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Showing posts from July 13, 2016

Science group warns of shortcomings in U.S. missile defense

By David Alexander WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. missile defense system to counter attacks from rogue states like North Korea has no proven capability to protect the United States and is not on a credible path to achieve that goal, a science advocacy group said on Thursday. The ground-based midcourse missile defense system, which has deployed 30 interceptors in Alaska and California, has been tested under highly scripted conditions only nine times since being deployed in 2004, and failed to destroy its target two-thirds of the time, the Union of Concerned Scientists said in a report. "After nearly 15 years of effort to build the GMD homeland missile defense system, it still has no demonstrated real-world capability to defend the United States," said Laura Grego, a UCS physicist who co-authored the report.

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Science group warns of shortcomings in U.S. missile defense

By David Alexander WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. missile defense system to counter attacks from rogue states like North Korea has no proven capability to protect the United States and is not on a credible path to achieve that goal, a science advocacy group said on Thursday. The ground-based midcourse missile defense system, which has deployed 30 interceptors in Alaska and California, has been tested under highly scripted conditions only nine times since being deployed in 2004, and failed to destroy its target two-thirds of the time, the Union of Concerned Scientists said in a report. "After nearly 15 years of effort to build the GMD homeland missile defense system, it still has no demonstrated real-world capability to defend the United States," said Laura Grego, a UCS physicist who co-authored the report.


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Science group warns of shortcomings in U.S. missile defence

By David Alexander WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. missile defence system to counter attacks from rogue states like North Korea has no proven capability to protect the United States and is not on a credible path to achieve that goal, a science advocacy group said on Thursday. The ground-based midcourse missile defence system, which has deployed 30 interceptors in Alaska and California, has been tested under highly scripted conditions only nine times since being deployed in 2004, and failed to destroy its target two-thirds of the time, the Union of Concerned Scientists said in a report. "After nearly 15 years of effort to build the GMD homeland missile defence system, it still has no demonstrated real-world capability to defend the United States," said Laura Grego, a UCS physicist who co-authored the report.


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7 Weird Facts About Balance

Your inner ear plays an important role in balance. Several structures in the inner ear, together called the vestibular system, send signals to the brain that help you orient yourself and maintain balance. Many balance problems stem from conditions that affect the inner ear.

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Fearsome Argentine dinosaur had pitifully puny arms

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A newly discovered meat-eating dinosaur that prowled Argentina 90 million years ago would have had a hard time using strong-arm tactics against its prey. Scientists said on Wednesday they have unearthed fossils in northern Patagonia of a two-legged, up to 26-foot-long (8-meters-long) predator called Gualicho shinyae with arms only about 2 feet (60 cm) long, akin to a human child's. The fossils of Gualicho, named after an evil spirit feared by Patagonia's indigenous Tehuelche people, were discovered in Argentina's Rio Negro Province. Gualicho and other carnivorous dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus rex are part of a group called theropods that included Earth's largest-ever land predators.


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In Cosmic First, Scientists Spy a Star's Snow Line

For the first time, astronomers have caught a glimpse of the water snow line around a star — the point in the young star's orbiting disk of debris where snow and ice first appear. Normally, that boundary huddles too close to the star for astronomers to see it, but this particular star had a sudden burst of brightness that superheated its disk, obliterating ice further out than usual. Researchers are excited to spot their first stellar snow line because of the vital part it plays in the formation of planets around young stars: The rocky section forms planets like Earth and Mars, while the snowy outskirts sprout gaseous worlds like Jupiter and Saturn.


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Many Beer Makers Will Start Listing Calories on Bottles & Cans

Americans will soon start seeing calorie labels on many beer bottles and cans, thanks to new guidelines from the beer industry. Some of the biggest U.S. beer companies have agreed to list the number of calories, along with other nutritional information about their products, on their labels, according to a statement from the Beer Institute, a trade association of companies. Companies that have agreed to the new guidelines (which are voluntary) include Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, Heineken USA, Constellation Brands Beer Division, North American Breweries and Craft Brew Alliance, which together produce more than 80 percent of the beer sold in the U.S., the statement said.

