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Showing posts from June 29, 2016

Olympics will come and go but Zika is here to stay, scientists say

By Paulo Prada RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Battered by a presidential impeachment and the worst recession since the Great Depression, Brazil is getting a rare bit of relief as Rio de Janeiro prepares to host the Olympics: declining numbers of Zika infections. Since the start of the Zika outbreak, which wreaked havoc across Brazil's northeast earlier this year, many physicians and would-be visitors have worried the Games could be a catalyst to spread the virus internationally. Some athletes, including the world's top-ranked golfer, have said they will stay home to avoid infection because of concerns over health complications caused by Zika, notably microcephaly, a birth defect among babies of pregnant mothers infected by the virus.

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Jewish Escape Tunnel Uncovered at Nazi Massacre Site

A 115-foot-long escape tunnel hand-dug by Jewish prisoners has been discovered at a Nazi execution site in Lithuania, a team of archaeologists and geoscientists announced today. Using a remote-sensing technique, a group of researchers was able to relocate the narrow tunnel at Ponar without ever breaking ground. Soon afterward, the military established Jewish ghettos in the city and began periodic killings at Ponar.


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Pat Summitt's Death: Why Alzheimer's Disease Is Deadly

Hall of Fame women's basketball coach Pat Summitt died today (June 28) at age 64 after a five-year battle with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Although Alzheimer's disease shortens people's life spans, it is usually not the direct cause of a person's death, according to the Alzheimer's Society, a charity in the United Kingdom for people with dementia. Alzheimer's is a progressive brain disease in which abnormal protein deposits build up in the brain, which causes brain cells to die.

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Can You 'Catch' Stress in a Classroom? Science Says Yes

Researchers found that when 4th- to 7th-grade teachers reported feeling "burned out," their students also had elevated stress levels. The study "is the first of its kind connecting teachers' stress-related experiences to students' stress physiology in a real-life setting," the researchers wrote in their study, published today (June 27) in the journal Social Science & Medicine. Teacher burnout is likely the leading reason for which teachers leave the profession, according to the study.

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More Victims of Vesuvius Eruption Found Near Pompeii

Recent excavations on the outskirts of Pompeii in southern Italy have revealed more victims of the volcanic eruption that buried the ancient city in ash nearly 2,000 years ago. The group of people seem like they tried to take shelter in the backroom of the shop when Mount Vesuvius unleashed a deadly eruption in A.D. 79. The skeletons appear to have been disturbed by looters who went digging through the ash in search of valuables some time after the volcanic eruption, according to the archaeologists' announcement.


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California Has Way More Water Than Thought

California has more water in reserve than previous estimates suggested, new research finds — but it will be expensive to pump it from the ground and treat it for use. Deep groundwater aquifers under California's Central Valley contain enough usable water to bring the Central Valley's groundwater stores to about 650 cubic miles (2,700 cubic kilometers), Stanford University researchers reported June 27 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The additional water is deep and briny, but given that California is in its fifth year of drought, it may be worth the expense to use it, the researchers said.


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Record-Breaking Electric Car Goes from 0 to 62 Mph in 1.5 Seconds

In a record-setting feat, an electric car zoomed from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 1.513 seconds last week, making it the fastest known electric car in the world. The "Grimsel" electric car took less than 98 feet (30 meters) to reach 62 mph, according to ETH Zurich, a science, technology, engineering and mathematics university in Zurich, Switzerland. The new record was set at the Dübendorf Air Base near Zurich on June 22.


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Mummified, 99-Million-Year-Old Wings Caught in Amber

About 99 million years ago, a hummingbird-size bird likely fought for its life after getting stuck in a glob of tree resin, but it couldn't tear itself away and eventually died, leaving its feathers to mummify in what became a lump of amber, a new study finds. "There appear to be claw marks in the resin, which would suggest a struggle," said co-lead study researcher Ryan McKellar, a curator of invertebrate paleontology at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Canada. Another preserved wing found in the clump of amber "appears to be a severed limb that may have been torn off by a predator, or may have floated free from the rest of the corpse due to resin flows," McKellar told Live Science in an email.


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