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Showing posts from June 27, 2016

Docs Diagnose Smartphone 'Blindness' in 2 Women

For two women in the United Kingdom, mysterious vision problems that happened only at night or early in the morning turned out to have a rather innocuous cause: looking at a smartphone in the dark. An eye exam showed her vision was normal, and she had no signs of a blood clot or other conditions that could cause short-term vision loss, the doctors said. This vision problem lasted about 15 minutes, and happened on and off for six months, the report said.

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Stomach Sucker: How Does New Weight-Loss Device Work?

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved a weight-loss device that may sound like something out of a science-fiction movie: a small tube inserted into the stomach allows patients to drain a portion of their gut's contents before the body absorbs those calories. The device, called AspireAssist, was approved by the FDA after a year-long clinical trial on 171 people, 111 of whom underwent a procedure to place the device. But not all weight-loss experts think the device is a game-changer.

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These Plant Compounds May Reduce Menopause Symptoms

Some plant-based therapies, including supplements with compounds found in soybeans, may help reduce symptoms of menopause, according to a new review of relevant research. In these studies, the women took either a planted-based therapy, such as a supplement or herbal remedy, or a placebo to treat symptoms of menopause. The plant-based therapies included a class of compounds called phytoestrogens, which are found in certain foods, like soybeans.

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Caffeine's 'Boost' Disappears When You're Extremely Sleep-Deprived

"These results are important, because caffeine is a stimulant widely used to counteract performance decline following periods of restricted sleep," the lead author of the study, Tracy Jill Doty, a behavioral biology scientist at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland, said in a statement.

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Pretty Risky: Men Would Skip Condoms with Attractive Women

Previous research has suggested that there is a link between perceived attractiveness and a person's willingness to have unprotected sex, the researchers, led by Anastasia Eleftheriou, a graduate student in computer science at the University of Southampton in England, wrote in the new study. One earlier study of women, for example, found that the more attractive they considered a man to be, the more willing they would be to have unprotected sex with that man. Fifty-one heterosexual men completed a survey in which they were asked to rate the attractiveness of 20 women in photographs on a scale from 0 to 100.

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The Kilogram May Be Redefined

The official metallic cylinder that defines the mass of a kilogram may soon be set aside in favor of a measurement that is defined by fundamental constants of nature. But researchers are making strides, and at the current pace, believe they can redefine the kilogram as soon as 2018.


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Pretty as a Princess: Disney Movies May Be Making Girls 'Girlier'

New research finds that preschoolers who watch Disney's princess movies are not only more likely to don the sparkling ultrafeminine fashion but also to internalize stereotypical gender roles. Researchers surveyed almost 200 4-year-old girls and boys, as well as the children's mothers and teachers, to learn about each kid's Disney movie- and TV-watching habits, favorite princesses and playtime routines. "Girls who were into the princess culture at the first wave were more gender-stereotyped one year later," said study lead researcher Sarah Coyne, an associate professor of family life at Brigham Young University in Utah.

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Rare Bronze Wing from Roman Sculpture Uncovered in England

The 5.5-inch-long (14 centimeters) wing is small enough to fit in a person's hand, the archaeologists said. It's meticulously covered with detailed plumage, and was likely part of a Roman bronze sculpture of a god or goddess, they said. Archaeologists from Cotswold Archaeology discovered the wing while they were investigating a site before a construction project, called the Greyfriars Development, in Gloucester, a city in southwest England.


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Rainbow-Colored Shooting Stars May Fly Overhead Someday

The Japanese company ALE plans to create and release artificial meteors into space that emit colorful trails when they burn up in Earth's atmosphere. Normally, shooting stars form when particles in space — usually much smaller than an inch (just a few millimeters long) enter the atmosphere and burn brightly, in a process known as plasma emission. The company plans to launch a satellite carrying about 500 to 1,000 "source particles," which will become the artificial meteors.

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Stinging Jellyfish Come to Jersey, But Beaches Still Safe

A dime-size jellyfish that can deliver severely painful stings has been spotted in New Jersey waters for the first time. Gonionemus vertens, commonly known as the clinging jellyfish, is responsible for the hospitalization of a man named Matt Carlo, according to a June 15 alert posted on Facebook by the Monmouth Beach Office of Emergency Management in New Jersey. Carlo was stung while swimming in the Shrewsbury River in Monmouth Beach.


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Ancient Greek 'Computer' Came with a User Guide

Thanks to high-tech scanning, 2,000-year-old inscriptions on the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient Greek "computer," can be read more clearly than ever before, revealing more information about the device and its possible uses. Ever since the first fragments of the device were pulled from a shipwreck off the coast of the Greek island Antikythera in 1901, scientists and historians have been trying to learn more about its purpose. The 82 corroded metal fragments of the Antikythera mechanism contain ancient Greek text, much of which is unreadable to the naked eye.


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Where's the Exit? Python Caught in Circle of Own Molted Skin

The serpent slithered around and around for about 3 hours until it eventually broke free, according to a reptile center in Australia. Stimson's pythons molt all the time, about once a month on average, but it's rare for one to get stuck in its sloughed-off skin, said David Penning, a doctoral fellow of biology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, who is not affiliated with the reptile center. "A young snake that's growing will shed more often than an older snake, because they're literally running out of space inside their skin," he said.

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Bat wings inspire new breed of drone

By Matthew Stock The unique mechanical properties of bat wings could lead to a new breed of nature-inspired drone. A prototype built by researchers at the University of Southampton shows that membrane wings can have improved aerodynamic properties and fly over longer distances on less power. Using a paper-thin rubber membrane, the team designed wings that mimic the physiology of the muscles in a bat's wing, changing shape in response to the forces it experiences.

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