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Showing posts from July 19, 2016

Norovirus at the RNC: Why This Virus Spreads So Quickly

A number of members of the California delegates' staff at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland have fallen ill with norovirus, according to news reports. The highly contagious stomach virus is the same type of virus that is well-known for ruining cruise vacations. Norovirus spreads very easily, especially at close-quarters events like conventions and cruises, said Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious-disease specialist and a senior associate at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Center for Health Security.

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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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Living Near a Fracking Site May Increase Your Risk of Asthma

Living close to a site used for hydraulic fracturing, also called fracking, may increase a person's risk of developing asthma, a new study finds. “Fracking" is a shorthand term often used to refer to an unconventional way of getting natural gas out of the ground.

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Stem Cells Could Replace Hip Replacements

This is a major step toward being able one day to use a patient's own cells to repair a damaged joint, thus avoiding the need for extensive joint-replacement surgery. The new technique may be ready to test in humans within three to five years and may ultimately work with other joints, such as knees, said Farshid Guilak, a professor of orthopedic surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, who co-led the project. The work, a collaboration between researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and researchers from Cytex Therapeutics, Inc. in Durham, North Carolina, appears today (June 18) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Pediatricians Should Discuss Sexuality with Kids, Group Says

Pediatricians should help educate their patients about sex and help parents learn how best to talk to their kids about sexuality, advised a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics. By acting as an additional source for trustworthy information about sex and sexuality, pediatricians could complement the education that kids may receive at school or at home, the authors of the report said. "Research has conclusively demonstrated that programs promoting abstinence-only [behavior] until heterosexual marriage occurs are ineffective," the lead author of the report, Dr. Cora Collette Breuner, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine and a chairperson of the AAP Committee on Adolescence, said in a statement.

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Cutting Calories Can Lower Inflammation

We often hear that certain foods or vitamins can lower inflammation in the body, but a new study suggests that there's a simple thing we can do to cut inflammation: Eat less. The study found that people who cut their daily intake of calories by 10 to 20 percent had reduced levels of markers of chronic inflammation for two years. The weights of the study participants were either normal or they were slightly overweight at the start of the study, the researchers said.

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Tiny 'Atomic Memory' Device Could Store All Books Ever Written

"You would need just the area of a postage stamp to write out all books ever written," said study senior author Sander Otte, a physicist at the Delft University of Technology's Kavli Institute of Nanoscience in the Netherlands. All in all, this orderly system of markers could help atomic memory scale up to very large sizes, even if the copper surface the data is encoded on is not entirely perfect, they said.

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Solar Plane Zooms Over Egypt's Pyramids on Historic Flight

A solar-powered airplane buzzed the pyramids in Egypt, flying over the iconic, haze-cloaked monuments, during the most recent leg of its historic journey around the world. The dramatic photos of Solar Impulse 2 soaring over the pyramids offer a striking contrast between ancient and futuristic technology, with the solar-powered aircraft representing a way that some machines, including airplanes, could be powered one day. "This was an emotional and meaningful leg for me, being able to enjoy once more the incredible sensation of flying day and night thanks only to the energy of the sun and enjoying fully the present moment," pilot André Borschberg, Solar Impulse's co-founder and CEO, who flew the plane from Spain to Egypt, said in a statement.


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Why Florida's Recent Earthquake Is So Rare

The 3.7-magnitude quake had an epicenter that was 104 miles (168 kilometers) east-northeast of Daytona Beach, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). According to the USGS ShakeMap, some weak tremors were reported and picked up by scientific instruments on the mainland, but the quake was too weak to cause any damage. Earthquakes are rare in Florida, and the reason for the relative peace has to do with Florida's position on the North American plate.


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8-Year-Old's Fossil Discovery Explains Why Turtles Have Shells

The turtle's shell may serve as a protective shield nowadays, but ancient turtles actually developed shells for an entirely different reason, a new study finds. "Why the turtle shell evolved is a very Dr. Seuss-like question, and the answer seems pretty obvious — it was for protection," lead study author Tyler Lyson, a curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, said in a statement. The evolutionary history of the turtle shell has long mystified scientists, largely because of "the scarcity of critical fossils," the researchers wrote in the study.


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Ancient Logbook Documenting Great Pyramid's Construction Unveiled

A logbook that contains records detailing the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza has been put on public display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. The Great Pyramid of Giza was built in honor of the pharaoh Khufu (reign ca. 2551 B.C.-2528 B.C.) and is the largest of the three pyramids constructed on the Giza plateau in Egypt.


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