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Why It's Harder to Recover from Jet Lag When You Fly East

If you've ever found that recovery from jet lag took even longer than you expected it to, physicists have answers: A new mathematical model helps explain why flying east is tougher on jet-lag recovery. The model takes into account how certain cells in the human brain respond to crossing time zones, according to the study, published today (July 12) in the journal Chaos. These cells, called "neuronal oscillator cells," regulate people's circadian rhythm, or biological clock, by syncing up with one another and also linking up with external cues, said Michelle Girvan, an associate professor of physics at the University of Maryland and a co-author of the study.

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'Pokémon Go' Catches High Praise from Health Experts

Whether it's lumbering up a giant hill to catch up with Pikachu, or trekking several blocks just to nab Magnemite, "Pokeman Go" players are getting some exercise. Indeed, the wildly popular new mobile game "Pokémon Go" is having an unintended side effect for some users: It's making them more physically active. "For a long time, the advances in technology have promoted reduced physical activity and increased time in sedentary behavior, which comes with well-known health risk," said Graham Thomas, an assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the Miriam Hospital's Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center in Providence, Rhode Island.

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Microsoft Mines 'Minecraft' to Study Artificial Intelligence

In the pixelated cube world of "Minecraft," players can create almost anything their hearts desire. Now, Microsoft is using the popular world-building game to build and test artificial intelligence in the fictional environment. Microsoft has made a platform for artificial intelligence (AI) research using a modified version of "Minecraft" that will become available to the public following a limited release to select researchers.

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Corals 'Kiss' and Wage War, New Underwater Microscope Reveals

The new imaging system — an underwater microscope and computer interface that can be operated by a diver — was developed by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography's Jaffe Laboratory for Underwater Imaging at the University of California, San Diego. Dubbed the Benthic Underwater Microscope (BUM), it is the first microscope to image the seafloor and its inhabitants at such a small scale. Researchers used the microscope to observe tiny coral polyps in the Red Sea and in Maui.


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Robots Could Hack Turing Test by Keeping Silent

The Turing test, the quintessential evaluation designed to determine if something is a computer or a human, may have a fatal flaw, new research suggests. While it's not news that the Turing test has flaws, the new study highlights just how limited the test is for answering deeper questions about artificial intelligence, said study co-author Kevin Warwick, a computer scientist at Coventry University in England. "As machines are getting more and more intelligent, whether they're actually thinking and whether we need to give them responsibilities are starting to become very serious questions," Warwick told Live Science.


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Do Pets Really Have Secret Lives?

Fluffy and Fido may not party it up when you're away, as the spoiled terrier Max in the summer blockbuster "The Secret Life of Pets" would have you think. But that's not to say your pets live a dull, snoozeworthy existence when you head out.


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Massive Florida Algae Bloom Can Be Seen from Space

A huge bloom of toxic algae that took over Florida's largest freshwater lake has been captured in stunning images taken from space.


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'Ghost Fish' Seen Live for First Time

A living, swimming "ghost fish" has been seen live for the first time ever.


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The Psychology of 'Pokémon Go': What's Fueling the Obsession?

Perhaps you've seen them: roving bands of (mostly) young people, gathering together with smartphones aloft, talking about something called Rattata or Squirtle.


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Solar plane lands in Egypt on penultimate leg of world tour

Solar Impulse 2, a spindly single-seat plane, flew over the Pyramids to make a smooth landing at Cairo airport at about 7:10 a.m. (0510 GMT) ending a flight leg that lasted 48 hours and 50 minutes. The plane, which began its journey in Abu Dhabi in March 2015 and is due to end it there, has been piloted in turns by Swiss aviators Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard in a campaign to build support for clean energy technologies. Solar Impulse flies without a drop of fuel, its four engines powered solely by energy collected from more than 17,000 solar cells in its wings.


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