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Showing posts from August 5, 2016

Thaw could release Cold War-era U.S. toxic waste buried under Greenland's ice

Global warming could release radioactive waste stored in an abandoned Cold War-era U.S. military camp deep under Greenland's ice caps if a thaw continues to spread in coming decades, scientists said on Friday. Camp Century was built in northwest Greenland in 1959 as part of U.S. research into the feasibility of nuclear missile launch sites in the Arctic, the University of Zurich said in a statement. "Climate change could remobilize the abandoned hazardous waste believed to be buried forever beneath the Greenland ice sheet," the university said of findings published this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.


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'Expanding Bead' Toys May Cause Serious Ear Injuries, Docs Warn

Toys that are made out of tiny beads that expand when they get wet can be a hazard for children, in some cases getting stuck in kids' ears and causing permanent hearing loss, according to a new report. The report describes the cases of two children who suffered ear injuries after playing with the beads. If the child gets water in his or her ear (for example, during a bath), or if a doctor doesn't realize the beads can expand and tries to remove them using drops or flushing the ear with water, the bead can grow and damage parts of the ear, said Dr. Pamela Mudd, a pediatric ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist at Children's National Health System in Washington, D.C., who has treated several patients who had these beads in their ears.

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Swipe Right for Self-Esteem? Why Tinder Users May Need It

Guys on Tinder may have more in common than an apparent love of shirtless selfies — a new study suggests that they may also have low self-esteem. Men who use Tinder appear to have lower levels of self-esteem compared with men who don't use the dating app, according to the study. In addition, Tinder users in general reported having more negative perceptions about their bodies than nonusers did, the researchers found.

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Eye Injuries from Chemicals: Who's Getting Them, and Why

Eye injuries caused by chemical burns send tens of thousands of people in the U.S. to the emergency room each year, and young children have the highest rates of these injuries, a new report finds. Over the study period, 1-year-olds were injured by chemical burns at a rate of 29 kids per 100,000, and 2-year-olds were injured by chemical burns at a rate of 23 kids per 100,000, the researchers found. The injuries in young children could be almost entirely prevented if "dangerous agents are properly stored," the researchers, led by Dr. R. Sterling Haring, a physician and health policy researcher at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, wrote in their study.

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US Military's Robotic Submarine Hunter Completes First Tests at Sea

Called the "Sea Hunter," the 132-foot (40 meters) unmanned vessel is still getting its figurative sea legs, but the performance tests off the coast of San Diego have steered the project on a course to enter the U.S. Navy's fleet by 2018, according to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the branch of the U.S. Department of Defense responsible for developing new technologies for the military. The Sea Hunter "surpassed all performance objectives for speed, maneuverability, stability, seakeeping, acceleration/deceleration and fuel consumption," representatives from Leidos, the company developing the Sea Hunter, said in a statement. The autonomous submarine-hunting ship was christened in April, and is part of a DARPA initiative to expand the use of artificial intelligence in the military.


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For Otter Moms, Nursing Burnout Is Sometimes Deadly

What scene could be more tranquil than that of a sea otter mother cradling her nursing pup? Scientists knew that mortality rates are unusually high in female southern sea otters that have just finished lactating, but researchers had yet to pinpoint the cause. "This had been a big question within the marine mammal scientific community for many years," said study co-author Nicole Thometz, a postdoctoral researcher with the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.


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Divers Recover Hong Kong’s Oldest Maritime Artifact

In the waters around Hong Kong, divers recently recovered a 1,000-year-old granite anchor stock — the oldest maritime artifact ever found in the Chinese territory — and a European-made cannon from the early 19th century, which may have been used on a merchant ship to defend against pirates, according to archaeologists. "We see this as the tip of the iceberg," dive expedition leader Bill Jeffery, an archaeologist with the Hong Kong Underwater Heritage Group, told Live Science. The 6-foot-long (1.8 meters) granite stock — the upper crosspiece found on some anchors — was recovered from the seabed, beneath about 10 feet (3 m) of water, near the base of a cliff on Hong Kong's High Island.


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Da-Na, Da-Na ... Spooky Music Makes People More Afraid of Sharks

That scary, ominous music that plays whenever sharks are featured on nature documentaries is taking a big toll: It's making people feel unjustly terrified of sharks, and these negative feelings are likely hindering efforts to save and protect the magnificent fish, a new study finds. Researchers showed 2,100 people a 60-second video clip of sharks that was either silent or set to ominous or uplifting music. People who watched the "frightening" music clip tended to rate sharks more negatively compared with people who watched the video with uplifting music or silence, they found.


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Knot Possible! 3,000-Year-Old Thread Found in UK

Archaeologists working on the project shared images of the thread ball and bobbin on the project's Facebook page. The photo of the first fiber object, a miniscule thread ball that still appears to be neatly wound, was posted on July 21, and the archaeologists described its condition as "amazing." They explained that the thread was probably so well preserved because it was made of plant fiber, "likely flax or nettle," that carbonized in the fire and then became waterlogged — a process that helped protect it. The greenish-brownish thread might have been a different color before it was burned, soaked and buried, but it's "very unlikely" that even the most careful cleaning and preparation would restore its original hue, the archaeologists said in a comment on Must Farm's Facebook page, as carbonization would have removed any trace of pigment.


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Why Scientists Are Rearing Bird-Killing Parasites on Chicken Blood

Maggots raised on chicken blood may help researchers figure out how to save endangered finches. It was accidentally introduced there sometime before 1997, when its presence was first confirmed in bird nests on the islands, according to the Galapagos Conservancy, which helped fund the current research.


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