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Showing posts from June 20, 2016

Deadly Degrees: Why Heat Waves Kill So Quickly

An intense heat wave that sent temperatures in Phoenix to 118 degrees Fahrenheit (47.7 degrees Celsius) this weekend has killed four people — and the heat could be worse today. Those killed so far were all hiking or biking outdoors, but heat waves can kill close to home, too. In 2003, during a major European heat wave, 14,802 people died of hyperthermia in France alone.


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Frog Embryos Speed-Hatch to Escape Danger

A developing frog embryo in its jelly-like egg mass can be quite the escape artist: When predators come calling, the red-eyed tree frog embryo can detect the threat and drop out of its egg to safety in a matter of seconds, even though it normally wouldn't be ready to hatch for several more days. Karen Warkentin, study co-author and a biology professor at Boston University, reported the unusual behavior in red-eyed tree frog embryos in an earlier study published in 2005 in the journal Animal Behavior. Warkentin recorded the embryos' responses to different types of vibrations.


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When Lemurs Sing, Young Males Follow a Different Beat

Researchers have found that indris, a type of lemur native to Madagascar, are not only accomplished singers but also use rhythmic techniques when singing together to coordinate vocal performances and define their roles in the troop. Leaping Lemurs! Amazing Primates Roam North Carolina Copyright 2016 LiveScience, a Purch company.


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ISIS Plays 'Evolutionary Game' to Avoid Online Shutdown

"We were interested in how support for particular extreme ideas or extreme organizations develops online, and then if we could understand that, what the implications would be for then what happens in the real world," study researcher and physicist Neil Johnson of the University of Miami told Live Science. In the new research, published today (June 16) in the journal Science, Johnson and his colleagues identified and studied 196 pro-ISIS aggregates, ad hoc online groups formed via linkage to a social media page. The researchers found that though the pro-ISIS groups consisted of members who have likely never met and have no direct way of contacting one another, the aggregates were able to mutate and reincarnate to avoid detection.


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Sex with 2 Partners Before Marriage Raises Divorce Risk

"In short: If you're going to have comparisons to your husband, it's best to have more than one," study author Nicholas Wolfinger, a professor in the University of Utah Department of Family and Consumer Studies and an adjunct professor in the university's Department of Sociology, said in a statement. To see if the changing attitudes toward premarital sex affected the risk of divorce, Wolfinger looked at data from three waves of the National Survey of Family Growth, a survey on marriage and sexual behavior. The findings confirmed what many would believe by simply looking around: Women are much more likely to have premarital sex today than 50 years ago.


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Myth Busted: Taking Photos Doesn't Ruin Your Experiences

The next time your friends roll their eyes when you're snapping a selfie or taking a photo of your dessert, tell them that according to new research, photographing everyday things can actually make people happier. For example, when people in the study took a virtual safari and watched a pride of lions attack a water buffalo, the people who took photos of the bloody event reported a lower enjoyment of the activity than those who didn't take photos, the researchers said.

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Hang Glider Aims to Break Long-Distance Flight Record

A daring hang glider known for his extreme stunts and record-setting flights will soon attempt to set another record for the longest open-distance flight. On or soon after Monday (June 20), Jonny Durand will attempt to glide from Zapata, in southern Texas, to Lorenzo, in northern Texas, a distance of about 475 miles (764 kilometers). Aiding him on his journey — on (or around) the summer solstice, the longest day of the year — are what may be the most ideal atmospheric conditions for long-distance hang-gliding on Earth.


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'Cosmic Watch' App Lets You Track Stars and Planets in Real Time

The app, named the Cosmic Watch, can tell you what the solar system was like when you were born, or set the scene for the next solar eclipse. The app provides a vivid view of the cosmos to show how time reflects our position in the solar system, said Markus Humbel, co-founder of the app. Along with his colleagues, he obtained data on planet movements from NASA and other organizations with open-source data, and incorporated information on gravity, planet size and planets' orbital paths into the Cosmic Watch.


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Solar plane takes on Atlantic as part of round-the-world bid

The spindly, single-seat Solar Impulse 2 left John F. Kennedy International Airport at about 2:30 a.m. EDT on a trip expected to take up to 90 hours, the 15th leg of its round-the-world journey. Swiss aviators Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg have been taking turns piloting the plane, which has more than 17,000 solar cells built into wings whose span exceeds that of a Boeing 747, with Piccard at the controls for the transatlantic flight. Solar Impulse 2 is due to land sometime on Thursday in Spain or France, with the precise location to be determined later depending on weather conditions, said Elizabeth Banta, a spokeswoman for the project team.


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Scientists battle to save world's coral reefs

HONOLULU (AP) — After the most powerful El Nino on record heated the world's oceans to never-before-seen levels, huge swaths of once vibrant coral reefs that were teeming with life are now stark white ghost towns disintegrating into the sea.


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