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Showing posts from August 3, 2016

Australia orders climate change U-turn at peak science body

Australia's re-elected conservative government has announced a U-turn on climate change policy, reinstating climate science as the bedrock of its peak science body just months after slashing its funding and axing hundreds of jobs. "It's a new government and we're laying out a direction that climate science matters," new Science Minister Greg Hunt told Australian radio on Thursday. Severe cuts to the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) climate change division were announced in February as a result of budget cuts imposed by the previous climate change sceptic prime minister, Tony Abbott.

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Australia orders climate change U-turn at peak science body

Australia's re-elected conservative government has announced a U-turn on climate change policy, reinstating climate science as the bedrock of its peak science body just months after slashing its funding and axing hundreds of jobs. "It's a new government and we're laying out a direction that climate science matters," new Science Minister Greg Hunt told Australian radio on Thursday. Severe cuts to the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) climate change division were announced in February as a result of budget cuts imposed by the previous climate change skeptic prime minister, Tony Abbott.

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Donald Trump's Draft Deferment: What Are Heel Spurs?

Donald Trump received a draft deferment during the Vietnam War because a doctor diagnosed him with bone spurs in his heels, The New York Times reported yesterday. Bone spurs are bony outgrowths that develop on the edges of a person's bones. When these growths occur on a person's heel, they tend to come from the front of the heel bone, along the bottom of the foot, in the direction of the arch of the foot, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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New Zika Vaccine: Testing in People Underway in US

A new vaccine against the Zika virus is being tested in people, and researchers said they hope to have early results by the end of the year, officials said today. Scientists have just started giving the vaccine to the first few volunteers as part of an early study run by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). In total, 80 people in the U.S. ages 18 to 35 will receive the experimental vaccine during the trial.

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Heavier, Not Taller: How American Bodies Have Changed

There's no denying that Americans weigh more today than they did 20 years ago, but a new report shows exactly how much more: American men weigh, on average, 15 lbs. (6.8 kilograms) more than they did two decades ago, and for American women, the number is 16.2 lbs. (7.3 kg), the report said. In the research, published today (Aug. 3) on the CDC's website, the researchers looked at a variety of measurements, taken between 2011 and 2014 during the CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

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A Rosy View: Dinosaurs Likely Saw Shades of Red

Dinosaurs likely had a gene that gave them a double win — red coloring and the ability to see the color red, a new study finds. This so-called "red gene" gives living dinosaur relatives, including birds and turtles, red coloring on their bodies and the ability to see more colors within the red spectrum than people can see, the researchers said. The gene, called CYP2J19, allows birds and turtles to convert yellow pigments they eat into red hues on their bodies, shells or beaks.


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Lifestyles of the Rich Attract a Wealth of Insects

New research finds that the homes in the wealthiest neighborhoods have more diverse creepy-crawlies living indoors than homes in poorer ZIP codes. It's not entirely clear why affluence also equals diverse arthropods (the group including insects, spiders, millipedes and centipedes), but landscaping in wealthy neighborhoods seems to play a large role, said study researcher Misha Leong, a postdoctoral researcher in entomology at the California Academy of Sciences. Leong and her colleagues used data from an exhaustive biological survey of 50 homes in and around Raleigh, North Carolina, to quantify indoor arthropods.


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Did Rembrandt Use Mirrors and Optical Tricks to Create His Paintings?

Rembrandt may have traced his celebrated self-portraits from optical projections created by assemblies of mirrors or lenses, a new analysis suggests. "The evidence suggests he used lenses and projections," O'Neill and Palazzo Corner wrote in a paper published online July 13 in the Journal of Optics. O'Neill told Live Science that the new findings follow the work of British artist David Hockney and American physicist Charles Falco, who proposed in 2001 that Rembrandt and other artists had used optical instruments to capture details and proportions with almost photographic accuracy — such as the camera obscura, which projects an upside-down image into a darkened room.


