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Showing posts from August 15, 2016

China launches 'hack-proof' communications satellite

China on Tuesday launched the world's first quantum satellite, which will help it establish "hack-proof" communications between space and the ground, state media said, the latest advance in an ambitious space program. The program is a priority as President Xi Jinping has urged China to establish itself as a space power, and apart from its civilian ambitions, it has tested anti-satellite missiles. The Quantum Experiments at Space Scale, or QUESS, satellite, was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the remote northwestern province of Gansu in the early hours of Tuesday, the official Xinhua news agency said.

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Giant Heart: Unusual Condition Means Heart is 80% of Man's Chest

Imaging tests revealed that the man had what his doctors described as a "giant right atrium," according to the report, published Aug. 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The right atrium is one of the four chambers of the heart. The cardiothoracic ratio is a ration of the width of the heart is compared to the width of the chest, said Dr. David Majdalany, a cardiologist and director of the adult congenital heart disease center at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, who was not involved with the man's case.

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'Vegetarian Piranhas' With Human-Like Teeth Found in Michigan Lakes

A South American fish with uncannily human-like chompers has been unexpectedly showing up on Michigan anglers' hooks. The pacus were almost certainly introduced into the lakes by former owners who kept them as pets, according to a statement released Aug. 9 by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Warm temperatures are vital to the pacus' survival, so they are unlikely to become established as an invasive species in Michigan's seasonally cold waters.


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Self-Destructing Battery Can Dissolve Itself in 30 Minutes

A new self-destructing battery can power a simple electronic device for up to 15 minutes and then dissolve in water. It could pave the way for so-called transient power sources for scientific instruments or tools of espionage, according to a new study. Engineers have developed a novel variety of battery capable of powering a simple electronic device, such as a four-function calculator, and then dissolving in water in half an hour.


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'Superlens' Sets New Limits on What You Can See Under a Microscope

A new "superlens" is so powerful that it could help researchers zero in on germs that were too small for microscopes to spot until now, according to a new study. For centuries, microscopes have helped scientists make major discoveries, such as proving the existence of microbes. This means that regular lenses in traditional optical microscopes are limited to examining items that are about 200 nanometers (or billionths of a meter) in size and above — about the size of the smallest known bacteria.


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Here's What Olympians Eat for Each Sport

Just what does it take to power Simone Biles' signature half-twisting double backflip or Allyson Felix's lightning-fast sprint? The average Olympic shooter, for instance, may have very different caloric needs than a swimmer like Michael Phelps. "Calories really depend on the body size, so a 100-lb. [45 kilograms] gymnast needs fewer calories than a 200-lb. [90 kg] wrestler," said Nancy Clark, a sports nutritionist and the author of "Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook" (Human Kinetics, 2013).

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'Crypto' Parasite Outbreak in Ohio Pools Sickens More than 100 Swimmers

More than 100 people in Ohio have been sickened with a diarrheal illness linked to swimming in local pools, causing health officials to declare an outbreak in several counties. Yesterday (Aug. 11), officials at the public health department in Columbus said there has been a recent rise in cases of cryptosporidiosis, an illness caused by a hardy parasite that can survive in chlorinated pools. Overall, 107 cases of cryptosporidiosis have been reported this year in Columbus, Franklin County and Delaware County, which is more cases than the area has seen in the last three years combined, Columbus officials said.

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In a First, Drone Used to Collect Medical Samples from Rural Village

But now, doctors at Stony Brook University Medicine have delivered on a promise of using drones for the good of humankind, to offer life-saving health care to villagers in a remote rural region in Madagascar. For remote villages in Madagascar's Ifanadiana district, where there are no roads, drones can fly to and from a central region in about an hour, compared to a trip lasting upward of 10 hours each way by foot. In July, public health professionals — led by Dr. Peter Small, a professor of global health at Stony Brook — partnered with a startup drone company called Vayu Inc. to conduct what they claim is the first autonomous, long-distance flight of a drone to land and retrieve biomedical samples — in this case, blood samples collected by a health care worker in the field.

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Skydivers Transform Into 'Shooting Stars' During Perseid Meteor Shower

The annual Perseid meteor shower peaked this week, but four daredevils were not to be outdone by the spectacular sky show. As meteors streaked across the night sky, the men jumped out of an airplane wearing LED wingsuits, transforming themselves, in essence, into shooting stars. The stunt, sponsored by energy drink maker Red Bull, was timed to pay tribute to the Perseids, which are also known as the "tears of St. Lawrence," the skydivers said in a statement.


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