problem we had to solve was that of getting the robot to work in such an unpredictable environment," Miyashita told Live Science.


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Physicist Kip Thorne Talks Black Holes at the Genius Gala Awards

Four innovators received awards at the fifth annual Genius Gala at Liberty Science Center in New Jersey, turning Friday night here into a geekfest. The brilliant recipients included paleontologist Jack Horner, astrophysicist Kip Thorne, architect Frank Gehry and social psychologist Ellen Langer from Harvard University. During his acceptance speech, Thorne said he felt "like a fraud" and that he's "not a genius." Thorne honored the colleagues he worked with while discovering gravitational waves this past September.


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Light Behaving Badly: Strange Beams Reveal Hitch in Quantum Mechanics

A hidden property of corkscrew, spiraled beams of light could put a hitch in quantum mechanics. The photons, or light particles, inside these light-based Möbius strips spin with a momentum previously thought to be impossible. The findings could shake up some of the assumptions in quantum mechanics, the rules that govern the menagerie of tiny subatomic particles.

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Confirmed: The Soil Under Your Feet Is Teeming with Life

That's the message of a new atlas describing the biodiversity of soil, to be released tomorrow (May 25) at the United Nations Environmental Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya. Soil even has its own microbiome containing at least a million bacterial species. Only about a quarter of worm species, 6 percent of fungi and less than 2 percent of soil bacteria have been studied and categorized.


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