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New Tech Lets You Watch 3D Movies Without the Funky Glasses

Someday, moviegoers may be able to watch 3D films from any seat in a theater without having to wear 3D glasses, thanks to a new kind of movie screen. The new technology, named Cinema 3D, overcomes some of the barriers to implementing glasses-free 3D viewing on a larger scale, but it's not commercially viable yet, the researchers said when describing their findings. Although glasses-free 3D strategies already exist, these technologies currently cannot be scaled up to movie theaters.


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How Skydiver Jumped Without a Parachute (and Survived)

Skydiver Luke Aikins became the first person to jump from a plane without a parachute or wingsuit this past weekend, carrying out the daring stunt on live television. To accomplish such a jump with a parachute, a skydiver would typically jump from the plane, free-fall at 120 mph (190 km/h) or faster and then, at higher than 2,500 feet (760 m) above the ground, deploy the parachute, according to Nancy Koreen, spokeswoman for the U.S. Parachute Association. The parachute works to slow the skydiver's descent enough for a safe landing, she told Live Science.


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Private company wins U.S. clearance to fly to the moon

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - A Florida-based company won U.S. government permission on Wednesday to send a robotic lander to the moon next year, the firm's founder said, marking the first time the United States has cleared a private space mission to fly beyond Earth’s orbit. The Federal Aviation Administration's unprecedented go-ahead for the Moon Express mission also sets a legal and regulatory framework for a host of other commercial expeditions to the moon, asteroids and Mars. As approved by the FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation, the privately held Moon Express, headquartered in Cape Canaveral, plans to fly a suitcase-sized lander to the moon for a two-week mission in 2017, said the company founder and chief executive Bob Richards.


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Hookups Trend Down: Millennial Sex Lives Lag Behind Gen X

Millennials can't catch a break. Millennials (identified in the study as people born between 1980 and 1994) and a group that the researchers called "iGen" (people born between 1995 and 2012) are getting busy far less often during their early 20s than earlier generations did when they were young adults. People are generally assumed to be at their most promiscuous as teens and young adults, the study authors wrote.


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Virtual Light Particles May Boost Quantum Computing

A single photon can excite two or more atoms at the same time, scientists found. If you think of particles of light, or photons, as billiard balls, it makes intuitive sense that a single photon can excite a single atom. Prior work suggested that such machines could simultaneously perform more calculations in one instant than there are atoms in the universe.


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'Zombie' Anthrax Goes on a Killing Spree in Siberia: How?

An outbreak of anthrax that has killed more than 2,000 reindeer and sickened 13 people in Siberia has been linked to 75-year-old anthrax spores released by melting permafrost. There are, however, ways to protect both livestock and humans from an anthrax infection, and the current outbreak is likely to end quickly, said George Stewart, a medical bacteriologist at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. The anthrax currently infecting reindeer and people in western Siberia likely came from the carcass of a reindeer that died in an anthrax outbreak 75 years ago and has been frozen ever since — until an unusually warm summer thawed permafrost across the region this year, according to local officials.


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Turkish police raid science council, many detained, in post-coup purge - NTV

Turkish police raided the offices of the national science research council on Wednesday, broadcaster NTV said, widening an investigation into followers of the U.S.-based cleric suspected of masterminding last month's coup attempt. Many people were detained in the raid on the offices of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (Tubitak) in the northwestern province of Kocaeli, NTV said, without giving details. Tubitak funds science research projects in universities and the private sector and employs more than 1,500 researchers, according to its website.

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Turkish police raid science council, many detained, in post-coup purge: NTV

Turkish police raided the offices of the national science research council on Wednesday, broadcaster NTV said, widening the investigation into followers of the U.S.-based cleric suspected of masterminding last month's coup attempt. Many people were detained in the raid of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (Tubitak), NTV said. Turkey's government says the July 15 coup attempt was orchestrated by followers of Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999.


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