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Showing posts from July 26, 2016

Meter-wide dinosaur print, one of largest ever, found in Bolivia

A footprint measuring over a meter wide that was made by a meat-eating predator some 80 million years ago has been discovered in Bolivia, one of the largest of its kind ever found. The print, which measures 1.2 meters (1.3 yards) across, probably belonged to the abelisaurus, a biped dinosaur that once roamed South America, said Argentine paleontologist Sebastian Apesteguia, who is studying the find. The print was found some 64 kilometers (40 miles) outside the city of Sucre in central Bolivia by a tourist guide earlier this month.

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New Speckled Venomous Snake Discovered in Cloud Forest

A previously unknown, green-speckled species of venomous snake has been found lurking in the high, misty forests of Costa Rica. The snake, which lives in a remote, forested region of Central America, was long mistaken for a closely related species, the black-speckled palm-pitviper (Bothriechis nigroviridis). When two species look and behave nearly identically but are genetically distinct, it's called cryptic speciation.


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Goodbye, Weasels! New Zealand to Wipe Out Its Invasive Predators

The clock is ticking for the rats, possums and weasels that have invaded New Zealand over the past few hundred years. Before humans landed in New Zealand less than 800 years ago, precious few mammals lived on the islands — a vibrant archipelago that provided a home for flightless birds, such as the kiwi, takahe­ and kakapo parrot, as well as geckos and lizard-like tuataras. "While once the greatest threat to our native wildlife was poaching and deforestation, it is now introduced predators," Key said in a statement.

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Scientists caught off-guard by record temperatures linked to climate change

By Zoe Tabary LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Record temperatures in the first half of 2016 have taken scientists by surprise despite widespread recognition that extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and intense, the director of the World Climate Research Programme said. The earth is on track for its hottest year on record with June marking the 14th straight month of record heat, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said last week. Temperatures recorded mainly in the northern hemisphere in the first six months of the year, coupled with an early and fast Arctic sea ice melt and "new highs" in heat-trapping carbon dioxide levels, point to quickening climate change, it said.


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Healthy clones: Dolly the sheep's heirs reach ripe old age

By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - The heirs of Dolly the sheep are enjoying a healthy old age, proving cloned animals can live normal lives and offering reassurance to scientists hoping to use cloned cells in medicine. Dolly, cloning's poster child, was born in Scotland in 1996. Now researchers have allayed those fears by reporting that 13 cloned sheep, including four genomic copies of Dolly, are still in good shape at between seven and nine years of age, or the equivalent of 60 to 70 in human years.


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Why 5 or More Hours of TV Daily Is Bad for You

Bad news for couch potatoes: Spending hours parked in front of the TV may increase the risk of dying from a blood clot in the lung, a new study from Japan finds. People in the study who watched TV for 5 hours or more each day were 2.5 times more likely to die during the study period from a blood clot in the lung, also called a pulmonary embolism, compared with people who watched TV for less than 2.5 hours a day. A pulmonary embolism can be deadly.

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More Kids Consuming Pot by Accident in Colorado

The number of young kids in Colorado who accidentally consume marijuana has increased since buying the drug for recreational use became legal there in 2014, according to a new study. During 2009, before the recreational use of marijuana was legalized in Colorado, only nine calls were made to a regional poison center regarding kids accidentally ingesting or inhaling marijuana, researchers found. "We anticipated that the rate would likely go up" after the recreational use of marijuana was legalized in Colorado, said study co-author Dr. Genie Roosevelt, a pediatrician at Denver Health Medical Center.

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Juicy, Exotic, Decadent: Food Porn Is Actually Centuries Old

It turns out, abundance and indulgence have been popular themes in food imagery in paintings for much of the last millennium: A survey of paintings from the past 500 years suggests that artists have always preferred depicting the most beautiful, exotic and alluring foods. "Our love affair with visually appealing, decadent or status foods is nothing new," study co-author Andrew Weislogel, a curator at Cornell's Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, said in a statement.

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Belgian scientists make novel water-from-urine machine

A team of scientists at a Belgian university say they have created a machine that turns urine into drinkable water and fertilizer using solar energy, a technique which could be applied in rural areas and developing countries. While there are other options for treating waste water, the system applied at the University of Ghent uses a special membrane, is said to be energy-efficient and to be applicable in areas off the electricity grid. "We're able to recover fertilizer and drinking water from urine using just a simple process and solar energy," said University of Ghent researcher Sebastiaan Derese.


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Bizarre-Looking 'Graham' More Likely Than You to Survive Car Collision

An artist's lifelike sculpture casts the human body in a way that may look distorted and grotesque, but the odd-looking figure — scarcely recognizable as human — is uniquely designed to face deadly challenges on modern roads. "Graham" — as the sculpture has been named — has a massive skull, but his features are tiny and recessed. While Graham may not win any beauty contests, he wasn't made to be pretty — he was built for survival.


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Scientists caught off-guard by record temperatures linked to climate change

By Zoe Tabary LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Record temperatures in the first half of 2016 have taken scientists by surprise despite widespread recognition that extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and intense, the director of the World Climate Research Program said. The earth is on track for its hottest year on record with June marking the 14th straight month of record heat, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said last week. Temperatures recorded mainly in the northern hemisphere in the first six months of the year, coupled with an early and fast Arctic sea ice melt and "new highs" in heat-trapping carbon dioxide levels, point to quickening climate change, it said.

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Belgian scientists make novel water-from-urine machine

A team of scientists at a Belgian university say they have created a machine that turns urine into drinkable water and fertilizer using solar energy, a technique which could be applied in rural areas and developing countries. While there are other options for treating waste water, the system applied at the University of Ghent uses a special membrane, is said to be energy-efficient and to be applicable in areas off the electricity grid. "We're able to recover fertilizer and drinking water from urine using just a simple process and solar energy," said University of Ghent researcher Sebastiaan Derese.

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Great White Shark Dangles Seal Meal from Its Maw

The predator, with a partially eaten seal carcass hanging from her teeth, was caught on video by biologist Greg Skomal of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (MA DMF), working with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy (AWSC). Measuring an estimated 11 feet (3.4 meters) in length, the shark — and its gruesome mouthful — was spied in Atlantic waters near Massachusetts, approximately 300 yards from the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. Researchers are currently conducting a five-year shark population study in the area, AWSC representatives wrote in a Facebook post describing the video.


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Smelly 'Corpse Flower' About to Bloom in NYC: How to Watch It Live

The stench of rotting flesh will soon permeate the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), possibly today (July 25), when a rare plant known as a corpse flower blooms and releases an odor similar to that of putrefying flesh, botanists say. Despite the stench, horticulturalists and the public are flocking to see it, partly because the corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum — a scientific name that translates to "giant misshapen phallus") blooms only for a few days once every seven to 10 years, representatives from the NYBG said. "Perhaps [people come] because it is one of the largest flowers in the world, and its blooming cycle is unpredictable," NYBG representatives said in a statement.


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Vibrantly Colored 'Starburst' Scorpionfish Discovered in the Caribbean

A riotously colorful new species of scorpionfish has been found deep in the Caribbean near Curaçao. Its scientific name is Scorpaenodes barrybrowni, after nature photographer Barry Brown, who works with the Smithsonian Institution mission that discovered the deep-sea-living fish. Researchers discovered the new species during the Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP), a Smithsonian Institution mission to explore reefs deeper than scuba divers can go.


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