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Showing posts from June 21, 2016

Centuries-old African soil technique could combat climate change - scientists

By Kieran Guilbert DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A farming technique practised for centuries in West Africa, which transforms nutrient-poor rainforest soil into fertile farmland, could combat climate change and revolutionise farming across the continent, researchers said on Tuesday. Adding kitchen waste and charcoal to tropical soil can turn it into fertile, black soil which traps carbon and reduces emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, according to a study carried out by the University of Sussex in England. The soils produced by the 700-year-old practice, known as "African dark earths", contain up to 300 percent more organic carbon than other soils, and are capable of supporting far more intensive farming, said the anthropologist behind the study.

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Europe's robots to become 'electronic persons' under draft plan

By Georgina Prodhan MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) - Europe's growing army of robot workers could be classed as "electronic persons" and their owners liable to paying social security for them if the European Union adopts a draft plan to address the realities of a new industrial revolution. The motion faces an uphill battle to win backing from the various political blocks in European Parliament.


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Centuries-old African soil technique could combat climate change - scientists

By Kieran Guilbert DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A farming technique practised for centuries in West Africa, which transforms nutrient-poor rainforest soil into fertile farmland, could combat climate change and revolutionise farming across the continent, researchers said on Tuesday. Adding kitchen waste and charcoal to tropical soil can turn it into fertile, black soil which traps carbon and reduces emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, according to a study carried out by the University of Sussex in England. The soils produced by the 700-year-old practice, known as "African dark earths", contain up to 300 percent more organic carbon than other soils, and are capable of supporting far more intensive farming, said the anthropologist behind the study.

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Tour Secret WWII Lab with Manhattan Project App

The efforts during World War II to develop an atomic bomb were once shrouded in secrecy, but today, the story of the so-called Manhattan Project isn't just public — you can now visit the project on your smartphone. A new app called "Los Alamos: Secret City of the Manhattan Project" takes users back to New Mexico in the 1940s, to the facilities where scientists, government administrators and the U.S. military convened to create the most devastating weapons known to humankind. "The new app provides a virtual tour of a Manhattan Project property that no longer exists," Jennifer Payne, leader of the Resource Management Team at Los Alamos' Environmental Stewardship Group, said in a statement.


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Brain Tumor Risk Linked with Higher Education, Study Finds

People with higher levels of education may be more likely to develop certain types of brain tumors, a new study from Sweden suggests. Researchers found that women who completed at least three years of university courses were 23 percent more likely to develop a type of cancerous brain tumor called glioma, compared with women who only completed up to nine years of mandatory education and did not go to a university.

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British astronaut Tim Peake would return to space station 'in a heartbeat'

Britain's first official astronaut said on Tuesday he would join another trip to the International Space Station "in a heartbeat" and would love to explore the moon. Tim Peake was one of three astronauts to return to earth on Saturday after spending half a year on the space station. It was "extremely important" for Britain to be involved in the advancement of human space flight, Peake, said on Tuesday.


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Blame the Parents? Child Tragedies Reveal Empathy Decline

A similar pattern occurred in late May after a preschooler slipped away from his mother and fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. Melissa Fenton, a writer for the parenting site Scary Mommy, wrote a plea for compassion on Facebook, arguing that in the past, child-in-peril stories engendered support, not judgment. Researchers reporting in 2013 in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience examined the brains of psychopaths (who have stunted empathy for others) and found multiple brain regions involved, including the anterior insula, the anterior cingulate cortex, the supplementary motor area, the inferior frontal gyrus, the somatosensory cortex and the right amygdala.


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Great Pyramid of Giza Is Slightly Lopsided

The Great Pyramid of Giza may be a Wonder of the Ancient World, but it's not perfect: Its base is a little lopsided because its builders made a teensy mistake when constructing it, new research reveals. The west side of the pyramid is slightly longer than the east side, scientists have found. Although the difference is very slight, it's enough that a modern-day research team, led by engineer Glen Dash and Egyptologist Mark Lehner, was able to detect the small flaw in a new measuring project.


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